Marx Part 3: Cultural Marxism & Political Correctness | Philosophy Tube

Marx Part 3: Cultural Marxism & Political Correctness | Philosophy Tube


March is my month of Marx! In Part 1 we looked at Labour and Class conflict, in Part 2 we looked at Capitalism’s Consequences. Today
we’re looking at the term ‘Cultural Marxism,’ and if you’re watching this video, it might
be because you’ve just used that phrase and someone has linked you to me. So let’s break down and explore this commonly-used term. Let’s start with the Marxism bit. Marxism
refers, funnily enough, to the systems and work of Karl Marx. But Karl Marx wrote a lot of stuff, and lots of people could be called Marxists who believe or teach very different things. Some people we might call Marxists because they believe in the Labour Theory of Value, which is a controversial theory about how
things come to acquire value in an economy. Some people we might call Marxists because they believe in historical materialism, which is the idea that history follows a particular course determined by the people’s relations to the means of production in their society. Some Marxists are interested in what he had
to say about machines and automation, some people are called Marxists because they like to analyse societies as being made up of groups called classes – the point is, the word ‘Marxist’ is a lot like the word ‘fish.’ Fish move through the water; Marxists move through the ocean of work that Karl Marx left behind, but there are lots of different kinds of fish that live at different depths
and exhibit very different behaviours. Some people are also post-Marxists: they say that some stuff Marx got right and some stuff he got wrong, so we need to sift the good from the bad. More on that next time. So Marxism is a very broad class of theoretical
commitments and methods, some of which this series explains. We should distinguish it
from Leninism and Stalinism. Leninism was developed on top of Marxism by Russian revolutionary
Vladimir Lenin, and it’s the idea that rather than wait around for history to take the course
Marx thought it would, a small group of revolutionaries called a Vanguard should take power and enforce that historical change. Stalinism refers to… whatever Joseph Stalin
was doing that day, basically, which tended to be rather unpredictable except for its
being very nasty. It’s the means of governance that Stalin used, typified by state violence, rapid
industrialisation, a cult of personality, terror, socialism in one country, and the
meticulous planning of how the economy should run, as well as the brutal enforcement of
that plan, which as you may know, resulted in millions of deaths. Rather confusingly,
Stalin referred to Leninism as Marxism-Leninism, to try and make it seem like Lenin’s interpretation
of Marx was the only correct one. Now let’s look at the ‘Cultural’ bit. This
is a modifier attached to the word Marxism, which seems to make it even more vague
than the word ‘Marxism’ already is. A variant of the term, ‘Cultural Bolshevism,’ was used in Nazi Germany to denounce… well seemingly unconnected groups of people: artists,
musicians, anybody who was a bit more liberal than the Nazis, bascially. Cultural Marxism is associated with a group of academics who fled Germany during Hitler’s rise to power for the USA, and who came to be known as the Frankfurt School. It included people like Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer. They were living through a time of great social upheaval, so like Marx, they were interested in how social change happens, and they drew on his work as well as the work of a number of other famous thinkers. The Frankfurt school came to be seen as the centre of a secret plot to secretly spread ‘Marxist ideas,’ which came to be an even more vague term than it already is, through America in an attempt to destroy it. The idea was that, rather than establish a revolution, these Marxist academics and their allies were secretly undermining American value from within, particularly in universities. How this idea of the secret plot arose is really fascinatingly odd. In 1992 an essay appeared in Fidelio, written by one Michael Minnicino. Minnicino’s essay,
which you can find a link to below, talks about a supposed link between the Frankfurt School and 60s counterculture, as well as Operation MKUltra, which was an illegal CIA attempt to develop mind control – which it turns out was real, look it up – which Minnicino thinks helped
popularise LSD, leading to a resurgence in the Frankfurt School’s popularity, because anybody who took the Frankfurt school seriously has to be on drugs, right? Later in the 90s an American right-wing thinker called William Lind tied Marxism to political correctness. In several speeches to the right-wing think tank Accuracy in Academia, Lind said that both Marxism and political correctness
were “totalitarian ideologies,” infecting everything from universities to the media
to even some of the clergy. He took what he saw as an encroaching sinister force from
the left – feminism, sexual liberation, challenges to religion, affirmative action, conversations
about systemic racism, even environmentalism, not all of which have that much to do with
Marx – put them all under the umbrella term ‘Cultural Marxism,’ and tied it all back to the Frankfurt School,
many of whom, he chooses to point out, were Jewish. Also tied up in this was Paul Weyrich, who
helped found several influential conservative think tanks including the Heritage Foundation;
the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC; and the very famous Moral Majority,
which had as its head the late Reverend Jerry Falwell. All of these groups have shaped and in ALEC’s case continue to shape American politics, and Weyrich, like Lind, made this ‘political correctness=secret evil Marxist plot’ leap. So the use of ‘Cultural Marxism’ as a kindof catchall term for left-wing political ideas with sinister conspiratorial possibly Jewish origins, has a rich and interesting history. Nowadays, variants of the idea are used by all sorts of people, including Pat Buchanan, the white nationalist groups Council of Conservative
Citizens and League of the South, Norwegian terrorist Anders Brevik, anti-feminists, – on
Twitter I’ve seen it used by Trump supporters, white supremacists, Gamergate supporters, anti-immigration people, anti-government types – like Marxism proper, Cultural Marxism it seems can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. Adding ‘Cultural’ to Marxism makes the resulting term vague but obviously negative. We should also note that using ‘Cultural Marxist’ as a slur is obviously not engaging with any of the ideas behind Marx’s work, or engaging with any of the ideas behind political correctness, if you use it as a synonym for that. Calling somebody a Cultural Marxist seems a little bit like booing them, it’s obviously disapproving but it doesn’t really offer any critique beyond that if it’s just used on its own. That’s has been Part 3. We’ve learned about the history and use of the term ‘Cultural Marxism.’ In Part
4, we’ll finish our studies of Marx by going Beyond Capitalism. This episode was sponsored by my Patrons on Patreon: Jesse Austin, D.J. MacIsaac, Michael Hill, Lydia and Nate Thorn,
Alan Falloon, Jeffrey Peckham, Emiliano Heyns, and Horatio Cordero. So thank you to everybody who donated, all your names are in the description, and if you’d like to join them you can earn rewards by sponsoring the show!

