These are the notes of my talk given at the New South Wales Parliament to the Round Table Forum.
Cultural Marxism in Modern Society…
I have several confessions to make….I am a white middle-aged male who is from a country which was an imperialist power. More confessions…my nickname was Red Robbo because I was a socialist…and would still claim to be left wing. At the same time I was and am a Christian. I also happen to think that there are some things that are true and some things that are false….and I am open to learning which is which…! I went to University to get an education – not to get a job. I think education is in and of itself a good thing and should not be about social engineering in some kind of Brave New World dystopia. Now that I’ve got that off my chest.
What is Cultural Marxism?
What is it? I am allowing the other speakers to be more detailed about what it is…I just want to emphaise its effects – but in my simple way let me just state that cultural Marxism is the means by which very wealthy people can claim to be compassionate socialists and yet retain all their money. It is a shift from the idea of economic justice to the idea of ‘cultural’ justice. Cultural Marxists don’t care about how wealthy you are (unless you are ‘right wing’).
In this talk I use extensively two books and I am grateful to the authors for their insights and information. Melvin Tinker – That Hideous Strength – soon to be reissued in an expanded and even more helpful edition.
Rob Smith – one of the most brilliant thinkers in my view in Australia has a new article entitled Concoted Conspiracy or Revolutionary Reality? Most of the historical facts below are taken from his work in conjunction with Tinker’s new expanded edition which also goes into the history.
Marxist theory leads to three aims – the abolition of private property, the abolition of the family and the abolition of the Church.
Cultural Marxism is simply the application of Marxist theory to culture. Although I think that todays cultural Marxists are actually quite keen on private property as they tend to have quite a lot of it.
It’s obviously a term that causes a great deal of dispute…not least because using it is seen by some as being right wing or anti-Semitic.
History of Cultural Marxism
Key figures are Antonio Gramsci (1897-1937) – In his book, The Prison Notebooks, he asked why hadn’t Marxism worked out? Because of the culture. You don’t change the culture by changing the economics – classical Marxism – you change the economics by changing the culture. You take over all the major civil institutions. Unless Western culture is de-Christianised it will never be decaptitalised. Christianity must be replaced by an all powerful secular order and the church by the State. Gramsci’s influence is disputed – but is seen most of all in the burgeoning industry of ‘cultural studies’.
The Frankfurt School – 1923 – Institue for Social Research. Most were communists or Jews (hence the accusation of anti-Semitism) and in 1933 fled to Geneva then the US. Lukacs (Hungarian) became People’s Commissar for Education and Culture in 1919 for the short lived Bolshevik regime in Hungary. He argued for the destruction of traditional sexual morality and the bourgeois family. Get rid of monogamy – teach children sexual pleasure.
Johann Gottlieb Fichte ; ‘If theory conflicts with the facts, so much the worse for the facts”
Eric Fromm (1900-1980) – Sexuality and gender are just social constructs….
Theodor Adorno – (1903-1969) – The Authoritarian Personality. The F scale – The Fascist scale…
Herbert Marcuse – (1898-1979) – Eros and Civilisation – A philosophical Inquiry into Freud. One of the founding documents of the sexual revolution. Accredited with the phrase – Make Love not War. Critical theory – essentially negative and destructive…but what are they going to replace it with….Democracy is the most efficient system of domination”
Basically cultural Marxism believes that the major obstacle to the spread of Marxism was traditional Western culture with its Judaeo-Christian heritage.” That sexual repression is a main part of that culture and so sexual liberation from the patriarchal society is an essential. For `example Marcuse argued that all traditional values and sexual restraints should be thrown off in favour of “polymorphous perversity”.
This is especially true of Gramsci’s idea of hegemony whereby a dominant class exerts and maintains its influence “over people through noncoercive means such as schools, the media and marketing. Changing what Peter Berger calls the ‘plausibility structures’ of society (the background assumptions which are taken as a given) they aim to get people to think and feel for themselves that values and practices, such as SSM are common sense, fair and natural. In this regard Christianity has been sidelined, in many peoples eyes to the relevance of flat earthism.
Changing the Language
Here Tinker has an important insight: “ One of the key tools for achieving such a change of perception and feeling is by the destabilization of language, thus enabling a new language to be devised by which the power of the elite can be exerted”. We can see how this working out in our culture today. Take the example of same sex marriage. When the question was asked in the UK do you support the traditional view of marriage as between a man and a woman – the answer was majority yes? When it was changed to ‘Do you support equal marriage?’
