The title of an essay written by Murray Rothbard in October 1992, captured in the compilation “The Irrepressible Rothbard”
Yes, yes, you rotten hypocritical liberals, it's a culture war! And high time, too! It is, of course, typical of our liberal "intellectual" and media elite: after having ridden through and captured our culture, after twenty-odd years (at least!) of their cultural conquest of America proceeding almost unopposed, after completing their successful Gramscian (note: much revered Italian Stalinist of the 1920s) "long march through our institutions," liberals were just about ready to sit down and treat us as their conquered province. When suddenly, some of us beleaguered provincials began to fight back – rallied, of course, by Pat Buchanan's speech at the Republican National Convention.
I have written of Gramsci, of the love for him by left-libertarians – whether knowingly or unknowingly. But what of this speech by Buchanan?
Like many of you last month, I watched that giant masquerade ball at Madison Square Garden–where 20,000 radicals and liberals came dressed up as moderates and centrists–in the greatest single exhibition of cross-dressing in American political history.
I read this thinking…did Rothbard write Buchanan’s speech?
…a militant leader of the homosexual rights movement could rise at that convention and exult: “Bill Clinton and Al Gore represent the most pro-lesbian and pro-gay ticket in history.” And so they do.
Regarding Mrs. Clinton:
Well, Hillary believes that 12-year-olds should have a right to sue their parents, and she has compared marriage as an institution to slavery–and life on an Indian reservation. Well, speak for yourself, Hillary.
Regarding the vice-presidential candidate, Al Gore:
In New York, Mr Gore made a startling declaration. Henceforth, he said, the “central organizing principle” of all governments must be: the environment. Wrong, Albert! The central organizing principle of this republic is freedom.
And of the Republican nominee, George H.W. Bush:
…we stand with him against the amoral idea that gay and lesbian couples should have the same standing in law as married men and women.
At its root, Buchanan understood the reality:
There is a religious war going on in our country for the soul of America. It is a cultural war, as critical to the kind of nation we will one day be as was the Cold War itself.
The Cold War was Marx; the cultural war is Gramsci. Both had the same objective. Gramsci’s model has sustained and has proven more successful in destroying western civilization.
Returning to Rothbard and the complaint that Buchanan is “dividing us,” Rothbard cites Joe Sobran:
Naturally; Joe adds, "they and their media allies hold 'divisiveness' to be a cardinal sin. The parasitical organism doesn't want the host to think of itself as a distinct entity; with interests of its own. So it tries rhetorically to 'unify' the two organisms in the undifferentiated pronoun 'we'." Exactly!
Rothbard goes on to cite many of the ways government proactively acts to destroy traditional culture – not evolutionary, but revolutionary. He concludes, therefore, that absent this government effort:
…I am convinced that removing the poison…and getting government out of the picture would spark a return to natural law and the Old Culture….
Rothbard continues, attacking the idea of the “anything goes” culture, promoting the idea of revealed or objective ethics. He favorably compares the Ozzie and Harriet culture to the Woody Allen culture. His description of the difference of these two cultures is telling:
The corrupt, rotten New Culture, versus the glorious life-affirming Old.
There is a culture that is supportive – and I believe necessary – to achieve and maintain a reasonably libertarian society. Rothbard has identified it; it isn’t libertine.
I can hear it now: “you are a fascist,” and if that doesn’t work, “a Nazi.” Nothing changes, as noted by this reaction after Buchanan’s speech:
The Republicans, said Mario [Cuomo], are ''Nazis.'' Why? Get this: because "the Nazis used the word 'culture'."
Yeah, that’s what I said.
Not content with all this, Mario also claimed that the Republican Convention was "anti-Semitic." What? How do you get that? Because Newt Gingrich attacked Woody Allen…
Well, of course. All roads lead to this.
In his closing paragraph, Rothbard offers what could have been written of the most recent election:
Bumbling Bush is no great bargain, but to keep undercutting the president from now until Election Day means, that whatever your intent, you are objectively pro-Clinton, and that you are helping a future Clinton administration to dig the grave of liberty, of the free market, and of what's left of traditional American culture.