Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Leftist Strategy of Divide-and-Concur

Many conservatives recognize that leftists use a divide-and-conquer strategy of pitting groups against one another to reconfigure the political landscape as they see fit. What is less fleshed out is how the left stokes group conflict in American society and wields the weapon of "tolerance" and political correctness to bludgeon conservatives into submitting. One might call this ploy a "divide-and-concur" strategy.

In the ideological war in this country, the left engages in tactics of critical theory, which simply put is engaging in unending divisive criticism of America and Americans (specifically, white, male, Christian, middle-class, conservative Americans). The left then wields the weapon of political correctness, which psychologically intimidates those whom the left disagrees with, to wear down its opponents into essentially concurring with their own defeat.

To more effectively accomplish its goals, the left employs "culture" to create the Marxist ocean in which people swim, until conservatives essentially drown through lack of being able to effectively communicate their message. Conservatives, it is thought, will eventually give up in frustration and hopefully convert to the socialist religion. The left's enemies are thus defeated without a real fight.

Throughout this period of conflict, the left is held up as the compassionate "redeemers" of a contentious and heartless political culture. The left believes that after conservatives are sufficiently demoralized, the country will come to a crisis juncture where it will turn hard to the left, which will be empowered to rewrite the social, economic, and political rules as it sees fit. The left burns all conservative bridges leading back behind them.

Many would question how a presumably noble group like the leftists see themselves would ever want to ruin a country by promoting group conflict and crisis. It is the dream of leftists that after a nation destroys itself from within, they can step in and unify it under one banner, transforming it into their totalitarian dream-state. Since Americans are so well-armed, military conquest is nearly ruled out; what America's enemies need is for the nation to defeat itself. This can be accomplished through ideological warfare; specifically, detachment from reality, and voluntary submission of one's independence and freedom to the government.

The ultimate group that leftists imagine is one of completely malleable and docile people, who have no ideals or principles to cling to, and one that the state (and theoretically, a world government) can control through propaganda. After all states are subjugated as such, some even believe that all states will cease to exist, and the state itself will "wither away."

As intoxicating as such a utopian notion is, it is extremely dangerous because it substitutes fantasy for objective reality. Human beings have agency, and the implementation of ideas have real world consequences. There is a difference between idealistically engaging the world, and believing that the world is as malleable as ideas themselves. Since leftists fail to understand or even acknowledge human nature, all of their destructive designs are for nought. They are destroying the nation and Western civilization in vain.

To illustrate how the left promotes group conflict and attempts to engineer this crisis point, the following are a number of opposing groups in American society that leftists have concocted, patronized, or whose animosity they have fueled:

Blacks vs. Whites
Blacks are encouraged to blame whites for their trials and travails. Though slavery was formally dissolved as an institution 150 years ago, and the Civil Rights Act instituted nearly 50 years ago, the left continues to espouse the idea that America is a fundamentally racist nation and nothing ever changes that eternal fact. The election of Barack Obama, even in predominately white states in the Midwest, has done nothing to salve race relations in the eyes of the leftists. That is because the "racism" paradigm is a tactic that the left exploits to foster animosity between Americans, and for leftists to frame themselves as "defenders" of a presumably oppressed minority.

Men vs. Women
Radical feminism arose in the 1970s in the aftermath of the "sexual revolution." The feminist way of looking at history through the prism of the "silent woman" can be legitimate if not taken to extremes. Unfortunately, the hard left, which has clout in many universities and particularly in Women's Studies and Gender Studies departments, has propagated such radical theories that "gender" itself is a narrative and no real differences exist between the two sexes except for genitalia. Biologists, neurophysiologists, and mainstream child development experts contradict this narrative. The effect of radical feminism is an unnecessary antagonism between men and women.

Children vs. Parents
Rebellion against parental authority is glamorized in the culture through film and music. Furthermore, the youth are sexualized at an increasingly earlier age (according to radical theorists like Gyorgy Lukacs, this assaults the core of Christianity and leads to youth rebellion against parents). Children are encouraged to turn against their parents, which is no difficult task to begin with, admittedly. But most surprisingly, children can even be taught to assault their parents with leftist ideas like environmentalism, or even to "spy" on their parents.

