James Lindsay: The Complex Relationship Between Marxism and Wokeness

James Lindsay has an excellent new article on the tangled intellectual roots of Critical Social Justice ideology (i.e., wokeness) in the Marxist tradition.

New Discourses:

“I was recently asked by someone reading my forthcoming book with Helen Pluckrose, Cynical Theories, if I would explain the relationship between Marxism and the Critical Social Justice ideology we trace a partial history of in that book. The reason for the question is that Cynical Theories obviously focuses upon the postmodern elements of Critical Social Justice scholarship and activism, and yet many people, particularly among conservatives, identify obvious relationships to Marxism within that scholarship and activism that seems poorly accounted for by talking about postmodernism. This confusion makes sense because postmodernism was always explicitly critical of Marxism, naming it among the grand, sweeping universalizing explanations of reality that it called “metanarratives,” of which it advised us to be radically skeptical.

The goal of Cynical Theories is to add clarity to this admittedly complicated discussion and lay out how postmodernism is of central importance to the development of what we now call “Critical Social Justice” or “Woke” scholarship and ideology. This is actually only one part in a far broader history that certainly draws upon Marx (and thus all the German idealists he drew upon), though in a very peculiar way and through a number of fascinating and, themselves, complex historical and philosophical twists. …

There’s something of an exception to that point, however, as though this isn’t already complicated enough. As Critical Social Justice not particularly suited to do much of anything except tear things apart and seems positively disinterested in building anything at all, the truly Marxist underpinnings of the movement do tend to show through a bit when its activists try to do anything practical in the sense of building something. We see this, for example, in demands for equitable and diverse hiring, as those ideas are quite obviously related to Marxism but only as filtered through identity-based lenses, which Marxism would reject on principle (not for bad reasons). In this way, it’s probably more accurate to describe the efforts of Critical Social Justice not as Marxist but as ethno-communist, where “ethnicity” here applies to the “culture” of any particular “systemically oppressed” identity group.

I know it’s confusing, but hopefully this helps clarify the complicated relationship between Marxism, neo-Marxism, postmodernism, and their kind of mutant-hybrid descendant, Critical Social Justice scholarship and activism. So it goes when radical Marxian-Utopian activism evolves against both reality and the solid liberal societies that successfully push back at all of its many endless attempts to undermine society from within.”

Read the whole thing.

As with everything James writes, I find it interesting and valuable, but overly defensive of liberalism. He is right when he says that Critical Social Justice is “not particularly suited to do much of anything except tear things apart and seems positively disinterested in building anything at all,” but this is even more true of progressive liberalism, which is a solvent that is only interested in tearing down, leveling and perverting the social order. This is why liberal and leftist strains of thought are political allies.

Why does this garbage flourish in the universities and public education system? Why does it flourish in the news and entertainment media? Why does it flourish in the arts? Why did the Frankfurt School return in triumph to postwar West Germany? Fascism doesn’t flourish in any of these institutions. Conservatism doesn’t even flourish in these institutions. Look what happened to Mike Adams.

Why don’t progressive liberals condemn the violent woke mobs laying siege to courthouses? Why do they only attack Donald Trump and the Right? Why is a violent insurrection a “mostly peaceful protest”? For the same reason that this garbage has incubated and bloomed in bastions of progressive liberalism like Harvard University or the New York Times for decades. They are on the same side.

In our system, the “Far Right” is repressed as illegitimate and excluded from the mainstream due to consensus antiracism. The Center Right sees the “Far Right” as its greatest enemy. In contrast, the Center Left and the Far Left are political allies against the Right. As a result, there is no meaningful opposition to the Far Left which bullies the Center Left and sets the course of society.

About Hunter Wallace 12387 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent

20 Comments

  1. “The Complex Relationship Between Marxism and Wokeness…”

    Yes, and add to that complexity the profiteering designs of the Corporate-Globalist Racket, the zealous piety of New England, and the relentlesly megalomaniacal designs of Organized Jewry Inc, not to mention the aims of Negroes and Les Perverts Internationale.

  2. “Center Left and the Far Left are political allies against the Right. As a result, there is no meaningful opposition to the Far Left which bullies the Center Left and sets the course of society”:

    If this is true, it depends on which “Far Left” you mean, real socialism (which is much older than Marxism) or what is called the far left today. Both Center Left and Far Left have much more in common with the Right and even the Far Right than with actual socialism, and they actually NEED the Right, especially the tiny Far Right, to distract from and guard against the common enemy: socialism.

  3. I just plowed through Erich Fromm’s The Sane Society. We are in a lot of trouble m’goys. They have been at the Critical Theory for a century.

