November 13, 2018

"The Alt-Right’s Favorite Meme Is 100 Years Old/'Cultural Marxism' might sound postmodern but it’s got a long, toxic history."

This is from Yale history-and-lawprof Samuel Moyn (in the NYT).
According to their delirious foes, “cultural Marxists” are an unholy alliance of abortionists, feminists, globalists, homosexuals, intellectuals and socialists who have translated the far left’s old campaign to take away people’s privileges from “class struggle” into “identity politics” and multiculturalism....

Some Marxists, like the Italian philosopher Antonio Gramsci and his intellectual heirs, tried to understand how the class rule they criticized worked through cultural domination. And today, it’s true that on campus and off, many people are directing their ire at the advantages that white males have historically enjoyed....

A number of the conspiracy theorists tracing the origins of “cultural Marxism” assign outsize significance to the Frankfurt School, an interwar German — and mostly Jewish — intellectual collective of left-wing social theorists and philosophers. Many members of the Frankfurt School fled Nazism and came to the United States, which is where they supposedly uploaded the virus of cultural Marxism to America. These zany stories of the Frankfurt School’s role in fomenting political correctness would be entertaining, except that they echo the baseless allegations of tiny cabals ruling the world that fed the right’s paranoid imagination in prior eras....

The defense of the West in the name of “order” and against “chaos,” which really seems to mean unjustifiable privilege against new claimants, is an old affair posing as new insight. It led to grievous harm in the last century.... “[C]ultural Marxism” is not only a sad diversion from framing legitimate grievances but also a dangerous lure in an increasingly unhinged moment.

121 comments:

rhhardin said...

Theodor Adorno had the best title, "The Jargon of Authenticity."

Paco Wové said...

Zany! Baseless! Paranoid! Dangerous! Unhinged!

Quick, somebody help Dr. Moyn reload his adjective gun!

Qwinn said...

Cultural Marxists say "Cultural Marxism? That's crazy talk! Now bake that cake!"

rhhardin said...

which really seems to mean unjustifiable privilege against new claimants

He really is into political correctness. Maybe good character will turn up again in the academic oeuvre.

tim maguire said...

and mostly Jewish

Cute. Criticism of the philosophy and influence of the Frankfurt school is now anti-Semitic.

Kevin said...

These zany stories of the Frankfurt School’s role in fomenting political correctness would be entertaining, except that they echo the baseless allegations of tiny cabals ruling the world that fed the right’s paranoid imagination in prior eras....

That’s the defense? Zany stories rather than examining the claims?

I suppose the real purpose of the piece was as a “NYT already debunked that” article for the true believers.

Isn’t that exactly how Cultural Marxists would respond?

Qwinn said...

What explains the near total expulsion and/or censorship of conservative professors in virtually every university across the country, if not a conspiracy? That kind of absurd and extreme political imbalance does not occur naturally.

Kevin said...

Pathetic attempt at denial. Using cultural Marxist cant while claiming cultural Marxism doesn’t exist is approximately as effective as writing a denial of an affair at Hotel X on Hotel X’s stationery.

rhhardin said...

Maybe it's cultural marxism, or maybe it's an interest difference or an IQ difference. So many theories.

Good character transcends differences. Why not try something that will work regardless.

rhhardin said...

My favorite philosophers are all Jewish, so it's not like they're all cultural marxists. A tradition of thinking, is probably the common thing.

tim maguire said...

Qwinn, when like-minded individuals are acting within similar contexts, no conspiracy is necessary to explain consistent results. In this case the liberal tendency to assign moral value to personal opinions and preferences leads to the marginalization of alternative ideas, which over time works to encourage those with alternative viewpoints to look elsewhere for employment.

FIDO said...

So I was listening to Michael Duncan's 'Revolutions' podcast, where he goes through all the revolutions in history and explains it to the satisfaction (or even past the satisfaction) of the non-experts.

He was doing 1848! There were revolutions in France, Austria, Italy, Bohemia, Hungary, Germany, etc.

And who was there? Karl Fucking Marx (pretty sure of that middle name). And what was he doing? Fomenting riots.

Marxism has been teaching otherwise unremarkable students and academics that they have the moral right, the HISTORICAL right to be violent assholes...and people like Althouse give them cover by discussing 'Our Proud Tradition of Dissent' like an idiot.

As if the smoke ever gets a chance to clear off Berkley. (This is hyperbole, but is still a point)

To paraphrase the welfare quote: When you give college credits for protests, you get more protests!

How many stupid people do we give sinecures and pensions to in the Academy? I can think of at least one.

No, not Althouse. Bill 'Domestic Terrorist' Ayers. And we made him a PhD in EDUCATION. I can't make this kind of stupidity up.

As Reynolds says: Althouse, when the hammer falls on the Academy, it is for stupidity like this, for not self regulating like this, rather than any kind of 'anti-intellectualism'. Frankly, the Academy, while writing lots of papers, isn't showing much intellectual rigor themselves these days.

rhhardin said...

Asians think too but some weird culture makes it come out wrong. That's where cultural marxism ought to work.

Tommy Duncan said...

"Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good." --Thomas Sowell

Lexington Green said...

When someone accurately describes Marxist academics who study culture as cultural Marxist that person is an anti-Semite?
Nice try.
The label is accurate, and the history is accurate.

Rob said...

