"A PROFOUND CULTURE WAR"
A Time magazine article by Lance Morrow says the opposing philosophies at work in today's society can be traced back to Tocqueville and Gramsci:
Are you a Gramscian or a Tocquevillian?
Take your time.
George W. Bush is an emphatic Tocquevillian. His plan enlisting faith-based organizations to solve social problems is a Tocquevillian project.
Al Gore, by contrast, ran a somewhat Gramscian campaign, noodling themes of class warfare and identity politics, speaking on the veiled premise that society is divided between oppressors and oppressed, between bloated white Republican clubmen and a rainbow coalition of everyone else. Oddly enough, Gore's running mate, Joe Lieberman, had been on record as a devout Tocquevillian, on the side of religion, morality, patriotism and the American exceptionalism the United Colors of Bill Bennett. Or at least he was Tocquevillian until Gore telephoned. Lieberman sold a few of his principles down the river to run with the Gramscians.
In the current issue of Policy Review, the bimonthly published by the conservative Heritage Foundation, John Fonte, a senior fellow of the Hudson Institute, makes the case that for all the famous convergence at the center of American politics (supposedly a legacy of Clintonism not too liberal, not too conservative, but a little of both), America remains in the grip of a profound culture war. [I encourage you to read the entire article. To read this excellent article -- click HERE.]
Fonte identifies the opposing armies in the war as Gramscians and Tocquevillians. The Gramscians take their name from the 20th-century Marxist intellectual and politician Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937). As Fonte remarks: "Despite [Gramsci's] enormous influence on today's politics, he remains far less well-known to most Americans than does Tocqueville," the prescient young French visitor who figured out America so brilliantly a hundred years before Gramsci's death.
Left brain, right brain: Gramsci and Tocqueville represent radically different ways of thinking about America. "Like Marx," Fonte writes, "[Gramsci] argued that all societies in human history have been divided into two basic groups: the privileged and the marginalized, the oppressor and the oppressed, the dominant and the subordinate." Europe is that way and America is no exception. Gramsci went beyond Marx to include "also women, racial minorities, and many 'criminals.'" Therefore: The personal in fact, all life is political. There are no absolute moral standards: morality is socially constructed. And so on. Gramsci's American descendants, as Fonte notes, include feminists like Catharine MacKinnon ("a rape is not an isolated event or moral transgression or individual interchange gone wrong but an act of terrorism and torture within a systemic context of group subjection, like lynching") and others (in interest groups, government, universities and major corporations) who speak the neo-Marxian rhetoric of categories and conspiracies who speak, in effect, of oppressed moral proletarians (gays, women, the disabled, people of color) and "enemies of the people," usually meaning (by process of elimination) heterosexual white males.
The Tocquevillians, on the other hand, say America is an exception. They "take Alexis de Tocqueville's essentially empirical description of American exceptionalism and celebrate the traits of this exceptionalism as normative values to be embraced." In the contemporary Tocquevillians' view, says Fonte, "Americans today, just as in Tocqueville's time, are much more individualistic, religious, and patriotic than the people of any other comparably advanced nation."
Sound familiar? Is this Gramscian/Tocquevillian split the same as the red/blue 50-50 division we saw on the electoral map in November? Yes, but not exactly. In millions of individual citizens' minds, elements of the two views blend. For example, I am essentially Tocquevillian, but the Tocquevillian American should nurture an enormous tolerance that is enabled by the assumptions 1) that American life ought, above all, to be fair, and 2) that there's enough here for everyone. But tolerance to a Tocquevillian is condescension to a Gramscian. Gramscianism lives on an invidious and Europeanized zero-sum kind of thinking about power.
Gramscian ideas are far advanced in America. You see them in "hate crimes" laws, in gender equity legislation, in forced corporate "sensitivity" training, in the menace of coerced "right thinking" in the universities. You feel the nuances of it in casual conversation. It's an attitude at a cocktail party. To speak Tocquevillian (the deepest American cultural tradition) is as bad as lighting up a cigarette at a dinner party on the Upper West Side.
The Tocquevillian is the Gramscian's right-wing fascist. But the Gramscian, you see, is a vicious Kluxer in her own right. As Bugs Bunny says, "This means war."
America has always been divided between different churches that interpret the Bible differently and been divided over many philosophical and political beliefs. One of the greatest divisions was over slavery and hundreds of thousands of men died in the brutal Civil War over their differences. God was on the side of Abraham Lincoln. Robert E. Lee was a good man in many ways, but he was fighting on the side of evil. In this book we hope the reader will never lose sight that we should hate sin, but love the sinner. We are called by God to fight the good fight, but we should also fight with a proper attitude and with the tactics of love.
