Oct 14, 2012
To many of our readers, what you are about to read will put into words events and actions that you have watched unfold, but may not have connected all the dots to see the larger picture of what has happened—how it was planned and executed.
In a now out-of-print article from the (liberal leaning) American Prospect, picked up by the Yurica Report, uber-conservative Paul Weyrich stunned the religious right by calling for a retreat from temporal concerns. “Conservatives have learned to succeed in politics,” he wrote in an open letter which is no longer available on the Web site www.freecongress.org. “But that did not result in the adoption of our agenda. The reason, I think, is that politics itself has failed. And politics has failed because of the collapse of the culture.” The right no longer had a “moral majority,” he wrote. The solution? “To look at ways to separate ourselves from the institutions that have been captured by the ideology of Political Correctness, or by other enemies of our traditional culture.” In essence, he said, the religious right should espouse cultural and political separatism–by setting up its own schools, television networks, and even courts of law.
The rest of the country breathed a sigh of relief. No more silly Disney boycotts by southern Baptists. No more flaky school-board members pushing creationism. No more Paul Weyrich!
The whew, alas, was premature. It turns out that what Weyrich and his folks really had in mind was less separatism than guerrilla warfare–a “New Traditionalist” movement that, according to its manifesto, written by Weyrich protégé Eric Heubeck and bearing the grandiose title “The Integration of Theory and Practice: A Program for the New Traditionalist Movement,” would seek “to advance a true traditionalist counter-culture based on virtue, excellence, and self-discipline.” The New Traditionalists–who sound a lot like the old traditionalists–will “reject the materialism, hedonism, consumerism, egoism, and the cult of self-actualization which permeate modern life.” Heubeck elaborates:
“We will not try to reform existing institutions. We only intend to weaken them, and eventually destroy them. We will endeavor to knock our opponents off-balance and unsettle them at every opportunity. . . . We will maintain a constant barrage of criticism against the Left. We will attack the very legitimacy of the Left. We will not give them a moment’s rest. We will endeavor to prove that the Left does not deserve to hold sway over the heart and mind of a single American.
And we thought you’d forsaken us.
A Time Magazine article added to this that;
“The Bush administration is apparently quite cozy with Weyrich. Each Wednesday Rove dispatches a top administration official to attend the regular conservative-coalition lunches held at Paul Weyrich’s Free Congress Foundation. When activists call his office with a problem, Rove doesn’t pass them off to an aide. He often responds himself. When Weyrich heard a few weeks ago that Bush’s budget slashed funding for a favorite project called the Police Corps, which gives scholarships and training to police cadets, he complained to the White House. To Weyrich’s surprise, Rove called back. “We’ve taken care of it,” Rove said. “The problem is solved.” Weyrich, who says his memos to the Reagan and Bush Sr. White Houses were rarely read, was impressed. “That,” he gushes, “is what it means to have friends in the White House.”
Heubeck starts by identifying a traditionalist as a culturally conservative person. He does not go on to describe exactly what a culturally conservative person is, but one can infer that he is describing someone who falls into what is generally known as the religious right today, as making this group of people a political force was strongly advocated by Heubeck’s mentor, Paul Weyrich, a man who coined the term, the Moral Majority, and brought quite a few prominent right wing preachers into his movement. Weyrich is infamous for his “goo-goo” speech at a religious conference in 1980, when he identified large numbers of voters as harmful to his goal of dominating American politics.
As a founder of the Moral Majority, Weyrich framed himself as a traditionalist, using religious values as needed, while promoting anti-communism, class hierarchy, man+woman only marriage, states’ rights, and dominionism. He was particularly vehement opposing “left-wing” activities aimed at including diversity and socio-economic progress into politics.
Heubeck saw that the problem with conservatism in America in the year 2001, a scant 11 years ago, was that the conservative movement was not ascendant in America; was not in control of the country and its assets; not in control of its resources; and not in control of its decision-making apparatus. He argued that the dominant political strain was liberal, or representative of the left side of the political continuum. Because Heubeck felt that the political left was in control of the popular culture it had to be illegitimate – it simply was not conservative enough for him or his mentor.
In his essay “The Integration of Theory and Practice: A Program for the New Traditionalist Movement” Heubeck proposes a transition to the new elite domination of society by an understanding of mass psychology, motivation, manipulation of those non-elites (useful idiots in some of the literature of propaganda) into a political force that can move the New Traditionalists into the position of ultimate power in our society. Heubeck lays out a three-step process:
There will be three main stages in the unfolding of this movement. The first stage will be devoted to the development of a highly motivated elite able to coordinate future activities. The second stage will be devoted to the development of institutions designed to make an impact on the wider elite and a relatively small minority of the masses. The third stage will involve changing the overall character of American popular culture.
Heubeck uses war metaphors, and sees the liberal dominant culture as the enemy that must be vanquished:
Our movement will be entirely destructive, and entirely constructive. We will not try to reform the existing institutions. We only intend to weaken them, and eventually destroy them. We will endeavor to knock our opponents off-balance and unsettle them at every opportunity. All of our constructive energies will be dedicated to the creation of our own institutions.
We will maintain a constant barrage of criticism against the Left. We will attack the very legitimacy of the Left. We will not give them a moment’s rest. We will endeavor to prove that the Left does not deserve to hold sway over the heart and mind of a single American. We will offer constant reminders that there is an alternative, there is a better way. When people have had enough of the sickness and decay of today’s American culture, they will be embraced by and welcomed into the New Traditionalist movement. The rejection of the existing society by the people will thus be accomplished by pushing them and pulling them simultaneously.
