Sometimes you rub your eyes in amazement when you take a look at what is happening in Austria. A public prosecutor hangs a caricature in his office that shows the ÖVP leadership with long Pinocchio noses and he is allowed to continue investigating unmolested, although the sparrows are whistling from the roofs that he is a pronounced ÖVP hater. The Rote Volkstheater is performing a play by an unknown Austrian trivial writer in which Andreas Gabalier, Didi Mateschitz, André Heller and Jesus Christ are executed. The good woman would be courageous if she had the Prophet Mohammed killed on stage, but that would be anti-Muslim racism and would result in angry protests. The IGGÖ and the Muslim Youth would not allow such an appropriation of Islam to be seen as satire. The Christian God, on the other hand, can be defiled with impunity. After all, Christians are so demoralized and cornered that they humbly endure the greatest blasphemies.
The outstanding political curiosity of recent times is without a doubt the decision of the Austrian Press Council not to condemn the horrid disparagement of Sebastian Kurz’s partner, who brought the Viennese Bobo paper Falter into circulation. Accordingly, it is now legitimate to strip the wife of the ex-head of government beyond the undershirt and present it naked to a slavering and poison-squirting left-wing mob, which only achieves the highest level of pleasure when they can watch a fellow human being being humiliated.
If you look at the composition of the 1st Senate of the Austrian Press Council, which made this completely desolate decision, you immediately know why it could only have turned out this way and not otherwise. In addition to Ingrid Brodnig, who comes from the left-wing scene, the committee, which is headed by the former Red Minister of Justice Maria Berger, mainly includes media people who belong to the SPÖ or are close to the SPÖ. Out of eleven members of the Senate, only three cannot be assigned to the milieu of the cultural left in a broader sense.
The judiciary, churches, universities, schools, the media, in all these institutions, left-wing worldviews and values dominate today. How could this happen? This is primarily related to a change in strategy that took place in the left in the 1970s with the reception of the writings of the communist theorist Antonio Gramsci. The Young Socialists led by Michael Häupl held symposiums at which international Gramsci experts introduced the audience to his theory of the seizure of power. Gramsci was of the opinion that one can only achieve a long-term, stable position of power if one achieves cultural hegemony in a society and thus a consistently left-wing sovereignty over all areas of life. Short-term political gains in elections are fleeting and pass as quickly as they come. If, on the other hand, one succeeds in sneaking into people’s consciousness and synchronizing the mass that has been atomized “into an individual cloud” and thus transforming it into a class body that thinks and acts as a unit, then it is possible in the course of a protracted “war of position” to seize the power of the to break the bourgeoisie and achieve the total domination of the proletariat and its allied classes.
For Gramsci, the most important factor in the project for the left to take power is the media. They must be largely brought under control through the infiltration of left-wing journalists. Furthermore, anything that influences public opinion, directly or indirectly, can be dealt with using the method of a quiet revolution that takes place behind the actors’ backs. From the libraries, schools and architecture to the layout of the streets and their names, everything has to be brought into line. The wave of street renaming sweeping America and Europe right now is part of the left’s concept of achieving hegemony over all of society’s “ideological structures”. So when the monuments of Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Lueger or Christopher Columbus fall, that is part of the great plan of the struggle for people’s consciousness.
As we can see today, the left’s concept of hegemony has really worked. Left entrants, i.e. people who use the tactic of deliberately penetrating other institutions, organizations and movements, have even gained a foothold in the heart of social-democratic or conservative structures. Today they sit in the Kreisky Forum as well as in the editorial office of the venerable daily newspaper “Die Presse” or the black Viennese Chamber of Commerce and pull the strings there in coordination with like-minded people.
It is interesting to see that the writings of the Italian communist Gramsci are profitable handouts not only for the left but also for the right. As early as 1985, the spokesman for the new right in France, Alain de Benoist, recommended that right-wing activists read Gramsci’s “Prison Notebooks”. From them one could learn how the “cultural revolution from the right” works. Similar to Gramsci, Benoist advocates cultural trench warfare, speaking of metapolitical strategies that create a general societal climate that makes right-wing political discourses “sound truer.” And Benoist is also about preparing for the seizure of political power by influencing cultural fields in the pre-political space – ideologies, myths, religions, theatre, literature, pop culture, youth events.
Cultural hegemony is the prerequisite for left and right totalitarianism to come to power. The climate movement, women’s movement, peace movement, MeToo movement, LGBTQ+ movement, the entire media apparatus and the cultural scene are firmly in the left hand today. It is only a matter of time before the left makes the leap from the backstage of cultural power to the frontstage of political power. The middle-class and right-wing conservatism parties read too little of Gramsci and Alain de Benoist. The left is on the offensive today because 50 years ago it delved into the writings of the great thinker Antonio Gramsci, who had been imprisoned by Mussolini.
By the way, a nice example of how politics without spirit does not work and that power politics without theory can only produce temporary success.