I’m impressed that Professor Moyn was able to find the time to write this piece, busy as he must be checking his privilege.

Rory said...

I'm pay walled out: are Stalin or disinformation mentioned at all?

tim in vermont said...

You have to accept as beyond dispute so many premises in order for that to make sense that it seems clear that it's not an explanation but rather a bowl of spaghetti to throw against the wall to see what sticks.

FIDO said...

He needs to prove, and not just assert from his privileged position as a so called academic, that the privilege our culture has is 'unjustified'.

According to our cultural metrics, it IS justified and EARNED.

What Professor Moyn is advocating for is UNEARNED privilege for teenaged and early twenties girls and of course professors who have credentials.

But I welcome him to give away his unjustified and unearned privilege.

(Whisper whisper)

What?

(Whisper whisper)

OH...he means OTHER people's privileges are unjustified. Not his. How...convenient and typical.

tim in vermont said...

Jews are magical and anything that they touch is beyond criticism.

FIDO said...

Had a Culturally Marxist Sociology teacher (but I repeat myself). He was railing at how this BRAIN SURGEON was able to have made enough money to retire and try to become a restaurant chef (another high pressure job and not exactly a 'retirement')

This clearly outraged him. He was almost foaming at the mouth. "No one, ever, in any job, should earn more than $75,000 per year!" He finished railing at the frankly disinterested class.


A smart ass in the corner (Okay, it was me) asked 'How much do you make?'


"Ah...um...well...$75,000"


"Ah!"


Yes, I smirked. Can you blame a man?

David Begley said...

All this from the unhinged NYT.

Check out the Balkans to see how tribalism worked out. Rwanda, too.

tim in vermont said...

Like Macron means that other national cultures need to die, not that of France!

wild chicken said...

In the 19th century England went through all the same cycles of agitation, reform and reaction that we've been going through. The ideologies of the two parties evolving the same way, same arguments, same mass rioting...and look at them now.

Sigh.

Meade said...

“Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster... for when you gaze long into [Critical Theory], [Critical Theory] gazes also into you.”

tim in vermont said...

Whatever you do, don't repeat Gramsci's own words and note that his ideas still seem to be directing the actions of the left. My personal favorite is the destruction of beautiful public art and replacing it with deliberately ugly art to grind down cultural pride.

tim in vermont said...

This is really an essay the sole purpose of which is to give permission to casual dabblers in cultural Marxism to dismiss any criticism as anti-Semitism.

tim in vermont said...

How many scores of millions does an ideology have to kill, before you can call it toxic? The answer my friend, is blowing in the wind. The answer is blowing in the wind.

chuck said...

> sad diversion from framing legitimate grievances

Oddly enough, these grievances are promoted by privileged white people like Samuel Moyn. I think they are weapons in a white peoples' civil war, the non-whites are just lowly soldiers needed to fill the ranks of the privileged white armies.

Ann Althouse said...

"My favorite philosophers are all Jewish, so it's not like they're all cultural marxists. A tradition of thinking, is probably the common thing."

The old some of my best friends are Jewish argument?

Seeing Red said...

Irony

Some people of color come here for white man’s privilege because even if they’re the right color in their country, they can’t get ahead or that “privilege.”

Not the white man’s fault in their own country. That’s what they voted for.

Moon can step down and recede from the white man’s life or life in general at any time.

That’s his privilege.

Seeing Red said...

Bill 'Domestic Terrorist' Ayers. And we made him a PhD in EDUCATION

He wrote a US history book used in some schools and his wife is worse!

Eddie said...

I'm skeptical of the explanatory power of "cultural Marxism," but reducing the criticism of it to anti-semitism is not respectful to the critics or to the "cultural Marxist" theorists themselves. What kind of defense is it to say that the philosophy of these intellectuals is so impotent that only someone who believes in Jewish conspiracies would bother to critique them?

The truth is that the Frankfurt school (and other European Leftist theorists) did have an important influence on American Leftist thought, even if the number of people who actually read these theorists was small. And the Left did need to evolve past an earlier Marxist reductionism that thought that all social developments can be explained by economic class.

Fernandistein said...

Yale history-and-lawprof Samuel Moyn is a regular Marxist, in the style of

"it'll work this time if we just do it more ...ambitiously - trust me!":

His book -
"Not Enough: Human Rights in an Unequal World
"Samuel Moyn ... If we don’t address the growing global phenomenon of economic inequality, the human rights movement as we know it cannot survive or flourish." ― George Soros

"Exploring why the rise of human rights has occurred alongside enduring and exploding inequality, and why activists came to seek remedies for indigence without challenging wealth, Not Enough calls for more ambitious ideals and movements to achieve a humane and equitable world."

++

Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...

Ok, I clicked. "Alt-right" in the headline. (The goodthinking man's "Cultural Marxists!") Picture of Anders Breivik for illustration. Article following chock-a-block with splendiferously purple prose.

Great stuff. The paper of record as prog Jack Chick tract.

Looked the guy up because I figured he had to be either too young or too old to be in firm enough control of his rational faculties to restrain himself from producing such hysterical twaddle. (Sounds like he and that William S. Lind guy he mentions in his first florid paragraph are kindred spirits.) But no, dude was born in 1972, his CV full of gigs at top-tier institutions and name-brand awards.

