Book Review

Book cover image  

How Intellectual Hucksters Have
Hijacked American Culture

Jack Cashill
Nelson Current / Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2005, 307 pages


I n a world without God," wrote Jean-Paul Sartre, "everything is permissible." To many of today's ``progressives'', to get their increasingly unpopular views across, that often means lying, outright fabrication, and whatever else it takes to promote the cause of bigger government, more state control, and more social engineering. More than anything else, the cultural establishment's frequent disregard for the truth, from Rathergate to the uncountable scandals at the New York Times, explains much of the incredible staying power of the Republicans and neo-conservatives in today's political society.

But God never stays dead. From a need to believe in something the left has created its own quasi-religion, complete with its own mythology, sacred cows, virtual (at least so far) burnings at the stake for heresy, and an overweening sense of self-righteousness. Even lefty icon Michael Moore, famous for his thamnophobic pseudo-documentary, discovered he was not immune from the cultural thought police and was forced to recant for the sacrilege of saying that Mumia, a convicted cop-killer, was "probably guilty."

Cashill takes a non-political point of view and traces the history of fraudulent activity of the self-described progressives, and their causes from Sacco and Vanzetti to Usama. He summarizes the research of a number of anthropologists, scientists, and historians who have analyzed the four main currents (or perhaps "horsemen", to borrow another religious metaphor), of left-wing iconology: radical naturalism, sexual hedonism, Marxism, and multiculturalism.

Hoodwinked tries to do to the cultural establishment what The Black Book of Communism (Score+5) did to Communism: document the facts in plain, unadorned prose. The Black Book of Communism, an important and painstakingly researched book, described in horrifying detail the torture chambers and crimes against humanity committed by the Communists during the 20th century. Its authors, four French ex-communists, estimated that communist regimes directly murdered over 100,000,000 people. Yet while this ideology was committing the worst mass slaughter in history, it was being embraced by Hollywood elites like Lillian Hellman and hundreds of others who railed against anti-communist "hysteria" while publicly lying about their true Communist affiliations and and pro-Stalinist beliefs. New York Times reporters like Walter Duranty and Herbert Matthews used their skills to cover up the crimes of Stalin and Fidel Castro. Today the situation in the liberal arts departments of our universities is just as bad. If you want to know the truth about something, just take the opposite of what is said by college professors like Noam Chomsky, who praised the "constructive accomplishments" of the genocidal Khmer Rouge and blamed American "terroristic" foreign policies for 9/11.

In a chapter that seems oddly out of place, Cashill also tries to link "Darwinism"--a term used mainly by creationists, not biologists--to the Nazis and to progressives, citing some famous early scientific forgeries. Cashill also mentions the "science" of sex researcher Alfred Kinsey, whose research apparently included acts of child molestation committed by someone--either Kinsey himself or one of his employees.

Although the subject of politically-motivated lying is far too vast for such a small book, Cashill also touches on some of the hysteria about chemicals propagated by the popular press about the supposedly deadly Agent Orange and DDT, the Alex Haley Roots plagiarism scandal, the uncountable falsehoods in Michael Moore's movies, and the lunatic ravings of the late Susan Sontag, the skunk lookalike who famously called the white race "the cancer of human history."

For the most part, however, Cashill's many examples barely rise above a collection of rants that leave the reader wondering whether the "hijacking" of American culture is real or whether it has much long-term significance. The ideology that drives it is barely discussed. Cashill also fails to ask any larger questions. Why is the cultural establishment so riddled with people willing to fabricate and plagiarize? What is the effect of racial huckstering on race relations? What drives left-wingers to hate their own country? And what happens to a society when its culture is based so much on lies? What these examples all have in common, as Cashill sees it, is a sort of metamorphosed Marxism infecting our mainstream culture that sees everything in terms of class conflict and, like the Stalinists that inspired it, has as its goal the destruction of the West. They have already succeeded in infecting Western culture with strains of defeatism, racism, cynicism and self-hate. They continue to displace the truth with their own ideologically-inspired mythology. Anyone who respects the truth, regardless of their political viewpoint, should be concerned.

August 21, 2005 Back