Gramsci’s Plan

Gramsci’s Plan
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

The year 2017 is the 100th anniversary of Lenin and Trotsky’s Bolshevik Revolution. After a reign of terror, Lenin died in 1924, replaced in the Communist hierarchy by Josef Stalin. He and Trotsky didn’t get along, and Trotsky wisely fled Russia. Before too long, he ended up in Mexico where one of Stalin’s agents did him in with an axe to his head in 1940.

Italian Communist Antonio Gramsci (Image from Flickr by thierry ehrmann, some rights reserved).

With help from western governments and individuals thought to be anti-Communist, Stalin built the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) into a world power with savage brutality that cost the lives of tens of millions. The tyrannical empire he built supposedly crashed in 1989 as Communist leaders in Europe’s Soviet bloc suddenly became democrats. The governments these puppets had been leading discarded the use of terror to rule the hapless millions in Poland, Hungary, Lithuania, and all of the USSR’s satellite nations.

The above very brief recounting of recent history doesn’t include discussion of another Communist who wanted to achieve total power in a very different way. Italian Communist Antonio Gramsci, born in 1891, disagreed with prominent Communists in his home country, and although he had been a founder of Italy’s Communist Party, he moved to Russia where he expected to find that Marxism really worked. It didn’t take long for Gramsci to realize, however, that Russia’s people were being held in check via Stalin-imposed terror. He thought this style of rule was unnecessary, even counterproductive.

Back to Italy in the late 1920s, Gramsci was immediately, though wrongly, considered a Stalin agent by the Mussolini government whose police sent him to prison. Over the next nine years (he died from tuberculosis in 1937), he assembled his thoughts on how a nation could be made into a “Marxist paradise” in nine volumes known as the Prison Notebooks. His strategy called for softening up the people by steering them away from their cultural foundations – faith in God, love of country, reliance on family, and attachment to the churches, schools, morals, and other anchors.

While there are numerous current propagators of the type of subversion advocated by Gramsci, Time magazine is surely one of the leaders. The magazine’s March 27, 2017 issue is filled with urgings to abandon traditional views regarding the once unquestioned field of gender identity. Example after example of deviation from basic morality fills seven of the magazine’s pages. No longer should members of the human race be known as male or female, now we are led to believe in the existence of multiple identities various individuals will choose.

According to Time, there should be wide acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. No need anymore to rely on a newborn’s identity (called “cisgender”), there are now 500 different categories where male or female were always the only choices. And, says one of the young deviants presented by Time, “Every different type of identity that exists should be supported.”

If you disagree with this undermining of such a cultural and moral foundation, expect to be labeled ”intolerant.” Everyone is supposed to back away from condemning even the most bizarre claims of young people who have been led to believe their aberrations are a new normal. Indeed, tolerance that is being forced on all who remain “straight” has become the silencer of the tradition-minded. Acceptance of whatever deviations can be dreamed up is expected and virtue is considered passé.

Were Gramsci alive, he would applaud this increasingly widespread development. His early years studying history, psychology, and philosophy equipped him to know how to tear a civilization from its roots. And if we examine which way the world is heading today, we should conclude that the Gramscian strategy is winning.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Is Socialism Worse Than Communism?

Is Socialism Worse Than Communism?
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Six years ago in a speech exposing the scourge of neoconservatism, I startled some of the audience by claiming that socialism is more dangerous than communism. I knew that many fine Americans had long held the view that socialism was not good, but “at least it’s not as bad as communism.” I disagreed.

Both socialism and communism promoters claim Marx’s Communist Manifesto as their own (Image from ShopJBS.org). 

My foray of this topic developed because acceptance of neoconservatism amounts to choosing socialism and internationalist meddling, even war. The self-described “godfather” of the movement, Irving Kristol, proudly announced in his 1995 book Neoconservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea, that neoconservatism “accepted the New Deal in principle, and had little affection for the kind of isolationism that then permeated America conservatism.”

Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal was socialism with a nice-sounding name. And the isolationism condemned by Kristol has always kept America from meddling in the world’s affairs, even going to war to dictate the way others should exist. In short order, Kristol and his allies moved into the Republican Party where they now exercise inordinate influence led by such neocons as Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

But what about socialism and its communist partner in crime? Honest adherents of both claim Marx’s Communist Manifesto as their own. Partisans on either side have even fought over ownership of the document while they were busily subjugating entire nations and peoples.