The Family vs. The Nanny State
Children are increasingly raised in daycares, which tend to teach extremely elementary Marxist values such as "sharing." "Imagination" and "creativity" is inordinately emphasized in these daycares and kindergartens rather than subjects such as reading, writing, and arithmetic. The education system holds onto these children, effectively, for as long as possible - offering Pell grants and subsidized federal loans to nearly anyone who can enter a university (not a difficult task). The promulgation of perpetual youth leads to soft-minded young adults who are easily manipulated by narratives such as "hope" and "change," who are inclined to rebel against the status quo, and who look to the government as a parent-by-proxy. Why are children more frequently being raised by the state? This is a bit more complex to follow. Through the central bank, a key institution according to Marx's Communist Manifesto, the money supply is steadily devalued, and credit offered artificially easily. The effect is that, in general, two parents need to work at home just to make ends meet and to pay off easily acquired debt.

Heterosexuals vs. Homosexuals
The left has politicized sexual orientation in this country, even to the extent of creating special rules and regulations regarding homosexuals (such as housing and hiring laws, and military recruitment and retention policies). Those who question the normalization of homosexual behavior in America society, even in elementary schools, are cast as "homophobes." Gay marriage becomes a political issue, even as marriage is traditionally a religious issue (it is my view that it is none of the government's business who gets married). Groups such as the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) infiltrate our schools under the premise of keeping them "safe" (see "safe schools czar" Kevin Jennings), ostensibly in order to recruit more gays. Crimes that seem motivated by animus towards gays are labeled "hate crimes," which is very dangerous because it punishes a human being for having certain thoughts, and not for his objectively determined behavior. Sexuality is a private matter that should not be politicized, yet in progressive America, everything is politically charged and conflict becomes a ubiquitous fact of life.

Intellectuals vs. Working Class
One way that purported progressive intellectuals marginalize conservatives and middle America is by defining intelligence as agreement with the Marxist agenda. Marxism holds that "revolutionary consciousness" comes from recognizing that history is defined by "class struggle" between haves and have-nots. Yet the key Marxist element of dialectical materialism implies that men's thinking reflects their material environment. The proletariat, or the oppressed, are the future of world consciousness; this is supposedly because the internal contradictions of capitalism, such as the steady decline of wages towards subsistence, doom the system to collapse. Anyone who does not recognize this narrative as being true, particularly the working class or middle class, or who criticize it too spiritedly, are demonstrating "false consciousness." This is how the left effectively strips their intellectual opposition of agency, leading to anger and frustration among those who oppose them. How the intelligentsia themselves escape the dialectical materialist worldview, especially since many of them are upper middle class, goes unexplained. (I am explaining here how leftist intellectuals think, and not the Democrats who merely follow the progressive leadership without asking too many questions.)

Producers vs. "Parasites"
The welfare state has been around since at least FDR, who implemented dozens of alphabet soup programs and agencies to ameliorate the effects of the Great Depression. Yet when one retraces the history and political thinking behind many social welfare programs, they were: Typically sold as temporary safety nets, and then were never repealed; and were intended to create dependency and reliance on government, and more specifically, on the Democrat Party. The Democrats transformed the justification for government programs and policies from a legal-rational basis to a "compassionate" one. The Democrats then went after profitable businesses, in other words, successful ones, to take from them and give handouts to the less successful in order to grow their political base (why doesn't the left leave businesses alone so that they can hire the poor and cut out the middleman?). The Cloward-Piven strategy arose in the 1960s to grow the welfare programs of LBJ's "Great Society" to such a massive size that they might cause the capitalist economic system to implode. As the deficit from these programs escalates, and the national debt grows, taxes will inevitably increase. Increasing financial burdens foisted on them by the state fosters anger in the producers and pits them against the "parasites," or those who do not need welfare yet continue to take it. Welfare programs are almost never repealed once implemented, since being deprived of "entitlements" is infuriating to those who receive them and can lead to a politician's defeat.

