…Critical Theory has come to dominate the academic world.
The Red Trojan Horse: A Concise Analysis of Cultural Marxism, by Alasdair Elder
This is the second of two posts on this book by Elder. In the first, I covered the chapters in which he examined the history of Cultural Marxism and Critical Theory. In this post, I will review his comments on the current situation and his proposed solution.
NB: I use the term Cultural Marxism because this is how Elder labels the situation. I think it is more accurately described as Cultural Gramsci-ism.
Just as Classical Marxism considers that everyone has been fooled by capitalism, Cultural Marxism considers everyone has been fooled by the patriarchy. Race, gender, sexual orientation, even religion – all are fair game as tools to crush traditional cultural and ethical bounds.
The tactic is always the same: identify a privileged oppressive group; this leads to identifying the underprivileged oppressed group; the oppressive group is then tagged with at least one pathology – an “ism” or a phobia; a victim narrative is established; finally, a feedback loop is established – constant reinforcement of the victim narrative.
This mechanism can be seen in feminism, multiculturalism, transgenderism, etc. Sound arguments are never presented or addressed; bullying and labeling are the preferred tools. Per Anita Sarkeesian, “Everything is racist, everything is sexist, everything is homophobic, and you have to point it all out.”
Hypocrisies abound, but these are irrelevant. Pointing these out is also irrelevant. Doing so merely demonstrates your phobia, your “ism.” What is left for the Cultural Marxists is to be for nothing and against everything – ultimately leading to a radical individualism.
This is an individualism, not of responsibility and self-governance, but an individualism of complete isolation, resulting in such a nihilism that the societal fabric is destroyed, and all that is left of the culture is a void. Total dependence on the state (communism) is all that is left.
This can be seen in many examples. The nationalization of childhood (it takes a village). Family life is dull, restrictive, oppressive. Education is removed, replaced by schooling. Memorization of facts (if that) instead of developing the ability to use reason in order to think critically.
Feminism is another, used, finally, as a lever to destroy family – again, leaving children in the hands of the state. Identity politics, offering power to every “identity” except straight white males.
Elder offers a nice overview of the economics of Cultural Marxism, although I would describe this as the economics of a state willing to leverage the destruction of a culture in order to maximize control. Monetary and fiscal policy controlled by state actors and bankers, not by individuals acting in a market. Fiat money, giving the control over the key commodity in a division of labor economy to a small group of central planners.
Elder does offer a chapter on the subject of religion and Cultural Marxism:
It was with very good reason that the progenitors of Cultural Marxism, particularly Georg Lukács and Antonio Gramsci, manifested such a vitriolic loathing for Christian culture. …it is impossible to deny that Christian values have formed the bedrock of Western Civilization.
Unfortunately, as will be seen shortly, Elder does nothing more with this reality.
It was this cultural tradition that had to be destroyed; Freud’s views on Christianity as a psychologically unhealthy oppressive force would be quite useful for this purpose.
Elder points to the counterculture of the 1960s – the abandonment of traditional sexual mores, the promotion of mysticism and psychedelic “woo.” As an aside, I recently heard, in a podcast by Tom Holland, a very interesting thought: someday, the 1960s will be seen as a historical turning point much as we today see Luther’s nailing of the ninety-five theses and the Reformation.
Holland might be right, although I don’t think the effects will be as long lasting. As violent, maybe; but there is no staying power in continuous deconstruction.
Returning to Elder: the enemy which he spends a good amount of effort on is Islam. He spends far more time in this chapter on Islam than he does on Christianity.
I don’t know that Islam is any more of an “enemy” than the dozen other tools used by those who want to destroy Western Civilization. In any case, it is a tool, it isn’t the craftsman.
He makes an interesting point, and one that points out why continuous deconstruction will consume itself. As more Muslims come to the West, what will come of transgender rights (and you may fill in any other of the shibboleths of the critical theorists)?
My thought: deconstruction as a means cannot be satisfied merely with the communism as its end. Deconstruction is not merely a means; it is the end, the purpose. It will not be satisfied, as if to say “here, we have reached our goal.”
There is no goal to reach, because every “achievement” only leads to a new hierarchy that must be deconstructed. This will be the undoing of this era, but, again, it may be a painful experience for many of us between now and then
In the final chapter, entitled “The Cultural Battlefield,” Elder comes to his solution, or his method of combat. I must say, it is a disappointing chapter. After being clear that the Cultural Marxists have won the battle of the narrative, he focusses exclusively on the strategy of fighting with facts. In speaking of the SJWs as useful idiots:
SJWs usually believe their lies because they are ignorant of any rational arguments to the contrary.
This really is an unbelievable statement. They either know the arguments but don’t care, or they are screaming whenever someone tries to make a rational argument. Elder earlier noted that sound arguments are never addressed.
…check the facts and examine statistics, which will always show such [Cultural Marxist] narratives to be false.
Wrong again. Steven Pinker has made a career of facts and statistics. He has lost the argument. Facts and statistics don’t give meaning to life. People don’t live in a world of facts and statistics; people live in a story, a narrative. The most powerful story wins. The West has lost its narrative, not its facts.
Elder is focused on winning one at a time by facts, yet the universities are turning out thousands a year on the other side.
To successfully combat an SJW, the red-pilled rebel must understand the programming, which controls the SJW in question…
Programming doesn’t get altered by facts; it gets altered by a change in the program. The program is a narrative. It acts on the facts presented to it in accord with the narrative with which it has been programmed. Present the same facts to two different programs and you will get two different results.
After spending the entire book discussing how the means of the Cultural Marxists is exercised through the destruction of culture, Elder sees as the solution not some consideration about culture, but a presentation of facts. It is an unfortunate conclusion.
You can’t beat programming with facts. Two individuals with two different “programs” will look at the same facts and come to different conclusion. This is so obvious on its face; it is almost embarrassing to have to say it.
There is only one path possible for the return to some level of sanity, let alone liberty. It is for the Christian Church and Christian leaders to properly lead in accord with the Scripture and Natural Law. This is the narrative that sustained the West for centuries; it is the narrative – the only narrative in the history of the world – that gave us something approaching a healthy individual liberty.