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On the Myth of “Cultural Marxism”

America's cultural elite have been indoctrinated by sinister Marxists operating in academia... Or have they?

America’s cultural elite have been indoctrinated by sinister Marxists operating in academia… Or have they?

**UPDATE 1/14/15: Click here for a clarification and elaboration of the points raised herein**

Across the paleoconservative blogosphere, on every “libertarian” forum and racist webpage, a strange concept is faulted for the turmoil witnessed in North America and Europe today, as well as for the alleged breakdown of Western social mores. ‘Cultural Marxism’ is the name these courageous right-wing dissidents have assigned this corrosive force.

So what exactly is cultural Marxism and how is it that so many ostensibly capitalist societies haven fallen victim to it? The narrative varies depending on the political leaning of the individual disseminating it, but its standard rendition is as follows: a sect of European intellectuals, disillusioned by the failure of orthodox Marxist parties to mobilize the proletariat into conflict with the bourgeoisie, came to the conclusion that the original Marxist formulation was incorrect. Western workers simply possessed too conservative a disposition for communism’s egalitarian rhetoric to appeal to them. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels’s dialectical theory of capitalism’s internal contradictions generating a qualitatively higher mode of production—communism—was flawed. There were ideological obstacles preventing the economic synthesis from being realized. The solution to Marxism’s theoretical errors these thinkers arrived at was to replace class as the locus of struggle with culture.[1] In other words, the traditional Marxist Klassenkampf was to be entirely replaced by a neo-Marxist Kulturkampf.[2] These men, many of whom were psychoanalysts of Jewish descent (a fact of particular interest to fascists), came to be known as the ‘Frankfurt school’ due to their affiliation with the Institute for Social Research at Goethe University, located in Frankfurt, Germany. The subversive ideas this faction of assorted academicians and literati conjured up had a profound effect on Western intellectuals and eventually infected the minds of North America’s and Europe’s cultural elite via university indoctrination, the story goes on, thereby leading to the liberal social movements and various projects of social engineering observed today, e.g., feminism, LGBTQ rights, multiculturalism, and political correctness. To quote the late conservative political commentator Andrew Breitbart:

We can call it cultural Marxism, but at the end of the day, we experience it on a day to day basis. By that I mean, a minute by minute, second by second basis. It’s political correctness and it’s multiculturalism.[3]

But how well does this chilling tale conform to reality? Not very. However, before describing the actual causes of the social maladies certain conservatives impute to ‘cultural Marxism,’ I believe it would be instructive to trace the origins of this conspiracy theory; for, in so doing, we shall discover that it is little more than the latest iteration of the right-wing’s ceaseless Red Scare effort.

Let us begin at the beginning, with Karl Marx himself. Marx’s influential materialist critique of religion and his Jewish heritage caused a great deal of suspicion among the pious gentiles of his age and proved valuable facts for reactionary propagandists to later manipulate for counterrevolutionary purposes. One would think that Marx’s own criticisms of Judaism[4] and occasional regressions into antisemitism[5] would be sufficient enough to inoculate him from being the object of antisemitic conspiracy theories, but, alas, they were not. Indeed, antisemitism was so ubiquitous at the time that even fellow communists found the notion of Marx harboring ill intent for gentile workers, as a consequence of his ancestry, irrepressible. Mikhail Bakunin, for example, felt that Marx’s Jewish lineage was cause to be skeptical of the sincerity of his political philosophy and accounted for Marx’s relatively statist conception of revolution.[6] In the following passage, he even endeavors to draw a link between the Rothschild banking dynasty and Marx:

This whole Jewish world which constitutes a single exploiting sect, a sort of bloodsucker people, a collective parasite, voracious, organised itself, not only across frontiers of states but even across all the differences of political opinion—this world is presently, at least in great part, at the disposal of Marx on the one hand and of the Rothschilds on the other. I know that the Rothschilds, reactionaries as they are and should be, highly appreciate the merits of the communist Marx; and that in his turn the communist Marx feels irresistibly drawn, by instinctive attraction and respectful admiration, to the financial genius of Rothschild. Jewish solidarity, that powerful solidarity that has maintained itself through all history, united them.[7]

Another contemporaneous and influential communist, Eugen Dühring (the target of Engels’s 1878 broadside, Anti-Dühring), considered Marx the “scientific portrait of misery.”[8] Like Bakunin, he suspected Jewish involvement in the labor movement to be motivated by a selfish desire to position themselves as the managerial elite of the emerging cooperative commonwealth:

In that Jewish kingdom which calls itself communist, the members of the chosen people are liable to be in future managers of the common treasuries of the nations and to oversee their gold, their silver and their clothes, as they have done since their first social undertaking in Egypt.[9]

In addition to this theme being perpetuated by antisemitic conservatives and fascists to this very day,[10] Marx has since been accused of everything from being a satanist[11] to an agent of Freemasonry.[12] Generally ignored by those who adhere to the antisemitic view is the fact that Marx’s closest collaborator—without whom Marxism as a distinct school of thought would never have materialized—Friedrich Engels, was a German gentile. On the rare occasions Engels is acknowledged, his role in the development of Marxism is either minimized or he is accused of being a Jew himself (albeit of the crypto variety). Another disregarded fact is that Marx married, and fathered children with, a German gentile—Jenny von Westphalen. Rather perplexing behavior for a supposed ‘Jewish supremacist,’ is it not?

Pushing ahead in history, reactionaries devised several methods to taint communism’s reputation among workers. In Russia, Tsar Nicholas II’s administration found the notorious antisemitic hoax The Protocols of the Meetings of the Learned Elders of Zion to be an especially invaluable document for the task of associating communism with a Jewish plot for world domination. The Nazis later emulated this effective strategy in their propaganda concerning ‘Jewish Bolshevism.’ For instance, in an attempt to posture themselves as the only legitimately socialist party in Germany, the Nazis would often defame their opponents in the German Social Democratic and Communist parties by accusing them of being unwittingly controlled by Jewish plutocrats.[13]

A Nazi election poster from 1932 which reads

A Nazi campaign poster from 1932 which reads: “Marxism is the guardian angel of capitalism. Vote National Socialist.”

The majority of German workers were not persuaded by these vacuous pronouncements, but, unfortunately, enough were that it contributed to the Nazis electoral victory in 1933. The tragedy which followed is unnecessary to detail here, as its history is well known to all.

Unlike its European counterpart, the Red Scare in the United States was not as overtly antisemitic. What was stressed in its stead were communism’s atheistic and anti-patriotic components, as well as its claimed hostility to the family unit. All of these features of the doctrine were obviously exaggerated, in an attempt to frighten religious and/or nationalistic workers, and purposely omitted was the fact that communists have never possessed a unified stance on the national question, the family, or religion. Thus, while communists like Antonio Gramsci opined that monogamy would vanish upon the abolition of capitalism,[14] one can just as soon find Marxist theoreticians like James Connolly arguing that communism will, on the contrary, perfect the institution of monogamous marriage.[15] Likewise, while some communists believed that nations were destined to dissolve following the global ascent of socialism,[16] others held that national identity would be reinforced.[17] With respect to religion, the United States has been home to literally hundreds of religious communities which were internally organized more collectively than any Marxist has ever conceived of.[18] What is more, the vast preponderance of pre-Marxist communists were explicitly influenced by the gospels (e.g., Wilhelm Weitling, Étienne Cabet, and Karl Schapper). As for Marx’s own view on the matter, he was undoubtedly an atheist, but nowhere did he propose that communists eliminate religion by fiat. In fact, his major point of contention with the Young Hegelians concerned their idealistic view that mankind could transcend religious faith without first overcoming the material conditions which gave rise to it, e.g., precarity and privation.[19] To the extent self-identified Marxist parties have attacked religion historically, they acted in defiance of the historical materialism that represents the very core of Marxist sociology.

By the end of the First World War the communist movement in the United States had been virtually obliterated. Leading labor organizers and leftist politicians had been imprisoned or deported on charges of sedition and/or violating the Espionage Act of 1917. American capitalism was soon to enter a period of prolonged economic crisis, however, which precipitated a revival in radicalism. And although New Deal legislation succeeded in significantly curtailing communist activities in the country,[20] the bourgeoisie were well aware of the dangers this newly class conscious proletariat posed. Enter Joseph McCarthy and the second American Red Scare. As always, fear was the strategy. This time the ‘Godless Soviets’ were rapidly developing their economy and nuclear capacity and communist revolutions were igniting throughout the Third World. The United States was quickly becoming encircled by its enemies, secret operatives were subverting our democratic institutions domestically, and our lavish standard of living—never honestly communicated as having been achieved as a consequence of the United States becoming the leading manufacturing base following the Second World War, and secured by one of the most violent labor histories in the developed world—was being threatened by these hostile forces. The ensuing blacklists and mindless jingoism were enough to cause immeasurable harm to American socialism.

Given what a remarkable success these Red Scares were, one cannot help but wonder why contemporary reactionary ideologues have decided that the cultural Marxist myth is necessary today. I suspect the impetus may be that many of them are concerned about the fading memory of past Red Scare campaigns[21] and they are becoming anxious about the growing instability of capitalism itself. The right-wing are also eager to attribute the increasingly vulgar and raunchy elements of our culture to something other than the mode of production they so cherish—lest they alienate their culturally conservative, working class electoral base—and who better to fault than their old foe Marxism?

