Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Better Understanding Cultural Marxism and Post Modernism...

Right wing conservatives have been pushing Cultural Marxism and Post Modernism as twin evils unleashed on western civilization by the left in its alleged desire to destroy western civilization. Following we present brief "teasers" followed with links to the full articles both.

'Cultural Marxism,' a conspiracy theory with an anti-Semitic twist, is being pushed by much of the American right.

Television commentator Pat Buchanan says it is being used to "de-Christianize" America. Washington heavyweight William Lind claims it is turning U.S. college campuses into "ivy-covered North Koreas." Retired naval commander Gerald Atkinson fears it has invaded the nation's military academies. Immigration activist John Vinson suggests it aims "to distort and destroy" our country.

"Cultural Marxism," described as a conspiratorial attempt to wreck American culture and morality, is the newest intellectual bugaboo on the radical right. Surprisingly, there are signs that this bizarre theory is catching on in the mainstream.

The phrase refers to a kind of "political correctness" on steroids — a covert assault on the American way of life that allegedly has been developed by the left over the course of the last 70 years. Those who are pushing the "cultural Marxism" scenario aren't merely poking fun at the PC excesses of the "People's Republic of Berkeley," or the couple of American cities whose leaders renamed manholes "person-holes" in a bid to root out sexist thought.

Right-wing ideologues, racists and other extremists have jazzed up political correctness and repackaged it — in its most virulent form, as an anti-Semitic theory that identifies Jews in general and several Jewish intellectuals in particular as nefarious, communistic destroyers. These supposed originators of "cultural Marxism" are seen as conspiratorial plotters intent on making Americans feel guilty and thus subverting their Christian culture.

In a nutshell, the theory posits that a tiny group of Jewish philosophers who fled Germany in the 1930s and set up shop at Columbia University in New York City devised an unorthodox form of "Marxism" that took aim at American society's culture, rather than its economic system.

The theory holds that these self-interested Jews — the so-called "Frankfurt School" of philosophers — planned to try to convince mainstream Americans that white ethnic pride is bad, that sexual liberation is good, and that supposedly traditional American values — Christianity, "family values," and so on — are reactionary and bigoted. With their core values thus subverted, the theory goes, Americans would be quick to sign on to the ideas of the far left.

The very term, "cultural Marxism," is clearly intended to conjure up xenophobic anxieties. But can a theory like this, built on the words of long-dead intellectuals who have little discernible relevance to normal Americans' lives, really fly? As bizarre as it might sound, there is some evidence that it may. Certainly, those who are pushing the theory seem to believe that it is an important one.

"Political correctness looms over American society like a colossus," William Lind, a principal of far-right political strategist Paul Weyrich's Free Congress Foundation and a key popularizer of the idea of cultural Marxism, warned in a 1998 speech. "It has taken over both political parties and is enforced by many laws and government regulations. It almost totally controls the most powerful element in our culture, the entertainment industry. It dominates both public and higher education. ... It has even captured the clergy in many Christian churches."

From PC to Cultural Marxism

The idea of political correctness — the predecessor of the more highly charged concept of cultural Marxism — was popularized by the mass media in the early 1990s, highlighted by a 1991 speech by the first President Bush in which he warned that "free speech [is] under assault throughout the United States." By the end of 1992, feature stories on the phenomenon had appeared in Newsweek, New York magazine, The New Republic, Atlantic Monthly and the New York Review of Books.

The Wall Street Journal, whose editorial writers had recklessly pilloried a University of Pennsylvania academic as the personification of political correctness, said it posed a "far worse ... threat to intellectual freedom" than McCarthyism. In the pages of The Washington Times (see 'Defending Dixie'), Heritage Foundation scholar Laurence Jarvik wrote angrily that "storm troopers" were attacking "Western culture."

Of course, the phrase was basically a politically charged construct that was used to mock the left and even liberals. Challenges to gender bias, efforts to diversify the nation's universities, and similar policies were dismissed as attempts to turn the universities into "gulags" under the thumbs of left-wing thought police. The term was used to attack ideas while avoiding any discussion of their merits {Emphasis mine}.

