THE ON-GOING MARXIST MARCH AGAINST THE WESTERN MIND
THE ON-GOING MARXIST MARCH AGAINST THE WESTERN MIND
Forum Focus Winter, 1997 Vol. IX , No. 4/ Vol. X, No. 1
|“We want…very much to make men treat Christianity as a means, preferably, of course, as a means to their own advancement, but failing that as a means to anything-even social justice. For the Enemy will not be used as a convenience.” –Screwtape to his demon nephew, Wormwood, in The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis|
Shortly after the Second Vatican Council, this writer had a public discussion with two young priests from Holland. They were in this country touting the new theology of Church, one which emphasized social liberation, a social mission to the powerless and impoverished, to women, etc. The Dutch priests had little or no concern for doctrine or Catholic tradition, ignoring my evidence that Catholic young people were being deprived of knowledge of the fundamentals of their Faith and receiving in Catholic schools only a social Gospel.
At last, in a question-and-answer session, I told someone in the audience, “The Catholic Church doesn’t exist to solve your problems.” Before I could explain the traditional mission of the Church as held for all the Church’s history (and confirmed, by the way, in the Catechism of the Catholic Church), there was an outburst of indignation against what I had said. Shouting from the audience rebuked my statement. One of the priests jumped up to proclaim he would not have become a priest if it didn’t mean he was ordained to do just that: solve people’s problems-meaning, of course, their economic, secular problems, not the problems of their consciences and their souls.
This same revisionary view of the Church’s mission is given prominence in Fr. Richard McBrien’s book, Catholicism. The Notre Dame theologian finds that Vatican II’s Declaration on Christian Education “insofar as (it) does reflect something of the spirit of the Council itself…insists that education must be broadly humane, in keeping with advances in all of the sciences, and with a concern for nurturing personal maturity and social responsibility (n.1-2)”.1
McBrien cites the “notion of mission” of the Dutch theologian Edward Schillebeeckx, one “solidly liberationist in approach”:
The author of Catholicism repeats the insolent idea of theologian and one-time priest Gregory Baum that “it was…dialogue with the secular world that taught the Church to cherish religious liberty, pluralism, critical interpretation of texts, etc., as religious values.”3
We learn in Catholicism,4 courtesy of the theologizing of Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez, that the Church in Latin America “must take a clear stand against social injustice and in favor of the revolutionary process,” and via Leonardo Boff that “the Church must be defined in terms of energy, charism, and the progress of the world…”. 5
From the feminists comes the view of the Church as “an exodus community…called to abandon the established social order and its religious agents of sacralization and to witness an alternative social order…”, 6 and:
Fr. McBrien labels the above ideas as belonging to the “change-agent” or “servant” model of the Church which stresses proclamation and praxis of the Gospel “by application of the Gospel to the struggle for social justice, peace, and human rights.” 8
It seems to be Fr. McBrien himself theologizing when we read:
Rebuttal and/or clarification of these revisionary “theologies” of Church and its mission will be given elsewhere in this monograph. But at this point, we wish to suggest where such questionable opinions have their origins, whether they are from within genuine Catholic theology or rather from outside it-and, in fact, from an anti-religious, anti-Catholic (if not anti-Christ) philosophy which disguises itself as liberating but aims at a materialistic and dehumanizing enslavement of human nature. If the latter origin is true, then such enslavement can occur only after a destruction of the force and authority of the Catholic Faith which for centuries has guarded human nature along with the liberty and dignity that belong to it.
Seeds Of Change
Are we to believe that simple evolutionary development or “progress” has changed the purpose of our Faith from being an offer of salvation and eternal life (Catechism of the Catholic Church– See particularly explanation starting on p. 115 (English-language edition) of Article 3 of the Nicene Creed. It is clear from this that the believer here accepts the traditional understanding of the Catholic Church that our faith is placed first and primarily in the salvation and eternal life made possible for us by Christ), to being a means for social and cultural improvement (McBrien et al., supra)? If not, then we should be able to find who planted the seeds of the notion that such change should happen; a planting which has resulted in a germination of those seeds into that change itself.
If a computer could be programmed to search for such seeds of change, it would certainly come up first and foremost with the Marxist theories of Antonio Gramsci, an Italian socialist critic of the early Twentieth Century.
