Fjordman has an excellent post at the Gates of Vienna blog (a guest-posting) that talks about what he calls "Cultural Marxism", political correctness as a Marxist tool, and how it's being used, world-wide:
Political Correctness — The Revenge of Marxism
...I have heard people who have grown up in former Communist countries say that we in the West are at least as brainwashed by Multiculturalism and Political Correctness as they ever were with Communism, perhaps more so. Even in the heyday of the East Bloc, there were active dissident groups in these countries. The scary thing is, I sometimes believe they are right.
But how is that possible? Don’t we have free speech here? And we have no Gulag?
The simple fact is that we never won the Cold War as decisively as we should have. Yes, the Berlin Wall fell, and the Soviet Union collapsed. This removed the military threat to the West, and the most hardcore, economic Marxism suffered a blow as a credible alternative. However, one of the really big mistakes we made after the Cold War ended was to declare that Socialism was now dead, and thus no longer anything to worry about. Here we are, nearly a generation later, discovering that Marxist rhetoric and thinking have penetrated every single stratum of our society, from the Universities to the media. Islamic terrorism is explained as caused by “poverty, oppression and marginalization,” a classic, Marxist interpretation.
What happened is that while the “hard” Marxism of the Soviet Union may have collapsed, at least for now, the “soft” Marxism of the Western Left has actually grown stronger, in part because we deemed it to be less threatening. The “hard” Marxists had intercontinental nuclear missiles and openly said that they would “bury” us. The soft Marxists talk about tolerance and may seem less threatening, but their goal of overthrowing the evil, capitalist West remains the same. In fact, they are more dangerous precisely because they hide their true goals under different labels. Perhaps we should call it “stealth Socialism” instead of soft Socialism...
Socialism is not only not dead, it's thriving, hiding behind different causes and various names. Islam and left have a lot in common, and modern day Marxists think they can exploit this:
... Karl Marx himself has stated that “The meaning of peace is the absence of opposition to socialism,” a sentiment that corresponds almost exactly to the Islamic idea that “peace” means the absence of opposition to Islamic rule. Cultural Marxism — aka Political Correctness — and Islam share the same totalitarian outlook and instinctively agree in their opposition to free discussion, and in the idea that freedom of speech must be curtailed when it is “offensive” to certain groups. Former Muslim Ali Sina notes that “there is very little difference between the Left and Islam. What is lacking in both these creeds is the adherence to the Golden Rule. Just as for Muslims, everything Islamic is a priori right and good and everything un-Islamic is a priori wrong and evil, for the Left, everything leftist is a priori oppressed and good and everything rightist is a priori oppressor and evil. Facts don’t matter. Justice is determined by who you are and not by what you have done.” “Political correctness is an intellectual sickness. It means expediently lying when telling the truth is not expedient. This practice is so widespread and so common that it is considered to be normal.” Sina also quotes historian Christopher Dawson in writing: “It is easy enough for the individual to adopt a negative attitude of critical skepticism. But if society as a whole abandons all positive beliefs, it is powerless to resist the disintegrating effects of selfishness and private interest. Every society rests in the last resort on the recognition of common principles and common ideals, and if it makes no moral or spiritual appeal to the loyalty of its members, it must inevitably fall to pieces.” This will be the end result of Multiculturalism, and one suspects that this was the point of it to begin with...
This similarity in outlook and goals can't be emphasised enough. Totalitarians may join forces to destroy a common enemy, but Marxists may find they have bitten off more than they can chew by forming alliances with Islamist fascists. Iran is a prime example. Ayatollah Khomeini climbed to power on the backs of Marxists who helped him overthrow the Shah; when the Marxists were no longer useful, they were liquidated.
...As William S. Lind points out: “While the hour is late, the battle is not decided. Very few Americans realize that Political Correctness is in fact Marxism in a different set of clothes. As that realization spreads, defiance will spread with it. At present, Political Correctness prospers by disguising itself. Through defiance, and through education on our own part (which should be part of every act of defiance), we can strip away its camouflage and reveal the Marxism beneath the window-dressing of “sensitivity,” “tolerance” and “multiculturalism.”
Political Correctness is Marxism with a nose job. Multiculturalism is not about tolerance or diversity, it is an anti-Western hate ideology designed to dismantle Western civilization...
