(25) “Long march through the institutions.”



It was Antonio Gramsci, a prominent Italian communist, who promoted the idea of carrying out a “the long march through the institutions.” He found that it’s difficult to incite people with faith to initiate a revolution to overthrow a legitimate government—and so in order to make revolution, communists rely on a large number of foot soldiers who share their dark vision of morality, faith, and traditions. The revolution of the proletariat, then, must begin with the subversion of religion, morality, and civilization.
After the failure of the street revolutions in the 1960s, the rebels began entering academia. They obtained degrees, became scholars, professors, government officials, and journalists, and entered the mainstream of society to carry off the “long march through the institutions.” Thus they infiltrated and corrupted the institutions of Western society, which are crucial for the maintenance of morality in the society. This includes the church, government, the education system, legislative and judicial bodies, the art world, the media, and NGOs.
The United States after the 1960s is like a patient with an infection, yet unable to identify the cause. Para-Marxist ideas have seeped deep into American society and have been metastasizing.
Among the many revolutionary theories and strategies that have been put forward, the “Cloward-Piven” strategy proposed by two sociologists of Columbia University became among the most well-known and has been tried out with some degree of success.
The core concept of the Cloward–Piven strategy is to use the public welfare system to force the government to collapse. According to U.S. government policy, the number of people eligible for welfare benefits is far greater than the number of people actually receiving benefits. As long as these people are encouraged or organized to take benefits, they will soon use up the government’s funds, so the government will be unable to make ends meet.
The specific implementation of this strategy is the National Welfare Rights Organization (NWRO). According to statistics, from 1965 to 1974, the number of single-parent families receiving benefits surged from 4.3 million to 10.8 million, a more than doubling. In 1970, 28 percent of the annual budget of New York City was spent on welfare expenses. On average, of every two people who worked, one person received benefits. From 1960 to 1970, the number of people receiving benefits in New York City rose from 200,000 to 1.1 million. In 1975, New York City was almost bankrupt.
The Cloward–Piven strategy is intended to lead to a crisis. It can thus also be regarded as an implementation of Alinsky’s theories, one of which is to “make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”
Since the Bolshevik Revolution led by Lenin, the Communist Party has been good at intrigue and scheming. With a very small number of people, it created powerful “revolutions” and “crises” that it could then take advantage of. Similar things happen in American politics. For example, some of the Left’s ideas in the United States are so radical that they seem incomprehensible to most people. Why, for instance, do lawmakers and elected officials seem to represent only the voice of extreme minorities (such as transgender people), but ignore the important issues of livelihood of the majority? The answer is simple: They are not representing real public opinion.
Lenin once said that labor unions are “the transmission belts from the Communist Party to the masses.” [9] The communists found that as long as they control the labor unions, they control a large number of votes. As long as they control the votes, they can make elected officials and lawmakers do their bidding. Therefore, communists seek to gain control of labor unions, thereby controlling a large number of parliamentarians and elected officials to turn the communists’ subversive political program into the political program of left-wing politics.
W. Cleon Skousen wrote in his book The Naked Communist that one of the communists’ 45 goals is to “Capture one or both of the political parties in the United States,” and this is achieved through such an operation. In order to maintain their basic rights and interests, ordinary workers must join labor unions and thus become their pawns. An identical principle is at work when paying protection fees to organized crime gangs.
Trevor Loudon’s analysis of how communist parties hijack democratic countries speaks to this point. Loudon divides the process into three steps:
Step One—Policy Formation. During the Cold War, the Soviet Union and its allies formulated policies aimed at democratic countries. The purpose was to infiltrate and disintegrate these countries and transform them peacefully from within.
Step Two—Indoctrination. During the Cold War, thousands of communists from around the world received training every year in the Soviet Union and Eastern socialist countries. The training focused on how to use labor movements, peace movements, churches, and non-governmental groups to influence leftist parties in their own countries.
Step Three—Implementation. After the Cold War, local socialist and communist groups in Western countries began playing a more dominant role.
After the 1970s and 1980s, a large number of Americans influenced by communist ideology entered the social mainstream. They either engaged in politics, education, or academic research, or entered the media or non-governmental organizations. They use the experiences accumulated over several generations to transform the United States from within, and the United States has almost fallen into their hands.