Let us now return to the Frankfurt school. Was their influence significant enough to lend the cultural Marxist myth a modicum of credibility? Before answering that, it is important to note that what truly inspired figures like Theodor Adorno’s, Walter Benjamin’s, and Herbert Marcuse’s work was not a disillusionment with traditional Marxism’s failure to accurately predict the overthrow capitalism as much as it was an attempt to comprehend why authoritarianism in general, and fascism in particular, succeeded in gaining mass support in 20th century Europe. Their analysis, tainted as it was by fringe psychoanalytic concepts, was faulty, but certainly not baleful. With respect to its influence, it is difficult to gauge. Marcuse enjoyed some popularity for a time, and his writings influenced certain segments of the New Left in the 1960s. Nevertheless, it is doubtful that university professors continue to disseminate theories originating from Frankfurt school intellectuals. In my experience, professors in the humanities tend to be left-of-center social democrats with little interest in subverting the established order, cultural or economic, save for perhaps proposing futile reforms such as a universal basic income. (This is, admittedly, anecdotal, but, to my knowledge, no study exists quantifying the precise degree to which academicians espouse views derived from the Frankfurt school.) Even in the few departments which feature courses specifically in critical theory, the ideas developed by the Frankfurt school are generally regarded as outmoded, at best.

But what of the Kulturkampf? From whence does political correctness and multiculturalism come if not cultural Marxism? Why are television shows and mainstream music so raunchy? The answer to those questions is relatively simple: capitalism. Multiculturalism is the inevitable result of the domestic bourgeoisie demanding a flexible labor market—that is to say, having access to cheap labor imported from the Third World—and political correctness is a necessary condition for capitalism’s ideological self-justification to be adequately internalized by the masses. After all, if individuals continued to be discriminated against on the basis of their race or gender, the proletariat could not easily be deluded into believing that capitalism possesses a meritocratic class structure.[22] My stance on this issue will surely outrage many of my comrades because they are wedded to the erroneous view that capitalism is inherently racist and sexist. Be that as it may, I encourage them to challenge that common misconception by considering the following thought-provoking statement by Noam Chomsky on the subject:

See, capitalism is not fundamentally racist—it can exploit racism for its purposes, but racism isn’t built into it. Capitalism basically wants people to be interchangeable cogs, and differences among them, such as on the basis of race, usually are not functional. I mean, they may be functional for a period, like if you want a super-exploited workforce or something, but those situations are kind of anomalous. Over the long term, you can expect capitalism to be anti-racist—just because it’s anti-human. And race is in fact a human characteristic—there’s no reason why it should be a negative characteristic, but it is a human characteristic. So therefore identifications based on race interfere with the basic ideal that people should be available just as consumers and producers, interchangeable cogs who will purchase all of the junk that’s produced—that’s their ultimate function, and any other properties they might have are kind of irrelevant, and usually a nuisance.[23]

Regarding the abundance of vulgar song lyrics, hypersexualized films and television programs, and YouTube videos of adolescent girls twerking, again, look no further than capitalism. Interestingly, Freudianism does bear some culpability in this development, though definitely not in its quasi-Marxian, Frankfurt school manifestation. No, instead the source can be traced to Sigmund Freud’s nephew, the elitist, so-called “father of public relations,” Edward Bernays. Bernays was hired by several large corporations during his lifetime to consult on ad campaigns, and one of his main contributions was to recommend that these companies appeal to mankind’s baser instincts in order to more effectively instill in the public a desire for their frivolous commodities.[24] His advice resulted in greater sales, and since then sexual themes have become one of the cornerstones of the capitalist marketing effort.[25]

By now Christian fundamentalist readers are likely wondering about what they perceive to be an intensifying assault on religion—perhaps being committed at the behest of cultural Marxist social engineers—but what is, in actuality, nothing more than the state enforcing its Constitutional mandate[26] to maintain secular public institutions. It is true that church membership is declining throughout the Western world, but a more plausible explanation for this phenomenon is what Marx predicted would occur in the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right (1843), i.e., that an increase in material security is the source behind the surge of secularism among the masses.[27] That is not to say that people have become less spiritual in recent decades, though. Belief in some sort of deity remains quite high, and I conjecture that it will remain so for the simple reason that faith in an afterlife (irrational as it is) is an effective means of coping with our awareness of mortality. What people are finished with is the rampant corruption found in religious institutions and authority figures attempting to micromanage their personal lives.

So much for cultural Marxism. But let us, for the sake of argument, suppose that the conspiracy theory is true. How have the Frankfurt school’s nefarious efforts fared? Well, if their goal was to undermine the hegemonic culture in order to usher in an era of communism, as the theory suggests (the ‘Marxist’ element of the myth would not make sense were the goal anything else), then it has been an abject failure. Far from the means of production being collectivized and welfare provisions expanded in tandem with cultural degradation, we have witnessed the exact converse over the last 30 years in Europe and North America. The inspiration for the few progressive movements that manifested in recent years demanding that income inequality be reduced and student debt eliminated (e.g., the Indignados in Spain and Occupy Wall Street in the United States) was the Great Recession—and the attendant austerity measures the state imposed in response. In orthodox Marxist fashion, economics was the catalyst. Hence we are forced to either accept the materialist explanation for ‘political correctness,’ unbridled hedonism, and multiculturalism outlined above; or search for another idealist offender—perhaps Rawlsianism. One’s choice will inevitably depend on their ability (or lack thereof) to think critically.

While it is amusing to ridicule those who adhere to this puerile myth, I implore those on the Left to refrain from trivializing the effects an espousal of the cultural Marxism myth can have as one would UFO, or other inane yet harmless, conspiracy theories. Recall that the Norwegian mass murderer, Anders Behring Breivik, believed that by massacring children at a Labour Party youth camp in 2011 he was preventing a new generation of “cultural Marxists” from undermining the values of his beloved fatherland. Numerous fascist organizations and reactionary militias feel their acts of terrorism are justifiable for similar reasons. It must be emphasized that Marxism is not a doctrine of authoritarian social engineering, but is rather a conceptual framework developed for the purpose of understanding history and political economy, which is additionally committed to realizing an egalitarian society wherein exploitation and oppression have been eliminated from human social relations in a democratic fashion. Furthermore, we must be clear that when we discuss issues such as what family life or nationality may be like after capitalism, we are merely speculating on the manner by which behavior might alter as a result of the substructure of society being transformed. Marxists are most decidedly not drawing blueprints for how governments should coercively mold their citizenry.