We will use guerrilla tactics to undermine the legitimacy of the dominant regime. We will take advantage of every available opportunity to spread the idea that there is something fundamentally wrong with the existing state of affairs. For example, we could have every member of the movement put a bumper sticker on his car that says something to the effect of “Public Education is Rotten; Homeschool Your Kids.” This will change nobody’s mind immediately; no one will choose to stop sending his children to public schools immediately after seeing such a bumper sticker; but it will raise awareness and consciousness that there is a problem. Most of all, it will contribute to a vague sense of uneasiness and dissatisfaction with existing society. We need this if we hope to start picking people off and bringing them over to our side. We need to break down before we can build up. We must first clear away the flotsam of a decayed culture.
In terms of our long term prospects, because we will be seen as a purely defensive movement, not interested in imposing our views on anyone, only interested in being left alone, we will surely gain the sympathy of the public. The dominant culture will see its life-force being sapped, and it will grow terrified. It will do whatever it takes to destroy its assailant. This will lead to the perception that the dominant leftist culture is empty, hollow, desperate, and has lost its mandate to rule, because its only basis for authority is coercion, much like the communist East Bloc. Sympathy from the American people will increase as our opponents try to persecute us, which means our strength will increase at an accelerating rate due to more defections–and the enemy will collapse as a result.
The first paragraph quoted immediately above comes from the work of Air Force Colonel John Boyd, who developed the warfare concept of Maneuver Warfare, and among other things, the OODA Loop, (Observe, Orient, Decide and Act), with a return to the Observe position to close the loop. This structure has been used widely in a wide variety of situations around the world including Quality Assurance, where it has been changed to Think, Plan, Do, Adjust, with a return to Think. In all cases, it is a closed loop decision process, with improved results with iteration. Mr. Boyd was an early Chaos Theory advocate with a seminal paper on the topic called Destruction and Creation, which Heubeck parrots “Our movement will be entirely destructive, and entirely constructive.”
Heubeck in that section, declared war on the dominant popular and political culture in America, declared them illegitimate, and proposed a long term strategy to destroy it and replace it with a new culture of his own creation.
OhioDem1 notes own opinion that the movement is built on a foundation of arrogance that treats non-elites, or at least non-New Traditionalist elites as unworthy, as incapable of generating good ideas, unable to perform in leadership roles, and that this disdain is equally reserved for its own “masses” as it is for liberal masses. The movement sees that supporting its elite is far more than attaining the support of the masses, except for the short term support necessary for them to attain their place at the top of the heap of goal-setting structures in government, society and business. They see “non-rational means” as the way to spread their message, to manipulate their masses, particularly through the moving image, with Fox News Channel as its ultimate expression. Here is what Heubeck says on that topic:
We must recognize that literature and philosophy do not appeal to the masses. This is why we must develop ways to spread our philosophy using non-rational means–especially the moving image.
Heubeck then moves on to the topic of building and perpetuating the New Traditionalist Movement, by a concurrent and relentless attack on the existing political and de-legitimization of the existing popular culture and raising a new generation cadre of young adherents through taking over educational institutions, fraternities, creation of right leaning institutes, and getting selected young people, trained to become the next generation vanguard of the movement.
When you read the Heubeck essay, you can feel the attitude expressed by this author. An attitude of superiority, of disdain for non-elites, a willingness to use other people to achieve its means, its willingness to use propaganda and manipulation of public opinion, to destroy good people, to undermine societal structures, tear down institutions, eliminate public education, and always an emphasis that the elite is far more important than any and all who are non elite.
One can look at the Romney-Ryan disdain for the 47 per cent, or the 30 per cent, or the 70 per cent as an expression of their own disdain for the non-elites in America or their constrained society that exists only to further enrich and perpetuate itself. Indeed, the Republican Party Platform seems like a re-hash of the political philosophy of Paul Weyrich as expressed by his disciple, Eric Heubeck.
Heubeck’s own closing thoughts, shows why they have a very long term view that takes setbacks, not as defeats, but as victories by their movement:
Even if We Lose, We Still Win
Even if our views do not become the dominant views in society at any point in the near future, this must not be seen as a defeat. At least we will have offered many Americans another choice, a refuge from the dominant culture, and a way to at least live a reasonably decent and pleasant life in the midst of rampant social corruption. We will provide people with access to the best that civilization has produced–literature, philosophy, and art. We will be a godsend to those who want to raise themselves up, makes themselves more than what they are. Popular culture now acts as a giant narcotic, offering an escape from the difficulty and hard work of realizing our higher selves. Our movement’s intention is to break that addiction for as many individuals as possible. (Does that sound familiar?)
Heubeck has clearly expressed that the right is at war with the left, with the government, with the popular culture, with women, with school children, with Sesame Street, Big Bird, Elmo, PBS, NPR, Iran, Syria, you name it, they are at war with it. That makes the New Traditionalist Movement at war with me as well. I (OhioDem1) recognize what is happening, and I am doing my level best to let all Americans know that the New Traditionalist Movement is at war with them too.
And PLEASE – compare what you read here to the platforms of candidates running in this upcoming election—at all levels. Compare it with each political party’s platform. And use your conclusions to vote intelligently on November 6. By all means do not miss the opportunity to support one vision for America against the other. This election is more than a referendum…
To read Heubeck’s The Integration of Theory and Practice: A Program for the New Traditionalist Movement, please click here.
Credits for this article go to:
OhioDem1 for all that he has contributed to my understanding of Heubeck’s writings, contributed to this article, and for providing the inspiration for getting this article out to our readers. He has an understanding of Heubeck’s treatise that we must convey to all of you, especially in this election year. Mind you, we do not endorse any candidates in the upcoming elections. But we want you to know what you will be voting for if you vote for members of ALEC, members of the Tea parties, and other candidates who espouse the same philosophy that you read here.