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Free Minds & Free Markets

Don't Blame Karl Marx for 'Cultural Marxism'

Political correctness isn't a communist plot.

The list of developments for which "cultural Marxism" has been blamed includes the following: the LGBT rights movement, especially the legal push to eliminate sodomy laws and legitimize gay marriage; activism for transgender acceptance and recognition; the increase in divorce at the end of the 20th century and a decrease in nuclear family formation; African Americans protesting police abuse; art and music that fails to follow familiar genre conventions; increased depictions of a variety of races, genders, and sexualities in popular media; acceptance of immigrants and the cultural pluralism they bring; a lack of tolerance for nonliberal ideas on college campuses.

This bill of particulars is not new, especially from conservatives. The twist was to begin dragging Karl Marx into it. Here's how the narrative goes: After the horrific deaths of millions, global communism may have been discredited as a viable economic system, but its proponents want to sneak it perniciously through the back door via cultural decadence. Thus, political correctness is part of a lefty long con to take over America.

You have to give the conspiratorial right credit for clever rhetorical deck-stacking, at least. How can you approve of sympathetic gay people appearing in yogurt commercials if it's all a commie plot?

It may be comforting to believe your ideological foes are dupes of manipulative intellectual fiends. But declaring that advocates of multiculturalism, feminism, and gay rights are the pawns of dead Jewish communists is both mistaken as a matter of cultural history and foolish as a way to sell an alternate ideology. You won't win the day by treating people who merely disagree with you as stalking horses for socialist tyranny.

The Critical Theory Conspiracy

Saratm/FiverrSaratm/FiverrYou might think that a history of cultural Marxism would start with Marx, but the poorly coiffed Prussian has almost nothing to do with this tale of insidious infiltration. Instead, the theory took off in the late 1990s due to speeches, essays, and books by William Lind, then with the Free Congress Foundation, and Patrick Buchanan, the firebrand conservative columnist, TV talking head, and sometime presidential candidate. (The idea, though not the name, was hatched earlier, in a 1992 monograph called "The New Dark Age: The Frankfurt School and Political Correctness." It was written by a disciple of the noted conspiracy theorist Lyndon LaRouche.)

Lind and Buchanan claimed that various progressive social or legal changes—from sex education in public schools to speech codes on college campuses—are the deliberate result of a program set in motion decades ago by a squad of philosophers, musicologists, psychologists, and incomprehensible brainiacs arising out of a Marxist/Freudian ferment between the world wars in Europe.

That gang is known as the Frankfurt School, because they launched their Institute for Social Research at Goethe University Frankfurt in the 1920s. Their orbit included such recondite social philosophers as Walter Benjamin, Max Horkheimer, and Theodor Adorno.

The story goes that these eggheads saw that Marx's predictions about the contradictions in capitalism producing a proletarian revolt were failing to come true. They decided that traditional Western culture was keeping the masses from their revolutionary mission and needed to be annihilated. Religion, the family, traditional sexual mores, belief in objective truth—all had to be overturned. So they launched "critical theory" to demolish the sacred principles that made Western civilization great and pave the way for communist tyranny and an eventual stateless utopia.

Summing up what the Frankfurt School's clotted and confusing thinkers actually wrote or believed is beyond the capacity of a short essay (or even a long one). Luckily, it is also beside the point for understanding the conspiracy theory of cultural Marxism. Basically, these philosophers believed that knowledge and rationality do not necessarily stand outside history and culture, since everything we know arises from socially embedded perspectives.

This view indeed left all sorts of institutions and mores up for criticism, but that needn't be inherently a threat to Western liberty. As the popular Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy sums it up, "the task of critical social theory is to evaluate the degree of rationality of any system of social domination in accordance to standards of justice." This isn't in itself an unlibertarian idea, though its practitioners didn't take it to libertarian conclusions.

Adorno and Horkheimer, for example, hoped to discern the roots of the "authoritarian personality" through a mix of Marxism, Freudianism, and survey data. This attempt to understand disturbing trends in 20th century politics led their followers, aggravatingly, to write off virtually every nonprogressive attitude as "fascist" and to treat political differences as signs of mental defects. But in their analysis of the family, they weren't nearly as dismissive of the value of parents, especially as bulwarks against the totalizing power of the capitalist culture industries they feared and criticized. They blamed modern pop culture for warping the natural moral sense of the masses, much as modern traditionalists do.

Critical theorists' analysis of the powers of modern electronic media are interpreted by the conspiracy-minded as proof they intended to take those media over for communist goals, but a real Frankfurt Schooler would doubt that such a scheme could work within a capitalist system anyway.

Who Will Save Us?

One can spill gallons of ink on what followed from the Frankfurt School in academia. But for our purposes it hardly matters, because theories of cultural Marxism barely depend on anything those writers actually explored in their own work.

Nearly all the popularizers of the theory draw their analysis from ur-sources such as Lind's essays and Buchanan's 2001 book The Death of the West. The actual Frankfurt Schoolers mostly appear via a handful of out-of-context "incriminating" quotes that are used over and over. For example, Georg Lukacs (not a formal member of the school but an intellectual fellow traveler frequently roped in with them), in a preface to his obscurantist book The Theory of the Novel, wrote: "Who was to save us from Western civilization?" This cri de coeur from a man despairing of a world riven by the madness of World War I is supposed to be proof that modern cultural progressives are not pursuing what they think is right, or trying to rectify historical wrongs, but are deliberately seeking to destroy civilization.

Give the conspiratorial right credit for clever rhetorical deck-stacking, at least. How can you approve of sympathetic gay people appearing in yogurt commercials if it's all a commie plot?

The cultural Marxism obsession on the part of these conservatives is strictly surplus to requirements. American right-wingers hate multiculturalism and gay rights and radical feminism for their own sake, not because they were designed to pave the path for communism. But the story has the emotional advantage of allowing them to imagine that the trends they despise didn't arise from a long history of the social abuse of blacks, gays, women, and immigrants, but from sinister machinations of commies striving to enslave us. Never mind that the unstoppable traditionalist "cultural decline" of the last several decades has not gotten the United States any closer to public ownership of the means of production.

The Idea Has Consequences

Andrew Breitbart, who ran articles on his Big Hollywood site in 2009 headlined "Political Correctness is Cultural Marxism" and who appeared that year on Sean Hannity's Fox News show to declare that "cultural Marxism is political correctness, it's multiculturalism, and it's a war on Judeo-Christianity," was one of the major modern vectors of belief in the conspiracy. While subterranean cultural trends are difficult to pinpoint precisely, his media empire was likely one of the main incubators.

Despite Breitbart's efforts at spreading the idea, it hasn't really been widely adopted by more mainstream conservative politicians and media personalities. One potent exception is the psychologist and lifestyle guru Jordan Peterson, who seems to be alluding to the same general idea when he uses his preferred phrase, postmodern neomarxism.

The cultural Marxism conspiracy cultist who made the most hideous public impact was Anders Breivik, who murdered 77 people in Norway in 2011. Breivik wrote in his 1,500-page manifesto that "you cannot defeat Islamization or halt/reverse the Islamic colonization of Western Europe without first removing the political doctrines manifested through multiculturalism/cultural Marxism."

Google Trends shows an uptick in internet searches for the phrase since the dawning of the Trump age in late 2015; they essentially doubled over the previous decade. The fever also infected the administration itself: Trump national security official Rich Higgins insisted in a 2017 memo that "Islamists ally with cultural Marxists because…they properly assessed that the left has a strong chance of reducing Western civilization to [Islam's] benefit." (The memo pissed off Higgins' boss, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, enough to get him fired.)

One of the more recent adherents to the theory—a more surprising one, since his public persona during his recent presidential campaigns sensibly avoided such cultural resentments—is the libertarian-leaning former Texas congressman Ron Paul.

In July, Paul's Facebook page featured a brief post attacking cultural Marxism. The argument offered was weak, even for the genre, while hinting at the general idea that progressive cultural trends were communist infusions: "Marxists just shifted their 'exploitation' schtick to culture: — women exploited by men; — gays exploited by heterosexuals — The old exploited by the young — and vice-versa — This list goes on and on."

But the post drew attention far beyond its intellectual merits because of the cartoon that accompanied it. Following the familiar trope of blaming negative cultural change on an invading nonwhite Other, the cartoon lined up classically offensive stereotypes of Jewish, black, Asian, and Hispanic characters punching out Uncle Sam. Their shared fist was branded with a hammer and sickle, and they were united in a shout of—you guessed it—"CULTURAL MARXISM."

An intern was quickly blamed for posting the picture, and the illustration disappeared. It was replaced with a generic sign reading "No Political Correctness."

That first unfortunate image highlighted the danger of mixing libertarian political concerns with worries about cultural Marxism. It's no accident that a theory that's basically about subversive foreigners with a different religion ends up attracting bigoted cartoons. But that second image touches on a place where the farrago of fears summoned by the phrase actually impacts individual liberty.

Most of what gets lumped under the heading of cultural Marxism is really about personal choices about lifestyle or belief, not politics. But "political correctness" frequently tumbles over into actual attempts to suppress expression, which is indeed worrying. And the conspiracists have a Frankfurt School theorist to blame for that: Herbert Marcuse.

Marcuse, who after World War II taught at major American universities such as Columbia and Harvard, and who is thus often fingered as the Typhoid Mary of cultural Marxism in America, advocated the suppression of nonleftist ideas. "Repressive tolerance," his paradoxical phrase, suggested that allowing sinister right-of-center ideas to spread was not true intellectual tolerance but its enemy.

Marcuse was hardly the first to come up with a justification for silencing one's political foes. "Repressive tolerance" is merely a contextual restatement of the ancient attitude that only true, appropriate, and acceptable ideas should be freely expressed. Marcuse stated his terrible notion with the kind of tribute vice pays to virtue, claiming the ideas he wanted suppressed made true tolerance impossible. But Marcuse didn't invent the idea that "error has no rights"—the very traditional Catholic Church did. Yes, he wickedly promoted "the withdrawal of toleration of speech and assembly from groups and movements which promote aggressive policies, armament, chauvinism, discrimination on the grounds of race and religion, or which oppose the extension of public services, social security, medical care," but that doesn't mean he's to blame for everyone who now wants enforced political correctness.

The commitment on the part of today's progressive undergrads to suppressing distasteful speech comes not from a deep understanding of some larger intellectual tradition with a goal of world domination but from a simple (if mistaken) calculus about the morality of hurting people. As frustrating as this attitude can be to civil libertarians, many students genuinely believe that certain expressions seen as hostile to oppressed minorities either directly cause actionable harm to those people or unjustly contribute to an overall atmosphere of danger for them.

It's comforting to believe the only reason people disagree with you is that some specific group of villains deceived them. But that misunderstands the mental barriers one must knock down to succeed at social change.

The defenders of free speech need to take on that idea. Insisting that advocacy of that worldview is part of a pathway to the dictatorship of the proletariat doesn't really help.

Dubious conspiratorial theories of ideological or social change are also bad for their own subscribers. It might be comforting to believe that the only reason people disagree with you is that some specific group of villains deceived them. But that comfort comes at the price of misunderstanding what mental barriers one must knock down to succeed at social change.

One of the lessons of the age of social media is just how powerfully the most rabid people on both left and right are driven by a pre-intellectual sense of disgust for their opponents. That disgust is exacerbated by conspiracy theories. It can be infuriating to be surrounded by a culture or political structure that seems to hate who you are and what you stand for. This is a late-breaking revelation for white Unite the Right types, whose recent experience mirrors the one gays, blacks, feminists, immigrants, and other Others have long described. Such a sense of unfair exclusion, not a desire to impose communism, better explains some of the phenomenon the right decries.

The Way Out

The Ron Paul who ran for president in 2008 and 2012 never spoke of things like cultural Marxism. Instead, he offered a way out of our unending culture war. As he said during a 2016 broadcast dedicated to the conspiracy theory, "Liberty means allowing [everybody] to make personal choices, social relations, sexual choices, personal economic choices." His message then, consistent with how he sold liberty as a candidate and congressman, was that libertarian tolerance should not be seen as a "threat." It should, he said, "bring people together."

There is a deep irony in seeing Marxism in a world overflowing with diverse cultural products and tolerance for a variety of human preferences. Paranoia about cultural Marxism tends to be imbued with an actually Marxist sense that the masses are plagued by "false needs." Real Marxists attribute this to capitalism. Anti–cultural Marxists blame long-dead intellectuals.

It's true that campus leftists have shifted some of their attention from specifically economic concerns to ones based in cultural identity. But to pretend that the broad grievances of gays, blacks, or women are based in communism rather than American history and a quest for dignity is to misunderstand the world around you, and that is never a good idea for those trying to change hearts and minds.

In Reason's pages in 1998, around the same time Lind was taking his story about the baleful influence of the Frankfurt School to the right-wing masses, the anthropologist Grant McCracken looked at the social change that was giving Lind heartburn. Seeing "anarchic, willful, recklessly individualistic behavior everywhere," McCracken noted that "for the political right it is compelling evidence that things have gone terribly wrong.…The world feels tippy, puzzling, dangerous, and odd."

"The right has targeted plenitude as the enemy," McCracken presciently argued. "The Rev. Pat Robertson famously suggested that feminism 'encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.' Pat Buchanan, campaigning for the presidential nomination, called Mexicans 'José' and emphasized each syllable of Ruth Bader Ginsburg's name. The right is not always so unsophisticated, but it has been inclined to harbor misgivings about 'outsiders.'…There is nervousness here—and a brute and thoroughgoing discomfort with difference."

As this cultural ferment has deepened and quickened, the conspiracy theory of cultural Marxism has spread further. McCracken tried to assure nervous men of the right that "the threatening outsider rarely proves an agent of chaos or the beginning of the end. We have brought virtually all these differences on board, and nothing changed. Civilization did not cease. We will invent many more differences, and these will prove absorbable too."

That's good advice, especially for those who should love liberty more than they love traditional notions about race, gender, and sexuality.

This is not to say that admiring traditional values marks one inherently as an enemy of political liberty; wanting to live traditionally, or believing that certain modern mores are not optimal for human happiness and flourishing, is perfectly compatible with a political dedication to freedom. But refusing to admit that others have legitimate, nontyrannical reasons for abandoning such mores leads one to confuse choices you disapprove of with threats to your freedom.

Lind himself, to his credit, offered in a 2017 article for Chronicles a peaceable, pluralistic way out of the "problem" of the changes he blames on cultural Marxists: a movement he dubs "retroculture," in which those who prefer the pre-1960s lifestyle choose to live together in fellowship, on their own, with the Amish as their lodestar.

All who want a tolerant civic peace in this vast and varied land should work to forge whatever way of life they choose on their own property or in their own communities, not insist that former outsiders who wish to be treated more fairly are merely doing so as a cover to impose communist tyranny. The fight for limited government in our culture can't be successfully fought in dogged, frightened opposition to freely chosen cultural plenitude.

Photo Credit: Saratm/Fiverr

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  • parisc2||

    Ron Paul calls out cultural Marxism almost weekly on his Liberty Report podcast.

  • Moo Cow||

    Please send him all of your moneys!!!!

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Yes, Jesse Benton needs a new mansion!

    Anyways, I read the entire article, Brian, and it is well written and relevant. That it has evoked such strong emotions from the right-wing commentariat simply demonstrates that "cultural Marxism" has become a trigger phrase that one cannot criticize if one is to claim not to be a progressive. One can broadly say that the article simply defends pluralism, which is a deeply libertarian value, but a hated value by the right. It is one of the reasons why libertarianism and the modern right are ultimate incompatible.