[1] The patently un-Marxist lapse into idealism this entails never phases the purveyors of the conspiracy theory.
[2] Exponents of this legend frequently cite Antonio Gramsci as the progenitor of the Frankfurt school’s revisionism, but their only basis for the claim is a quote misattributed to Gramsci wherein he speaks of a “long march through the institutions of civil society” undertaken to subvert the status quo and therewith achieve communism.
[3] 18 December 2009, Hannity, New York City: Fox News Channel.
[4] In “On the Jewish Question” (1844) Marx infamously described Judaism as a religion of “Practical needs, egoism. . . . [and] huckstering.” Its secular God was but “money,” thus by transcending capitalism humanity would simultaneously be emancipating itself from Judaism.
[5] Though generally dismissive of racial theories of behavior, Marx often wrote of Jewish physical and psychological characteristics in unflattering terms. A striking example of this is found in his article, “The Russian Loan” (New York Tribune, January 4, 1856) in Eleanor Marx Aveling (ed.), The Eastern Question: A Reprint of Letters Written 1853-1856 Dealing with the Events of the Crimean War (London: Swan Sonnenschein & Co., 1897), wherein he writes: “Thus we find every tyrant backed by a Jew, as is every Pope by a Jesuit. In truth, the cravings of oppressors would be hopeless, and the practicability of war out of the question, if there were not an army of Jesuits to smother thought and a handful of Jews to ransack pockets. . . . The Hopes lend only the prestige of their name; the real work is done by Jews, and can only be done by them, as they monopolize the machinery of the loan-mongering mysteries by concentrating their energies upon the barter-trade in securities, and the changing of money and negotiating of bills in a great measure arising therefrom. . . . Here and there and everywhere that a little capital courts investment, there is ever one of these little Jews ready to make a little suggestion or place a little bit of a loan. The smartest highwayman in the Abruzzi is not better posted up about the locale of the hard cash in a traveler’s valise or pocket than those Jews about any loose capital in the hands of a trader. . . . Thus do these loans, which are a curse to the people, a ruin to the holders, and a danger to the Governments, become a blessing to the houses of the children of Judah. This Jew organization of loan-mongers is as dangerous to the people as the aristocratic organization of landowners.”
[6] Julius Carlebach, Karl Marx and the Radical Critique of Judaism (London: Routledge, 1978), p. 312.
[7] Bakunin quoted in Hal Draper, Karl Marx’s Theory of Revolution, Vol. IV: Critique of Other Socialisms (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1989), p. 296.
[8] Dühring quoted in Rolf Hosfeld, Karl Marx: An Intellectual Biography (Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2013), p. 162.
[9] Dühring quoted in Shmuel Ettinger, “The Origins of Modern Anti-Semitism,” in Michael R. Marrus (ed.), The Nazi Holocaust, Part 2: The Origins of the Holocaust (Munich: K. G. Saur Verlag, 1989), p. 226.
[10] David Duke’s Jewish Supremacism: My Awakening to the Jewish Question (Mandeville: Free Speech Press, 2003), for example, devotes a considerable amount of space to promulgating this asinine myth by way of quotes taken out of context, dubious source material, guilt by association, and blatant fabrications.
[11] Such is the thesis of Richard Wurmbrand’s transparently absurd book Was Karl Marx a Satanist? (Darby: Diane Publishing Company, 1976).
[12] On p. 20, fn 10 of So, You Wish to Learn All About Economics?: A Text on Elementary Mathematical Economics (New York: New Benjamin Franklin House Publishing Company, 1984), prominent cult leader Lyndon Larouche concocts a narrative wherein both Marx’s and Engels’s work was funded and orchestrated by the villainous Freemason Lord Palmerston.
[13] An early example of this can be observed in the founder of the German Workers’ Party (later renamed the National Socialist German Workers’ Party), Anton Drexler’s, autobiography My Political Awakening: From the Journal of a German Socialist Worker (Fairbury: Third Reich Books, 2010)—which Adolf Hitler cited as his chief motivation for joining the party in 1921. On page 51, Drexler criticizes the Social Democrats’ administration of the German economy by highlighting their failure to address the problem of finance capital. He proceeds to suggest it was because the party was controlled by Jews: “Amidst all the shouting ‘Down with capitalism,’ not a single black curly hair of stock market and loan capital has been harmed. Should one not come up with the idea that the curly-haired and their ‘German’ helpers meant by the slogan: ‘Down with the capitalism!,’ namely the German, English, Russian, French, American, and Italian capitalism and up with international Jewish capitalism?” Ironically, the Social Democrats had in fact nationalized several banks during their tenure in government which the Nazis later privatized—see Germà Bel, “Against the Mainstream: Nazi Privatization in 1930s Germany,” The Economic History Review, Vol. 62, No. 1, pp. 34-55 (2010).
[14] Gramsci’s economistic interpretation of sexual relations is most clearly articulated in the following passage, in which he reduces the practice of monogamy to its being of utility in the task workplace discipline under capitalism: “It seems clear that the new industrialism wants monogamy: it wants the man as worker not to squander his nervous energies in the disorderly and stimulating pursuit of occasional sexual satisfaction. The employee who goes to work after a night of ‘excess’ is no good for work. The exaltation of passion cannot be reconciled with the timed movements of productive motions connected with the most perfected automatism.” Gramsci quoted in Michael Ekers, “Gramsci and the Erotics of Labor: More Notes on ‘The Sexual Question,’” in Ekers, Hart, Kipfer, and Loftus (eds.), Gramsci: Space, Nature, Politics (Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., 2013), p. 222.
[15] See Austen Morgan’s James Connolly: A Political Biography (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1988), pp. 55-56.
[16] Such was Rosa Luxemburg’s position. See Horace B. Davis (ed.), The National Question: Selected Writings by Rosa Luxemburg (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1976).
[17] The nationalist Marxist theorist Otto Bauer went so far as to hypothesize that “socialism will make the nation autonomous, will make its destiny a product of the nation’s conscious will, will result in an increasing differentiation between the nations of the socialist society, a clearer expression of their specificities, a clearer distinction between their respective characters. . . . Drawing the people as a whole into the national community of culture, achieving full self-determination by the nation, growing intellectual differentiation between the nations—this is what socialism means. The community of culture encompassing all members of the people, as it existed in the time of the communism of the clans, will be brought to life again by the communism of the great nations following the end of centuries of class division, the division between the members and the mere tenants of the nation.” The Question of Nationalities and Social Democracy (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2000), pp. 96, 98.
[18] Charles Nordhoff’s The Communistic Societies of the United States; From Personal Visit and Observation (New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1875) is a fascinating empirical study of many of those early American religious communes. [19] David Schweickart comments on the inaccurate characterization of Marx as an idealistic atheist in “But What is Your Alternative?: Reflections on Having a ‘Plan’” in Schmitt and Anton (ed.) Taking Socialism Seriously (Plymouth: Lexington Books, 2012).
[20] In Nothing to Fear: FDR’s Inner Circle and the Hundred Days that Created Modern America (New York: Penguin Books, 2010), Adam Cohen documents the profound extent to which the depression radicalized ordinary American workers and the role the New Deal played in extinguishing those sentiments.
[21] One cause for alarm is a recent survey that found that Americans aged 18-29 have a more favorable reaction to the term “socialism” than they do to “capitalism” by a margin of 49 to 43 percent. Pew Research Center for the People and the Press (2010, May 4), “‘Socialism’ Not So Negative, ‘Capitalism’ Not So Positive: A Political Rhetoric Test.” Retrieved February 2, 2014, from
[22] Walter Benn Michaels does a superb job documenting this development in capitalism in The Trouble with Diversity: How We Learned to Love Identity and Ignore Inequality (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2006).
[23] John Schoeffel (ed.), Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky (New York: The New Press, 2002), p. 176.
[24] Frederick F. Wherry, The Culture of Markets (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2012), pp. 31-32.
[25] To see the deleterious effects this has had on children, I recommend viewing the 2008 Media Education Foundation documentary film Consuming Kids: The Commercialization of Childhood. Online:
[26] The First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States is unambiguous: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”
[27] Rates of participation in organized religion being the highest in economically deprived American communities, e.g., the Southeastern region and African American neighborhoods, supports Marx’s hypothesis.

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57 thoughts on “On the Myth of “Cultural Marxism”

  1. great effort and realistic.

      • Hi Michael,

        Out of frustration in not being able to find credible information on Cultural Marxism, and in my 3rd attempt, I found your blog. I’m impressed and I’d like to
        thank you for the time and effort in sharing your insightful thoughts. As I was reading it, I kept highlighting in my mind many segments that you said that resonates with my own understanding of Marx via Dr. Erich Fromm; perhaps you’ve heard of him.

        In one of your replies to one of your critics, you said

        “I argue that the conspiracy theory is an ideological device conservatives constructed in order to absolve capitalism of responsibility in generating the cultural transformations witnessed in recent decades”

        This observation alone speaks volumes. I’m with the understanding that the reason why many people believe cultural marxism is real instead of what it actually is, an il conceived conspiracy theory, is because they have no regard for seeking the truth directly. They have instead digested a false narrative which prevents them from acknowledging even a modicum of doubt- much less that they are mistaken. What makes matter worse is that, when we hold dear to our unexamined version of political reality, it brings the evolution of humanity to a snail’s pace. Ideas, whether political, religious or cultural, act like viruses for the mind hence we act accordingly oblivious of the degree in which it impairs our ability to think critically and deeply.

        Anyway, aside from the above and out of curiosity, the photo you provided for your profile….is that you? I’d say you are in your young 20’s. Do you teach? I ask becuase your writing and what you write about is quite impressive.

  2. Have you ever read anything on this topic? Gottfrieds “The Strange Death of Marxism” might be a good place to start, in case you really care, and aren’t just making shit up. You are confusing Breivik and random internet postings with relevant scholarship.

    • No, hootboot. I obviously haven’t read anything about the subject and just decided to write a blog post about it for shits and giggles…

      Gottfried’s analysis is more nuanced and sophisticated than that observed from other right-wing commentators, and he has the added benefit of having personally known figures like Marcuse, but the dimensions of his version of the theory aren’t much different from what one encounters on lowbrow internet forums. For example, he still subscribes to the ludicrously idealistic view that Frankfurt school-inspired social critics have attained positions of authority throughout North America and Europe and are imposing their multicultural agenda on those populations via state coercion, therewith transforming Western civilization as we know it. My argument is simply that, to the extent this is even occurring (or has occurred), it’s because those particular programs are of utility to the process of capital accumulation—were they anything but, they would not be tolerated for long. To quote Engels, “the ultimately determining element in history is the production and reproduction of real life.” That isn’t to say that other factors (biological, cultural, etc.) fail to exert their own influence upon the course of human affairs, but they are subordinated to the material. In other words, capitalism cannot and will not abide cultural practices which undermine the stability of the system. On the contrary, the bourgeoisie will design and implement policies which socially engineer the masses in a manner conducive to the maintenance of class privilege.

      • Simon Elliot on said:

        Seems to me that, as detailed and long winded as your article was, you’re just engaging in pedantic semantic hair-splitting. Cultural Marxism, or whatever you want to call it, does exist as a phenomenon. Marxist ideology, or more specifically leftist ideology, has found fertile new territory, and economics have little to do with it anymore. Did it not occur to you that the term Marxism is used interchangeably with “leftism” by those of us on the right? For us it’s just another head of the hydra of the left. You cannot hope to obfuscate the issue by way of word play.

      • Yours is a failure of comprehension, Simon. In addition to contending that cultural “Marxism” doesn’t accurately reflect the views held by Marx and Engels, I argue that the conspiracy theory is an ideological device conservatives constructed in order to absolve capitalism of responsibility in generating the cultural transformations witnessed in recent decades. Some of them engage in this activity for purposes of self-deception, while others do it to prevent radicalism from gaining traction among wider sections of the working class.

        You’ve also not presented a compelling reason why my hypothesis (i.e., that capitalism is the actual source of the phenomena conservatives claim to find objectionable) is less convincing than the narrative contained in the cultural “Marxist” myth.

      • Simon Elliot on said:

        It has virtually nothing to do with Marx anymore, certainly not in economic terms. An extremely detailed account of the “conspiracy” can be found in Kevin MacDonald’s “Culture of Critique” book trilogy. If you truly want answers, they are to be found in those pages.
        Last time I looked there was a comment posted here which shot you down quite well, but it seems someone has deleted it…

        You can address your concerns to Gottfried himself if you really believe you’re on to something. His email is available online.

      • Marxism cannot exist absent economics, that’s the point. Marx and Engels’s philosophical, sociological, and naturalistic writings, as well as their contributions to socialist theory, were peripheral to their economic analysis. Hence to claim cultural “Marxism” is merely Marxism transposed to the realm of culture is a daft proposition. One can scarcely imagine what that would even entail—the most coherent thing I can conceive of coming out of such an enterprise would be a bizarre sort of Hegelian idealism. Nevertheless, abandoning economic and class analysis in favor of kulturkritik represents a departure from, not an evolution or application of, Marxism.

        I read Kevin MacDonald’s work when I was a teenager and was naive enough to believe evolutionary psychology was a credible scientific paradigm, and his version of the conspiracy theory is even more absurd than Lind’s. MacDonald basically concocted his own theory of Jewish supremacism wherein Jews are alleged to be disproportionately involved subversive political and cultural movements because they (consciously and/or unconsciously) seek to undermine their host populations in order to obtain racial hegemony. His theoretical grounding for this is group selection, but the ability of Jews to assimilate into non-Jewish cultures casts doubt upon the weight MacDonald places on their group identity. What’s more, there is no general consensus among evolutionary biologists regarding which level of selection the field should subscribe to or even what the psychological implications would be for any one of them. It’s mere speculation at this point, thereby rendering MacDonald’s extrapolation completely unjustifiable. What’s more, there are cultural and material factors which better explain the phenomena MacDonald examines.