Although he didn't use the words "cultural Marxism," white nationalist Pat Buchanan (see description of The American Cause), helped frame the debate as a "culture war" in his inflammatory speech in support of the first President Bush's nomination for reelection at the 1992 GOP convention in Houston.
"There is a religious war going on in our country for the soul of America," Buchanan said in his nationally televised address. "It is a cultural war, as critical to the nation we will one day be as was the Cold War itself."

But it may be William Lind, who has long worked at the Free Congress Foundation that his ally Paul Weyrich founded, who has done the most to define the enemies who make up the so-called "cultural Marxists." Ultimately, this enemy has come to embody a whole host of Lind's bĂȘte noires — feminists, LGBT people, secular humanists, multiculturalists, sex educators, environmentalists, immigrants, black nationalists, the ACLU and the hated Frankfurt School philosophers.

Continue reading HERE.


Postmodernism Critique

Where Postmodernism Came From

When performing a postmodernism critique, it is helpful to understand where postmodernism came from. Postmodernism comes in all kinds of shapes and expressions. This sort of variety can make it difficult to understand. Further, postmodernism resists categories and distinctions, and this makes it more difficult to nail down as a worldview. There is a larger intellectual history that must be understood in order to grasp the uniqueness and significance of postmodernism as a worldview.

Ideas Have Histories

While dividing history into distinct time periods is not an exact science, there are two major historical transitions that can help us clarify the emergence of postmodernism: (1) the transition towards modernism, typically dated around the 1700s, and (2) the transition away from modernism, which began in the late 20th century.

The transition from what is often called the pre-modern period into the modern period corresponds with the influence of Enlightenment thinking and the scientific revolution. Prior to the Enlightenment, there was a dominant cultural belief in the existence of the supernatural. This was due in large part to the rise of Christianity, and specifically the Roman Catholic Church as the most powerful cultural presence in medieval times. This was a world of authority, and authority rested in the hands of traditional institutions, especially the church, since it was entrusted with interpreting and communicating this truth to the common person.

With a belief in God came a strong belief in the concept of revelation, that God not only existed but had revealed Himself and His will in the Bible. This revelation was considered the primary source of truth, and could be trusted to unlock God’s metanarrative (or “Big Story”) for the world. Believing was the starting point of real knowledge.

St. Anselm typifies a pre-modern perspective on truth: “For I seek not to understand in order that I may believe; but I believe in order that I may understand, for I believe for this reason: that unless I believe, I cannot understand.” This view of revelation and authority did not fare well during the Enlightenment.

The Enlightenment was a movement among European intellectuals in the 17th and 18th centuries. In the decades leading up to this time, the church’s authority had been successfully challenged politically (reactions against corruption), theologically (Luther, Calvin and the Protestant Reformation), philosophically (downfall of scholasticism), and scientifically (Galileo, Copernicus, and Baconian method). There was a growing disillusionment with the traditional educational, political and religious institutions, as well as their authoritative sources.

During the Enlightenment, authority shifted from traditional institutions to human reason. A scientific approach to the world yielded tremendous advances in medicine, technology, and communications and challenged the centrality of theology and religious belief as the paradigm for learning. Free from the restrictive shackles of traditional beliefs (thus, modernism), progress seemed inevitable. Immanuel Kant described this period of time in this way: “Sapere aude! ‘Have the courage to make use of your own mind!’ is thus the slogan of the Enlightenment.”

The modern period had begun. The growing skepticism in regards to anything supernatural was matched by growing faith in human ability to know the world, control it, and reap the inevitable benefits. The “Big Story” of the world was not given by revelation; rather, it was to be discovered and perhaps even determined by science, reason and technology. This major transition was at the heart of the modern period.

However, from our 21st-century perspective, it is clear that the predictions of utopia guaranteed in the modern period never materialized. Instead, modernists became disillusioned as military increase brought world wars, failed development policies led to class oppression and colonialism, economic idealism resulted in communism and the Cold War, and our best science created nuclear weapons and the threat of global devastation.

Postmodern writers, beginning with Nietzsche, began to question the integrity of modernism’s metanarrative of progress. In fact, the main casualty of a postmodern perspective is the very idea of a metanarrative. Postmoderns are skeptical of any and all claims to an authoritative comprehensive worldview, absolute truth about reality, and an overarching purpose to the human story. Postmoderns embrace local narratives, not metanarratives; a multitude of stories, not a “Big Story.”

