Cultural Marxism Briefly Described

Via one of my FaceBook friends

Cultural Marxism is the primary strategy of the American and European Left.

Italian Marxist philosopher Antonio Gramsci posited that what holds a society together are the pillars of its culture: the structures and institutions of education, family, law, media and religion, as they provide the social cohesion necessary to a healthy functional society. Transform the principles that these embody and… you can destroy the society they have shaped.

His seminal thinking was taken up by Sixties radicals, many of whom are, of course, the generation that holds power in the West today.

Gramsci believed that a society could be overthrown, if the values underpinning it could be turned into their antithesis: if its core principles were replaced by those of groups who were considered to be outsiders or who actively transgressed the moral codes of that society.

So he advocated a ‘long march through the institutions’ to capture the citadels of the culture and turn them into a collective fifth column, undermining from within and turning all the core values of society upside-down and inside-out.

This strategy is being carried out to the letter.

The nuclear family has been widely shattered. Illegitimacy was transformed from a stigma into a ‘right’. The tragic disadvantage of fatherless ‘families’ was redefined as a neutrally viewed ‘lifestyle choice’. So much so that many now assert the belief that, children do not need either a mother or a father, only the loving support of a ‘caring’ adult.

Education was wrecked, with its core tenet of transmitting a culture to successive generations, replaced by the idea that what children already knew was of superior value to anything the adult world might value.

The outcome of this ‘child-centered’ approach has been widespread illiteracy and ignorance and an eroded capacity for independent thought.

The ‘rights’ agenda, commonly known as ‘political correctness’ turned morality inside out, by excusing any misdeeds by self-designated ‘victim’ groups on the grounds that ‘victims’ can’t be held responsible for what they do. Law and order were similarly undermined, with criminals deemed to be beyond punishment since they also were ‘victims’ of what was asserted to be an inherently ‘unjust’ society.

Radical feminists, anti-racism and gay ‘rights’ thus turned men, white people and especially Christians (as the foremost advocates of foundational western values) into the enemies of decency. An offensive strategy of neutralization designed to keep western society’s advocates on the defensive by essentially categorizing them as “guilty until proven innocent”.

This ‘Through The Looking Glass’ mindset rests on the belief that the world is divided into the powerful (who are responsible for all bad things) and the oppressed (who are responsible for none of them).

This is pure Marxist doctrine.

This leftist mindset has led to the belief that a sense of nationhood is the cause of much of the world ills. So transnational institutions such as the EU, the UN and, doctrines supporting International and ‘Human Rights’ laws are increasingly overriding national laws and values.

These organizations are committed to moral and cultural relativism, which sets group against group and guarantees supreme and antidemocratic power to the bureaucrats setting the rules of ‘diversity’ and outlawing all dissent from permitted attitudes.

The doctrine of the “oppressed and the oppressor” is the big lie that many leftist elites use to justify supporting an illogical rationale divorced from reality and human nature itself. Ultimately, the acquisition of power is at the core of leftist’s beliefs with its ‘foot soldiers’ being the ‘true believers’ Stalin referred to as the ‘useful idiots’.

8 responses to “Cultural Marxism Briefly Described

  1. Interesting and well to the point article.

    Says what needs to be said on a subject you could write a compodium on.

  2. A good short post.

    Gramsci did indeed teach that, in certain circumstances, classical Marxism could be turned on its head – with the so called “cultural superstructure” determining the “economic base” (specifically the “relations of production”).

    Partly by full Marxists acting within the culture (both via the government and by nongovernment organisations), and by the influence of those these Marxists would “educate” – who would serve the Marxist cause often without even knowing it. Which is why (for example) many BBC people would say “of course I am not a Marxist you paranoid ……..” with total sincerity – and yet serve the Marxist cause (although some BBC types, for example comics such as J. Hardy and ……, actually know they are serving the Marxist cause and have tried to do so, to the best of their ability, all their adult lives).


    Mention should be made of the Frankfurt School (because the thinkers of this school of “Cultural Marxism” have had far more influence in mainstream education and so on than Gramsci has).

    The Frankfurt School turned (with disgust) from the traditional German “working class” – because most German industrial workers failed to support the Communist uprisings of 1919 (indeed many of them actively opposed these risings). To the Frankfurt School the “Majority Socialists” were not socialists at all (although, formally speaking, the German SPD remained a socialist party till 1959), and the workers were traitors – traitors to the noble cause of total collectivism (although, like Karl Marx and Rosseau before him, the Frankfurt School believed the workers were brainwashed by a set of ideas that were not in their true interests).

