(LifeSiteNews) — Author James Lindsay recently gave an excellent talk that has garnered significant attention online explaining how today’s “woke” movement is a type of Marxism and how Karl Marx was more of a theologian than an economist.
In a 30-minute speech at an event held by the Identity and Democracy Foundation in the European Parliament in March 2023, Lindsay equated “wokeism” to Marxism and called it “Maoism with American characteristics.”
“If I might borrow from Mao [Zedong] himself, who said that his philosophy was Marxism-Leninism with Chinese characteristics,” Lindsay said.
“Woke is supposed to advance equity in Europe,” Lindsay said. The definition of equity “comes from the public administration literature, it was written by a man named George Fredrickson” and “the definition is ‘an administered political economy in which shares are adjusted so that citizens are made equal.’”
“Does that sound like anything you’ve heard of before? Like socialism,” Lindsay stated. “The only difference between equity and socialism is the type of property that they redistribute, the type of shares they’re going to redistribute: social and cultural capital in addition to economic and material capital.”
Lindsay explained that Marxism is not primarily about economics but about culture. He categorized the following “species” as belonging to the genus of Marxism: Radical feminism, Critical Race theory, queer theory, and post-colonial theory.
“And they have something that binds them together called intersectionality that makes them treated as if they are all one thing,” Lindsay said.
The author went on to explain that Marx was not mainly an economist, even though he wrote a famous book about capital called Das Kapital.
In his earlier writings, Marx described “[w]hat makes human beings special is that man is a being that is incomplete and knows that he is incomplete. He is a man whose true nature has been forgotten to him, which is a social being. He is a socialist at heart who doesn’t realize it.”
Due to the economic conditions, namely the existence of private property, man could not become his true socialist self, according to Marx. Lindsay explained in the following way:
How is history produced? By man doing man’s activity, and man’s key activity was economic activity as he [Marx] saw it. And so, economic production doesn’t just produce the goods and services of the economy. It produces society itself, and society in turn produces man. He called this the inversion of praxis. And so when he says we must seize the means of production and he’s talking about factories and fields, he’s actually talking about how we construct who we are as human beings so that we might complete ourselves, so that we make complete history. And at the end of history, mankind will remember that he is a social being, and we will have a socialist society, a perfect communism that transcends private property.
Marx said, “Communism is the transcendence of private property as human self-estrangement.”
“Marx was never an economist; he was a theologian,” Lindsay concluded. “He wanted to produce a religion for mankind that would supersede all of the religions of mankind and bring him back to his true social nature.”
From class struggle to race struggle
While Marx originally described the class struggle between the working class, the proletariat, and the ruling class, the bourgeoisie, these classes can easily be replaced with race while maintaining the same Marxist principles.
“And now we say change out class, put in race, and watch,” Lindsay said “We get Critical Race Theory falls out of the hat just like that.”
In 1993, Cheryl Harris wrote an article for the Harvard Law Review called “Whiteness as Property” in which she posits that “white privilege” or whiteness is “a kind of cultural private property,” Lindsay explained.
“She [Harris] says it must be abolished in order to have racial justice. Just like Karl Marx said in the Communist Manifesto. He wrote, ‘Communism can be summarized in a single sentence: the abolition of private property.’”
“Well, this is why Critical Race Theory calls to abolish whiteness, because whiteness is a form of private property,” Lindsay said.
Instead of capitalism as the root of the oppression of the disadvantaged class, “white supremacy” is blamed for “systemic racism” that leads to the oppression of non-whites.
“And the goal is to awaken a racial consciousness in people so that they will band together as a class and seize the means of cultural production so that white cultural production is no longer the dominant mode,” Lindsay explained.
Just as Marxism calls everything it seeks to control “bourgeois” until it controls it, Critical Race Theory calls everything “racist” until it controls it.
The Marxist Roots of Queer Theory and LGBT
Queer theory (or LGBT) can be summarized as being against everything that is considered “normal” in the area of sexuality, e.g. heterosexuality, being a “cisgender” man, the family consisting of a father, mother, and their biological children, etc.
These “heteronormative” people, according to queer theorists, have the cultural private property to define what is normal and are therefore an oppressor class.
Lindsay calls queer theory “an identity without an essence” as it is “strictly oppositional to the concept of the normal.”
