What is cultural Marxism?

As a blog devoted to the defense and promotion of the traditional, the classical, and the enduring – or to put it another way, “the good, the true, and the beautiful” – The Anglophilic Anglican is obviously on the polar-opposite end of the spectrum from that pervasive and pernicious metapolitical phenomenon often known as “cultural Marxism.” But what is cultural Marxism, anyway?

The precise definition can vary with the individual or entity doing the defining, but it is fair to say that cultural Marxism includes at least these elements:

  1. Globalist and internationalist in scope and ethos, cultural Marxism opposes national or regional loyalty, pride, and patriotism, supporting instead transnational structures like the UN and EU.
  2. Cultural Marxism typically supports “open borders” and “liberal” (e.g., lax or nonexistence) immigration policies, employing euphemisms (such as “undocumented” instead of the factual illegal, and “refugees” rather than the more accurate “migrants”) to mask or justify its intentions.
  3. Deeply anti-traditional, cultural Marxism sees (rightly!) traditional cultural, spiritual / religious, and even political norms and values as antithetical, indeed hostile, to its goal of transforming society in its own image.
  4. Highly secular, even atheistic, cultural Marxism is opposed to traditional religious and moral values, particularly those rooted in the Christian faith, although it is willing to use quasi-religious rhetoric and the idea of interfaith “coexistence” to advance its agenda.
  5. Aggressively “multi-cultural,” cultural Marxism claims to champion “diversity,” but appears to fail to realize that making every place demographically identical is not in fact diversity, but homogeneity. Or perhaps it does realize this, and that’s part of the agenda…
  6. While claiming “individual rights” as the justification for much of its raison d’être, cultural Marxism paradoxically adopts strong-arm, authoritarian tactics – from shaming campaigns (accusing opponents of “racism,” “sexism,” “xenophobia,” etc.) to violent protests / riots – for squashing dissent and imposing its view of the world, in the process trampling the individual rights of those who do not agree with its ideology.
  7. Despite its antipathy to traditional moral standards, cultural Marxism is quite willing to use traditional terminology and concepts, such as “compassion” and “fairness,” to justify its attempts to overthrow traditional social and political structures and moral values.
  8. Cultural Marxism is methodical and gradual in its methods, and takes the long view of history, knowing that every moral or social innovation accepted makes it that much more difficult to justify opposition to the next step; it counts on its opponents becoming fatigued, and giving up the fight.

“The Revolution won’t happen with guns, rather it will happen incrementally, year by year, generation by generation. We will gradually infiltrate their educational institutions and their political offices, transforming them slowly into Marxist entities as we move towards universal egalitarianism.” – Max Horkheimer, leader of the “Frankfurt School”

Not coincidentally, the importation and juxtaposition in close proximity of people with widely (even wildly) varied cultural, political, social, and religious backgrounds (*), coupled with the deconstruction of traditional mediating institutions such as traditional families and churches, and traditional social, moral, and political norms and understandings, provides fertile ground for the imposition of radically innovative ideas and ideologies – such as cultural Marxism itself. This is a truth which is not lost on cultural Marxists.

(* On this subject, I wish I could find the account I read, several years ago, about a cruise company which proudly advertised the multicultural nature of its crews. The dark secret that “selling point” hid, as recounted by the author of the article, is that having a crew made up of people of  a wide range of ethnicities, cultures, national origins, languages, etc., meant that it was almost impossible for them to come together and organize for collective bargaining. As a result, the company was able to exploit them more-or-less with impunity! This is a lesson which should be recalled, when considering the ostensible “benefits” of aggressive multiculturalism and immigration.)

Nota Bene: Franklin Einspruch, at The Federalist, makes a good case that what are most commonly known, these days, as cultural Marxists are actually what he refers to as “pomofascists,” short for “postmodern fascists.” As Einspruch notes,

“The main impulse at work here is not Marxism, but megalomania. The pomofascist sees himself as the embodiment of good and worthy causes. The less everyone else supports those causes, the less human they are, and therefore deserving fewer rights and less entitlement to their own views. Lying to them or about them is of no consequence. Beyond a not-so-far-off point of disagreement, it is acceptable to attack them, rhetorically or bodily. In this context, Marxism is merely an exculpatory device.”

While I don’t disagree with the point, I think we can’t totally discredit or ignore the Leftist / Marxist attitudes and ideology espoused by most of these people, either (see Horkheimer quote, above). Also, I think he’s fighting an uphill battle if he seriously wants to change the designation: “cultural Marxism” has acquired a certain currency, despite repeated (and somewhat hysterical) attempts by its proponents to discredit both the term and those who use it.

But then, I have always argued that the political spectrum is less a straight line than a horseshoe: go far enough to either the Left or the Right, and you end in totalitarianism.

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Author: The Anglophilic Anglican

I am an ordained Anglican clergyman, published writer, former op-ed columnist, and experienced outdoor and informal educator. I am also a traditionalist: religiously, philosophically, politically, and socially. I seek to do my bit to promote and restore the Good, the True, and the Beautiful, in a world which has too-often lost touch with all three, and to help re-weave the connections between God, Nature, and humankind which out techno-industrial civilization has strained and broken.

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