Citizens vs. Illegal Immigrants
Following on the discussion of the welfare state is the problem of illegal immigration. Allowing aliens to enter the country without going through the proper immigration process is a sign of disrespect for the country's rule of law. Providing illegal immigrants with social welfare and benefits without them having to earn them or pay for them angers American taxpayers. In addition, the left's narratives of "diversity" and "multiculturalism" runs cover for illegal immigrants, who often gain concessions from schools and other government agencies, such as foreign language teaching. The sum effect of opening the U.S. to illegal aliens without making them going through the immigration process is a guarantee that tens of millions enter American society without any appreciation for the political, cultural, and social norms that the country is founded on. This leads to cultural weakening and political decay. Furthermore, illegal aliens take what used to be well-paying jobs from Americans, and they also depress wages. When the economy downturns (and the actions of the Federal Reserve guarantee that those downturns tend to be severe and protracted), extreme hostility between citizens and illegal immigrants is likely to flare up.

Secularists vs. Christians
The great majority of Americans are self-described Christians, yet they are continually mocked and ridiculed in the mainstream culture. Christians are marginalized in the courts and the schools, even to the point that their free speech and freedom to practice their religion are infringed. Although leftists will bend over backwards to make Muslims feel comfortable any way that they can, Christians are told to keep quiet, "don't dare" pray in public schools, or erect Nativity scenes - even on private property. The result is the Christians feel cornered politically and change their view that government is founded on freedom to one that it can be used as a vehicle for their religion (such as Bush's "compassionate conservatism" and his partnering with Christian charities - bear in mind I am against any government subsidies for non-governmental organizations or businesses). Both progressives and Christians viewing government in such instrumental terms guarantees political strife and misunderstanding between those Christians who seek to legislate their views, those who think that the government should be religiously neutral, and the leftists, who are aggressively anti-religion to the point of imposing on others' freedoms.

"Neoconservatives" vs. Muslims
It is clear in the historical record that the overwhelming majority of terrorist attacks since the 1960s have been committed by radical Muslims. Yet those Americans who support aggressively defending the United States from radical Muslim terrorists are brandished "neocons," a disparaging term for "neoconservatives." Neoconservatives are those political thinkers who propose using the United States as a vehicle to spread American values in the world, and may be completely different from those who seek a foreign policy of intervention in countries that are likely to prove a serious threat to American security, such as state supporters of radical Muslim terrorism. Muslims are held up as just another victim class of American imperialism, even as it is clear who the aggressors are in the war between America and radical Muslims. Even though the news media continually chide Americans for their supposedly discriminatory views against all Muslims, there have been few, if any, attacks on Muslims in the United States simply for the fact of one being a Muslim. Progressives, many of which ally with the inflammatory Council on Islamic American Relations or CAIR, exploit antagonism in order to paint Christians as reactionary "Islamophobes," and pose as the defenders of Muslims - even if that means risking our nation's security by allowing radical Muslims to escape warranted scrutiny.

"Progressives" vs. "Conservatives"
The narrative of "progressives," who see themselves as inherently more enlightened and advanced than their political adversaries, is that the world of the future is a classless one where conflict is obsolete through the equal distribution of wealth. Those who oppose or criticize this vision are de facto "conservatives" who are hence regressive and mentally inferior. This arrogance on the hard left inevitably leads to condescension and reaction. Yet progressives vary to the extent that they realize that their vision, whether based on the philosophies of Karl Marx or on those of his teacher G.W.F. Hegel (whom many neomarxists follow), is inherently faith-based (and thus does not reflect an "intellectual" position narrowly speaking). Some style that Marxism is "scientific," even despite the many contradictions to Marx's predictions (for example, that a Marxist revolution would first occur in an advanced capitalist state); while others believe that Marxism is simply a useful myth to advance the left's utopian vision.