It's a very thorough article, filled with history and examples, and with lots of embedded links as references to back up the ideas expressed. It's one of the best articles I've read about the Islamic-Leftist alliance.
At the Brussels Journal blog, Fjordman has a look at the nature of Multiculturalism, it's origns and how it has been used by various political forces in Europe and the US. He maintains that not only is it a political tool, but also that there is a religious fervor in the way multiculturalism is applied, and those who oppose it are treated as modern day heretics, as a way of silencing dissent:
What is the Nature of Multiculturalism?
...I have pointed out that there is usually a high concentration of Marxists in our anti-racist organizations. Professor Skirbekk, however, wonders whether there is a semi-religious undercurrent to the anti-racist movement, and that it is quite literally the equivalent of the witch hunts of previous ages:
“A number of researchers have come to see that certain issues in the migration debate has religious connotations. The Norwegian social anthropologist Inger Lise Lien, for instance, has written that ‘racism’ in the public immigration debate has become a word used to label the demons among us, the impure from whom all decent people should remain aloof.” “We have every reason to believe that the use of the term ‘racist’ in our day has many functional similarities with the use of the word ‘heretic’ three hundred years ago.”
“It is presumably fully possible to join anti-racist movements with the sole motive of identifying with something that appears to be politically correct, or in order to be a part of a collective that entitles one to demonstrate and to harass splinter groups that no one cares to defend.” But “behind the slogan ‘crush the racists’, there might well be something more than a primitive desire to exercise violence. The battle also involves an element of being in a struggle for purity versus impurity. And since racism is something murky, anti-racism and the colorful community it purportedly represents, becomes an expression of what is pure.”
What are the origins of Multiculturalism? Well, that depends on your perspective. Some elements of the fascination with more “primitive” cultures can be traced back to Jean-Jacques Rousseau in the 18th century and his praise of the “noble savage” who had not been corrupted by society and civilization.
Dutch novelist and commentator Leon de Winter thinks that is one of the unforeseen effects of the “hippie” cultural revolution in West in the 1960s. “Certain values were cherished: anti-fascism, feminism, secularism, pacifism, anti-colonialism, anti-capitalism, etcetera. It is here where the ideas of multiculturalism first showed up. It started with the so-called ‘sub-cultures’ of pseudo-bohemian artists, academic Marxists, all pretending that the existing values of Western civilization were overdue.”
American author Claire Berlinski claims that Multiculturalism is “completely incompatible with doctrinaire Marxism.” “Many leftists did indeed end up as multiculturalists after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but multiculturalism is functioning here as a substitute for anti-capitalism (in turn a substitute for something else), and not as its natural extension.” ...
...there are, in fact, quite a few common features between Multiculturalism/Political Correctness and traditional Marxism. In Marxist societies, the public is continuously bombarded with ideological indoctrination through the media. This constant brainwashing to demonstrate that the ruling ideology is benevolent is a very good indication that exact opposite is true. In case this isn’t enough, there is also a system for snitching on those who won’t comply with the directives, as well as punishment, public harassment and “re-education” of those individuals who fail to submit to the Official State Ideology.
This Ideology implies that the state has to seize control of, or at least regulate and interfere with, all sectors of society, which leaves little room for individual freedom and thus real democracy. If we notice all the new laws restricting speech and behavior in the Multicultural society, not to mention the massive re-writing of our history and the total change in the very nature of our institutions, we understand that our countries moved rapidly in a totalitarian direction the very second Multiculturalism was adopted as the ethos of the state.
There is little doubt in my mind that this post-democratic ideology was desired and encouraged by certain groups. If we look at the people supporting the most totalitarian and anti-freedom aspects of Political Correctness, it becomes apparent that it is frequently the same organizations and sometimes individuals who a generation earlier supported traditional, economic Marxism. They now hide their goals under slogans of “diversity” and “anti-racism,” but the essence of their ideas is still the same.
Berlinski, Hedegaard and others seem to argue that our problems lie less in any deliberate ideological project among certain political groups and more in a general loss of cultural confidence in the West. This is, however, a false dichotomy. It is both.
