The following is an exclusive excerpt from Sebastian Gorka’s new book, The War for America’s Soul: Donald Trump, the Left’s Assault on America, and How We Take Back Our Country, available from Regnery.
America and her allies may have defeated the deadly, totalitarian regimes of national socialism and fascism in World War II and communism in the Cold War, but neither ideology is dead. In fact, communism is very, very much alive today. And I am not referring to China, North Korea, or Cuba. Yes, they are all Communist regimes, which have survived the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union. What I am talking about is the Communist and socialist threat inside America, a threat that has internalized key elements of fascism to boot. We may have won the Cold War with the Soviet Union and its slave satellites, but thirty years later, the internal threat from those who wish to dismantle our nation from the inside is greater than it has been since the Civil War.
Consider this: today in America, one of the two parties which divide power between themselves is most often represented by a group of freshman congresswomen, the so-called “Squad”—although I prefer “The Four Horsewomen of the Democrat Apocalypse”—made up of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley.
Two of these women are actually members of the Democratic Socialists of America and were elected to office as such. Together these four—who have within the space of less than six months managed to box the establishment Democrats, including their titular leader, Nancy Pelosi, into an irrelevant corner—have openly, either individually or as a group, espoused the following extreme stances:
- Demanded the dissolution of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and the Department of Homeland Security
- Advocated open, unsecured borders with Mexico
- Supported taxpayer-funded health insurance for illegal aliens
- Called the Department of Homeland Security’s holding facilities for illegal immigrants “concentration camps”
- Denounced Israel as an “evil” nation that has hypnotized the West
- Accused Jewish-American lawmakers of having dual loyalties
- Stated that “brown and black faces” must have “brown and black voices” and that all homosexuals must have one “queer voice,” and that none of these voices can dissent from their socialist agenda
- Described the horrendous attacks of September 11, 2001, as “some people did something”
- Refused to denounce the violent acts of Antifa, al Qaeda, and ISIS
- Proposed a gargantuan overhaul of the United States economy under the banner of a “Green New Deal” that would cost $90 trillion dollars to implement and would lead to the banning of gasoline-powered engines and private air travel, as well as the demolition and reconstruction of any building deemed “environmentally unsound”
And this is just a fraction of the outrageous things that Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Tlaib, and Pressley have said since the 2018 elections.
How did we get here? How did these women—with their anti-Semitic, un-American, socialist views and their extremist identity politics—become the face of the Democrat party? Well it was no accident.
Here we could spiral down a rabbit hole of historic investigation, but I will be as succinct and as operational as I can be, mindful of the fact that all you need right now are the most pertinent facts that will arm you in your political fight to support the Make America Great Again agenda and help secure the future of our nation.
As before, I owe a debt of gratitude to the late, great Andrew Breitbart and his autobiography Righteous Indignation, chapter six of which is the most cogent description of how the crazy Leftists plotted—and succeeded—to capture American politics and culture. Please read Andrew’s story for yourself after you have finished with this book. In the meantime, here is a summary of how the New Left plotted to capture America’s soul, and almost totally succeeded before the outsized outsider from Queens ran for president and defeated them—at least temporarily.
The fundamentals are clear enough. The New Left in America can trace its genetic roots back to Jean-Jacques Rosseau, who almost single-handedly upended centuries of Western philosophical and theological wisdom.
Instead of believing that man is fallen, fatally flawed, and prone to selfishness and evil, Rousseau denied the reality of thousands of years of human history and posited that man was inherently good and that his “goodness” could be maximized if we turned away from the idea of individual rights, liberties, and duties, and instead focused on the communal “will of the people” where the good of the whole would outweigh that of the individual, and we could socially engineer a better society. Rousseau’s vision was central to Karl Marx’s subsequent development of the collectivist ideology of communism.
Like an ideological scrapbooker, Marx picked and purloined the ideas of others to build his philosophy. He took the ideas of the perfectibility of man and communalism from Rousseau. Marx stole the idea of “historical materialism” from Friedrich Engels. He lifted the idea of inevitable progress (in Marx’s vision, to communism) from Hegel and his eponymous “dialectic.” Hegel, a profoundly religious man, unlike the rabidly and militantly atheist Marx, saw the history of man as a perpetual progression, a series of qualitative improvements in our collective lot as one new idea (antithesis) reacted against an existing idea (thesis) and resulted in an improved conceptualization (synthesis) that has more truth value than the previous two ideas combined. This progression, so Hegel believed, would increase our enlightenment, until we perceived the ultimate synthesis, the purest version of truth’s expression, which is God Himself.