  • vek||

    As I mentioned in my rant below, the difference is between ACCEPTING some behaviors that many consider problematic, versus PUSHING them. Also, demonizing anybody who doesn't agree, and trying to literally destroy their lives, is not quite what I would call pluralistic or libertarian.

    We have bad things being pushed as a virtue, not merely being tolerated. Anybody who doesn't agree must be burned at the stake! If they were merely demanding tolerance I would feel dramatically differently, as I agree with tolerance on almost every issue the left has taken on as a pet peeve of theirs... But I don't agree in pushing many of those things as being virtues.

  • MDP||

    I don't believe we're incompatible at all.

    When the policies that you understand to support individualism, both morally and economically (individual rights and capitalism) are universally vilified by all the "others", it's common sense that people will become more insulated and view non-Americans as potential threats to those policies. It isn't hate, or ignorance or religious zealotry. It's the same common sense that leads to all sorts of bias. People often have deeply-seated values about not judging books by their covers while simultaneously making instantaneous judgments about their surroundings.

    I can tolerate the judgmental aspect of the religious right so long as they're not trying to strip my freedoms (which some do from time to time). We don't have to make the same comparison about the left because the left is unabashedly anti-American, anti-capitalist and anti-individual.

    In other words, the right still values individualism as an American tradition. The left does not.

  • Here for the outrage||

    +1

  • Echospinner||

    It is not common sense at all.

    Nor is your version of American tradition.

    Libertarians do not live on a right left axis.

  • Father of Two||

    Pluralism is indeed a libertarian value. Pluralism is despised by the modern left at least as much as it is by the modern right. The left's promotion of political correctness is not Martin Luther King's movement for tolerance and legal equality. Legal equality has largely been accomplished. The modern left is pushing for an equality of outcome that requires not legal equality, but legal domination that supports the diversity of everything but opinion. Libertarians are free to speak their piece among other libertarians or among the majority of the moderate right, and more or less shut down among the left. See, for example, John Stossel's discussion of how he was treated at ABC vs at Fox.

  • MSimon||

    Karl Marx wasn't Jewish.

  • Jayburd||

    Ethnically, yes he was. But he certainly had opinions about Jews-
    What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly God? Money. … Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist. Money degrades all the gods of man—and turns them into commodities. … The bill of exchange is the real god of the Jew. His god is only an illusory bill of exchange. … The chimerical nationality of the Jew is the nationality of the merchant, of the man of money in general." On The Jewish Question 1844

  • Johnimo||

    To my knowledge there is no "Jewish" race. Judaism is a religion, not a race. One may speak of Jewish culture and all that, but it's like being a Christian or a Buddhist ... once you quit believing, then you're not one anymore. You might still be wearing some clothing or tokens that are indicative of a religion, but it's "all in your head," so to speak.

    It's kind of like being a Vikings football fan. Once you choose another team, then you're no longer a Viking. Unless, of course, you happen to be from Minnesota, ice fish, and like lutefisk. Once that stuff crosses your palate, then you're a Viking FOREVER. There's just no way past it.

  • vek||

    The thing is that Jews are both. They are a genetically distinct ethnic group, that also has a religion attached.

    There are multiple Jewish lineages, it's not all one. But there are only a couple main branches genetically. They also brought in a lot of European blood in Europe, but still easy to suss out who is who genetically. There are also ethnic Jews, who do not believe in the religion.

    It would be something like if the Irish had developed their own religion that they also named "Irish", and then some Irish went on to not believe in that Irish religion. Being Irish would still kind of encompass both the religion and the ethnicity at the same time, whether one believed or not.

  • Johnimo||

    Thanks for further input on this subject. Are you trying to tell me that there is no "Irish" religion. You obviously haven't followed Notre Dame football closely throughout the years.

  • vek||

    Haha. Yeah, they do like Notre Dame thanks to their mascot! One could also argue something about them worshiping whiskey, and that guy who wears a big funny hat and lives in Rome!

  • Echospinner||

    Karl Marx was an atheist.

    So was Ayn Rand.

    Neither were Jewish in any sense of what that means.

  • Trigger Warning||

    Karl Marx's ideas are responsible for the suffering, enslavement, and murder of hundreds of millions of people. Blame him for anything and everything you want.

    Also, a Libertarian publication should never, ever have the words "Don't Blame Karl Marx" as part of any title of any piece, even if the actual piece is pretty good.

  • Cathy L||

    For a reader of a magazine called Reason...

  • Trigger Warning||

    I would drink more, but it's Sunday morning, and I'm already wasted.

  • TuIpa||

    Fuck off Kivlor.

  • Cathy L||

    Cry more.

  • TuIpa||

    Yes Kivlor, that's what you do when I out you.

  • Cathy L||

    You're still mewling.

  • TuIpa||

    No one carea what your mother said to you every day Kivlor.

  • Cathy L||

    Oh, is that where you learned to be a nasty vicious bitch, from your mom?

  • TuIpa||

    Yes, but I can't discuss in mixed company what I learned from yours.

    Nasty vicious bitch made Cry More Cathy cry more!

    So nasty!! So vicious!!! Such words on the internet!!!

  • Cathy L||

    Still sobbing I see.

  • TuIpa||

    No one cares about your high school nickname, Cry More Cathy.

  • ThomasD||

    Summing up what the Frankfurt School's clotted and confusing thinkers actually wrote or believed is beyond the capacity of a short essay (or even a long one).

    Yet Doherty will dismiss it with a hand wave.

    Is that your idea of pretty good?

    Not showing your work is not the same as can't show your work.

  • Trigger Warning||

    At this point, my bar for "pretty good" is "not by Soave or Dalmia."

  • buybuydandavis||

    Shilling for Karl Marx

    This Libertarian Moment brought to you by the shiny new postmodern Marxist Reason Magazine.

  • Cy||

    "from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs."
    - Karl Marx

    "Anyone who knows anything of history knows that great social changes are impossible without feminine upheaval. Social progress can be measured exactly by the social position of the fair sex, the ugly ones included."
    -Karl Marx

    Sounds exactly like what you'd hear out of a modern day SJW.

  • Bigsby T. Roundcube||

    They're not newly minted Marxists. The new libertarian mantra is to never be mistaken for someone that looks like they might ever be in motion. They just sit on the fence and shit on anything that resembles decisive action. It keeps people from noticing that they don't have any actual coherent plan.

    Thanks for the Andrew and Remy vids tho. The only quality content dropped by Reason in a decade.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    I would add Stossel's content to your list, but basically you're 100% correct.

  • Woody Chip Hurrrrr?||

    ..... for a politically correct faux-libertarian who knows he is the one true libertarian.

  • Robert||

    That's something Va. Postrel complained about.

  • TuIpa||

    Fuck off Hihn.

  • Fancylad||

    This Libertarian Moment brought to you by the shiny new postmodern Marxist Reason Magazine.
    They really aren't even trying to pretend they aren't on Team Authoritarian Collectivism anymore.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Coming next from Reason: 'The Libertarian Case for Karl Marx'

  • vek||

    Oh God... I can actually see them doing this at some point... *Sigh*

  • Zeb||

    There are a lot of things I don't completely agree with in this article, but I'm not seeing any shilling for or defense of Marx.

  • Thomas L. Knapp||

    I'm surprised that an account of "cultural Marxism" would leave out its foremost proponent in "libertarian" circles -- Frankfurt-educated, avowed Marxist Hans-Hermann Hoppe.

  • Shirley Knott||

    When/where did Hoppe avow his Marxism? A citation would be appreciated.

  • Thomas L. Knapp||

    "Marxist and Austrian Class Analysis," by Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Journal of Libertarian Studies, Volume 9, Number 2, (1990)

    "I want to do the following in this paper: First to present the theses that constitute the hard core of the Marxist theory of history. I claim that all of them are essentially correct. Then I will show how these true theses are derived in Marxism from a false starting point. Finally, I will demonstrate how Austrianism in the Mises-Rothbard tradition can give a correct but categorically different explanation of their validity."

  • Drave Robber||

    Admitting that Marxism, just like a broken clock, can be accidentally correct about something, does not make one a Marxist.

  • Thomas L. Knapp||

    True. And claiming that all of the theses of the Marxist theory of history are "essentially correct" is not "admitting that Marxism, just like a broken clock, can be accidentally correct about something."

    Hoppe says he's a Marxist. If you disagree, take it up with him.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    I would read that to say he's trying to correct some fallacies in Marxist theory, not that he's a Marxist.

  • Cy||

    Has it now gotten so shitty that we have to debate which one of these is more evil and which one gets to claim certain tactics as their own?

    We need a sin eater.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    We need to wipe out tall the progressives, or at least drive them from our shores.

  • Zeb||

    That's bound to work out well.

  • vek||

    It'd be a piece of cake. Right wingers and libertarians own 95% of all the firearms. All we have to do is deport them all to Europe! OR better yet, we could send them to all the 3rd world toilets they think as so awesome. I'm sure urbanite progs would remain super enamored with the superiority of every NON western culture once they lived in Africa or the Middle East for a few years. LOL

  • Bigsby T. Roundcube||

    Wow. I'm trying to be generous here and assume that you may have come really late to this particular party, but decided to pen your treatise anyway. That would be nice, because it would let me reply from a constructive place. There's just too much cherry picking here, though. It's a load of mealy-mouthed claptrap —and in such a condescending tone.

    Yes. Let's construct a blinkered jump-cut version of reality made of spliced together truth so as not to hurt anyone's feelings, and dump it all on the biggest scapegoat in the room: The buck-toothed, low information conservatives that have only latched on to this "Cultural Marxism" thing in the eleventh hour. Long after it had metastasized.

    I've been a Reason and Reason foundation supporter (on and off admittedly) for 17 years. It's spinless stuff like this that has had the Libertarian movement going uphill in neutral since '08, and now they just act like a coalition of whining, bitter contrarians because the 2016 result that they thought was going to be so shockingly terrible as to have people flocking to their movement in droves actually pulled many of their faithful into another preacher's tent.

    Bravo! Let's hear it for Brian, everyone! Dying alone on his hill of stalwart concession and uncompromising compromise.

  • Woody Chip Hurrrrr?||

    Anything which can go uphill in neutral for 10 years is doing pretty good.

  • Woody Chip Hurrrrr?||

    Unless maybe the insinuation is that it's full of hot air or being towed.

    That would be pretty clever and went right by me first time around.

  • Robert||

    Close. I think the insinuation is that the vehicle's pointed uphill but rolling backward. The view is still of the top of the hill, or maybe the stars, but it's receding into the distance. Meanwhile it's about to be rear-ended by a truck that's actually climbing.

  • TuIpa||

    Fuck off Hihn.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Are they both Hihn?

  • Trollificus||

    Or Spartacus.

  • Fancylad||

    Fuck off Hihn.

  • Drave Robber||

  • Juice||

    So many metaphors.

  • MSimon||

    What else are metas for?

  • juris imprudent||

    Et tu Brian?

  • Hank Phillips||

    Over at CPUSA.org they now spell LGBT as LGBTQ! And the old spelling had seemed so real reading Brian's articles in the Red Republican and Letters of an Altrurian Traveller.

  • Johnimo||

    The Libertarians keep trying to be relevant after the pathetic spectacle of Gary telling the whole nation that he thought Hillary Clinton is "a wonderful person." So, perhaps I've missed the point of this article, but I think we have to trust that most Libertarians know what socialism is. WHATEVER this article is trying to tell us, most of us just don't care.

  • JoeBlow123||

    It was rather condescending.

    I am continually surprised how much Reason seems intent to placate progressives and bag on conservatives. This article is another solid example.

  • vek||

    And this is what shows their true colors.

    I don't think a rational libertarian can not see that for all its flaws a line towing conservative has a LOT more overlap with libertarian principles than a line towing progressive. Yet all they do is bag on the right, and give the left a pass whenever they can get away with it.

    I think it is because all of these left libertarians come at libertarianism from a feelz perspective, instead of right libertarians arriving at libertarianism from a rational direction. In short, it's the same TYPE of personality trait differences one sees on the normal left/right split, but they simply chose a different argument for their moral basis.

  • sarcasmic||

    . American right-wingers hate multiculturalism and gay rights and radical feminism for their own sake, not because they were designed to pave the path for communism.

    Bull.

    What right-wingers hate is having these things forced upon them by government.

    Cultural Marxism is forced social equality.

    Communism is forced economic equality.

    The former is a stepping stone to the latter. Because once government has forced social justice upon us, the next step is to force economic justice upon us. Economic justice meaning power to the people. Robbing the rich, empowering workers, taking the means of production away from the wealthy and giving it to the people (government).

    So I say bull fucking shit to this article.

    The upending of cultural norms through government force is indeed a product of the communist mindset. It means using force to achieve desired outcomes of equality. And I can't think of a better definition of communism than forced equality.

  • Cy||

    +1

  • SQRLSY One||

    Yeah man, agreed. Cake-baking comes to mind. The murderous 20th century has shown communism to be an utter failure, and most people have finally realized that. Equalizing everyone's income doesn't work, it merely means that Communist-Party members get to shop in special stores where us peons cannot go. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

    So if we can't force economic equality, at least we can force bakers to bake gay cakes! After we get all the political muscle in place to do that, we can get back to trying communism again! Next time, we'll do it right! Because our generation in American is BETTER then all them that thar ferriners in ferrin places, in olden days!!!

  • Hank Phillips||

    I beg to differ. Under slaveholding monarchic mercantilism, man exploits man. But under progressive income tax mixed economy systems it's the other way around.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Are you sure it's not the other, other way around?

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    That's a bit of a reach.

  • BigT||

    Indeed!!

  • Woody Chip Hurrrrr?||

    Pretty good, although I wonder about Marx and his role. Lots of people love to pin lots of things to his coat tails, but his name is carting around so much baggage that I wonder how much of it actually belongs to him.

    Big-C Communism, little-c communism, Marxism, socialism, fascism, all involve government coercion, but so does every government ever, from kings to generalissimos to majority rules, and all those -isms would have existed under different names sooner or later anyway.

    I doubt even most college professors claiming to be Marxists. No one can read his shit. All people take away is that one famous quote, and that itself is nothing new, just the particular words and phrasing.

    It's all statism, all the way down. The State before the individual. All is the State. Yada yada yada.

  • JFree||

    Cultural Marxism is forced social equality.

    So is the 13th Amendment and the 19th Amendment and for that matter the 1st Amendment and the 2nd. And any country that initiates force using We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal... is self-evidently at the vanguard of Marxism.

    The only thing that saved the founders from falling completely down the Marxist rabbithole was slavery. Anchored by the best decision in the history of the Supreme Court - Dred Scott v Sandford. All undermined by the first insidiously Marxist president - Lincoln - and the Civil War was the plan to strip the US of the only immunity we had to that disease of infiltration of foreign ideers and inferior peoples.

    Cry for the confederacy. The South will rise again

  • SQRLSY One||

    Some of us like to confuse two things...

    1) Equality of opportunity, legal equality in front of the forces of Government Almighty.

    2) Enforced equality of outcomes, to include how private people and organizations treat individuals.