Environmentalists vs. Polluters
Radical environmentalism really took off in the 1970s, most notably with the consecration of the first "Earth Day" in 1970. Although the conservation movement began during the Progressive Era in American politics, famously with Theodore Roosevelt's creation of national parks and wildlife preserves, conservationism should not be confused with environmentalism. While conservationism is about humans being good stewards of their environments, environmentalism is a paranoiac view of the world that sees mankind as inherently destructive of the environment. As such, radical environmentalism can take on aspects of a religion, making its adherents resistant to rational debate on the merits of actual science. The exposure of the faux science of the environmentalist movement with "Climategate" has shaken the hold of the myth of manmade climate change with the public at large. But radical environmentalists remain as committed as ever, since their movement was never about science to begin with, but about promoting their radical agenda and making huge profits while doing it.

The Individual vs. The Collective
One of the main struggles between the left and right is that of the individual versus the collective. The left poses a mystical "greater good" or "common good" as the justification for many supposedly progressive policies. This implies that the individual must put "the community" first, and himself always second (or not at all). The ethic of altruistic sacrifice is held as the most noble aim of a person's life, and any resistance to the left is criticized as "selfish" (see the writings of Ayn Rand for more on the opposition of altruism and selfishness). This puts the individual who wants to better himself and make a profit in an inherently defensive position. It follows that private property and individual rights are compromised in the interest of "democracy." The result is the atomization of those who seek to be "their own men" and the praising of followers and "joiners" of progressive causes.

Democrats vs. Republicans
America's founding fathers despaired of the possible sabotage of the Constitutional republic due to the rise of political parties. Political parties artificially split the electorate up into blocks since they run on quite ideologically and principally disjointed platforms, essentially forcing Americans to make political preferences according to "best fit" or the choice of "lesser evils." Political parties can greatly polarize a nation, since people are identified with the party they support, whether or not they agree with all the planks of that party's platform. A country strongly dominated by party politics is not conducive to rational public discussion of the issues. Parties are a natural consequence of electoral politics, but since the welfare state is assumed, they are now used as interest groups that loot the public's treasury for particular goals, as politicians do so for specific constituencies. The result is an interlocking democratic political system of "winner takes the spoils"; the Constitution is disregarded as merely a barrier in the way of ransacking the nation and creating political fiefdoms within and outside of government. In many ways, the tea party movement is a centrist movement seeking to end the partisan politics by restoring constitutionally limited government and obviating the strictures of party politics (though practically this involves co-opting the Republican party and putting it in the service of this cause).

"Nationalists" vs. Anti-Americans
Patriots and others supporters of American patriotism are often branded as reactionary nationalists. Yet patriotism is defined as a "love of country" and implies reverence for the institutions, traditions, and ideals that are the foundation of one's country. Nationalists, on the other hand, are seen by the left as inherently dangerous obstructers of the internationalist project; they range from xenophobes and bigots, to Nazis and fascists. This cross-association is the background to the idea that those who love and cherish America are something akin to fascists, though what America stands for and what the Nazis stood for are not adequately differentiated. The burning of the flag, and the caricature of those who support and defend America against its enemies as akin to Hitler is a powerful illustration of the leftists' warped mentality. The anti-war movement will unveil any weapon it can find to suppress what it views as virulent "nationalism"; it will call America colonialist and imperialist, it will fault-find and attack the U.S. military, and it will ridicule anyone who is pro-American by invoking any vulgar epithet it finds effective.

What is needed to counteract the leftists' destructive divide-and-concur strategy is a renewed engagement with philosophy, and particularly, objectivism. Objectivism is a firewall that prevents ideological manipulation because it focuses on the individual, rationality, and an engagement with objective reality. Practically speaking, what is immediately needed is a vigorous defense of America, the family, and the Constitution, including freedom of religion; as well as an exposure of corrupters of the courts, the schools, the universities, the news media, the entertainment industry, and the government. (Andrew Breitbart has the right idea with his group of "Big" websites: Big Hollywood, Big Journalism, and Big Government.)

