Seek First the Kingdom of God
In 1843, Karl Marx wrote to a friend: “…it is… clear what we have to accomplish at present: … ruthless criticism of all that exists…” In the 1960’s there was a chant heard on some college campuses: “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Western Civ. has got to go.” What was so wrong with “Western Civ.” (i.e., courses on Western Civilization) that they “had to go”?
In the eyes of these idealistic college Marxists, “Western Civ.” classes wrongly portrayed the Biblical, Greek and Christian heritage of Western Civilization in a positive light, indoctrinating the students in a way that helped keep the bourgeoisie (middle class property owners, capitalists, clergy) in power and others oppressed. Instead, they argued, “Western Civ.” needed to be criticized, taken down, and our government replaced with a more just and equitable, meaning socialist, utopia.
The most recent form of this ruthless criticism is “critical race theory.” Perhaps this is a good time to reprint a portion of the letter from August, 2017, that briefly explains the genesis of “Critical Theory”:
The Frankfurt School vs. True Freedom
After the end of World War I (1914-1918), various Communists in Europe were disappointed that the “proletariat,” or workers in their respective countries, didn’t “rise up” and throw off the “chains” of their middle class, or “bourgeois,” masters. Instead, they had fought against one another. Some Communists began to theorize that the grip of culture, meaning patriotism and tradition, was too strong, and mused, like a renovator who decides it’s simply better to build a new edifice rather than attempt to repair the old, that the whole culture had to go. The first Marxist to propose “a long march through the institutions” was an Italian, Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937).
Simultaneously, in Frankfurt, Germany, the Marxist heir of a tremendous fortune sought to establish an “Institute for Marxism” at the University of Frankfurt. This proposed name was nixed in favor of the more innocent sounding “Institute of Social Research.” This hotbed of atheistic anti-Christian Marxism became known as “The Frankfurt School.”
To the Marxists in the Frankfurt School: Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, Herbert Marcuse, Erich Fromm, Wilhelm Reich, etc., all of Western culture was “repressive” and oppressive. Theodor Adorno advanced what he called “Critical Theory,” which wasn’t a theory at all, but a conclusion that all the traditions of Western culture should be vehemently criticized. These included: “patriarchy,” masculinity, femininity, marriage, sexual morality, Christianity, capitalism, patriotism, history, literature, art and so on. The Frankfurt School enlarged the “economic determinism” of Marx into “cultural determinism,” that is, Marx’s “class struggle” of the bourgeoisie vs. the proletariat was replaced by the “oppressor” vs. the “oppressed,” the “haves” vs. the “have nots.”
In 1933, the Frankfurt School, which included many Jews rightly fearing for their safety, were invited by John Dewey, the atheistic “father” of public education in the United States, and others on the staff at Columbia University, to Columbia University, where they re-established themselves in 1934. It wasn’t long before they were teaching at public universities and gloomily ruminating about how oppressed Americans were without even knowing it. Soon the Founding Fathers, Columbus, and the “repressed sexuality” of Americans were criticized. American history was portrayed as the long exploitation of the majority by an elite white minority.
Perhaps the most influential and insidious member of the group was Herbert Marcuse, who sought to set “privileged” groups: meaning white males, Christians, capitalists, the “imperialists” and their supposed enforcers: the police and military, against the “victim” groups: non-whites, women, non-Christians, workers, “sexual minorities,” third world Marxist “liberation” (aka “enslavement”) movements, etc.
Whereas Christianity teaches “Love your neighbor and do good to those who persecute you… turn the other cheek,” and “Blessed are the peacemakers,” the Frankfurt School scorned these teachings of Jesus as nefarious bromides invented to keep people down. Better, they thought, to keep the “oppressed” angry, outraged, vengeful for “justice” and willing to use intimidation and even violence if necessary to accomplish “change” and “equality.”
Marcuse proposed what he called, in a 1965 essay, “repressive tolerance.” In this essay he says that “the objective of tolerance would call for intolerance… freedom of thought may require new and rigid restrictions on teachings… in educational institutions…tolerance may justify strongly discriminating tolerance on political grounds… a policy of unequal treatment would protect radicalism of the Left against that on the Right… suspension of the right of free speech and free assembly is indeed justified only if the whole of society is in extreme danger. I maintain that our society is in such an emergency situation.” In other words, the most “tolerant” society would be one in which those possessing true “consciousness,” the new Gnostics, people like himself, ruled, and were intolerant as necessary…
Critical Race Theory is nothing but another attempt to stimulate hatred in the hope of replacing Western Civilization with a Godless, just society in the here and now. But since there is no fixed reference point as to what is true and just, the inevitable result will be, if unchecked, a totalitarian state. We would do well to heed the exhortations of the White Rose, the famous anti-Nazi resistance group that existed in Germany in 1942-43:
“…every individual, conscious of his responsibility as a member of Christian and Western civilization, must defend himself as best he can at this late hour, he must work against the scourges of mankind, against fascism and any similar system of totalitarianism.
“The family is as old as man himself, and out of this initial bond man, endowed with reason, created for himself a state founded on justice, whose highest law was the common good. The state should exist as a parallel to the divine order, and the highest of all utopias, the Civitas Dei (City of God, ed.), is the model which in the end it should approximate.”
“…whoever today still doubts the reality, the existence of demonic powers, has failed by a wide margin to understand the metaphysical background of this war. Behind the concrete, the visible events, behind all objective, logical considerations, we find the irrational element: The struggle against the demon, against the servants of the Antichrist.
The more each of us “seeks first the Kingdom of God” through love of God and neighbor, and amendment of life, the more our civilization will “approximate” the Civitas Dei. Please help St. Michael Broadcasting bring this message of resistance and freedom to others through your prayers, by offering to volunteer, by telling others and, if possible, a financial contribution.
Viva Christo Rey!