    We have now managed to screw up the both of these things, to where Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared, is worth millions, but pays just about nothing in income taxes (through "building depreciation" fake losses, even while the real estate escalates in value), AKA, welfare for the rich, while common peons are forced to bake cakes that they don't want to bake. Our founding fathers didn't do this kind of crap nearly as badly!

  • TuIpa||

    " but pays just about nothing in income taxes "

    Why would a real libertarian care, when taxation is theft?

    Oh sorry, forgot you're not an actual libertarian, you're a scientifically illiterate clown.

  • SQRLSY One||

    OK then asshat, pay all of my taxes while I pay none, I am WAAAAY OK with that!!!

  • TuIpa||

    I rest my case.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Yes, your brain-case is BADLY in need of rest; it is WAAAY over-heated with overloads of self-esteem; ALL steamed up with inflated self-esteem!

  • TuIpa||

    "pay all of my taxes while I pay none, I am WAAAAY OK with that!!!"

    That's not libertarian, it's you admitting you're jealous and petty because someone other than you figured out how to avoid taxes.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Nobody paying and taxes at all is not libertarian; it is a utopian fantasy of anarchists, which will never work, short of genetically re-engineering us all to become angel-like. Either that, or it means taxation by another name; = inflation.

    To have Government Almighty favoring the rich and screwing the poor via loopholes garnered by the rich making the correct campaign contributions (bribes) is scarcely libertarian, except in the minds of blithering idiots and greedy rich people.

    Your brainless trolling posts prove that you are a brainless troll.

  • TuIpa||

    "Nobody paying and taxes at all is not libertarian;"

    Cool, I never mentioned paying no taxes at all. Not once. I'll wait while you realize you just completely made a fool of yourself again with your shitty reading skills.

    You're a jealous petty clown and the rest is just you justifying it.

  • SQRLSY One||

    "Why would a real libertarian care, when taxation is theft?"

    You said... Implying that you in your moral superiority as a "real libertarian", believe that since all taxes are immoral and evil, it makes not one lick of difference, who pays and who does not pay.

    Murder is evil... Till all murder is eliminated everywhere, we should not give a hoot about who murders who!

    Idiot troll!

  • TuIpa||

    "You said... Implying that you in your moral superiority as a "real libertarian", believe that since all taxes are immoral and evil, it makes not one lick of difference, who pays and who does not pay."

    Did I say it? Oh no, like the fucking idiot you are, you mistakenly ASSUMED IT.

    Because you're stupid.

    And jealous. And petty.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Then make you point in plain and clear writing... Instead of making stupid trolling posts all day!

  • TuIpa||

    I did. You're not a libertarian, you're a jealous petty clown.

    It doesn't get much clearer.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Me jealous of one of the most narcissistic trolls on this board... THAT is RICH!!!

    If you want to be clear, I would like to see your proposed implementation of a better system of funding Government Almighty, since you say that taxation is theft. How are you going to protect humans from evil humans, how you are you going to fund that effort? Or are you going to use genetic engineering or Tulpa-magic to make the evil go away? Please explain to us ignorant peons, Oh Great Wise One...

  • TuIpa||

    "Me jealous of one of the most narcissistic trolls on this board... "

    No you fucking idiot. Are you drunk?

    Jealous of people who can legally avoid taxation.

    Did you actually forget what we were talking about? Seriously?

    Holy shit guy...

  • SQRLSY One||

    "Jealous of people who can legally avoid taxation."

    Making black people sit in the back of the bus was legal also, along with burning witches in the Dark Ages, and on and on. Legal not-equal ethical or moral.

    You're just a mindless troll who has no interesting information or thought to contribute here, other than trolling and strutting about how much smarter you are than other people. This will not help you to live a good life. I hope, for your sake, that you can graduate from elementary-school-style mindless bullying.

  • TuIpa||

    None of that addresses the fact that

    A) you are always strangely incoherent

    B) you are clearly just jealous, having admitted your problem is with the fact that YOU have to pay taxes.

    You're a jealous petty clown, and your own words proved it. Walls of text to justify do nothing to change it.

  • SQRLSY One||

    OK, then you win, you're the smartest moron around, in these that them thar internet-trolling parts!

  • TuIpa||

    No, you're just a jealous petty loser who can't keep track of a conversation for longer than 5 minutes and appears to be struggling with dementia.

  • SQRLSY One||

    I see that you have once again avoided contributing any significant thoughts, not even answering any questions about your Deep Thoughts. Once again...

    I would like to see your proposed implementation of a better system of funding Government Almighty, since you say that taxation is theft. How are you going to protect humans from evil humans, how you are you going to fund that effort? Or are you going to use genetic engineering or Tulpa-magic to make the evil go away? Please explain to us ignorant peons, Oh Great Wise One...

  • TuIpa||

    How many different ways are you going to bitch about being outed by me as a petty, jealous loser?

    Go see somebody. Seriously. Your mind is obviously failing.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Slither away and go admire Yourself and Your Great Mind in the mirror, because no one else can admire your Great Thoughts, when you won't (or can't) even share them, or commit them to coherent writing.

  • TuIpa||

    No bro. I just don't use "Tulpa" for that.

    Now you go see someone for your head problems and stop being such a petty jealous whiner.

  • JesseAz||

    Kushber didn't pay for one year. He has investments that span multiple years. Looking at a single year in isolation for someone whose main income stream is long term investments is really fucking stupid bordering on ignorance of tax law.

  • SQRLSY One||

    http://www.nytimes.com/2018/10.....taxes.html

    'His low tax bills are the result of a common tax-minimizing maneuver that, year after year, generated millions of dollars in losses for Mr. Kushner, according to the documents. But the losses were only on paper — Mr. Kushner and his company did not appear to actually lose any money. The losses were driven by depreciation, a tax benefit that lets real estate investors deduct a portion of the cost of their buildings from their taxable income every year.'

    Not just 1 year... Year after year after year! At the very least, he's making out like a bandit on the "time value of money" on deferred taxes. Us peons don't get to do that!

  • MJBinAL||

    And how do you know this? Since IRS filings are private, and releasing them without permission is a crime how do you know what you read is true? Seems to me like the entire discussion is based on nothing of known validity.

  • SQRLSY One||

    I have discussed this with a person who has a CPA and has worked for the IRS. It is true that the IRS does not have enough smarts (or processes in place) to make you pay (upon selling your real estate) the tax-shielding that you got in previous years, for your totally imaginary depreciation losses. So here is a repeat of what I have posted earlier here, from slightly below, and edited again... The below is true!

    Also, Jared released his tax records for us to see, as required for many big-wig politicians and appointees, unlike Trump, sad to say... THAT is where the NY Times got its info!

    Jared will never pay income taxes on the $1.7 million that he made in 2015 and shielded by his imaginary loses, when he sells the property 10 or 20 years from now, for a slight gain or loss. If, say, he makes or loses $20 instead of having lost $1.7 million or more. The IRS system isn't smart enough to ding him for back taxes for that. Just keep churning the real estate to always have some "depreciation" going on, to acquire imaginary losses to offset your real gains. Then you're home free!

    Leona Helmsley was correct... "Taxes are for the little people".

  • JFree||

    Kushber didn't pay for one year. He has investments that span multiple years. Looking at a single year in isolation for someone whose main income stream is long term investments is really fucking stupid bordering on ignorance of tax law.

    Methinks you're the one ignorant of tax law. Anyone in American real estate - esp at the top with a ton of land - who IS paying taxes is doing something very very wrong. Everything about our tax system is geared towards exempting them from paying taxes.

    And those who live on long-term investment income are the second most-favored in the tax system since in any large portfolio, there are always going to be tax losses that can be realized and then repurchased 31 days later - with tax-free swaps and/or purchases of others tax losses to ensure that realized gains don't get taxed either

  • SQRLSY One||

    Yes! Jared will never pay income taxes on the $1.7 million that he made in 2015 and shielded by his imaginary loses, when he sells the property 10 or 20 years from now, for a slight gain or loss. The IRS system isn't smart enough to ding him for back taxes for that. Just keep churning the real estate to always have some "depreciation" going on, to acquire imaginary losses to offset your real gains.

    Leona Helmsley was correct... "Taxes are for the little people".

  • JFree||

    And some of us like to pretend that the two things are in entirely separate universes that cannot possibly have any overlap whatsoever because that's the way we can define them if we so choose. So, for example, private voluntary organizations (eg KKK, Dodge City Vigilantes, Shelby County Regulators, 1851 Committee, Soapy Smith, Stuart's Stranglers, Wyoming Stock Growers Association, Herman Husband and the Regulator Hermits, etc) can be defined as quite legitimate in all their means and methods until such time as someone somewhere (including revisionist historians centuries after the fact) calls it/them/something 'gummint' in which event everything everywhere becomes illegitimate. One is liberty, the other oppression. Or vice versa. Or something.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Yes it can get confusing. The founding fathers weren't saints. Jefferson wrote about Native American lands as being "uninhabited", knowing full darned well that Native Americans were living there.

    Now today I can't own an eagle feather, even if it falls out of the clear blue, onto my property, but certified Natives can... They can also sell "Native American art", while I cannot. Swing, pendulum, swing!!! It is all part of keeping us confused and compliant!

  • MJBinAL||

    It is a problem however, that the American Indians, in general, did not have the concept of private real property. So if asked, "who owns this land" the response was consistently "no one". So as usual, when viewing the events of the past, it is necessary to understand the cultures of the times. The American Indian tribes picked up the concept of owning land, from the European Settlers, and even then it was ownership by the tribe not the individual.

  • SQRLSY One||

    They had tribes and tribal territories, even if they borders were not precise. Where I grew up on a farm, there were exceeding few arrowheads to be found... But plenty of arrowheads on farms significantly to the north or south. It turns out our home farm was on the DMZ (no-man's land between 2 tribes), marked by a mountain range on the other side of the river. To the north, the Iroqoius; To the south, the Delawares. If either tribe hunted in the DMZ, they risked getting shot by arrows from the opposing tribe. So they did have (as you say) tribal territories (property) but not individual or family properties. But territoriality predates the arrival of the whites. Territoriality is part of our animal nature. Chimps are the same way.

    In very-very harsh lands (the frozen north) they had to be so nomadic to find fresh game, that territoriality wasn't very strong at all, though...

  • Azathoth!!||

    Weird about all those territorial wars they fought before any Euros ever got here then, isn't it?

  • SQRLSY One||

    Also according to this book... http://www.amazon.com/Lies-My-.....0743296281 ... There were many tribes (especially in the eastern USA, with climate suitable for agriculture) that were settled on farms (growing corn, squash, etc.), where you can bet your patootie they defended their lands! This was before whites started arriving. As more and more whites arrived, they (whites) didn't want to do the hard work of wresting tree stumps out of the soil to create farm lands... So they stole the Native American farm lands instead! Using military force, of course. So as more whites arrived, the Natives gave up more and more farming and settled ways, and became more and more nomadic, according to this book. So the nomadic ways of the Natives was NOT so strong, before the whites started to trickle in!

  • JesseAz||

    I get really annoyed when people throw out diatribes when they are clearly ignorant of basic tax laws. First. We don't tax appreciating assets, we tax sales or transfers of assets. Just because property evaluations go up, we don't tax the increase in value. The only place this occurs is on property taxes, minus a few states, and not in your income tax. That is your first failure. Second. Depreciating assets gives temporary tax liability but then increases future liabilities when you sell the property as the depreciation lowers the initial value of the property. It's simply deferred taxation, not no taxation. That's your second bout of ignorance. Third. Isolating taxes that occur over a multi year basis in terms of a single year is really fucking stupid. That's your third mistake.

  • SQRLSY One||

    http://www.nytimes.com/2018/10.....taxes.html

    'In 2015, for example, Mr. Kushner took home $1.7 million in salary and investment gains. But those earnings were swamped by $8.3 million of losses, largely because of "significant depreciation" that Mr. Kushner and his company took on their real estate, according to the documents reviewed by The Times.'

    Do us peons get to do this? No, only fat cats who dabble in real estate. For all we know, Jared will lobby to get the laws changed when he finally sells his real estate, to once again dodge taxes. At the very least, he is enjoying his "time value of money" on deferred taxes, which again, we peons don't get to do. Also, capital gains are taxed at a lower rate than worker-bee wages. You are paid for being rich, and NOT taxed as much, if you are shoveling shit on your farm, or working as a coal miner. I can't see the justification for this. It is all welfare for the rich. And it stinks!

  • SQRLSY One||

    "...NOT taxed as much, AS COMPARED TO if you are shoveling shit on your farm..."

  • Longtobefree||

    You got a 401k?

  • SQRLSY One||

    Yes, and, sad to say, it doesn't even vaguely get anywhere close to being big enough to avoid me paying taxes on 1.7 million in income...

  • MSimon||

    Tax envy?

  • sarcasmic||

    Slavery requires force.

    Turning people away at the poll is force.

    Saying "No, we're not going to enforce that with government violence anymore" is not forced social equality. More like a lack of forced inequality.

  • vek||

    The founders NEVER thought that all men were actually EQUAL in all ways. They all knew that some people were not as smart as others. There's a REASON they didn't have universal suffrage from the get go... They knew the average half illiterate day laborer was NOT the intellectual equal of a successful business man, and they didn't think that day laborer should have any say in how the government was run.

    Frankly, they were correct. Universal suffrage is why this country is so fucked now. It would be hard to have a perfect system of only allowing the right people to vote, but I think MANY different ways of limiting it more than it is now would be improvements. Anything from simple land ownership as they used, to being able to pass a history/civics test, to an IQ test... ANYTHING is better than true universal suffrage.

    So don't claim the founders thought people were really equal. They merely meant in a moral sense, that all people deserved equal treatment under the law in general terms, NOT that there were no qualitative differences.

  • MJBinAL||

    They also did not have income taxes, in fact they had outlawed them. Taxes were property taxes. So what you had was government by tax payers. Still seems like a good idea to me.

  • vek||

    Exactly. A point I actually watched a good YouTube video on not too long ago. Their idea was if we simply instituted a system where only Net Taxpayers were able to vote... BOY HOWDY would that change how this country was run lickety split.

    That removes the whole "people voting themselves public largess at other peoples expense" thing.

    I still can't for the life of me understand how anybody ever thought universal suffrage WITH NO REQUIREMENTS was a good idea. The people who literally fought against laws requiring people to be literate to vote WERE INSANE. Somebody that can't even read has NO BUSINESS deciding how a nation is run. Sorry.

    The net taxpayer thing would be good... But I'm of the mind a history/civics test + maybe IQ test would be better, and more fair. Not everybody decides to chase money in their life, and any intelligent/educated person should have a shot at voting.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Blame Marx...

  • TuIpa||

    Sarc laying off the booze and bringing heat.

  • Juice||

    So you argue that if no one was attempting to use the law to enforce radical feminism, gay rights, etc. in any way, social conservatives would just live with it and leave it alone? Bull. The Jerry Falwell types would use the force of law to attempt to stamp it all out of their sight. If only both sides would realize that they can live their lives as they see fit and also let others do so in peace, then we'd all have a Merry Winter Holiday.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Amen!

  • Azathoth!!||

    ^^^THIS^^^

    This is the sarcasmic we know and love!

    Voluntary cultural change. Because it's the path forward, the path that provides the most liberty for all.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    What right-wingers hate is having these things forced upon them by government.

    Emphasis on these things. They're just fine forcing other values upon people by government, to advance their own sense of social equality and harmony.