        Turning to MacDonald’s political claims, they are transparently preposterous. Communism, anarchism, and socialism are products of the European gentile mind, as the ancestry of the pioneers of those movements attests. François-Noël Babeuf, Henri de Saint-Simon, Charles Fourier, Robert Owen, Wilhelm Weitling, Charles Hall, William Thompson, Thomas Hodgskin, and Pierre-Joseph Proudhon were the first men to provide philosophical clarity to the doctrines of communism and anarchism and none of them were of Jewish descent—in fact, many of them were antisemitic. (Even Karl Marx was prone to antisemitic outbursts despite being an ethnic Jew himself, as I mention in the blog post.) That Jews eventually became disproportionately involved in these movements in certain countries is unsurprising, given the state orchestrated persecution they regularly endured. An additional cause is that Jews, unlike Christians, don’t believe emancipation can only be achieved in the afterlife, so they lacked a crucial ideological barrier to becoming involved in transformative movements which many gentiles had. The fact these movements were egalitarian also undermines MacDonald’s thesis, for what evolutionary benefit would be conferred onto Jews over gentiles if resources were allocated equally and social classes were eliminated? Moreover, the radical movements of the 20th century, which the Jews MacDonald loathes were involved in, were often hostile to the very notion of a Jewish nationality, further undermining his thesis. The Bolsheviks certainly dismissed any such nationality, and even nationalistic Marxists like Otto Bauer (who was an ethnic, albeit secular, Jew) claimed that the Jewish people were destined to become fully assimilated into European culture.

        MacDonald and his reactionary colleagues (e.g., David Duke) frequently cite Jewish involvement in immigration reform as a basis for accusing Jews of pursuing an anti-European agenda, yet one can easily find instances of prominent Jewish-Americans, such as the labor leader Samuel Gompers and the Marxist politician Victor Berger, on the forefront of the opposition to liberalized immigration. Like conventional Marxists, more sophisticated fascists avoid the obvious shortcomings of MacDonald’s idealistic, conspiratorial theory of immigration by conceding that there is an economic cause for the immigration policy practiced in North America and Europe. Alain de Benoist, for example, has written “Whoever criticizes immigration, while remaining silent about capitalism, should [shut up].” To their (limited) credit, these fascists understand that the cultural “Marxist” myth, at least in this context, merely conceals the true, material impetus behind immigration.

        With respect to your insinuation that I deleted a comment which ‘shot down’ my post, I’m afraid you’re mistaken. I’ve deleted no comment, nor would I. Perhaps you’re confusing my comment section with that of Attack the System, which re-blogged my post some months back. And if you really think Todd Lewis, in any way, shape, or form, refuted my essay, you’re just as delusional as he is.

        I’ll forgo e-mailing Paul Gottfried, as I’m not interested in discussing this subject with yet another conspiracy theorist with an ideological axe to grind. Thanks, though.

      • Simon Elliot on said:

        How do you explain the reaction of Jews to MacDonald’s work, then? Although most of them do crucify him for being “Semitically incorrect” as it were, some others have been bold enough to praise his work for its accuracy in describing the Jewish mindset, grievance politics, and cultural history.
        A good book to accompany MacDonald’s work would be “The Jewish Century” by Yuri Slezkine, which has also received much praise from the Jewish community for its accuracy.

      • How do I explain the fact a few Jews ‘praised’ MacDonald’s work? By reminding you that Jews can be just as mistaken as antisemitic gentiles when evaluating their own history and culture. Surely you realize that their ancestry alone is an insufficient basis for accepting their comments.

        I’ll read Slezkine’s book when time permits.

      • Simon Elliot on said:

        It would be a bold claim indeed to suggest that Gottfried, who is Jewish, knows nothing about the culture and attitudes of his own people. Perhaps you should read his book again, because he does touch on some of the things you talk about here.

        I hope you do find the time to read Slezkine’s book. It’s a real page turner.

      • Just wondering, if :“the ultimately determining element in history is the production and reproduction of real life.” According to DiMat, then by all means, it must be quite clear that Marxists, are against abortion, since it is detrimental in the destruction of capital and the future of society, thus the promotion of abortion is completely alien to the Marxist DiMat. This also serves as an argument about the absurdity of the term “Cultural Marxism”

  3. Pingback: On the Myth of “Cultural Marxism” « Attack the System

  4. Postmodernism resulted from the shift from farm and factory jobs to office jobs and the “information economy”, all of which required high levels of college degree attainment, and so the university was corporatized and made into a multiheaded Frankenstein with its liberal and postmodern heads snarling at each other in disdain and with loathing. Diversity mantras and feminism were the conveyor belts of political correctness. At the end of the conveyor belt is a drop into an abyss of meaninglessness and hipness that puts capitalism’s greed and hunger for power on steroids.

    Thus, Ken Wilber’s “Mean Green Meme” critique of postmodernism being a “tag team from hell: narcissism and nihilism”.

    And Habermas’ “colonization of lifeworld by systems”.

  5. Someone on the Rationalwiki page for Cultural Marxism linked to your, Gary North’s and my coauthor’s posts on this topic. I believe this is where Simon came from, who now seems to be a mutual friend of ours.

    Anyway, I just thought I’d let you know in case you got an influx of visitors recently. I greatly enjoyed your post and the comments thereafter. Your statement about “cultural Marxism” only being conceivable as a Hegelian idealism was spot on. Thank you for contributing to the dismissal of this nonsense.

    • Simon Elliot on said:

      I’m investing myself long term in the herculean effort we’re all building up against the leftist orthodoxy in academia. RationalWiki is itself a leftist site, so it doesn’t surprise me if you people have connections to it.

      You can attack the semantics all you want, doesn’t have any impact at all, because the phenomenon we’re describing, the basic entity, evidently does exist. God knows it’s bullied enough people and ruined enough careers. It wasn’t “nonsense” that bullied James Watson from his privileged position and tarred his reputation.

      We’re entering an era in genetic research which will be analogous to the Copernican revolution, and the ideologues of the left will finally be put on trial for a century of deceit.

      • Simon, the term ‘leftism’ is so vague as to be meaningless at this point in time. What ideas, specifically, are you and your cohorts desperately attempting to invalidate in academia?

        As I said earlier in our discussion, it’s clear that the facets of modern society you and your fellow conservatives find so disagreeable are but the epiphenomena of capital, and it’s your utter unwillingness to engage in materialist analysis which explains why you’re prepared to entertain the most asinine idealist theories to make sense of it all. You can eject every moderately left-wing figure from the academy, but it won’t magically result in American culture returning to the mores which typified life in, say, the 1950s.

        The James Watson affair was undoubtedly lamentable. Any and all attempts to censor speech should be opposed, and I’m of the view that those who took offense to Watson’s remarks should have responded to them in a civil manner, using reason and evidence alone. It would be misleading to cite left-liberals as the only opponents to free speech, though. Conservatives also have a rather extensive, ignoble history of silencing dissident opinions.

        You’re quite right that the field of genetics and, by extension, evolutionary biology, is on the verge of a revolution of Copernican proportions. But far from affirming the assumptions of genetic reductionists, evolutionary psychologists, and assorted scientific racists, it is instead substantiating the paradigm dialectical biologists pioneered nearly a century ago. Epigenetics, symbiogenesis, and the discovery of Lamarckian retrogenes, when taken together, not only undermine the narrative favored by genetic reductionists, but have the potential to render the entire neo-Darwinian modern evolutionary synthesis outmoded. As with the class struggle, conservatives are on the wrong side of history in terms of modern science as well.

        Just out of curiosity, what deceit do you fault the left for propagating in the sciences, anyway?

      • I gotta say, your ‘holier than thou’ stance of noble cause, courage and strength gave me a good laugh. Your anti-leftist sentiments are almost as good, but you fall short. I have “connections” with people and groups of all political ideologies. That’s the consequences of disengaging one’s self from party politics — you broaden your network. You might try to invest your time in doing such some time. Nonetheless I can’t help or control who links to my blog.

        I hope you know that “semantics” refer to the different interpretations one can have of the same word or phrase. Nick and I did not deal in semantics; instead, we used the definitions provided to us by the individuals who use the term. That’s directly getting to the core of the problem, which is how your ilk define “cultural Marxism.” Quote from Destroy Cultural Marxism:

        “Unlike traditional Marxism that focuses on economics, Cultural Marxism focuses on culture and maintains that all human behavior is a result of culture (not heredity / race) and thus malleable.”

        To say, then, that this makes no sense according to Marxist dialectics is not a matter of semantics, but of academic engagement. Both culture and economics have their place in Marxist theory — you don’t just focus on one or the other. Likewise, as Nick pointed out, dialectic materialism concedes that thoughts have no true consequences. Thoughts (i.e. the superstructure) are a consequence of the base, and serve to uphold it. Again, these aren’t semantics. There are no differing interpretations here. The issue is whether or not you’re willing to admit that you’re wrong. If it doesn’t make sense, it doesn’t exist.

        “We’re entering an era in genetic research which will be analogous to the Copernican revolution […]”

        Oh, yes we are, but it’s not what you’re expecting.

        “[…] and the ideologues of the left will finally be put on trial for a century of deceit.”

        Tribunals, right?

      • Autistic Cracker on said:

        “As with the class struggle, conservatives are on THE WRONG SIDE OF HISTORY in terms of modern science as well.”

        I didn’t intend to comment on this article, but seeing this quote, in light of all the things you’ve just said before, just floors me. You say that they have the POTENTIAL ( in other words: not certain) to render neo-Darwinism completely false, then in the sentence you say “the wrong side of history” as if it’s already a done deal. For example, some studies found suggest that retrogenes exist both as Lamarckian and Darwinian ( Do you have the ability to see into the future? If so, I have a lot of questions for you, naturally.

        Also, “conservatives” are not a monolithic group and you are pretty much using it in the same manner that you complain about with “conservatives” use of the word “Marxist.” It’s called identity politics.