  4. And Marxism is nothing but Judaism with an economic wrapper. What is the promise of the Jew religion to the Jew people? Every religion offers a benefit as a way to drawn people to the religion. It is the nature of all religions, so what benefit does Judaism offer Jews? Why are Jews Jews? What do they want? To live in peace with their fellow man? To spread the word and the teaching of God? Then why TF did they kill Christ?

    • They killed Christ because he offered salvation to all people, not just the jews. This was highly offensive to them, because only they are God’s Chosen Ones. The Earth was created for them, and the goyim were created to serve their purposes, not to be their equals.

      Or so their story says.

      • Try again, Powell. Christ offered salvation to the ‘lost sheep of the House (Gr. ”oikos” – race, clan, family) of Israel- and none other. [ Matt. 15:24] St. Paul delimited that ‘house’ to the “Judeans first, and then the Hellene” (to use common geographical/civilization parameters for clarity’s sake). That means the “Ecumene” – another word meaning ‘the inhabited/known world’ – which, in Jesus’ day, was the Roman Empire- i.e., EUROPE.

        Christ God came to save the People He incarnated into- and that people is Adamic- as the entirety of the Bible confirms. As Hilaire Belloc, an English writer, wrote 100 years ago, ‘Europe is the Faith; the Faith, Europe.”

        That means WHITE PEOPLE, and ONLY White Poeple are the Elect of God. Now, what you do with that gift, is up to you. But it is to that group ONLY [Amos 3:2, Eph, 1:4] that the Gospel came to- all Roman and protestant attempts to ‘convert the heathen’ is actually ANTI-Christian.

  5. Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels denounced induced migration as an oligarch plot to lower local workers’ wages … antifa avoids talking about this

    ‘Coercive Engineered Migration: Zionism’s War on Europe’ by Irishman Gearóid Ó Colmáin, a long series on Dissident Voice covered anti-migration from a Marxist Stalinist perspective
    https://dissidentvoice.org/2016/01/coercive-engineered-migration-zionisms-war-on-europe/

    It’s not well enough known that Stalin purged many Jews from power in Russia in the late 1930s, whilst Hitler was doing the same

    Leading to post-war 1945 Jews denouncing both as ‘totalitarians’, which we could avoid by Cultural Marxism destroying the family etc

    Most Marxists today are Trotskyite globalists, but Stalin and the ‘organic school’ of old communists thought ethnicity and race were biologically as well as culturally founded, and did not disappear in an equal economy … Stalin also restored some patriarchy and restricted divorce, he thought there were limits to feminism

    Both Stalin & Hitler were nationalistic socialists, but communism is more caught in illusions of equality, as well as the destruction of religion and much more sabotaging of tradition

    The 39-45 war seems to a degree just stupid imperailism … the Adolf fans have no good story as to why Adolf rolled into Prague in March 1939, the day when he first began to rule over non-Germans, that’s what got Britain and France stoking the fires with Poland

    • “Most Marxists today are Trotskyite globalists, but Stalin and the ‘organic school’ of old communists thought ethnicity and race were biologically as well as culturally founded, and did not disappear in an equal economy … Stalin also restored some patriarchy and restricted divorce, he thought there were limits to feminism”:

      Very good, brabantian.

  6. The center right of the anti-race consensus are simply the latest manifestation of a type Willmoore Kendall called “adjusted conservatives,” whom he defined as disagreeing with the left about everything except essentials. Kendall considered the dividing line between actual conservatives and the left was equality; the left believed in it, the real right didn’t. That dividing line still exists.

  7. Was not a big fan of Dr Lindsay as he was the go to guy for the whole “Atheism Plus” intolerable community. But his recent work has been excellent. HUNTER, I am slogging my way through this mess of half truths and outright lies, but would really like to get yours and everyone else take on this new article from TEEN VOGUE.
    Apparently the notion of black people committing more crimes and violent acts is a “white supremacist myth”. It would make a good article

    https://www.teenvogue.com/story/black-on-black-crime-myth

  8. The Teen Vogue article is incredibly simple and deceptive with the same premise “white people commit crimes at the same rate as black people” myth which ignores both total crime and per capita. It is unbelievable that an editor could approve such a mess

    • Hardly “unbelievable” that an editor of a magazine dedicated to warping the minds of young white girls would approve a misleading article. This is 2020 in the United States of Anti-Racist America, you know.

  9. Big picture question for Hunter –

    What on earth got the USA Anglo-Dutch aristocracy that was utterly dominant circa 1880, to yield themselves up to Jewish cultural hegemony by eight decades later?

