Cultural Marxism: or, how the West was lost
There’s been a lot of chatter lately about cultural Marxism, aka political correctness (PC) or wokeism. It is a strident creed, quite divisive and fueling the anything-goes promiscuity that preaches “tolerance” for just about anything except disagreement with wokeism, which is deemed “hateful” or “not inclusive.” It is eroding both the family and society.
The Hon. Miriam Cates
Tory MP Miriam Cates brought down the house at the UK National Conservative conference in May, citing cultural Marxism as a significant contributing factor to falling fertility:
British economic, industrial, educational and social policies over recent decades have collectively increased the cost and diminished the returns of raising children.
[When universities] tell young people that fulfilment is only to be found in education and career, then our bloated educational system has become a hindrance and not a help to family formation.
[L]iberal individualism has proven to be completely powerless to resist the cultural Marxism that is systematically destroying our children’s souls.
When culture, schools and universities openly teach that our country is racist, our heroes are villains, humanity is killing the earth, you are what you desire, diversity is theology, boundaries are tyranny and self-restraint is oppression, is it any wonder that mental health conditions, self-harm, suicide and epidemic levels of anxiety and confusion characterise the emerging generation?
If we do not teach our children to value and be proud of our nation and its history, is it any surprise they do not want to be responsible for continuing it?
The pro-family MP knocked it out of the park. Bravo!
Her speech was too much for the powers that be. Leftwing media attacked. The Guardian lambasted Ms Cates in “The great British baby drought has a simple cause. And it’s not ‘cultural Marxism’.”
Motherhood is devalued, while “cultural Marxism” causes mass indoctrination of young minds. No-fault divorce “has removed any value at all in the eyes of the law for getting married”. Motherhood is painted “as an oppressive drudgery that any self-respecting woman wants to avoid and stay-at-home mothers as lazy, economically inactive or unambitious”. She blames Tony Blair’s surge in university places, as she claims “some estimates suggest graduates are 50% more likely to remain childless”.
The “liberal elite” thinks women should outsource their children’s care for a paid job, instead of nurturing them.
Thank you, Guardian, for making Ms Cates’s point. Yes, there is a “liberal elite” and yes, wokeism is harmful. Yes, cultural Marxism is a major contributing factor to the West’s falling fertility, rising social pathologies and obsession with race. While birthrates are declining across the globe, it is in the West where wokeism rules the roost.
The West’s vexing conundrum
The West’s most intractable challenge is that we’re starting to run out of people. Mammon worship, tight money, hyper-individualism and changing priorities have led to a more than 50 percent fertility decline in 50 years. The situation worsens as broken homes and dysfunctional families increase. Something is terribly out of kilter.
Enlightenment empiricism adulterated traditional morality and culture. The decoupling of freedom from responsibility has led to all manner of mischief. Then came the Industrial Revolution. The 20th century’s world wars were a body blow to Western Civilisation. Think of the death, demoralization and families that never were.
Also in the 20th century, an alien ideology metastasised under the radar for years. It has corroded the West’s moral fibre to the point of dissolution. Born of Bolshevism, it has exceeded the social upheaval wrought by the Enlightenment, French Revolution and industrialization. This ruinous ideology, overtly anti-Western and anti-Christian, has institutionalised moral relativism and identity politics. Now the very definitions of man, woman, family and culture are up for debate.
This ideological pathogen is cultural Marxism, a secular religion, today the ruling zeitgeist of the faltering West. How did this come about?
A short history
In the late 1800s, a thoroughly secularised intelligentsia flourished in Europe. They were infatuated with the utopian ramblings of Karl Marx, who called religion “the opiate of the masses.” Marxism is a collectivist, levelling, anti-Western creed. As with any utopian ideology, everyone must conform for it to work. That means force. The opportunity to impose it on a national scale came with the Bolshevik Revolution.
Marxist ideology became Marxist-Leninism, aka Communism. The Bolshevik regime slaughtered millions, including thousands of priests. Churches were shuttered and destroyed.
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Triumphant in Russia, Soviet Communists didn’t waste time exporting revolution. In 1918 the Red Army invaded Poland (Polish-Soviet War). In 1919 Communists seized power in Berlin (Spartacus Uprising), Budapest (Hungarian Soviet Republic) and Munich (Bavarian Soviet Republic).
Thankfully, these regimes were short-lived. The Red Army was routed at the Battle of Warsaw (1920). Exporting revolution had failed across the board. It was clear to anyone of room temperature IQ that Marxism wasn’t popular. “Workers of the world unite!” was dead. Rather than rally behind some pie-in-the-sky global workers' movement, people remained loyal to their families, cultures and nations. Communists went back to the drawing board.