    • Thank you very much for the information and for your compliments, Alexis, I really appreciate it. This post appears to have been linked to and re-blogged on a number of sites, which certainly explains why I have become the target of conservative ire in recent months. I will be sure to read Gary North’s and your co-author’s respective posts, as well as the RationalWiki entry on Cultural “Marxism,” when I have an opportunity.

      • No problem at all Michael! While I can’t say I’m a big fan of Christian Dominionists myself, Gary North’s analysis was particularly refreshing. At the risk of sounding like a copy-cat (I literally just noticed you said that same thing), it’s curious to examine the cultural conservative and associated anti-intellectual movements and how they try to inject themselves into academia and scholarly discussion. I suppose most politically-informed people would smirk at the concept in question, but it’s nice to have people clearing the air.

      • alex on said:

        Hello, Michael, I am Marxist from Romania and I was wondering if I can translate your article about the cultural marxism conspiracy theory into Romanian?

      • Greetings, Alex. Certainly, feel free to translate the article into Romanian.

  6. Simon Elliot on said:

    Just call it plain old Marxism then. Problem solved. MacDonald and Pinker just refer to the ominous presence in academia as Marxism, plain and simple.

    I’ll let Charles Murray do his thing:

    I won’t be baited into the relativist wormhole of definitions and doubt, “is-it-real or does it just seem that way to me” obscurantism. The left holds all the cards, the left makes all the rules. You can’t hope to win the game if the rules are drawn up by the likes of Franz Boas and his institutions.

    What do we blame the left for? An article from 1994 sums up exactly the same struggle we’re facing today, a struggle that is maintained solely by the political and ideological commitments of leftists in academia.–the-academy-vs–science-4948

    Yeah, and that’s why semantics is the left’s home turf. Hiding behind definitions and “perspectivism” is the primary trait for membership of this tribe. You can balk on and on about how I shouldn’t use this term or that term, but I don’t give a damn. You’re not worming your way around me.

    Let’s bring in Steve Hsu of the Beijing Genomics Institute:

    No doubt many mental gymnastic workarounds will be made by the opposition. The same tactics, the same performance, will be witnessed again and again and again. This is what they do. This is where they’re in their element.

    You can never mount a big enough offensive against the left. Give them an inch and they’ll take a million miles. Load the guns!

    I have no doubt, of course, that all of this will be water off a duck’s back. Like a zombie, the left endures, despite absorbing multiple fatalities. Because it’s not about facts and figures anymore for them. It never was. We are dealing with a cult, simple as that.

    “Conservative? I’ll have you know I’m an atheist! Hahahahaha, you failed in describing my views with 100% accuracy! Hahahahaha, you’re terminology is completely invalid! YOU’RE completely invalid! Mwahahahahaha!”

    That attitude is infuriating as fuck, isn’t it? Have some.

    • >“Just call it plain old Marxism then. Problem solved. MacDonald and Pinker just refer to the ominous presence in academia as Marxism, plain and simple.”

      That just exacerbates the problem, Simon. “Plan old Marxism” bears no culpability in the phenomena you find so distressing. It’s merely a method of analysis applicable to economics, philosophy, and certain (rather limited) aspects of history and sociology. As I said in my blog post, Marxists are not engaged in drawing blueprints for how governments should coercively mold their citizenry.

      Incidentally, I had the misfortune of reading The Blank Slate approximately 10 years ago, and I can confidently assert that Steven Pinker understands as much about Marxism as Kevin MacDonald does—that he is to say, he doesn’t. For instance, he repeats the myth that Marx subscribed to a tabula rasa or, at best, excessively historicist notion of human nature. Had he bothered to read Norman Gera’s Marx and Human Nature: Refutation of a Legend (London: Verso Books, 1983), however, he could have easily avoided committing such an embarrassing error. More recently Mehmet Tabak has demonstrated the centrality of a transhistorical account of human nature in Marx’s work in Dialectics of Human Nature in Marx’s Philosophy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), which I recommend to anyone genuinely interested in understanding the subject. That several of Marx’s subsequent followers denied the existence of any such nature cannot be blamed on Marx any more than the the Spanish Inquisition can be blamed on Jesus Christ. In the interest of brevity, I won’t even get into the poverty of Pinker’s evolutionary psychology, or his myriad straw man arguments contra Lewontin and Gould.

      As for the presence of Marxism in academia, don’t deceive yourself. You might find a few professors in the humanities who consider facets of Marx’s work vaguely ‘interesting,’ but the number of individuals who actually self-identify as ‘Marxists’ in the academy are exceedingly few. Still less endorse the foundational elements of Marxist theory, e.g., historical materialism and the law of value.

      >“I’ll let Charles Murray do his thing:

      You mean to tell me Charles Murray, a propertarian with a penchant for defending privilege wherever it exists (purely coincidental, I’m sure), still subscribes to his thesis from The Bell Curve? Stop the presses..

      >“I won’t be baited into the relativist wormhole of definitions and doubt, ‘is-it-real or does it just seem that way to me’ obscurantism.”

      On the contrary, you’re the one playing the part of the relativist in this discussion. Words have specific meanings which matter, and yet you’ve been using radically different terms synonymously, as if it’s inconsequential, while accusing those who insist on clarity of being “pedantic.”

      >“The left holds all the cards, the left makes all the rules. You can’t hope to win the game if the rules are drawn up by the likes of Franz Boas and his institutions.”

      I suppose that’s why the vast preponderance of students graduating from American universities are staunch Marxists, right? Don’t be ridiculous. With respect to Boas (whose “left” credential are lacking), he may have been influential among segments of the relativist liberal-left, but Marxists descend from the decidedly non-relativist tradition in anthropology and archaeology initiated by figures like Lewis H. Morgan and further developed by V. Gordon Chile. Get your facts straight.

      >“What do we blame the left for? An article from 1994 sums up exactly the same struggle we’re facing today, a struggle that is maintained solely by the political and ideological commitments of leftists in academia.–the-academy-vs–science-4948

      So, to quote Kimball, “deconstruction, postmodernism, multiculturalism, eco-feminism, Afrocentrism, [and] animal rights activism” are what you fault the “left” for? To say you’re painting the left with a very broad brush is an understatement. You’ll find no shortage of free speech absolutists within the Marxian and anarchist left, and I include myself among them. Hence I have no interest in silencing whatever individuals wish to challenge those particular academic fads. Postmodernism, deconstructionism, and Afrocentrism are pernicious doctrines, to be sure, and some of the most cogent critiques you’ll ever read of them are authored by such influential Marxists as Terry Eagleton, Fredric Jameson, and Alex Callinicos. Marx and Engels, being descendants of the Enlightenment tradition, undoubtedly would have condemned those asinine theories as well.

      Regarding animal rights activism, it’s hardly an exclusively left-wing concern. Don’t forget the Nazi’s animal rights legislation, e.g., the anti-vivisection law of 1934. And you continue to conveniently ignore the extensive history of conservative censorship.

      >“No doubt many mental gymnastic workarounds will be made by the opposition. The same tactics, the same performance, will be witnessed again and again and again. This is what they do. This is where they’re in their element.”

      You’re an HBD fanatic, it all makes sense now. Your chief concern, then, is the denial of race as a meaningful biological category, yes? Here’s the thing: the outcome of that debate has no bearing whatsoever on the validity of Marxism. In fact, you can even find Marxists who not only accept race as a biological reality, but who believe the races differ considerably in cognitive ability—not unlike your average HBD proponent. Take, for example, the prominent Marxist politician Victor Berger, who, in addition to arguing “This brilliant culture of our country—art, education and literature—is by right an inheritance of the white race” [Victor L. Berger, Berger’s Broadsides (Milwaukee: Social-Democratic Publishing Company, 1912), p. 100], declared “There can be no doubt that the Negroes and mulattoes constitute a lower race” [Berger quoted in the May 31, 1902, issue of The Social Democratic Herald]. There is also the case of the Marxist activist Kate Richards O’Hare, who authored a pamphlet published by Ripsaw in 1912 charmingly titled Nigger Equality, wherein she argues that Caucasians and African-Americans differ so much in their innate behavioral characteristics that the most sensible solution to racial conflict in the United States would be outright territorial segregation. Marxist theoreticians routinely described non-white populations as nonhistorical “savage” tribes in the late 19th and early 20th century, though notable exceptions could be found. Today such views have largely fallen into disrepute, but the point is that there’s nothing inherent in Marxist theory which requires human races and/or individuals to be endowed with identical cognitive and/or physical potential. The late, great dialectical biologist and life long Marxist, J. B. S. Haldane, put the matter thus: “The dogma of human equality is no part of Communism . . . the formula of Communism: ‘from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs’, would be nonsense, if abilities were equal.”

      I will only add that the hereditarian hypothesis you subscribe to is, after all, only a hypothesis. The various studies you cited purporting to establish a significant correlation between race and mean intelligence cannot be validated until all of the genes alleged to influence intelligence have been located and conclusively demonstrated to have such an effect. However, as with most behavioral characteristics, intelligence is most likely the product of an intricate interaction of genes and environment; and I suspect that if environments were truly equalized between the races, the mean differences between, say, Caucasians and African-Americans would reduce considerably from the standard deviation currently separating the two. It’s an empirical matter which remains unsettled, protestations from the HBD crowd notwithstanding.

      >“Conservative? I’ll have you know I’m an atheist! Hahahahaha, you failed in describing my views with 100% accuracy! Hahahahaha, you’re terminology is completely invalid! YOU’RE completely invalid! Mwahahahahaha!”

      …You strike me as a slightly imbalanced, obsessed individual, Simon. You might want to consider clinical intervention.

      • Simon Elliot on said:

        Yeah that last part was sarcasm, but why am I not surprised that it wasn’t acknowledged as such. And to think I’M the one with Asperger’s here, people! But like I said, more flip around, it’s always more flip around. Upside down is right side up with these people, there’s nothing that can be done for it.

