Skip to comments.Next Conservatism: What is Cultural Marxism
Posted on 10/24/2005 7:59:14 PM PDT by smoothsailing
Next Conservatism: What Is Cultural Marxism
By William S. Lind
October 25, 2005
In his columns on the next conservatism, Paul Weyrich has several times referred to "cultural Marxism." He asked me, as Free Congress Foundation's resident historian, to write this column explaining what cultural Marxism is and where it came from. In order to understand what something is, you have to know its history.
Cultural Marxism is a branch of western Marxism, different from the Marxism-Leninism of the old Soviet Union. It is commonly known as "multiculturalism" or, less formally, Political Correctness. From its beginning, the promoters of cultural Marxism have known they could be more effective if they concealed the Marxist nature of their work, hence the use of terms such as "multiculturalism."
Cultural Marxism began not in the 1960s but in 1919, immediately after World War I. Marxist theory had predicted that in the event of a big European war, the working class all over Europe would rise up to overthrow capitalism and create communism. But when war came in 1914, that did not happen. When it finally did happen in Russia in 1917, workers in other European countries did not support it. What had gone wrong?
Independently, two Marxist theorists, Antonio Gramsci in Italy and Georg Lukacs in Hungary, came to the same answer: Western culture and the Christian religion had so blinded the working class to its true, Marxist class interest that Communism was impossible in the West until both could be destroyed. In 1919, Lukacs asked, "Who will save us from Western civilization?" That same year, when he became Deputy Commissar for Culture in the short-lived Bolshevik Bela Kun government in Hungary, one of Lukacs's first acts was to introduce sex education into Hungary's public schools. He knew that if he could destroy the West's traditional sexual morals, he would have taken a giant step toward destroying Western culture itself.
In 1923, inspired in part by Lukacs, a group of German Marxists established a think tank at Frankfurt University in Germany called the Institute for Social Research. This institute, soon known simply as the Frankfurt School, would become the creator of cultural Marxism.
To translate Marxism from economic into cultural terms, the members of the Frankfurt School - - Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, Wilhelm Reich, Eric Fromm and Herbert Marcuse, to name the most important - - had to contradict Marx on several points. They argued that culture was not just part of what Marx had called society's "superstructure," but an independent and very important variable. They also said that the working class would not lead a Marxist revolution, because it was becoming part of the middle class, the hated bourgeoisie.
Who would? In the 1950s, Marcuse answered the question: a coalition of blacks, students, feminist women and homosexuals.
Fatefully for America, when Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933, the Frankfurt School fled - - and reestablished itself in New York City. There, it shifted its focus from destroying traditional Western culture in Germany to destroying it in the United States. To do so, it invented "Critical Theory." What is the theory? To criticize every traditional institution, starting with the family, brutally and unremittingly, in order to bring them down. It wrote a series of "studies in prejudice," which said that anyone who believes in traditional Western culture is prejudiced, a "racist" or "sexist" of "fascist" - - and is also mentally ill.
Most importantly, the Frankfurt School crossed Marx with Freud, taking from psychology the technique of psychological conditioning. Today, when the cultural Marxists want to do something like "normalize" homosexuality, they do not argue the point philosophically. They just beam television show after television show into every American home where the only normal-seeming white male is a homosexual (the Frankfurt School's key people spent the war years in Hollywood).
After World War II ended, most members of the Frankfurt School went back to Germany. But Herbert Marcuse stayed in America. He took the highly abstract works of other Frankfurt School members and repackaged them in ways college students could read and understand.
In his book "Eros and Civilization," he argued that by freeing sex from any restraints, we could elevate the pleasure principle over the reality principle and create a society with no work, only play (Marcuse coined the phrase, "Make love, not war"). Marcuse also argued for what he called "liberating tolerance," which he defined as tolerance for all ideas coming from the Left and intolerance for any ideas coming from the Right. In the 1960s, Marcuse became the chief "guru" of the New Left, and he injected the cultural Marxism of the Frankfurt School into the baby boom generation, to the point where it is now America's state ideology.