The authors side with many of the writings and arguments of the Right, but this does not mean we agree 100% with everything they write and say and do. For example, we do not side with the Right when pro-lifers heatedly argue that abortion is murder. We are pro-choice. We are not going to go into the hotly debated issue of abortion in this book. We cannot possibly give every argument each side has about every aspect of the cultural war that rages around marriage and family. There are millions of words in speeches, magazines, newspaper articles, books, tapes, videos of congressional hearings and talk shows. We have picked just a sampling. If you have any quotes or ideas you feel that would help us better write this book, please email us at JohnGodwin@hotmail.com and let us know.
The division in America over racism has been a terrible cultural war. There are heartbreaking pictures of everything from slavery to KKK rallies that are a shameful part of America's history. Gladly, there has been much progress over the centuries. It was just as recently as 1967 that interracial marriages became legal. Common sense says that skin color is a superficial difference and shouldn't divide people. But common sense is often beyond the thinking of the majority of mankind the majority of the time. We believe that the Biblical values for marriages and families make sense. In the 20th century, the West has progressively rejected those values and most people at the time of the year 2000 think completely differently than most people did in the year 1900. To the average person in the year 2000 it is normal for a woman to be cop. No one in the year 1900 could image such a thing. The average person in 1900 would be aghast to see black and white marriages. The average person in 2000 has evolved to a higher understanding of race.
Has America progressed to a higher, more spiritual and common sense view of life when the majority thinks women make good cops? Even many on the Right think that it is wonderful that women are cops, firefighters and combat fighter pilots. Pat Robertson said he thought it was just great that women gained the right to be combat fighter pilots on his TV show, The 700 Club.
We, the authors, side with the tiny minority that interpret the Bible as teaching that women are "weaker" than men by God's design. God meant for men and women to be very different and therefore have very different roles and responsibilities. Vive La Difference! The Left and some on the Right do not see that the word "weaker" applies to women being cops.
The cultural war in America is primarily between two views of sexuality. What is a man and a woman? What is masculinity and femininity? How do we end the battle of the sexes? How do we make marriages harmonious and happy? How do we organize our families? We listen to songs that touch our hearts with lyrics about eternal love. But the reality is that 50% of marriages end in divorce. The statistics of how dysfunctional marriages and families are is heartbreaking. There is so much suffering and pain between men and women and between family members. The Right says there are some basic, absolute, universal rules to live by. The Left says that we are in a transition to a new, diverse, creative new society with many types of relationships. The Right says there are absolutes and the Left says there is absolutely no absolutes. There are many nuances to all the arguments each side has. And each side fights to make their view the laws of the land. Each side wants to use government force -- the police force -- to make people do as they wish. They each want to legislate their morality and each feel that the other side is dangerous to the happiness and even the very future existence of America.
There was a Hollywood movie about the Supreme Court case of Rev. Falwell vs. Larry Flynt, the famous pornography publisher. In real life, Jerry Falwell hugs Larry Flynt, but hugs are not going to make for ultimate unity. For those who fight against the truth, the truth is going to hurt. Those on the side of God and truth have the great challenge to be persuasive to the side that is unwittingly against the laws of the universe that God made. Some of the tactics of the Right are not always done with the best heart and sometimes they are wrong in trying to legislate their morality and force it down the throat of everyone. Conservatives should learn from the Libertarians and not make pornography, abortion, drugs and prostitution illegal. Liberals should not make welfare, affirmative action, social security, and sex education a state responsibility that everyone is forced to pay for with taxes. Both sides make many mistakes, but overall the Right is more on target in standing up for some key values that have stood the test of time and should not be discarded for some ridiculous social experiments of the Left.
Mrs. LaHaye writes, "We are up against strong, well-armed foes who are out to destroy the traditional family as the normative standard in America. And they are making progress." When Bob Dole ran against Bill Clinton for the Presidency he often said that Clinton was his "opponent" and not his "enemy." He was trying to disagree agreeably. In the cultural war people are often disagreeing very disagreeably. In some families the differences are so great that they either cannot even bring up certain controversial subjects for fear a painful or even violent argument will tear the family apart. In some families, tragically, their differences are so great and one or both sides feel so strongly about an issue that they do not even talk to each other.
Everyone must stretch
The actors Jimmy Stewart and Henry Fonda were lifelong friends, but they agreed to never talk politics. Stewart was an outspoken Republican and Fonda a Democrat. They argued once and then for 40 years never spoke of politics and had a deep friendship. For many, this is not possible. Mrs. LaHaye calls her opponents "foes." There are many words used. There is a lot of name calling. The Bible says that the truth will divide families. In the Civil War there were some brothers who literally fought in battle against each other. In the Divine Principle we learn the good news that someday there will be unity of mankind and peace on earth because everyone will give up whatever false ideas they have and accept God's universal values. The truth hurts, but like surgery or bitter medicine, it is worse to experience the pain of changing our minds and deeds than living a life based on false beliefs. Ignorance is not bliss. God wants everyone educated to the true family and political values that will unite mankind into a harmonious family living in a utopia. We write about mankind's dream of an ideal world in our book Clear Goal for Utopia at our website www.DivinePrinciple.com.