        Pinker and Murray are idiots who know nothing? Oh my god! Two great academics shot down in their prime by some pasty little snot nose running a blog! Oh I can barely stand to watch!

        MacDonald and Pinker do acknowledge that it is specific factions of the left that are responsible for the phenomena we’re seeing. When they refer to animal rights activism, obviously we’re talking about the hysterical veganism and speciesism of the post-war era. It’s funny that if you’re always one step ahead of everyone, why you haven’t publicly debated the likes of Pinker and Murray. You talk the talk, but where’s the walk? Get out there and demonstrate your phenomenal genius, why don’t you? Or is it all style and no substance?

        I think found something. I’ll let you chew it over, for eternity no doubt:

        I think you’re underestimating the ability of ideologies like Marxism to evolve and adapt. But your mind is saturated by it, so I would have expected you to be well aware of this. Again, you find issue with generalisation and insist on god-like degrees of precision and accuracy. I’m familiar with the tactics. I’m sure Franz Boas would be very proud.

        Yeah and evolution is only a theory, and gravity too. If there was a God who could give you all the validation in the world, you’d argue the toss with him as well. My chief concern is leftist relativism and denial of the obvious. What some have called the “scientific obscurantism” that has come to typify the likes of Boas and Lewontin.
        Tying up environmentalism with genetic heredity is standard practice with your people. The case is always made that the two are so complexly intertwined as to be incapable of independent analysis. MacDonald devotes several pages to this kind of rhetoric, always coming from Gould, Lewontin and their disciples. Half a century of white guilt, affirmative action, dumbing down and assorted special privileges haven’t done anything to equalize the unequal, but keep betting on that dead horse. It keeled over a long time ago but, hey, stranger things have happened.

        Love that slice of psychoanalysis at the end there, really nice touch. I’m a bit disappointed to see Steve Hsu wasn’t given the time of day, but I guess that figures.

      • Marx has turned into the bogeyman of all things seemingly* antithetical to “our way of life,” and is conflated with any other seemingly* leftist authority that doesn’t find favor with the populous. If Boas was a Marxist, he was a bad one. Marxist epochs of history suggests that all societies will converge onto socialism and then communism after overthrowing the tyrants and overcoming the failures of each intervening stage. Boas believed that all societies could reach the same level of development via different paths of cultural evolution, id est historical particularism. I enjoyed the post above mine, which conflates scientific hypothesis with theory. If proponents of these ideas want to be taken seriously, then they should at least understand the fundamentals of what they’re arguing with. That said, there’s no royal road to science.

      • >“Yeah that last part was sarcasm, but why am I not surprised that it wasn’t acknowledged as such.”

        Perhaps because it’s consistent with your increasingly hysterical responses.

        >“And to think I’M the one with Asperger’s here, people!”

        Well, that would certainly explain the obsessive qualities you exhibit, as well as your apparent attraction to figures associated with sociopathic ideologies. My previous suggestion that you seek clinical intervention wasn’t without merit, it turns out.

        >“But like I said, more flip around, it’s always more flip around. Upside down is right side up with these people, there’s nothing that can be done for it.”


        >“Pinker and Murray are idiots who know nothing? Oh my god! Two great academics shot down in their prime by some pasty little snot nose running a blog! Oh I can barely stand to watch!”

        Where, pray tell, did I say or even suggest Steven Pinker and Charles Murray are “idiots who know nothing”? They’re undoubtedly intelligent individuals who are very well read in the domains in which they specialize (linguistics and sociology, respectively). It’s just that they’re analyzing the data through fundamentally flawed paradigms, thus the conclusions they arrive at are generally faulty. They’re also far too liberal about pontificating on theories for which they don’t possess a firm understanding, e.g., Pinker’s aforementioned criticisms of Marxism and dialectical biology in The Blank Slate.

        As for me being a “pasty little snot nose,” isn’t it Richard Lynn who constantly attempts to demonstrate a correlation between skin complexion and intelligence? Perhaps I should take that as a compliment, considering you’re a member of the HBD community.

        >“MacDonald and Pinker do acknowledge that it is specific factions of the left that are responsible for the phenomena we’re seeing.”

        I’ve read Pinker make such a distinction, but I’ve never witnessed MacDonald do anything of the sort. The latter considers leftism per se a pernicious force in Western civilization.

        Moreover, it would be a mistake to speak of Pinker and MacDonald’s opinions of American culture as if they’re indistinguishable. For instance, Pinker self-identifies as a feminist, while MacDonald likely considers female equality part of the larger Semitic plot to exterminate the white race (that is, admittedly, purely conjectural on my part); Pinker explicitly criticized MacDonald’s thesis of Jewish supremacism—primarily because he adheres to kin selection whereas MacDonald extrapolates his theory from groups being the unit of evolutionary selection; and, if I recall correctly, Pinker takes a neutral stance on the race and intelligence controversy (the only sensible position, given the matter it is far from settled), while MacDonald believes the data conclusively validates the hereditarian hypothesis. Even their (ill informed) criticisms of Marxism diverge in several respects.

        Where their views converge is on the efficacy of analyzing human social relations through an excessively Darwinian framework. That explains why they view Marxism and postmodernism as equally objectionable methodologies. And while there’s nothing inherent in Marxist theory which is incompatible with natural selection, the prospects for humanity constructing a communism capable of transcending some of the atrocities that have characterized previous historical epochs depends on mankind’s ability to cooperate. Nevertheless, as with the aforementioned race and intelligence controversy, the unit of selection debate remains open and the psychological implications either would have is also contentious. Hence both Pinker and MacDonald’s sociological writings reduce to nothing more than rank speculation.

        >“When they refer to animal rights activism, obviously we’re talking about the hysterical veganism and speciesism of the post-war era.”

        One can arrive at such a perspective and lifestyle through various right-wing or traditionalist conduits, just as easily as they can from left-wing ethical doctrines. Though anecdotal, I’ve personally encountered several propertarian vegans who based their decision to abstain from consuming animal products on utilitarian ethics.

        As it happens, Marxism has been harshly criticized by animal ethicists due to Marx having subscribed to a view of human exceptionalism. Recall also that Engels described a fulfilling life under communism as featuring, among other things, hunting in the morning and fishing in the afternoon [see Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The German Ideology (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1976), p. 33-35]. That’s enough to give your average PETA member an aneurysm.

        >“It’s funny that if you’re always one step ahead of everyone, why you haven’t publicly debated the likes of Pinker and Murray. You talk the talk, but where’s the walk? Get out there and demonstrate your phenomenal genius, why don’t you? Or is it all style and no substance?”

        Come now, Simon. Surely you realize you’re conversing with a lowly wage slave here—which is one of the chief reasons it takes me so long to have an opportunity to respond to your silly comments. Consequently, I lack the credentials and/or notoriety individuals of Murray and Pinker’s stature require in order to consider a formal debate. I would, however, be more than willing to publicly debate the matter with anyone interested in doing so, were the proper arrangements made.

        >“I think you’re underestimating the ability of ideologies like Marxism to evolve and adapt. But your mind is saturated by it, so I would have expected you to be well aware of this.”

        Not only am I well aware of that fact, but I actively endorse the view of Marxism as a living science. I think Ernest Mandel put it best when he wrote “For us, Marxism is always open because there are always new experiences, there are always new facts, including facts about the past, which have to be incorporated in the corpus of scientific socialism. Marxism is always open, always critical, always self-critical” [Ernest Mandel, “Vanguard Parties,” Mid-American Review of Sociology, Vol. VIII, No.2, p. 21 (1983)]. Marx and Engels were men limited by the era in which they lived, ergo, in order for Marxism to maintain its credibility as a scientific method of analysis, it has to continually integrate the latest findings in the social and natural sciences into its framework and test its main tenets against contemporary evidence. It just so happens that the Frankfurt school went far beyond what Marxism exists to examine and, for the most part, abandoned its core principles in the process, therewith forfeiting its right to consider itself a legitimate segment of the Marxian tradition—just as Eduard Bernstein had done nearly half a century earlier, with his reformist theory of “evolutionary socialism.” There comes a point when you revise something so much it becomes something qualitatively different.

        >“Again, you find issue with generalisation and insist on god-like degrees of precision and accuracy. I’m familiar with the tactics. I’m sure Franz Boas would be very proud.”

        Requiring that one employs words accurately isn’t placing an unreasonable burden on them. Conservatives frequently bemoan the fact left-liberal activists wrongly label their policy proposals ‘fascistic’ (Jonah Goldberg, for example, devoted entire book to the subject, which Charles Murray wrote a glowing review of), so this is yet another issue that isn’t unique to the left. Far from representing a Boasian tactic to relativize the world, it’s a basic standard of ensuring logical debate.

        >“Yeah and evolution is only a theory, and gravity too. If there was a God who could give you all the validation in the world, you’d argue the toss with him as well.”

        Spare me the hyperbole. My Weltanschauung is informed by reason and empirical evidence alone. Should one of the views I espouse be falsified, I modify or abandon them accordingly. I’m not here to defend dogmatists, regardless of whether or not they consider themselves Marxists.

        >“My chief concern is leftist relativism and denial of the obvious. What some have called the ‘scientific obscurantism’ that has come to typify the likes of Boas and Lewontin.”

        The genealogy of relativism can be traced to the sophists and such thinkers as David Hume, George Berkeley, and Friedrich Nietzsche. It’s apparent even in the radical subjectivist scribblings of Austrian economists like Friedrich Hayek. Despite what you have been led to believe, the “left” is not its progenitor, especially not the Marxist left. And be honest, all you know about Richard Lewontin is the defamation and distortion of his arguments contained in the HBD screeds you’ve read which mention him. But make no mistake, aside from being one of the most principled and revered living geneticists, the approach to biology he helped develop decades ago continues to be vindicated to this day—most recently in the field of epigenetics. The more objective among his critics, such as the late John Maynard Smith, never fail(ed) to acknowledge the serious, innovative, and important caliber of his work. An ‘obscurantist’ he is not.