    Why are Jews so powerful in the USA when even today, 60% of USA billionaires are not Jewish? Don’t the gentile elites tire of what they see?

    What we can point to is this:

    (1) The massive wave of Jews arriving in the USA late 1800s onwards, included some who did what Jews often do, offer themselves as a mafia for the local oligarchy / aristocracy

    (2) Aristocratic whites in the 1800s looked as actresses and actors as somewhat like prostitutes and lowlife, tho elites attend theatre etc; whereas Jews, having no hesitations about ‘business with actors or prostitutes’, were able to quickly grab control of most of the new cinema industry, which wound up more important than expected

    (3) High-verbal-IQ Jews also quickly penetrated law and the judiciary as well as media generally, and a fair portion of academia even before Jew-enrollment limits were removed

    (4) Jews also slowly did another classic thing, inter-marrying with local aristocrats as they had been doing in England since the 1600s

    Today in Britain there are not many aristocrats without Jewish family links, as the editors of Burke’s Peerage have stated out loud. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is an eighth or so Jewish, etc

    In the USA, Clintons, Trumps, Bidens all have Jewish marital partners in the family now. Half-black US Senator Kamala Harris has a Jewish husband, and so on.

    Israeli officials estimate there are 200-million-odd people with some Jewish ancestors – maybe 3% of the world – 10 times the number of actual full ‘Jews’ – and suggest these should be groomed as an asset for Israel

    (5) Jew de-racinated the elites themselves, selling the package of the elites being a quasi-ethnicity on their own, and even put some ceremony into it, with vehicles such as Freemasonry, Skull & Bones, the Bohemian Grove, maybe some full-boat ‘Illuminati’ LARPing

    “The Bohemian Grove, which I attend from time to time – it is the most faggy goddamned thing you could ever imagine.” – US President Richard M. Nixon

    So by the 1960s, the old WASPs (including some Dutch and a few others), woke up to find that:
    – a lot of their media and courtroom assets were Jews
    – a lot of their friends were married into Jewry, if they didn’t have a Jew in the family themselves
    – they had come to see their own survival as elites, as necessitating a mental break of separation from commoners of the same ethnicity

    The ‘discourse’ of today’s era is very Jewish, but gentile elites see no point or merit or reward now for fighting this, despite it being not their style and too coarse and low-brow

    Tho no doubt in private as old WASPy elite individuals sip a few bourbons together, a few remarks are shared about the ruffian nature of the new order

  10. This one short paragraph fully explains modern politics in the USA:

    “In our system, the “Far Right” is repressed as illegitimate and excluded from the mainstream due to consensus antiracism. The Center Right sees the “Far Right” as its greatest enemy. In contrast, the Center Left and the Far Left are political allies against the Right. As a result, there is no meaningful opposition to the Far Left which bullies the Center Left and sets the course of society.”

  11. “the Adolf fans have no good story as to why Adolf rolled into Prague in March 1939, the day when he first began to rule over non-Germans, that’s what got Britain and France stoking the fires with Poland”

    Even Russians know that the crafty caucasian Stalin was planning to invade Europa!

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Icebreaker_(Suvorov)

    Thank goodness Uncle Adolf stopped him and at least saved Western Germany from communism!

    Stalimism was stopped and now an American Fuhrer must arise to stop Social Jew-srice theory!

  12. Brabantian,

    Because you Anglo bitches are the 13th tribe of ashkenzi jews. You two go together better than peas and carrots.

    This dystopia was allowed to manifest because of your ethnicity’s elitist aristocratic nature and lust for power

  13. Hunter, it flourishes because those who cannot create can only exercise power through destruction.

  14. It’s important to understand that many of these critical theorists, the Frankfurt School and the French intellectuals, were explicit classical Marxists at one time. They became critical of Marxist doctrine because of the bloodbath of the proletariat that was World War I, with the Second World War only confirming things. Nationalism, ethnic and racial identity, and the patriarchal nuclear family (and Christianity) were seen as detrimental to the development of class consciousness necessary for the overthrow of the “capitalist” system. Critical theory and its “long march through the institutions” was a tactic for achieving Marxist goals by slight of hand, not an outright rejection of their Marxist ideals.

  15. It’s not marxism, it’s trying to artificially pick winners in a capitalist system and make sure less of those winners are white, even if things like job performance and skill get in the way of that.

  16. I hope people eventually realize that James Lindsay is just another Jordan Peterson: individualism, anti-racism, and blind to the jews. Same as Jordan Peterson.

Comments are closed.