(by the blogger Zombie, PJMedia) – Donald Trump’s victory in November was not only the most important election result of our lifetimes, but ranks as one of the most significant events in recorded history, on par with the French Revolution or the fall of the Berlin Wall. And I’ll tell you why.
Western society is super-saturated with leftist propaganda. Politically astute non-leftists see it everywhere and complain about it incessantly — because it is ubiquitous. In fact, most of our waking hours are spent noticing, commenting upon, getting outraged by, and then [trying but failing to stop] the endless, relentless leftist slant to everything in modern culture.
Every news broadcast. Every movie. Every lesson in every classroom. … Every poll. Every TV show. … In ways large and small, overt and covert, subtle and blatant, the society around us is infused [saturated] with progressive ideals and agendas, whether you realize it or not.
And it’s not just the entire preschool-through-Ph.D. educational system, the entire media/entertainment complex, and most interpersonal environments. Increasingly, and under Obama especially, the federal government itself has become an inescapable agent of coercive progressive propaganda imposed on us with the full force of the state.
But what is the purpose of all this propaganda?
The Goal of Indoctrination
The culture-wide brainwash we witness with chagrin every day is not designed to ignite a violent overthrow of the American political structure — long experience has proven that violent revolutions simply don’t happen in middle-class, first-world countries. We’re too comfortable as a nation for that strategy to ever work. Instead, the ultimate goal of all this brainwashing and social intimidation is to make the general population VOTE as the Left wants us to vote.
Many of the progressives fighting (and seemingly winning) the “culture wars” may not even realize the ultimate purpose of their activism — most naively think that the goal of altering America’s social mores is merely to alter America’s social mores, and nothing beyond that. What other objective could there be?
The answer, of course, is obvious: Political change. While it is possible, I suppose, for a thoroughly left-wing society to accept being forever ruled by a conservative government, such a state of affairs never endures for long in the real world. Indeed, one of the core values at the heart of leftism (aside from the touchy-feely cultural stuff) is that the machinery of the state exists for the very purpose of imposing by force progressive ideology on the populace. So the “culture wars” can never be fully won until leftists have a firm grip on political power.
And how do you get political power in America? … You gain power incrementally [a little at a time] by winning elections. And the way you win elections is by changing the hearts and minds (and thus the voting patterns) of the hoi polloi.
The term for this process, in Marxist theory, is cultural hegemony, a phrase that was coined by communist philosopher Antonio Gramsci to describe how the political power-structure of a society is always determined by the cultural norms of that society. A conservative-minded populace will always vote for conservative-minded leaders, so the way to achieve communism in advanced nations, he argued, would be to first change the culture so that progressive ideals become dominant, and then people will simply vote themselves into communism without the need for a revolution.
And the way to change the culture, according to the theory, is to slowly infiltrate and then surreptitiously seize control of the “institutions” which shape cultural awareness — most importantly the mass media and the educational system. …
So, it’s no accident, nor did it simply happen naturally, that everything in society since the 1950s seems to have shifted wildly leftward toward political correctness; it is in fact a decades-long strategic plan to change the underlying nature of society to pave the way for an eventual socialist utopia. And while part of that plan is to deny it even exists, in reality modern academia [higher education; university professors] spends most of its time these days openly discussing and debating how to best implement it.
The point behind Gramscianism and “stealth communism” (as I call it) is that the revolution in the United States should not and can not be a violent revolution, but instead a quiet revolution in which the populace imposes communism on itself willingly — what Bernie Sanders correctly dubs “democratic socialism” — that is to say, by electing socialist leaders democratically.
Which brings us to the main point: The entire purpose of 60 years of slanted media and slanted news and slanted education and social pressure and brainwashing and deception and indoctrination — all of it, everything we complain about every day, all day, for years and years and years — the purpose of all this is to get people to vote for the most left-wing candidate in each presidential election. The goal is to bring about a self-imposed silent revolution in America, a democratically elected socialist government voted in by low-information rubes unaware of what they’re doing.
And it has looked ever since Obama’s ascendancy in 2008 that this long-term strategy had reached a tipping point of success from which there was no return — no conservative could ever win another presidential election. With each passing year, the population was getting younger, more radical, more brainwashed, etc. (Midterm/off-year elections are a somewhat different story, as regional conservative outposts could still elect local representatives — but on a national scale, they were greatly outnumbered by burgeoning young generations of leftists.)
The results of these decades of indoctrination was plainly visible in the college students of today, who are all so left-wing by default that they consider standard Marxism too old-fashioned and conservative. Taking this into consideration, and remembering that the adults of today were the radical students of the recent past, it had seemed that these decades of indoctrination had been resoundingly successful, and that the U.S. electorate had swung wildly to the left, never to swing back, just as the Gramscian brainwashers had been planning and implementing for the last 50 or more years.
And then November 8, 2016 happened, and BOOM: It was all revealed to be a lie. Not only did the indoctrination fail, but the general impression that the relentless indoctrination had always been successful was itself a gigantic meta-deception.
All the chatter and statistics and talk show “experts” proclaiming that America had forever swung Democratic? ALL LIES.
All the slanted polls, which were intended to convince everyone that Hillary was inevitable? ALL LIES.
The derision of Trump as a ludicrous fringe candidate and his supporters as wild-eyed extremists? ALL LIES.
And it’s not just that they were all lies — they were lies that had no effect. Somehow, without anyone noticing, a majority of the American populace had evolved a new immunity to progressive disinformation.