Ideology and methodology
In 1923, banking scion Felix Weil sponsored a group of Marxist intellectuals to form the Institute of Social Research, affiliated with Goethe University Frankfurt. They became known as the Frankfurt School. Frankfurt School ideologues understood that politics is downstream of culture and dumped Economic Marxism. Rather than pit the workers (proletariat) against the property owners (bourgeoisie), they devised a more diabolical formula for social revolution. It was New (cultural) Marxism.
They knew that to subvert society, you must stealthily undermine those in power. Back in 1923, the folks in charge were mostly Christian white males who were the heads of families, governments, businesses and churches. They became the new bourgeoisie, branded as the “patriarchy,” the bad guys – the ones who made the rules (standards) and were (by definition) oppressors.
The new proletariat? Everyone else. If white guys were the oppressors, women were oppressed, so create an adversarial gender gap. Youth were oppressed, so weaponise generational differences as an antagonistic generation gap. Racial and ethnic minorities fit the bill wonderfully (racism). This way folks could easily be played against each other simply on the basis of their birth. Ingenious.
“Sexual” minorities were also important. LGBTQ+ types were enlisted in the anti-patriarchy jihad. The Frankfurt School melded Cultural Marxism with since-discredited Freudian ideas about sexual repression, where the ego (self-esteem) and the id (instinctive impulses) reigned supreme. Any belief in or even acknowledgement of the transcendent was not in the mix.
How the West was lost
In an earlier time, John Stuart Mill and a gaggle of Enlightenment-inspired intellectuals advocated radical individualism as the path to “freedom” and fulfilment. The Frankfurt School exploited that vulnerability to agitate for oppressed group grievance (identity politics). Cultural Marxism consciously intends to destabilise society and posits a systematic methodology for cultural revolution. As avowed atheists, there were no moral or social constraints on their nefarious work. Explicitly anti-Western, their goal is not merely to change the West but to destroy it.
The methodology is “a long march through the institutions,” a strategy borrowed from Italian Communist Antonio Gramsci, an advocate of “cultural hegemony.” Ideologues were trained to infiltrate media, education, government, churches and the arts.
(If you’re interested in the philosophical underpinnings of cultural Marxism, watch Dr James Lindsay’s brilliant exposition.)
When National Socialism rose to power in Germany, the Frankfurt School decamped for the US where they became spectacularly successful after linking up with kindred spirits in education and the entertainment industry.
In tandem with the “long march through the institutions” is the technique of glomming on to popular causes and weaponising them. This was very effective in the 1960s and ‘70s with the civil rights movement, anti-Vietnam War protests and environmentalism. Marxist Critical Theory, the “ruthless criticism of everything existing” has given rise to Critical Race Theory, Queer Theory, Gender Theory, Postcolonial Theory and much else.
An effective Freudian technique is projection, when a party projects their actions and feelings onto their opponents. Thus hatred of traditional society is projected onto that society. How many times a week do you hear about something being misogynist, racist, homophobic, xenophobic, antisemitic or otherwise hateful?
This withering woke assault focuses on the family. In 1969, radical feminist Linda Gordon wrote:
“The nuclear family must be destroyed, and people must find better ways of living together. Whatever its ultimate meaning, the break-up of families now is an objectively revolutionary process.” … No woman should have to deny herself any opportunities because of her special responsibilities to her children... Families will be finally destroyed only when a revolutionary social and economic organisation permits people's needs for love and security to be met in ways that do not impose divisions of labour, or any external roles, at all.
Then there is David Brooks’s screed in The Atlantic (2020) entitled “The Nuclear Family was a Mistake: The family structure we’ve held up as the cultural ideal for the past half-century has been a catastrophe for many. It’s time to figure out better ways to live together.”
Recently, this piece surfaced in RealClear Investigations: "Queering Jesus:
How It's Going Mainstream at Progressive Churches and Top Divinity Schools."
How about the Bud Light imbroglio? It took a beer ad to arouse popular pushback. Yet the tsunami of woke propaganda continues unabated. Opposing views are “cancelled”. A “long march through the institutions” indeed. This warped ideology is taking a grim toll on the family.
“Queering Jesus,” anti-White racism, gender-bending, fewer children: “Get woke, go broke.”
Louis T. March has a background in government, business and philanthropy. A former talk show host, author and public speaker, he is a dedicated student of history and genealogy. Louis lives with his family in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.
Image Credit: Pexels
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