The next conservatism should unmask multiculturalism and Political Correctness and tell the American people what they really are: cultural Marxism. Its goal remains what Lukacs and Gramsci set in 1919: destroying Western culture and the Christian religion. It has already made vast strides toward that goal. But if the average American found out that Political Correctness is a form of Marxism, different from the Marxism of the Soviet Union but Marxism nonetheless, it would be in trouble. The next conservatism needs to reveal the man behind the curtain - - old Karl Marx himself.
William S. Lind is Director for the Center for Cultural Conservatism of the Free Congress Foundation.
Note -- The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, and/or philosophy of GOPUSA.
A undocumented Jim Quinn PING!
The next conservatism needs to reveal the man behind the curtain - - old Karl Marx himself.
...and she wants to be President in 2008...and needs to be revealed.
" It is commonly known as "multiculturalism" "
I can't hear that term without think about the Remo Williams novels when Chuin the ancient assassin training Remo called it Cultimulchuralism.
The novels are wonderful, by the way - they start in the 60's and relentlessly mock political correctness from its origins through the 80's.
Karl Marx had nothing on Antonio Gramsci.
If you want a Google GMail account, FReepmail me.
Doonesbury must die.
I've never read one,but now look forward to picking one up!
Political Correctness bump!
Same crap, different name!
We get him on 104.7FM Conservative Talk Radio in Pittsburgh.
They're kind of hard to come by in the brick-and-mortars, so you might want to try Amazon. Even there, they're a little pricey. You probably should start in order, but book 3 is generally considered the point where the books hit their stride. If you've seen the movie and loved the interplay between Remo and Chiun, that's the book where it came into focus.
Often the villain in a given Destroyer novel is guided by a left-wing agenda. Back in the 1970s, the Wounded Knee protesters were mercilessly mocked; the conservative dream of a U.N. out of the U.S. was finally, blessedly (albeit fictionally), realized; and Carter CIA head Stansfield Turner was rightly called to task for making a hash of Central Intelligence. More recently, the Clintons and their cronies came under repeated fire. The humor in the series is wickedly pointed and decidedly un-P.C. Environmentalists, Hollywood celebrities, and journalists in particular have been targets of satire in The Destroyer for years.http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/mullaney200510180824.asp
So how does a highly successful 34-year-old book series that was once firmly grounded in patriotic and good old-fashioned Right-leaning American values end up listing Left-ward and, at least as a partial consequence, now find itself on the verge of cancellation?
That's an obvious trait of liberals.
Communist Manifesto - One small book for a man, one giant ulcer for mankind.
I was hooked on the Destroyer series for a while when I was a teenager. I think I read about 30 of them.
Maybe I'll take another look at them.
Thanks for the info!
I live in a small college town and our Citizens Library has always found any book I've ever asked for so I'll try them before Amazon.
Thanks dung,or may I call you Moose?
(sorry, I couldn't help it) ;)
Sounds like a good read. I might try to look that one up.
By the way, if you want to see someone trying really hard to sound like an intellectual and not pulling it off very well, check out the last reader review at the Amazon link.
The trouble is "Cultural Marxism" is a stupid name, reflecting an intellectual tone-deafness to the actual content of the 21st century left, a lack of perceptiveness, which makes fighting them harder.
The left is no longer Marxist, but Nietzschean.
"Multiculturalism" and feminist separatism represent Nietzschean transvaluations of values: they embrace the stereotypes old Marxist anti-racism (which bizarrely had more in common with American conservatism than this new movement does) fought against, but with the value assigned to them turned upside down. Blacks do have rhythm, but that makes them superior to whites; women are less rational, more driven by emotion, but that makes them better suited to formulating 'humane' social and foreign policies; etc.