    Such thinkers as Max Horkheimer, Erich Fromm and Herbert Marcuse,and (especially) Theodor Adorno achieved an academic respectablity that Gramsci never did.

    Adorno (and Herbert McClosky) argued that conservatism was, basically, a form of mental illness – a “personality type” of the “The Authoritarian Personality” (Adorno’s best known work – and a interesting example of “projection” as, of course, it was really Adorno and his Comrades who were the “authoritiarians”, indeed totalititarians).

    Richard Hofstadter (a follower of Adorn – also based at Columbia University, but unlike Adorno, a native born American rather than an immigrant) argued that opposition to ever greater collectivism was just “The Paranoid Style of American Politics”,

    “Authoritiarian” “paranoid” and on and on – trying to smear opposition ((oppostion to the collectivist cause) as a form of mental illness, But dressed up (and dressed up very well) with the formal garb of academic psychology and history.

    From the Frankfurt School we get “Polticial Correctness” (a Cultural Marxist term coined as long ago as 1920s) – via Columbia to other American universities and then (over time) to the international education, and the medias (and everything else).

    American Progressives (and British Fabians) were at rather a loose end in the mid 20th century (tired and feeling a crises in their faith) – the new “cultural” ideas gave collectivists new weapons.

    The “isms and ists” and (of course) the “phobias” such as “homophobia”

    It must be stressed that Cultural Marxism deeply CYNICAL – there is no real love of ethnic minorities, women, or homosexuals (or……), they are just cannon fodder – for the greater glory of the collectivist cause (to be dropped the instant they have served their purpose).

    It should also be noted that younger Marxists rarely joined the Communist Party (if you have a bit of cardboard in your pocket saying “Communist Party” upon it – even a middleaged Irish-American with a drink problem may be able to expose you, at least till your friends in the media destroy him).

    Also, like Karl Marx himself, they are normally very vague in describing their alternative to “capitalism”.

    Often even the word “socialism” will not be used – instead such words as “social justice”, “environmental justice”, “gender justice”, “racial justice” will be used, or even vague terms such as “economic democracy” or “fairness”.

    Normally they concentrate on ATTACK (attacking forms of “opression” they claim can be found in society – which, surprise surprise, always turn out in the end to be the fault of “big business”, “the capitalists”).

    Even the term “cultural Marxism” is now rarely used (for the same reason they do not walk around with party cards saying “Communist Party” in their pockets).

    The modern term is more often “Critical Theory”.

    And it also should be remembered that many of these people now have even less interest in constructive planning of the actual alternative to “capitalism” than the first generation of Frankfurt School people did.

    A lot of it is just destroy for the sake of destruction – or rather for the sake of POWER.

    As Saul Alinsky (the mentor of the modern American left) was fond of saying “I do not care about Marxist theory – I care about POWER”.

    Alinsky never even called himself a Marxist (although he supported every Marxist campaign – indeed organised many of them) – he really did not care about exactly what would replace “capitalism”.

    As long as POWER was in his hands. Not for nothing did Saul Alinsky regard “the Professor” (Frank Nitti – the person who took over as boss of the Chicago Mob after Mr Capone went to prison) as his true mentor. See “Radicals” (2012 David Horowitz – page 173).

    Cultural politics (to Alinsky) meant “Community Organising” on the Frank Nitti model – extortion, strong arms tactics, but also (and this should not be forgotten) lots of clever “intellectual” talk.

    And, above all, getting the power of THE STATE in the hands of the Comrades – so when a businessman called the police (over an office occupation or whatever) his call would not be answered, or would be answered in a way he (or she) would really not like.

    Do not be “counter culture” BECOME THE CULTURE (and become the state) that was Alinsky’s advice to the young Comrades.

    Do not fight the police on the streets (as in 1968 in Chicago) – CONTROL the police. As the Comrades in Chicago now, to some extent, do.

    I wonder if Gramsci every really understood what he was pushing – where it would lead.

    For, of course, his enemy Mussolini had already trod the same “cultural” path (and the path of Saul Alinsky also – before Alinsky did).

    Where this form of “cultural” collectivism leads is – FASCISM.

    The very thing the Comrades say they are most opposed to.

    “Liberal Fascism” perhaps (see Jonah Goldberg), but Fascism just the same.

  3. It should also be remembered that the very structures in the United States set up to the fight the Comrades – Palmer’s (of “the Palmer Raids” against Marxist and “anarachist” terrorists after World War One) type of Justice Department and FBI, are now under the control of people such as Attorney General Holder.

