(July 3, 2016) A photo, attached to an opinion column dated April 16, 2016 that was published on the website Traditionalright.com, shows Donald Trump standing with an even taller, neatly dressed, unsmiling man with a strangely intense gaze: William S. Lind.
In his column, Lind wrote, “At the beginning of this column you will find a photograph of me giving a copy of The Next Conservatism to presidential candidate Donald Trump”.
Lind’s many accomplishments include pioneering a novel theory of warfare that, he suggests, may have inspired al-Qaeda’s grand global strategy ; promoting a conspiracy theory concerning something called “cultural Marxism” — now globally embraced by racist, neo-Nazi, and nationalist right movements — which helped provoke one of Europe’s worst terrorist attacks in decades ; and publishing a 2014 novel that envisions white Christian militias carrying out the ethnic cleansing of North America and restoring slavery.
In the website photo, Trump is smiling, and, according to Bill Lind, he holds Lind’s 2009 book The Next Conservatism, co-written with his friend and close working colleague the late Paul Weyrich – who is generally credited as one of the top three co-architects of the contemporary American religious right.
The Next Conservatism, reported to have been circulated within the Trump for President team, not only anticipated most of the positions Donald Trump campaigned on – it maps out a bold new path for conservatism that bears uncanny resemblance to Trump’s 2016 election campaign platform.
William Lind is widely acknowledged by relevant scholars as by far the most important promoter of the “cultural Marxism“ conspiracy theory concerning the alleged origin of “political correctness” – a plot Lind alleges was launched, nearly a century ago by Jewish Marxist intellectuals from the “Frankfurt School”, to destroy America and Western Christian civilization.
In 2002 Lind told attendees at a Holocaust denial conference, concerning the architects of the alleged cultural Marxism plot against America, that “These guys were all Jewish”
Lind’s writing on the “cultural Marxism” conspiracy theory helped directly inspire one of Europe’s worst terrorist attacks in decades – the 2011 slaughter of 77, mostly teenagers, and wounding of 319 in Norway. According to the neo-Nazi perpetrator Anders Behring Breivik, he intended his terrorist attack as a “marketing method” to publicize his political manifesto that featured, as it core thesis, the “cultural Marxism” conspiracy theory.
In addition, Lind has suggested that his ideas on non-traditional “Fourth Generation” warfare (4GW) may have helped inspire the grand strategy behind al-Qaeda’s devastating September 11, 2001 attacks on America. “al-Qaeda understands 4GW and is using it,” concurs one relevant military strategy expert.
In 1999 Lind claimed, “The real damage to race relations in the South came not from slavery, but from Reconstruction, which would not have occurred if the South had won [the Civil War]. Then, in 2014, he published a novel (which he had originally written in the 1990s) that outlined a vision for violently restoring the American slavery regime overthrown in the Civil War.
William Lind’s 2014 novel (written under a pen-name) “Victoria – A Novel of 4th Generation War” favorably depicts white Christian militia groups overthrowing the federal government, helping out a resurgent Southern Dixie regime by vaporizing the black insurgent-controlled center of Atlanta with a tactical nuclear weapon, and carrying out the ethnic cleansing of African-Americans (see chapter 27) and other ethnic groups such as Puerto Ricans.
African-American families are driven out of cities into forced sharecropping on white-owned lands in the country. Towards the end of the novel, the protagonists launch a final crusade against Islam.
According to sociologist, retired Senior U.S. Army Analyst, and authority on the Tea Party and the American militia movement Dr. James Scaminaci, William S. Lind has authored the “blueprint for the development of the patriot militia movement” which hopes to one day overthrow federal authority; and in a key 1989 article that may have inspired al-Qaeda, he forecast that “The next real war we fight is likely to be on American soil.”
In his 2009 book The Next Conservatism, William Lind suggests a new mechanism for domestic counterterrorism – by harnessing the manpower of local anti-government militia groups which “might report to county sheriffs”.
Such county sheriff / militia alliances have already begun under the auspices of a national sheriffs group called the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA), and by late 2016 top Trump for President campaign staff and surrogates had established contact with CSPOA leadership.
In the last weeks of the 2016 presidential campaign, an extraordinary pattern emerged that was wholly unnoticed by media or even seasoned watchdog groups tasked with tracking the American far-right – dozens of top Trump campaign advisers and surrogates appeared as guests on a relatively obscure far-right radio show, the Liberty Roundtable.
The Liberty Roundtable radio show frequently features, as a guest, the co-founder and current leader of CSPOA and Liberty Roundtable show host Sam Bushman has himself served on the CSPOA board.
The CSPOA, closely associated with the Christian right, has been advertised by its founder and head Richard Mack as “The Army To Set Our Nation Free” and has promoted anti-Obama “birther” conspiracy theories also promoted by Donald Trump. CSPOA events have featured speakers who advocate for Southern Secession.
The Secret Life of “Political Correctness”
In his campaign speeches, including Trump’s New Hampshire speech following the June 2016 massacre of 49 people at an Orlando, Florida nightclub, Donald Trump has repeatedly attacked “political correctness”.
“I refuse to be politically correct”, Trump told his New Hampshire audience. “I’m so tired of this politically correct crap,” he complained to South Carolina business leaders back in September 2015. “This country, political correctness is killing us,” Trump charged in a February 2016 interview on NBC’s Today show.
Throughout the primary season Donald Trump has attacked “political correctness” so much, it might have raised the question – was he aware of the dark new conspiracy theory association that the term “political correctness” has taken on, over the past decade and a half, for many on the American right ?
If he wasn’t, he probably is now.
Portrait of Donald Trump as a Paleocon
William S. Lind is an influential arch-conservative ideologue of the Paleoconservative right — a tendency that runs from the nativist populism of Pat Buchanan and the “libertarian” Christian Reconstructonism-tinged politics of Ron Paul over to overtly racist, white nationalist, neo-Nazi, and theocratic Christian groups (both in the small but heavily influential Christian Reconstructionism movement but also in some of the more nativist streams of Christian dominionism within the vastly larger charismatic movement.)