        >“Tying up environmentalism with genetic heredity is standard practice with your people. The case is always made that the two are so complexly intertwined as to be incapable of independent analysis.”

        It’s “standard practice” which just happens to be correct. As much as some of you HBD zealots would like, you can’t examine human beings in controlled laboratory settings, therefore it’s vexingly difficult for analysts to successfully separate genetic from environmental factors in study of the human phenotype, especially considering the latter has been demonstrated to significantly effect the former. To gain an appreciation for how true this is, I recommend reading John Dupré and Barry Barnes’s Genomes and What to Make of Them (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008).

        >“Half a century of white guilt, affirmative action, dumbing down and assorted special privileges haven’t done anything to equalize the unequal, but keep betting on that dead horse. It keeled over a long time ago but, hey, stranger things have happened.”

        Once again, the outcome of the race and intelligence controversy has no bearing on the validity of Marxism. I’m also not a practitioner of white guilt; on the contrary, I’ve opposed it in all its manifestations throughout my life. Nor am I a proponent of affirmative action, at least as it’s currently practiced. The law of variation obtains in mankind as much as it does in the animal kingdom, and I’m fully prepared to concede that human populations differ in their mean cognitive potential, if that’s what the evidence eventually demonstrates. My political interests lie solely in eliminating exploitation and alienation from mankind’s social relations, and ensuring the social product is distributed equitably. The same was true of Marx and Engels. So, do me a favor and cease erecting straw men to argue against in my blog.

        >“I’m a bit disappointed to see Steve Hsu wasn’t given the time of day, but I guess that figures.”

        There’s no need for me to analyze every one of Hsu’s articles you cited, as I’ve already made clear my stance on the issues of race and intelligence, genetic reductionism, and evolutionary psychology. I will, however, respond to the latest garbage you linked to, i.e., Iron Ink’s article on “Marxism vs. Cultural Marxism.”

        McAtee’s first error is in accusing Marx of being a rigid economic determinist: “Whereas the Biblical Christian traces everything back to Theology as the source, Marx traced everything back to Economic Determinism”. This is, of course, rubbish. The materialist conception of history doesn’t entail the view that every single thought and action man undertakes is the direct consequence of the organization of society’s substructure, but rather “the ultimately determining element in history is the production and reproduction of real life” [Friedrich Engels quoted in Robert C. Tucker (ed.), The Marx-Engels Reader (New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 1972, p. 640)]. In terms of ideas, in particular, this translates to the notion that “The ideas of the ruling class are, in every age, the ruling ideas: i.e., the class which is the dominant material force in society is at the same time its dominant intellectual force. . . . The dominant ideas are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relationships, the dominant material relationships grasped as ideas” [Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The German Ideology (New York: International Publishers, 1970), p. 64]. Notice their careful choice in language: the “dominant” ideas are determined by the substructure, not mankind’s thought process in general. And who today would seriously deny the bourgeoisie take measures to ensure that the toiling masses maintain an uncritical respect for capitalist property rights, just as feudal lords manufactured the consent of their peasantry?

        Next McAtee erroneously asserts that, as with “cultural Marxism,” Marxism proper “insist[s] upon Atheism.” This would surely come as a revelation to Catholic Marxists, past and present, like James Connolly and Terry Eagleton. In fact, the only theistic faith I can conceive of as being irreconcilable with Marxism is Calvinism, since it posits a creator who directly intervenes and determines the course of human history. Marx and Engels were themselves philosophical materialists (and thus atheists), but the materialism of their approach to sociology is unrelated to concerns regarding the origins of matter and energy. To recapitulate, it deals with mankind’s organization and relations of production, as well as its historical trajectory.

        The author of this embarrassing piece then goes on to write that Marxism’s advocacy of “human guidance”—by which he presumably means revolutionary activity—is in “contradiction” with its alleged “economic determinism,” just as ‘cultural Marxism’s’ demand for human intervention contradicts its “cultural determinism.” So now, in addition to misrepresenting the extent to which Marx and Engels applied the materialist conception of history, he ascribes a teleology to it. However, any such notion can be dispelled simply by reading the following passage from the Manifesto of the Communist Party—from which my blog gets its name, coincidentally—in which Karl Marx describes the history of class struggle in a patently un-teleological manner: “. . . oppressor and oppressed stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary re-constitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes.” In other words, history is an open-ended process in Marx’s system. Whether mankind can progress to a higher organization of production is entirely contingent upon the outcome of the class struggle. What ignites said struggle is a rift that emerges between society’s productive forces and the social relations it practices, which develops as a consequence of technological innovations adopted in response to the coercive laws of competition. That is why in The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon Marx famously stated “Men make history, but they do not make it just as they please; they do not make it under circumstances chosen by themselves, but under circumstances directly encountered, given and transmitted from the past” [David McLellan (ed.), Karl Marx: Selected Writings (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977), p. 300]. Hence it’s more accurate to describe Marxism’s historical materialism as compatibilist rather than determinist.

        Another piece of disinformation contained in the article is the notion Marxism ‘aligns itself against structures of order such as the family and church.’ His evidence? Alexandra Kollontai’s feminism—which Lenin adamantly opposed—and the Bolshevik’s early suppression of the Eastern Orthodox Church, the latter of which I deal with in my blog post. If this buffoon were to have read Engels’s The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State (1844), however, he would have known that Marxism never opposed the notion of monogamous unions per se, but rather the oppressive asymmetry of power between the sexes that typified marriage in earlier historical epochs. This injustice has been rectified in the late bourgeois period, so the Marxist critique of marriage is no longer applicable to the institution. The New Left and various feminist sects have since devised their own criticisms of marriage (which I don’t share, incidentally), but one should be careful to avoid associating them with Marxism.

        The final aspect of this article I wish to comment on is McAtee’s preposterous claim that the United States has undergone a transformation in its mode of production due to the Federal Reserve Act of 1913. Suffice it to say, only a propertarian could believe something so transparently stupid. Modes of production are characterized by their property norms and the social relations they generate, not by what backs their mediums of exchange or what their banks’ reserve requirements happen to be at any given time. And then, as if in an attempt to outdo his own idiocy, McAtee proceeds to write “many have argued. . . . Corporatism. . . . works well with Marxist Economics.” I’m sorry, but a Marxist economist would be the first to decry the utter futility of corporatism in managing capital.

        Anyway, thanks a lot for wasting my time with that puerile twaddle, Simon. I hope you learned something in the course of my response, at least.

    • Our erstwhile host and patron seems too temperate and polite to do the necessary, so please, allow me…

      See, Simon, the problem at the heart of the discussion being waged here is the fact that you’re not half as intelligent (or brave, or clever) as you seem to think you are. And that’s a fact that is obvious to everyone reading these exchanges… except you.

      You don’t give two tugs of a dead dog’s cock about comprehension or understanding or ‘truth’. Like the vast majority of the ego-invested zombie-pinhead morons of the Robot Right, it’s all about point-scoring and “gotchas” and running back to your “side” declaring “victory” over something or other in this little Lulz game that you’re playing.

      You are a moron. Every “thinker” you hero-worship is a fucking moron. Your rhetoric is pathetic, YOU are pathetic, and worse, you’re wasting everyone’s time.

      Fuck off back to 4chan or Stormfront or The Right Stuff or wherever site it is that originally mutilated your irretrievably crippled soul.

      yer old pal Jerky

  7. Wonderful article, Michael. I live in America, and as such while I don’t see myself as being a Marxist, it’s a shame that the people (even academics sometimes!) I have to associate with often ignore the terrific insight of a great economist and philosopher, whose theoretical frameworks had real predictive value for the current state of affairs. “Cultural Marxism” is the epitome of the misunderstandings we have brewed from years of neglect of acknowledging Marxist theory; but if the far right were to adopt any paradigmatic phrase for what they see as their opposition, I’d rather they pick something that’s so ridiculous.

  8. Capitalism is the ideology that tell us individuals in an open and free market have the right to produce, buy, and sell what ever they want, that includes pornography, hard drugs, liquor, and prostitutes as well as freely associate in open relationships, gamble and swear. CM is nothing more than a way of taking an unknown or reviled figure(Marx) and associating him with something the Christian right rejects as an easy ploy to frighten the masses. It wasn’t too long ago the right saw race mixing as a communist undertaking, but now the mainstream right celebrates MLK and the civil rights movements only a few decades later.

    Pro capitalist right wingers complaining about how CM is a plot to destroy our Christian world are in denial that the free markets they advocate can only lead to a market place of smut and degeneracy.So instead of blaming themselves for what they have done, they find a scapegoat, an alien ideology most people don’t really like, care about or understand. A Feudal Lord in per-revolutionary France would have just as much legitimacy in accusing “cultural capitalism” of bringing the ideas of socialism, feminism, and secularism(remember we live in a MARKET place of ideas) to his Christian nation-state. In fact he would have more right to declare that seeing how the majority of Christian history took place in closed societies largely run by the Church and Feudal lords who were very careful in protecting the “high moral standards” of Christian medieval Europe. Seizing the Catholic Church’s land is a much greater affront to God and a far more bold move in getting Christianity out of society then the supposed War of Christmas(likely a conspiracy orchestrated by a cabal of K.G.B sleeper agents).

    The problem here is that capitalism, an economic philosophy built around markets, profits, private ownership, voluntary association and (usually) limited governments was not designed to live side by side with Christian moral values. The reality is Christianity and Free Market Capitalism are not compatible. Christianity and Regulated Capitalism are compatible as are Christianity and Feudalism.

    • Well said, Luke. I would, however, contend that most attempts at regulating capital—excluding those regulations which, in some sense, privilege segments of the haute bourgeoisie over their petite rivals—are exercises in futility. Efforts to limit the process of commodification (e.g., of sexuality) are especially prone to failure, for obvious reasons.