    Which supports the idea that many do hate these things for their own sake. It's also pretty obvious this is the case for many, or else why would they speak out against these cultural changes on their own merits? Don't pretend that they're all simply apathetic to gay marriage or multiculturalism.

  • JesseAz||

    Please cite the last time the right attempted this to the scale of the left. Difficulty, abortion can be argued from the rights of the child so is bad evidence.

  • Paloma||

    Is being anti abortion really only a right wing issue? Because in decidedly left wing Venezuela, most abortions are illegal.

  • MJBinAL||

    Abortion is much more restricted in most of Europe than it is anywhere in the United States.

  • MSimon||

    The Drug War? Going on for over 100 years now.

  • DesigNate||

    The Drug War is pushed by both sides.

  • sarcasmic||

    They're just fine forcing other values upon people by government...

    Do you have any examples to back this assertion?

  • GILMORE™||

    What right-wingers hate is having these things forced upon them by government.

    Cultural Marxism is forced social equality.

    Communism is forced economic equality.

    The former is a stepping stone to the latter"

    Basically this^

    Brian strawmans the entire range of right-ish criticism of the role critical-theory disciplines in influencing modern political views

    ... which isn't entirely based in some bullshit Buchananesque conspiracy, as he'd like to pretend.

    - *tho sure, there's piles of that in cranky social-media circles - but you're just as quick to find its equivilent in the "Kochs control the right" conspiratorial gibberish popular among the mainstream left media

    And the few sentences Brian writes suggesting "This sort of criticism isn't helping"....?

    e.g.
    "suppressing distasteful speech comes not from deep understanding of [any] intellectual tradition with a goal of world domination but from a simple (if mistaken) calculus about the morality of hurting people... many students genuinely believe that certain expressions seen as hostile to oppressed minorities... cause actionable harm ... defenders of free speech need to take on that idea."

    re-read that paragraph a few times and try to discern where he ever argues "why" 'taking on' this bullshit idea would be more-effective than disputing it.

    he doesn't.

    As tho if we just hug and hold hands w/ the left, they'll all become libertarians... eventually.

  • Cathy L||

    Glad to see that Brian Doherty is still solid and willing to make the pathetic right-winger commenters on this site cry.

  • Bigsby T. Roundcube||

    I'm sorry, Cathy. I'm about as unconservative as they come, but this is grade A horse shit. Much like your comment, it rather lazily saddles the burden of cleanup on this hypothetical conservative horde that has suddenly welled up from the bowels of Lower Alabama to consume the nation.

    No. The free world isn't dealing with uncovering a deliberate slow-fuse operation implanted and cultivated by a competing ideology. ...One there is undeniable evidence for, taken from the very words of the conspirators. That's all a tin foil hat fantasy! It's the rednecks, see? Before his death, Strom Thurmond put a timer on a device which recently sent out a powerful subsonic transmission from the hidden bunker beneath his tomb. This singal activated thousands of sleeper cells across the south, and out of the f-ing blue, everyone started hating blacks and gays like it was 1952 again.

    ...pull the other one, my love.

  • Cathy L||

    Yes, it is a fantasy.

  • TuIpa||

    What a sad thing for you to fantasize about.

  • Cathy L||

    Bigsby T and the right-wingers are the fantasists.

  • TuIpa||

    Nah, I had it right.

  • TuIpa||

    "and willing to make the pathetic right-winger commenters on this site cry."

    What a sad, vapid, empty thing to care about.

    At least you've stopped trying to pretend to be a real commenter.

  • Cathy L||

    Really? I thought it was all you cared about.

  • TuIpa||

    Well Kivlor that's because you're stupid, I care about making idiots cry, regardless of politics.

    It's not a surprise that the difference is beyond your ability to grasp.

  • BigT||

    Marxism, like fascism, has morphed to mean something different than its literal, original meaning. Fascism is used to imply authoriantarianism, racism, militarism, oppression, when, of course it was birthed as an economic system. Likewise, Marxism means collectivism, oppression, statism, etc rather than what it meant to those 'philosophers' who coined the term. In this vein, cultural Marxism is an appropriate term for what many people are railing against.

    Nevertheless, I appreciate the article.

  • Robert||

    Actually fascism was supposed to be a complete reorganiz'n of society. We focus on the economic aspects, but it was to include all aspects of human relationships.

  • TuIpa||

    Fuck off Hihn.

  • Mickey Rat||

    "American right-wingers hate multiculturalism and gay rights and radical feminism for their own sake, not because they were designed to pave the path for communism."

    As those movements have been going down the path of positive and group rights, group guilt, and equality of outcomes rather than opportunity. Anyone who believes in individualism and liberty have to oppose some aspects of those movements because their more radical proposals are antithetical to those values.

  • Tony||

    As someone deep in the trenches, i promise you, all they want is social, political, and economic equality with white straight men. Why is that too much to ask?

  • JesseAz||

    Gay men make more on average than straight men. The baker who refused to participate in the weddings probably makes less than the average gay man. Yet you attempted to destroy him.

  • Longtobefree||

    Sorry, I can't get the link to your citation to work. Please repost.

  • MJBinAL||

    Sorry dude, I will look for links later, but it is also a fact the average net worth of gay men is higher than the average net worth of hetero men or women.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Many are asking for equality of outcomes not opportunity which necessarily curtails liberty and even economic reality. You cannot just say they want equality when we mean very different things by that.

  • Tony||

    No they aren't. You're thinking and talking in slogans and you don't know what the fuck you're talking about.

  • CLM1227||

    When most women don't even want to major in engineering (in spite the boatloads of cash being thrown at women who enter college in those disciplines), you can't expect engineering firms to just snap their fingers and make female engineers appear out of thin air.

    So quotas forced on engineering firms are forcing equality of outcome over opportunity. If anything, I had better chances getting into school, getting into internships, and getting a job than my male counterparts... so even opportunity was heavily skewed towards benefitting a woman over men.

    Signed,
    Ex-Lockheed ^Female^ Engineer

  • vek||

    Tony, what if women, or certain minority groups don't DESERVE objective equality with white men, because they don't do enough to earn it?

    Women work less than men. So in what fair world should they earn the same? Minorities don't do jobs that require as much education or skill as white men. So in what fair world should they earn the same?

    Keep in mind gay men, as mentioned, already make more money than straight men. Asian men, also make more money than white men. It's kinda funny how groups that bust ass, and get trained for fields that pay well do as well as would be expected from the achievements they have made.

    Funny that. It's almost as if women, and some minority groups, ARE getting treated perfectly fairly, and it's really their own fault they don't make as much money or have as much power as white men.

  • Tony||

    So what makes women and minorities (except Asians) less able to work as hard as white men?

  • vek||

    Where did I say they are LESS ABLE?

    I said THEY DON'T. Because that is true. Female doctors only work about 2/3rds as many hours as male doctors. So they DESERVE to make less money, which shows in statistics. Women also take more sick days, and vacation days. There is no industry I have ever seen where women work more hours than men in the same industry, and I have seen studies showing men work more than women in a ton of specific industries.

    So perhaps women are ABLE to do so... But they don't. Therefore they don't EARN equal total pay.

    I believe many minority men DO work as much (hours wise) as white men, however they work in lower paying fields. Hence also earn less. Asian men are more educated on average, and make more than whites. Asian mean EARN more than whites... Other minorities do not.

    See how that works?

    Value of job X how hard you work = outcomes.

    White men, Asians, and Jews do the right things to come out on top in this equation... If other groups choose not to, it is not them being discriminated against... It is simply them not taking the proper actions to earn the same as whites/Asians/Jews. That is not unfair, it is actually completely fair.

  • vek||

    That said Tony, in many fields women ARE NOT as capable as men on average. Like a metric fuck ton of jobs that require physical strength. Women statistically also do less well under pressure, and are more likely to develop mental health issues, including PTSD when they serve in the military.

    So while women might be equally capable of performing as well as men in a low stress office job... They fall short in a lot of other fields. There are rare outliers that can compete with men in all these areas, but ON AVERAGE men do better.

  • buybuydandavis||

    When the Left says "equality", it always means "supremacy"

  • Alcibiades||

    I haven't read the above yet. I will in due course, but meantime, here's the latest excellent essay from Kevin Williamson over at National Review Online:

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/
    10/world-keeps-not-ending/

    Sometimes it seems NRO is more libertarian these days than Reason.

  • DajjaI||

    Cultural Marxism is real and it very much is a communist plot. Basically they are deeply jealous of their prosperous capitalist brothers and this is their revenge conspiracy. They try to foment strife to undermine society in the hope that they will be chosen as leader to take control of the world and sit back and relax as the workers toil and massacre beneath them. Much like they imagine their despised 'factory owners' do all day.

    But having said that, it is not always a conscious program. RBG is a good example. When she started her career, women's equality was in dismal condition. For example, they weren't allowed in many law schools or firms. But she helped solve all these problems, leaving her with nothing to do. So now she fights for 'cultural marxist' causes like equal pay. When people see the light at the end of the tunnel they often turn back. Baby needs new pair o' shoes. This article in Reason is actually a good example of that.

    Another example of cultural marxism is when people bring a homeless person into their local McDonald's and film when the police come to kick them out. The idea is to evoke sympathy to make people resent each other. The black guys arrested at a Philly Starbucks is a great example. (They were patsies in this operation.) Another example is the SPLC taking down an article in response to a lawsuit by Maajid Nawaz. This way they can claim, "We don't have free speech in this country."

    But Communism is easy to discredit.

  • JFree||

    Yeah. It is incomprehensible why they don't just satisfy themselves with the playtoys we give them voluntarily. It's like they actually think they have the same rights as we do to be the asshole at the top of the mountain.

  • Cy||

    You're one of those idiots who have automatically and incorrectly put "us" in a position of power over 'them.' You go even further down into the pit of retard by then making the assumption that 'we' owe 'them' anything.

    I'm sure your ability to throw groups in and out of the 'us,' 'we' and 'them' positions works great for your debate 'facts.'

    Take your Victim Olympics and fuck off asshole. We don't want any of your snake oil here.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I see your Victim Olympics and raise one Can't-Keep-Up Victim Tour for half-educated, economically inadequate, backwaters-inhabiting, superstitious, broadly intolerant, gullible, stale-thinking, grievance-addled, street-pill-gobbling whites.

    In other words, the Trump campaign.

  • TuIpa||

    That's a string-troll.

  • Trollificus||

    Nice. 10 consecutive insults strung together, four of them hyphenated!!

    However strained the invective, however fact-free those "the-kind-of-people-I-don't-like" insults, it does show a level of craft and effort that I, for one, do appreciate. Especially in light of how lame many of the troll round here actually are.

    7/10 (strained, fact-free, dicey demographic selectivity)

  • TuIpa||

    Who is this "we" you keep talking about?

  • JFree||

    Ask Dajjal. He's the guy who used they/their 12 times. So he must have some idea who the we is in opposition to that they

  • TuIpa||

    You said it. I'm asking you.

  • JFree||

    Thank you for calling. You are currently 24th in line. A customer service rep will be with you shortly.

  • TuIpa||

    About the answer we all expected.

  • JFree||

    Who is this 'we' you are talking about?

  • TuIpa||

    The audience.

    Your turn.

  • vek||

    If the evil white mans system is SOOOOO oppressive of minorities, and the only reason we're on top is because we're holding everybody else back... Why do Jews and Asian men make far more money on average than white gentiles?

    Could it be that Jews and Asian men go through the effort of doing all the right things, thus EARN more income than white men? Why yes, I believe that is it! Therefore, if Mexicans want to earn as much as gringos, maybe they too should go through all the right steps to achieve success.

    It's not white people holding anybody down. Groups are all exactly where they deserve to be. If anything under current laws and hiring practices, white people are actually discriminated against compared to other groups, hence they may be getting MORE than they're actually earning.

  • Woody Chip Hurrrrr?||

    This is pretty good in a technical way, but that makes it pointless. What libertarianism comes down to is self-ownership, individualism. The opposite is Statism, collectivism, under a zillion names which all come down to the power and primacy of the State, with the assumption that the believers will be in charge; no Statist ever wants some other random person in charge. Of course they can't all be in charge, or even in charge of who's in charge, and that is their downfall.

    A Statist by any other name is still a Statist and would smell as sour. There is no liberty there.

  • ThomasD||

    "What libertarianism comes down to is self-ownership, individualism."

    Indeed. And what the cultural Marxists do is to deny autonomy through the construct of 'power relationships.' You are never an individual in their eyes.

    Bu, apparently Doherty thinks recognizing this is all a right wing plot.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Yeah I've thought for a little while now that 'cultural marxism' is just another right-wing conspiracy theory.

  • TuIpa||

    Of course you have, proggo.

  • Cy||

    "from each non-victim's ability, to each victim's needs."

  • vek||

    What about all those articles, essays, books, studies etc who push for something that is the EXACT definition of Cultural Marxism, but they just don't use that phrase to describe it? I believe "Social Justice" is an en vogue name for it nowadays...

  • Eddy||

    Here's a somewhat saner take on these trends, and it has a hip, with-it title:

    Springtime for Snowflakes: 'Social Justice' and Its Postmodern Parentage, by Michael Rectenwald

    The author is - or was - an actual lefty college professor who was deeply immersed in all the fashionable campus doctrines which - he argues - have resulted in much of the foolishness we now see on campuses. He shows that the bad ideas don't come from Marx, but they come from *somewhere* - from various intellectuals whose work was lapped up by U. S. left-wing academics. And now, by "coincidence," we see actual behavior inspired by these ideas.

    Like this Reason article, Rectenwald specifically disagrees with Jordan Peterson and doesn't blame Marx.

    Supposedly, the postmodern theorists rejected "totalizing" (sp?) worldviews like Marx's. But they directed a lot of their firepower not at Marxism but at modern Western civilization.

  • Eddy||

    But this Reason article doesn't content itself with saying "don't blame Marx, blame these other intellectuals" - instead, it makes its own conspiracy theory about the right.

  • ThomasD||

    Funny how the "the degree of rationality of any system of social domination in accordance to standards of justice" is accepted uncritically.

    Even though it is comprised of clotted and confusing terms that, in practice, are never used to question the left. Especially not the culturally dominant left or it's ever changing standards of justice.

  • Eddy||

    "All who want a tolerant civic peace in this vast and varied land should work to forge whatever way of life they choose on their own property or in their own communities, not insist that former outsiders who wish to be treated more fairly are merely doing so as a cover to impose communist tyranny. The fight for limited government in our culture can't be successfully fought in dogged, frightened opposition to freely chosen cultural plenitude."

    That's all very nice, but it has little to do with what the SJWs are actually doing in the real world.

    They want to put businesses out of business for deciding for themselves which weddings to cater.

    What happened to the "freely chosen cultural plenitude" of these businesses and their owners?

    Some university students want to hear from "controversial" outside speakers without having the speech shouted down or disrupted by assault or other crimes. What about the "cultural plenitude" of these speakers?

  • AFSlade||

    Didn't you get the memo, Eddy? They "didn't build that." That's the perfect Marxist-asshole response to any possible attempt at individualism. Seriously, imagine the President - of these United States - actually said that. It's a bad parody of an Ayn Rand novel character, but there it is. It really fucking happened.