Paleoconservatives like Buchanan, Paul, and Lind tend to oppose U.S. interventionism and “nation building” – which they consider to be typically stupid, ineffective, and costly. They view immigration – especially Muslim and Hispanic immigration – as an existential threat which could destroy the nation.
They decry the deindustrialization of America and oppose globalization and neo-Liberal free trade policies. They regard Wall Street’s financial machinations as parasitic and detrimental to the economic well-being of average Americans. And, they are partial to conspiracy theories in which secret elites, typically Jewish, scheme to rule or conquer the world and enslave humanity.
Despite the extremity of his political and social views, Bill Lind could hardly be called a fringe crank.
From the 1980s, Lind was for three decades a major fixture at what some consider to have been the emerging new conservative movement’s most intellectually and ideologically influential think tank, Paul Weyrich’s Free Congress Foundation.
And, Lind has extensive connections in the U.S. military due to his pioneering work as a seminal theorist of something called Fourth Generation Warfare (4GW), a theory of asymmetrical warfare that’s especially attractive to insurgent and terrorist groups, a theory which, he’s suggested, may have given al-Qaeda strategic inspiration prior to 9-11
During their meeting, Lind gave Trump the 2009 book that he co-authored with the late Paul Weyrich, titled The Next Conservatism, which includes extensive discussion of Lind’s “cultural Marxism”/”political correctness” conspiracy theory.
The book also reads as if it had been specifically commissioned as a strategic template for Trump’s presidential campaign :
The Next Conservatism calls for stopping illegal immigration, controlling the U.S.-Mexico border, the ethnic and religious profiling of legal immigrants, making English the official national language (a less noticed Trump suggestion), protective tariffs, rebuilding American industry – to bring back well-paying jobs, investing in infrastructure (such as roads, bridges, and public transit), and pulling back from interventionist American foreign policies.
Did Donald Trump read The Next Conservatism prior to launching his devastatingly effective campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination ?
We’ll probably never know, but Trump could have derived most of his 2016 primary positions from a two-hour session with Lind’s and Weyrich’s book, by simply dog-earing pages and underlining key bits of text with his signature golden Sharpie.
And that would have been quite smart, on Trump’s part, given the importance of who Lind’s co-author was — the late Paul Weyrich, a key movement architect who coached and brokered the entrance of religious right into national politics, a man known for being typically a few years ahead of his time.
William S. Lind has himself noted the close resonance between Donald Trump’s positions and the ideas laid out in The Next Conservatism. After meeting Trump and giving him the book, Lind wrote,
“Trump’s views on avoidable foreign wars, free trade, political correctness and a number of other subjects have much in common with The Next Conservatism. If he reads it, our book might be helpful to him in fleshing out his agenda.”
The book is billed as Paul Weyrich’s “last will and testament”. It was his (and William Lind’s) vision for rebuilding a conservative movement that, near the end of his life, Weyrich thought was running off the rails.
Weyrich, who one longtime observer of the America right has described as “the connective tissue of the modern conservative movement”, played a central role launching much of the movement’s early infrastructure including the Free Congress Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and a succession of conservative evangelical activist groups and coalitions – first Christian Voice (formed from several California anti-gay and anti-pornography groups), then the Moral Majority, then the Christian Coalition.
Weyrich may have been a traditionalist, but he was no classic conservative. In the 1984 book Ominous Politics – The New Conservative Labyrinth, author John Soloma quoted Weyrich as having stated,
“We are no longer working to preserve the status quo. We are radicals, working to overturn the present power structure of this country.” (p.49)
Following his death in December 2008, an LA Times story quoted Weyrich as having declared, on fighting the American culture war,
“It may not be with bullets and . . . rockets and missiles, but it’s a war nonetheless… It is a war of ideology, it’s a war of ideas, and it’s a war about our way of life. And it has to be fought with the same intensity, I think, and dedication as you would fight a shooting war.”
In line with those statements, Weyrich’s Free Congress Foundation promoted a radical, even revolutionary, form of meta-politics intended to shift the underlying culture and which appeared to incorporate William S. Lind’s concepts of Fourth Generation Warfare. In his seminal 1989 Marines Corps Gazette article on 4GW, Lind and his co-authors had predicted that,
“Television news may become a more powerful operational weapon than armored divisions.”
Countless observers have noted the role of Roger Ailes’ Fox Network – as a conduit for right-wing propaganda, for its ability to generate an alternative reality, and for its attacks on the legitimacy of government and other institutions. As such, Fox can be considered an example of Fourth Generation warfare in practice.
But the success of Fox was paved by two prior, related media ventures. The first iteration of the idea, of an explicitly right-leaning media network, was the Coors family-financed, New York City-based Television News, Inc. (TVN), launched in 1973 – an effort that, as Joseph Coors told a Denver, CO paper, was explicitly aimed at countering “liberal-left” network news. It was a short-lived affair that folded in 1975.
But TVN did bring together two rising stars: Roger Ailes, a who during his time as a Nixon Administration media consultant had proposed a White House-run news network, and Paul Weyrich – who would soon begin to launch key infrastructure of the nascent Christian right.
Next came National Empowerment Television (NET) – a more radical affair than the Coors’ TVN. As described in the research paper “THE FREE CONGRESS FOUNDATION’S POLITICAL-MILITARY STRATEGY DOCUMENTS“, by James Scaminaci,
“In 1992, the Free Congress Foundation launched its National Empowerment Television (NET) broadcast to 11 million homes. According to Media Transparency, the NET carried Borderline for “conservative views on immigration policy,” the Cato Forum, “which provides the Cato Institute with an on-going opportunity to promote its beliefs concerning the illegitimacy of taxes and government regulation,” On Target With the National Rifle Association, and other right-wing policy shows.”
The Cato Forum may have been within established boundaries, the NRA show perhaps a bit less so. But Borderline went further. Launched in 1996, Borderline was produced by The Federation For Immigration Reform and featured, according to a report on FAIR from the Southern Poverty Law Center,
“a number of prominent white nationalists, including Sam Francis and Jared Taylor. “Borderline” often advanced ideas popular in white nationalist circles; particularly popular was the idea that immigrants are destroying American culture or displacing Western civilization with degenerate, Third World ways.”
