Wednesday, 2 November 2016

The Other Red Pill: No Class

From the 1990s onward, the left in the west found itself increasingly dependent on educated urban liberals, minorities and immigrants for its electoral support as the unions collapsed due to the loss of manufacturing jobs to places like China.  Gradually, dialectics based on race and gender would come to replace dialectics based on class - despite how monstrous a misapplication of Marxist theory this was.  

It was a new lease on life for the beleaguered leftist parties everywhere, albeit one that would come at a heavy price.

Critical theory based on race and gender begun its own "deconstruction" of western culture in academia, supported quite ironically by state and corporate cash, not to mention student debt. The organs of western culture - corporate media and academia - expressed increasing worry that racism and misogyny were "found" to be deeply embedded in western culture - the same culture that financed and enabled the spread of feminist and multiculturalist theory.

A quasi Marxist dialectic recognizing all white males regardless of class as a kind of ruling class, and women and minorities as an exploited underclass emerged, and analysis of racial and sexual relationships through this kind of lens became prominent.  In the absence of a political theory of class rooted in relations of production, such views emerged almost entirely unchallenged.  What we now recognize as political correctness emerged. 

When social media allowed for this ideology to extend beyond academia and into the broader culture, a new plague was released upon the world: the social justice warriors.  Despite their anti-capitalist pretenses, Wall Street certainly had no objections to the SJWs - better white male tears than being occupied, after all.  Silicon Valley went further, with online magazines and social media of all kinds rushing to give platforms to feminist and anti-racist concerns.  The pettier, the better, it so often seemed.  If an article got clicks, the article got bucks.  Advertising fuels it, after all, and what better way to draw attention than with manufactured controversy?  And what worked better for that than some or another instance of "political correctness gone mad."

Each day brought new excesses of social justice trivialities, it seemed.  Microaggressions, trigger warnings, cultural appropriations, the ubiquitous phrase, "check your privilege."  "Problematic" imagery and words were everywhere, from video games to the shirts worn by astrophysicists while landing satellites on comets and everything else you can think of.  A new culture war was underway, and it was much better for business than a class war - narrowly averted coming out of the Lehman Bro's meltdown, would have been.

It should not be a surprise that there'd be a backlash against the excesses of online political correctness.  Its core ideology was not new, but its means of delivery and proliferation were as modern as you could get.  Politically correct culture was viciously attacked, and mainstream conservatism held to ridicule for its failure to adequately stand up for western culture.  Their critique went back to the Frankfurt School, its Jewish-Marxist luminaries and its deconstruction of western civilization as a prelude to socialist revolution.  Conspicuous in its absence were Marx's theories of class relations.  Nor did it seem to matter to the emergent alt-right that as a meaningful force in 21st century politics, Marxist socialism was extinct; its fire has gone out of the universe.

"Cultural Marxism" was the boogeyman that the alt-right was convinced was hell-bent on destroying the west.  And we can all guess (((who))) was to be responsible for it.

The alt-right's bastardization of the cultural Marxist idea is lifted straight out of Mein Kampf, Hitler decisively and explicitly rejected the materialism of Marx, and saw instead a Darwinian struggle of races and nations instead of class struggle. Antisemitism was a common prejudice in Europe in those days, as was fear of communism. Hitler wove the two together into a narrative that he used to appeal to the anxieties of the German people. That Hitler was chosen in preference to the communists in Wiemar Germany was further proof to the Frankfurt theorists that culture went deeper than class in the psyches of the working and middle classes. Hitler differs from the SJWs and their white male counterparts on the alt-right only in that he was many decades ahead of them in his theories. Indeed, it is Hitler much more than Marx that underlies the thinking of both the SJWs and the alt-right, though not directly in the case of the SJWs.  Although it must be admitted that "My Struggle" would make a great name for an edgy teenage girl's tumblr account.

More recently, the Fuhrer's old ideas were dusted off by one William S. Lind, a paleoconservative theorist whose attribution of current year SJW political correctness directly to Marx has, along with Nazi style anti-semetic conspiracy theories been an ideological impetus behind the rise of the alt-right.  Lacking a better way to understand their declining fortunes in the 21st century, the angry white male keyboard warriors of the 4chan and Reddit undergrounds were no less vulnerable to cultural conspiracy theories than the very SJWs they condemned were.

How could any of them have known any better?  The SJWs and the Alt-Right alike cannot be faulted their lack of education.  Class had been dismissed long ago.

Western civilization has paid a dire price for the loss of class consciousness and historical materialism from its political mind. We are without a means of explaining widespread inequality except either through the lens of racial and gender discrimination, or as a natural and good outcome of some people just working harder or being naturally more talented than others.

The results greet you in your newsfeed every day.

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