    The reason (as Sarc) noted above that it is called "cultural Marxism" is because it is the same core principle of economic Marxism (and indeed of all of Marxist philosophy): of denying anyone individuality and/or individual merit or achievement, be it in economics, academics, or popular culture. What matters is only to which "group" you belong: "Are you one of the 'right' kinds of victims?" is the only question they ask and your answer is the only thing that matters. Look at the terms they use to shut down their opponents: 'mansplaining', 'white privilege', 'language is violence,' etc. but Doherty says it's the Deplorables who are the problem.

    There are lots of people - many so-called 'deplorables' - who would like to just be left the fuck alone, but the Cultural Marxists will have none of it. That Doherty pretends this is not the case is just laughable. Bake the cake, biyotch.

  • posmoo||

    seriously what is animating this socialism apologia garbage from reason?

  • Eddy||

    Presumably the idea is that there is a potential pool of libertarian recruits who are on the left based on distrust of the status quo - and this distrust can be channeled into libertarianism.

    Apparently, these good folks park themselves on the political left because they are grossed out at the evil, racist, gay-baiting, grandma-starving conservatives and Republicans. They can be converted by showing that under the magic of libertarianism, the great objectives of tolerance for outsiders, cultural freedom (eg, dope-smoking), and economic fairness can be met without resorting to the left's methods.

    I can't predict the future, so I can't say this effort will fail, I'll simply say I'll believe it when I see it.

    For now, these potential converts seem to regard libertarians as Pied Pipers acting on behalf of the planet-destroying Kochs and other sinister interests.

  • Uncle Adolf's Gas and Grill||

    Socialist ends by free market means. Libertarianism in a nutshell.

  • Eddy||

    There may be some sarcasm here, but in any case, I see that the Reason people actually think they represent a philosophy which is beyond right and left.

    OK, but they could at least try and recruit from among both lefties *and* righties.

    Have there been articles targeting potential right-wing converts?

  • Uncle Adolf's Gas and Grill||

    Have there been articles targeting potential right-wing converts?

    I'd say at this point the far-right is having a lot more success converting libertarians than the other way around. Like the Republicans, the libertarians mostly seem to be interested in insulting the people who would be interested in voting for them in pursuit of the people who never will.

  • vek||

    That's because the far right actually has a shot in hell of saving western civilization.

    I am not a purist libertarian, but I am in for 98% of the purist dogma. However these modern Cosmotarians are delusional idiots, and don't have the stomach to fight the fight that needs to happen in order to save western civilization.

    Perhaps in the 1970s I would have said different, but right now if I could magically appoint either a Gary Johnson type libertarian to become dictator for 8 years, or a Franco/Pinochet type... I think I'd pick the Franco/Pinochet type. Cosmotarians are just blind when it comes to some of the stuff that is going on that is completely unraveling society. I think we're past the time for simple and civil changes saving the west. Hopefully I'm wrong, but I wouldn't put money on it!

  • Uncle Adolf's Gas and Grill||

    seriously what is animating this socialism apologia garbage from reason?

    Given that it's becoming obvious that the cultural end states of libertarianism and progressivism are going to look pretty much alike, the quibble over economics notwithstanding, it won't do to provoke opposition to those cultural products. If they did that, what would they say when people notice they're delivering essentially the same product?

    Politics makes strange bedfellows.

  • Eddy||

    And maybe Marcuse *does* get too much blame - after all, he advocated censorship on the tried and true grounds that the wrong kind of speech might prompt the listeners to do bad things (like voting the wrong way). IIRC, he didn't say that the mere utterance of certain speech caused direct harm - he actually thought there had to be a stage before the harm took place, a stage when people got deluded into believing what the speech said and then acted on that belief by, eg., voting Republican or whatever.

    So it's a classic rationale for banning false speech.

    The new censorship doesn't even ground itself on the need to stop the spread of false beliefs - apparently, the mere utterance of the speech inflicts injury on those sensitive souls who hear it.

    The new censors, then, don't have to establish that the speech is false, only that it causes hurt feelings or makes people feel unsafe. And it's a selective doctrine, because apparently right-wingers are considered resilient enough that they can endure all sorts of "hurtful" speech - it's the Right Sort of people whose feelings need protection.

  • Woody Chip Hurrrrr?||

    You're overthinking it. It's just statism vs individualism; "Do what we(I) tell you" vs "Leave me alone", "I have no arguments so shut up" vs "What can we voluntarily trade?"

  • Eddy||

    OK, but it's still depressing that the arguments for censorship have degenerated so that appealing to the need to seek the truth is less and less relevant.

    "How can you drone on about your facts and statistics when people are HURTING?!?!"

  • Eddy||

    The old (classical) liberal arguments were directed against people who claimed that certain speech had harmful effects on those who absorbed and acted on the message - thus opening up the liberal rebuttal about the value of counterspeech as opposed to censorship.

    "Yes, the truth is important, but do you trust the government to determine the truth for you? If speech actually *is* false, wouldn't you want to rebut it by open debate rather than repressive methods?" etc.

    Now you also have to rebut the argument that "we're not talking about some debate over truth, we're talking about listeners being unsafe because of what these horrible speakers say!"

  • Eddy||

    How could you use John Stuart Mill against the snowflakes?

    -Even if their ideas are wrong, we can exercise our intellectual faculties by debating and refuting them. - "OMG, you want to expose victims to these horrible ideas and cause them harm just so you can have some kind of debate?"

    -There may be some truth mixed in with their error - "OMG how can you say that about total fascist hate speech, you must be a fascist yourself!"

  • juris imprudent||

    That is the culture war being lost. The nominal allies on right and left of individualism dare not speak up against the dominant factions inside their domains. Brian et al see the loss of connection on the right, but misappraise the potential to connect to the left (by adopting the fashion of leftie virtue signaling).

  • SIV||

    Doherty has been hitting the fluoridated water hard.

  • Trollificus||

    Well, after I slogged through that slanted first paragraph, I now find "Reason Staff" is my new least-favorite REASON writer. Do they make you take a "Strawmanning 101" class before you get your 'woke' certificate??

    Fuck this shit.

  • creech||

    Maybe we should stop trying to win ideological arguments by reference to something said by Marx, or Jefferson, or Rand, or Alinsky or Sanders or Hayek. Most people don't care - they would rather know if a policy or proposal is good or bad, practical or unrealistic. Explain why we support something or have a beef with something, without referencing what some (maybe long dead) person thought about it.

  • Cy||

    To emotionally driven people, communism looks REALLY good on paper. You see where that got them?

    Marx was partially responsible for creating a movement that killed 100's of millions of people, that's why.

  • liberalismwithteeth||

    This piece is embarrassing and obtuse. There is no reason whatsoever to treat criticisms of "cultural Marxism" as flowing from a conspiracy theory, and doing so serves no purpose except sophistry and distraction from the actual issues at hand. The Frankfurt school and their heirs were/are Marxist inspired haters of capitalism whose special concern relates to understanding the culture in terms of an ongoing conflict theory (a narrative of oppressors vs. oppressed). Read Doherty's silly screed closely, and it is apparent that this much is admitted. But that description is wholly sufficient to understand why the label "cultural Marxism" is apt. There is no reason to appeal to Lind or Buchanan or whoever else, unless one is specifically aiming to undermine the ability to think clearly about families of political philosophy by associating terms with some conspiracy borne of bogeymen of the intolerant right. That is the conspiracy theory at work here, and it is Doherty's.

    Cultural Marxism is very bad news for the political individualism at the heart of classical liberalism. It is not coincidentally like the 20th Century nemesis of liberty, economic Marxism. At the same time, it is not some conspiracy of Marxist intellectuals but bears a family resemblance of worldview. That earns cultural Marxists their name.

  • liberalismwithteeth||

    This is not hard to understand, and it is important to be able to understand what is really going on with PC efforts to stifle individual thought and expression. Libertarians and classical liberals have been at the forefront of equal individual rights for gays, women, blacks, etc. going back to the 19th Century. The cultural Marxists are in no way, shape, or form aiming for that same goal, and it is imperative that we be clear in articulating the collectivist conflict theory at the heart of their opposition to individualism. Otherwise, our accomplishments are liable to be appropriated and ultimately undone. The conspiracy theory that "cultural Marxism" is a conspiracy theory must be denounced loudly and clearly. I would have expected that from the premiere libertarian magazine, to whom I have donated much time and treasure over the years. They are trying my patience.

    Doherty should be ashamed and Reason needs to get their heads out of their collective asses about this.

  • juris imprudent||

    Similar to the leftie screeching about the alt-right: there must be a conspiracy to explain why my side isn't winning.

    I guess most of the staff haven't read The United States of Paranoia. Didn't they get courtesy copies?

  • ravenshrike||

    "You won't win the day by treating people who merely disagree with you as stalking horses for socialist tyranny."

    *looks at recent comments by Hillary Clinton and Rahm Emmanuel*

    Yep, we're at the merely disagree stage here alright.

  • Alan Vanneman||

    Excellent piece, Brian. Sorry to see that your well-informed, cogently written article proved to be so "controversial". Please persevere.

  • TuIpa||

    See, Vanneman liked it.

    You might as well rubber stamp it "steaming hot garbage"

  • Trollificus||

    Terrible piece, Brian. Disappointed to see that your strawmanning and creation of imaginary "enemies" has been so credulously accepted by some. Please stop.

  • Benitacanova||

    Worst. Article. Ever.

  • Longtobefree||

    There are certain foods that can help improve your memory; but I forget which ones they are - - - - - -

  • Robert||

    Pardon me, but...news? This sort of stuff's been said since the 1950s, only then it was directed by the Kremlin more than by your friendly local Red cell.

  • TuIpa||

    Fuck off Hihn.

  • Robert||

    I'd rather fuck off someone else, if you don't mind.

  • TuIpa||

    Fuck off Hihn.

  • Robert||

    But Hihn's so...unpleasant...to fuck off. Couldn't I fuck off someone more rewarding? Or is it that Hihn just needs being fucked off?

  • TuIpa||

    Fuck off Hihn.

  • Azathoth!!||

    If this is Hihn, he's doing a damned good job of avoiding all the classic hihnisms that the real Hihn can't seem to grasp are identifiers.

  • TuIpa||

    It's Hihn. He outed himself very early on with this sock, put it on standby, and brought it out again when he thought the heat had died down. Yes, he makes a deliberate effort to disguise his posting style, but he has done that since he got caught.

    And no, I will not wade through a mountain of Hihn comments to prove it. Other posters saw it, and have no reason to agree with me.

  • Cathy L||

    I love when you reveal your own trolling techniques. Obviously you have enough experience to know few people here are observant enough to notice them even so.

  • TuIpa||

    I love that you Cry So Much about me being nasty Cry More Cathy.

  • TuIpa||

    "I love when you reveal your own trolling techniques."

    You know, I just realized... I didn't reveal any trolling techniques.

    Unless you mean "lettting the heat die down" and "disguising posting style" I guess.

    What kind of fucking idiot thinks I was revealing that though? I mean how stupid and desperate to show me up do you have to be to reach that hard?

    "OMG YOU REVEALED YOUR ADVANCED TROLL-FU I LOVE IT AHAHAHAHAJ DERP!!!"

    lol, yeah, and... he changes the name too!!! So advanced!! So revealing!!!

    Jesus Cathy/Kivlor what the fuck is wrong with you that you're willing to make a fool of yourself to take a shot at me.

  • Mock-star||

    Theres an easy way to tell.

    Hey Robert, if you had to summarize the relationship between the left and the right as a mathematical equation, how would you do so? Furthermore, have the one true libertarians been doing this mathematical equation for awhile? Could you provide a link to prove this equation?

  • Robert||

    If sociopolitical theorizing were math, you could get right answers.

  • Robert||

    And yeah, I'm familiar w Mike Hihn's slogan, "left - right = 0", but, solving, that means left=right. If he were smart, wouldn't he formulate it left + right = 0, i.e. they cancel each other out?

  • Mock-star||

    Well you nailed the equation AND you managed to comment a full day after anyone would have read any of this. HOWEVER, you didnt claim that every libertarian knows that equation by heart for the last 40 years, you didnt include a link to nothing on this same page, you werent a complete and total disingenuous dick to everyone who commented, you havent managed to alieniate 91 or so percent of everyone who has come in contact with you, and arent obviously mentally disturbed, so Im inclined to believe that you arent Hihn.

  • Furzeydown||

    +1 Left / - 1 Right

  • Robert||

    I've followed Hihn online since the 1990s & Libernet-d—I dare say a lot longer than you have. He used to get into a lot of flame wars. If it's hard to tell him from others now, it's because forums like this have gotten very flamey.

    Anyway, good to know Hihn lets me out now & again. I'd hate to be confined by him all the time.

  • Zeb||

    Of all the people to decide is Hihn, Robert seems like an odd choice.

  • Ken Shultz||

    No doubt, plenty of people on the right criticize "Marxism" without any idea of what it means. There are plenty more people on the left who defend socialism and Marxism without a good idea of what it means, either--and they deserve a lot of the blame for why the right is getting it so wrong. Here's Shultz's contribution to the historical political dialectic: The left and the right strive to become the caricatures their opponents make them out to be. It helps explain everything from the coarseness of conversations online to why Nascar and Priuses somehow became popular.

    Anyway, yeah, Marx, like Keynes, wasn't anywhere near as stupid as his supporters make him out to be. No, the central insight of Keynes was not that sustainable wealth comes from government spending, and Marx had an idea or two that weren't entirely awful. Hell, some of his insights are fundamental to libertarian capitalism--creative destruction, anyone?

    https://preview.tinyurl.com/y9xxhsqb

  • Ken Shultz||

    All that being said, there is clear harmony between the ideals being set forward by progressives today and what Marxists used to call creating the "New Soviet Man". Progressives are trying to purge the American mind of various thought crimes from homophobia, racism, and misogyny to religion and selfishness. The progressives want to use the education system and the entertainment industry to spread these as new norms, much like revolutionary Marxists did. Hell, if you want to describe what happened to Roseanne as an ongoing "struggle session", that's a pretty good description.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Struggle_session

    Anyway, even if the terms "Marxist" isn't precise for all this, it's close enough for average people to use. What's the point of libertarians rescuing Marxists from damning accusations that are close enough to the mark?

  • Trollificus||

    All that being said...
    a) when "misogyny" gets redefined as "anything less than 50/50 apportionment of jobs IN FIELDS WOMEN DON'T EVEN VOLUNTARILY CHOOSE", and "racism" gets special carve outs to hate certain groups, and

    b) having incorrect opinions well short of misogyny, racism and/or homophobia get treated as if INCORRECT OPINIONS are an intolerable crime...I don't care what you call it. The problem is not in the naming. The problem is people with very fringe views in control of college curricula, all media platforms and the Internet.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Persuasion is one thing, but people should be free to think what they want--no matter how stupid--full stop.

  • Ken Shultz||

    From the "Struggle session" link above:

    "In general, the victim of a struggle session was forced to admit various crimes before a crowd of people who would verbally and physically abuse the victim until he or she confessed. Struggle sessions were often held at the workplace of the accused, but they were sometimes conducted in sports stadiums where large crowds would gather if the target was famous enough.[1]

    . . . .

    Struggle sessions developed from similar ideas of criticism and self-criticism in the Soviet Union from the 1920s. The term refers to class struggle; the session is held to "benefit" the target, by eliminating all traces of counterrevolutionary, reactionary thinking . . . struggle sessions became commonplace at Communist Party meetings during the 1930s due to public popularity.[2]"

  • Ken Shultz||

    One of the distinctive features of totalitarianism (vs. authoritarianism) is that where authoritarians are mostly concerned with controlling your behavior, totalitarians insist on controlling what you think (H/T to JKp). In North Korea, it is not enough to do as you're told. You must love the Dear Leader with all your heart. The distinction between your authentic feelings and the feelings being imposed on you by society becomes blurred or meaningless in that world.