The Nietzschean left also embraces Nietzsche's romanticization of nature--radical environmentalism--and the savage as opposed to the civilized--hence their affinity for the Jihadis. The Marxist 'religion is the opiate of the masses,' which would alienate them from the Muslims as much as from Christians, is replaced with Nietzsche's special antipathy for Christianity (they seem to ignore the fact he hated Buddhism at least a much. . .perhaps because there aren't many genuine classical Buddhists in America. . . or perhaps, since their Nietzscheanism is derivative, via Heidegger and Sartre, they don't care to follow him on this--after all 'Buddhist' meditation techniques are a nice way to relax.)
Continuing to fight 'Marxists' is a mistake: fighting the last war always is.
I learned then and there that ONE Conservative professor in each and every college campus in the country can change the downward slide into the proverbial toilet. Thank you, Mr. Lind!
That certainly explains why the high priests of academe treat conservative professors as if they were lepers.
Ping for later reference.
Who is Antonio Gramsci? You Better Learn!!!
The other similarity is that all theories accept that the social structure and institutions perpetuates the oppression activities.
Where the current ideology of post-modern differ from old one is the notion of 'experience': unless you are female, you cannot comprehend what female feels. This, of course, is different from old Marxism. As a poster pointed out already, old Marxism would put Islamo-facists in the same box as Christians. Meanwhile, the post-mo crowd will defend that Muslims' experience under centuries of 'Christian colonialism' should count for something.
"The left is no longer Marxist, but Nietzschean. "
Yes, but "Nietzschean" is hard to pronounce.
Muticulturalism = cultural pollution.
In addition to Marcuse, the author neglected to mention a few names and explain who these people in the Frankfurt School were. Allow me to add a couple: Eric Fromm (Critical Theory and feminism), Abraham Maslow (using the power of medical licensing to supplant religious values with psychiatry, and the developer of "sensitivity training").
This may be the most important thread of history in the 20th Century, perhaps more significant than the World Wars. Needless to say, children aren't told a word in public schools.
Here are a few good papers on the topic;
You know if Rose had written this she'd have pounded it into our heads that she wrote it, and it'd be posted on their web site under "Written by Rose"
as you said some years ago, and as I have listed among my Quotes: "American blacks are in what I call the Marxist Laboratory"
as are we all
for developing "sensitivity training" (ie: mini-gulags) Abraham Maslow should burn in Hell.
actually, they'd be Nietzscheo-Marxists. these dipwads STILL believe in the communist Utopia, and are anti-meritocratic - both rather divergent from Nietzschean philosophy
AMEN! I call her a Marxist every chance I get, because she is, as is her "husband."
this is important
carry-okie has some links downthread (from #1, not this ping) to supplemental historical analyses which are quite disturbing.
Moral Absolutes Ping.
I am too tired to read this - just sneaking on to FR for a minute - but I know this is a good read and relevant to the purpose of this pinglist! Will read it tomorrow and I hope to also read your comments!
Freepmail me if you want on/off this pinglist.
Don't forget the Fabian Society.
(remember: if it happened after 1450 or so, I didn't study it)
I should have pung you in the general ping a moment ago. sorry.
I remember reading this in a pro-gun book published by the NRA that was written in the late 1960's on the fallicies of gun control and how gun control falls into the communist's plots. In 1919, British intelligence found their plans in a cell in occupied Germany and it went from there.
BTW, a lot of people misunderstand Marx's dictum on religion. It was one of the vestiges of society that he would have torn down almost regretfully albeit in his opinion necessarily. What he wrote in whole was: "Religious suffering is at one and the same time the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people." (Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right)
My personal guess is that Marx would have considered the members of the Frankfurt School to be heretics and major obstructions to the eventual victory of socialism, as in fact they may be. But they were right about the proletariat - it did turn into the bourgeoisie, a thing neo-Marxists have never really forgiven it for. They're stuck finding oppressed classes through which to project a revolution that will never happen. That doesn't mean they can't hurt people in the meantime.