I agree with Bat Ye’or that the rise of Eurabia is closely tied to the European Union. There is also little doubt in my mind that many Leftist intellectuals in our media and our universities want to erase the foundations of Western civilization and replace them with something else...
Fjordman demonstrates the consequences of this Multicultural ideology in Europe and the West, and while he does not claim that Multiculturalism is exclusivly a Marxist tool, he believes it would be foolish to think there is no connection at all between Multiculturalism and Marxism.
On a related subject, social engineering and Marxism, Front Page Magazine has an interview with Dr. Theodore Dalrymple (photo above), about his collection of essays:
Our Culture, What’s Left Of It
Theodore Dalrymple: Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.Dalrymple's father was a communist, so he has a personal interest in the subject. The interview touches on a variety of subjects, I'll skip around with just a few samples:
FP: In your discussion of evil, you observe one central phenomenon: “the elevation of passing pleasure for oneself over the long-term misery of others to whom one owes a duty.” Kindly give us some of your thoughts on this reality.
Dalrymple: The idea that one's pleasure or desire of the moment is the only thing that counts leads to antisocial behaviour. Let me give a small and seemingly trivial example of this.
About half of British homes no longer have a dining table. People do not eat meals together - they graze, finding what they want in the fridge, and eating in a solitary fashion whenever they feel like it (which is usually often), irrespective of the other people in the household.
This means that they never learn that eating is a social activity (many of the prisoners in the prison in which I worked had never in their entire lives eaten at a table with another person); they never learn to discipline their conduct; they never learn that the state of their appetite at any given moment should not be the sole consideration in deciding whether to eat or not. In other words, one's own interior state is all-important in deciding when to eat. And this is the model of all their behaviour.
Young patients now eat in doctors' offices; they eat above all in the street, where of course they drop litter as unselfconsciously as horses defecate. This is not evil, though it is antisocial, but you can easily see how people who attach such importance to their own desires, and lack any other criteria to help them decide to behave, come to do evil. [...]
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FP: You have a fascinating essay in this collection: “Who Killed Childhood?” In it you profoundly illuminate the “egotistical inability to feel, compensated for by an outward show.” You connect this to the death of childhood. Could you talk about this?
Dalrymple: Childhood in large parts of modern Britain, at any rate, has been replaced by premature adulthood, or rather adolescence. Children grow up very fast but not very far. That is why it is possible for 14 year olds now to establish friendships with 26 year olds - because they know by the age of 14 all they are ever going to know.
It is important in this environment to appear knowing, or street wise, otherwise you will be taken for a weakling and exploited accordingly. Thus, feelings for others does not develop. Moreover, the model of discipline in the homes has changed, with the complete breakdown of the family (in my hospital, were it not for the Indian immigrants, the illegitimacy rate of children born there would be 100 per cent). Children grow up now in circumstances in which discipline is merely a matter of imposing the will of one person on another, it is raw power devoid of principle. Lenin's question - Who Whom or who does what to whom - is the whole basis of human relations.
FP: You discuss the horrifying suffering that women endure under the vicious and sadistic structures of Islam’s gender apartheid. You touch on the eerie silence of Western leftist feminists on this issue, noting “Where two pieties – feminism and multi-culturalism – come into conflict, the only way of preserving both is an indecent silence.”
To be sure, the Left has long posed as a great champion of women’s rights, gay rights, minorti rights, democratic rights etc. Yet today, it has reached out in solidarity with the most fascistic women-hating, gay-hating, minority-hating and democracy hating force on the face of the earth – Islamism.
What gives? It’s really nothing new though is it? (i.e. the Left’s political pilgrimages to communist gulags etc.)
Dalrymple: I think the problem here is one of a desired self-image. Tolerance is the greatest moral virtue and broadmindedness the greatest intellectual one. Moreover, no decent person can be other than a feminist. People therefore want to be both multiculturalist and feminist. But multiculturalism and feminism obviously clash; therefore, you avoid the necessity to give up one or the other merely by disregarding the phenomena. How you feel about yourself is more important to you than the state of the world.
(bold emphasis in all the above quotes is mine) Quite a few interesting bits about social engineering, and undermining Western values.
These authors offer a great deal of information, and express their ideas exceptionally well. They do a great job of exposing the stealth work of the new Marxists, I highly recommend reading their complete articles.