Marx took Hegel’s key dynamic and utterly removed God and truth. For Marx the intangible was irrelevant. All that mattered was matter, and so was born his “dialectic materialism,” in which the thesis and antithesis were expressions of the inherent conflict within society, the clash between the haves and have-nots, the oppressor and the oppressed, the capitalist and the exploited workers, which would result in a final revolution after which there would be no classes, and the vaunted “means of production,” the factories that produced the wealth, would belong to everyone, and we would all live in a just world without any exploitation.
No, seriously, this garbage is what Karl Marx sold with his books Das Kapital and The Communist Manifesto. And, incredibly, some people believed this rubbish. So much so that they used it as a blueprint to sabotage and subvert multiple nations around the world, starting with Tsarist Russia and stretching all the way to Cuba and China. But then there was a problem. For all their attempts to try and effect a Communist revolution in Western Europe and the United States, Marx’s followers failed. And, as Andrew Breitbart points out in his book, America was an especially tough nut for Marx’s followers to crack because of how our nation was born. Our Founding Fathers knew full well that man is fallen and tends toward the selfish and the bad. They understood the necessity of having a government with checks and balances and a separation of powers. And they bequeathed us a written constitution founded not on some absurd utopian collectivist vision of society, but built upon the recognition of the unalienable God-given rights we possess, including the rights guaranteed to us by the Bill of Rights. America has had “progressive” presidents and liberal presidents, but it has remained a staunchly unsocialist Republic. Marx’s disciples, however, aren’t ready to sur- render. This is where the influence of a hunchback Italian cripple comes in.
Antonio Francesco Gramsci is the ideational grandfather to all that threatens modern America and our freedoms today, from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal to the violence of Antifa. His writings, penned in an Italian prison cell, would be leveraged by the Hungarian Jewish writer and politician, Gyorgy Lukacs, each sharing the conviction that communism had failed in established Western democracies—as opposed to the backward and mostly peasant society of Tsarist Russia—because these societies are too resilient and too developed. For Marxism to flourish in the rest of Europe and America, these “bourgeois” societies must be dismantled piece by piece. From the inside. The New Left took that realization and from it fashioned a political platform that now forms the Democrat Party’s articles of belief: from Obamacare’s unprecedented intrusion into private healthcare choices to the anti-scientific insanity of transgenderism and beyond. This isn’t a random accusation, devoid of context, an accusation floating in space. The path from Gramsci and Lukacs to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar can be mapped historically, geographically, and institutionally.
Institutionally, the story moves to Germany and a wealthy philosophical playboy named Felix Weil, who used his family’s wealth to make a home for these radical ideas under the name, the Institute for Social Research. (Funny how they always find the most innocuous and anodyne labels for their nefarious activities.) You may have heard of the institute by its other name, based upon where it was founded: the Frankfurt School. Here Weil gave a home to Lukacs, as well as to a German philosopher named Max Horkheimer, a man most Americans have never heard of but whose lethal ideas now dominate American colleges.
Horkheimer, like Gramsci and Lukacs, recognized that Marxism would not prevail against established and robust developed societies. The status quo in the West was simply immune to radical ideas of “social justice” and equality enforced by state fiat. So he came up with an otherwise inoffensive-sounding weapon to destroy that status quo: Critical Theory. According to this “theory” which now dominates the social sciences across America and most of the Judeo-Christian world, the current state of affairs must be relentlessly challenged on all fronts. Because power is in the hands of those who do not deserve it, all standing relationships and all dominant concepts must be criticized and dismantled, even language itself, until modern society lies deconstructed, in pieces, and incapable of defending itself from being rebuilt along Marxist lines.
Horkheimer recruited fellow-traveler philosophers who hated the traditions of the West—including Herbert Marcuse, Theodor Adorno, and Erich Fromm. Their names are revered by today’s Leftist radicals who have put into action their prescription that the West’s Judeo-Christian, democratic, and capitalist institutions must be repeatedly attacked until their collapse, starting with the family and ending with the nation-state itself.
