How the Left did their long march; we can do this ourselves

80% of life is just showing up, people.

h/t to Maureen Martin

The Left’s long march will be hard to stop
Committed political agitators tell lies, even if with honourable intentions

This is how to do it. Don’t get mad, INFILTRATE! Start your own Long March! I’ve started mine.

Let’s replace these vulgar Marxists with whatever history will call us.

By Janet Daley4:43PM GMT 08 Feb 2014Comments1524 Comments
Labour spent a lot of time last week making furious complaints about Conservative ministers filling public posts with Tory sympathisers. A predictable portion of the media actually took this seriously. The rest of us fell about laughing. As was frequently pointed out amid the hilarity, the last Labour government was spectacularly successful at stuffing every public body, quango and national institution within its reach with soft-Left placemen who could be relied on to cultivate the ground for its programme.
Now, Conservative ministers are left facing a wall of institutionally embedded, mutually supportive ideological enemies, snugly ensconced in virtually every arm of the country’s social, educational and cultural apparatus. And so, they are forced into an apparent war of political patronage – and are doubly disadvantaged by having to deny that they are engaged in any such thing.
Because the Left has politicised so much of public life, particularly in areas that affect mass opinion, such as the broadcasting media and education, the dismantling of that process itself becomes a political act: appointments that might once have been non-partisan and politically neutral must now be part of a campaign to counteract a deliberate manipulation of public influence. Having created the problem, Labour then gets mileage out of its opponents’ need to unravel it.
But let’s leave that aside. Michael Gove can fight the small battle of who will be the chairman of Ofsted with his usual unblinking determination. Deciding who is to be head of this, and director of that, is the least of the problems that his department, and any Conservative government that truly wants to change social attitudes, has to face. By far the more insidious – and more intractable – power-grab of the past generation was by the hard, not the soft, Left, and it was quite independent of any government direction. It was, in fact, a phenomenon about which New Labour was deeply ambivalent.
The Labour party in the Eighties may have had a highly publicised struggle with the Militant Tendency in its own membership, but it never confronted the infiltration of wider civic life by Left-wing activists, partly out of cowardice but mainly because the rabid anti-Toryism, which those activists could be relied on to inculcate, was not unhelpful electorally.
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So as someone who spent her youth as a Left-wing activist, let me try to explain how we got here. Lots of people this week have referred to that memorable slogan of infiltration, “the long march through the institutions”, and most of them have wrongly attributed it to the Italian Marxist, Antonio Gramsci. In fact, it was coined by one of the iconic New Left figures of my generation, Rudi Dutschke, in the late Sixties. The prevailing philosophy of our time was that violent revolution – a mass uprising by the organised working class – was largely out of the question. Bourgeois capitalism was too monolithic and too successfully deceptive: the proletariat were deluded, forced into a state of false consciousness, and would never spontaneously rebel against their oppression.
The only solution to this was to invade the areas of life that were most directly responsible for opinion-forming and the bending of minds: to “work from within”, as we used to say, to alter the consciousness of the masses, who would then be made to see the reality of their own situation and become more receptive to the message of revolution. I had dozens of comrades on the New Left who became union officials, broadcasters, teachers and lecturers (the old polytechnics were full of such people) with this explicit motivation.
Anti-capitalist, class-war jargon permeated public discourse in the Seventies to an extent that now sounds risible. The Haringey primary school that my children attended was forced to end its Suzuki violin classes because the NUT representative on the staff declared the violin to be “a bourgeois instrument”. Later, the national curriculum turned subjects such as geography into polemical condemnations of colonial empires. The worst of this may be past now in the schools, but not before whole generations were put through a sheep-dip of hatred for their own historical culture. For Mr Gove, the deconstruction has only just begun.
But there is a larger story here – and one that is even more difficult to uproot than the takeover of state education by what used to be called “vulgar Marxism”. It is about the obsessive dedication of political activists who believe themselves to be on a moral mission, and the almost insurmountable difficulty for Conservative or apolitical people in dealing with them.
It is almost impossible for those who lead normal lives with private preoccupations to win out over professional activists who are trained in the techniques of public influence. An example of this is the way in which groups of activists conduct themselves at public meetings. We were always instructed not to sit together but to scatter ourselves through the audience, so that when we made noise (which we were encouraged to do) it would seem as if the whole hall was joining in.
This is precisely what Left-wing activists in BBC Question Time audiences do, by the way. Whenever I’ve been on the panel, I have been struck by it. The audience is not, as the folks at home often think, overwhelmingly on the Left: it is just that the Leftist groupies have positioned themselves around the room and are causing enough ruckus to intimidate those who disagree with them. The producers of this hapless programme always claim that they screen out activists with their advance audience questionnaires. So let me tell you something else about committed political agitators: they tell lies. And they do that – I mean this quite charitably – with the most honourable intentions.
In the name of the exploited working class, any amount of deception is justified: any intervention in battles about which you know little, any instruction to go along and help the comrades in their struggle at such-and-such a factory or in such-and-such a borough, with your mass-produced placards and your copies of Socialist Worker. Shove your placard in front of the cameras, chant your slogans and create a sense of organised momentum. Dominate the news coverage and distort the public perception of the event. Any tactic – vote-rigging, outright election fraud, the orchestration of a party leadership contest – is done in the name of the proletariat against which such great historical crimes have been committed.
The version of Marxism that was disseminated was garbled and diluted but its main tenets came through clearly enough: wealth creation is generally wicked, and poverty is an inevitable product of capitalism. Showing why both those statements are wrong and dangerous is going to be a long slog.


