CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Understanding Cultural Marxism

May 30, 2017

Throughout the West we see leftist activists ever at work. They seem relentless in their drive to destroy everything that has made the West great. They are ever agitating against all that we hold near and dear, and seem hell-bent on forever attacking the core values of faith, family and freedom.

How do we explain all this? Of course the Judeo-Christian worldview posits a malevolent spiritual being who hates everything of God and goodness, and is fomenting rebellion at every turn. That is certainly the spiritual answer to this, and one we dare not dismiss.

But let me look at some recent intellectual, political and historical background to all this. What we see happening all around us can largely be put down to a dangerous movement which we know as cultural Marxism. I have already discussed cultural Marxism in various articles, including here: billmuehlenberg.com/2014/06/28/cultural-marxism/

cultural marxism 2

In that piece I looked at five key players: the Fabians; Antonio Gramsci; the Frankfurt School; Saul Alinsky; and Barack Obama. Here I want to spend a bit more time explaining this nefarious movement, relying primarily on two commentators. The first is author Michael Walsh.

His 2015 book, The Devil’s Pleasure Palace: The Cult of Critical Theory and the Subversion of the West (Encounter Books) is an in-depth look at the movement, examining how Critical Theory results in a war on everything – at least everything of value.

In what he calls the ‘cabal of the Unholy Left,’ the aggressors include “the Frankfurt School of (mostly German) Marxist philosophers, theoreticians, and writers, as well as their intellectual descendants and acolytes in the U.S., including the followers of Saul Alinsky, the Marxist ‘community organizer’,” who had such a huge impact on Obama.

He says that these folks are not “garden-variety liberals” but those of the hard left, “the radicals, many of whom are now in power, who would remake (‘fundamentally transform’) – wreck – the United States of America and, by extension, the civilization of the West.”

The cultural Marxists indeed seek to radically transform society into their own image. They seek to erect “a modern Devil’s Pleasure Palace, a Potemkin village built on the promises of ‘social justice’ and equality for all … a world without want or cold or fear or racism or sexism.”

But it is a coercive utopianism they are implementing. They promise us heaven on earth, but as the empirical evidence demonstrates, they have given us hell instead: “The world sought by the Frankfurt School and its Critical Theory disciples is all an illusion … The corpses of the untold millions who have died in the attempts of the literally Unholy Left to found the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth, divorced from God, surely testify.”

He reminds us that this is of course the same ambition as Satan’s: to create heaven, but a godless one. Just as Satan seeks to destroy, deconstruct and decimate everything that is worthwhile and of value, the same too with the cultural Marxists. Says Walsh:

The Frankfurt School thinkers were the cream of German philosophical society – which is to say the cream of the restive European intellectual society of the period – who had made international reputations for themselves at the University of Frankfurt and then received a warm welcome into the American Ivy League.
The work of the Frankfurt scholars —among them, Theodor Adorno, Walter Benjamin, Erich Fromm, Max Horkheimer, Herbert Marcuse, and Wilhelm Reich—was grounded in an ideology that demanded (as Marx would say), for philosophical reasons, an unremitting assault on Western values and institutions, including Christianity, the family, conventional sexual morality, nationalistic patriotism, and adherence in general to any institution or set of beliefs that blocked the path of revolution. Literally nothing was sacred.

For those without the time or patience to wade through this important 200-page volume, a seven-minute video by Joseph T. Salerno is something you may be able to digest instead. It is short and sweet analysis entitled “Cultural Marxism Explained in 7 Minutes”.

Let me present some transcription of the video. He begins with a brief description of the group:

Their work came to be referred to as Critical Theory. Defining or categorising Critical Theory is exceptionally difficult, for it pertains to a broad, almost disparate set of ideas, individuals, and approaches. The underlying and enduring aspect of Critical Theory common to all its offshoots, nonetheless, is the creation of interdisciplinary theories that might serve as instruments of social transformation.
During the 1960s, the Frankfurt School critical theory gained traction with some segments of the left wing and leftist thought in both Europe and North America. Today, its influence is felt throughout Western academia, dominating the social sciences and humanities – gender studies and whiteness studies being two such examples.
One of the most influential Critical Theorists and an original member of the Frankfurt School was Herbert Marcuse. A cursory glance at any paragraph written by Marcuse will set alarm bells ringing for anyone even remotely familiar with the current culture of intolerance on college and university campuses.

