Cultural Revolution - Part II
In the minds of intellectuals, Darwinism gave scientific justification to remove God from our educational system. It also gave way for psychology to enter in and address man’s condition.
In this new society, man would no longer need to concern himself with sin; psychology would become the religion of humanism; and the manner in which society addressed everything would change, from why criminals commit acts of injustice to why some fail in school. Every facet of behavior would be labeled and diagnosed with a therapeutic solution.
Couple Darwinism and humanism with an economic system, and you now have a winning formula for society to be raised up to a utopia, right? Not so fast. There is more to this drama.
Karl Marx And Communism
The economic solution widely embraced today is socialism. However, socialism is not the end goal. To Karl Marx, socialism is that of an economic transition. In other words, socialism is the path toward communism.
Marx attempted to build on Darwin’s theory of evolution. In his famous book, Das Kapital, Marx attempted to apply Darwin’s view of evolutionary struggle in animal life as a universal concept to explain all of life’s disciplines. He taught that “survival of the fittest” also applied to governments. Marx wanted to dedicate Das Kapital to Darwin, who declined his offer.
To Marx, humanity would be free to control its own destiny when socialism replaced capitalism. His views set the stage for many political struggles to follow in the next century.
Nietzsche—God Is Dead
It was only after his death that Friedrich Nietzsche’s sister published her brother’s book, The Will to Power. Nietzsche believed and taught that man would triumph over his own destiny, and that mankind lived in a universe ruled by scientific laws and therefore had no need of the Bible, God, or religion.
Marx and Nietzsche both preached the same thoughts. By the end of the nineteenth century, a chorus of other radical voices in the intellectual community of Europe rose in agreement.
Freud And Psychology
Sigmund Freud is often called the father of modern psychology. He offered some radical new ideas. He taught that man needed to be freed from his religious values and could find within himself all the necessary guidelines to protect and advance society.
It was Freud who would say that belief in God is a mental disorder. He taught that anyone who truly believed in God suffered from a deep-seated mental problem. He fervently tried to disassociate guilt from sin. Freud denied that there was a God anywhere to trouble man’s mind or soul. He further taught that man, his mind, and his own values are the ultimate basis for happiness and success—without the need for divine laws. He believed humans are essentially animals—a view espoused by others of that day, i.e., Wilhelm Wundt, who is credited with establishing the first psychology laboratory in Leipzig, Germany in 1879. This event is widely recognized as the formal establishment of psychology as a science, distinct from biology and philosophy.
The vast impressions made by the preceding on all future influencers of society changed the very dynamics of society—a society that once embraced God and recognized that personal accountability toward God shaped human character.
For example, the original rule of Harvard College in 1636: “Let every Student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the maine end of his life and studies is to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life (John 17:3) and therefore to lay Christ in the bottome, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and Learning.” Harvard’s one-word motto at that time? “Veritas,” which is the Latin word for “truth.”
Many years later, in the nineteenth century, Christopher Langdell, former dean of the Harvard Law School, expanded the radical thinking of Marx and Freud. He taught that evolutionary principles must also be applied to judges’ opinions: the U.S. Constitution is relative, changing, and should be interpreted by judges who could rule that law means whatever the judges want it to mean.
The concept of “the long march through the institutions” explains the Communist theoretician Antonio Gramsci and his cultural revolution. Society must fall under the influence of the progressive forces devoted to transforming a nation. No longer is a war necessary if a generation can be trained to think correctly. Redefine government, family, religion, and so forth, and through this systematic redefinition process of culture, a new political order can arise.
In Italy, where Gramsci was from, Benito Mussolini’s totalitarian formula was, “Everything within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.”
Gramsci would use the strategy of the Fabian socialists, who chose “patient gradualism,” rather than violent insurrection, as the most effective means to collectivize society. He would urge the Marxists to escape from the shackles of economic theory and focus instead on society’s cultural organs: the press and other media, education, entertainment, religion, and the family.
Gramsci advised that for revolutionaries to establish political leadership and hegemony (leadership or dominance), they must not count solely on the power and material force of government; they must change the culture upon which the government was built. Once that is accomplished, the newly developed government will be made up of those who have been indoctrinated to the new culture.
Gradualism has been going on for many decades now. The leaven has permeated all aspects of society. The cultural revolution made significant progress in the 1960s and is now manifesting its new culture on everyone. As we dig deeper into its impact, it will send chills through your body to see how successful they have become; even their effect on the church.