Where does all this come from - "oppressed feminism", "movement for homosexual rights", contrived statistics, rewritten history, lies, insolent demands, everything else - where did it all come from? For the first time in our history, we must fear that we say that we write what we think. We are compelled to be afraid to use the wrong word, a word declared insulting, stirring up discord, racist, sexist, insulting homosexuals.
This mainly happens in college campuses, but extends to the whole of society. Where did this come from? What it is? We call this "political correctness". This name comes from a joke, literally from a fragment of a comic book, and we still treat it half-jokingly. In fact, everything is very serious. This is a great illness of the century. This is an ideological disease. Political correctness is not funny. This is deadly serious.
If you look at it analytically, look historically, we will quickly find out what it is. Political correctness is a cultural Marxism. That is, it is Marxism, translated from the language of the economy into the language of culture. This movement, which goes back not to the hippies and pacifists of the 1960, but to the First World War. If we compare the main provisions of the doctrine of political correctness and classical Marxism, then the parallels are simply obvious.
First, both teachings are totalitarian ideologies. The totalitarian nature of political correctness is nowhere more evident than in campuses of colleges, many of which from this point of view are just small North Koreas in which any student or teacher who has risked breaking the boundaries established by a feminist or gay rights activists or a local group of blacks or Latinos, or any other "sacred" minority group mentioned in the doctrine of political correctness, immediately faces legal trouble. Inside the small college legislation, they face formal charges - something like the Inquisition plus punishment. So in a miniature looks the future, which political correctness prepares the entire nation.
Indeed, all ideologies are totalitarian, because the essence of ideology (I would say that conservatism, correctly understood, is not an ideology) is to take any philosophy and say that on the basis of this philosophy certain concepts should be true, like , for example, it is true that the whole history of our culture is the history of oppression of women. Since reality contradicts this, reality must be prohibited. Recognition of the reality of our history should become forbidden. People should be forced to live a lie. And since people are initially disgusted to live in lies, then, naturally, they listen and look at what is happening around and say: "Wait a minute! It is not true. I see that this is not true. " Behind the requirement to live in lies is the power of the state. That is why ideology inevitably generates a totalitarian state.
Secondly, the cultural Marxism of political correctness, like Marxism in economics, has one single explanation for history. Marxism in economics says that the whole story is determined by ownership of the means of production. Cultural Marxism teaches that the whole story is determined by the power with which groups of people, divided by race, sex or other sign, have power over other groups of people. There is nothing more to play. The whole literature is really about this. Everything that happened in the past revolved around this one power.
Thirdly, just as in the classical economy according to Marx, certain groups of people, for example, peasants and workers, are declared good in advance, and other groups of people, such as the bourgeoisie and the owners of capital, are evil. In cultural Marxism, certain groups are good: feminist females, blacks, Hispanics, homosexuals. These groups are defined as oppressed, which means they are automatically good, despite what they do. Accordingly, white men automatically become evil, thus becoming one with the bourgeoisie in Marx's economic theory.
Fourthly, both economic and cultural Marxism rely on expropriation. When classical Marxists, Communists, took power in Russia, they expropriated property. Similarly, when cultural Marxists take power on a university campus, they arrange for expropriation through such things as quotas for admission to a university. When a white student, perfectly prepared, is refused admission to college in favor of a black or Hispanic with a lower level of preparation, the white student is expropriated. In fact, the provision of preferential rights to specially protected social groups in society as a whole is a system of expropriation. Companies owned by white men do not get a contract, because the contract is reserved for a company owned by a Hispanic or a woman. So expropriation is an instrument of both forms of Marxism.
Finally, both have an analysis method that automatically gives the right answers. In classical Marxism, it is a Marxist economy. Cultural Marxism is a deconstruction. Deconstruction essentially takes any text, takes the whole meaning out of it and inserts any desired meaning. So we learn that all of Shakespeare's work is the oppression of women, and the Bible is solid racism. All texts simply become a grain for a mill called "the whole story is a story of the power of one group of people over others." So the parallels between classical Marxism, with which we are familiar on the example of the Soviet Union and cultural Marxism, which we see today in the form of political correctness, are obvious.
But these parallels are not accidental. Parallels did not arise from anywhere. The fact is that political correctness has a history. And this story is longer than anyone who does not enter into the narrow circle of academics who have studied this issue, could have guessed. And this story lasts, as I said, with the First World War, like many pathologies that pull our society and our culture down.