The ongoing culture wars in the West has not been happening by accident. All the various isms that we find today at war with the West have had deliberate backing, agitating and fomenting by the cultural Marxists. Says Salerno:

Social Justice, Feminism, Neo-Progressivism, and Post-colonialism, to name but a few, are all movements inspired by or born out of Critical Theory, and thus all come under the umbrella of Cultural Marxism. Be it gender, sexual orientation, family, race, culture, or religion, every aspect of a person’s identity is to be questioned, every norm or standard in society challenged – and ideally altered – in order to benefit supposedly oppressed groups.
Classical Marxism saw class conflict as occurring between the Bourgeoisie and the Proletariat; between the haves and the have-nots. Cultural Marxism views such a conflict as existing between the oppressed and the oppressors; between those with privilege, and those without it.
The working class has been replaced by “minorities”. Majority groups are typically defined as privileged and oppressive, with minority groups accordingly labelled under-privileged and oppressed. Heterosexuals are oppressive. Cis-gender people are oppressive. Whites are oppressive. Especially white men. Christians are oppressive. Those that do not fit into these groups are thus considered “oppressed”.
It stands to reason, therefore, that:
If heterosexuals are oppressors, the solution is to encourage other forms of sexuality.
If whites are oppressors, the solution is racial diversity.
If cis-gender people are oppressors, the solution is to encourage transgenderism.
If Christians are oppressors, the solution is to propagate Islam.

If all of this is ringing bells, it should. We see this being played out every day in the West. This is intentional revolution, not accidental chaos. The militants are hard at work, while most of the West is asleep at the wheel. This is the war we are in.

Salerno concludes:

A popular and propagandist manifestation of Cultural Marxism is political correctness, in which media channels and social scientists make it a mandatory exercise to do the following:
-Question common language. Illegal immigrants, for example, are to be referred to as “undocumented migrants”, while ethnic discrimination is referred to as “affirmative action”. Their ambition to define and redefine words can be seen as a means of controlling the discourse and altering cultural norms. Racism and sexism have been redefined as a product of prejudice plus power, which leads to such ridiculous statements as:
“There’s no such thing as sexism against men.” And: “I, an ethnic minority woman, cannot be racist or sexist towards white men.”
-Maintain an unwaveringly favourable view of groups which are marked as being ‘oppressed’. Islam is a religion of peace; Black Lives Matter is a peaceful, legitimate protest movement; Feminism is only about equality, and so forth.
No deviation from the aforementioned narrative will be entertained. Ever. Nor will criticism.
While Communism, as Marx envisioned it, offered the resolution of class conflict in a utopian social system, all that Cultural Marxism offers is a desolate form of eternal warfare between ever more narrowly defined groups of offended minorities.
The only meaningful consequence that its wide application could possibly have is the marginalisation of traditional European culture.

Yep, that is the end game: the destruction of the West and all its values. That includes Christianity, family, freedom and even human sexuality. Everything must be smashed and destroyed. And if the older Marxists could not achieve all this with bullets and tanks, the cultural Marxists are pulling it off easily in their long march through the institutions.

It is all nicely going according to plan. Marx and Gramsci and Marcuse would be so pleased. They would especially be pleased with how most folks in the West are not even aware that this revolution is taking place – or worse yet, that they don’t even care.

mises.org/blog/cultural-marxism-explained-7-minutes

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13 Responses to Understanding Cultural Marxism

  • If Islam become a majority group and opprrssed Christians and Christianity a minority we’d be treated favourably, right????? !!

  • Wow, I’ve never heard of this. My guess is that many who promote the values that fall under social Marxism – or critical theory, don’t realize they’re doing so. Of course though, many would.

  • Brilliant article Bill. Thank you. The sad fact is that any lecturer or teacher who tries to inform students on this issue face immediate sacking.
    I would also suggest that if you mentioned the Frankfurt School in a conversation, most people would not know what you were talking about.
    It would be similar with the Club of Rome.

    God has already won us victory but we were not guaranteed that it would be easy.

    God bless you for the work you do in His name.

