Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (December 1, 2018)

Samuel Moyn: The Alt-Right’s Favorite Meme Is 100 Years Old: "What is 'cultural Marxism'? And why does Mr. Lind fantasize about its slaughter? Nothing of the kind actually exists. But it is increasingly popular to indict cultural Marxism’s baleful effects on society—and to dream of its violent extermination...

...Originally an American contribution to the phantasmagoria of the alt-right, the fear of “cultural Marxism” has been percolating for years through global sewers of hatred.... Ron Paul tweeted out a racist meme that employed the phrase. On Twitter, the son of Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s newly elected strongman, boasted of meeting Steve Bannon and joining forces to defeat “cultural Marxism.” Jordan Peterson, the self-help guru and best-selling author, has railed against it too in his YouTube ruminations. “Cultural Marxism” is also a favorite topic on Gab, the social media network where Robert Bowers, the man accused of shooting 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh last month, spent time. Mr. Lind may have only fantasized about mass death as a comeuppance for cultural Marxists, but others have acted on it....

The protagonist of Mr. Lind’s novel expounds on his theory to their faces: “Classical Marxists, where they obtained power, expropriated the bourgeoisie and gave their property to the state,” he says. “Where you obtained power, you expropriated the rights of white men and gave special privileges to feminists, blacks, gays, and the like.” It is on the basis of this parallel that the novel justifies carnage against the “enemies of Christendom” as an act showing that “Western culture” is “recovering its will.” Some Marxists, like the Italian philosopher Antonio Gramsci and his intellectual heirs, tried to understand how the class rule they criticized worked through cultural domination.... But neither the defense of the workers nor of other disempowered groups was a conspiracy... never was there a malignant plot to convert the first into the second — which is what “cultural Marxism” implies....

The... discourse around cultural Marxism today resembles nothing so much as a version of the Judeobolshevik myth updated for a new age.... As in Judeobolshevism, cultural Marxism homogenizes vast groups of shadowy enemies and assigns them a secret design to upend society.... That “cultural Marxism” is a crude slander, referring to something that does not exist, unfortunately does not mean actual people are not being set up to pay the price...


#shouldread #orangehairedbaboons #neofascim #fascism

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