The Marxist theory kept telling us that when a general war broke out in Europe (as happened in 1914), the working class will rise and overthrow its bourgeois governments, because workers of different countries have more common interests among themselves than with the national bourgeoisie and the ruling class their countries. Well, 1914 came and it did not happen. Throughout Europe, the workers gathered under national banners and with contented faces went to fight with each other. Kaiser shook hands with the leaders of the Social Democratic Party of Germany and said that there are no more parties, and there are only Germans. And the same happened in all European countries. So, something was wrong.
The Marxists knew by definition that it was not the theory that was to blame. In 1917, the coup in Russia finally turned out to work and it seemed that the theory had worked, but it stalled again. The coup did not spread to all countries. Attempts of power coups d'etat, like the January uprising of 1919 in Berlin (under the leadership of Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg), like the government of Bela Kun in Hungary or the Bavarian Soviet Republic, the workers did not support.
So the Marxists were at an impasse. And the two theorists set to work: Antonio Gramsci in Italy and Georg Lukacs in Hungary. Gramsci said that the workers will never see their class interests defined by Marx until they are freed from Western culture and in particular from Christianity and that they are blinded by culture and religion in order to realize their class interests. Lukach, considered the most outstanding theorist after Marx himself, said in 1919: "Who will save us from Western civilization?" According to his theory, the greatest obstacle to a Marxist paradise is culture - Western civilization itself.
Lukács had a chance to translate his ideas into reality when he became People's Commissar for Culture in the government of the home-grown Bolshevik Bela Kun in Hungary in 1919. His first step was the introduction of lessons in sexual education in Hungarian schools. This determined that the workers did not support the government of Bela Kun, as the Hungarians, both workers and all others, were shocked by this approach. But he managed to make the right move, which still surprises us and which we would today call "the latest squeak of fashion".
In 1923, a so-called "thought-pot" was established in Germany, which took on the role of translating Marxism from the economic language into the language of culture, which served as the basis for creating a basis for political correctness by the end of the 1930-ies. Thus, political correctness was born, which we know today. And all this was due to the fact that the son of one very rich German merchant millionaire, Felix Weil, became a Marxist and spent a lot of money on this business. He sponsored an event called "The First Marxist Workweek", where he brought together Lukacs and many key German thinkers for a week so that they could work on the differences in Marx's theory.
He said: "We need a cauldron of thoughts." Today Washington is full of such "boilers" and we think that this is something very fashionable. In fact, this name is very old. Felix took over the full provision of the institution, originally associated with the Frankfurt University. It was established in 1923-th year and in the beginning was to be called the "Institute of Marxism". But the people who stood behind him decided that if they were openly called Marxists, it would not bring them pluses. More than anything in the world, political correctness does not want people to realize that it is a form of Marxism. Therefore, the institute came up with the pretty name "Institute for Social Research".
Weyl had clear goals. In 1971, he wrote to Martin Jay, the author of the founding book of the Frankfurt School (this is how the Institute for Social Research will shortly be called informally): "I wanted the institution to become known, perhaps even popular, thanks to its contribution to Marxism." And it happened. The first director of the institute Karl Grunberg, an Austrian economist, concluded his opening speech in accordance with Martin Jay's instructions "clearly stating his fidelity to Marxism as a scientific methodology." "Marxism," he said, "will be the guiding principle of the institution." This principle has never changed.
Initially, work at the Institute was traditionally conducted, but in the 1930 year a new director, Max Horkheimer, appeared. Horkheimer's views were different. He was a traitor to the teachings of Marx. The people who formed the Frankfurt school were Marxists - renegades. They still thought in terms of Marx, but effectively slipped out of the party. Moscow looked at them and said: "These are not our people, we are not going to encourage it."
The first heresy of Horkheimer was expressed in his interest in Freud. By combining Marxism with Freudianism, he made possible the transfer of economic Marxism into the channel of culture. Again the word to Martin Jay: "If you can say so, in the first years of its existence the Institute paid attention mainly to the analysis of the socio-economic substructure of bourgeois society, whereas after the 1930-ies its interests lay in the field of cultural superstructure of the given society. The traditional Marxist formula for the relationship between these two structures was questioned by Horkheimer's Critical Theory.
The things that we face today - radical feminism, women's science departments, homosexual and black study departments - are all branches of the Critical Theory. Frankfurt School connects Marx and Freud in 1930-ies and receives a "Critical Theory". The term is original, because you immediately have a desire to ask: "What is this theory?". The theory is criticism. The theory, which is designed to defeat the Christian culture and at the same time does not offer the capitalist system any alternative. They deliberately refuse to do this. They say that it is impossible to do this, that we simply can not imagine how a free society will look. As long as we live in conditions of suppression, pressure on us of the capitalist economic order, which generates (in theory) the Freudian conditions (conditions of oppressed individuals), we can not even imagine how the free society will look. This is the whole "Critical Theory" - just a criticism. She calls for the most destructive criticism, in the most sophisticated form, invented to lead to the decline of the existing order of things. And of course, when we hear from feminists that the whole society is simply harassing women and everything like that, then such criticism is a derivative of the "Critical Theory".