As described in the SPLC report, Borderline shows in 1996 included discussion of the possibility “that if the U.S. loses its white majority, it will be destroyed” by a civil war. Three years before the Borderline show was launched on NET, FAIR founder John Tanton had mused,
“As Whites see their power and control over their lives declining, will they simply go quietly into the night? Or will there be an explosion?”
The NET Borderline show is especially significant because it demonstrates a working relationship between the Free Congress Foundation – a central organizational hub for the Christian right – and a decidedly racist national anti-immigration group prior to when the Free Congress Foundation began its concerted effort, roughly at the beginning of the new millennium, to spread the “cultural Marxism” conspiracy theory that now serves effectively as a coded vehicle for racist sentiment.
The 4GW War on America
The thesis that elements of the American far right, especially on the Christian right, have for decades been both waging (and preparing for) Fourth Generation warfare — to challenge federal and Constitutional authority, reverse gains by the feminist and LGBTQ rights movements, the environmental movement, and other liberal and progressive constituencies, and even one day impose decentralized government based upon biblical law — has been addressed in depth in the writing of Dr. James Scaminaci, a former U.S. Army intelligence analyst who specialized first in the former Soviet Union, then the Middle East, and lastly in the Balkans.
Retired in the U.S, Scaminaci became alarmed in early 2009 when Alan Keyes publicly challenged the legitimacy of Barack Obama’s presidency, on grounds that Obama is allegedly not an American citizen, and raised the possibility that members of the U.S. military might, because of questions concerning Obama’s citizenship, refuse to obey orders from the new president. States Scaminaci,
“I began to investigate the Christian Right. The “birther” claim not only delegitimized President Obama, but called into question the citizenship status of tens of millions of people… as a former military intelligence analyst, I utilized the skills that I had acquired, for example, examining the source of their strategy, their organizations, their networks, and their tactics…
…I began to understand that the Christian Right and its armed wing in the Patriot militia were radical revolutionaries. And, that to me is a key finding that progressives need to consider. The Patriot militia of the 1990s and today is the armed wing of the Christian Right. If you read the literature on the Patriot militia, from scholars and journalists, there is no analysis of the social bases of the militia and there is no analysis of the command-control-communications-intelligence (C3I) structure of the militia. Nowhere does a large armed formation exist that is not under political control and pursuing political goals…
I hope my analysis, while entirely supportive, elevates the strategic warning and gives progressive analysts the perspective to see that the movement is much more unified than previously thought and driven by a Fourth Generation Warfare strategy that comes from the central core of the Christian Right.”
For decades the “central core” – both organizational, ideological, and strategic – of the Christian right has been defined, perhaps more than any two individuals, by Paul Weyrich and William S. Lind.
Weyrich’s lasting influence is clear from the attendance at the Annual Paul Weyrich Awards Dinner, held each year before CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference.
Attending this year were heavyweights such as close Weyrich friend Phyllis Schlaffly, who in the 1970s almost singlehandedly blocked the Equal Rights Amendment, billionaire venture capitalist Foster Friess, Fox News’ Megan Kelly, and Carly Fiorina.
Other friends of Weyrich screened tribute videos to the man who helped launch their movement: John Ashcroft, Newt Gingrich, James Dobson, Reince Priebus, and Jim DeMint, now President of the Heritage Foundation.
From his perch as Director of the Free Congress Foundation’s Center for Cultural Conservatism, William Lind has laid key groundwork that has made Trump’s radically unorthodox presidential bid far easier — notably as the most significant, passionate, eloquent, and dedicated promoter the “cultural Marxism” conspiracy theory that Donald Trump’s constant attacks on “political correctness” invoke (whether Trump means to do so or not.)
However it came about, for the 2009 Lind/Weyrich book with the “cultural Marxism” conspiracy theory to have arrived in Trump’s hands was probably not accidental :
Few observers have noticed his canny targeting and the extent of Trump’s groundwork, research, and outreach prior to his presidential bid — from making charitable donations to influential evangelical right entities such as the Billy Graham Foundation and speaking at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University, to stoking “birther” conspiracy theories that challenged President Obama’s citizenship (which no doubt helped Trump gain entrée to the populist fringe right), to commissioning a team to research popular, conspiracy theory-riddled right-wing Internet sites.
It was the latter effort that might well have led Trump to William S. Lind’s and Paul Weyrich’s conspiracy theory concerning “political correctness” (cultural Marxism), because on many sectors of the far right their theory has become all-but ubiquitous.
“Cultural Marxism” spreads
Since its launch from the Free Congress Foundation, the cultural Marxism conspiracy theory has spread rapidly from the fringes – simultaneously through several vectors including the populist, nativist Paleocon right, the overtly racist right, and through a 1999 open letter to conservatives by Paul Weyrich that was later published in Christianity Today – and towards the conservative mainstream.
The ongoing process was noted over decade ago in a 2003 Southern Poverty Law Center report from journalist and researcher Bill Berkowitz, ‘Cultural Marxism’ Catching On.
By 2000, Reform Party presidential candidate and noted Paleocon Pat Buchanan was attacking “cultural Marxism” in his campaign speeches. Buchanan has become a prominent booster who has seeded the idea in his bestselling books such as his 2002 The Death of The West.
The idea also gained early traction among white supremacists such as former Ku Klux Klan Wizard David Duke.
It was spread on the racist right, most crucially, beginning in the early 2000s when the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens (CoC) produced and distributed a video, titled “Political Correctness: The Frankfurt School Story”, which featured a CoC-scripted commentary tacked onto nearly the entire body of another video on cultural Marxism, featuring William S. Lind, produced by the Free Congress Foundation, with the original title “Political Correctness: The Dirty Little Secret” (later changed to “The History of Political Correctness”.)
(The CoC itself has a notable history in regard to terrorism – its inflammatory racist website material has been credited with having inspired Dylann Roof, suspected of having committed the June 7, 2015 mass execution, during a church prayer service, of nine African-American members of the Charleston, South Carolina Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.)