In short, it could be said that religious metanarratives were dismissed by modernism. Man-made ones are dismissed by postmodernism. This is what Myron Penner and others have referred to as “the postmodern turn”: postmodernism is a turn away from the certainty and optimism of modernism. As Jean Francios Lyotard wrote: “Simplifying to the extreme, I define postmodern as incredulity toward metanarratives.”

Continue reading HERE.

If you've made it this far you are obviously interested in the subject content herein. In which case you might want to hear the views of Jordan Peterson found HERE

If you have stuck it out this far please take a moment or few and share with us your perspective(s) on the subjects of Cultural Marxism and Post Modernism.

47 comments:

  1. This is connected to the name of Saul Alinsky, a bogeyman way to frequently brought up by conservative conspiracy-theorists as having about 500 times as much influence as he actually did/does.

    Alinsky was Jewish, so it all ties into these brain-dead simplistic world views.

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  3. ... and the outbreak of intellectual acne is kept down as Les pops another cyberzit.

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    1. I'm certain there are intelligent, honest, and wise folks that identify as conservative or libertarian. It is evident there are becoming fewer of them however since tRump exploded on the political scene.

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    2. Ahhhhh, TOM! The word is “You’re”, not “Your”. Time to return to your (not you’re) english class.

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    3. Hi Jerry,. It's clear that this guy's grammar is up to the level that the check he is getting from the Russian propaganda Ministry requires.

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  6. I'm a thinkin at this time the topic of the post is just a bit too deep for folks.

    Oh well...

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  8. The Truth Has Been SpokenFri Mar 02, 10:19:00 AM EST

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  9. What is hilarious is that the flying monkeys from trumplandia, that fairy tale world of lying delusion, fly in and never ONCE make even the remotest attempt to address the subject of the post. Not ONCE.

    The difference between reasonable folks and rightwing idiots is first they address the post subject matter. Then when met with lies, derision, adject character assaination they then, and ONLY THEN, respond in kind.

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  11. Les... the second essay seems to dismiss the meta narrative, saying post moderns grab onto local narratives.

    I'm not sure I agree.

    I think young people are still looking for metanarratives, yet within their context. It's my experience that ppl are still looking for the big story to make sense of the world and their life.

    Good articles for sure. It's just hard to "discuss" topics like these from a keyboard. A little easier over a good beer, scotch or mezcal where ideas can be bounced off each other in real time.

    Just my two cents... FWIW.

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  12. I must first thank you for being the first and so far only person to make an attempt to address the subject matter(s) of the post. I knew it may not generate many comments as it is lengthy with a lot of stuff to consider. Some how I'm not at all surprised that it is you who read and commented.

    I still am a fan of the Age of Reason and the Enlightenment, so I guess that means I'm stuck betwixt and between. But I do agree people are looking for the metanarative in general. I also believe it unlikely it will someday be revealed. When faced with the choice between faith and reason I must go with reason.

    You're right. Dicussion over the spirits you mentioned is the best venue for this type of discussion.

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  13. It's interesting... you present faith and reason as opposites. I think they can co-exist, but in tension. I've found no reason why either one must exist as exclusionary of the other.

    Now, perhaps as some have defined them both over the years makes that difficult, but to me, that's a projection of man, as opposed to a fault, or weakness of either.

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  14. I actually agree that religion and reason can coexist Dave. Faith does not need exclude reason anymore than reason need exclude faith. They need not be, nor should they be mutually exclusive.

    My point is really this, I've never found the need to turn to religion to explain the reason for my existence or for my purpose in this life. I actually find it impossible (for me) to accept church dogma. But I do believe spiritually has a place in everyone's life. It is for me very individualistic.

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  15. Interesting that you relate religion/faith with church dogma. I think I can make a pretty strong case that church dogma has been at the root of many of our societal ills, as I believe Jesus did in his day. That's why the extremists of his day sent him to the cross. Me? I struggle every day with dogma. I just see no use for it when it comes to living life as Jesus did, caring for others.

    Thinking about individualism, how does that work in an integrated connected society? Aren't we all connected and in a sense, dependent on each other, at least to some degree?

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  16. I see individualism and interconnectivity as bit different. As an individual I act in my on self interest. On the other hand I realize no man or women is an island unto themselves. I also think the synergies of multiple ideas and the tension it creates can and often does result in the best solutions. Which for me means often accepting the best interests of others is often in my best interest as well.