8 thoughts on “Marx Part 3: Cultural Marxism & Political Correctness | Philosophy Tube

  1. It looks like you didn't actually research Stalinism and that time period as well as you did Marxism and Leninism, did you?

  2. Sweetie. How can you call it a conspiracy theory knowing that Herbert Marcuse, a primary member of the Frankfurt School, is considered the father of the modern American left; and his book Eros….. basically caused the sexual revolution in the sixties.

    The American left today are defined by cultural Marxism. The “theory” is so big that exposing it to them is kind of an existential threat. The Identity politics (Marxism), the attacks on the (heterosexual) family, on binary heterosexuality, on white people, on men, on gender and on humanity as a whole re their environmental hysteria were directly prescribed by the those brilliant if often misguided Frankfurt school minds.

    It’s not a conspiracy theory it’s just a part of history.

  3. " Cultural Marxism " also known as " Liberalsim " " Progressivism " " Labor " " Leftist " is a divorce of traditional Marxism from economics and a .marriage of Marxism to the culture. Whereas traditional economic Marxism pitted the haves against the have not's. Cultural Marxism pitted the oppressed against the oppressors. According to Marx the workers of the world guided by class consciencesness would rise as one and over throw the Bourgosie and bring about world communism. This wasn't a theory this was a fact and war would be the trigger. War came, the biggest, bloodiest and most appalling war came. World War 1 and the workers of the world instead fought each other for their nation state. ( This is where the lefts hatred for Nationalism originated from) The workers revolution did occur however, right where it wasn't supposed to, in backwards agrarian Russia which was practically a feudal state and not the industrial nations like the UK, U.S. and France like Marx specifically said it would. What happen? Two Marxist philosophers independently figured it out , the Hungarian Gyorgy Lukacs and the Italian Antonio Gramsci. They concluded that Christianity and Western civilization so blinded ( That's the word they always use " Blinded ) the workers to their true class consciousness.and unless Christianity and Western civilization is destroyed the conditions nessecary for a Marxist revolution would never occur. In 1919 the Hungarian Soviet Regime of Bela Kun saw Lukacs as the Commizar of Culture and enacted a very graphic and perverted sex education class in their public schools. Lukacs knew by undermining sexual restraints in children he could deal a double blow to Western Civilization and Christianity by incubating broken family's he called this " Cultural Terrorism " ( and this is where modern sex ed classes in public schools can be traced directly to) Over in Italy the Socialist Antonio Gramsci came up with the idea of a " Long march through the Instituons " meaning infiltrate and hijack our school system, the courts, the media, popular culture etc etc. His approach was to attack what he called the dominate cultural hegmony or pillars on which western civilization is built upon, things Christianity, capitalism, loyalty, the family, sexual restraints, morality, truth, patriotism, nationalism, etc etc and replace it with a counter revolution hegemony. In 1920 a meeting arranged by Vladimir Lenin and German Marxist philosophers decided to open up a think tank a school. Originally it was to be called the Institute for Marxist Research and was to be modeled after the Marx Hagel Institute in Moscow but figured that would be to honest so they called it instead the Institute for Social Research also known as the Frankfurt School. The Frankfurt School opened it doors in 1921 at Frankfury Germany and it's mission was " ….the intentional collaspe of western society super structure from within to create the conditions nessecary for a Marxist revolution! And how were they going to do that? Just like Lukacs and Gramsci proposed, cultural terrorism through a long march through the Instituons and replace the dominate cultural hegemony ( also called Bourgosie culture) and replace it with a counter revolutionary hegmony. In 1932 those other Socialist. the National Socialist came to power and seeing that they were both Jewish and Communist they fled and found refuge at Columbia university in New York. Here Max Horhiemer, Herbert Marcuse, and Theodore Adorno to name a few. ( who are the creators of every leftist movement to come out of the universities) infiltrated academia through the English Dept at Yale university during the 1950s Their first victims was the Baby Boomer generation. They created what they call the "sword and the shield" The sword " feminism " attacks the family, tradition and sexual restraints. The sword multiculturalism attacks loyalty, patriotism, nationalism. The sword Environmentalism attacks capitalism. Secularism attacks Christianity, etc etc etc. And the shield is what we call " Political Correctness!" it acts as a shield by placing the swords off limits to criticism. That's enough for today.

  4. 1:26 – Heh "fish" is a great example, since there's no such thing as a "fish" in (post?)modern taxonomy of biology.

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