If you’ve ever wondered why the policy positions and tactics of liberalism seem like watered-down Communism, it’s no coincidence. There’s been considerable influence, some from traditional Communism (Marxism-Leninism), but mostly from cultural Marxism. Increasingly over time, this “Communism Lite” version became their guiding ideology. The left wasn’t always like this. They used to have real substance: the trust busters opposing the robber barons, the early labor leaders, Jack London—what the hell happened?
For that matter, today’s mainstream conservative establishment also leaves much to be desired. They have too many careerist politicos sucking up to major contributors and ignoring what’s happening to their grassroots. They’ve allowed themselves to be fettered by political correctness and co-opted by neocon entryists. The fact is, lobbyists and influential players in the background hold the purse strings for both sets of politicians, though all that’s another topic.
How “Communism Lite” differs from the real thing
Traditional Communism emphasizes socialist economics, along with the importance of hard work, productivity, and striving tirelessly for the good of the nation. Their historical analysis is all in terms of class struggle. This is a big blind spot; class struggle matters, but other important forces and historical events occur. To them, the proletariat is always good; the bourgeoisie and aristocracy are always bad.
Cultural Marxism diverged from traditional Communism. Note well, this is the “for export” brand. “Essential categories” are emphasized, such as race, gender, and sexual orientation. Like traditional Marxist historical analysis focusing only on class struggle, cultural Marxism sees everything in the lens of privilege and oppression. Class consciousness is still there, but in last place. For instance, all women are downtrodden and patriarchy gives all men privilege, including Jane the CEO and John the coal miner. A wealthy gay fashion designer is oppressed, and a straight grocery bagger is unfairly advantaged. Its stated goal is equality and respect for everyone, but they’re full of double standards.
Traditional Communism has class-based preferences, favoring the workers and farmers and despising everyone wealthier. Likewise, cultural Marxism has its agreed-upon favored and disfavored groups. Some religions are routinely ridiculed; others are off-limits to any criticism. Minority groups are encouraged to have pride, stand together, and organize for their interests, but majority members doing so are vilified. Likely you can think of a few more examples. History is rewritten and current events are spun to suit these agendas, sold by the education and media machines to inflame grievances in some groups and promote guilt trips by others.
If you think any of this is really about inclusiveness, fairness, problem solving, or healing divisions, then I’ve got a bridge for sale in Brooklyn. The real goal from the beginning was to discredit the traditional establishment, drive wedges in society, and promote agendas. It’s all about power.
A brief history of cultural Marxism
In the beginning, Max Horkheimer and his colleagues of the Frankfurt School—a Communist think tank—formulated cultural Marxism. In the 1930s, they moved to the USA and began subverting the educational system. The media, with many key figures having similar views, started promoting the same things.
The goal was to disrupt the foundations of society: the family, religion, morality, patriotism, and ethnic solidarity (but only of the majority). That sounds just like the leftist ideological buffet since the 1960s, doesn’t it? According to the Frankfurt School’s plan, the only loyalty remaining would be class consciousness, and the public would be ready to embrace a global Communist government. They didn’t think that one through too clearly; the New World Order they inaugurated empowered the billionaires, not the proletariat!
As the cultural Marxism memeplex spread out into the Western world through the educational system and media establishment, the originators no longer exclusively controlled the message. In 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed, leaving cultural Marxism effectively leaderless. The Queen Bee died, but the memebots kept marching on, sometimes wandering in very odd directions.
Twenty five years later, it’s basically turned into a religion. No single individual or Politburo-type group dictates the Party Line; they basically act on consensus and sometimes have major factional disagreements (consider these as opportunities). This has a two-part structure roughly similar to the Inner Party and Outer Party of Orwell’s 1984.
Cultural Marxism’s hierarchy, The System and The Hive
Presently, this is best described as a loose coalition bound by ideology and mutual interests; no group is solely accountable. Although cultural Marxism is decentralized without a clear leader, The System forms the center of gravity. (Some call this the Cathedral, though others find the terminology problematic.) These are the high-level politicians, media executives, big-name demagogues, major figures in academia, heads of foundations, shadowy power brokers behind the scenes, etc. Those with the greatest hubris seem to envision the world’s future as themselves and their posterity living like kings among billions of human cattle: easily controlled and dependent, bereft of cultural or genetic distinctiveness.
