‘Cultural Marxism’ Explained and Re-Evaluated

‘Cultural Marxism’ Explained and Re-Evaluated, by Galen Watts.

Although ‘Cultural Marxism’ is in no sense a monolithic entity (we might be better off speaking of Cultural Marxisms), what defines it as a social theory, essentially, is a certain theoretical presupposition: that culture (ideas, religious beliefs, values, etc.) is in the last instance determined by one’s position in a class or social hierarchy. …

A history of relevant ideology follows. The author notes a contradiction with the theory:

If our identities and beliefs are merely reflections of our position in a class or social hierarchy then how do we explain social change or mobility? Cultural Marxism of this kind denies individual agency, and thereby leads to social determinism.

And, in so doing, it undermines its own cause. For no one seeking emancipation for marginalized groups should endorse a deterministic worldview …

This may be why Cultural Marxists prefer to speak of changing ‘the system’ as opposed to persuading or changing individuals. But this approach simply raises a different question: how do you intend to change the system unless you can first convince individuals (especially those of different social groups) to help you do so?

No doubt this is why some on the Right fear that Cultural Marxism necessarily implies coercion (and potentially violence). However, I take the view that most progressives who view the world through this lens are not interested in fomenting violent revolution; they simply haven’t recognized the contradictions in their position. …

Cultural Marxism … endorses a worldview at odds with democracy.

No matter how they dress it up, it still comes down to the same old Marxist root: the collective (as interpreted and led by the revolutionary leaders) versus individuals.