However, as Horkheimer built his team of academic revolutionaries, history intervened. With the rise of Hitler, the future of these avowed Marxists, many of whom were also Jewish, was grim if they stayed in Germany. So where did they go? You guessed it. With the usual open heart and open arms we have shown to those persecuted in their own nations, we Americans welcomed the Frankfurt School’s subversives to our shores, more specifically to Princeton, Columbia, Brandeis, and the University of Chicago.
In the years following the war, the proponents of Critical Theory would work their insidious Marxist magic on pillar after pillar of American society, finding their own fellow travelers, starting with journalist Edward R. Murrow, and moving through to other incredibly influential cultural actors such as Dr. Benjamin Spock. Spock adopted their radical ideas, advocated their use in a new way to raise American children, and wrote a revolutionary book titled The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care, which would go on to sell more than fifty million copies. Marcuse took the “deconstructionist” ideas of his mentor Martin Heidegger and promulgated them across academe until he was recognized as the father of the New Left. (Heidegger’s ideas were also central to the ideology of Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich, underlining, again, that Marxism, fascism, and National Socialism have much in common.)
Marcuse’s genius was to see that the Marxist expectation of a revolution happening in America was a fantasy. Marx predicted the ineluctable clash with the capitalists and the bourgeois because sooner or later the working class would simply have enough of being “exploited,” and the class war would explode by itself. But Marcuse realized that America is a nation uniquely unburdened by a class structure, at least in the way most European nations are defined along incredibly strict stratifications of class distinction, down to how one’s class can be identified almost immediately just by one’s accent.
In America, the boundless upward mobility afforded by a republic based on the rights of the individual as opposed to the privileges of a special class, are how an autodidact prairie lawyer like Abraham Lincoln could become president, or how Barack Obama, the biracial son of a single mother, could do exactly the same thing. Fomenting a class war was clearly not going to work in a country where even the idea of class distinctions was frowned upon by the majority. Social strife was to be exacerbated so that established societal structures could be dismantled. Marcuse found another dividing line that could be exploited to exacerbate social strife and dismantle societal structures—“victim groups.” Who needs a proletariat to build a revolution on, when you can say that women are victimized by men, when you can perpetuate a sense of exploitation by stoking tension between white Americans and non-white Americans, or even between homosexual Americans and their heterosexual neighbors? Andrew Breitbart, as usual, so eloquently expresses this approach when he describes Marcuse’s mission “to dismantle American society by using diversity and ‘multiculturalism’ as crowbars with which to pry the structure apart, piece by piece.”
And what would be the best weapon to effect the assault on the structures of society, to maximize the tension between victim and oppressor? Well, quite simply, totalitarianism. But how could you sell totalitarianism to an America coming out of a world war against Hitler and engaged in a cold war with Stalin and heading into the age of love and “flower power”? Easy. In a move that would have astounded even George Orwell, Marcuse instructed his acolytes to sell their totalitarianism as tolerance, “partisan tolerance,” which he introduced in an essay he penned in 1965 as a guide for how to shut down debate and silence the critics of Critical Theory. Now bear with me here because this is a real humdinger.
According to Marcuse, classic tolerance has failed our societies. Why? Well because it tolerates all ideas, even those that are “wrong.” As a result, tolerance as it has been practiced since the word has had any meaning at all is in fact “repressive tolerance,” since it permits the expression of “unjust” views that perpetuate exploitation and oppression. As a result, we must redefine tolerance in such a way that oppression is removed. Meaning that from now on, one need only tolerate that which does not maintain established societal norms of “oppression.” Tolerance, to be “real” tolerance from now on must be “partisan tolerance.” Did you follow that? This lunacy tracks beautifully with Orwell’s novel 1984, wherein Big Brother states again and again that “war is peace” and “freedom is slavery.”
Now before you say: “Enough already! Stop it with the crazy professors!” just consider this: what Marcuse sold his fellow radicals as “partisan tolerance” in 1965 is today’s political correctness. Marcuse is why today an observant Jew like Dennis Prager is labeled a bigot and a Nazi on internal Google emails, why conservative speakers are disinvited from speaking on college campuses, where antisemitic initiatives like the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement against Israel are celebrated, and why anyone who calls a man a man on Twitter can be summarily suspended for “dead-naming” if that man just happens to have declared himself a woman yesterday.