The crudity of thinking among our eminently well-credentialed, the crudity and sheer nuthouse quality of the propaganda they've been churning out, is a wonder to behold. Fine, you don't like the rot being labeled "cultural Marxism". The phrase sends your precariously balanced psyche over the edge, because [insert conspiracy-theory crazy talk from crazy man crazy-talking about crazy conspiracy-theorists]. But guys? You need help. You're not well. And our society isn't well, when products of elite institutions, and "prestige" media, are regularly publishing directed hate-mongering that would have made the crudest Soviet propagandist blush.

Mike said...

The alt-left's favorite philosophy is 120 years old. The delirious and daffy evangelists of this failed philosophy are blissfully unaware of the inability of a socialist country to operate fiscally without sponging off a capitalist enterprise also. Crazy acolytes can simply spout marxist slogans and say "Medicare for all" as if the program itself was fiscally sound, which it isn't. "Democratic Socialists" are a running a con based on the shallowness of youth, the greed of university staff and faculty and the inability of the modern Media complex to tell the truth about an ideology so dangerous it killed more people than the Nazi's in the 20th century.

Okay, so two can play at that blame game. So where DID political correctness and its toxic social pathology come from?

Shouting Thomas said...

According to their delirious foes, “cultural Marxists” are an unholy alliance of abortionists, feminists, globalists, homosexuals, intellectuals and socialists...

Precisely. That is exactly what they are.

This is why you don't know you're a Marxist feminist, prof. It's considered in bad taste to say the obvious out loud in your professional and social circles.

Feminism and critical race theory are both Marxism. I suspect that virtually every member of the UW law school faculty subscribes to both. For purposes of professional back scratching, everybody's required to pretend that there's something new going on. It's impolite to speak the obvious.

Back in the day when I did editorial work, half the crap that came across my desk was a restatement of the Marxist false consciousness theory. When I told my boss this, he said "Yeah, it is, but we want to encourage good writers, not alienate people."

There is no feminism that is not Marxism. You're a Marxist feminist, prof.

Lucid-Ideas said...

"framing legitimate grievances"

There. we. go. again.

Why are they legitimate? Who said? Classic A Priori thinking, that statement automatically pre-supposes and comes signed, sealed and delivered as an axiom.

No. They might not be legitimate grievances at all. Have you ever thought of that? Have you ever thought that Gramsci was a lunatic? Like the rest a man trying to seek out a cultural/class explanation for something far simpler?

Some grievances are legitimate. Not all grievances are. Looking at grievances through the lens of class struggle has been one of the most - if not the most - damaging thought experiment ever undertaken by human beings.

traditionalguy said...

The criminal gangs that grew from American Drug Dealing Cartels use Academics to legitimize their thefts. They are proclaiming a need to steal loot by the trillions " for the poor", but they are then sending it into their Swiss Gold backed personal bank accounts. It is a simple trick.

Mweanwhile we are still debating their antifacist, anti Trump, anti alt-right propaganda storms. But those are only diversions, as were their prescious middle eastern wars.

"They" are the Bush, Clinton, and Obama criminal gangs that Trump and the US Military are in a desperate war to destroy before they can sell us out totally.

Mike said...

It continues to amaze me that all these writers from the 1800s, poor, unemployable, consigned to lower classes, with no path to the aristocracy, feeling like complete losers, would continue to find an audience in the modern world. That these same thoughts infect people in the USA is astounding. The most class-free society ever constructed, where even the poorest and allegedly "marginalized" youth grows up with the knowledge that anything is achievable with hard work and good luck, is such an unlikely place for this ancient and hideous ideology to take hold. The whole "class struggle" bullshit is so far out of the experience of the average American, who can only name two classes: "middle" and rich.

We live at the apex of history where we can all be a comfortable temperature year-round, have access to the world's abundant food, where even the poorest citizens have instant news and communication in their pockets and appliances that were considered the height of luxury 100 years ago. Even the poorest has food shelter clothing and entertainment. Moreso than than the greatest kings in history enjoyed. And yet there are always the cultural marxists among us screaming that these are "the worst of times." Screaming crybullies with so much privilege they can't stand themselves. I don't like them either.

CWJ said...

"The crudity of thinking among our eminently well-credentialed, the crudity and sheer nuthouse quality of the propaganda they've been churning out, is a wonder to behold."

A other way to put it - He's got a mind like an unmade bed.

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

We always get this angry moralistic clap-trap from progressives. There are some very funny things in this story.

1. Marcuse had to admit that there was no proletariat in the sense that Marx had predicted. The workers under capitalism were so rich, they thought the status quo was fine.
2. Marx himself had no problem recommending a peasant revolt in Russia, which had more or less nothing to do with capitalism, so he taught his followers to be flexible.
3. Marcuse had to ask himself who was either objectively suffering enough, or simply pissed off enough for whatever reason, to be a likely candidate for a revolutionary class. Immediately one thinks of people of colour, etc. Almost immediately the poor old African Americans are skipped over because the people of colour from around the world arguably suffer more, are more numerous and diverse, are somehow more likely to teach white males in the West a damn good lesson, etc.
4. Sooner or later women come up: somewhat exploited, somewhat among the ruling class. As Sarah Jeong has said, intersectionality means white women get to speak for everyone.
5. Embracing open borders means undercutting the wages and probably living and working conditions of the worst-off Americans. Something like cultural identity and cultural change comes before any kind of help with the objective situation of "the poor." Bernie Sanders noted this before he changed his tune in 2016.
6. People who are making it in the new economy, including some intellectuals, want cheap help with child care, housework, and food service. Low wages are a feature, not a bug.
7. If the Frankfurt School stood for one thing, it was somehow combining Freud and Marx--Freud for happiness, which Freud himself thought we should keep on postponing indefinitely--and Marx for justice, including some kind of happiness for a lot of people. The left can toggle back and forth: happiness for me might entail getting totally screwed for you, but at least we are undermining the white males or the enemy of the day.

rhhardin said...