In other words, Gramsci suggested putting aside concern for Catholicism as a teacher of doctrine or a body of belief, and concentrating on it as a potential ideological or political vehicle which could be put at the service of the new Communist order proposed by Marx.
In order to achieve this purpose, Gramsci proposed an entirely different sort of revolution from that of doctrinaire Lenin-Stalinism, that is, promotion of an uprising of workers and peasants against their capitalist masters. Gramsci recognized that bourgeois capitalism was too deeply entrenched in the Western mind for that. Rather, his revolution would be an intellectual invasion of the mind, and consequently of the institutions within which it functioned.
Invasion Of The Mind
Rather than making Communists of Catholics, Gramsci conceived of letting Catholics remain Catholics, but mutating the Faith they adhered to into a secular Marxist approximation. This fit in with Gramsci’s concept of “hegemony” (spheres of influence or domination) far more than with Lenin’s understanding of hegemony through power, class conflict, and an eventual revolution of the proletariat.
Readers may now better understand the grouping that appears whenever sides are taken over issues that involve traditional values and what are called euphemistically liberal or progressive values. And the seeming anomaly of Catholic “liberals” often joining the anti-Catholic side is understandable if we grant success in the Gramscian enterprise of establishing a Marxist hegemony through religion, churches and schools.
Gramsci is little known popularly. Even recent encyclopedia carry no entry under his name. His name, for example, is not entered in many quite adequate libraries in this country. Yet what he called a march of his ideas (Marxist, that is) through the institutions of the West is quite evident:
Marxist Virus Spreads
There was perhaps no more dangerous carrier of the Marxist virus than the Brazilian disciple of Gramsci, Paulo Freire. Freire carried out Gramsci’s march through Western institutions in that which is most basic, second only to the Church-education:
What Freire is taking about is Marxist subversion of education, with the help of the good will of those outside that institution who can be won over to the Marxist hypotheses.
Central to Freire’s purpose was Gramsci’s s theorizing. Freire called Gramsci one of three intellectuals who most influenced him.14
Freire had his students read Gramsci, giving them his own understanding of liberation through ideas-“…there is no creativity without raptura, without a break from the old, without conflict in which you have to make a decision.,” 15 We shall see later how Gramsci-via Freire-influences education in behalf of the Marxist cause even now. But it should be said immediately that Marx is at the root of both men’s ideologies: Freire summarized that fact:
In his book, Covert Cadre, Dr. Scott Steven Powell, economist and academician, has documented how that process of “transformation” is proceeding in one very sensitive “public policy organization” in Washington, D.C., the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS):
Two IPS associates have provided the euphemism “Economic Democracy” as a mask for old-fashioned socialism. Powell’s book unmasks that bit of strategy, however:
Economic Democracy (or socialism as the two IPS figures admit) has helped the march of Gramscian revolution into Catholic organizations and institutions. Dr. Powell’s book traces some of those developments. The Campaign for Human Development of the U.S. Catholic Conference (USCC), in its “study of social power” entitled Poverty in American Democracy, let IPS fellow Sidney Lens define and describe the kinds of poverty encountered in America. Lens is described by Dr. Powell as a sometime Trotskyite. The CHD borrows from his analysis of poverty to conclude that “poverty is powerlessness.” The IPS and CHD remedy is Economic Democracy, a euphemism for public takeover of most institutions. There is at least a hint of that in Msgr. George Higgins’ introduction to Poverty In American Democracy:
Catholic Conference Link
Dr. Scott links IPS to the U.S. Catholic Conference through Thomas Quigley, a USCC functionary at the time Covert Cadre was published (1987):
Both Eldridge and Quigley serve (or served) in IPS’s selection committee for the Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Award (This award is named for and is given in the spirit of Orlando Letelier and Michael and Ronni Karpen Moffitt. Letelier was an official in Salvador Allende’s Marxist Chilean regime. With the overthrow of that government by General Pinochet, Letelier came in exile to the United States, where he propagandized against the Pinochet administration. The Moffitts were pro-Allende activists in the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Policy Studies. Letelier and Ronni Moffitt were killed by a car bomb in the Capital’s Embassy Row on Sept. 21, 1976. Michael Moffitt was injured, though not seriously, and survived), according to Dr. Scott. 21 Quigley also led the Religious Task Force on El Salvador, part of a coalition called Committee In Solidarity With the People of El Salvador (CIPES). Papers captured in El Salvador belonging to FMLN guerrilla leader, Farid Handal, “documented CIPES’ connections with member groups of the Latin network and the international communist movement.” 22 ( In March, 1980, the Unified Revolutionary Directorate, made up of several leftist guerrilla organizations, renamed itself the Farabundo Marti Liberation Front. (FMLN). It soon was fielding at least 8,000 Marxist revolutionary troops. Its components called themselves, variously, Marxist, Marxist-Leninist, or Marxist-influenced.)