  • Although it’s a huge subject, I think it is essential that folk get some grasp of what Marxism is all about. I don’t think many realise that this is actually behind all the huge changes going on in the West. The more I’ve read, the more I can see how everything fits together; the attack on family and Christianity, the stupidity of trying to create hundreds of genders, and so on. No wonder there is so much disinterest and a dumbing-down on teaching history in schools. We need to know our enemy.

  • Hi Bill, I’ve become aware of this over the last couple of years, as have a few others in my church. However, if we try to inform others they treat us like we’re a bit obsessive and just into conspiracy theories. Wondering if you’ve watched a documentary called Agenda: Grinding America Down by Curtis Bowers. It’s what opened my eyes, and is a terrific DVD. He has recently produced a follow up called Agenda 2: Masters of Deceit. Available through Amazon. Thankyou for the work you do. It is so appreciated and valued by many of us.

  • Cheers Bill,

    The most worrying part of your piece is the last sentence.
    Marx and Gramsci and Marcuse …..”would especially be pleased with how most folks in the West are not even aware that this revolution is taking place – or worse yet, that they don’t even care”.

    There is a huge ignorance and indifference to our history and there is little in the public domain to challenge this. Your blog is a great help and encouragement.

    May I also commend Denis Prager’s 5 minute videos to your readers? I like to share this site with colleagues just out of uni and we used it recently in a men’s Bible study looking at the Ten Commandments. I think it’s a good resource to raise public awareness in these dry times.

    What we do (Prager U)
    www.prageru.com/what-we-do

    Who Killed the Liberal Arts?
    www.prageru.com/courses/political-science/who-killed-liberal-arts

    The Ten Commandments; what you should know
    www.prageru.com/node/164

  • Have read Roger Scruton. Great read even on a mobile device.

    Have just downloaded the Audio book version of Michael Walsh (www.audible.com.au/pd/The-Devils-Pleasure-Palace-The-Cult-of-Critical-Theory-and-the-Subversion-of-the-West-Audiobook/B015NNWTJS).
    (If that link doesn’t work it probably means it is tied to my account. Just search for the title).

    Long listen (8.5 hours) but I spend a fair amount of time in the car so it’s manageable.

  • … and if you draw a line from what is now being promoted you end up at everything God spoke against in Leviticus 18.

    Lyle Shelton’s blog at :-

    www.acl.org.au/in_hungary_they_are_putting_family_first#splash-signup

    is very interesting in this regard. Where countries have actually seen the results of denigrating the natural family and sexual morality they are much more likely to respect the truth behind the necessity to respect sexual morality and the rights of the natural family both in law and in society in general. We, on the other hand, disrespect this and put our media in the hands of people who have complete disrespect for these matters of truth and evidence. We have allowed ourselves to be bullied by a few evil people with a lot of money.

  • Our Mandate is to be a SIGNPOST to a Perishing World, the last Part of Mark 16:15-16 KJV is our marching order. Paul used Creation as a Springboard at Mars Hill which we find works very well as most people are not sold on Evilution and will listen to a reasoned argument. We are told to be Salt and Light and oppose such things as UNSafe Schools, Gender Bending and UNGay Marriage. The changes taking place are to be opposed and I did not thing the Anti Abortion Lobby would be as successful as they have been, the problem is that most people have not been given an alternative to what they are spoon fed, that’s up to us to give them that alternative.

  • Kathy Duane’s incisive and eloquent blog at kqduane.com exposes this PC madness, in particular, the lies of feminism that one can ‘have it all’ successfully, and that adultery, divorce, and sexual perversion are “liberating”.

    Her articles are very thorough, in-depth, persuasive and well-written. I believe it is a must-read for those concerned about the destruction of traditional Christian values.

  • Dear Bill, thank you so much for your faithfulness to God’s call on your life. May you remain strong focused and protected!
    My question to you with regard to this marxism is, do you see a connection with the rise of “oppressed minority groups” that we can’t say a single negative word about and the amount of enthusiasm there is amongst a lot of believers for social justice absent of any gospel preaching?
    I feel really concerned that these “causes” are like Trojan horses into churches where instead of calling people to repentance so they can be really free, nothing about their lifestyle gets challenged (instead celebrated), so we end up keeping people in bondage!

  • Thanks David. Yes I think there is such a connection indeed. Not in all cases, but quite often.

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