By Daniel Greenfield – BarbWire guest contributor
How are wars won?
To win a war you don’t need to kill every soldier on the other side. What you need to do is destroy the other army as an organized force. You destroy the ability of the officers to command and the morale of the men. You destroy their perception of the worth of their side and of their own self-worth.
All wars are culture wars. To win you must destroy the values of the other side. (That is one reason why we’re losing to Islam no matter how many times we beat them on the battlefield.) You must destroy their sense of purpose and the values instilled in them to break them as an organization.
That is what the left has been doing to us.
This culture war we’re in is slow and subtle. It’s not always as loud and as obvious as the counterculture was. The purpose of the counterculture was to shatter the dominant culture. Once that was done, the culture could be slowly cannibalized at will until the counterculture became the culture. And then it was no longer about freedom or free anything, those were the disruptive tools used to drive youth recruitment with a facade of anarchy, and it became about conformity and control. This culture of conformity and control is still being sold as ‘rebellious’ when it’s just the establishment.
We no longer have a culture. We have a counterculture that occasionally masquerades as the culture.
But it’s not over yet. A culture war destroys the culture of the other side because that is the source of its values. To completely destroy the other side, its values must be destroyed as an abstract, its organization must be destroyed to prevent those values from being conveyed and the individual’s own values must be destroyed, in that order.
Destroying the values of every single individual is the most difficult part of this project. Destroying values as an abstract idea is the easiest. That’s why the left has made its greatest gains there.
Abstract ideas can be torn down. It’s not hard. Any college freshman can tear down a set of ideas, honestly or dishonestly. Indeed much of the purpose of modern education is equipping students to destroy the ideas and values of their parents (but obviously not those of their educators). What is difficult is using that to destroy the culture that is based on those ideas.
This is not an intellectual debate. People are defined by their values. They gain strength and identity from those values. To defeat them, you must devalue their sense of self. You must convince them that what they saw as worthwhile is really worthless. That will destroy their resistance and individualism.
The left attacked our culture in order to destroy our communities and then finish us off as individuals.
Americans believe that they are exceptional because their country is exceptional. So the left eagerly swarms to argue that America is not exceptional, except maybe that it’s exceptionally bad.
Americans believe that individuals succeed with hard work. Obama and Elizabeth Warren bray that “You didn’t build that.”
Americans believe in religion and family. The left sets out to destroy them by proving that these institutions are evil and oppressive. Religious leaders are pedophiles. The family is setting for abuse that makes gay people feel bad. When the dust settlers, the only ‘good’ religion and family are the kind defined by the left. Having destroyed the existing system of organization, the left replaces it with its own. That is the ultimate goal of a culture war. Not mere destruction, but absolute power.
The culture war begins by attacking abstract ideas. Then it attacks organizations. Then it attacks people.
By attacking the ideas, it undermines the organizations based on them so that it can seize control of them or destroy them. Once that’s done, it controls a sector of society and begins enforcing its conformity agenda on individuals. Much of that is underway. The war is drilling down to the individual level. We are approaching the tyranny threshold.
At the individual level, the goal of the culture war is to destroy your will to resist them. The left has many tools for doing this.
It will shame you. It will bully you. It will cause you to despair. It will convince you that your cause is hopeless. It will urge you to turn on each other. It will use your children against you. It will show you that what you believe in is a lie. It will make you question your sense of right and wrong.
All of these serve their evil ends.
The most important thing to understand about this phase of the culture war is that the left’s goal is to break you as an individual, to take away your values and to replace them with their own. If it cannot do these things, it will try to destroy you and even use you as a cautionary tale to warn others.
This war may be fought with social media or in classrooms, it may be fought by bureaucrats with pens and by movie stars in front of cameras, but it’s not all that different from a conqueror and his army of brutes riding into a village and enforcing his own rule of law. The forms are different, but the underlying dynamic is the same. We are being conquered. And we continue to resist.
The left is not fighting this as a war of ideas. It attacks the area of least resistance with whatever slogan or argument is most convenient at the time. Don’t debate its ideas. Indict its hypocrisy. It mocks the values of others, but demands that what is sacred to it be off limits. This is a weakness. Don’t defend your own values. Attack its values. You aren’t the establishment. You lost. You’re the rebels. Be rebellious. They are the owners. Wreck what they have made without counting the cost.
The left is not an organic entity. It is a pyramid of organizations and institutions. It needs the support of billion dollar entertainment and media industries. Its community organizers need jobs with six figure salaries. The left is destroying a civilization that it cannot survive without. It is an artificial entity that is weak and vulnerable in ways that the organic systems it has declared war on, such as the family, are not.
The left is not human. It is a system.
It is a system of control. A system of organization. A system of indoctrination. Destroy the system and the left dies. Destroy the flow of wealth and the control of ideas and it withers.
Like every system, the left seeks to control organic human institutions. It fancies itself superior to them when it is actually a parasite living on their backs.
There are only two possible futures. Either the left will destroy itself. Or we will destroy it.
The only question is the human cost of the struggle. We have already gotten a taste of the cost of their tyranny. It will get worse and worse. Ask a citizen of the Soviet Union in 1933. But resistance is not simply about winning fights. It is about the struggle of the mind and the struggle of the soul.
Winning is not always about beating the enemy. Sometimes it is about maintaining who you are despite it. It is about surviving in gulags and concentration camps. It is about passing on your values despite the totalitarian state growing around you.
It is a spiritual resistance. It is a resistance of the mind.
We are reaching the point where the left is running out of Republican “organizations” to fight. There is no conservative organization on a large scale. Only a hollow business party, its crony capitalist attachments and its stunted media. The left will have to fight people if it wants to completely win.