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13 Responses to How the Left did their long march; we can do this ourselves

  1. Cj aka Elderofzyklons Blog says:

    Reblogged this on ElderofZyklon's Blog!.

  2. TabuLa Raza says:

    I am formulating a New Religion.
    It is based on the idea(l) that everyone is superior to everyone else. . .

  3. Mr. Rational says:

    The problem is that the Marxists have established gatekeepers to prevent anyone from re-taking institutions the way they subverted them.  They elevate ideals like “social justice” to the top of their mission, and ruthlessly purge anyone who appears insufficiently enthusiastic.  Having thus manufactured a public consensus on the issue, anyone who does make it through the gauntlet to any of the levers of power is going to be badly outnumbered and ousted as soon as they reveal themselves.

    The positive side is that the institutions themselves are so rotten as a consequence of the Marxist termites eating at their substance, society has little to lose if they collapse.  Only the hard sciences are worth saving, and those remain mostly solid because of the relentless meritocracy of the struggle to pry secrets out of nature.

    • mindweapon says:

      Mr Rational,

      There are a lot of side positions, auxiliary positions, in the institutions where one can get in and be of use. You are only thinking about the high profile positions.

  4. Robot Sam says:

    Will have to disagree. The left is entrenched and vicious, and who has the time? Better to help destabilize things than to spend years in the swamp where no benefit to us is guaranteed.

    • StukaPilot says:

      precisely. MW validates the Ponzi. We know better. The rainbow collectivists are all together on the bridge of the Titanic, debt-berg dead ahead. Let them party until the fatal crash. Then we will speak to them in a language they can understand

  5. Yes, the gatekeepers are there, but they are not always successful. Kevin McDonald simply kept his head low and once he got tenure, all hell broke loose. I don’t know if I could have the patience to deal with those people on a day-to-day basis without yielding to the overwhelming temptation of slipping them some rat poison or something. But for those who do, nothing should be off the table.

    Moreover, I don’t know of any institution that is infested by Marxists that is worth preserving. Ideologically, they are like the bunch that destroyed Detroit, Camden, Trenton, etc. ad nauseum ad iinfinitum. I also think that it is a matter of time before these so-called Ivy League schools will be so discredited that no one who is worth anything will want to attend them. It is already happening even as we speak.

    I read an article recently that the dirty little secret about Harvard and Yale is not that they discriminate against Whites (they do) but Whites are not bothering to apply to them anyway, preferring schools like Princeton and Stanford over them. Now I don’t know about the rest of you but to me, but they sounded genuinely concerned.

    It’s ironic but the high of Marxism seems to be dispossessing and excluding Whites, but it turns into a real low when Whites just drop kick things to the curb because they don’t regard them as worth much anymore. That’s where we witness the interesting phenomenon of how quickly the triumphalism of minority-occupied governance of our cities turns to whining and sniveling about White Flight.

    So basically it started out on a triumphal note of how Harvard and Yale was a very diverse school and how many NAMs were there and how many Asians and Jews were overrepresented there, and how few Whites were left to oppress the rest of them. Then on a somber little side note it says how more Whites lean to Princeton and the like. Whites no longer consider a Harvard and Yale degree worth the price they would pay. Which sounds like code speak for it looks like the Whites consider them ghetto schools.

    I can remember being very impressed when I met an alumnus of either of those schools, but now, when I think of how many of their former classmates are ruining the country and the economy, I come off politely disinterested and there are times I can barely conceal my contempt for them. I suspect my reaction is not unusual these days.

    So, I believe that we should really focus on creating less centralized, harder to infiltrate systems of our own that operate independently and autonomously of the current ones. That way when the current ones fail, we have something new and functional already in their place and we don’t waste a lot of time trying to undo or clean up a lot of messes. Sometimes a building gets so infested with vermin, it’s better to simply raze the building.

    • mindweapon says:


      It’s pretty hard to re-invent the wheel. You got to use the existing institutions, because they are the ones who tax the population and spend the money. Self financing is pretty difficult, if not impossible. It’s much easier to use the existing infrastructure.

    • A.Ralston says:

      Interesting observation.

      During my engineering and teaching careers, I occasionally encountered young Harvard and Yale grads. If they were obvious beneficiaries of affirmative- action – such as NAMs or strident femiinists (who could just as easily have studied at an exclusively female seven-sisters school rather than interloping at what were once reasonably distinguished all-male institutions) or had majored in any field with the word “studies” in its title – I would offer them no positions in any branch or team over which I had influence or would otherwise work around them. If they had majored in a hard STEM or serious humanities like linguistics or military history and if they showed good attitude, I would give them a pass.

      As regards some of the other so-called top-tier schools such as Princeton, Columbia, Duke, or Stanford, I am not so sure they are in better shape than Harvard or Yale. Long after the Duke rape hoax had been exposed, the lacrosse guys to this day continue to be vilivied by the admin and most of the faculty of their own alma mater. Princeton was Benanke’s cushy berth before the Bush neocons groomed him to succeed Greenspan. And Columbia remains the Frankfort School cesspool that it has been since the mid- 20th century.

      But, I agree, Harvard and Yale are especially repugnant.

  6. Pingback: Fringe is the new mainstream, down is the new up, Jews are the new neo-Nazis | vulture of critique

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