The Marxist purpose and goals of all this are undeniable when Scott reports this:
Theology Of Liberation Is Born
(Fr.) Gustavo Gutierrez was a prime mover in the conversion of Gramscian revolution into a theology-specifically, the theology of liberation:
Gutierrez overtly acknowledges that his idea of theology as a change agent in the hands of everyone was inspired by a similar idea of Antonio Gramsci about philosophy. 25 If Gramsci, therefore, is a sort of ideological grandfather of liberation theology, Paulo Freire is its midwife, putting into effective practice through “education” the transformational march of Gramsci’s Marxism through institutions, bodies, beliefs of the Western world.
After citing the “vision” of Ernesto Che Guevara calling for an “intellectual audacity” in “development of a new human being by methods different from the conventional ones,” Guiterrez says this:
In this quotation, Gutierrez is explaining Freire’s understanding of the workings of the Gramscian revolution as different from what Marx predicted. Marx foresaw an armed revolution of the proletariat as an act of desperation against bourgeois resistance to their attempts at freeing themselves from oppression. Gramsci (as presented by Freire in Latin America) recommended a “cultural” revolution through a takeover of institutions intellectually after the oppressed are “conscientionized” into first recognizing they are oppressed, and then using the instruments of power (politics, education), etc., to oust the capitalist oppressors, replacing them with socialists. This approach has been and is still being used by even Catholic social activists in Latin America, either consciously or not, either overtly or covertly. In other words, what is essentially Marxist is perceived and presented as Catholic social doctrine. This was the method of the liberation theologians and their disciples.
And it should not surprise anyone to see that in his work, Gutierrez cited Thomas Quigley (mentioned earlier as a link between the leftist IPS and the official Catholic structure in the U.S.) for a work he edited, Freedom and Unfreedom In The Americas: Toward A Theology of Liberation. 27
U.S. Cultural Shifts Underway
Not all the drastic changes in thought and culture are concentrated among Latin American countries where poverty makes the populace easy prey. Related to such cultural shifts in direction are policies supported by the National Education Association (NEA) here in the United States:
Part of that “common cause” is certainly to have America’s children raised by Hillary’s “village,” meaning in this day and age, the shamans, experts, academicians charged with creating the “new man” envisioned by Gramsci, Freire and other Marxist theoreticians much admired by many, if not most, of educational leaders both within and outside the NEA.
Education Counter To our Values
Dr. Thomas Sowell, senior fellow at the Hoover Institute, economist and nationally syndicated columnist, has seen through what is afoot in education. Here is just a sample of the tactics used to create the “new man”:
One of those gurus is Marc Tucker, president of the National Center for Education and the Economy (NCEE). Hillary Clinton received $102,000 from the NCEE in 1991-1992, ostensibly for work on the center’s “Work Force Skills” program. The circumstances surrounding this are discussed in an article by Karen Iacovelli, constitutional law scholar and co-host of the syndicated cable television program, “Inside Education.”
Concerning a letter authored by Tucker and addressed to Hillary Rodham Clinton, dated Nov. 11, 1992, a week after William Clinton’s first election to the presidency, Iacovelli comments:
All utopias have been elusive fantasies. The very word comes from the imagination of Sir Thomas More writing about a society that didn’t and couldn’t really exist. All attempts at utopias have failed. When you add coercion to the concept of utopia-the perfect society by force, if you will-you further add the price of surrender of liberties and human rights in pursuit of the unobtainable.