"My favorite philosophers are all Jewish, so it's not like they're all cultural marxists. A tradition of thinking, is probably the common thing."

The old some of my best friends are Jewish argument?


Derrida, Levinas, Jabes, Wittgenstein, Hearne, Cavell. Nothing about friends, just not being marxist. Actual favorites, however.

Tina Trent said...

Seeing Red: it's far worse than that. The largest association of teacher educators in America, AERA, made Bill Ayers their national board chair for curricula for a decade. He decided what materials teacher training schools would require of all K-12 teachers for them to receive their certification. Millions and millions of teachers. He is a rock star in teacher education circles. Many terrorists went into teacher training. They transformed the discipline from being the most conservative to the least conservative academic department in colleges and universities in less than a decade. And in fact, scores of radical political activists, terrorists, and leftist university professors give all credit the Frankfurt School for bringing Marxism to the forefront of Democratic.politics and all cultural institutions today. So this dweeb is lying or just exercising his false accusation muscles. The Frankfurt intellectuals would laugh their heads off at the idea that they didn't create this cultural transformation, and do so intentionally.

FIDO said...

Social media is making clowns out of the Academy.

It used to be that their stupidity was limited to college papers, academic papers, and lectures to their students.

Now, lucky us, Twitter allows all these professors to let the world know their 'wisdom'.

They thought it would be a chance to spread their influence. Instead, the majority of non-Academics are recoiling from the call to chaos that will be the results of what Moyn is demanding.

Roger Sweeny said...

It's a good thing Marxism didn't cause "grievous harm in the last century."

Rick said...

And today, it’s true that on campus and off, many people are directing their ire at the advantages that white males have historically enjoyed. But neither the defense of the workers nor of other disempowered groups was a conspiracy on its own, and never was there a malignant plot to convert the first into the second — which is what “cultural Marxism” implies.

So he agrees the left is using the marxism attack model on new targets but doesn't think this should be pointed out because people evolved into it rather than being directed by some cabal. What evidence does he provide that the term requires this cabal? It seems clear at least some people are referring to an evolution so why claim this element is required? Why would the method of adoption be more important than whether it was adopted or not?

It's clear he pretends this is the important aspect only because it allows him to dismiss it, an intellectual strawman.

The Cracker Emcee Rampant said...

I've been hearing this passive/aggressive trope since the late '70's. I'll take "how to mention Republicans and Nazis in the same paragraph" for $500, Alex.

Otto said...

They peeled back the onion and lo and behold they discovered it has no core. Reminds me of C.S.Lewis' book " The Abolition of Man".

FIDO said...

As Sarah Jeong has said, intersectionality means white women get to speak for everyone.


If I were Sarah Jeong, she would be better off if White Women spoke for her. Just saying.

Not MUCH better, but better.

Ray - SoCal said...

When your receiving flack, it means your over the target.

Not to long ago I did not know who the Frankfurt School was. The information is becoming more mainstream.
Michael Walsh has a book on this, the devils palace.

Jordan Peterson uses the term cultural Marxism a lot, and it’s rise in popularity, and is probably the real reason for the article.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Earlier today I saw some people complaining online that the newest season of Dr Who was PC and they did not like it. Someone replied that the term PC was "2005" and that nobody used it currently except ironically. Its all about attempts to control the language. Lewis Carroll touched upon it in Victorian times. Its about whose to be master.

Paul Zrimsek said...

the class rule they criticized worked through cultural domination... the baseless allegations of tiny cabals ruling the world

It's the infringement of copyright that rankles.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

I first came upon the term "Politically Incorrect" in an album review in Rolling Stone in the early 1980s. I never read another copy of Rolling Stone after that. Having read 1984, Animal Farm, and Brave New World in my early teens, I recognized that the magazine's goal was to control me.

Chris N said...

Goodness, perhaps this is a threat. Rear-guard. Moyn, get out there!

Fernandistein said...

The worst product of Marxism is the "I shot an elephant in my pajamas" style of jokery, which caused millions of deaths, whereas the "Walks into a bar" jokes produced by capitalists didn't.

Martin said...

Well, this is certainly the guy to speak to "unhinged" from personal experience.

Chris N said...

Isn’t Moyn’s title a bit sexist...?

Herstory? Xerstory?

And what’s with all the privilege in New Haven? It’s not class, it’s race.

I don’t want the institutions gone, I want the bad actors in them stood up to by the better actors, debated, and by degrees forced to live by their own ideas. In a more just world, such small-minded zealots probably end up preaching on the streets. There’s some danger in this too, but, it’s better than writing the manuals and making rules.

Two-eyed Jack said...

Yale has a report supporting free speech, the 1974 Woodward report, that they still ppoint to as the principled statement of their support for free speech. The report also includes a dissent by a law student representative, who puts forth the view that fair competition between ideas is impossible, based on the ideas of Herbert Marcuse, the Frankfurt school philosopher. I would say the student's view has marched through the institutions and might now win a majority at Yale. So Yale historians could usefully examine Yale's history.