It doesn’t even matter what Trump’s actual political beliefs are or what his policies will be. All that matters is that he was the media’s Designated Enemy and yet he won.
This election didn’t merely expose the failure of six months of campaigning by the Democratic Party. This election exposed the failure of SIX DECADES of leftist propaganda to have any cumulative effect at all.
And the earthquake extends deep into the future as well. Thanks to Trump’s history-shattering victory, we now know that the Gramscian model and the Frankfurt School model don’t work. Every single thing the Left has done since the 1950s has been catastrophically wrongheaded and misconceived. It has all backfired. Which means that going into the future, when they will (as they surely will) continue their failed strategy on autopilot, it will all be for [nothing]. Why? Because these techniques only work if the victims don’t know they’re being propagandized. Yet the public in recent years has become much more sophisticated. Now we do know. And we can never un-know once our eyes have been opened.
The Left has to now go back to the drawing board and come up with an entirely new playbook. And once they do, it will surely take decades to implement.
But the best part? The Left doesn’t understand any of this, and they won’t reformulate their playbook. They will stick to the same failed script, as we have already seen just in the last few weeks since the election. Years from now, and likely even decades from now, the Left will still be trying their stealth (and not-so-stealth) propaganda/indoctrination/bullying efforts, and they will continue to fail.
That’s why Trump’s victory is so historically significant: It is a major paradigm shift in the arc of history that completely destroys the leftists’ long-term game plan, past, present and future. To such an extent that now we’re playing an entirely new game with entirely new rules. But the left refuses to acknowledge this, and they will continue to play the old game. So they will lose. And lose. And lose. And lose. Over and over and over again until they too see the futility of the entire leftist worldview.
Published December 19, 2016 at PJMedia .com. Reprinted here March 23, 2017 for educational purposes only. May not be reproduced on other websites without permission from PJMedia. Original post at zombietime blog. (NOTE: A pseudonym is a name that someone, often a writer, uses instead of their real name. The blogger who wrote this commentary uses the pseudonym “Zombie.”)
1. Before reading the commentary, read the definitions under “Background” for the words found in the article.
2. Define progressive and propaganda as used in this commentary.
3. What is the purpose of the propaganda the commentator describes? (What does he say is the goal of this propaganda?) – See paragraphs 6-10
4. For each of the following assertions made by the writer, write agree or disagree and explain your answers.
a) “Every news broadcast. Every movie. Every lesson in every classroom. … Every poll. Every TV show. … In ways large and small, overt and covert, subtle and blatant, the society around us is infused with progressive ideals and agendas, whether you realize it or not.” (para. 3)
b) “Many of the progressives fighting (and seemingly winning) the “culture wars” may not even realize the ultimate purpose of their activism — most naively think that the goal of altering America’s social mores is merely to alter America’s social mores, and nothing beyond that. What other objective could there be? The answer, of course, is obvious: Political change.” (para. 7-8)
c) “The way to achieve communism in advanced nations would be to first change the culture so that progressive ideals become dominant, and then people will simply vote themselves into communism without the need for a revolution.” (para. 10)
d) “The way to change the culture, according to the theory, is to slowly infiltrate and then surreptitiously seize control of the “institutions” which shape cultural awareness — most importantly the mass media and the educational system.” (para. 11)
e) Every single thing the Left has done since the 1950s has been catastrophically wrongheaded and misconceived. It has all backfired. Which means that going into the future, when they will (as they surely will) continue their failed strategy on autopilot, it will all be for [nothing]. Why? Because these techniques only work if the victims don’t know they’re being propagandized. Yet the public in recent years has become much more sophisticated. Now we do know. And we can never un-know once our eyes have been opened. (para. 24)
5. What was your initial reaction to the assertions made in the first half of this commentary (paragraphs 1-16)? Were you:
surprised, shocked, astonished, angered, dismayed, skeptical, disbelieving, etc. Explain your answer.
6. What was your reaction to the assertions made in the second half of this commentary (paragraphs 17-27)? Were you heartened or disheartened? Explain your answer.
7. The purpose of an editorial/commentary is to explain, persuade, warn, criticize, entertain, praise or answer. What do you think is the purpose of this editorial? Explain your answer.
- saturated – completely filled with something
- ubiquitous – seeming to be seen everywhere
- slant – a particular point of view from which something is seen or presented
- coercive – using force or threats to make someone do something
- indoctrination – to persuade someone to accept an idea by repeating it; teaching someone to accept a set of beliefs without questioning them
- culture wars – conflict between traditionalist or conservative values and progressive or liberal values. Beginning in the 1990s, culture wars have influenced the debate over public school history and science curricula in the U.S., along with many other issues in politics and culture, including abortion, gun control, global warming, illegal immigration, privacy, traditional marriage, etc.
- social mores – the customs, values, and behaviors that are accepted by a particular group, culture, etc.
- populace – ordinary people; “ordinary people” as opposed to the titled, wealthy, or privileged classes
- hoi polloi – the masses; the common people
- cultural norms – Cultural norms are behavioral standards that a society adopts as a whole and follows when interacting with one another.
- infiltrate – to move into (an organization, country, territory, or the like) surreptitiously and gradually, especially with hostile intent
- surreptitiously – secretly, especially because it would not be approved of
- political correctness – avoiding language or behavior that any particular group of people might feel is unkind or offensive; conforming to a belief that language and practices which could offend political sensibilities (as in matters of sex or race) should be eliminated
- socialist – a person who follows socialism, which is a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state
- derision – the use of ridicule or scorn to show contempt