But there is an important difference that needs airing. Communists seek domination via hasty takeover and bloody suppression. Their success doesn’t destroy resistance. So they have to create such tyrannical enforcement groups as the NKVD, GRU, or some secret police outfit. The history of these enforcers is well-known.

On the other hand, the more patient Socialists work toward the same totalitarian goal, but they persuade their future victims to vote themselves into socialistic control. Their process destroys resistance. Rule over their hapless victims is more complete. But it will turn deadly if needed.

Lenin and Trotsky established communist control over Russia in 1917. Lenin died in 1924 and another murderous tyrant named Stalin took over. Trotsky worked alongside both, but he always preferred the socialist route to power. In time, he fled Stalin and ended up in Mexico where one of Stalin’s agents put an ax in his head. The brutality of Stalin’s Soviet-style conquests continued.

Taking control of America posed a problem for Stalin and his successors. Resistance to communism has always been strong in the “land of the free and the home of the brave.” But bringing America under control with socialism grew dramatically throughout the 20th century and beyond. Socialistic takeovers in such fields as housing, welfare, education, health, and more, plus the combination of a United Nations police force has gained an increasing amount of supporters from coast to coast.

During the recent race for the presidency, millions of Americans cheered for avowed socialist Bernie Sanders. Very few of the Sanders supporters know where his program for their country will take it. Nor did they have any awareness of his years of affiliation with the Socialist International (Honorary Chairman: Karl Marx). Yet they cheered lustily for him to win the Democratic Party’s nomination. He came close to being the nominee and would have been a formidable candidate to become the next occupant of the White House. His manner of gaining control of the people and the nation through persuasion instead of the sword almost succeeded.

Where would complete socialism take America? Literary giant George Bernard Shaw was a proud socialist in England. In 1928, his “Intelligent Women’s Guide to Socialism” stated:

I also make it clear that Socialism means equality of income or nothing, and that under socialism you would not be allowed to be poor. You would be forcibly fed, clothed, lodged, taught and employed whether you liked it or not. If it were discovered that you had not the character and industry to be worth all this trouble, you might possibly be executed in a kindly manner; but whilst you were permitted to live you would have to live well.

Should socialism triumph completely in America, the amount of resistance would be minimal – at least for a time – because the people voted for it. But it wouldn’t be too long before the George Bernard Shaw method would be used to keep socialism in power.

How many Bernie Sanders partisans understand this? Hardly any. And how many supporters of neoconservative politicians realize the ultimate goal of the followers of Irving Kristol? Another minuscule number. How many understand that socialism is truly more dangerous than communism? Next to none.

Many more Americans need to be awakened in order to preserve the great experiment in freedom given this nation in the late 18th century. Socialism isn’t the route to justice and progress. It’s the path to control – and it will indeed become deadly like its communist bedfellow.

Know thy enemy. Get your copy of The Communist Manifesto today.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Sanders the Socialist

Sanders the Socialist
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

While chatting recently with a friendly technician who was repairing my copy machine, I got a taste of a very big problem facing our country. The man knew everything about the bulky machine. But he displayed a woeful lack of awareness about our nation’s fundamental principles. And he volunteered a political preference I fear is shared by millions.

Sanders is a proud socialist who wants to establish government compulsion over everyone (Image from Flickr).

Sanders is a proud socialist who wants to establish government compulsion over everyone (Image from Flickr by Gage Skidmore).

The technician, a patriotic U.S. Air Force veteran, volunteered that he didn’t vote in the 2016 presidential election. He had nothing good to say about either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. But he boasted that, if Bernie Sanders had won the Democratic Party’s nomination, he would have gladly voted for him. He added that Bernie would probably have swamped Trump. He might be correct about that.

When I suggested that Bernie Sanders would admit to being a socialist, he gave no response. Evidently being a socialist is OK with my technician acquaintance, not because he knows what being a socialist means and how un-American such a view really is, but because he doesn’t know what it means. Had I an opportunity to explain what socialism truly connotes, I might have cited an excellent warning given in 1974 by economist Percy Greaves. In his book Mises Made Easier, Professor Greaves wrote:

Following the Bolshevist Revolution of 1917, the Bolshevist leader Lenin chose the name Communist Party for all those dedicated to the use of violence, revolution, and civil war to attain their final goal, and to distinguish his followers from the socialists, or social democrats, who sought the same final goal by democratic processes.

In other words, a convinced socialist is at least as dangerous as a Communist, maybe more so because his ultimate goal isn’t well known. My technician acquaintance surely has no awareness that Marx’s Communist Manifesto is the blueprint for both Communists and Socialists.