Other important members who join the Frankfurt school at that time are Theodor Adorno, and, most importantly, Erich Fromm and Herbert Marcuse. Fromm and Marcuse introduce a concept that becomes central to political correctness. It's a sexy element. It is Marcuse in his works calling for a society of "polymorphic depravity". This is his definition of the future that they want to create. It is Marcuse in 1930-ies who writes a very extreme thing about the need for sexual emancipation-liberation. According to Fromm, the male and female origins are not natural sexual differences, as was thought in Romantic thought. On the contrary, the differences went from the difference in the performance of vital functions, which were socially conditioned. Sex is creation through performed social functions, sex differences are a construct.
Another example is giving special importance to environmentalism - the social movement aimed at strengthening measures to protect the environment. (More in detail with theories of environmentalism can be found in our article "The Greenhouse of Globalization"). Here is what Horkheimer wrote in 1933 in his essay “Materialism and Morality”: “Materialism, starting with Thomas Hobbes, led to a managerial-masterly attitude towards nature.” According to Jay Martin, “the theme of human domination over nature was to become the central focus of the Frankfurt School in the coming years.” "Horkheimer's hostility towards the deification of labor was expressed in a different dimension of materialism — in the demand of a human, sensual feeling of happiness." In one of his most defiant works, Egoism and the Movement for Emancipation, written in 1936, Horkheimer “discussed the hostility of bourgeois culture to the personal enjoyment of man.” And, in particular, spoke positively of the Marquis de Sade for his "protest against asceticism in the name of higher morality."
How do such things come to us, to our universities, to our lives today? In 1933, the Nazis came to power in Germany and, not surprisingly, closed the Institute of Social Research. Its members fled. They fled to New York, and the institute reopened in 1933 with the help of Columbia University. Members of the Institute, although many remained and wrote in Germany, in the 1930-x gradually switched from the "Critical Theory" of German society, which destroys all the foundations of this society, to the "Critical Theory" of the American socium. With the outbreak of the war, even more "critics" are moving to America. Many go to work for the government, including Herbert Marcuse, who became a key figure in the Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner of the CIA, and some, including Horkheimer and Adorno, move to Hollywood.
The origins of political correctness would not be of great importance to us, if not two events that followed one another. The first was student unrest in the middle of the 1960, motivated by a protest against the war in Vietnam. The students needed some theory. They could not just go out and say, "No, we will not go to war." They needed some theoretical justification for the riot. Few were interested in dealing with Capital of Marx. Classical, economic Marxism - is not easy, and most of the 1960 radicals were people of little intelligence. Herbert Marcuse remained in the US after the war, when the Frankfurt School moved back to Frankfurt. And at the time when Adorno was shocked by the riot of students in Germany (he called the police and the students who burst into the audience were arrested), Herbert Marcuse saw in the student unrest 1960-x a great chance. He saw the opportunity to take the work of the Frankfurt School and make on its basis the theory of the New Left in the United States.
One of Marcuse's books was key. It became a bible for the organization "Students for a Democratic Society" and for all the unrest of 1960. This book was called "Eros and Civilization". He tries to prove that under capitalism oppression is the basis of the social order, which suppresses the personality, because its sexual desires are suppressed. We can imagine a future in which the existing oppressive order in which we will free Eros will be destroyed, Libido will be released, in which there will be a "polymorphic depravity". By the way, in such a world there will be no work, only a game. What a wonderful message to the radicals of the middle of 1960! The student-baby boomers grew, never worrying about anything, except how to find a job. And just then the guy writes about how easy it is to go through life. He does not ask them to read much hard-perceived Marxism and tells them what they want to hear, in particular: "Do what you enjoy", "You should never force yourself to go to work". By the way, this Marcuse came up with the phrase "Make love, not war." Returning to the situation that now exists in all college campuses, Marcuse so defines "liberating tolerance": it is intolerance of everything that comes from the right and tolerance for everything that comes from the left.
Our country today is in the process of a great and extraordinary transformation. We are becoming an ideological state, a country with an official state ideology backed by the strength of the state. In prisons there are political prisoners who committed "hate crimes". Terror against any disagree with political correctness is also part of this process. And we do not realize this, because we call this phenomenon political correctness and we laugh at it. My message today is: "It's not funny, it's here, it spreads and it will destroy us, in the end, as it is aimed at destroying everything that we call our freedom and our culture."