It will have to stamp out all opposition to secure its totalitarian rule. That is what it’s doing now.
Above all else, maintain your own values and your own sense of self-worth in this conflict. The left cannot win until it has destroyed your morale. To win this war, it has to finish the job of breaking the society by destroying any sources of resistance that might coalesce into a new organization.
That is why it was so threatened by the Tea Party. That is why it is so obsessed with destroying and controlling decentralized religious groups. The remnants of the establishment are no threat to it. The Republican Party and mainstream leaders don’t even know there’s a war on. They’ve already lost.
The left has outmaneuvered GOP commanders. They still have plenty of troops, but no initiative. Their command lacks flexibility. They don’t know how to use their forces and they’re still playing by outdated rules of chivalry that the other side does not follow. They’re a 19th century European cavalry formation and the left is the Viet Cong. They have long ceased to be a threat to the left.
What the left is worried about is that some of the remnants of the army that they shattered will gather together into new organizations with new tactics and strike them hard using guerrilla tactics. It’s not afraid of the conservative establishment. It remains worried about a populist right that stops worrying about being nice or following the rules and hits them unpredictably and remorselessly.
It wasn’t afraid of John McCain. It was afraid of Andrew Breitbart.
You are a cultural guerrilla in a war you never chose. You are an anonymous soldier who has been betrayed by his leaders. And you are a much bigger threat than they ever were.
Armies like fighting other armies. Armies are predictable. A Republican Party is a slow-moving elephant. It isn’t a threat. It’s easy to see where it’s going and what it will do. It may win a battle or two, but it can’t go far and it will quickly tire itself out. It has small goals and is satisfied with holding ground. It isn’t interested in conquest.
No one likes fighting guerrillas. They’re hard to find and you can never set aside your worries and enjoy the spoils of victory when they’re around. And the left wants to enjoy its spoils of victory.
To destroy guerrillas, you either have to hunt them all down or destroy their values, the things they value, the hope that moves them forward and the goals they aim to achieve.
The left is good at tearing down a culture. But its swath of destruction creates cultural guerrillas who carry their culture with them. Men and women whose values cannot be broken by pop culture and social media mobs. When those men and women form families and communities, they become the counter-culture. And the final phase of this culture war will be between them and the left.
Either they will win. Or the West will die.
A culture war is a war of values. It is a war of worth. The left seeks to destroy you by degrading the things that you value. It knows that it cannot dominate you as an individual until you abandon your sources of strength. Your weapons are those strengths. Your values are your resistance. Even if you cannot organize, to endure is also an act of resistance. To hold on to your values is a victory.
This culture war we’re in will not be won tomorrow, but it may be lost tomorrow. Cultures have vanished before and been forgotten. The culture that produced the airplane, that stood on the moon, that changed the world, does not deserve be buried under a cringing crawling horde of commissars.
But we do not get what we deserve. We get what we are willing to fight for.
Wars are not always won with bullets. Armies are expensive. Causes take momentum to maintain. Cultures can outlast organizations. And it is an organization that we are at war with.
The left does not have an authentic culture. Its counter-culture culture is a machine of destruction, a clumsily slapped-together assemblage of tools for cracking open, destroying and dominating people. A collection of lies and excuses, smears and bad habits, laced over with cultural appropriation and the fetisihization of the minority ‘Other’ as its sole source of spirituality.
It has no tradition. It has no heritage. It has no culture. It’s a virus, not an organism. It is utterly worthless and, like a virus, will not survive the destruction of its host.
It is our task to outlive it, if we cannot defeat it. It is our job to maintain our culture against its attacks. And it is our mission to expose it for what it is, a phantom made up of a million excuses for power. Its weapon is to destroy everything that gives us a sense of worth because it is a thing of no worth. It has nothing. We have everything. Its activists are a zombie army trying to fill their maws with something by destroying us because they have nothing. And they will always have nothing.
The left isn’t strong. It’s weak. It isn’t moral, it’s completely amoral. It isn’t replacing our culture with something better. It’s replacing it with an engine for destroying our culture. Once that’s done, it will collapse as thoroughly as its regimes always have because they had nothing to keep them going.
It’s not our cure. It’s our disease. It’s not a culture, it’s an anti-culture. It’s not a people, it’s a system. It’s an organization and those can be taken apart.
We are in the same place that the left was a century ago. We lack its organization, but we don’t need its artificial organizations. Our organizations are organic. To win, they have to completely dominate us with their organization. If we can maintain our organic organizations, our families, our communities and our religious and cultural groups, our arts and our skills, then we will have the natural building blocks for a resistance against them. Our lives are a natural resistance.
By being who we are in the face of their oppression, we become cultural guerrillas. Only our ability to maintain our organic organizations will make an ongoing resistance possible.
There is no party. There is no movement. We are all there is. And we had better make the most of it.
Our family is our army. Our religion and our convictions are our organization. Our mind is our weapon. Our battle is keeping these alive. Every battle we win organizes us, radicalizes us and builds us into a movement, a resistance of conviction and an organization of principle.
We are a human movement. Our resistance to the system defines us. Our victory will be a human victory. We will defeat the system by staying human, by keeping our families and our faith.
We will destroy the system by refusing to be controlled by it. We are not planning a revolution. Our lives are the revolution.
Daniel Greenfield is a blogger and columnist born in Israel and living in New York City. He is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and a contributing editor at Family Security Matters. His original biweekly column appears at Front Page Magazine and his blog articles regularly appear at Family Security Matters, the Jewish Press, Times of Israel, Act for America and Right Side News, as well as daily at the Canada Free Press and a number of other outlets. He has a column titled Western Front at Israel National News and his op-eds have also appeared in the New York Sun, the Jewish Press and at FOX Nation.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.