The Intolerance of Tolerance
Another tool is the totalitarian (as opposed to the Christian) view of tolerance. Things which are perceived as preventing freedom or happiness cannot be tolerated. “ certain things cannot be said, certain ideas cannot be expressed, certain policies cannot be exposed, certain behaviour cannot be permitted without making tolerance an instrument for the continuation of servitude”.
Political correctness is driven by two things, group identity and the discounting of truth as valuable. Some groups are beyond criticism. Some truths cannot be said.
The other big area of influence is education.
The tactics used were to infiltrate the educational establishments, especially the Universities and to demonise all who oppose as ‘fascists’. This has been so successful that if you hold to any traditional form of morality, no matter how left-wing/liberal you are, you are automatically called a fascist. Such name-calling means that there is no need to engage with the arguments. This is largely the standard of political discourse today. As Tinker puts it “Forget argument and reason, assume your opponent is just wrong or stupid (or both) and explain his ideas away by appealing to pseudoscience”
Lesbian activist Patricia Warren notes : “Whoever captures the kids, owns the future”. Westminster Parliament. Tinker cites the ‘Educate and Celebrate’ movement which like all such organisations is a charity which relies on government funding – and which seeks to ensure that all schools have LGBTI education and activities. There are numerous examples of the kind of propaganda being fed to our children, from the TIE campaign in Scotland to Drag Queen Story Time. I think of a class in a school in Dundee where a young girl told a teacher who spoke in a nativity service of Mary being a pregnant woman – said ‘you can’t say that, because she could have been a man’.
But as well as promotion of one point of view – there is the attempt to silence the other point of view. There have been numerous examples of people being disciplined or removed from their courses because they dare to disagree with the Queer Theory philosophy. “Universities are supposed to be places where a hugh diversity of views can be heard. Not any more, not in our universities. If you don’t subscribe to every one of their modern, secular, liberal beliefs you’re out on your ear. Either banned from speaking at their campuses or thrown of your course. Just because you believe in something they don’t” (Rod Liddle)
This silencing is made all the easier because of the lynch mob mentality that can be whipped up through Facebook and Twitter. People just want to keep their heads down and shut up (I have lost count of the number of times that LGBT activists have contacted Dundee University to try to get me thrown out as a chaplain).
As we have seen one of the main aims of Cultural Marxism is to destroy the family.
“Equality is never going to be enough: what is needed is a total social revolution, a complete reordering of civilisation. Reform….cannot change the deep-down attitude of straight people that homosexuality is at best inferior to their own way of life, a worst a sickening perversion. It will take more than reforms to change this attitude, because it is rooted in our society’s most basic institution – the Patriarchal Family” The Gay Liberation Front Manifesto
“Fighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we’re going to do with marriage when we get there. Because we lie that the institution of marriage is not going to change, and that is a lie. The institution of marriage is going to change and it should change, and again, I don’t think it should exist” Masha Gessen (Lesbian author and activist).
My own view is that the vast majority of problems in our society either stem from, or are made much worse by, the break up of the family which has been at least partially caused by the redefinition of what family is.
The Revolution Eats Itself……
What is happening to our Universities in the UK and the US is to say the least disturbing. In many cases they are ceasing to be Universities (looking at a wide range of subjects, with a wide range of views) to becoming commercial centres of social engineering, teaching a philosophy of cultural Marxism and not tolerating any dissent. And it really is getting quite scary and mad. Germaine Greer getting no platformed.
Professor Sara Giordano from the University of California argues that science is a form of white power which relies on “a colonial and racialized form of power,” and must be replaced with an “anti-science, antiracist, feminist approach to knowledge production.” We must all apparently practice ‘feminist science’.
Meanwhile not to be outdone a lecturer at the University of Texas has accused a bisexual student of offending someone because they questioned whether it was a good thing that several Muslim countries have the death penalty for homosexuality. What stuns me about this is that the student was threatened with the ‘Behaviour Intervention Team’ and being expelled from his philosophy course because of his ‘Islamaphobia’. Pupil in the UK failed an exam because she was accused of being Islamaphobic….for questionining Halal meat – she is a vegan.