      Comprehending this particular law of capital has been the impetus behind many Christians endorsing socialism and communism, incidentally. Not that I, being an atheist, have any interest whatsoever in structuring society’s social relations along strict Christian principles.

      • No doubt, regulation’s are all too often a temporary solution. Sure you can get some nice concessions but in the end you usually lose them. Take for example the financial regulatory system established during The New Deal. From 1946-1973 America experienced what was called “The Golden Age of Capitalism”, one of the most prosperous and stable times in America’s history. Compared to the massive growth but tumultuous instability and widely varying unemployment rates of the Gilded age. Yet starting in the late 70’s deregulation occurred and continued until the early 2000’s. Since then it is no coincidence we’ve seen the Savings and loans crisis, The Dot Com bubble, and the late 200’s financial crisis. Any attempt to modify capitalism has, at least in America, shown to be in the long run, a failure. While European Social Democracy’s seem to have a better handle on their capitalist economies.But, concessions can and will be undone, undermined, and in some cases ignored.

      • Quite right. The only issue I take with your summary of the history of regulating capital is the notion these laws served to reduce the frequency of economic downturns. Marx’s law of the tendency of the rate of profit to fall better accords with the empirical evidence regarding what precipitates crises, in my estimation. I recommend Andrew Kliman’s The Failure of Capitalist Production: Underlying Causes of the Great Recession (London: Pluto Press, 2011) and Michael Roberts’s The Great Recession: Profit Cycles, Economic Crisis—A Marxist View (Raleigh: Lulu Press, 2009), if you’re interested in analyzing the matter further.

  9. Pingback: My Final Word on “Cultural Marxism” | COMMON RUIN

  10. Reblogged this on Míle Gaiscíoch and commented:
    I had at some point intended to weigh in on the topic of “Cultural Marxism” as I am more than capable of seeing through it’s rhetoric, but none-the-less felt there was some validity to elements of this idea, mostly because I had seen and experienced an number of Left-wing “no platform” maneuvers that were completely uncalled-for and was compelled to problematize certain aspect of what came off a “political correctitude.” I now feel that validating the “Cultural Marxism” meme itself is far more problematic. This essay does a good job of demolishing it. I suppose I could offer my bioregional autonomist, post-Marxist perspective, but I’d rather spend my time appreciating the positive aspects of Marxist Theory and Critical Theory. It’s no secret the Marxism and decolonial theories both intersect and conflict, depending on context. “Cultural Marxism” is a false construct through and through however, and deserves to be treated as such. “Cultural Marxism” is code for “I’m an ahistorical fascist dupe.”

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  12. Pingback: Errors of a Swedish Culture Warrior | COMMON RUIN

  13. Bios Jankens on said:

    ” So now, in addition to misrepresenting the extent to which Marx and Engels applied the materialist conception of history, he ascribes a teleology to it. ”

    Or maybe the issue is that it was never particularly clear in the first place? And it’s difficult to really rely on ‘Marxist critics’ to tell us what Marx ‘really meant’ because most of them are cultists.

    Even if you reconcile the two positions–determinism and guidance–it still appears like an awfully naive, quasi-religious idea. i.e that man must wait until the conditions are ripe to act. and Communism was indeed the ‘end game’, so in a sense his ideas were certainly teleological.

    Was Marx a poor philosopher and a good economist, or vice versa? He certainly wasn’t great at both.

    • >“Or maybe the issue is that it was never particularly clear in the first place? And it’s difficult to really rely on ‘Marxist critics’ to tell us what Marx ‘really meant’ because most of them are cultists.”

      One shouldn’t solely rely on Marxist scholars when attempting to understand Marx. If one is going to offer a critique or defense of Marx’s theories, the onus is on them to read his voluminous work. It’s transparently obvious McAtee has consulted neither the primary nor objective secondary literature, however.

      >“Even if you reconcile the two positions–determinism and guidance–it still appears like an awfully naive, quasi-religious idea. i.e that man must wait until the conditions are ripe to act. and Communism was indeed the ‘end game’, so in a sense his ideas were certainly teleological.”

      The reconciliation (to wit, compatibilism) is a perfectly defensible sociological stance. In what sense is it “quasi-religion” or “naive” to acknowledge that human action is circumscribed by material forces? As for communism being the “end game,” Marx was forthright about that being the objective he found most desirable, but he harbored no illusions about it being a historical inevitability. Indeed, in his opinion, it was but one possibility among others, as the previously cited quote from the Manifesto of the Communist Party demonstrates.

      >“Was Marx a poor philosopher and a good economist, or vice versa? He certainly wasn’t great at both.”

      Marx’s critique of political economy remains unparalleled, his sociological model functions quite well in explaining the phenomena it sought to explain, and his political philosophy was decent–albeit in need of further development.

    • “End Game”? That is certainly not what anybody who dabble even just a bit into Marxist teaching would say about Communism – by his dialectic thinking, it is not unfeasible for a new model of economy and society to actually come into being after Communism ideologies have been made reality.

      From what I observed in my country Vietnam and neighborhood China and Laos, that “End Game” idea and the inevitability of Communism is originated from many years of dogmatic Marxist teaching without actually telling people how to ration in dialectic materialism.

  14. I now believe Academia’s purpose is obscurity. By basing your thoughts and ideas on others works you are just transmitting that same lack of common sense and irrational dialogue, life is much simpler than convoluted theories. The scientific inquiry has been superimposed by preconception, since academics approach such inquiry with notions already given, now it is just a matter of juxtaposing research with “historical” preconceptions.

    What good is Dialectics in academia if it does not serve it’s natural purpose due to convolution and obfuscation?

    Good bye Philosophy in Academia.

    Humanity needs to start it’s academia from start, and burn every “treasure trove” of “knowledge”, because it does nothing good for humanity.

  15. Great stuff Mr Acuna. I look forward to reading more of your work, now that I’ve been directed here via RationalWiki’s page on the Fascist conspiracy theory currently known as Cultural Marxism.

  16. Genuine socialists are starting to wake up to the fact that the working classes of Western societies have been effectively divided and weakened by multiculturalism.

    Cultural Marxists (they exist – and not just in the imagination of rightards) have been duped by corporate global elites into supporting the very things that have most effectively undermined the standards of living of workers in the US, Canada, Australia and Europe. Controlled immigration, tariff protection, organic working class identity – all stripped away by Cultural Marxists in alliance with global capital.

    Hard to know whether this intellectual swindle was engineered from within or without. Either reflects poorly on the Left more broadly.

    Mercifully this shallow groupthink that has dominated the organised Left is slowly coming apart. Get ready Comrade. In ten years you’ll be the new Tankies.

    • Hammerheart on said:

      Thank you for such an incredibly mild, restrained comment. “New Tankies”, indeed!!

      • Hammerheart on said:

        Seriously, however, I have to add re: ‘Left groupthink is slowly coming apart…’
        Yes, that is finally starting to happen. However, all it seems to be being replaced with is complete total irrationality, anti-reason, pure emotionalism, etc. Right now one can’t say those are of themselves good, hopeful signs.

  17. The Frankfurt School’s influence on the US was not to advance communism. It was about animus toward working class whites arising from the betrayal of the Ashkenazim by German working class’s support of Hitler. The move to Columbia University provide a seed crystal of this animus toward working class whites in general latent in the Ashkenazim due to the natural history of Ashkenazi intelligence as tax farmers for European nobility.

    Click to access AshkenaziIQ.jbiosocsci.pdf

    The attitude of tax farmers is not directly hostile toward the peasantry but it is safe to say there is a degree of contempt required to be a tax farmer.

    You don’t end up with 200+ movies about the Holocaust and hardly any movies about the 60M to 100M citizens killed under communism without _some_ bias in the cultural elites.

    Academics, particularly the humanities, are influenced by popular culture and vice versa. It’s a cultural echo chamber reinforced by mass hysteria and the biases of those with the loudest voices which are, unsurprisingly those historically linked with creating religions — including “schools” in academia unhinged from empirical constraints.

    That this animus has been effective is evidenced in everything from the demographic collapse of the white working class, to its lowering life expectancy — unique among demographic groups in the west, to its replacement by immigration against the will of 90% of the public (see Gallup’s historic trends on this) to, now, the US military taking action that unleash the demographic replacement of European working class whites by “refugees”.

    Contempt for this paradigm will salve the conscience of those responsible, but it will only inflame the explosive political situation.

  18. Pingback: Free Speech, ‘Rights’, and the State | Hawaii Left Review

  19. Oscar C. on said:

    Great essay. I have downloaded your paper on the subject as well. ‘Cultural marxism’ has become so cliché by now that this effort is more than justified.

    Rightists naturally gravitate towards it because it goes well with a conspiratorial vision of the world, one in which small cliques and assorted elites decide the fate of mankind all the time.

    They often fail to see however how the rise of ‘cultural marxist’ academia is nothing but a symbol of decadence of the real left, i.e., the one focused on “hard” subjects like economics.

    You probably already know them, but I recommend you the following blog:

    and this series of tweets:

  20. Marcelo on said:

    Great essay on the subject. I found it to be instructive, mainly because “Cultural Marxism” became popular with right-winged people here in Brazil, and it has grown to the point where when I google-search about Gramsci, almost always it will show a blog of conspiracy theorists about it. I guess people from my country will always have deep-routed paranoia on Communism, as we had two political regimes targeted against communist parties: one under Getúlio Vargas and his “Estado Novo” regime, and the Red Scare-inspired military dictatorship after World War 2.

  21. Harry Steel on said:

    Thank you for this post. It helped put a lot of things in perspective.

  22. Pingback: Cultural Marxism – the delusional conspiracy theory motivating the Alt-Right | Antipodean Atheist

  23. Pingback: Cultural Marxism: the delusional conspiracy theory motivating the alt-right | Green Left Weekly

  24. Pingback: Myths About Socialism: Part One – M. P. Britt

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