So suggests an interesting post at Armed and Dangerous, linked via a comment at Belmont Club. The post is a couple of years old, but remains relevant to the state of play today.
… The Soviets, following the lead of Marxist theoreticians like Antonio Gramsci, took very seriously the idea that by blighting the U.S.’s intellectual and esthetic life, they could sap Americans’ will to resist Communist ideology and an eventual Communist takeover. The explicit goal was to erode the confidence of America’s ruling class and create an ideological vacuum to be filled by Marxism-Leninism.In the long run, he thinks, spies tucking microfilms into their packets of Lucky Strikes did less damage than the dispiriting memes that Soviet agents planted in the Western cultural world (including popular culture). A partial list of the intellectual viruses he believes ultimately derive from Communist psychological warfare includes:
Accordingly, the Soviet espionage apparat actually ran two different kinds of network: one of spies, and one of agents of influence. The agents of influence had the minor function of recruiting spies (as, for example, when Kim Philby was brought in by one of his tutors at Cambridge), but their major function was to spread dezinformatsiya, to launch memetic weapons that would damage and weaken the West.
- There is no truth, only competing agendas.
- All Western (and especially American) claims to moral superiority over Communism/Fascism/Islam are vitiated by the West’s history of racism and colonialism.
- There are no objective standards by which we may judge one culture to be better than another. Anyone who claims that there are such standards is an evil oppressor.
- For a virtuous person, violence and war are never justified. It is always better to be a victim than to fight, or even to defend oneself. But ‘oppressed’ people are allowed to use violence anyway; they are merely reflecting the evil of their oppressors.
- When confronted with terror, the only moral course for a Westerner is to apologize for past sins, understand the terrorist’s point of view, and make concessions.
Intellectuals tend to overestimate the significance of particular theoreticians. But whether the subversive meme was down to Gramsci, or a combination of plotters, or just an intuitive strategy of Communist psy-ops personnel, I agree that we are still being sold assisted suicide in the twilight of Old Marxism (Red sales in the sunset). The Soviet Union's memes injected into the West were frequently encountered, if expressed in slightly different language, when I was in college during the Cold War — long before we had terms like political correctness, deconstructionism, entitlement, reparations.
We are not succumbing to the immigration invasion and making fools of ourselves in the War on [an enemy we dare not name] because we are weak, but because we are weak-minded. Hundreds of millions of us have internalized the lessons projected by a Stalinist dictatorship, one of the worst in history (and that's saying a lot), before most of us were born. Think of that if you ever doubt the power of ideas, especially bad ones.