Ken B said...

Ann 7:44
I understand the desire to take a swipe at Hardin. But no. He is highlighting a bit is slimy rhetoric in the article: that Frankfurters were largely/mostly/essentially Jewish. The rebuttal that Hardin makes is, “sure a lot of them were Jewish. A lot of philosophers have been Jewish, including many better ones. The reason is that Judaism has a tradition of thought.”

Shame on you. Even Hardin deserves fairness.

Sebastian said...

"the advantages that white males have historically enjoyed"

You mean, like, fighting other people's wars, dying sooner than women, doing all the nasty work--those "advantages"?

And, like, advantages that black males in Africa and yellow males in Asia did not enjoy?

Rocketeer said...

Shame on you. Even Hardin deserves fairness.

Hear, hear! That was lazy and wrong of Althouse. Also, stupid and a bit vicious.
Even retired law professors who are usually clear thinkers have an off day though.

Sebastian said...

WWAS?

For example, what would Adorno say about rap? Time for the dialectic of decline?

Anyway, the old cultural Marxists had standards. Cultural Marxists aren't what they used to be. Now they are just progs with airs. Sad!

Sebastian said...

OK, Sam.

So, who is culturally dominant today? What does that tell us about the operation of class rule? Which class is culturally subordinate?

So, in the old account cultural domination was a tool of class rule. How different is that from a "conspiracy theory"? Why is "the ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas" not unhinged or baseless?

Karen said...

Shouting Thomas speaks of a restatement of the false consciousness theory. If we go by the maxim that the left always accuses others of exactly what they themselves are doing, it’s a perfect fit. Let’s create a false consciousness in the underclass so that they will vote left forever.

n.n said...

abortionists, feminists, globalists, homosexuals, intellectuals and socialists who have translated the far left’s old campaign to take away people’s privileges from “class struggle” into “identity politics” and multiculturalism.

Selective-child, female chauvinism, anti-nativism, transgender spectrum political congruence or "=", redistributive change, diversity (e.g. color judgments), and resolution of Jew... I mean, White privilege is a clear and progressive condition.

That said, individual dignity, intrinsic value, perhaps inordinate worth, and Nature's order. Go forth and reconcile.

Jupiter said...

You guys seem to have covered all the bases pretty well. I'll just add that I hope this shit-sucking little twat loses a few teeth when he gets punched in his smartmouth by some New Haven thug who wants his iPhone. Then we can talk.

Richard Dillman said...

I taught in a university dominated by neo-marxists for 38 years. believe me they are not benign no matter what they are called. Unfortunately, this philosophy attracted many of the weakest minds on campus. It still does. Intellectual pablum.

mccullough said...

Yale is about 25% Jewish though only 2% of the US population is.

I don’t care if the whole place is Jewish or Indian or Chinese. But the people who run the place and emphasize Diversity if Ethnicity/Race/Religion have ignored this for a long time. Stuffing Jewish people into the White category and ignoring their ethnicity oin presenting demographic of students then emphasizing Jewish Identity in other aspects is hypocritical, at best. Either being Jewish matters or it doesn’t. That applies for all races/ethnicities/religions.

tim in vermont said...

Why isn't "many of my friends are Jewish" a defense? Maybe somebody should define anti-Semitism? That definition will show up right after the definitions for racism and misogyny, your accusers will know it when they see it and there is never any acceptable defense.

n.n said...

"many of my friends are Jewish" a defense

Many of... is an argument of diversity or color judgment. Principles matter.

Char Char Binks said...

Some people think they can discredit something simply by naming or describing it. Other people let them get away with it.

Sigivald said...

I see a lot of bluster and not much evidence and argument in his words.

(Tthe historical accident of many prominent early Marxists being Jews doesn't make a distaste of Marxism anti-Semitic.

As long as, you know, you don't make it so by blaming/focusing on Jewishness rather than Marxism.)

Lewis Wetzel said...

When I think "white male," I picture the guys I grew up with & went to school with in my extremely white working class neighborhood. Only one in four or so went to college after high school. Most ended up in blue collar professions, went through divorce, had difficulty finding work now & then, and have lived from paycheck to paycheck for all of their lives.
This white male experience seems to be far more common than the white male academic/lawyer/businessman experience.

n.n said...

early Marxists being Jews doesn't make a distaste of Marxism anti-Semitic

That's right. The principal does not make the principle, or serve to color (i.e. diversity) other principals.

tim in vermont said...

Why isn't criticizing Israel anti-Semitism but criticism of a movement with some prominent Jewish members is? It's a rhetorical question, but the answer is that they are gaslighting us.

YoungHegelian said...

What a horrible example of a straw man argument! The author & the NYT should be ashamed!

Responsible commentators on the Right are very well aware that, while the Frankfurt School had a great influence on the American New Left of the 60s, the philosophical foundations of the modern Left are based more on French post-structuralist philosophers such as Derrida, Irigaray, Foucault, Lyotard, Deleuze, Guatarri, etc. Here's an example of a very important text for the Post-Marxist Left.

