WASHINGTON, D.C. — You may have heard the late
Andrew Breitbart (1969-2012) was initially alerted to the Democrat/media
complex when that collaboration smeared Clarence Thomas as it fought
to block the latter's Supreme Court confirmation in 1991. There is,
of course, more to Breitbart's venture into battle against those who
would trash his country.
Though l'affaire Thomas was the spark that awakened Breitbart from
the leftist environment in which he had been raised, his instinct then
was to learn how the slash and burn alliance had gained so powerful
an influence in our society. Some larger force — perhaps historical — was
behind this. His "sixth sense" prompted him to start digging
for the machine's roots or "back story." He just knew the
Orwellian scenario (where dark is light and light is dark) could not
have emerged overnight.
Breitbart's scholarly research on that very question emerges right
in the middle of his memoirs. The inquiring mind from the Hollywood
Hills discovered a gold mine of background as to how America's enemies
had taken dead aim at his country and had worked for decades to destroy
The pivotal chapter
In his 2011 best-seller Righteous
Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World, Andrew
Breitbart (who recently met his untimely death at age 43) traces
the story of how Communism came to America. Rivers of ink have
been dispensed to document the many facets and subplots in
the drama of the concerted 24/7 campaign to bring Western Civilization
to its knees. Those essential investigations of the forces
who intend to do us in continue even now in the early 21st
century. Meanwhile, Breitbart has offered an abbreviated explanation
that is about as concise as one can find with regard to the
attack on America..
Beyond brute force
The conspiracy — in its metaphoric dimensions — represents
nothing so much as a giant mowing machine, never deviating from its
decades-old goal of smashing America's constitutional, cultural, economic,
and political infrastructure.
The take-down of America from within has been sought through more
than one avenue, but arguably none so pivotal as the Frankfurt
School. Breitbart focuses on that phenomenon in his 21-page chapter Breakthrough.
The author/activist discovered the long-term Marxist crusade to tear-down
the United States did not end (as many Americans assumed) when the
Berlin Wall came down.
Aside from the Soviet empire and the 100 million people killed at
the hands of Communist brutality, Marxism has always had its cultural
warriors. Nothing impedes their advance so much as the United States
Our enemies long ago concluded that bringing the U.S. to its knees
would involve control of the culture — the everyday lives, and
the everyday thoughts, of the citizens.
Breitbart saw those forces at work as a student at Tulane University — what
he calls a cultural fascisti. What he saw was campus thought control:
elites who decided "what was okay to think and what to write,
what words meant, and who was allowed to say them. There were (and
are) tribunals without oversight, as kids have been thrown out of college
for uttering the wrong sentiments."
But Tulane was a mere microcosm. Cultural Marxism was (and is) pervasive
in the mainstream media, Hollywood, education (K-higher ed), and straight
on into the government.
America did not simply wake up in the mid-sixties and suddenly embrace
the rebellious counter-culture that would define the era. No, those
seeds had been planted decades earlier.
Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow
Wilson, according to Breitbart, were early U.S.
progenitors of the Hegelian theory that drove the early 20th
century's so-called "progressive movement." George
Wilhelm Fredrich Hegel was a German philosopher
who provided the dialectic argumentation for Karl Marx's
utopianism — i.e., that human nature could be changed
only by destroying the surrounding society.
Of the people no more
As Breitbart informs us, Wilson "frowned on democracy," and "rejected
the idea of government by the people," which he believed should
be "replaced by elites who knew better than the masses." Or,
as he intoned, "Men as communities are supreme over men as individuals."
The Frankfurt school
Fortunately for America at the time, Wilson and progressivism in general
were exceedingly unpopular by the time the former Princeton professor
mercifully ended his White House tenure.
But for the Marxists — not to worry. Some European Marxist imports
would ultimately make their way into our society. The Brown socialists
(Nazis) and the Red socialists (Communists) had battled each other
on the streets of Germany during the twenties. When one of these two
strains of socialism gained power, the other would have to flee. But
that gets us ahead of our story:
Prior to the Nazi takeover, Felix Weil, a young radical Marxist from
Frankfurt, Germany, organized the Institute for Social Research, quickly
dubbed the Frankfurt School. (Breitbart defines the group as "really
a precursor to [Obama ally] John Podesta's Center for American Progress.")
The central theme of the "school" was that tearing down
society was a pre-condition for the eventual victory of global Marxism;
that capitalism had rendered man "weak," which in turn explained
why socialism had not come into existence already. (Remember, this
was late twenties Europe and North America).
Further the Frankfurt School taught that Judeo-Christian morality
must be rejected; that "a worldwide overturning of values cannot
take place without annihilation of the solid values and the creation
of new ones by the revolutionaries"; and that "critical theory" reflected
the school's curriculum.
