The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

The Dark Night of Fascism

Posted on | July 17, 2011 | 21 Comments

“In the hands of a skillful indoctrinator, the average student not only thinks what the indoctrinator wants him to think . . . but is altogether positive that he has arrived at his position by independent intellectual exertion. This man is outraged by the suggestion that he is the flesh-and-blood tribute to the success of his indoctrinators.”
William F. Buckley Jr., Up From Liberalism (1959)

“There stands Jackson like a stone wall. Let us resolve to die here and we shall conquer.”
Gen. Bernard Bee, July 21, 1861

Dan Collins called Thursday night and, among other things, we talked about how politically correct revisionist history has convinced young people that the past was a hateful and benighted era, furnished wall-to-wall with racism, sexism, homophobia and other forms of oppression.

If you surveyed liberals and asked them, “What was the most evil time and place in human history?” they would almost certainly name Germany under Hitler, but America during the 1950s would be a close second.

Ann Coulter has written about the “Dark Night of Fascism” motif in liberal thought, whereby the entire decade of the 1950s is forever tainted by Sen. Joe McCarthy’s anti-Communist crusade. Thus the wholesome middle-class Mom-Baseball-and-Apple-Pie culture of the 1950s — the world depicted in Norman Rockwell paintings and “Ozzie and Harriet” on TV — is indicted as the breeding ground of oppression. 

Leftist authors like Theodor Adorno (The Authoritarian Personality, 1950), Paul Goodman (Growing Up Absurd, 1956) and Betty Friedan (The Feminine Mystique, 1963) popularized among intellectuals the notion that what we might call Traditional American Culture was synonymous with social injustice. Intellectuals in turn have suffused this notion so widely through society that we don’t even think twice about the anti-traditionalist tropes of contemporary popular culture (a theme Ben Shapiro touches on in his new book Primetime Propaganda). Ask yourself how it was, for example, that “corporate” acquired a pejorative meaning, so that those who speak of “Corporate America” automatically presume that we will join them in opposing this malevolent force.

Years ago, I remarked that journalists don’t notice liberal bias for the same reason fish don’t notice water: It’s everywhere around them, a constant presence taken for granted. So, too, with the ideas of Adorno, Goodman and Friedan. And thus we come to this surprising relic from The Dark Night of Fascism:

Cody at Letters From a Young American sent this to me, explaining why the 1967 box illustration from Milton Bradley’s popular “Battleship” game lately has become a topic of controversy.

You see that, while the boy and his father are enjoying the game, Mom and Sis are in the kitchen cheerfully doing dishes. StoryCube blog comments:

No games for you, girls. While we’re sure the sexist art would have passed unnoticed sixty years ago, we doubt MB will be re-releasing this particular version any time soon.

It is “sexist,” you see, to suggest that women ever wash dishes, let alone that they have ever done so cheerfully. And as for the “no games for you, girls” snark, Cody writes at LFAYA:

Because, of course, the boys most certainly didn’t spend the day doing yard work. Or painting the garage. Or building a deck.

And what is truly remarkable — what inspired this long rumination about indoctrination and revisionist history — is something else Cody said:

For some reason, at my school I run accross a lot of “sexist” accusations. Strange, especially at a conservative Christian school that doesn’t take any federal funds . . .

You see the point, dear reader: The leftist “gender theory” worldview has taken root even among Christian conservative youth, so that accusations of “sexism” are routinely hurled at those who exhibit — however mildly — traditionalist attitudes toward sex roles.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Romans 12:2 (KJV)

One need not be a dogmatic patriarchal reactionary to be concerned about this trend, nor is it true that more traditional sex roles are embraced only by right-wingers. There are many liberal couples who, when inevitably confronted with what economists would call the “division of labor” dilemma, choose to apportion their marital obligations in a more or less traditional fashion: Husband as father/breadwinner, wife as mother/homemaker.

From time to time, a liberal feminist will write an essay musing in semi-guilty tones about her satisfaction as a stay-at-home mother. These writers often emphasize that they don’t consider themselves as having abandoned The Sisterhood by embracing the “Just A Mom” lifestyle.

Such is the power of their indoctrination — and so pervasive now is the worldview they express — that these women writers feel obligated to declare their continued commitment to the intellectual abstraction of feminism, even while confessing their discovery that there is joy and pleasure to be found by living in contradiction to everything they were ever taught by Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, et al.

(We await the shocking confessional feminist essay: “Missionary Woman — Why I Like It the Old-Fashioned Way.”)

Obligatory bows of respect toward feminist ideals, whether expressed as reflexive charges of sexism or as guilt over being “Just A Mom,” can only serve to extend and strengthen the cultural power of feminism. Thus strengthened in their moral certainty, the feminists will be emboldened toward further attacks on traditionalists, while the traditionalists will be further intimidated into shameful silence, no matter how overwhelming the weight of facts and logic in favor of traditionalism.

“Always mystify, mislead, and surprise the enemy, if possible; and when you strike and overcome him, never let up in the pursuit so long as your men have strength to follow; for an army routed, if hotly pursued, becomes panic-stricken, and can then be destroyed by half their number. . . . Never fight against heavy odds, if by any possible maneuvering you can hurl your own force on only a part, and that the weakest part, of your enemy and crush it. Such tactics will win every time, and a small army may thus destroy a large one in detail, and repeated victory will make it invincible.”
Stonewall Jackson, 1862

Intellectual combat is at times a zero-sum game, so that every victory for one side automatically renders the opposing side’s position less tenable. In matters of faith no less than in war, a series of victories for the aggressors will demoralize their opponents, until soon the opponents become disheartened and hopeless, believing that all is lost and that no one is on their side.

Have we reached that point in this battle? Are defenders of tradition now so intimidated after decades of uncontested victories for the feminist aggressors that further resistance has become futile? Is the hegemonic authority of feminism now so unchallenged that no one even speaks out when accusations of “sexism” are slung around haphazardly even on the campus of a Christian conservative college?

There stands Cody like a stone wall!

Like courageous young David of Israel he stands, his sling at the ready to slay the blaspheming Goliath! Who will heed the call to battle on his side?

UPDATE: Linked by Lisa Graas and by Don Surber — thanks!

UPDATE II: Linked by Maggie’s Notebook — thanks!


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