The foundational question for the movement from classical to post Marxism is -- what class or classes can develop revolutionary consciousness? For the Classical Marxists, it is only the proletariat that by the means of the Dialectic of Lordship & Bondage, develops revolutionary consciousness through labor. Now, the Maoists cheated & claimed that the peasantry could develop revolutionary consciousness, but that was seen by Marxist intellectuals mostly as making a theoretical advantage out of necessity, as China had almost no proletariat class, but had a communist revolution.

In defense of the Right-wing interpretation of the Frankfurt School, Marcuse very definitely develops theory to back how "social outcasts", what classical Marxists would dismissively call lumpenproletariat, can at least be useful in subverting bourgeois liberalism, if not in developing revolutionary consciousness per se.

However, it is in the development of Standpoint Theory, that modern Leftism takes the Marxist/Hegelian Dialectic of Lordship & Bondage and explicitly applies it to categories of race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. This is the explicit change from Marxism to post-Marxism that claims that experiences of race, gender, etc can create revolutionary consciousness. This is not Marxism. It is also not an invention of the modern Right.

I dislike the term "Cultural Marxism" and I never use it, because it is a term used by the opponents of a movement to label it. I feel the same about "Neoliberalism" as used by the Left. I call them the more neutral "Post-Marxist Left" or the "Identity Left".

And, Prof. Althouse, why'd ya have to post something like this that I gotta respond to when I'm on deadline for a presentation to a client tomorrow?! Sheesh!

tim in vermont said...

Yeah I grew up in a white working class neighborhood, besides my teachers, I never met anyone who went to college, my friends, many of them, divided their ambitions between being cops, criminals, or prison guards. I find being lectured on privilege by a tenured Yale professor who gets published in the New York Times pretty rich in irony.

tim in vermont said...

Had I turned in a paper on Dickens or Poe with so little supporting evidence and this poorly reasoned, I would have been insulted by the professor in red ink and all caps. Now though, the attitude is that as long as you have the correct opinion, of what value is the ability to think?

Howard said...

Blogger Jupiter said...

You guys seem to have covered all the bases pretty well. I'll just add that I hope this shit-sucking little twat loses a few teeth when he gets punched in his smartmouth by some New Haven thug who wants his iPhone. Then we can talk.


Why are you telling everyone you masturbate to violent revenge fantasy porn? TMI, even for a cuckservative

YoungHegelian said...

I hate when the NYT does intellectually dishonest shit like this because I have to live with the results among my friends who actually believe this stuff like it's Gospel. It becomes simply impossible to argue the point with these people afterwards.

How the modern lefty media sells an image of its readership/viewers as so intellectually "well-hung" (NPR's "The Mind is Our Medium"), and how they so uncritically swallow it, is probably the greatest cultural disaster of our age.

Ray - SoCal said...

>Yale is about 25% Jewish though only 2% of the US population is.

This is a third rail subject that is the elephant in the room on admissions.

Ron Unz had a study on the amount of Jewish in Harvard.

What's interesting is the they get counted as White for demographics in the Ivy League. And their test scores for getting in have been going down. The result is the actual amount of non Jewish White in Ivy Leagues is much lower than thought. Whites per his article, it seems to be less than the Jewish enrollment at Harvard.
http://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-racial-discrimination-at-harvard/

tim in vermont said...

For a guy who fancies himself intelligent, Howard, you sure have a tenuous handle on the meaning of words.

Meade said...

"There is no feminism that is not Marxism. You're a Marxist feminist, prof."

Really, Shouting Thomas, this hobby horse of yours was inaccurate and boring when you started on it years ago.

What if you had to argue: Ann Althouse is the most Smithian feminist?

Test your theory in the Marketplace of Ideas About Althouse. I don't think it would kill you. I'd even be willing to bet you could come up with some fascinating insights and compelling comments.

Let me encourage you to give it a try. Why settle for being boring?

rhhardin said...

Best Deleuze lines

A schizophrenic out for a walk is a better model than a neurotic lying on the analyst's couch. A breath of fresh air, a relationship with the outside world. Lenz's stroll, for example, as reconstructed by Buechner. This walk outdoors is different from the moments when Lenz finds hiself closeted with his pastor, who forces him to situate himself socially, in relationship to the God of the established religion, in relationship to his father, to his mother. While taking a stroll outdoors, on the other hand, he is in the mountains, amid falling snowflakes, with other god or without any gods at all, without a family, without a father or a mother, with nature. "What does my father want? Can he offer me more than that? Impossible. Leave me in peace." Everything is a machine. Celestial machines, the stars or rainbows in the sky, alpine machines -- all of them connected to those of his body. The continual whirr of machines. "He thought he that it must be a feeling of endliss bliss to be in contact with the profound life of every form, to have a soul for rocks, metals, and plants, to take into himself, as in a dream, every element of nature, like flowers that breathe with the waxing and waning of the moon." To be chlorophyll- or a photosynthesis-machine, or at least slip his body into such machines as one part among the others. Lenz has projected himself back to a time before the man-nature dichotomy, before all the coordinates based on this fundamental dichotomy have been laid down. He does not live nature as nature. but as a product of production. There is no such thing as either man or nature now, only a process that produces with one within the other and couples the machines together...

tim in vermont said...

" (NPR's "The Mind is Our Medium"),"

It's pleasure reinforced conditioning. All bigots are hooked on those frissons of feeling superior.

Jay Elink said...

David Begley said...
All this from the unhinged NYT.

