How They Do It (Part 3)

(Part 2 is here, Part 4 is here.)

I came across this in a review by Jerry M. Landay, of David Brock’s book, Blinded by the Right. It summarizes the process of the right-wing “conveyer belt” that I described in today’s previous entry, How It’s Done.

They ape Leninist, Trotskyite, and Maoist tactics to undermine the left. Wealthy patrons of the radical right have copied the architecture of Stalin’s international popular front, creating a constellation of hundreds of activist front-organizations that comprise a network of right-wing activism:

• Well-heeled policy assembly lines like the Heritage Foundation;

• Such comfort zones for scholars and faux scholars as the Claremont Institute;

• Litigation hit-squads such as the Washington Legal Foundation;

• Harriers of mainstream journalism, including bloviator Reed Irvine’s Accuracy in Media;

• And the powerful Federalist Society, the legal think-tank that penetrates the Federal government under Bush and reshapes American law and jurisprudence by suing the life out of it.

Hard-starboard forces importantly exploit the tactics of Antonio Gramsci, founder of the Italian Communist Party. Gramsci preached that a political movement, to prosper, must capture a nation’s culture.

For two decades, the well-meshed power apparatus of the radical right has been doing just that, leaving the enfeebled Left in the dust with its single-issue myopia, dilettanti politics, weak-kneed funders, and a Democratic Party chained by Clinton, Gore, and Lieberman to a paralyzing dependency on corporate handouts. The right has conceived and promoted the policies America argues about, then frames the debate around them. Those doing the job are rep-tied, horn-rimmed members of the massive conservative propaganda machine who operate under the mythic smokescreen they created called the “liberal press.” Conservatives go on to manage the anti-left political dirt that oozes into newspapers and onto television news.

The mode of these squads of self-serving young propagandists is take-no- prisoners polemics – writers, journalists, and lawyers who earn good money and get big foundation grants trashing the left in rightist journals and talk shows, and force-feeding the corrosive content into mainstream media.

If you haven’t read it yet, Blinded By The Right is an important book for understanding what is happening to the country.