During the televised debates between the Vermont senator and Mrs. Clinton, I saw Sanders come across as genuinely honest and sincere. But he is a proud socialist, a man who has spent a lifetime favoring the same total government scheme, though not the same route to achieving it, as did the murdering tyrant Lenin. The man fixing my copy machine wouldn’t have supported Lenin, or Stalin, or any of their successors who murdered millions and enslaved those they permitted to live. But he would willingly back Sanders. And therein lies the big problem facing America today.

Bernie Sanders doesn’t advocate killing anybody; he just wants to establish government compulsion over everyone. But he never summarizes it that way. He will soak the rich, make health care and college education free, put government in charge of supplying everyone’s needs, and more. It all sounds so very good to anyone who has no awareness of either America’s fundamentals or the Marxian program. Yet, millions of young Americans flocked to his rallies and cheered him with great gusto. Lots of older Americans did likewise.

The socialism advocated by Sanders is a huge threat to freedom. The problem is that so few Americans understand the value of limited government or the worth of the Constitution, which is socialism’s polar opposite. America grew from a veritable wasteland to becoming the envy of the world, not because of government action but because of the Constitutional requirement for inaction. Millions of college-educated people today have never heard that view and, consequently, are ripe fruit for socialists to pluck. They see problems, most of which have been created by government, and expect government to solve them. The American way would be to get government out of the way and let enlightened self-interest do the solving.

Currently, there are 74 House members who hold membership in its socialist wing called the Progressive Caucus. Sanders is the only Senate member of this Caucus.

All of this presents a huge problem for America. The copy machine technician I encountered doesn’t want the socialism goal advocated by Sanders; he just wants the nice-sounding program the Vermont maverick offers. But it’s only nice-sounding, something even my acquaintance will discover if this nation doesn’t get back to the fundamentals that made it so appealing in the first place. Learn more about socialism’s impact around the globe.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


The Downside of White Privilege

The Downside of White Privilege
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

In Michael Scheuer’s “Why I’m eager to see the end of my ‘white privilege’ post, he lists why he is sick and tired of being told he was a beneficiary of “white privilege.” So, knowing full well that there are many exceptions to the scenarios he experienced, he listed what the so-called privilege has often meant to him.

“White Privilege” vandalism at the Jefferson Davis monument in Mid-City, (Photo by Bart Everson Flickr, some rights reserved).

Many Americans can identify with what he has stated. But those who do so face being charged with selfishness, racism, xenophobia, and more. The truth is that government-enforced policies have made people far more race-conscious than they might ever have been if government wasn’t forcing its ill-conceived and dangerous policies on everyone.

To the various complaints listed can be added similar favorable treatment accorded to illegal immigrants. And the seething outrage felt by many Americans isn’t waning; it grows and festers. If not addressed properly, destruction of the American dream will continue until the dream turns into a full-fledged nightmare.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


The Hidden Establishment

The Hidden Establishment
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

With an election for the president looming, Americans from coast to coast will be asking each other to state their choice of candidate. Are you a Republican, Democrat, or Independent? Are you a conservative, liberal, or moderate? Do you like candidate A or candidate B, even candidate C or D? Most will happily give an answer hoping to sway the one asking to their stance.

But there’s something new in American politics this year. It goes beyond the choice of party, political flavor, even candidate. The new choice is: Are you anti-establishment or are you willing to continue supporting the establishment’s favorites?

Even though most Americans would have a difficult time explaining precisely what the term “establishment” connotes, they have sense of what it means. Suggest that it’s the “old boy network that has been running things for decades” and you’ll likely get an approving nod. Use the words “political elitists” and you’ll readily get a positive response.

But is there a definition of the Establishment? A careful selection of a few words that practically all can accept? Has anyone publicly offered a concise explanation of what the increasingly hated term stands for?

The answer is yes, there is a definition. It actually appeared in a newspaper column by the late Edith Kermit Roosevelt, the granddaughter of our nation’s 26th president (1901-1909).  In her December 23, 1961 syndicated column, she used the word “clique” as a synonym for the Establishment and then went on to say:

The word “Establishment” is a general term for the power elite in international finance, business, the professions and government, largely from the northeast, who wield most of the power regardless of who is in the White House. Most people are unaware of this “legitimate Mafia.” Yet the power of the Establishment makes itself felt from the professor who seeks a foundation grant, to the candidate for a cabinet post or State Department job. It affects the nation’s policies in almost every area….