Check out the Balkans to see how tribalism worked out. Rwanda, too.
***************

And almost all of black Africa, where it's tribalism, all the way down.

After the genocide, just to rub it in, the Hutu victors adopted a new national anthem:

"Tu-Tu-Tutsi, good BYYYEE!"

Shouting Thomas said...

@Meade

There is no feminism except for Marxist feminism.

Yeah, it's boring. Tell your wife to drop the bullshit. Feminism is the idiot part of her game.

Althouse is a Marxist feminist. Grouping women into a class with a grievance against men is Marxism. Arguing, as Althouse recently did, that Hillary Clinton has a class obligation to denounce her husband in deference to feminism is the signature demand of the Marxist interrogator. The most private relationships must be subordinated to class struggle. Althouse issued the demand and was proud of it.

Althouse is a Marxist feminist. There is no other kind of feminist.

American women never had a grievance. The invented grievance is a lie, constructed for the purpose of fomenting hatred between men and women, i.e., the usual Marxist method. All these decades of lying. It's time for Althouse to drop it and apologize.

Howard said...

Blogger tim in vermont said...

For a guy who fancies himself intelligent, Howard, you sure have a tenuous handle on the meaning of words.
Ha ha good one. Believe me, no one thinks I'm intelligent. I am a simpleton. Here is the best expression of my philosophy:

Some call it a Kaiser blade

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Yeah I grew up in a white working class neighborhood, besides my teachers, I never met anyone who went to college

Most everyone I knew had ambitions to be an auto mechanic or tool and die maker, both very well paying jobs.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Aside from the occasional academic hobbyist, I don't think most people on the left are motivated very much by High Theory of any sort, be it Marxist or pomo-- call it 10%, tops. I divide the rest more or less evenly between:

* Sincere desire to make the world better, combined with some really half-baked ideas about how to do that.
* Out-of-control pattern-matching to the glory days of the black civil rights movement.
* Wallowing in the dubious pleasures of self-righteousness.
* Reflexive opposition to whatever the Bad Orange People are for.

William Chadwick said...

Interesting to see the writer even acknowledge the influence of Gramsci. In leftist historiography, he's usually "the little man who wasn't there."

YoungHegelian said...

@WC,

Interesting to see the writer even acknowledge the influence of Gramsci.

You'd think, having been more or less murdered by Mussolini's regime, that he'd have a martyr's halo for the Left.

Buuuut, the fact that he spent time in Stalin's USSR before returning to Italy certainly bolstered the Fascist's case that he was an agent of the Soviet Union. After all, if you were a foreign communist who stayed a while in Stalin's Soviet Union, you were either a straight-down-the-line "company man" or you never survived to go back to your native country. You guys may roll your eyes when I spout Marxist jargon as above, but understand that for much of the 20th C if you got the details of that jargon wrong in the wrong country at the wrong time, you ended up in the Gulag, if not just taken out & shot.

Meade said...

"Althouse is a Marxist feminist. There is no other kind of feminist."

Well then your assertion is belied by your modifying "feminist" with "Marxist." Makes you sound not only repetitive and boring but incoherent.

Jupiter said...

Howard said...

"Why are you telling everyone you masturbate to violent revenge fantasy porn?"

Not at all, Howard. My message is one of personal redemption. I believe that a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged, and I am suggesting that there is still hope for this guy. He just needs to meet the right oppressed minority member in a dark alley. Then we can talk.

hstad said...

Blogger Ray - SoCal said...
When your receiving flack, it means your over the target. 11/13/18, 9:08 AM

The word you need to use is "flak" when using "target" for metaphor.

Nice one liner, but rather shallow. Just like Prof Moyn who has enough PC one liners in his article to attract all kinds of wonderful grants for himself and Yale. This reminds me that in the old days academics published for themselves and a very narrow group of people and most of it was dry and gibberish. Now that publishing has gone mainstream (MSM) but the content is still dry and full of gibberish.

Shouting Thomas said...

So, who is it Althouse is speaking for with her Marxist feminist diatribes?

I asked her deliberately and pointedly: "Who elected you to speak for all women?"

Her response was that she speaks only for herself.

OK. So, what's her complaint and who's she complaining for? She was not prevented from attending a prestigious law school, working in an elite law firm or snagging a coveted job as a law prof at a prestigious university.

Althouse's life story is a testament to the absolute freedom of women in the U.S. She grew up in an upper middle class household. She's never had the slightest complaint, so far as I can see.

The complaint is ordinary bitchery fancied up with Marxist bullshit.

Meade said...

"Arguing, as Althouse recently did, that Hillary Clinton has a class obligation to denounce her husband in deference to feminism is the signature demand of the Marxist interrogator. "

I think you misread her. You are certainly misquoting her. She never referred to Marxian class struggle or class conflict. She didn't even mention means of production. In fact, in that post, she never used the word "class" at all.

Are you alright, Shouting Thomas? You sound delusional and perhaps a little unstable. Do you need help?

Shouting Thomas said...

What, exactly, accounts for the dramatic changes in the status of women in the U.S. over the past 100 years?

Answer: technology invented by men in response to the demands of women. Labor saving household appliances and reliable birth control.

Feminism had nothing to do with it. In a way, we've let the ladies carry on as if all the ideological prattling really was the catalyst for change. We men are nothing if not chivalrous.