And the Answer?
The computer now has been programmed with facts. Those who are interested may push the key of logic and deduction within their own minds for a search of what is behind so much of the phenomena of a leftward direction in state and church, in education, in media-provided propaganda-a veritable march into the soul and mind of the Western World and all its foundations-and surely the answer will appear:
Frank Morriss Frank Morriss is a well-known name in Catholic journalism. After obtaining his J.D. in 1948 from Georgetown University, he was an associate editor with the Register system of newspapers, 1949-1960, and 1963-1967. During that time he also taught English at Catholic colleges in the Denver area. He was a founding editor of Twin Circle in 1966. He has been a freelance writer since 1967 and a contributing editor to The Wanderer, a national Catholic weekly newspaper for over 25 years.
Bruce Publishing in Milwaukee published Mr. Morriss’ historical fiction books for children, including Boy of Philadelphia (1955); The Adventures of Broken Hand (1957); Alfred of Wessex (1959); Submarine Pioneer: John Philip Holland(1961); and Saints for the Small (1964). Mr. Morriss also wrote the Forgotten Revelation (Franciscan Herald Press, 1964); The Conservative Imperative (Catholic Laymen of America, 1965); The Divine Epic, (Prow, 1969); Catholic Perspectives: Abortion (Thomas More Press, 1979); The Catholic As Citizen (Franciscan Herald, 1979). He also edited the Wanderer Christmas Anthology (Wanderer Press, 1986). Mr. Morriss also has written many radio programs and has tapes available on saints and Catholic history.
A bound copy of this text can be obtained from the Wanderer Forum Foundation, Forum Focus, P.O. Box 542, Hudson, WI 54016-0542 or telephone 651-426-2812. Please enclose $3.00. A year subscription to the Forum Focus Quarterly is $10.00 and can be obtained from the same address.
1. Richard P. McBrien, Catholicism, Harper/Collins, NY, new edition 1994, p. 682.
2. Ibid., p.695, quoting Edward Schillebeeckx in Church: The Human Story Of God, p. 185.
3. Ibid., p.699, citing Gregory Baum’s Faith and Doctrine.
4. Ibid., p.701.
5. Ibid., quoting Leonardo Boff in Church: Charism and Power.
6. Ibid., p. 704, citing Rosemary Ruether’s Women-Church, Theology and Practice of Feminist Liturgical Communities.
7. Ibid., p.705, quoting Anne Carr in Transforming Grace.
8. Ibid., p.725.
9. Ibid., p. 738.
10. Carl Boggs, The Two Revolutions: Gramsci and the Dilemmas of Western Marxism, South End Press, Boston, 1984, p. 176, quoting from Gramsci’sThe Study of Philosophy.
11. Ibid., p. 281, referring to Rude’s Ideology and Popular Protest.
12. Ibid., p. 276-277.
13. Paulo Freire in We Make The Path by Walking, ed. by Bell, Gaventa, and Peters, Temple University Press, c. Highlander Research and Education Center, p. 203.
14. Ibid., p. 36.
15. Ibid., p. 38.
16. Ibid., p. 246.
17. Dr. Scott Steven Powell, Covert Cadre: Inside the Institute For Policy Studies, Green Hill, Inc., Ottawa, Ill.,1987, p. 359-360.
18. Ibid., p. 191-192.
19. Msgr. George Higgins, introduction to Poverty in American Democracy: A Study of Social Power, Campaign for Human Development, U.S. Catholic Conference, Washington, D.C., 1975, p. 4.
20. Scott, op. cit., p. 230-231.
21. Ibid., p. 232.
22. Ibid., p. 239
23. Ibid., p. 239.
24-25. Gustavo Gutierrez, A Theology Of Liberation, Orbis, Maryknoll, N.Y., 1973, p. 15 (including footnote).
26. Ibid., p. 91.
27. Ibid., p. 96, note 31.
28. Dennis Laurence Cuddy, Ph.D., Chronology of Education, Pro-Family Forum,Inc., Highland City, FL, 1995, p. 107.
29. Human Events, Nov. 8, 1996, p. 10.
30. Crisis, April, 1996, p. 19.
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