James Lindsay outlines the intellectual trajectory of totalitarian humanism, political correctness, wokeness, cultural Marxism, whatever one wants to call it, pretty thoroughly in this, although I would add more emphasis on 19th century Progressive Christianity and Maoism during the Cultural Revolution period than what he mentions. He focuses on most of the high points: Frankfurt School/critical theory, Herbert Marcuse/repressive tolerance, terrorists like the Weather Underground, and postmodernism/deconstructionism and their antecedents like critical race theory, radical feminism, queer theory, etc. although he doesn’t mention certain strands within the trajectory of privilege theory (e.g. Ted Allen, Peggy McIntosh). More emphasis needs to be placed on the relationship between totalitarian humanism, therapeutism, and scientism as well. One very important point that Lindsay raises in this is that the Marxists are correct when they say totalitarian humanism is a tool being used by the bourgeoisie in order to take the left away from the working class. I’m glad to see him pointing that out.
One unfortunate thing that seems to be happening as well is that a lot of folks who are getting “woke about wokeness,” i.e. realizing this stuff is a dangerous totalitarian ideology that is being co-opted by the state and the ruling class, are regrettably following the same historical trajectory as ex-Communists from the “God That Failed” era, i.e. become right-wing stooges and/or partisans. Remember, that neoconservatism, with all its horrors, was invented by former Marxists. And it was not only creeps like Norman Podhoretz who helped build the foundations of neoconservatism but also serious thinkers like Sidney Hook, Arthur Koestler, James Burham, and Frank Meyer, all of whom either contributed to the development of neoconservatism by helping to establish the postwar “conservative movement” and/or right-wing social-democratic tendencies, both of which eventually became the vehicle of neoconservatism. Even figures like Bertrand Russell allowed themselves to be manipulated by the CIA at times (for example, Russell was a participant in the Congress for Cultural Freedom, a CIA front group).
The way to fight totalitarian humanism is NOT to watch PragerU videos and vote for Donald Trump, which is a trap that far too many anti-wokesters are falling into. There are five basic approaches to take, all of which are implied in the “anti-oppression policy” section of the ATS statement of purpose. First, employ Kaczynski’s suggestion of attacking PC culture by using incessant ridicule (a tactic that worked very well for anti-establishment groups in the 1960s like the Yippies). Second, “attack from the left” by building the actual economic, labor, foreign policy, antiwar, civil libertarian, localist, black separatist, indigenous autonomist, radical ecologist/primitivist/agrarian, un-schooler, lumpen proletarian, etc. sectors of the left that totalitarian humanism cannot use (see my post on David Faris adjacent to this one). Third, embrace forms of identitarianism that are even more extreme than those embraced by the totalitarian humanists (“you have your critical race theory, we have our transracials,” you have your queer theory, we have our otherkin,” “you have your fat studies, we have our transables”). Fourth, embrace intellectual, scientific, and historical heresies that are even more extreme than theirs (“you have your woke mathematics, we have our alien astronauts and UFOs and lizard people,” “you have your denunciations of white male science, we have our anti-vaxxers and Duesbergians,” “you have your feminist anthropology, we have Atlantis”). Fifth, as the final touch, embrace “reactionary,” “retrograde” and “conservative” subcultures as just more categories of oppressed minorities (which is often true, as an examination of the history of the Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses will show). An example would be equating evangelical Christians (who will be an increasingly smaller and marginalized group in the future) with Muslims, Mormon polygamists with gays (or polyamorists), gun nuts with pot-smokers (although some totalitarian humanists are anti-drug on therapeutic statist grounds), homeschoolers with hippies, alternative medicine with veganism, militiamen/sovereign citizens/boogaloos with the Black Panthers, skinhead Odinists with the Farrakhanists and Black Israelites, tax protestors with civil rights protestors, etc. The objective is to bury the totalitarian humanist bullshit under an even bigger mountain of bullshit. But even more important is to constantly reject and ridicule the full-range of the establish, i.e. as anti-US imperialism as Al-Qaeda, as the anti-corporate class as the Shining Path, and as anti-technocratic state as Ted Kaczynski.