By 2012, the “cultural Marxism” idea had become firmly established on the hard evangelical right, as demonstrated by the presence of a chapter by William Lind in the book The Culture-Wise Family: Upholding Christian Values in a Mass Media World co-edited by Ted Baehr and Pat Boone, with a forward by Janet Parshall.
Lind’s chapter, titled “Who Stole Our Culture”, begins ominously with, “Sometime during the last half-century, someone stole our culture.” The chapter is thematically extremely close to (and essentially a re-writing of) Lind’s first chapter in the 2004 Free Congress Foundation book Political Correctness: A Short History of an Ideology that was plagiarized in the political manifesto of convicted mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik.
More recently, the “cultural Marxism” conspiracy theory has been promoted in full-length, professionally produced pseudo-documentary videos, and has begun to diffuse into the mainstream right.
Targeting the enemy in warfare
As noted by Berkowitz in his Southern Poverty Law Center report, cultural Marxism built upon previous right wing tropes. Since the early 1990s, “Political correctness” had emerged as a topic for right-wing scorn, and at the 1992 Republican National Convention, in a televised speech, Pat Buchanan had declared,
“There is a religious war going on in our country for the soul of America. It is a cultural war, as critical to the kind of nation we will one day be as was the Cold War itself.”
The “cultural Marxism” theory added a complex and seemingly plausible back-story to emerging right wing narratives concerning that “culture war” and the rise of “political correctness”; the cultural Marxists had, to a shocking extent, taken control of key societal institutions that shape culture, including academia.
In a February 16, 1999 letter sent out to many prominent conservatives and later published (and validated) by Christianity Today, Paul Weyrich declared,
“The ideology of Political Correctness, which openly calls for the destruction of our traditional culture, has so gripped the body politic, has so gripped our institutions, that it is even affecting the Church. It has completely taken over the academic community. It is now pervasive in the entertainment industry, and it threatens to control literally every aspect of our lives.
Cultural Marxism is succeeding in its war against our culture. “
Now deeply embedded in conservative movement culture, the cultural Marxism theory allows those familiar with the concept to very efficiently designate and target a wide range of enemies.
The “cultural Marxists”, the enforcers of “political correctness”, and those who might be unaware of the cultural Marxism plot but who are nonetheless under its evil sway might be Democrats, liberals, or progressives, LGBTQ citizens, feminists, secular humanists or environmentalists. They could be multiculturalists, or citizens of non European-American ethnicity, black nationalists or members of Hispanic organizations. They could be recent legal immigrants or illegal ones.
The list could go on almost endlessly – because of the expansive, totalistic nature of the cultural Marxist conspiracy, no single enemies list could possibly encompass all the various societal groups playing a part, witting or not, in the grand plot.
The National Review validation of the cultural Marxism conspiracy theory is especially striking because of the magazine’s pedigree – it was founded in 1955 by conservative icon William F. Buckley, who worked to redefine and rebrand the conservative movement – especially by purging its cranks.
One was Robert Welch, founder of the nationally influential John Birch Society, who maintained that President Dwight Eisenhower was a secret communist and that the flouridation of water supplies was a communist plot to weaken the minds of Americans (a trope featured in the Stanley Kubrick Cold War-era black comedy film Dr. Strangelove.)
As he described in a 2008 Wall Street Journal retrospective, Buckley led the campaign to marginalize the conspiracy theory-addled Welch.
Since its founding, the National Review has sought (much like Christianity Today has tried to do for the conservative evangelical movement) to invest the conservative movement with a degree of respectability and intellectual rigor.
That Buckley’s magazine itself now promotes conspiratorial ideas such as cultural Marxism – whose style traces back to Welch’s hysterical anti-Communism – is a testament to how sharply American conservatism has lurched in recent decades – away from intellectual sobriety, and towards conspiracy realms in which shadowy forces or evil Jews scheme to rule the world and destroy all that’s good and holy.
Not only did William F. Buckley marginalize Welch, but by one account in Jewish World Review Buckley “cleared the way… for a conservative movement where Jews would be welcomed… in which anti-Semitism was confined to the fever swamps of the far right and far left.”
The National Review has launched a ceaseless fusillade of anti-Trump attacks, and in early 2016 devoted an entire issue to attacking Donald Trump’s presidential bid. But the magazine has also given credence to the cultural Marxism theory that animates pro-Trump support.
Only a few months before, in September 2015, the The National Review published a credulous review of a book predicated on the cultural Marxism conspiracy theory – which identifies Jews, German Jews no less, as arch-enemies dedicated to the destruction of Christianity and the West.
Credible critics have identified Lind’s “cultural Marxism” as an “anti-Semitic conspiracy theory”. Cultural Marxism is, arguably, a modern-day American analog to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion – the famous forgery, by the Russian Tsar’s secret police, that purported to present a secret Jewish plan to conquer the world. Brought back from Russia to Germany by the man who became Hitler’s chief ideologist, Alfred Rosenberg, the Protocols helped inspire the Holocaust.
Cultural Marxism posits a Jewish communist plot to destroy American and Western Christian civilization by attacking America’s traditional culture, especially by flooding the country with waves of immigrants, notably Muslims and Latinos, who will eventually reduce white European-Americans to a minority and destroy the nation’s cultural cohesion so that the United States eventually breaks apart into warring mini-states.
Trumpism, and The Next Conservatism
The cultural Marxism conspiracy theory is woven into the very fabric of The Next Conservatism.
William Lind and Paul Weyrich explicitly identify illegal immigration as an existential threat to America, as Fourth Generation Warfare, orchestrated by the agents of cultural Marxism, to destroy America’s cultural cohesion and eventually shatter the republic:
‘We are being invaded. In a world of Fourth Generation war, invasion by immigrants who do not assimilate is more dangerous than invasion by a foreign army. At some point, a foreign army will go home. But immigrants stay, and unassimilated immigrants provide an ongoing basis for Fourth Generation war here in America.
…The cultural Marxists want open borders because one way to destroy our traditional American culture is to bury it under tens of millions of immigrants from alien cultures. Not only do the cultural Marxists welcome the immigrants, by demanding “multiculturalism” they insure that these immigrants do not assimilate.’ (p. 106, The Next Conservatism)
It is a frame that dehumanizes immigrants; they are not human beings, each with unique circumstances and history but are, rather, soldiers in an army with one purpose – to destroy America.
