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Quora Answer : Does the belief that "cultural Marxism" is subverting Western culture have any basis in reality, or is it just a silly conspiracy theory?

Jan 27, 2021

Well from one perspective, any new idea, value, cultural etiquette or habit is "subverting Western culture" if you insist that "Western culture" is, and can only be, exactly some version of it that was set in aspic at some point in the past. Either when you first became aware of it as a child. Or in some mythical "golden age" you heard about from other reactionaries.

Throughout history progressive people have had new ideas, and tried to get others to adopt them. They are all "subverting" the status quo. And reactionaries have always hated it and tried to push it back. That's just the way things are. All the old ways were also new and hated once upon a time. The true nature of any "culture" (including Western culture) is that it changes. Because people keep pushing it forward.

Marx didn't invent progressivism. He didn't even invent left-wing activism. The French revolution happened before he was born. Mary Wollstonecraft had written a Vindication of the Rights of Women before he was born. Black slaves were rebelling in America throughout the 18th century. And certainly people were getting drunk, wanting and having sex (even gay sex), skipping church, challenging their elders and fighting to control the media before he was born.

In fact the only item on the "Cultural Marxism" conspiracy check-list which is plausibly post-Marx is the claim that there's a desire to get people hooked on state welfare. Which is hilarious, given that Marx was opposed to a welfare state. (He wanted the workers to seize control of the factories, not rely on the government taxing the capitalist factory owners and giving them handouts)

Most of these campaigns for social justice, greater human freedom from religious oppression, and other prejudices and cultural norms that are getting labelled "cultural Marxism" are an obvious direct continuation with liberal traditions that stem from the Enlightenment. Again, something that pre-dates Marx, and which Marx wasn't very enthused by and saw himself as a break with.

They have nothing to do with Marx. The only thing that immigrants and atheists and sex-education specialists and media moguls and Silicon Valley tech. entrepreneurs and BLM activists and Billie Eilish DO have in common is simply that they are symptoms (and drivers of) change.

And that's all the belief in "Cultural Marxism" is. Simply the most extreme form of a reactionary paranoia about all the changes going on in society. A belief that Western Culture is fixed, and that any change to it is destruction. That the current winners and losers must be protected in place. And anything new is deliberate malign sabotage of the delicate order we enjoy today.

This is why I recommend that whenever you hear the term "cultural Marxism" you immediately translate it, in your head, to the term "new fangled". Because that's really all it means. This is new and different and I don't like it.

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