November 1, 2016 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org – PipeLineMedia, the hard-copy publishing division of PipeLineNews.org LLC, is now shipping our Editor & Publisher’s new book, Islamic Jihad, Cultural Marxism and the Transformation of the West .
What follows is a brief interview with the author, William Mayer, in which he fleshes out some of the main ideas contained in the 200 plus page work which is available at Amazon, with a list price of $14.95.
Q. Could you give our readers some idea of the book’s central thesis and perhaps why you wrote it?
A. It has been evident for a very long time that Western Civilization is facing perhaps the most serious crisis since the thousand year jihad that had been waged against Europe by various Islamic armies, was terminated with finality when the Continent’s Christian princes, led by a warrior Pope [Pius V] crushed the Muslim Ottoman Caliphate’s fleet at Lepanto in the 16th century.
Perhaps not so surprisingly, our current plight also features an Islamic component, as mujahideen are again engaged in a “holy war” – driven by the ideology of normative Islam – across much of the globe, but primarily targeting the Western democracies.
The threat, which is existential in nature, is easy enough to grasp by simply looking around and seeing how traditionalism, representative government and the concepts of liberty and freedom, i.e., the body of ideas which made America and Western Civilization great, are under relentless attacks on all sides.
The enemy is an alliance really, between the Marxist/progressive left and the Islamists. As a result we see blood on our streets as gay nightclub goers are attacked by enraged Muslims and bedrock institutions such as the family, the church, education, the law and even entertainment being undermined from within by “reformers” who are actually turning them against the society which saps its confidence, will and even its ability to defend itself.
In short, the book is an in-depth, cross-disciplinary study explaining how Western Civilization is being intentionally destabilized by a process of cultural subversion which was systematized by an Italian communist theorist - Antonio Gramsci – in the 1930s, whose work is considered so important by the left that it has subsequently been translated into dozens of languages.
As to the reason for writing it…I wanted to offer a fairly easily accessible, grand unified theory explaining how even massive, long-standing cultural edifices can be worn down over time and eventually be defeated by a numerically inferior, but intellectually superior and far more audacious and/or ruthless enemy.
Q. Can you simplify Gramsci’s ideas?
A. Yes, actually it’s not that complex a theory in practice. Gramsci, who wrote about 50 years after the publishing of Marx and Engel’s Das Kapital was hard pressed to understand why, given what was in his way of thinking such a powerful indictment of Western capitalism, had the underclass - the proletariat – failed to “break their chains” and seize political power. Looking further into the matter Gramsci saw that the bedrock institutions of the West were so firmly tied to capitalism and such a part of everyday life that no mere theory - regardless of its assumed intellectual power – could simply overwhelm centuries of tradition.
But Gramsci had two important insights, first he noted that all societies were malleable over time, that they changed in an organic process responding to new stimuli and conditions. He saw no reason why this process might not only be sped up, but channeled in a different direction from that which it might ordinarily take.
Upon further examination he made his second key insight, that the components of what we call culture - the shared norms, beliefs, customs and icons – were the product of large institutions such as the law, entertainment, the educational bureaucracies, the media, etc. It was his belief that these entities could be used to nudge the culture in a direction that would be more favorably disposed to Marxism, since current conditions had proven so resistant to this kind of change.
The key was then rather easily understood. He proposed that rather than spending all their time in classic political organizing, that revolutionaries “take a long march” through the institutions which had such a powerful effect on how people related to each other and their environment and take them over.
Q. So you are saying that the social turmoil we are seeing today, with nearly everything in a state of crisis, has really been engineered?
A. Yes, absolutely. For example look at who runs the media, a snobby group of privileged [in many cases not too bright] mostly Caucasian elitists who might as well have been cast from the same mold politically. Almost to a man these people believe with a religious degree of fervor that government knows best and that its already vast power needs to be further expanded. So, given their near monopoly on the distribution of what they have defined as “the news” they speak with a singular, common voice, often repeating each other verbatim as they spread the party line. Additionally, it's no secret that most individuals who chose to become members of the legacy press do so because they want to change the world. Tellingly, though many of these aspiring journos might never have heard of Gramsci, their choice of profession is reflective of a kind of innate understanding of the role that major cultural institutions have in forming the societal Gestalt.