The Lind and Weyrich book The Next Conservatism explicitly and repeatedly references the cultural Marxism theory that influenced Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik and, very early in the book, explains it in the most dire and cosmic terms:
‘Americans’ most fundamental freedoms, including freedom of speech and freedom of association, are under threat from the ideology most commonly known as “multiculturalism” or “political correctness”. But what really is “PC”? A tour through a bit of esoteric intellectual history reveals its secret: it is cultural Marxism, Marxism translated from economic into cultural terms by a think tank established in 1923 in Frankfurt, Germany, the infamous Institute for Social Research. Cultural Marxism’s goal from the outset has been nothing less than the destruction of Western culture and the Christian religion, goals toward which it has made frightening progress. The next conservatism must arm Americans against this menace with the weapon it fears most: the revelation of its real nature.’ (p.5, ibid.)
Both major U.S. political parties are complicit, for different reasons:
“The Democrats want open borders because most of them are cultural Marxists. The Republicans agree because Wall Street wants cheap labor.” (p.107, ibid.)
The book offers a possible solution to the depicted domestic security threat that’s arguably even worse than the current militarization of America’s police; citizen militia groups, working with county sheriffs, will ensure security and keep the peace:
“the next conservatism should consider reviving an old American tradition: the militia. Because a militia is organized from individual communities, it too, like neighborhood cops, knows what is going on. Also like local police, a militia does not serve Leviathan, a federal government that seeks to snoop endlessly in ordinary citizens’ lives. This militia would be organized by individual states, as they saw a need for it. (It would not be a private militia, which can be dangerous in a world of Fourth Generation war.) It might report to county sheriffs, local, elected officials who possess substantial common law powers. Under no circumstances should it be controlled by or report to Washington.” (pp.104-105, ibid.)
Sex Offenders with Guns and Badges
There already exist, in America today, precedents for such a vision. One is in Maricopa County, Arizona, where County Sheriff Joe Arpaio commands a semi-private army of thousands of deputized volunteers that constitute his “posse”.
In 2012 a local CBS affiiate’s investigation showed that some of Arpaio’s deputees – who “wear uniforms, have badges, drive county vehicles” and even carry guns – also had criminal records that included,
“arrests for assault, drug possession, domestic violence, sex crimes against children, disorderly conduct, impersonating an officer – and the list goes on.”
Another example, from May 2016, is equally menacing. “Latinos and Democrats hide in safe houses as right-wing sheriff uses mob rule to take over Texas town“, read the title of one liberal media account of alleged political repression under the County Sheriff of Edwards County, Texas – a sheriff who belongs to the Christian right, anti-federal sheriffs group the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA).
One leader associated with CSPOA is Larry Pratt, founder and head of Gun Owners of America (GOA). Before founding CSPOA, former County Sheriff Richard Mack served as a lobbyist for Pratt’s organization.
Pratt was profiled in a July 14, 2014 story in Rolling Stone magazine, by journalist Alexander Zaitchik, that noted Pratt’s enthusiasm for the early 1980s efforts of Guatemala’s “Civil Defense Patrols”. Describes Zaitchik,
“It was during his involvement in Central American policy and supporting counterinsurgencies around the world that Pratt made multiple trips to Guatemala to observe rural “Civil Defense Patrols.” Contemporary human rights observers (and two subsequent Truth Commissions) consider them “death squads” for their role in killing and torturing civilians. But Pratt found much to admire. He combined observations from these visits with similarly impressed notes on the Civilian Home Defense Forces, vigilante patrols in Ferdinand Marcos’ Philippines, for a slim book published by the Gun Owners Foundation in 1990, Armed People Victorious. In it, he praises the leadership of Efrain Rios Montt, the country’s military leader during 1982 and 1983 who greatly expanded the civil defense patrols. Twenty years later, Guatemalan judges would find Montt guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity. One Amnesty International Report from Montt’s tenure detailed massacres in 60 Indian villages over a three-month period, leaving more than 2,500 dead. As late as 2001, Pratt was publically praising Montt as a “powerful Christian leader.”
In his final chapter of Armed People Victorious, Pratt enthused,
“The War on Drugs can be won the same way the guerilla insurgencies were pushed back in Guatemala and the Philippines… The history of the United States for years before and after the founding of the Republic was the history of an armed people with functioning militias involved in civil defense… While the United States has forgotten its successes in this area, other countries have rediscovered them. It is time that the United States return to reliance on an armed people. There is no acceptable alternative.”
Pratt’s vision is mirrored in William Lind’s 2014 novel Victoria, in which crime is vanquished when the triumphant white militia groups institute the summary execution of accused criminals. Lind specifically notes that those executed criminals are black.
In a series of columns he wrote in 2005 following a “symposium on modern war” William Lind attended during which participants sought to answer the question, “what might a state armed service designed for 4GW look like”, Lind expanded on the government-backed militia idea that he and Weyrich would later embed in The Next Conservatism:
The militias, perhaps under guidance of county sheriffs, would be government financed and report to national government at some level. Attendees considered Congress, rather than the chief executive, to be the best form of oversight – because an unscrupulous president might abuse such power. Explained Lind, in an August 24, 2005 column (one of 50 Lind columns in this PDF file),
“the militia we are talking about is a public, not a private militia. It is funded by government, and it reports to government (it is adcon to Congress and, unless mobilized, opcon to the county sheriff). Our working group thought it was important to keep the militia away from the federal executive branch as much as possible, because the executive branch will try either to destroy it or to turn it into a tool for Big Brother. But this militia is not just a bunch of guys running around in the woods. It is a state armed service, just like the four we now have — the Army, the Navy, the Marine Corps and the Coast Guard.”
In March 2016, Donald Trump’s son Donald Trump, Jr. made direct contact with one of the leaders of CSPOA, a national organization of potentially renegade U.S. county sheriffs pledged to disregard and even oppose federal laws and authority they deem unconstitutional — which has ties both to militia groups across the nation, other far-right anti-federal national groups such as the Oath Keepers, racist political parties, Southern white nationalist groups, and radical gun owners groups.