Breitbart says Frankfurt School philosopher Max
Horkheimer coined the term "critical theory." Its meaning would "embody
the whole corrupt philosophy whose mission was to destroy society
In fact, Breitbart says "critical theory," as he
was taught at Tulane, was "quite literally, a theory of
criticizing everyone and everything everywhere."
We might add here that "critical theory" was also
taught at Mercer Island High School in Washington State when President
Obama's mother, Stanley Ann Dunham attended it. Instapundit informs
us the curriculum included 1 — "rejection of societal
norms; 2 — attacks on Christianity, the traditional family;
and 3 — [assigning the] readings of Karl Marx." That Washington
State high school also was "a hotbed of pro-Marxist radical
teachers," and had been cited in testimony before the House
Committee on Un-American Activities.Frankfurt school moves to U.S.
After the Brown socialists took over Germany, the Red socialists at
the Frankfurt School had to get out of there. And they had nowhere
to go except the United States.
Breitbart goes on:
"We welcomed the Frankfurt School. We accepted them with open
arms. They took full advantage. They walked right into our cultural
institutions, and as they started to put in place their leadership,
their language and their lexicon, too many chose to ignore them. And
the most dangerous thing you can do with a driven leftist clique is
to ignore it."
The tentacles spread
Upon arriving on our shores, Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, and other
Frankfurt School icons initially took up new quarters in Southern California,
where they "were disturbed by consumer culture and the Gospel
of relentless cheeriness."
As Breitbart opines, "These Marxists were here trying to destroy
the best lifestyle man has ever created. If I could go back in a time
machine...I would kick these malcontents in their shins."
Ultimately in New York, Columbia University's Sociology Department
was dying and only too willing to take in new blood. "They liked
what they saw in the Frankfurt School." In fact, "It was
a marriage made in hell" (also BTW, a marriage arranged in part
by commentator Edward R. Murrow).
Again, quoting Breitbart: "With their tentacles affixed to the
institutions of American higher education, the Frankfurt School philosophy
began eking its way into every crevice of American culture. Horkheimer's
'critical theory' became a staple of Philosophy, History, and English
courses across the country."
Andrew Breitbart identifies Herbert Marcuse as the most
significant of what he defined as these "deranged soul[s]" striving
to deconstruct the good life."
Marcuse, a "major contributor to the Frankfurt School," was
the founder of what came to be known in the sixties as the "New
Herbert Marcuse, a former student of future Nazi philosopher
Martin Heidegger, "longed for the moment 'when the spiritual
strength of the West fails and its joints crack, when the moribund
semblance of culture caves in and drags all forces into confusion
and lets them suffocate in madness."
After becoming a U.S. citizen, Marcuse's employment record included
a stint for FDR in the Office of War Information (OWI) — a government-backed
effort that also included Owen Lattimore, a key figure in steering
U.S. policy toward aiding the Communists' takeover of China, a regime
whose leaders today threaten us with military might, steal our weapons
secrets through industrial and government espionage, and hold a massive
debt over our heads in case we get any bright ideas about sassing them
Marcuse served in the pre-CIA OSS (a hotbed of communist infiltrators),
and in the State Department where he worked to prevent the U.S. from
pushing post-war Germany away from socialism. He taught at Columbia,
Harvard, Brandeis, and finally the University of California, San Diego.
Today's buzzwords no accident
Much of the intellectual poison in our society is traceable to Herbert
Marcuse's mission to dismantle American society by using "diversity," and "multiculturalism," as "crowbars
to pry the structure apart piece by piece." He saw a part of his
mission as to encourage black opposition to whites (way beyond the
civil rights agenda, with its theme equality for all).
In fact, Marcuse whipped up all "victim groups" in opposition
to society in general. If you were a happy American who loved his country,
you were part of the problem. One of his rallying cries was "Marx,
Mao, and Marcuse."
In his Breakthrough chapter, Breitbart
goes on to trace the Frankfurt School influence to Saul Alinsky,
the "community organizer so influential with Barack Obama." We
will deal with that next.
This column has in the past cited the literal
hotbed of subversion that is the Frankfurt School. See "The
plot against America exposed" (Nov. 27, 2006),
where we discuss the book Cry Havoc! The Great American Bring-down
and How it Happened written (practically
on his death bed) by the late Ralph de Toledano, a true giant
in the annals of Washington journalism.
The Big Picture
Wes Vernon is a Washington-based writer whose broadcast career included
25 years with CBS Radio.
Copyright © 2012 by Wes Vernon and
the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation. All rights reserved. A version of
this article appeared at rewamerica.com on
March 12, 2012.
See his biographical sketch and additional columns here.
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