Scribes: an informal term for journalists.
Pharisees: a self-righteous persons; hypocrites having pretensions to superior sanctity.
— from the Oxford Dictionary
Scribes & Pharisees.
It’s one of those classic pairings that just seems to fit together perfectly, kinda like peanut butter & jelly, rock & roll, or Hillary Clinton & corruption.
But, if you’re like me, when the phrase “scribes and Pharisees” is turned, the ol’ involuntarily synapses trigger a biblical-based memory: one recalling tales of wicked men, Pharisees, exchanging money for power in the temple. And at their feet, their sycophantic and servile scribblers – the scribes, slavishly recording the Pharisees doings, making sure all the “proscribed rules & correct thoughts” are recorded for the benefit of the public’s future adherence.
This is a modern story of those same scribes and Pharisees. It’s a long and sordid tale, featuring a twisted genius, a bunch of happily willing dupes, a will to power and the political dog whistle to end all dog whistles.
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Back in the 1930’s, an Italian neo-Marxist theorist named Antonio Gramsci sat in a prison cell in the town of Turi, in southeastern Italy, on the coast of the Adriatic Sea. There, this former Catholic school boy turned communist intellectual, filled page after page of notebook after notebook with his revolutionary thoughts. Thoughts on how to quietly transform the world, not by force of arms, but by a more deadly means: subversion of culture.
Gramsci had a plan. Not just any plan, but a plan that would, if successful, shake the foundations of western civilization to its very core.
The bound pages he so painstakingly wrote and smuggled out of his cell became known as The Prison Notebooks; arguably, the most important and influential work of political theory produced in the 20th century.
That is how a sickly, imprisoned man, a man with his teeth falling out and suffering from consumption, became the Father of Political Correctness.
Today, almost eighty years after his death, Antonio Gramsci might rightly be called the most influential, yet anonymous, man in the world.
Stunningly, most Westerners have never heard his name, yet they live within the culture he and his apostles have created.
Antonio Gramsci is the real life Wizard of Oz. His life and legacy, completely hidden behind The Curtain.
And his success?
Beyond his wildest imaginings.
Gramsci’s blueprint for achieving his Marxist dream had it’s genesis in the failure of Lenin’s Russia to successfully export the proletarian revolution westward.
Gramsci recognized the limitations of the Bolshevik’s plan, which relied on “the workers of the world to throw off their chains!” He took note that the workers of the world, particularly in Europe and North America, preferred their bourgeoisie cultures and lifestyles.
What was needed was a different kind of nudge, applied in a different kind of place.
So he created a new blueprint to jump start The Revolution. Frustrated with the reticence of the “oppressed classes” to get with the program, Gramsci hit upon the idea of initiating a “Long March” through Western institutions. He postulated that his concept of a “passive revolution” would be the most subtle, and potentially most effective, way of advancing the New Marxism.
Passive revolution was a simple plan. It was comprised of a multi-pronged, multi-generational assault on bourgeois Western civilization and focused on the internal subversion of four key areas of the culture:
Education – Language – Religion – Media
A true believer in the inevitable triumph of Marxism, Gramsci’s genius was his ability to recognize that “time was on my side” long before Mick Jagger ever sang about the same.
Most importantly, no guns or bombs would be necessary to bring about the Fundamental Transformation of the West. Just a few institutions filled with fat, intellectually lazy frogs and a large pot of water set to a slow boil.
All Gramsci needed to insure success was to enlist and co-opt several successive generations of newly-minted scribes & Pharisees.
A task that turned out easier done than said…
Coming next: Scribes and Pharisees: Part 2 – The Omega