    The main point... I make the decision as an individual after I understand the collective. Fact is we all are individuals. Until we choose to give our individualism up. Something I shall never do.

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    1. NOBODY LIKES A PIECE OF SHIT LIKE YOU RN

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    2. Thanks Jerry. I'd rather have one person like you like me than a 100 like Anonymous.

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    3. Hey! I like RN too! He pisses of people like Anonymous because he doesn't do groupthink, like the sheep on certain blogs.

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    1. Do you posses a scintilla of intelligence? Are you able to respond to the material in ant post? Can you formulate even ONE cogent point or valid argument?

      We think the evidence is conclusive. The answers, based solely on your comments dropped here is, a definite NO.

      I should delete your sniveling drivel but I'll let this one stand.

      Now, GET OUT and STAY OUT.

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    2. Both OT and NRTP... You're outta here.

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  19. Jews in general and several Jewish intellectuals in particular as nefarious, communistic destroyers...

    As a believer in "unbridled capitalism", I assume Ayn Rand was a Globalist. She surely was no Communist, although it seems FreeThinke was (and is) still not a fan. Due to her being a "Jewess". And, while FT didn't know (back when Ayn Rand was alive and FT was but a lad of 9) "what that probably implied", he didn't like her then because of her "quintessential bitchiness".

    I'm guessing "what that probably implied" was her "nefarious" belief in Globalism. Jews, whether they be "cultural Marxists" or Globalists are nefarious, in that many of them rise to positions of power where they do their best to crush White working men.

    A persecution delusion (at the hands of Leftists and minorities) seems CENTRAL to their being. Not being a fan of Globalism myself, it really troubles me that these racists are giving anti-globalism a bad rep. On MSNBC today (re a discussion on Trump's recently proposed tariffs) I heard the myth about Smoot-Hawley causing the Great Depression stated as fact a few times.

    BTW, Trump is no economist, so I do not at all trust that these tariffs are the right way to go. Given that anti-globalism was central to his campaign, one would think he'd have formed some kind of council of economists to advise him. This could very well end up as a win for the Globalists with this idiot mucking things up.

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    1. Well Dervish, you got a lot in with that comment. I believe you have 75% of the reason "FreeThinke" dislikes Ayn Rand. The other reason is because she was an avowed atheist. She had no use for what she referred to as Mystics.

      While I agree we need trade policies that better protect American workers and interests I don't believe tRump really understands what the hell he should be doing. We sure as hell do not need to spark trade wars. So I agree with you. tRump should have established a group of top notch economists to advise him formulate policy options.

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    2. My post about FT's Rand comment, Globalism and "Cultural Marxism". For anyone who might be interested.

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    3. Interesting to say the least. I agree with point 1 and have problems with point 2 of your article as well.

      Asd I told LCR my views on Rand have evolved. Sufice it to say I find much of her philosophy to be correct. But like all things there are things I now take isue with. I'm not as convinced as you that she can be considered an oligarch. She did admire individualism and capitalism, as do I. I now believe that for a market to to be free and remain so it must be reasonably regulated. Completely unbridled capitalism is the sure pathwayto MONOPOLIES.

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  20. This is somewhat related and somewhat off topic but I thought I'd share it here nonetheless:

    https://ari.aynrand.org/issues/culture-and-society/more/The-Anti-Intellectuality-of-Donald-Trump-Why-Ayn-Rand-Would-Have-Despised-a-President-Trump#filter-bar?utm_source=arimosaic&utm_medium=tiles&utm_term=20180205&utm_campaign=aria

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    1. Hey Tim, nice to see you here.

      The article is interesting and I agree with the author. Rand would despise tRump for every reason he points out.

      I have moved away from embracing some of Rand's arguments, however, I continue to admire her individualism and anti authoritarianism as well as her intellectual consistency and honesty.

      Rand missed the boat however with her unwillingness to recognize that reality in fact requires compromise. At least in a democratic republic. We the People does not include just those who agree with and support unbridled capitalism and Objectivism.

      It is true for a market to remain free it must be regulated to a degree. The reasns really should be evident.

      A bit OT but relevant to current trends. Thanks for the link, and, I hope it will stimulate some more discussion. Especially from conservatives and tRump supporters.

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