In the current election this is now so obvious that it would be comical if not such a serious matter. As we approach November 8 the entire weight of the media has decided that it has a singular mission, keeping Donald Trump out of the White House and to this end these people will do anything within their power to see that doesn’t happen. They will lie, obfuscate, mislead, attempt to shame, humiliate and ultimately [and very personally] destroy whomever they deem an impediment to their utopianism. This media is not interested in adjudicating competing ideas; it goes directly for the jugular...the kill shot.
So with the 24 x 7 media having its corrosive effect on society and when you see the other important culture generating institutions doing exactly the same thing, it’s actually remarkable that it has taken this long for the crisis to develop to this degree of severity.
Q. In paging through the book it strikes me that it’s really not the kind academic type work I had imagined, you even dispensed with footnotes..
A. It was my intent to write a book about large ideas but in a way that wasn’t off putting. Islamic Jihad, Cultural Marxism and the Transformation of the West isn’t a dry textbook. You are right, the book doesn’t even have any footnotes [though it does have a multiplicity of outbound links which are active on the very inexpensive Kindle version, as well as an extensive index section] and is intended to be read as if it were more a novel than a text on political science or philosophy, though those topics are thoroughly explored as they relate to the central issues.
Where most authors knock themselves out writing detailed outlines to keep themselves organized in their presentation, I started with a long-form prose poem as inspiration and then tried to write in an almost stream of consciousness manner which was then later revised to tidy it up a bit. I will leave it to the reader to decide if this technique was effective, I certainly hope it was.
Q. So how does Islam fit into this?
A. Though the process I describe was largely developed by the left over a period of many years, it has been adopted by the West’s other great enemy, normative Islam about which I make the rather controversial claim that it’s not a religion but rather a sacralized ideology of dominion decorated with some religious trappings.
Both Islam and the left need to destroy Western traditionalism in order for their plans, which are very different, to be put into practice and though both sides realize that at their core the two are really incompatible, long run, in the short haul they have allied on the age old concept that the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
The left is primarily dangerous because it has been successful in working its way into our very way of life and the way we perceive things whereas the Islamists pose a more direct threat that is, in addition to be an intellectual partner in the left’s subversion, it is also waging a genuine kinetic war against us and hence is killing increasing numbers of Westerners and those who even moderately support our ideals.
Q. Marshall McLuhan looms large in the “Gutenberg Dilemma” chapter, could you expand on that?
A. It would take several volumes to even partially explore in depth the topic of McLuhan and the new electronic media so we tried to cut to the chase outlining the essential elements. Basically the nature of electronic communications is immersive, it’s kind of the soup in which we daily swim. It can’t really be escaped as we are usually within reach or earshot of a ‘Net accessible device, a mobile phone, tablet, computer or even a radio or television.
Information presented in this way tends to compress the content, much like a cubist painting, a Picasso for example which is nothing but the essential elements, all angular and razor sharp which have the ability to bypass our normal rational self and bind deeply with our psyche where they assume a different nature.
When u take into account that the leftist/Islamist nexus [the “unholy alliance”] largely controls the Internet then one immediately can grasp how it has become the underlying element in the process of overturning traditional Western culture.
Q. You offer a pretty harsh indictment of conservatism, actually calling it a failed ideology.
A. Well yes, that should be self evident at this point, the mistaken opinions of people such as Mark Levin to the contrary. If conservatism worked we wouldn’t be where we are and more technically, if one could impose a Burkean type model of classical conservatism on the society it would merely freeze the culture in place along with its internal malignancy. Conservatism cannot possibly work once a Marxist dictatorship has reached the stage of development that it has in the West, it was never intended to be a universal salvific force, though the theory has obvious merit and remains relevant, but only within limits.
Q. You don’t seem to be that hopeful that conditions can be reversed and the republic be reestablished.
A. Correct. We in the West have allowed a very resourceful enemy to attack us at will for about 150 years with little in the way of response, most likely because the process is so insidious that many still are not aware of how it works. The effect of this constant barrage has produced something akin to entire nations being afflicted with PTSD. They’re afraid of their own shadows, totally lacking in self confidence, feminized and in many cases don’ even feel that their way of life is worth defending. In contrast the Marxist/Islamist attackers are supremely confident, even though they are vastly outnumbered numerically.
As they say it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog, a principle which especially applies to this stealthy form of subversion. So no, though I do remain hopeful that at some point a transcendent event might take place, a soft, morally frail society obsessed with pleasure becomes increasingly hard to defend over the long term.
Q. Thanks for your time.
A. It’s been my pleasure.
©2016 PipeLineNews.org LLC, William Mayer. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.