If you do an online search of the term “cultural Marxism,” you will see a Wikipedia entry that dismisses it as a “conspiracy theory” that is supposedly trying to take over Western culture. Actually it is the dominant form of Marxism in America and in much of the West today.
Dr. Paul Kengor was on Point of View radio talk show with me to talk about his recent article about cultural Marxism. He explained that cultural Marxism began about a century ago in Germany because the proponents felt that orthodox Marxism was too limiting and too narrow. They wanted revolutionary changes in marriage, sexuality, and family.
They looked to the universities as a place where their ideas would be launched. They could organize the students, the artists, and the media to transform Western society. Instead of focusing on an economic war, they wanted to bring a cultural war.
One of the key figures in cultural Marxism was Antonio Gramsci who taught that they should seize the “cultural means of production.” That would be the media and the universities. He believed that the social transformation would be able to “march through the institutions.”
One place where cultural Marxism is evident today is in what is called “critical theory.” Paul Kengor reminded us that Barack Obama’s alma mater, Occidental College, has a Department of Critical Theory and Social Justice. It promises to instruct students in the principles of “Marxism, psychoanalysis, the Frankfurt School, deconstruction, critical race studies, queer theory, feminist theory, postcolonial theory.”
If you have been near a college campus lately, this should all sound very familiar. This is not a “conspiracy theory” but an accurate picture of the march of cultural Marxism through the institutions.