    It is the left's obsession with controlling what's in people's minds that makes them so prone to totalitarianism. And they love to humiliate celebrities for thought crimes like that. Get out there anywhere that will have you and beg for our mercy, Roseanne--beg and beg and beg and beg. If Norm has the gall to speak up for you, then blackball his ass for that. We can't let people imagine that thinking for themselves is okay. Oh, and how dare Kavanaugh not apologize and beg for our mercy? How dare anyone defy social justice!

    And you want to complain about the right calling these people "Marxists"?!

  • Dont Tread On Womyn||

    1000% yes.

  • ThomasD||

    "And you want to complain about the right calling these people "Marxists"?!"

    Well, of course they do. It's all practically iterative, and the last thing they want is any associations - such as by name - that might make you recognize that common denominator.

    Old school Marxism, which was supposed to rise up from the bourgeoisie of the industrialized world and free them from 'oppression' never really went anywhere. So instead had to be imposed on the peasants of the third world, leading to millions dead and billions immiserated. At which point all those oh-so 'oppressed' westerners said "not on your life."

    So, not giving up on their enterprise, they re-jigger it lock, stock, and barrel from an economic approach to a cultural approach. But the fruits of the last sixty years of long march, rather than being more freedom, are victim culture, differing standards of 'justice' aligned to membership in a perceived aggrieved class, and a headlong rush into social totalitarianism.

    Why it's almost as if the taint lies somewhere at the heart of the matter. That maybe, just maybe, all of the people at the core, really aren't seeking to deliver what they promise, but instead maybe should be judged by their outcomes rather than their ostensible motives. Maybe they really did mean it when they declared themselves opposed to the historical values of Western society. Just don't try to give it a name.

    Because that would be a conspiracy.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    Dense apologia for garbage that waves it's bloodied fists at those godawful straw men in defiance of their straw beliefs. Doherty has become a useful idiot.

    Is something someone might say in response to this article. Really who is blaming the person Karl Marx for developments he didn't foresee? Sure he was wrong about a lot of stuff but he's dead and ideologies have a life of their own, right?

    Economic Marxism failed, so cultural is the current battleground? Eh.

  • Dont Tread On Womyn||

    (1/2)
    Wow, maybe the most disappointing thing I've read on Reason in a long, long time. Should retitle this article:
    "GOING BACK IN TIME TO CONSTRUCT STRAWMEN: Error-Laden Perspectives On Why Repubs Are Stupid".

    I Honestly don't know where to begin, but one obvious and easy place to start is:

    "The cultural Marxism obsession on the part of these conservatives is strictly surplus to requirements. American right-wingers hate multiculturalism and gay rights and radical feminism for their own sake, not because they were designed to pave the path for communism. But the story has the emotional advantage of allowing them to imagine that the trends they despise didn't arise from a long history of the social abuse of blacks, gays, women, and immigrants, but from sinister machinations of commies striving to enslave us."

    Is this a fucking joke ? Remind me about how much "American left-wingers" loved or even accepted multiculturalism, gay rights and radical feminism until recently ? And given that this "acceptance" essentially plays out as a political tactic and talking point, it never crossed the authors mind that maybe that "acceptance" is... purely politics ? maybe that conservative "hate" (gag), is also just another symptom of this nauseating political show ?

  • Dont Tread On Womyn||

    (2/2)
    Doherty assumes anyone right of center "hates multiculturalism, gay rights and radical feminism". What about gay right wingers ? What about black, latino, asian, immigrant etc, right wingers ? What about right wingers who are women ? What about right wingers who may *gasp* define themselves as feminists ?

    I'm so sick of reading this kind of shit. The scores of people here who complain about this do so because Reason, historically, was a good place to come to for a libertarian perspective. Not so much anymore. I've been coming to this site for 8 years, and now I basically just come to see what garbage they'll think will pass for people interested in limited government, with a small hope that maybe there will be something here that doesn't make my heart sink.

  • Robert||

    It's still a good place to come for that...in the comments.

  • TuIpa||

    Fuck off Hihn.

  • Zeb||

    Congratulations, you've made yourself even more obnoxious than Michael Hihn.

    Someone give this guy a medal.

  • TuIpa||

    Kill yourself Zeb.

  • Eddy||

    There are still conservatives talking wistfully about anti-vice laws and regulation of social media, but unless they can get lefty backing ("bipartisanship!"), they aren't going to succeed in the present climate.

    So why not appeal to conservatives who, rather than an ambitious anti-vice agenda, are concerned about having the Left leave them alone?

    If it's possible to have alliances of convenience with potheads and "they may call themselves socialists but they really aren't" types, why not alliances with conservatives?

  • Eddy||

    I dunno, why not that national debt and the budget? Try some feelers, see who on the "right" is willing to go with the libertarians on this while the established "conservative" leaders are missing in action.

  • Dont Tread On Womyn||

    Honestly, I could give a fuck about left or right, or any given label or identity. It's a semantic smokescreen, and people seem to losing the ability to see through it. Freedom v Authoritarianism. Who cares about a name or some chosen label ? Even the term libertarian, can be a dangerous label for some.

  • Robert||

    Conservatives have been allies a long time. Who says there aren't still such alliances?

  • TuIpa||

    Fuck off Hihn.

  • Dont Tread On Womyn||

    I'm not sure i understand what you mean entirely.
    I guess my real problem with this article, and others like it, is that is seems that the writers here, like the population at large, has been sucked into this toxic Dem v Repub perspective, where i feel now more than ever, people and libertarians especially should be focused on a freedom vs authoritarian perspective.

    Not sure if that jives with what you're saying or not

  • Eddy||

    I'm suggesting they should court conservatives at least as enthusiastically as they're courting progressives.

    Of course, it's not at all as simply as I've implied, because there are issues where Reason simply is in the progressive camp - abortion is the biggie - and that's going to be a dealkiller with plenty of conservatives.

    On the other hand, I haven't seen proof of Reason's apparent assumption that the progressive ranks are filled with potential libertarian recruits. Of course maybe I'm not looking in the right places - maybe they know things I don't - but if they have people they've recruited from leftist ranks, publish the conversion stories in Reason itself.

  • MSimon||

    The real deal killer for abortion is the same one that kills the Drug Deal (heh).

    The Black Market.

  • CLM1227||

    Is the black market of abortion really any more dangerous than the legal market as currently practiced outside of states that have passed sanitary and hospital access regulations?

  • vek||

    I've never understood this whole idea... Leftists are opposed to the underlying principle of self choice in most matters. As such they just don't seem likely to come over to libertarianism.

    Also, simply within the libertarian community, left-libertarians have come to dominate basically all the important institutions. Reason first and foremost... YET in my personal life probably 80-90% of self described libertarians have been right-libertarians. In the comments section here and elsewhere, a strong majority seems to be a right-libertarian. Most conservatives are sympathetic to libertarians if you talk to them... The exact opposite reaction one gets from leftists.

    So how did left-libertarians come to dominate libertarianism, despite being a minority? I guess the same way extreme progressives took over the mainstream media and institutions, intentional effort and infiltration, locking out those they didn't agree with, and giving a leg up to those that did?

    But yeah, outreach needs to be towards the right. The leftists are never gonna come over, but plenty of right wingers could if libertarians ever got their shit together.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    So why not appeal to conservatives who, rather than an ambitious anti-vice agenda, are concerned about having the Left leave them alone?

    Show me a conservative who is concerned about having the Left leave them alone, while not also wanting to force their own version of PC on everyone else, and I'll show you a libertarian.

  • vek||

    Well, I think that's the whole point. Lots of people who self identify as conservative are REALLY just libertarians, perhaps with a few caveats. But there are many millions of them. I'm fine with calling myself a conservative leaning libertarian, OR a libertarian leaning conservative. I've met MANY people like myself in my life.

    It's all a definitions game really.

  • CLM1227||

    Libertarian leaning conservative. Certain aspects of the mainstream libertarian movement follow through to self-defeat. Open borders, for instance, specifically where those crossing those borders do not have the same foundations for liberty as the native populace (which is already shaky) simply guarantees you will never have a libertarian society.

    Self-defeating.

    And the argument that open borders doesn't mean voting rights - just exactly how long do you expect that to last in a universal suffrage as a right culture?

  • vek||

    Exactly! I totally agree.

    These modern Cosmotarians just can't see the forest for the trees on some issues. If a single freedom, like international freedom of movement, is going to reduce all your other freedoms... For a net LOSS of freedom... Doesn't it make more sense to simply sanely limit the one freedom instead of throwing all your freedoms under the bus?

    IMO pure libertarianism is a lot like pure communism... It makes assumptions about human nature that are simply not correct. People are not widgets that can be instantaneously exchanged globally. That's just not reality.

    They also ignore that people have a DESIRE to have a culture they belong to, and to perpetuate that culture. People don't like this wishy washy hodge podge of everything squishing together that the left and Cosmotarians are trying to create. Let us not forget that a dozen beautiful colors of oil paint when mixed together turn into a single ugly color. I like traditional American culture, and I don't want to see that washed away in a sea of (IMO) inferior foreign views and customs. This is perfectly natural, and doesn't make me LITERALLY HITLER.

  • Ama-Gi Anarchist||

    Get stuffed Doherty. This is as fucking awful a piece of "journalism" as the shit you see on HuffingtonPost or Slate.

  • Robert||

    Does anybody else here confuse me w Mike Hihn? I wonder what it is about my comments that resembles his style. Or his content. Or, I don't know...his IP address?

  • TuIpa||

    "Does anybody else here confuse me w Mike Hihn?"

    Ahahahahaha

    Fuck off Hihn.

  • JFree||

    The world itself is quite confusing to Tulpa. I too am someone else.

    I assume that the comments section of Reason itself is the small enough pond for him/her/zir/hir/xem/xyr to understand/test/overcome the confusion of who he/she/ze/xe/zie is in modern life.

  • TuIpa||

    Who the fuck are you? Because I really have no idea.

  • TuIpa||

    Oh wait, you're that fucktard who said "we" up there and then ran when challenged on who exactly "we" was.

    No wonder you're salty.

  • JFree||

    Because I really have no idea.

    That explains a lot.

  • TuIpa||

    More than you seem to understand.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    Tulpa is Hihn. Just noise.

  • Zeb||

    I find your comments to generally be calm, coherent and respectful. Pretty much the opposite of Hihn. I am rather puzzled by asshole-troll's obsession with you.

  • TuIpa||

    "Does anybody else here confuse me w Mike Hihn?"

    Ahahahahaha

    Fuck off Hihn.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    JESUS, I miss the commentariat of 7 years ago.

    White Indian was better than this garbage!

  • TuIpa||

    So leave. No one misses your whining at all.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Yep...they are here for your rational discussion.

  • TuIpa||

    And your bitching and pining.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Used to be, this place was full of the most intelligent, thoughtful, well read, principled, funny, rational individuals I've ever had the pleasure to come across.

    Now it's you and people just like you.

    What a shit-show!

  • TuIpa||

    "Now it's you and people just like you.

    What a shit-show!"

    Well, since you're here too...

    It's fun when you idiots trip on yourselves.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    I used to invite friends to come here as an example of what intelligent, libertarian, rational discussion looks like.

    Now, I'm ashamed.

    Well, times change. Sometimes for the better...and sometimes like this. Too bad such a great place to learn about liberty has come to this.

  • TuIpa||

    All the people you used to sycophantically nuthug and follow around have another website. You can always go there and sycophantically nuthug them there, and get ignored by them because you don't rate.

    I don't see much use in whining about it to me.

  • BigT||

    FdA, many left this site for glibertarians much to our chagrin. Both sites are worse than the classic Reason, unfortunately. Glad you are still here.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    FdA, many left this site for glibertarians much to our chagrin.

    I know. I was one of the original Glib founders. It was a mistake, IMHO. It's a clubhouse rather than a place for debate. But I can't undo it.

  • TuIpa||

    So you come here and whine?

    Grow a pair. You certainly didn't come here for debate today when you began your tirade with

    JESUS, I miss the commentariat of 7 years ago.

    White Indian was better than this garbage!

    Unless of course you meant to debate whether Reason was better 7 years ago. But that seems like a boring debate had by past their sell by date 3rd rate posters pining for greener pastures, and that's fucking sad.

    RIGHT NOW eddy is having a very lucid discussion. You didn't even touch it. You began your appearance today by bitching, straight up. So save the sanctimony.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Yes, I come here for the 2 to 3 rational discussions out of the hundreds of griefer posts (many yours). There are still some good folks here, but they are in a tiny minority.

  • TuIpa||

    You're not gonna address that whole "whines about state of Reason and lack of debate instead of debating" thing are you?

    Yeah.

  • TuIpa||

    And by the way, this

    "I was one of the original Glib founders. "

    is pure nonsense. You were just a sycophantic follower, not one of the "founders" although it is no surprise you assign yourself that position, you always do hold yourself in much higher regard than you or your posts deserve.

    It's why you can come in here and bitch about the state of things and lack of debate while debating exactly nothing and shitting up the place with whining.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    And you base this position on?

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Care to wager?

  • Eddy||

    Why is Tulpa calling me "lucid"? Is he white-knighting me? This is awkward.

  • Eddy||

    I suspect it's fairly arbitrary whether one earns the big T's praise or his displeasure.

  • Robert||

    Who does he think you are? The Wine Commonsewer? STEVE SMITH? UnderZOG?

  • TuIpa||

    Fuck off Hihn

  • Agammamon||

    Political correctness isn't a communist plot.
    The story goes that these eggheads saw that Marx's predictions about the contradictions in capitalism producing a proletarian revolt were failing to come true. They decided that traditional Western culture was keeping the masses from their revolutionary mission and needed to be annihilated. Religion, the family, traditional sexual mores, belief in objective truth—all had to be overturned. So they launched "critical theory" to demolish the sacred principles that made Western civilization great and pave the way for communist tyranny and an eventual stateless utopia.

    It just started out as a plot by a bunch of communists to remove what they saw as the roadblocks to worldwide communism. But its not a communist plot.

  • Agammamon||

    Basically, these philosophers believed that knowledge and rationality do not necessarily stand outside history and culture, since everything we know arises from socially embedded perspectives.

    This view indeed left all sorts of institutions and mores up for criticism, but that needn't be inherently a threat to Western liberty.

    Yes it is. Its pretty antithetical to Western liberty - as its real-world application is showing us. Intersectionality? That's a massive threat to liberty in general. Social Justice? The idea that I will be held responsible for the actions of someone long dead who had vaguely the same skin color as mine who probably isn't even an ancestor nor was I ever in a position to gain from their actions? That's compatible with liberty?


    An aside - what's up with all these 'socialism ain't so bad guys' articles? I get that the magazine is leaving libertarian-land but you're not even going over to the neo-liberal, you guys seem to be running straight to Dem-Soc land. Like that article by whosisface casually saying that it was 'unfortunate' that so many democratic socialist candidates lost in the last NY elections? Gillespie telling us that socialism 'isn't a bad word'?

  • DesigNate||

    It's a symptom of "left-libertarianism". You see a lot of it on reddit too.