Trump the 4GW Street Fighter
While Trump’s various positions track those in Lind’s book with considerable precision, his campaign tactics evoke William Lind’s 4GW, Fourth Generation warfare, tactics as well.
In 2015, Donald Trump entered the Republican primary race as an insurgent, with negligible support from the Republican Party. Elite pundits were nearly unanimous – Trump’s presidential bid was a national joke. One year later no one was laughing.
He gained extensive Internet exposure via big far right Internet venues such as the Drudge Report, and mainstream media dominance by ceaselessly attacking “political correctness” and violating established or unwritten norms of expected presidential behaviors. That, in turn served both to grow Trump’s populist support base and make him ubiquitous on the big TV networks in a way no other candidate was able to match.
And, he engaged in asymmetrical combat by going after his opponent’s weaknesses — and in a wholly unexpected manner that radically violated established Republican etiquette and convention.
The Next Conservatism takes it for granted that big money has almost irreparably corrupted both the Republican and Democratic political parties, and offers some solutions that would appeal widely across the political spectrum.
In a fashion that’s quite counterintuitive, Trump trounced his primary opponents, and gained Republican Party support, in part by attacking both as part of a political system corrupted by big money.
A key part of 4GW strategy involves the need to publicly delegitimize one’s opponents. During the first Republican primary debate, Trump launched a devastating attack on the legitimacy of his Republican opponents by pointing out that as a businessman he had long practiced giving money to politicians, both Democrats and Republicans – including many of Trump’s debate opponents – to buy access and favors.
In a prior interview with the Wall Street Journal, Trump said, of such politicians, “When you give, they do whatever the hell you want them to do.” Asked during the debate about the statement, Trump doubled down with,
“You’d better believe it. If I ask them, if I need them — you know, most of the people on this stage I’ve given to, just so you understand, a lot of money.”
Trump’s Republican primary opponents onstage, prominent current and former governors and sitting U.S. Senators did not dispute that this was how things worked, and did not deny that they were among the politicians whom people like Trump bought and sold. He reiterated the indictment with,
“I was a businessman. I give to everybody. When they call, I give. And you know what? When I need something from them, two years later, three years later, I call them, and they are there for me.”
Trump concluded, “And that’s a broken system.” In one swift and decisive blow, he had reduced his Republican rivals to supplicants – spineless bought-and-paid for minions and courtiers of a corrupt status quo.
On page 29 of The Next Conservatism, Lind and Weyrich are scathing,
‘Truth be told, most Washington Republicans do not hold any core beliefs… Their only goals are to have a successful career as a professional politician and leave Washington rich. These courtiers’ attitude toward the “little people,” those who are not writing them $1,000 checks, is “I’m all right, Jack, I’ve got mine.” ‘
In their book, Lind and Weyrich offer platforms to reform the American political system and reorient the entire conservative movement. But they have trenchant advice for the Democratic Party as well – and Donald Trump could easily have plucked some of those suggestions. Democrats should champion,
“A pro-growth economic policy, but one that focuses on jobs rather than on Wall Street’s profits. The quality of jobs, which means whether they pay enough to raise a family on, should be central. This means the Democratic Party should be the party that works to restore America’s industry and manufacturing. If that brings free trade into question, so be it…” (p. 32, ibid.)
For decades, the Republican Party has been the party of Wall Street, free trade, and unregulated corporate capitalism. There, too, Lind and Weyrich anticipated Trump’s populist positions that have upended party orthodoxy and years of GOP talking points, by asking,
‘Is Globalism something conservatives should welcome, or even accept ? Not unless we wish to see America reduced to a Third World country, we suggest. Conservatives have long recognized the danger of Big Government, but is a “free market” dominated by vast, rootless international corporations truly free ?’ (p.8, ibid.)
That untrammeled capitalism might not be an unmitigated good, or that there might be major domestic areas where government efforts (even costly ones) can increase the public well-being, were – until the coming of Trump – all but banned from Republican discourse. No more.
But there’s a sharp discontinuity between such populist economic critique and the Lind/Weyrich “cultural Marxism” conspiracy theory.
“Political Correctness is cultural Marxism, Marxism translated from economic into cultural terms”, Lind pithily sums up in an op-ed for The American Conservative which takes it for granted that cultural Marxism has all-but conquered a once-free nation. But conquered for what ?
The narrative falls apart when one stops to consider how far untrammeled, globalized corporate capitalism has gone in its ceaseless neo-Liberal quest for the economic domination of markets, and how extreme income inequality driven by that process has become.
If “cultural Marxism” really has all-but conquered America, it seems to have utterly missed the point of what Marxism was all about in the first place – concern over economic exploitation and the attendant human suffering.
Straight white males, under the heel of totalitarian PC
In other significant ways, the Lind/Weyrich book foreshadowed the rise of Trumpism :
With remarkable prescience it forecast Donald Trump’s electoral mobilization of aggrieved white males by painting the great civil rights struggles of the 20th and 21st Centuries – on the part of African-Americans, women, and LGBTQ citizens – as having led to a wretched state of affairs in which heterosexual white males are now being ground under the heel of nearly totalitarian state oppression.
One of the chief ways that “cultural Marxism” subverts American culture, per Lind, is through pushing new norms concerning speech and behavior (especially at America’s institutions of higher learning – where what Lind sees as an increasingly repressive regime of “political correctness” has taken root.)
And on Page 20 of The Next Conservatism, we learn that ‘The ideology commonly known as “Political Correctness” or “multiculturalism” now shapes the action of government in countless ways.’ Spelling out the many ways, the authors continue,
‘Under the rubric of “hate crimes”, it sentences American citizens to additional jail time for political thoughts. As “affirmative action,” it “privileges” Feminist women, blacks and homosexuals over normal white males. In some cases, it requires private businesses to give their employees “sensitivity training,” which means psychologically conditioning them to obey the state ideology, including its demand that everyone express approval of homosexuality. Employees who refuse lose their jobs.’