American conservatives can never rest when looking to defeat the ideological subverters of this nation's founding principles of freedom, liberty, and Constitutionally limited government. Thomas Jefferson had it right more than two hundred years ago when he wrote,"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." We will never have a conflict-free nation; but we can have one where we understand who is cunningly stoking the flames of passion and manipulating people to achieve naive and dangerous ends. This can only happen if we thoroughly know the nature of the enemy, as well as its plans. In a war of ideas, just as in any war, this is fundamental to formulating any effective strategy. We must unify in defense of America, that nation that was birthed in freedom and independence. We must never be intimidated by those who seek to exploit us.


Anonymous said...

Hey Mr. Becker, I am willing to give up my socialism if you are willing to give up your state owned and state managed college career.

Reasonsjester said...


Reasonsjester said...

By the way, Richard Thornton of
Princeton, NJ I know who you are as well.

Photo and bizarre twits:

I know my way around the Internet too. And don't deny it, I have plenty of evidence, technical and in terms of content on this site. (Mr. "I left the Libertarian party" etc.).

So just post as Richard Thornton and stop posing as "Anonymous."

Reaganx said...

=Christians are marginalized in the courts and the schools, even to the point that their free speech and freedom to practice their religion are infringed.=

How exactly are their rights infringed? Do you mean bans on intelligent design and school prayer in public schools, which are clearly NOT rights violations?

Reasonsjester said...

I am not talking about school prayer, I am talking about private prayer in school, and kids being sent home for drawing religious pictures, like in Massachusetts recently. As you know well, neomarxists attack Christians because they are Christians, and Christianity is an aspect of American culture that they hate and feel obliged to use the apparatus of the state to attack, and I am saying that people who believe in religion have the same free speech rights as people who don't. If a kid folds his hands and looks up, that is fine, but if he clasps his hands and looks down, that is unacceptable? I am for private schools (of course, we agree on that, and this would cut the Gordian knot somewhat - the aspect of free school choice), and laws and restrictions based on behavior that infringes on others' rights, not for witch hunts on what people believe or don't believe. People can believe what they want as long as they don't infringe on others' rights. Discussing a matter is also not the same as indoctrination, re: intelligent design.

By the way, I don't believe in a Creator, and I don't believe in the Christian narrative of an anthropomorphic God. I also believe that there is no "God" as far as all the world's major religions purport to exist; if there is anything to the universe that reflects something godlike, it is that it is a reasonably predictable, apparently closed system, though awesomely destructive at times.

Reaganx said...

I agree with you entirely that everyone should enjoy the same right to free speech. What is at issue is what exactly in modern America constitutes a violation of Christians' rights. As far as I remember, violations of rights BY Christians intended to entrench their beliefs through violence have been much more frequent in US history - we have to give the leftists credit for the fact that there has never been anything akin to "militant atheism" or any major attempts to spread atheism through violence in the US.

=ids being sent home for drawing religious pictures, like in Massachusetts recently.=

First of all, you have to admit that this is hardly evidence for a massive and violent liberal witch-hunt against Christians. Even if it is a violation, it is very minor and hardly comparable to atrocities carried out by Christian fanatics until very recently (remember that sodomy laws were only voided in the early 2000s). You have to present more solid evidence for a crackdown on Christians' rights.
Moreover, it is not even clear if it WAS a violation. First of all, I advocate a completely private school system where every school can ban or allow anything it wants, including Christian drawings (by exercising the school owner's property rights, of course). A public school system necessarily results in contradictions and there can never be a completely coherent "libertarian" agenda for public schools because they are "un-libertarian" by their nature. One can say that, as a lesser evil, the government should follow a certain policy regarding public schools. I can admit that the best option would be to allow maximum free speech there but at the same time keep "functional" restrictions - if a certain form of behavior impedes a school's functioning, it should not be allowed. I'm not referring to these kids, of course.

nora said...

Richard Thornton (of Princeton, New Jersey) tweets like a mental patient. "I hate Republicans, unless they're dopers..." What a genius!

nora said...

I also enjoyed looking at his blog;

Nora said...

Anonymous said...

give me a call; we can meetup sometime at Small World coffee and discuss anything you like; I will pay for the coffees or teas.