Marxism and Post-colonial Theory
Because of Europe’s history of colonization, the West is seen as a perpetual oppressor, according to Marxist post-colonial theory.
“They [the West] have access to the material and cultural wealth of the world because they’ve decided their culture is the default and have gone and colonized the world to bring culture to the world, as they say,” Lindsay explained.
“And so the oppressed, the natives around the world, the people have to band together and their activity is going to be called decolonization.”
“They have to remove every aspect of Western culture. So when they come to Belgium or they come to France or they come to the United States and they say we’re going to decolonize the curriculum, or they go to the U.K. and say we’re going to decolonize Shakespeare. This is what they mean.”
“We’re going to remove the cultural significance of your cultural artifacts because those cultural artifacts themselves are oppressive to us,” the author stated.
From Marx to woke: The history of cultural Marxism
While Marx believed that mankind has to rid itself of the oppressors mainly through economic means, today’s “wokeism” or Cultural Marxism seeks to do the same through socio-cultural means.
The evolution from classical Marxism to Cultural or Western Marxism occurred in the 1920s when Italian Marxist philosopher Antonio Gramsci came up with the idea of the “Long March through the Institutions.” For Marxists to take over in the West, they had to slowly take over the important institutions of society and rule through “cultural hegemony” instead of using violence and force like the Bolsheviks in Soviet Russia.
As Lindsay notes in his talk, the term Cultural Marxism is now labeled as an “anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.” This is evidenced by the fact that if you search for the term Cultural Marxism on Wikipedia you get to an article that states that “[t]he term ‘Cultural Marxism’ refers to a far-right antisemitic conspiracy theory which misrepresents the Frankfurt School as being responsible for modern progressive movements, identity politics, and political correctness.”
It was indeed the several Germans of the Frankfurt School, a Freudian-Marxist intellectual school associated with the Institute for Social Research at the Goethe University Frankfurt, that further developed this idea of Cultural Marxism.
“They [the Frankfurt school] evolved the idea into what’s called Critical Marxism. They developed what’s called the critical theory,” Lindsay explained.
Max Horkheimer, a German philosopher from the Frankfurt School, said that Marx was wrong about capitalism bringing the working class misery. Instead it “gives people a good life, makes them wealthy and comfortable and happy,” Lindsay said, citing Herbert Marcuse, another philosopher from the Frankfurt School.
This meant that the working class was no longer going to be the focus of Cultural or Critical Marxism.
“In other words, we don’t have to be responsible to the working class anymore, which opens up the ability for Marxists who are seeking power to make friends with the corporations,” Lindsay explained.
This explains why today’s leftists have no problem with working together with large, multi-billion dollar corporations to achieve their goals.
“The energy is somewhere else,” the author continued. “He [Marcuse] said it’s in the racial minorities, the sexual minorities, the feminists, the outsiders.”
“And so they started to transform the culture industry to sell racial, sexual, gender, sexuality-based agitprop as though that were genuine culture.”
And this is how we ended up with “woke,” which is “a form of identity-based Marxism.”
The UN and WEF have their own type of Marxism
Communist dictators like Mao Zedong, who also used identity politics, unified their people under concepts such as “socialist discipline.” But that would not work very well in the West.
Instead, Western Marxists have their own unifying principles, such as “Inclusion” and “Sustainability.”
“The sustainable and inclusive future is the new socialist standard that we will have freedom under socialist discipline,” Lindsay said.
“Mao said the way that will work is through what he called democratic centralism. We call that Stakeholder Capitalism.”
“And my shot at the World Economic Forum has taken. Because it’s one of the things coordinating this. My shot at the United Nations is taken because it’s one of the things that’s coordinating this,” the author stated.
Cultural Marxism is exemplified by the U.N.’s “Agenda 2030” and its Sustainable Development Goals.
“And we will have a very, very long, sustainable and inclusive future with absolutely no freedom because the goal is to make us into what they call global citizens,” Lindsay said, adding that “this term is nonsense. There’s no global sovereign, so there is no global citizenship. There’s no relationship because there’s no ruler, and we don’t want a ruler of the globe.”
The author points out that the U.N. itself defines a global citizen as “somebody who supports the 17 sustainable development goals of the United Nations Agenda 2030.”
“The model that they are pushing us toward using the means and mechanisms of that place is the model we see in China,” Lindsay warned. “If you want to know what your future looks like if we don’t stop the woke, look at China.”