    People who believe in the politics of the “haves and the have nots” or “the oppressed and the oppressors” on a world scale.

    Giving the government vast powers in order to fight the collectivists (whether of the Red Flag or Black Flag sort – for, as even Palmer understood, they are fundementally the same) is very unwise. For eventually even J. Edgar Hoover dies – and then you just have the POWER sitting there (waiting for other hands).

    I am reminded of the film “A Man For All Seasons” where the actor playing Thomas Moore asks a friend if he would destroy the rules of the rule of law in order to hunt the Devil.

    [Rememer Saul Alinsky dedicated his “Rules for Radicals” to the Devil – and, as he normally was when he was “joking”, Alinsky was deadly serious, Power was all that mattered to Alinsky and his Comrades, as it is all that matters to the Comrades now, and if that meant creating Hell-on-Earth so be it.]

    The friend replies “of course I would”

    To which “Thomas Moore” asks – how his friend would defend himself (and others) when the Devil turned round and started to hunt……….

  4. I just finished reading The Anti-Capitalist Mentality and Mises goes on state various marxists talking about how they don’t care about Marxism and that they just want power. So I assume it is exactly as you say.

  5. JFen

    As you know some of those people went on to be Nazis. And most of the ones who did become Nazis did not for ETHNIC reasons (because they had “Jewish blood” and so the Nazis would not accept them).

    The German student union moverment (and German academia) was overwhelmingly Nazi (at a time when the Nazi party was only getting a few percent in national elections) – but this form of the “treason of the intellectuals” went down the “Memory Hole”.

    American intelletuals went from Prussian Progressivism (under Richard Ely and co – who wanted to destroy Germany, but only because they wanted America to take its place and be a much more exteme example of statism) to Marxism – and tomorrow they may be something else.

    But POWER (the lust for it) is the constant feature.

    As it is Britain also.

    The Webbs, G.B.Shaw, H.G. Wells – all were prepared (indeed eager) to murder endless millions of human beings (they said so – they boasted about it).

    The idea that the Fabians were nice is one of the great myths of history.

  6. Over here in the States we have what seems like hordes of self-styled “libertarians” who are completely on board with Cultural Marxism. I don’t know how many of them are deliberately subverting libertarianism and how many are just depressingly naive. In an effort to shove reality down their little throats, I have just reprinted this at Ex-Army, and I thank you very much for posting it.

  7. baloocartoons.

    There are many people who seem to not have understood that the 1960s attack (actually it goes back well before the 1960s – but that was the “break through” period) on traditional cutural insitutions and practices (such as thrift, hard work and loyality to family) was not a good thing.

    Far from helping to create a more free society – it undermined (and was actually intended to undermine) civil society (what the left call “capitalism”) and create generations of ever more dependent (and RESENTFUL) people.

    As Edmund Burke explained centuries ago.

    Either people control themselves (self restraint) or they will end up controlled by the state.

    People such as Burke’s enemy Rousseau did not really want people to be free.

    On the contrary Rousseau encouraged moral degeneracy (and practiced it – for example he discarded his own children into foundling homes) for the express purpose of undermining traditional society, in order to replace it with collectivism (ironically Rousseau and his followers said they were preaching “virtue” when they preached degeneracy – they perverted language, as they perverted everything else).

    A new society where the collective would rule and any individual who stood against the collective would be deemed to be somehow mad, even if the individuals who stood against the collectivist “Law Giver” ACTUALLY OUTNUMBERED the people who supported the collectivist “Law Giver”.

    This is why the French Revolutionaries had no moral problem with slaughtering hundreds of thousands of mostly quite ordinary people – for “the will of all” was not the “General Will” (THEY were the “General Will”).

    So the attitudes of the Marxists are hardly new.

    As for “libertarians” who come out with Marxist stuff (either cultural or general ravings against “the capitalists”)……

    One can waste years of one’s life opposing them – I know, I have.

    Better to simply say the following………

    “You have your definition of libertarianism and I have mine – and the two conceptions are diametrically opposed (opposites). Stay away from me and mine – and I will stay away from you and yours”.

    Not what I actually say or do – but “do not do as I do – do as I say”. Or, rather, as I advice.

    Believe me – it is not worth it.

    Time spent plucking out one’s nose hairs is better spent, than time spent arguing with the “libertarian left”.

  8. Remember to Rousseau (as to the modern left) being employed by an individual or a private organisation is “slavery”. Whereas being under the total control of the collective is “freedom” – as one is part of the collective.

    You are ex army – so you know how much the left hate the army.

    And that is ironic – because, in a way, they want all of society to be a weird sort of army.