To build the future kingdom of heaven on earth means that every person will have to stretch themselves to the limit. Each person holds a mixture of true and false beliefs. The false beliefs are often very dear to people. But we have to go through the difficult process of being humble to the truth and have the courage to be open minded to truth that often seems ridiculous, illogical and even evil. It is hard to be patient with others when we discover truth and then teach others. But the Bible teaches us that love is persevering and patient. No matter how much people may want to or actually kill the messenger, we have the responsibility and duty to teach others in our own creative way and help organizations that we basically agree with. Jerry Falwell is an excellent example of a good Christian who loves his enemies and will reach out to talk to those who hold views that are abhorent to him. He also will work with those who agree with some of his views and not let the differences he has stop him from working for those causes that he can find some unity on with others. For example, he sees the good in Rev. Moon and agrees with many of the conservative things Rev. Moon has done such as spend over a billion dollars for the Washington Times and other pro-conservative projects. Rev. Falwell will hug Rev. Moon and praise him for his work to instill good morals into America and the world. Even though he disagrees with Rev. Moon's philosophy and theology on some very basic points, he is humble and spiritually high enough to unite with him on common beliefs. This is a beautiful example of being discerning.
There is very little the Right can do with the Left. But, those on the Right should join with each other. Fundamental Christians despise cults because they see them as blasphemers and hereticis who lead people astray. But just because the Mormons believe something very different about Jesus in many ways should not stop fundamental Christians from working with them to fight the liberals. There is common ground between mainline conservative churches that they should unite on and work against the Left that controls the media and schools. As much as the Right has a lot of truth about fundamental values that everyone should live by, they should also have some of the spirit of the Left that is open to new ideas. Unlike the Left, the Right should not abandon time-tested biblical values for living, but in areas of theology and politics they need to learn from the Left to stretch and be on the lookout for creative, new, and advanced thinking.
The Bible does not have the entire truth. God continually gives new and improved insights -- often from unexpected sources. Too many on the Right are too arrogant and narrow in some of their beliefs. It is difficult to sort out what truths are eternal and what need to be revised. The Left throws everything out and invents a worse value system. The Right must have the brains and guts to re-examine traditions and be open that God is speaking in mysterious ways. For example, millions of Christians, like the LaHayes, are wonderful in their strong stand for the traditional family, but God wants them to give up their silly view of the rapture. Mary Pride and many other great Christians criticize Rev. Moon as a cult leader. They are wrong and have a difficult hill to climb in opening their minds up to the Principle. In the meantime, they should work with Unificationists on such campaigns as abstinence and limited government.
Ultimately, everybody will have to stretch and give up cherished beliefs and they may be surprised that those who they hated or feared may be the ones who had some truths all along. We are in a painful transition but someday ever person will have to change their minds on some or many issues that now divide people. God's way is unification, not division and human history will not be forever divided.
The Bible is the most published book in the world. It is so honored that every President of the United States has put his hand on his family Bible at his inauguration. The cultural war that America is fighting is often over the interpretation of passages in the Bible. There is one Bible, but there is a split between people over its meaning. Jerry Falwell and Jesse Jackson are both Christian ministers, but sadly they read the Bible very differently.
The authors of this book side with many of the arguments of the Right. Our goal is to try to influence you to believe that God has given mankind absolute and true values in the Bible and that many of the teachings of those on the Right are biblical.
Multiply and Dominion
In the first page of the Bible it says that "God created humankind in his image, male and female he created them." Then God gave mankind the gifts of multiplying and dominating the earth. We read in Genesis 1:28: "God blessed them" and told them to "multiply" and "have dominion" over the earth. The Bible says God is love so we can believe that He wants mankind to multiply and dominate the earth with love. Let's use the words marriage and family for "multiply" and the words politics and economics for "dominion." Human history has not shown mankind to be completely loving in its marriages, families, politics and economics. Many believe that the 20th century is the worst century in history for marriage, family, and government. The authors agree with Zbigniew Brzezinski who said, "Contrary to promise, the twentieth century became mankind's most bloody and hateful century, a century of hallucinatory politics and of monstrous killings."
Nevertheless, mankind has not been totally depraved and stupid. There have been some good marriages, families and government leaders. In this book we will focus on the blessing from God of "multiplying." In our book, Freedom Works, we examine the blessing of "dominion" -- of politics and economics.