The many books of William S. Lind
Among his many books, William S, Lind is also co-author and editor of a 2004 book, titled “Political Correctness: A Short History of an Ideology” (commissioned and published by the Free Congress Foundation) which explains that political correctness is really “cultural Marxism”.
That book was plagiarized almost in its entirety in the political manifesto (see pages 11-37, compare to pages 4-51 of Lind book) of neo-Nazi Anders Behring Breivik, who carried out his 2011 Norway massacre with an assault rifle, a pistol, and a truck bomb.
Lind has been by far the most passionate and committed proponent of the conspiracy theory of “cultural Marxism” or “political correctness” which he claims is a vast conspiracy against Western Christian civilization – to destroy America by subverting it from within and destroying its Judeo-Christian culture – that was launched many decades ago by European Jewish communist emigres who had fled Nazi repression and relocated in New York City, at Columbia University.
“These guys were all Jewish”, Lind explained at a Holocaust denial conference in 2002.
Central to the cultural Marxism plot is the promotion of immigration, which will eventually reduce white European-Americans to a minority and destroy America’s ethnic and cultural cohesion. The cult of “political correctness”, enforced by the cultural Marxists, plays a key role in this by giving equal respect to those cultural traditions the immigrants bring with them, and by accepting their refusal to integrate into the majority culture.
As those culturally divisive, centrifugal forces build, eventually the American republic will break apart into warring sub-regions divided along racial, ethnic, and ideological lines.
The possibility of a new American civil war that shatters the nation is addressed in William Lind’s wildly racist, sexist, xenophobic 2014 novel Victoria: A Novel Of Fourth Generation War, which chases Lind’s hatred of cultural Marxism to its bloody, anarchic, logical conclusion.
William S. Lind published “Victoria” in 2014 under the pen-name “Thomas Hobbes”. In a 2009 op-ed at The American Conservative, Lind clarified that he had originally written the novel in the mid-1990s but had failed to find a publisher.
In Victoria, epidemic rates of HIV/AIDS and hyper-inflation precipitate a second civil war, starting in 2020, that shatters the republic and splits America into warring racial and ethnic enclaves.
Lind portrays a victorious white insurgency toppling the federal government then vanquishing – one by one – competing mini-states and movements led by African-Americans, environmentalists, feminists, and other multiculturalist factions that stand in the way of the restoration of white male Christian dominance, then launching a new Christian crusade against Islam.
Lind seems to favor that scenario, and Victoria – A Novel of Fourth Generation Warfare (link to partial text of book) presents tactics that could do the job: false-flag operations, covert alliances with foreign powers, and the nuking of a major southern U.S. city.
Lind’s novel variously depicts African-Americans as disorganized, murderous rapists, as plotters intent on genocide against whites and Asians, and as well-meaning but gullible simpletons. “Good” blacks in the novel are “a faithful people who suffer without complaint”.
Mexicans are depicted as savage Aztecs who are obsessed with obtaining victims for human sacrifice and who plan the Hispanic reconquest of the American Southwest.
The heroes of the novel, depicted as champions of Western Christian civilization are, with the exception of a few token blacks and Hispanics, mainly white European-American. They ethnically cleanse cities of African-American families, forcing them onto rural farms, and ship Puerto Ricans back to Puerto Rico. They institute the mandatory hanging of accused black criminals and drug users.
They carry out a savage massacre of “cultural Marxist” university professors and, to break the tendency’s hold on the “New South”, put down an attempted black multiculturalist revolt against police and authorities by vaporizing the core of Atlanta with a tactical nuclear weapon. They outlaw the practice of Islam and launch a new Christian crusade to conquer the Muslim lands of the Earth.
4GW Inspires al-Qaeda
William Lind is considered by some to be the leading theorist of an unorthodox form of warfare, Fourth Generation Warfare (4GW). Dr. James Scaminaci squarely identifies Lind as the originator of 4GW:
“John Boyd was arguably the greatest strategist produced by the United States, but his long-time friend and colleague, William S. Lind, took Boyd’s seminal ideas on epistemological warfare and combined them with elements of third generation warfare, terrorism, and a few other concepts related to geographical space and a heavy emphasis upon maneuver warfare to produce his own seminal argument for Fourth Generation Warfare.” (from Scaminaci’s academic paper The Christian Reconstructionist Plan For The Patriot Militias, page 2)
4GW is a style of warfare that blurs distinctions between civilians and combatants, in which non-state actors, for example insurgent militias or terrorist groups, can use a spectrum of unorthodox methods – from direct military force applied in unexpected ways to sophisticated public relations techniques – to defeat government forces that are nominally far more powerful and challenge, or even overthrow, centralized government authority and entire nations.
In the 2004 book The Sling and The Stone, 4GW thinker Thomas X. Hammes presents additional insight:
“Fourth-generation Warfare (4GW) uses all available networks–political, economic, social, and military–to convince the enemy’s political decision makers that their strategic goals are either unachievable or too costly for the perceived benefit. It is an evolved form of insurgency… Unlike previous generations of warfare, it does not attempt to win by defeating the enemy’s military forces. Instead, via the networks, it directly attacks the minds of enemy decision makers to destroy the enemy’s political will. Fourth-generation wars are lengthy–measured in decades rather than months or years.” (p. 2)
While Hammes’ description might indicate 4GW warfare tends to be less violent than traditional warfare, al-Qaeda’s apparent application of it, through its devastating September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, suggests otherwise; William Lind appears to concur.
His fictional 2014 novel Victoria, which describes 4GW in practice, suggests that various forms of extreme violence – as manifested in wholesale ethnic cleansing, summary executions, and even the nuclear destruction of a major American city – are acceptable methods in the 4GW strategist’s toolkit.
In one of his military strategy articles, William S. Lind observes (see second paragraph) that during the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001 – in retaliation for al-Qaeda’s terrorist attacks, American troops reportedly found copies of his seminal 1989 Marine Corps Gazette article on Fourth Generation warfare “in the caves at Tora Bora, the al-Qaeda hideout in Afghanistan”.
A reported close aid to Osama bin-Laden even authored an article, for an al-Qaeda publication, that specifically referenced Lind’s article.