  • Marl Karx||

    Sign of the times, I'm afraid.

  • sarcasmic||

    Note to Tulpa: When everyone is Hihn, nobody is Hihn.

  • TuIpa||

    Note to sarc - Tulpa went after exactly one person for being Hihn.

  • sarcasmic||

    I just saw Hihn here, Hihn there, fuck off Hihn everywhere.

  • TuIpa||

    It's ok I jump the gun like that too sometimes.

  • sarcasmic||

    No way! You fucking serious?

  • TuIpa||

    No, I was just trying to make you feel better and now I feel bad for lying to you.

    Sorry.

  • SQRLSY One||

    "Note to Tulpa: When everyone is Hihn, nobody is Hihn."

    But the Great Tulpa is even more Hinhister that Hinh Himself!!!

  • Tony||

    What Tulpa needs is people in white coats to take him somewhere he can smear shit all over a padded room instead of this place.

  • Eddy||

    I don't believe in Soviet psychiatry, and neither should Tony, because you never know who the commissars will target as "insane" next.

  • Vulgar Madman||

    That's YOUR fantasy, remember?

  • Tony||

    Cultural Marxism is an aggressively meaningless term, but it's always fun when the mouth-breathers tell us where we're getting all our book-lernin' from. It's always a surprise. I would never know who the fuck George Soros was except for all the times I've been told he controls my thoughts. Anyone talking about Marx who's not a liberal arts professor is not paying attention to the actual problems in the world. Same goes for anyone talking about the supposedly all-consuming threat of political correct leftism. This is all a distraction cooked up for idiots who, certain political factions have discovered, will bend over and let you fuck them up the ass and thank you for it as long as you tell them that someone with brown skin--or someone who fucks up the ass, ironically--is lower on the social totem pole, and they'll be sure to keep it that way. Of course this notion appeals mostly to fat, beer-chugging limpdicks with no prospects, intelligence, or usefulness in this world.

  • sarcasmic||

    It would really take a lack of prospects, intelligence and usefulness in this world to equate resisting special rights with taking away rights.

    Doesn't come as a surprise that you would think this. Being that you believe not giving is taking, that not taking is giving, that silence is sound, that darkness is light, up is down, left is right...

  • Hank Phillips||

    Wasn't there an article about how the proliferation of collectivised rights, like the inflation of baseless paper money, makes a travesty of the notion of genuine individual rights as ethical claims to freedom of action?

  • Hank Phillips||

    Is it my imagination or is Tony on a taller soapbox than usual in defense of socialist oratory and predictions?

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    You won't win the day by treating people who merely disagree with you as stalking horses for socialist tyranny

    Meh, it clearly works on some people.

  • CLM1227||

    Honestly, most people I interact with I don't expect to have enough acuity to play a move out very far in advance, so people I disagree with can't be stalking horses.

    They just believe what they are told would make a better world and can see it in a narrow subset of immediate consequences. It isn't sinister. I wouldn't even really call it lazy, either. It is normal if you have better things to do with your immediate life.

    It's people who make this stuff their hobby or profession I expect varying degrees of "better" from. The intellectual poli sci philosophers and think tanks, though, they deserve "stalking horse" if that's where the thinking leads.

  • GILMORE™||

    " the theory took off in the late 1990s due to speeches, essays, and books by William Lind, then with the Free Congress Foundation, and Patrick Buchanan, the firebrand conservative columnist, TV talking head, and sometime presidential candidate."

    the term "Cultural Marxism" was used in sociology circles starting in at least the 1970s as a generic term for scholarship derived from frankfurt-school work

    It has an entry in the Encyclopedia of Social Theory (2004), none of which bothers mentioning 'pat buchanan' etc.

    The full essay (by Dan Kellner, UCLA) outlining Cultural Marxism's long pedigree

    Sure, it was used by 'some' right wingers in a loosey-goosey way, and there are plenty of 'conspiracy theorists' too...

    ... but that doesn't make every use of the term somehow de-facto beholden to THEIR errors.

    iow, people can refer to it in good faith, and *be referring to a real body of academic work*, without engaging in 'right wing conspiracy theory'.

  • Eddy||

    From a class-analysis standpoint, the kind of intellectuals who used to be besotted with Marxism have taken up various substitute ideas which fill the same need - making intellectuals important, giving them a chance to advance their status in the name of "teh fairness and justice."

  • GILMORE™||

    yes.

    the lingo has changed slightly, but the basic power-relations gibberish is still at the core of things.

    Brians entire argument boils down to "Right wingers misuse the term!"

    Sure. It doesn't mean that the critical-theory disciples haven't been a huge influence in redefining both the tactics and targets of today's most radical progressive-activists.

    The fact is that much criticism from the right is often far more lucid and coherent about the subject than he is here. And its as familiar w/ the crit-theory landscape as he is.

    I've myself read most of the older stuff ( in college i had to go through derrida, foucault, Lukacs, adorno + horkheimer, and 60s-to-now feminist theory like Judith Butler + Irigray + carol gilligan and more and more)

    I'm familiar enough w/ most of it that when i hear criticisms, i can tell the difference between the "conspiracy theory parody" and the stuff that genuinely understands it.

    The best people so far who have provided smart criticism of the subject are people like Areo Magazine, Quillette, etc.

    Brian ignores these good criticisms, and instead pretends that its all Right Wing Conspiracies being foisted by people ignorant of the subject. That's bullshit

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    I see we got some early "global warming" going on in Denver today!

  • Deep Lurker||

    "Political correctness isn't a communist plot."

    Actually it is.

    "Another index of their success is that most members of the bicoastal elite can no longer speak of 'the American way of life' without deprecation, irony, or an automatic and half-conscious genuflection towards the altar of political correctness. In this and other ways, the corrosive effects of Stalin's meme war have come to utterly pervade our culture."

  • Echospinner||

    Of all Marx's I like Harpo the best.

  • Eddy||

    But Groucho was the best philosopher.

  • Vulgar Madman||

    Was Karl worse than Zeppo?

  • mtrueman||

    Zeppo was the only Marx brother to perform in Moscow, in Stalin's time. He was well received.

  • Eddy||

    They probably told the audience he was related to Karl.

  • Sam Grove||

    Just watch how leftists attack anything that smacks of individualism.
    They are caught up in the collectivist narratives of, first class struggle, now power relationships.
    The left is expressly and adamantly opposed to economic freedom.
    All the tactics that fall under the strategy called "cultural Marxism" are designed to persuade individuals that they are inherently and perpetually victims of the patriarchy so that they will carry the banners of left collectivism.

    Successful tactics will be copied.

  • Vulgar Madman||

    What are we allowed to blame that carbuncled cretin with?

  • Eddy||

  • Eddy||

    (Caution: This article contains the letter "n" followed by dashes)

  • Trollificus||

    TR*****RD!!

  • SlightlyDrunkPhilosopher||

    I think a lot of the comments are on point. A huge part of the problem is that the author doesn't consider the reality of politics, and people who are more in the political sphere, rather than just journalists or scholars writing articles, are always going to tend toward exaggeration or oversimplification. He is also strawmanning quite a bit. Ron Paul was basically just pointing out that leftists have shifted their focus to cultural issues, as the author himself admits. I would hardly call this an example of spinning conspiracy theories.

  • Sevo||

    Yeah:
    "The cultural Marxism conspiracy cultist who made the most hideous public impact was Anders Breivik, who murdered 77 people in Norway in 2011. Breivik wrote in his 1,500-page manifesto that "you cannot defeat Islamization or halt/reverse the Islamic colonization of Western Europe without first removing the political doctrines manifested through multiculturalism/cultural Marxism.""

    Not seeing this as a claim of a conspiracy.
    You can oppose a trend, belief, practice, whatever, without ever getting close to claiming that issue is part of a conspiracy.
    Never presume grand designs where stupidity will suffice.

  • mtrueman||

    "Ron Paul was basically just pointing out that leftists have shifted their focus to cultural issues, as the author himself admits."

    I'd say the opposite was true. The biggest mobilization of the left in recent years was occupy wall street, totally in line with traditional class based analysis. Their slogan was we are the 99% if you recall. Before that, the left were motivated by cultural issues, the Vietnam war, apartheid, nuclear power etc. The main concern of those leftists active in the occupy wall street movement was economic, specifically the concern over the amount of debt they were saddled with as a result of their pursuing an education.

  • SlightlyDrunkPhilosopher||

    Great point. I over-generalized what Paul was saying as well, but my main point is that Paul wasn't describing a conspiracy.

  • Jayburd||

    "But declaring that advocates of multiculturalism, feminism, and gay rights are the pawns of dead Jewish communists is both mistaken as a matter of cultural history and foolish as a way to sell an alternate ideology".

    Never, NEVER underestimate the power of a dead Jew!

  • Uncle Jay||

    Yeah, look at Jesus.

  • Hank Phillips||

    I just visited CPUSA.org and National Coming-Out Day was 4 days ago according to them. Reason was defending gay and abortion rights, drug decriminalization and voluntary cooperation back when the communists were kowtowing to union goons and deciding legal beer wasn't so bad after all. Like everyone else, they try to steal Libertarian thunder and ruin it in their own stewpot of stolen concepts. But the income tax? That's the graven image all looters worship.

  • M.L.||

    I haven't read all this yet, but...

    Cultural Marxism may not be a "communist plot" in every circumstance; nor does it properly explain all of the phenomenon behind the hot button, political "conservative vs liberal" social issues griped about in this lengthy screed.

    Nonetheless, the basic pattern of applying the revolutionary Marxist view of economic structures to all social and cultural structures (e.g., the nuclear family) is straightforward; and this concept easily explains a lot of thinking that we see today.

    Essentially, culture is oppression (or at least dominant or traditional culture). Therefore, the culture must be torn down and overthrown. Of course this would be replaced with . . . something. And that's when we get to see the tangible manifestations of Marxism, economic or otherwise . . . and it turns out to be hell on Earth.

  • vek||

    There's a reason "traditional culture" has to be destroyed... Because it works! There's a reason most of the basic tenets of traditional cultures tend to be almost the same the entire world over... Because it works! Marriage, honor, responsibility, hard work, etc create strong families and strong communities. If you want to completely remake a society, you can't do it with strong families and strong communities in place. They must be destroyed first. Simple as that.

  • Sam Grove||

    Leftists aren't conspiring, they are quite open about their goals, strategies, and tactics.
    It may be simplistic to call it cultural Marxism, but it's not exactly inaccurate either.

  • SlightlyDrunkPhilosopher||

    +1

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    This is a vast article but I'll have to read in-depth, however a skimming of it tells me that the argument by conservatives has been largely cherry-picked and distilled to the worst elements of those arguments.

    What many have pointed to regarding political correctness and cultural Marxism has to do with how Marxists pivoted from an economic theory of Marxism to a vague theory of Broad Social Justice which sought to collectivize both victims and oppressors based on your unwitting association with said group. That group could be defined by race, class, or gender.

    That argument of collectivization victims and oppressors is the dangerous argument and PC is the surface result of that.

    Again as one astute Observer said clear back in the 1980s, many journalists never read Derrida, but they went to College where postmodernist thought was the white background noise of Academia.

  • Sevo||

    "What many have pointed to regarding political correctness and cultural Marxism has to do with how Marxists pivoted from an economic theory of Marxism to a vague theory of Broad Social Justice which sought to collectivize both victims and oppressors based on your unwitting association with said group. That group could be defined by race, class, or gender.
    That argument of collectivization victims and oppressors is the dangerous argument and PC is the surface result of that."

    Brian could have addressed that concern profitably. Instead, the argument was made that 'the right' claimed the combined issues were a result of a conspiracy.
    No conspiracy is required and Brian shows few or none 'right wing' claims of such conspiracy; you wonder if Brian isn't looking for boogy men under his bed.
    Yes, the left (for some period of time) gave up on economic claims of 'progress' (only to re-emerge under the H-wood love-affairs with the Castros and the current Venezuela dictator), and largely transferred the desire for central control to social issues and "Gaia"; a convenient post-Mosaic religion upon which to hang the claim of required obedience to be 'saved' at Ragnarok.

  • Trollificus||

    Didn't you read the "Response to Arguments About Post-Modernism That Straw Jordan Peterson Never Made"?? Explains it all.

  • JeremyR||

    This article may be when Reason completely jumped the shark (already has a Fonzie).

  • Toner Cartridge||

    A sadly ignorant article. Cultural Marxism is a real thing, and certainly had a revival in the 1980s when I was at university and surrounded by people describing themselves as such - discussing Marx, Chomsky and in particular Gramsci. They were considering how to undermine the ideas that had been put into practice in Chile to defeat the failed revolution. At the time Thatcher and Reagan were promoting social and economic freedom as a means of ridding the world of Communism. They needed theories that would counter this and cultural Marxism and political correctness were very much part of their arsenal.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    Toner Cartridge is correct.

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  • Thomas L. Knapp||

    Does "cultural Marxism" exist? Absolutely.

    Has it enjoyed influence on what passes for a "left" in American politics? Absolutely.

    Has it become right-wing shorthand for "anything that I find confusing or don't understand but know in my gut I don't like" in much the same way that "political correctness" became right-wing shorthand for "noticing I'm an asshole" and "Alinsky! Cloward & Piven!" became right-wing shorthand for "huh -- lefties seem to do strategery?" Absolutely.

  • Azathoth!!||

    It's as if you don't realize that this--

    Does "cultural Marxism" exist? Absolutely.

    Has it enjoyed influence on what passes for a "left" in American politics? Absolutely.

    Obviates this--

    Has it become right-wing shorthand for "anything that I find confusing or don't understand but know in my gut I don't like" in much the same way that "political correctness" became right-wing shorthand for "noticing I'm an asshole" and "Alinsky! Cloward & Piven!" became right-wing shorthand for "huh -- lefties seem to do strategery?" Absolutely

    Because this---

    Has it become right-wing shorthand for "anything that I find confusing or don't understand but know in my gut I don't like" in much the same way that "political correctness" became right-wing shorthand for "noticing I'm an asshole" and "Alinsky! Cloward & Piven!" became right-wing shorthand for "huh -- lefties seem to do strategery?" Absolutely

    is an example of this--

    Does "cultural Marxism" exist? Absolutely.

    Has it enjoyed influence on what passes for a "left" in American politics? Absolutely.

    The hell with them slipping, y'all are just burning a big ol' pile of masks, aren't you?

  • xgxgxgxfsfsfwttwts||

    It revives my faith in Reason when one of its authors pops out such a thoughtful article about an area of non-Libertarian thought that he has bothered to deeply understand before critiquing. Let's hear more from Brian Doherty!

  • No Longer Amused||

    Oddly enough I remember hearing about Cultural Marxism in the early 70's, a good decade before you claim it sprang into being.

  • loki||

    Only a matter of time before the subcultures devour eah other.

    Don't the econazis know what the QUEERS ARE DOING TO THE SOIL!

  • loki||

    Only a matter of time before the subcultures devour eah other.

    Don't the econazis know what the QUEERS ARE DOING TO THE SOIL!

  • loki||

    Only a matter of time before the subcultures devour eah other.

    Don't the econazis know what the QUEERS ARE DOING TO THE SOIL!

  • loki||

    Or what the squirrels are doing to the comments.