Basically, The System includes those who have money, power, and publicity. The limousine liberals rank lowest: celebrities, virtue-signaling corporate figures, and similar useful idiots. They present a glamorous public face and have deep pockets, but wield limited control over the public. Many business interests encourage globalism to profiteer from free trade (low tariffs) and mass immigration (cheap labor).
The Hive is a much larger group, worker bees used by The System to implement their ideology. As the name implies, they’re basically a herd that doesn’t think for itself very much. They’re expendable; any who step out of line can be thrown under the bus.
The Hive’s upper echelons include community agitators, civil rights attorneys, major feminists, editors, screenwriters, intermediate government figures, etc. Further down are propagandizing professors, petty bureaucrats, social media censors, half-baked intellectuals, foundation staffers, professional activists, journalists out to change the world, and the like. The lowest dregs are Social Justice Warriors: fanatics disconnected from reality whose only power is through online mobbing.
Are they sincere?
By Hedrick Smith’s estimation, only 10% of the USSR’s Party members really believed in Communism; the rest were opportunists in it for status and perks. How do the apparatchiks of cultural Marxism compare?
I’ll charitably assume that some in The System really do believe their message. The rest are talking the talk for purely cynical reasons of power, money, and prestige. Salaries for such positions are high, sometimes astronomical. Does The System really want to help the little guy, or feel solidarity for the downtrodden? Draw your own conclusions.
Members of The Hive have various motivations. Some only care about their own cause—feminism, GLBT interests, other identity groups, single-issue politics, etc.—but collaborate for the sake of coalition. Power-hungry types dream of becoming big shots promoted into The System. Some misfits are just lashing out at society. Surely there are unenthusiastic worker bees complying for their paychecks. All the rest, though, are sincere idealists, caring individuals who believe they’re fighting for progress and equality.
The naïve True Believers don’t realize they’re being used, or understand the nature of those at the forefront: corrupt politicians, plutocrats, demagogues, and the like. The pawns know nothing about the forces behind this, or they know next to nothing; they are in black darkness and confusion. Showing them the men behind the curtain might be enlightening.
On that note, many people in the general public have a feeling that something is going terribly wrong, yet can’t quite connect the dots. Let us help them see who’s pulling the strings.
Is liberalism better than communism?
Communism is rightly unpopular these days. Its economic system just doesn’t work. Worse, it featured repression and political violence on a massive scale. Liberalism is less extreme, though it certainly isn’t squeaky clean. It’s a totalitarian ideology, and not a particularly wise one, implemented as soft despotism. Social engineering imposed on the public since the 1960s has caused massive damage. Cultural Marxism is responsible for most of what’s wrong with today’s society: radical feminism, political correctness, moral relativism, need I say more?
Traditional Communism, even if stagnant and inefficient at best, at least had the constructive goal to develop their countries. In some ways, they were more sensible than liberals. They emphasized unity, not divisiveness. They didn’t dumb down their education. They fostered pride in their countries (threadbare though they were), realizing early on that flabby internationalism wasn’t inspiring. They promoted high culture: classical music, ballet, and art that looks like art. They emphasized productivity. All told, it was a terrible system, but I’ll have to give credit where it’s due.
Remember, cultural Marxism was the “for export” brand. Despite whatever lofty ideals liberalism espouses, their tactics include stirring up social discord and distracting with trivial issues. Students are taught to feel guilty about their country’s history. Government policies are hell-bent on promoting dependency. (If they achieve total victory, how will they deal with all this dead weight from the intergenerational poverty they encouraged?) Cultural Marxism is a great society wrecker—it works as designed—but it’s a remarkably dysfunctional ideology to govern one.
The System is painting itself into a corner. They’ve been living it up while Western civilization crumbles, but the party can’t go on forever. What the hell are they thinking, anyway? They should at least have the sense not to wreck the productive and industrious countries that allowed them to prosper enormously. Do they want to rule a transcontinental rubble heap?
They had better wise up and start governing responsibly. I’ve painted a grim picture of the liberal establishment, but things are overdue for a change. Their New World Order is unstable. Three outcomes are possible if they don’t reform, stop their social engineering, and cease their hubris. If the adults get in charge, the corrupt elite will never be allowed near the levers of power again. If the status quo continues indefinitely, civilization agonizingly grinds to a halt and they’ll perish with it. If the class war the Communists dreamed of finally emerges, they’ll be in for a big surprise if they believe their wealth, power, and virtue-signaling will protect them.