Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Righteous Indignation by Andrew Breitbart

I'm calling Righteous Indidnation by Andrew Breitbart a guilty read. It's a behind the scenes look into the life of Andrew Breitbart. He traces his journey from a "default liberal" living in L.A. through a liberal college experience, to a job where he finally felt like he was earning something and contributing, to the role talk radio played in his life. While it's interesting to hear about his life and his transformation, I usually enjoy books that teach something deeper.

That's why I was surprised when after reviewing his own history, he delved into the history of liberalism. Here's where my ears perked up.

His history lesson begins with, "The Founders' realistic view of human nature and call for limited government and individual liberty found its opponent in the philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and, later, Karl Marx. Rousseau thought that people were naturally good and were corrupted only by the development of the surrounding society... He also thought that modern society, created as it was to protect property rights and life, had destroyed the natural communism that prevailed before the advent of society."

Marx picked up from Rousseau and combined it with Hegel's "might makes right" philosophy to envision a world of class struggles eventually won by the workers. Teddy Roosevelt combined these two views with "man is basically good" Rousseau and got Progressivism, "soft Marxism without the class struggle." In order to get to a perfect society, TR used an "ends justify the means" philosophy. The Constitution, however is all about the means... not the ends. Woodrow Wilson governed from this anti-Constitutional point of view and believing "great decisions should be made on high by men of high thought," paved the way for FDR.

When the Marxist worldview did not really catch on after the Communist Revolution, the view that first society must be destroyed before utopia could manifest itself caught on among some German philosophers. When exiled by Nazi Germany, they brought their desire to destroy traditional culture to America and eventually their Frankfurt School to our universities. Pushing the destruction of the Judeo-Christian worldview through what was called, Critical Theory, (a theory of criticizing everything, everywhere) these professors eventually ushered in the 60s, make love, not war, trust no one over 30, and a total rejection of the wisdom that has gone on before.

One professor, Marcuse, was its "most devious and effective marketer." He got a whole generation to reject their parents' values. He turned classes against others, pushed multi-culturism, and "diversity studies." He introduced "repressive tolerance" which basically said everything was tolerated except non-tolerance. Enter, Mao's phrase, "political correctness," and Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals, and you have universities today and everything that is wrong with America. Alinsky wrote the "Art of War" for the Progressives. His rules are very effective and eventually brought us Clinton and Obama.

The basic rules are as follows:
1. Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.
2. Never go outside the experience of your people.
3. Wherever possible go outside of the experience of the enemy.
4. Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules.
5. Ridicule is man's most potent weapon.
6. A good tactic is one that your people enjoy
7. A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.
8. Keep the pressure on.
9. The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.
10. The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.
11. If you push a negative hard and deep enough it will break through into its counter side.
12. The price of successful attack is a constructive alternative.
13. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize and polarize it.

However, Breitbart ends on a high note. Using some of the tactics of Alinsky, he believes we can win back the country. He is part of the New Media that is slowly but surely destroying the power of the Mainstream Media/Democratic Party forces that shape so much of modern American culture. He points to the story of James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles, who brought down ACORN with Breitbart's help as an example of how to hit 'em where it hurts.

This is an easy read, the history of liberalism is engaging and well-researched, and the note of hope gives it a happy ending.

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