What is the Establishment’s viewpoint? Through the [past four] administrations, its ideology is constant.  That the best way to fight Communism is by a One World Socialist state governed by “experts” like themselves. The result has been policies which favor the growth of the superstate….

Substitute “all our enemies, domestic and international” where she mentioned “Communism” 50-plus years ago and you have what many more Americans are beginning to realize. Some would even prefer to leave the word “Communism” in her statement because there is a sense that our country is being made over into a communist-style state. These Americans may be enrolled as Democrat, Republican, or Independent. They may have considered themselves liberal or conservative. But increasingly, vast numbers are fed up with the people who have been in charge, especially those who solemnly promised change and didn’t deliver. They want someone other than entrenched party politicians, Wall Street manipulators, media elites, and left-wing academics. They want an outsider who might really change the way things have been going for decades.

In recent years, there have been cries claiming “not a dime’s worth of difference” between Democrats and Republicans. Leading GOP figures have been tagged as a RINO (Republican In Name Only). And some who claim to be conservatives have been labeled Neoconservatives, pushing for more government, even more war.

Will the reigning Establishment be supplanted? Not easily. But the kind of change sought by those who recognize its control is sorely needed. Old labels have become somewhat meaningless. New awareness that opposes the Establishment by name is a very healthy development.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


The Importance of a Moral Foundation

The Importance of a Moral Foundation
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Yuri Bezmenov defected from Soviet Russia 40-plus years ago. A veteran of years of service in Moscow’s dreaded KGB, he eventually came to the West and then traveled through our country delivering his unique wake-up call. Members of The John Birch Society gathered most of his audiences. The warning he gave is needed even more today.

The Ten Commandments as seen at the Herring family cemetery on Hollow Bridge Road near Autryville, NC (Flickr photo from Gerry Dincher, some rights reserved).

Bezmenov (who adopted the name Tomas Shuman) would freely express his disappointment that so few Americans had any awareness of the steady undermining of their country’s basic foundations. He told all he could reach that America suffered not from espionage, which the KGB considered a minor undertaking, but from “ideological subversion.” What was occurring, he explained, could also be termed “psychological warfare.” Its result brings about a population unable “to come to sensible conclusions in the interest of defending themselves, their families, their community, and their country.”

“The process leading to destruction of the United States as a free and independent country,” said Bezmenov, “starts with demoralization, the turning away from foundational truths. In place of that foundation, Marxism-Leninism would be subtly but effectively introduced.” The undermining of America, he insisted, was being “done by Americans to Americans thanks to a lack of moral standards.” The fruit of this type of demoralization, he pointed out, is that a person becomes “unable to assess true information, and facts mean nothing to him even if he is showered with authentic information.”

Were Yuri Bezmenov alive today, he would point to the millions who supported Bernie Sanders during that self-identified socialist’s campaign to become U.S. president. He would point to the supporters of Hillary Clinton, who, though she is not an admitted socialist, differs with Sanders only marginally. In some ways, Mrs. Clinton is even more to be feared because of her attitude expressed openly to an assemblage of gay, transgender, and pro-abortion activists at the United Nations. She told her adoring crowd that America’s “deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed.”

There is much more that Bezmenov sought to explain to Americans. But his emphasis on the undermining of morality as the starting point in the campaign to destroy a nation deserves attention. Cleared of all its obfuscating wrappings, socialism is theft. Sad to say, many Americans have become captivated by its thievery in that they want a supposed free ride for things their parents worked for. And they want confiscation of wealth because they have been convinced that wealthy people are thieves. They know little or nothing about our nation’s foundations contained in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. Nor do have any awareness of sound economic principles. Ask them about these fundamentals and expect to be told to cease referring to the “horse and buggy” days of the past.

About morality, John Adams once stated, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Government, in his view, should be a negative force, not a positive force for taking care of people who should take care of themselves. The people should guide their own conduct through such oldies as the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule.

And John Birch Society Founder Robert Welch frequently insisted: “Morality sees farther than intellect.” What good is there in the efforts of a very intelligent person, he explained, if that person has no moral base and uses his brilliance exclusively for self-aggrandizement?

Yuri Bezmenov hoped there could be some kind of strong national effort to educate people about the real spirit of patriotism.” Along with that, he urged a parallel campaign to explain “the real danger of a socialist, communist, welfare state, Big Brother government.” And he saw in The John Birch Society the kind of institution that could reverse the already widespread demoralization throughout America – if it became large enough. His message, given decades ago, is still very much needed today.

Learn what you can do to Choose Freedom — Support Morality at The John Birch Society’s action project page! 

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.