  • vek||

    LOL

    I would say correlation does not equal causation. Marxism is not perhaps the direct causation of all of these things, and many more unmentioned, but they do correlate in the same people. Also, many Marxists DID in fact realize that destroying the healthy foundation of society was the only way to push their agenda. I don't think 100% of people think all these things are simply the road to communism... But many do, and those that don't are useful idiots for those that have that goal.

    My biggest problem with all this stuff, is that they're not about tolerance. They're about FORCING everybody to believe the same, and if you don't they call you evil, and try to destroy you. I have never given a shit about people being gay. I was the 2nd person in the world a friend came out to in middle school, because he knew I wasn't going to be a dick about it. I was friends with the only open gay guy in a small town high school too. I don't mind The Gays.

    However, I also don't think being gay is "ZOMG, the best! WAY better than being some lame cis gender loser!" And that is what is being actively PUSHED by the levers of power. The same can be said for most of the other stuff. It is PUSHED. And no dissent is allowed, lest you want to be called LITERALLY HITLER!

    I'm for tolerance of abnormal/bad behavior, NOT pushing abnormal or even bad behavior as being a virtue. Crack should be legal... PUSHING crack in 100% of the media as being AWESOME, I am not in favor of. See the difference?

  • vek||

    Also, legal tolerance is different than social tolerance. It should be legal for somebody to make the horrible life choice of fucking 200 different people. But people who do this have bad psychological effects, it's not healthy for people's mental state, and they can never form a lasting relationship according to studies... But it should be legal.

    However society should still discourage such behavior, because it has bad results for people. Slut shaming (For guys too, because it wasn't acceptable for classy men to do in the 1800s either!) should be acceptable, because social pressure is one of the major ways society keeps people on the straight and narrow. Same for crack, and many other ills so-cons harp about. I'm not a so-con, but accept that most of the stuff they believe in DOES result in people having better lives.

    As for it not being a concerted effort... Open your eyes. The entire media pushes stuff, that is either disliked by, or not believed by 50%+ of the population. Yet it gets shoved in everybody's face 100% of the time. This is not accidental. It is an active propaganda campaign to push certain behavior, a lot of which is scientifically NOT beneficial for life outcomes.

    One need go no further than the hundreds of books, thousands of articles/essays written by leftist professors, intellectuals, journalists etc to see them saying themselves that the "old" ways need to be destroyed, so that some magical new unicorn world can be made. THEY say this themselves.

  • vek||

    That's not a conspiracy theory.

    I don't think there is a single board room filled with cigar smoking communists directing the whole world... But the collective action of tons of people who either legitimately believe this stuff, have been indoctrinated into it, or are simply out for power, causes the end result to be the same: A concerted effort to destroy all of the foundations of our current civilization, with some people planning to replace it with an all powerful socialist state.

    That 99% of these people ALSO happen to be full on Marxists, or at least pretty socialist leaning, means that for all intents and purposes the ideologies have become melded. Just as gun rights and conservativism in the USA are inseparable in the current paradigm, so is destroying all the foundations of traditional society and Marxism on the left. You can't enslave wealthy, free, and independent people, so it's a good plan.

    So yes, Cultural Marxism is a thing. It is being actively pushed. Different people have different reasons for it, but for some their end goal IS communism. Either way Cultural Marxism has become a phrase in and of itself that doesn't even necessarily rely on original Marxism. Just as Liberal no longer means what it once did, such is the case with CM. It is now a thing because that phrase has become a thing to describe a certain ideology that DOES exist.

  • loki||

    Some people say he smokes crack but, I don't believe it.

  • Marl Karx||

    To be "liberal" in this day & age is nearly 180 opposite to what it meant 30 years ago. Perhaps even 15 years ago.

  • NashTiger||

    Here's a partial list of people Formerly Libertarian-ish Reason Mag hates more than Karl Marx and Marxists:
    1) Jordan Peterson
    2) Brett Kavanaugh
    3) Donald Trump
    4) unborn babies
    5) Ted Cruz

    who else ya got

  • Uncle Jay||

    "Political correctness is fascism disguised as good manners." - George Carlin

  • Ram0166||

    The headline is a straw man. No one blames Marx but it was his intellectual descendants that applied his theories of class warfare to society. One more dumb waste of time article from a Marxist Libertarian

  • Socialmisfit||

    Reason Magazine has gone left. It is no longer recognizable as a libertarian opinion source. Sad.

  • simplybe||

    Political Correctness is nothing more than one of the many tools the Democratic party has used to drive a wedge between people for as long as I can remember. Without all the smoke and mirrors they would just be another bunch of Progressive Republicans. Please don't think I am talking about Democrats because I am not. I am talking about the Democratic party's leadership. Most of the life long Democrats I have known are some of the most sincere and caring people I know. Heck if I wasn't an avowed Anarchist I would probably be a Conservative Democrat. The Democrat party has spread hate and discontent since they ruled the South, but now that they lost their hold on the Southern vote we are all a bunch of gun toting, pig f**king deplorables. Personally the Democratic party and their inbred child the Republican party can kiss my red neck ass.

  • Jr12||

    Disagree with the article. The same attempt to use enforced profit redistribution and legal discrimination to "equalize" the non-existent stereotypes of non-existent cultural, racial, sexes and sexual preferences is the same politics of Marxism's equalization of non-existent stereotype, non-existent class inequality. It is the different stereotypes, that obscure the fact that this is all Marxist ideology, not a real difference.

    The evidence is that the racial stereotypes of Nazi Germany, Rwanda and the religious stereotypes of the Balkans and Middle East, led to same imprisonment or extermination of those collectively stereotyped as a threat to civilized progress, as did the class stereotypes of the former USSR and Red China.

    Cultural Marxists are systemically destroying traditional social norms, national allegiance, family, and religious traditions, with a communist infiltrated education turned propaganda, so that successively indoctrinated generations will accept global Communism. All of it Marxist "thought. "

  • BambiB||

    Turns out to be the same people pushing both agendas, so it's hard not to conflate the two. More accurate to say Demoncraps lover perversion of any kind - sexual, financial, political.

  • Lee Moore||

    Amidst clouds of obfuscatory veriage, Doherty steps on his rake right here :

    "the task of critical social theory is to evaluate the degree of rationality of any system of social domination in accordance to standards of justice." This isn't in itself an unlibertarian idea, though its practitioners didn't take it to libertarian conclusions.

    Why would anyone attempt to evaluate the degree of rationality of anything according to the standards of....anything except reason ? The stated task of critical social theory expressly makes reason suboordinate to "justice" (aka politics.) How could anyone expect "its practioners" to arrive at libertarian conclusions, when they explicitly assume their Marxist axioms up front ... "system of social domination" ?

    Rationality is made conditional on justice. Reality is subordinate to political theory. We've been there, done that. Got the skulls.

  • vek||

    I really do wonder how incredibly shitty all the Reason authors must feel when they read the comments on their own articles, and see 80-90% of people lambasting them for being retards?

    That has got to REALLY hurt. They're mostly being flamed from the correct libertarian perspectives too, it's not like the site is filled with leftists throwing bad arguments at them. They're logical, rationally stated arguments for why their positions are garbage.

    There are surely many that are from a more traditional conservative angle, and not strictly libertarian. I make some of those myself on areas where I part with purist libertarianism... But even still most of the conservative arguments are correct logically and factually on open borders, etc.

    It's gotta be a shitty time to be a Cosmotarian... The left still thinks of them as being LITERALLY HITLER, despite all the pandering they do to them... Real libertarians point out how they're not very libertarian on most issues... And conservatives point out how dumb and cucked they are on many issues. ROUGH.

  • Per Kurowski||

    Of course not. Political correctness, that which only allows focusing on small-predefined sections of an issue, rather than considering its wider context, is just a living example of that neo-parochialism you find in universities and big cosmopolitan cities.

  • RockLibertyWarrior||

    BULLSHIT. Lenin said himself that the way to get rid of capitalism was to corrupt the family, morality, self responsibility etc. Everybody Doherty mentioned had sympathies for Marx or were Marxist, I wish "Reason" would actually do research instead of spouting bull shit to win over SJW's hate to break to the "Reason" crowd but you'll never win over frothing at the mouth, insane, control freak lunatics who want you dead, quit kidding yourself. Cultural Marxism isn't a myth, Marx wanted to abolish the family because it stood in the way of the state controlling everything.

  • xgxgxgxfsfsfwttwts||

    I tend to go along with the no absolute truth position because it seems to me that one can put together convincing arguments for contradictory conclusions and I do not see an absolute reference point to use to decide which conclusion is true.

    And I don't mean that I can't find little problems with people's arguments. But that is not really a fair criteria. We rarely have time in day to day life to be absolutely precise. If I can fix the person's argument to my satisfaction then I feel it's only fair to accept it.

    So I can read fundamentalist Muslim arguments, for example, and appreciate them although I am not going to live by their conclusions.

    Here's a post off of Medium that I think is well argued, but whose conclusions I don't accept, nor really any of its premises, because I think she is just conveniently placing attitudes in men's minds and isn't asking men what IS going on in their minds. medium.com/s/powertrip/ why-dont-good-men-believe-women-23be0ce607c9

    BUT, If this article presented a viewpoint that I was inclined to believe, I could see myself nodding along to the argument. We do seem to tend to think we know what other people are thinking and are likewise disinclined to let them tell us themselves if we know we are not going to like hearing it.

    What this woman is thinking, and what many other folks are thinking on Medium, does sort of freak me out, it is so alien to my worldview. And I think these are largely sincere beliefs.

  • vek||

    I read that medium piece for kicks... The problem with 3/4 of the stuff she was spouting off about, was the fact that it is either objectively false, or inconclusive, on all the arguments she is making. She said men think women aren't as smart, and aren't as capable in industries people think of as masculine... That's because THEY'RE NOT. Men dominate the fields she rattled off because men are better at those fields. That she thinks otherwise shows she knows nothing of the data on the subject, and also lacks common sense.

    Men are having a bit of an identity crisis as masculinity has been demonized... But most of the stuff people like her rattle off is nonsense. She complains men don't believe the way she does, whereas women do... It's true!

    Thing is, that's because men tend to be more rational about things. Men don't believe the clap trap she does, because they use their brains, and read studies. Not that it should even take a study to know something silly like that men are better front line combat soldiers on average! Yet she would gladly use that very example as an "irrational male belief that harms women" or some such nonsense, even though the army's own testing proved it.

  • Banake||

    "American right-wingers hate multiculturalism and gay rights and radical feminism for their own sake," - We should all hate radical feminism for it's own sake. RF has a story of racism, homophobia, transphobia and rape apology. - http://paganpressbooks.com /jpl/DTF.HTM - https://nationalpost.com/opinion/ mark-bourrie-on- emily-murphy-a- pioneer-in-the-war- on-pot - https://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Feminist_views_on_ transgender_topics# Feminist_ exclusion_of_ trans_women - https://www. avoiceformen. com /feminism/ male-disposability-and-mary-p-koss/

  • Banake||

    Hell, RF even had moments of love with the religious right. Think satanic panic and anti-porn hysteria. Then, again, this rape culture nonsense looks a lot like the secular version of the satanic panic.

  • Carol May||

    I'm sad to see Doherty doing a Motte and the Bailey.

  • Luda||

    i would agree that blaming feminist, black live matter, and other social activist groups as cultural Marxist. that would be way too simplistic. although i see it as a mistake to brush off the entire idea of cultural Marxism as non existent because traditionalist like to scare their people into their arms for protection. Brian mentions in the article that we aren't any closer to public ownership of the means of production. aren't we though? medicare for all? Net Neutrality? Gov censorship of people on social media? Warren's gov charters of corporations? are those not government trying to take the means of production? those policies are championed by the people that use identity politics as their main means of gathering support. i would argue that Jordan Peterson is correct in labeling the problem as "Postmodern Neo Marxism". instead of making the problem class warfare since the socialist economic plan has been discredited, they turned to identity/cultural warfare as well as thought policing as a means of growing government control. both class and identify politics like to use the victim vs oppressor narrative. It still leads to the same policies just with a different war cry. i don't want to go as far as to say gay rights activist on the street are Marxist but i would say the politicians and leaders of those movements are real life Ellsworth Toohey's or at best mislead Peter Ketting's.

  • Marl Karx||

    Well put. I would add the obvious correlation of what you describe in "both class and identify politics like to use the victim vs oppressor narrative" to the the Biblical theme of David and Goliath. Notice the vast number of erudite individuals, comfortably ensconced in echo chambers & never really challenged to deeply reevaluate their own teachings or assumptions. They fail to recognize the religious zeal that they themselves inject into their politics (which invariably has this identitarian, ideological basis.) They act in the very manner of the fundamentalists they accuse of being crude, cruel, stupid and backward. But there's no challenge because of the degree to which they've insulated themselves from challenge. And the result: No humility. No civility. Hence, no integrity and far too little honesty.

  • ||

    Post-Modernism and Cultural Marxism (Critical theory) is all in our heads.

    Got it.

    We're all Dale Gribble now.

  • gwood||

    This was a bit disappointing of an article. You focused entirely on the weak part of the idea, namely that this was all done as some kind of conspiracy theory. You're probably right that that's incorrect.

    You ignored completely the more important aspect: that a lot of these left-wing movements DO push for equality of outcomes, which is why they're being compared to Marxism. Especially because they reduce people to collective classes and push for equal outcomes for those classes.

    You just wrote that all off as "well they do have some legitimate causes based on american history". Sure, but that doesn't mean they're going about it in a liberty-maximizing way. They don't at all. And they routinely lie and make facts up in order to further push the group-victimhood narrative. E.g the gender wage gap.

  • Wayne Lusvardi||

    I'm sorry, but Mr. Doherty comes across as yet another snobby wonk who deplores the "deplorable" Evangelical Christians and conservatives who may believe there is some connection between Marxism and political correctness. What if they are wrong as Doherty asserts; who are they hurting?

    And allow me to ask: isn't political correctness an ideology connected with affirmative action and the political policies to protect certain categories of people by the Left (e.g, gays, transgender, anyone with non-white skin, etc.)? Conservatives and Evangelical Christians may be a bit weird and have kooky ideas, but are they right in their criticism of political correctness? Or does Doherty, or even Reason.org, believe political correct speech codes and affirmative action are somehow "libertarian"? Again, Doherty is more interested in a put down of conservatives and Evangelicals than he is anything PC. What does that tell you?

    Look, unlike religious fundamentalists (Muslims, Christian fundamentalists, etc.), Evangelicals can compartmentalize their lives between the secular and religious sectors of society. They are modern, not backward, religious fanatics. They believe in the central tenant of modernity: choice (they call it choosing to "be born again"). In other words, Evangelicals choose their faith rather than have it coerced by tribe, clan, caste or sect. Libertarians ought to concur with Evangelicals instead of snob them off. Especially about political correctness.

  • Marl Karx||

    It seems you've forgotten to read the contemporary writings of Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe who spent the 1980s writing about the Socialist Political Struggle; its strategies and where its new battlegrounds would be. Their thoughts, comments and relevant snippets of their writings are nicely summarized and put into context (viz a viz, your article) in the rebuttal penned by Brian Balfour over at the Mises Institute (apparently, I'm not able to include the link in the comments section of this.)

  • JShigg||

    "a lack of tolerance for nonliberal ideas on college campuses".... Oh, they are quite tolerant of nonliberal ideas on campus. It might be intellectually lazy to conflate Statism = Marxism (a minor distinction), but to neglect the distinction between liberalism and statism is much worse. Marx was no liberal.