Now you can see how Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar are not fringe accidents but the direct consequence of a long degeneration that began when a Marxist intellectual realized there was no way to take over the countries of the free West except from the inside? Even so, you cannot get from Antonio Gramsci to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez without mentioning one more person—the person who was, and remains, a muse and a hero to so many radical leftists, and who was in fact the subject of Hillary Clinton’s dissertation at Wellesley, Saul Alinsky. To quote Breitbart again:
[I]f Marcuse was the Jesus of the New Left, then Alinsky was his Saint Paul, proselytizing and dumbing down Marcuse’s message, making it practical, and convincing leaders to make it the official religion of the United States, even if that meant discarding the old secular religion of the United States, the Constitution.
[And his book] Rules for Radicals might just as well be entitled How to Take Over America from the Inside. It’s theory made flesh. Alinksy laid it out step by step, but we were too busy fighting the results to reread his game plan.
(Man, Andrew was good. Please read his book Righteous Indignation after you’ve finished this one.)
Alinsky is the first modern “community organizer.” And a Communist too, but a pragmatic one, and a realist who knew from experience what would work and what wouldn’t when you faced a much stronger foe. He knew how to co-opt the people you need to co-opt. And he knew how to start the revolution on the inside of the structures you wish to take control of, as opposed to trying to destroy them from the outside.
Andrew provides a superb summary in chapter six of his book on how Alinksy took the abstruse and pretentious ideas of the Frankfurt School and turned them into clear and actionable rules for war, a war with Judeo-Christian civilization informed above all else by the maxim that the ends justify the means. For a blow-by-blow account of who Alinsky was and what he believed, read that chapter in Righteous Indignation, or even better read the original Rules for Radicals, which is just a small paperback.
But for our purposes here, in order to understand what the Left has become and how Donald Trump remains our only hope to stop the otherwise inexorable forward march of Gramsci’s frightful offspring, here are the key elements of Alinsky’s strategy to destroy all that is good in America so it can be replaced with a Marxist horror.
As you read them, think about where you see these axioms being deployed today in American politics and what it will take to face up to and defeat them.
- Live by the Rule of Personal Destruction. Treat your adversary as inhuman, deserving zero respect or compassion. Whether it is Sarah Palin, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, or President Donald Trump, identify the targets, immobilize them, make your attack personal, and polarize public opinion about them; demonize them until they are deemed evil.
- The establishment abhors being ridiculed. Use ridicule to make the establishment uneasy and subvert its legitimacy.
- Put pressure on your foe and never let up; always be on the offensive so your enemy can never rest and never regroup.
- Label your opponents hypocrites and pounce mercilessly if they ever fail to live up to their own standards.
- Never go beyond your expertise—but force your enemy outside of his.
- Never rest after a victory. Pile on as your foe is still in shock. Show no pity.
- Your actions are important only insofar as they force your enemies to misstep or overreact. Look at yourself as a provocateur whose mission is to drive your enemies into making mistakes again and again until their position is untenable.
- Power is measured by how strong your enemy believes you too be. Never let your foe have an accurate measure of your strength. Disinformation and deception are your friends.
These are the rules that have been used against our nation and our values since the 1960s. Because of Alinsky-inspired leftists, we have “identity politics” that pits Americans against each other based upon our skin color, our sex, and even our sexual preferences. The fundamental building block of civilization, the nuclear family, has been gravely weakened, especially in the black community where fatherless homes have become the norm. Thanks to Marcuse’s ideas and Alinsky’s tactics, many Americans have been brainwashed into believing that killing a viable child in a woman’s womb is analogous to birth control. Women have been convinced that they should be like men, and that pursuing demanding careers should be their priority—even at the expense of marriage and motherhood. We have been lulled into thinking recreational drugs aren’t so bad for society and that some of them should be legalized. And when it comes to our place in the world, many Americans now believe that America—our power, position, and example—is a problem. Global poverty, war, injustice, and environmental doom are all our fault, they say or imply, and the least we can do is open our borders and allow the rest of the planet to take whatever is left as we slide into an inevitable and necessary decline.
This was the power of the Frankfurt School, and this was our fate, until someone called Donald J. Trump said: “No. America was great, and we can Make America Great Again.”
Now the question we have to ask is: can he do it?