Long march through the institutions

It wasn’t the Tories who lost the election last Thursday. It was a socialist party clinging on to its traditional name while betraying its essence.

The media are dissembling when claiming the Tories have been in power for the past 14 years. They haven’t. The last time the Tories governed the country was in 1990, only for an internal socialist coup to oust Margaret Thatcher and smother the last gasp of conservatism.

British politics since then has boiled down to a contest between the soft Left and the hard Left. The latter claimed their victory this time around, but it’s the Left of various consistencies that have dominated every public sphere for decades (and not just in Britain).

I’d suggest that the Left’s political dominance is perhaps the least critical fragment of the general picture. And that picture is bleak: one struggles to name a British institution painted any colour other than different hues of red.

Our schools and universities are solidly Left-wing. Only 20 per cent of British academics describe themselves as remotely conservative, and in the humanities and social sciences that proportion drops down to 10 per cent.

The most influential media are as anti-Tory as it’s possible to get without losing any claim to impartiality, however tenuous. The principal TV channels, BBC, Sky News, ITV and Channel 4, are all Left-wing. So are most newspapers and magazines. So are most on-line publications. And even former bastions of Toryism, such as The Times, endorsed Labour, paving the way to power for the hardest-Left government in British history.

The few conservative voices in the arts and entertainment industry are drowned in the flood of Left-wing propaganda masquerading as books, theatre productions, films and even music, supposedly the most apolitical of all arts.

The police and the judges have become instruments of wokery, not justice. Medical and social services collude in enforcing Left-wing diktats, even at a huge cost to their mission in life. And even the army bases recruitment and promotions not so much on any battle-worthiness as on diversity and inclusion.

The civil service, the administrative branch of the British establishment, remains just that. But it’s Left-wing now, because such is the way of the new establishment. It’s no longer the same class that British comedians so love to mock. It’s now made up not of tweedy, clubbable gentlemen, but of the top slices off the Left-wing groups I’ve mentioned.

This raises two questions: Why has the Left won? and Why has conservatism lost? The first one is easier to answer.

The Left have triumphed by being patient and smart. Such qualities have enabled them to replace a strategy based on a frontal assault, aka revolution, with one the Russians call ‘hybrid warfare’. Revolutionary violence has been mothballed, not abandoned. It’s still used sporadically, but only as one prong among many, and not the sharpest one.

The Left are winning not by overthrowing traditional institutions, but by infiltrating them, undermining them from within and eventually taking them over. That strategy goes back to Lenin and the secret service he created, but in the West it was developed by clever Left-wing thinkers, such as Gramsci and those belonging to the Frankfurt School – Marcuse, Adorno, Horkheimer, Benjamin et al.  

In 1967, it was Marcuse’s disciple, the socialist activist Rudi Dutschke, who coined the phrase in the title (der lange Marsch durch die Institutionen in the original) inspired by Mao’s takeover of China. Dutschke’s mentor approved: “Let me tell you this: that I regard your notion of the ‘long march through the institutions’ as the only effective way…”.

In his letter, Marcuse especially emphasised “the development of radical, ‘free’ media”, but he and his fellow Frankfurters envisaged an offensive on all fronts. They came up with an 11-point programme, which to the best of my knowledge never appeared as such in any of their writings. But it can be gleaned from any number of their works, each highlighting one or several of these points:

1. The creation of racism offences
2. Continual change to create confusion
3. The teaching of sex and homosexuality to children
4. The undermining of schools’ and teachers’ authority
5. Huge immigration to destroy identity
6. The promotion of excessive drinking
7. Emptying of churches
8. An unreliable legal system with bias against victims of crime
9. Dependency on the state or state benefits
10. Control and dumbing down of media
11. Encouraging the breakdown of the family

It’s remarkable to observe how that programme, first concocted three generations ago, continues to be put into effect at an ever-accelerating rate throughout the West. If Marcuse were still with us, he’d keep all 11 points intact with only minor embellishments.

For example, he’d add a few -isms to Point 1, transsexuality to Point 3, drugs to Point 6. He’d then flash an avuncular smile of pride in his descendants’ achievements. They’ve done exceedingly well.

Looking at Britain’s public life, one can easily see that it has unfolded according to the plan outlined by the Frankfurters. The incoming Labour administration only has to remove the pseudo-Tory varnish from the plan, not to change it fundamentally.

Of especial interest to me is Point 9, turning widening swathes of the public into dependants of the state. This is the essence of socialism, as conceived by Marx and executed by all Western governments, albeit to various extents and by different means.

The guiding light here was another socialist, Benito Mussolini, a contemporary of the Frankfurters. He expressed his philosophical credo with the brevity that was usually beyond Marcuse and his comrades: “Everything in the state – nothing outside the state – nothing against the state.”

This is the ideal towards which most Western countries strive regardless of who is in government, but especially when the socialists gain political power in addition to their control of all public institutions. And Starmer’s government will add lurid touches to the canvas of statism.

Starmer and his jolly men welcome only one method of acquiring wealth: membership in the nomenklatura. This doesn’t necessarily have to be the government itself. Some 300 quangos already in existence are also acceptable, and Starmer is guaranteed to increase their number.

Anyone seeking financial or other independence from the state is fair game. Under the soft-Left Tory administration, the tax burden already was the heaviest in history. The new hard-Left government will add weight to it as a way of levelling down (the only direction in which it’s ever possible to level). Personal income, inheritance, businesses will all come under extortionist attack.

At the same time, the government will launch a devastating raid on anything else that can make people independent of it. Taxes will be used to raid private pensions yet again, and also to discourage people from using private medicine and private education.

Members of the nomenklatura, on the other hand, will be offered an intricate pattern of loopholes to get around such extortion. For example, when Starmer himself stood down as Director of Public Prosecutions in 2013, he was granted a ‘tax-unregistered’ pension scheme by an act of Parliament.

Such is my schematic answer to the question of why Labour won. Its sails have been billowed with the wind of zeitgeist – which also happens to be the answer to the other question I posed above: Why did the Tories lose?.

As any reader of my book How the West Was Lost will know, I regard the collapse of conservatism as a logical by-product of modernity, inaugurated by the Enlightenment.

The edifice of Western conservatism rested on the pillars of church, monarchy and aristocracy. These have either been blown up in one fell swoop or gradually eroded. All Western countries are now democratic republics or at best democratic-republican monarchies.

They are devoted to the advancement of the common man, a notion they all interpret publicly in the crudest materialist terms, and privately in terms of state paternalism. Paternalism is impossible to practise without a continual effort to manipulate the masses, making them responsive to state control.

The most direct route to such control is for the state to dangle the carrot of elevating the masses or, barring that, at least pulling the erstwhile elites down to their level. The more people become direct clients of the state, the better – social freebies create a dependant class tricked into believing the state serves its best interests. In fact, the only interests the nomenklatura serves are its own.

This creates a vicious circle of corruption: the nomenklatura corrupts the masses; they in their turn corrupt the nomenklatura. As the Frankfurters knew, the main battlefields of this war on what Tony Blair called “the forces of conservatism” are cultural and social. A decisive victory there makes political gains as inevitable as they are irrelevant, if cordially welcomed.

Both Britain and France have now delivered political power to the hard Left, which is merely an endorsement of the status quo. But the status quo was established in different arenas and by methods other than voting.

I happen to think that this process is irreversible, which is why I’m amused by Tory pundits promising that the party will eventually come back. It very well may, but Toryism won’t. It’s dead and buried.

The long march will gather momentum, and everyone will have to fall into step.

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