Men inventing technology ignited the change in women's status, freeing them from the drudgery of housework and lifelong child rearing. And it happened because of the benevolence of men, which, of course, has been answered by round after round of graceless bitching from women.

Meade said...

"She grew up in an upper middle class household."

What? "Class?" The use of that term, by your definition, proves you are a "Marxist!" False consciousness! Inherently contradictory! Dialectical bullshittery!

Plus, you are factually wrong.

Shouting Thomas said...

Are you alright, Shouting Thomas? You sound delusional and perhaps a little unstable. Do you need help?

The classic backstabbing political ploy of the Marxist.

Yes, observing the total lie of Althouse's Marxist feminism has to be a sign of mental and emotional problems.

What sort of GULAG do you suggest, comrade?

Meade said...

She is far more free market, pro capitalism, free thinking, pro competition than you are, Shouting.

You should try harder to follow her example and be more like her.

Shouting Thomas said...

Plus, you are factually wrong.

I'm factually correct. I've spent time in Wayne and Pompton Lakes, NJ working on contract jobs.

In comparison to me, Althouse grew up in astounding wealth and luxury. Those communities in NJ may not have been as astoundingly wealthy when she was young as they are now, but in comparison to the circumstances of my childhood, she might as well have been a Vanderbilt.

And, in her weeper bit, the only reason she could come up with for embracing Marxist feminism and advocating that the government and educational systems indoctrinate us in the New Man and New Woman, was that a high school teacher hurt her feelings.

Jupiter said...

Shouting Thomas said...

"Answer: technology invented by men in response to the demands of women."

Josephine Cochran invented the dishwasher.

Meade said...

"What sort of GULAG do you suggest, comrade?"

No gulag. No forced anything. Just straight up man to man concern and compassion.

Meade said...

"She might as well have been a Vanderbilt."

You know a Vanderbilt who went to a public school? Which one?

Shouting Thomas said...

She is far more free market, pro capitalism, free thinking, pro competition than you are, Shouting.

Her Marxist feminism is a dramatic festering sore that is completely out of place with her other beliefs.

How to explain that? Fashion? Feminism provided her with a useful club to browbeat men in the S&M atmosphere of the legal workplace?

You ever worked in corporate law? It's great for the money. It attracts S&M fetishists.

Meade said...

"And, in her weeper bit, the only reason she could come up with for embracing Marxist feminism and advocating that the government and educational systems indoctrinate us in the New Man and New Woman, was that a high school teacher hurt her feelings."

Alright. This is now just self-parody, right?

Gotta run. Be good and give thanks.

Ken B said...

Crikey Meade. Why waste effort on ST? At least Hardin is intelligent and often hints at good arguments (when not proclaiming all women are X for some value of X).

Shouting Thomas said...

Crikey Meade. Why waste effort on ST?

Because it's so self-evidently obvious that I am correct in labeling Althouse a Marxist feminist that a reply is demanded.

The professional and academic worlds are now controlled by Marxists pretending not to be Marxists. It's heresy to notice. Professional courtesy and career advancement demand that we salute the Marxists as if they created something new.

Jupiter said...

Shouting Thomas said...

"Because it's so self-evidently obvious that I am correct in labeling Althouse a Marxist feminist that a reply is demanded."

That Althouse is a feminist seems to be a fairly safe bet, although the usual caveats apply. But where are you getting "Marxist"? Are you saying that feminism is inherently Marxist? Or that Althouse practices some specifically Marxist form of feminism? Or what?

Howard said...

Get a fucking room, boyos

JaimeRoberto said...

The defense of the West in the name of “order” and against “chaos,”

Ooh, and a not so subtle jab at Jordan Peterson too.

rhhardin said...

Althouse is hot-button feminism, not Marxist feminism.

rhhardin said...

(when not proclaiming all women are X for some value of X).

That's a guys' argument. Structural even if wrong. A woman would argue from details, though blindly as to where it led. The hot button mechanism.

President-Mom-Jeans said...

I see Meade bravely runs away rather than admitting that his meal ticket's retarded ideaology might be problematic.

His living depends on him not saying these things, you see. Pre-nup and all.

Meade said...

"hot-button"

Not just hot. Sizzlingly hot.

Boy, howdy!

Big Mike said...

@Jupiter, I believe that Shouting Thomas saying exactly that — third generation feminism is inherently Marxist. I’m not sure he’s 100% correct, but (1) it would explain a lot, and (2) it would not be the first time Marxism disguised itself as something the evolution of something that had been good and honorable. Nor the second, nor even the tenth.

Jupiter said...

Big Mike said...
"@Jupiter, I believe that Shouting Thomas saying exactly that — third generation feminism is inherently Marxist."

Well, cool. Let's put some words in ST's mouth. There's room.

If he means that the basic trick of Marxism is to divide humanity using an arbitrary and invidious criterion, so as to stir up useful trouble, and feminism is an extension of that tactic using sex as the criterion, I would say the characterization is accurate. But that doesn't mean feminism is Marxist. I suppose you could say that what Marx claimed to have invented was an infallible method of scientific analysis, and feminism is very much a product of that mode of analysis.

Douglas said...

Moyn would prefer that no one notice or criticize the takeover of the educational establishment by leftist radicals. His claim that there was no conspiracy to upload the cultural Marxist virus into higher education is a red herring. No one says there was a conspiracy. We're just pointing out that the leftists have seized power and successfully eliminated conservative voices from their domain.

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