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The encroachment of socialism in our institutions

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In a new article, “The Most Dangerous Socialist in History,” written for The Stream by Acton Institute’s Research Director Samuel Gregg, a socialist ideology running rampant throughout culture today is unveiled. The thoughts of Antonio Gramsci, “an Italian philosopher, journalist and Communist official who spent the last 11 years of his life in Mussolini’s prisons” are eating away at institutions today, calling for university departments and journalism schools to reveal the capitalist rule and “hidden structures of privilege.” Unfortunately, this idea proves “tougher to dismantle than the crude cement blocks of the old Berlin Wall.”

Gregg points out to his readers that Marx and Lenin previously thought that different religions and cultural institutions were mere distractions presented to hide the power wielded by capitalists with tight grips on money and power. According to this Marxist theory, the dismantling of false religion would take place after capitalism was squashed. Gramsci, however, thought that it was through voice of art, literature and education that power was gained and therefore socialist thought should be filtered. Gramsci’s writings called for leftist control of prominent cultural institutions, proposing rhetoric difficult to fight. Gramsci’s ideas are alive today, posing threats to liberty:

The worst part of Gramsci’s legacy is that it has effectively transcended its Marxist origins. His outlook is now blankly taken for granted by millions of teachers, writers, even churchmen, who have no idea that they are committed to cultural Marxism. So while the socialist paradises constructed by Lenin, Stalin and like-minded people imploded over 25 years ago, the Gramscian mindset is alive and flourishing at your local university and in more than a few liberal churches and synagogues.

Ideas have proven hard to kill and unfortunately, have taken root.

Read Gregg’s piece in its entirety here.

Caroline Roberts Caroline Roberts has a B.A. in English from Grove City College and produces the Acton Institute’s podcast, Radio Free Acton.


  • MarxIsRight

    Communism will win

    • You’re right to some degree. It won’t be the communism imagined by Saint-Simon or Marx. Mises proved that to be impossible and intellectual socialists had admitted it by WWII. But it will be the communism of Stalin and Mao, which was very similar to the dictatorships that existed from ancient Egypt to Spain. That’s because non-Christians are consumed with envy of their neighbors, but they will not envy a class of people they are very different from socially, such as the nobility. The nobility plunder the masses and keep them poor but equal. As Russians used to say, people would rather be poor than have a neighbor do better.

      There is a close correlation between the decline of Christianity in Europe and the rise of socialism. See Hayek’s “The Counter-Revolution in Science.” Non-Christians are very unhappy in a society in which there are inequalities of wealth between people of the same class. That’s why the caste system has lasted millennia in India.

  • Actually, Saint-Simon, the founder of modern socialism in the early 19th century, taught artists that their job was to sell socialism to the people. But they never could have done it without the people first abandoning Christianity. Socialism appeals to the envy in people. Only Christianity can suppress envy enough for individualism to flower and generate economic growth.

    Non-Christians are miserable in free markets because it makes their neighbors slightly richer than them and the envy drives them crazy. That’s why the stratified society of nobility and the masses is the most robust form of government in history. Socialism is just a return to that. People are happiest in such a society because the nobility keep the masses equally poor, just as socialism does.