The systems of democratic countries were originally designed for individuals of a certain moral disposition and standard. For those who use all means to achieve evil ends, this system has many loopholes. There are numerous superficially legitimate ways to subvert a free society.
There is a saying in China: “We are not afraid of thieves stealing, we’re just afraid of them thinking of it.” Communists and those who ignorantly act on their behalf try to subvert the political and social system of free societies any way they can. After decades of planning and operation, the governments and the societies of the United States and Western countries have been severely eroded, as communist thinking and elements have entered the U.S. body politic.
Communist countries practice strict control over speech and thought. However, since the 1980s, another form of speech and thought control has appeared in the West. These thought police use the banner of “political correctness” to run amok in the media, society, and education system, using slogans and mass criticism to restrain speech and thought. Even though many have already felt the evil power of its control, they have not grasped its ideological origins.
Phrases such as “political correctness,” together with “progress” and “solidarity” are all words that have long been used by communist parties. Their superficial meaning is to avoid using discriminatory language toward minorities, women, the disabled, and others. For example, “black people” are to be called “African Americans”; Indians are to be called “native Americans,” illegal immigrants are to be called “undocumented workers,” and so on.
However, the hidden implication behind political correctness is to classify individuals into groups according to their victim status. Those who are the most oppressed should therefore be accorded the most respect and courtesy. Regardless of individual conduct and talent, this judgment is rendered solely on one’s identity, and is thus called “identity politics.”
This style of thinking is extremely popular in the United States and other Western countries. According to such logic, black lesbians, who are oppressed along vectors of both race, sex, and sexual preference, are ranked at the forefront of victimhood. On the contrary, white, heterosexual males are considered the most privileged and, in the logic of victim politics, on the bottom of the totem pole.
This type of classification is identical to what goes on in communist countries, where individuals were classified as the “five classes of red” or “the five classes of black” according to their wealth and class status before the revolution. The Chinese Communist Party eliminated and oppressed landowners and capitalists because of their wrong class status, attacked intellectuals as the “Stinking Old Ninth,” and chanted that “the poor are the smartest, the nobles the dumbest.”
For complex historical reasons, including social and individual reasons, some groups have a lower political and socio-economic position, which cannot be simply explained as oppression.  But political correctness draws an artificial boundary in people’s minds. It sets up a binary, positing that only those who agree with the claims of political correctness are to be considered moral, while those who dissent are accused of being racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-Islam, and so on.
Universities, which should promote a culture of free expression, became prisons of the mind. The world is silenced and unable to openly and sincerely grapple with a number of issues in politics, economics, and culture. Under the name of political correctness, some organizations further push traditional religion out of the public sphere. Furthermore, some countries have expanded the definition of “hate speech,” implemented this expanded definition in law, and thus used the law to force schools, media, and internet companies to conform. [10] This is a step toward the same strictures on speech as found in communist states.
After the 2016 U.S. election, the United States became further divided. Protest marches erupted in major cities, and violations of freedom of speech began with frequency. In September 2017, the appearance of conservative author Ben Shapiro, invited to speak at the University of California–Berkeley, was derailed due to Antifa’s threats to provoke violent conflict. Berkeley police stood ready and dispatched three police helicopters, and security expenses were estimated at over $600,000 dollars [11]. A reporter asked a young student protester, “What about the First Amendment?” The student said it was no longer a relevant document. [12] Ironically, one signature event that marked the start of the student movement in 1964 was a fight for freedom of speech at Berkeley. These days, the Left uses the right to speech in an attempt to deprive others from having a legitimate outlet for their own voice.
In March 2017, American social scientist Charles Murray was invited to speak at Middlebury College in Vermont. While there, he was physically assaulted and an accompanying professor at the college was injured. In March 2018, tenured professor Amy Wax of the University of Pennsylvania School of Law was taken off some teaching duties after publishing a “politically incorrect” article. [13] Other organizations, acting under the banner of opposing hate speech, have labeled regular conservative groups “hate groups.” In addition, there have been cases of conservative authors and scholars being threatened regarding speaking at or attending various events. [14]
The intrusion on freedom of speech by the Left is not part of normal debate between people with differing ideas. Instead, it’s about the specter of communism using people with ill intent, provoking them to obscure the truth and suppress righteous, or at least normal, voices. Political correctness, in essence, is about substituting deviant political and moral standards for righteous ones; it is the devil’s thought police.
Antonio Gramsci
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