Friday, January 13, 2017

Antonio Gramsci, Cultural Hegemony, and Political Correctness

Angelo M. Codevilla has written a brilliant piece, The Rise of Political Correctness.  For a few days I have been thinking about how to summarize it and add something to it.  I have read it several times and decided I cannot – I cannot summarize it; I cannot add something to it.  If the subject of culture and liberty matter to you, it must be read.

Gray North has written an excellent summary; it is still worth reading the original.

Codevilla traces political correctness to its roots – Machiavelli and communism.  But it wasn’t Marx’s communism that spawned this evil; it was Antonio Gramsci’s.  I have written on this before in the context of libertine-worshipping libertarians; I became aware of the Gramsci connection only because of something I read from Dr. North.

Today’s progressives have gone well beyond Gramsci; Gramsci was only after a replacement.  For today’s progressives, having won the cultural war a generation ago isn’t enough; having destroyed traditional western (i.e. Christian) culture isn’t enough.  They want more; and after they get more, they will want more.

I keep trying to write something more, cite something from his piece.  Each time I try, I fall short.  So I will not.  I will offer only one cite – an example of the over-reach that Gramsci would not support:

Consider our ruling class’s very latest demand: Americans must agree that someone with a penis can be a woman, while someone else with a vagina can be a man. Complying with such arbitrariness is beyond human capacity.

As Popeye says, “that’s all I can stand, I can’t stands no more.” 


OK, one more cite; Codevilla’s, conclusion, not mine (emphasis added):

In short, the P.C. “changes in law and public norms” (to quote Galston again) that the ruling class imposed on the rest of America, rather than having “gradually brought about changes in private attitudes across partisan and ideological lines” as the ruling class imagined (and as Gramsci would have approved) have set off a revolution—of which we can be sure only that it won’t be pretty.

(Note: Codevilla has written of this coming revolution before; I offer my attempt at summarizing it here.  I have grown more humble since then.)


  1. bionic,

    How influential do you believe Derrida's work is in the current state of affairs?

    1. I am not familiar enough with his work to comment intelligently.

    2. I appreciate your honesty bionic. Perhaps in the future.

  2. ...PC has been around since man first discovered self-awareness. PC can serve as a tool of natural evolution towards better conditions for all of society. At one time doctors never thought of washing their hands before delivering a baby...and it took them almost a hundred years before they would admit to the "germ theory". Eventually they became..."politically correct"... (or finally, simply correct)...and now the idea of not washing your hands is politically incorrect and considered unhealthy. What about the first humans who wore loin-cloths or covered their bodies in fur? Was the first guy who clothed himself doing so out of a desire for warmth, protection or ego? Did the second guy say to himself,..."hey, I need to get me one of those, so that I'm hip-as-well"? Or did it just become PC to cover your body, and especially your reproductive organs? The problem with modern PC, as mentioned in the article...(it shares the same problem with unregulated or weaponized immigration) that it is not a natural process. Modern PC demands submission, rather than showing you that the perspective they would like you to adopt is correct, moral and ethical. Rather than sell you on the idea, and having it stand on it's own merits, PC addicts want you to accept it because they say so. Ha... ha...ha...ha..! Yes, that has worked so well in the history of mankind.
    RJ O'Guillory