An education charity apologised for allowing two different opinions. Teach First tweeted: ““We made a mistake, we published two blogs with opposing views as part of a recent debate on education. One was wrong. We’ve removed it. Sorry.” Imagine that – allowing different opinions. What is the world coming to? Perhaps TeachFirst should change their name to ‘IndoctrinateFirst’.
Speaking of the elites…the wonderful people who run the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office decided to pass on their collective wisdom to the wider world. They have asked the UN not to refer to pregnant women in their human rights treaty because it might offend transgender ‘men’ who are pregnant. But now they have reconsidered – The FCO said: “The UK does not object to the use of the term ‘pregnant woman’. Just stop. Think. And realise that someone somewhere in power actually thought that sentence was a) necessary b) worth saying and c) meaningful!
It seems as though the whole media and chattering classes are gripped by a collective moralistic hysterical panic. And yet still they just don’t get the problem. If you reject the roots, you are not going to end up with the fruits.
Hypocrisy – without exception all the members of the Frankfurt school were privileged elites who were seeking to bring down the system that gave them privilege – whilst retaining their privilege.
Against the Poor – They were anti-working class – anti the poor. You won’t find them in Blacktown you will find them in Newtown.
We not have the grandchildren of cultural Marxism…the destruction of the family, the church, and deconstruction of humanity through sexuality and gender.
Is there a conspiracy? No. I believe in cock up not conspiracy… Like the tower of Babel there is confusion but there is no individual or group manipulating everyone.
They are like children playing with a stick of dynamite…they learn how to blow something up – but they can not build anything.
Os Guinness – “Our Western Nations have both forgotten God and forgotten where they have come from. Now they are attempting to complete the process of severing the roots of Western civilisation, destroying its root system poisoning its soil and ruining its entire spiritual, moral and social ecology” Only a renewal of Biblical Christianity will save Western civilisation….otherwise we are doomed to go the way of the great Roman and Greek civilisations.
“A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it” G K Chesterton I hope we are living….
In the question time which followed there were some good questions and some bizarre ones. I had to challenge some of them…for example at one point I answered an anti-immigration question by suggesting that Australia was a nation of immigrants (see this picture hanging in the parliament showing some earlier immigrants!) and that the new immigrants from Asia might be Australia’s salvation, not its destruction.
There were a number of other questions that were not addressed to me and that either were or resulted in statements which I would want to dissociate myself from or question.
We fight error with mockery – No we fight error with truth.
Australians are very modest (this being an implied difference between ‘Australians ‘ and immigrants” – The speaker had clearly not heard Aussies boast of their sporting prowess! Tall poppy syndrome is more a sign of envy than it is of modesty.
Cultural Marxists are opposed to property rights – I don’t think this is true. Cultural Marxists tend not to like this part of Marxism – not least because they tend to have a lot of property.
There is no such thing as class – I find that this is usually said by those who belong to a higher socio-economic class. In the sense that there are divisions in society caused by wealth, social status and background there is such a thing as class.
You have all been brain washed because you use the word ‘gay’ – no, the meaning of words change and that is not always a bad thing. The mere change of use of a word does not indicate brainwashing.
Multi-culturalism is the problem – again it all depends on what you mean by multi-culturalism. Having lots of different cultures in a country, city or community in my view enhances and enriches. The problem is how we all relate to one another -and that is more the problem of human sin, than the superiority or dominance of one particular culture.
As I walked down to Wyndard station past the remaining anti-abortion demonstraters it struck me as ironic that whilst the legislators within the parliament legislating for abortion were largely white middle class Aussies, many of the demonstrators against it were clearly immigrants ( I heard Eastern European orthodox, Middle Eastern, Asian and other voices). It is the immigrants who were the ones uphold what many in the meeting would call traditional Australian values!
It was a fascinating, frustrating and encouraging night. I got a sense that people were aware of the problem created by identity politics and cultural Marxism – but they were not sure how to answer that problem. I don’t believe that the solution to human greed, sinfulness, division and power games is either left or right wing politics – or indeed some amorphous middle. You cannot have the fruits of Christianity if you do not have the root of Christ. End of.
The Key to Understanding Contemporary Western Society (and whats happening in UK politics today)
Should Christians Celebrate the Birthday of Karl Marx?
Is the Church Capitalist? Is the American Church too Compromised with the Culture?