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CANCEL CULTURE & THE FATHER OF THE NEW LEFT
NEO MARXISM AND HOW WE GOT TO OUR CURRENT CULTURE OF IDEOLOGICAL INTOLERANCE
NEO MARXISM, CANCEL CULTURE, & THE FATHER OF THE NEW LEFT
HOW DID WE GET TO OUR CURRENT CULTURE OF IDEOLOGICAL INTOLERANCE?
By JBS & TEMPLE
I mistakenly thought that Cancel Culture was a new phenomenon - to sweep people and ideas under the rug so to speak. Little did I know while educating myself on Socialism that a fellow named Herbert Marcuse, part of the Frankfurt School of social theory, had a hand in what we are living through today, a return to Marxist ideology hidden in the philosophy of the New Left. Truly King Solomon was correct, there is nothing new under the sun.
In an article written for Quillette, Benedict Beckeld writes, “ Marcuse’s Kantianly titled A Critique of Pure Tolerance (1965), which he co-authored with others, maintains that the intolerant should not be tolerated (and it is fallible humans who must then determine what is “intolerant” and what is not); and that “correct” ideas will be repressed if all ideas are allowed a voice. The repression of free speech and of those ideas that a small elite considers inappropriate, which has often been a hallmark of the right, has thus become part of the legacy of the modern left. Consequently, hate-speech laws in Europe and Canada grow ever broader and include ever more speech in their ambit.”
So who was this guy Marcuse? Marcuse emigrated to the United States in June 1934. I suspect that his life, like many of ours, has multiple influences, but what is certain, his thoughts are firmly rooted in rebranded Neo Marxism. His German-Jewish heritage, deep involvement in the Frankfurt School, and life in Germany post-WWI were all factors that contributed to his ideas for which he later was called the Father of the New Left. He had disdain for capitalism and linked arms with Angela Davis. While not a traditional revolutionist he was known to march and “protest peacefully”, but his ideas had consequences.
He was a philosopher who embraced many fundamental elements of Marxism with the critical difference that his “entire project can be seen as an attempt to rescue radical, socially transformative subjectivity.” The key words here being “ socially transformative subjectivity”. He gravitated toward Marxism because it is an attempt to rescue humanity from the, “oppressive forces of capitalism”.
The subjective nature of his teaching is the basis for the New Left which posed “an emphasis on cultural as well as political transformation, an extension of the traditional left’s focus on class struggle to acknowledge multiple forms and bases of oppression, including race and gender”.
Essentially, the New Left, is Neo Marxist ideology with a heavy emphasis on “civil and political rights, environmentalism, feminism, gay rights, gender roles”. Sound familiar?
The critical error with New Left thinking is it, by definition, untethers ideology from concrete and historic truths in favor of socially constructed New Values resulting in the suppression of widely held and historic values. The predictable result of New Left thinking is the practitioners of the philosophy band together, oppress opponents, elect like-minded leaders, and implement New Marxism, which inevitably ends in totalitarianism and the death of ALL detractors of the New Fascist leader. Peaceful protesting quickly becomes capitulation by coercion and force. It’s easy to see the progression when looking at organizations like BLM and many “grass roots” environmental groups.
Unsurprisingly, he also worked for the US government for the Office of Strategic Services which was the predecessor of the CIA. During his time with the Strategic Service he criticized the ideology of the Communist Party of the then Soviet Union, which is a hallmark of the New Left. He was also a professor in the US and taught college students in small groups his philosophy from his days at the Frankfurt School.
Key to where we are today is that much of what Marcuse did in teaching the college students of the 60s has come back full circle and we are seeing the fruit of it today. His students grew up and carried New Left ideology to the current generation of students via our halls of academia.
Cancel Culture is a symptom of the reemergence of the New Left. It is a symptom of our slow march back towards Marxism.
Cancel culture doesn’t just cancel speech; it cancels people and declares them as something to be tossed aside because their ideas are harmful. Essentially, cancel culture is an erosive acid that diminishes every part of what we should value – history, respectful interpersonal relations, dialog, and differing ideas to promote problem-solving based on historic virtues.
Do we want to live in an America where the vocal, influential, financially powerful New Left will silence and crush others based on ideas they believe should not be tolerated?
Cancel Culture and its roots in New Left Marxism is a philosophy. It is a bad idea. “Ideas have consequences and bad ideas have victims.”
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