In his book The Sling and The Stone – On War In The 21st Century another authority on Fourth Generation Warfare, U.S. Marine Corps Colonel Thomas X. Hammes concurs with Lind’s apparent suggestion – “al-Qaeda understands 4GW and is using it”, writes Hammes on page 204.
In the first of his “On War” series of writings (“On War #1 – Can A Government Wage War Without Popular Support”, January 28, 2003), William Lind explicitly took credit for having inspired al-Qaeda’s 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, writing,
“Who am I? At present, I am a center director at the Free Congress Foundation. But in 1976 I began the debate over maneuver warfare that became a central part of the military reform movement of the 1970s and 1980s. The U.S. Marine Corps finally adopted maneuver warfare as doctrine in the late `80s (I wrote most of their new tactics manual).
In 1989, I began the debate over Fourth Generation warfare—war waged by non-state entities—which is what paid us a visit on September 11, 2001. The article I co-authored then for the Marine Corps Gazette was formally cited last year by al Quaeda, who said, “This is our doctrine.” My Maneuver Warfare Handbook, published in 1985, is now used by military academies all over the world, and I lecture internationally on military strategy, doctrine and tactics.”
( note: Lind’s entire 241-part “On War” series is available in its entirety archived at the website of futurist and consultant to the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff John Robb. For “On War # 1”, see this PDF file )
In his “On War #1”, written immediately before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Lind issued a prescient warning about the likely impact – the inspiration of more Islamic extremism :
“Most importantly, the real threat we face is the Fourth Generation, non-state players such as al Quaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, etc. They can only benefit from an American war against Iraq—regardless of how it turns out. If we win, the state is further discredited in the Islamic world, and more young men give their allegiance to non-state forces.”
Besides possibly having given Osama bin-Laden strategic inspiration for his September 11, 2001 Al Qaeda attack on America – the nation’s worst terrorist attack ever, that leveled Manhattan’s World Trade Center and killed thousands of citizens – Lind’s promotion of the “cultural Marxism” conspiracy theory has demonstrably helped inspire at least one major act of terrorism in Europe.
While many observers have noted that al-Qaeda’s devastating September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks were invaluable towards marketing al-Qaeda as a brand and as a franchise, the idea is not unique to al-Qaeda or Islamic terrorism.
On the same day in 2011 during which he single-handedly blew up and shot to death 77 Norwegian citizens (mostly teenagers) and injured an additional 319 people — with a truck bomb and automatic weapons firing hollow point bullets designed to inflict maximum tissue damage — neo-Nazi terrorist Anders Behring Breivik electronically distributed a 1518 page manifesto titled 2083: A European Declaration of Independence that called for the deportation of Muslims from Europe and identified – as the arch-enemies of Western and Christian civilization – two forces: “cultural Marxism” and Islam.
Anders Breivik, who during a recent court appearance gave a classic, stiff-armed Nazi salute, has explained to press that his terrorist massacre, which Breivik has called a “marketing method”, was meant to publicize his manifesto.
The core thesis of Breivik’s manifesto is William Lind’s “cultural Marxism” conspiracy theory, and the terms “cultural Marxism” or “cultural Marxist” appear over 600 times in the manifesto. Analyst and researcher Chip Berlet explains Breivik’s thesis, from Lind, with the following formula:
“Cultural Marxism=Political Correctness=Multiculturalism=Muslim Immigration=Destruction of Judeo-Christian nations”
Anders Breivik was so gripped by William S. Lind’s “cultural Marxism” conspiracy theory concerning the origin of “political correctness” that Breivik’s manifesto plagiarized, with minor modifications and additions by Breivik, the entire body of William Lind’s 2004 Free Congress Foundation book “Political Correctness:” A Short History of an Ideology.
From pages 11 to 37, Breivik’s manifesto reproduces the core of the Free Congress Foundation book (pages 4-51) edited by William S. Lind – whose introductory chapter by Lind, “What is Political Correctness”, Breivik lifted almost unchanged.
Breivik’s manifesto also borrowed, on page 13, the exact words of William S. Lind from Lind’s introduction to a 1990s twenty-two minute Free Congress Foundation video, on the origins of “political correctness”:
“Just what is “Political Correctness?” Political Correctness is in fact cultural Marxism (Cultural Communism) – Marxism translated from economic into cultural terms.”
That Free Congress Foundation video also featured Laszlo Pasztor, a close working colleague of FCF founder Paul Weyrich. During World War Two, Pasztor was “a liaison between the Hungarian Nazi party and Berlin” and after the war served a five year prison sentence for crimes against humanity.
In 1988 Pasztor was at the center of a national scandal over the involvement of Eastern European emigres who had collaborated with the Nazis, but had been allowed into the U.S. because of their fierce anti-communist beliefs, in the presidential campaign of George H.W. Bush.
The Lind and Weyrich book The Next Conservatism explicitly and repeatedly references the cultural Marxism theory that influenced Anders Breivik and, very early in the book, explains it in the most dire and cosmic terms:
‘Americans’ most fundamental freedoms, including freedom of speech and freedom of association, are under threat from the ideology most commonly known as “multiculturalism” or “political correctness”. But what really is “PC”? A tour through a bit of esoteric intellectual history reveals its secret: it is cultural Marxism, Marxism translated from economic into cultural terms by a think tank established in 1923 in Frankfurt, Germany, the infamous Institute for Social Research. Cultural Marxism’s goal from the outset has been nothing less than the destruction of Western culture and the Christian religion, goals toward which it has made frightening progress. The next conservatism must arm Americans against this menace with the weapon it fears most: the revelation of its real nature.’ (p. 5, The Next Conservatism)
On page 39 following a several page explanation, in detail, of the “cultural Marxism” conspiracy theory, The Next Conservatism refers readers to the URL of a free book on the website of the Free Congress Foundation, “Political Correctness: A Short History of an Ideology” – the very 2004 book plagiarized in Anders Behring Breivik’s political manifesto.
Following Anders Behring Breivik’s 2011 terrorist attack, that 2004 Free Congress Foundation book disappeared from the Free Congress Foundation’s website.