The video below raises many interesting points that are highly relevant to many of the things that have been discussed at ATS over the years. The speakers in the video are Marxist-Leninists (“tankies”) who understand that the various forms of what I call “totalitarian humanism” (“woke,” “political correctness” etc) are being used not only as the self-legitimating ideological superstructure of the domestic ruling class, but also as a weapon of US imperialism. Western imperialism in its modern package comes in three basic forms: military imperialism, economic imperialism, and cultural imperialism. Of the three, cultural imperialism is arguably the most pervasive. For example, the McDonald’s golden arches symbol is now the most widely recognized symbol worldwide. More people know what the golden arches mean than the symbols of the major religions like the Christian cross, Islamic crescent, or Jewish Star of David. American media, popular culture, and retail outlets are present literally everywhere on the globe except for the most remote areas or the most closed societies like the DPRK.
The impact of cultural imperialism is that the “woke” totalitarian humanist ideology is being spread worldwide with the predictable backlash. Totalitarian humanism is primarily an American project that has been exported to other nations, like the UK and the Scandinavian countries, and is now finding its way into many other parts of the world. By extension, America’s culture war is being exported to the rest of the world as well. The benefit of this situation is that the same fragmentation that has taken place in the US is starting to emerge in other societies. As the US has shot a lot of its political capital over the past 20 years with endless wars of aggression, US military imperialism is starting to recede (see Peter Zeihan on this). Because the US has experienced two major economic meltdowns, and now faces 1970s level inflation, US economic imperialism has taken a hit as well. The present war in Ukraine, the sanctions imposed on Russia by the Western alliance, and the strengthening of the relationships between the Eastern powers have accelerated this process. But, as the speakers in the video point out, Western cultural imperialism remains very strong.
Yet the American culture war is also spreading. The world is now dividing into woke and anti-woke nations. Individual countries are dividing into the red tribe/blue tribe polarization we find in the US. We see this in many if not most European countries although the level of intensity typically hasn’t reached that of the US. Friends in Latin America tell me that the woke ideology is now taking over Latin American universities as well. The woke culture is emerging in East Asia and making appearances even in some of the most conservative regions of the world like Africa, South Asia, and the Middle East. As the American culture war has intensified, sympathy for pan-secessionism has increased to the point where at least a third of Americans are at least casually sympathetic to pan-secessionism. This process may well be repeated around the world.
The development of pan-secessionist sympathy in the US has been characterized by cultural and ideological migration (the “Big Sort“), and the creation of “sanctuaries” and ideological enclaves for various de facto cultural separatist movements, whether left, right, traditional, or countercultural. Various types of startup societies are proliferating around the world with plans being developed for more. And Brexit demonstrates that full-blown secession by regional entities from larger entities is possible. It is likely that the exportation of America’s culture war to the rest of the world would trigger a comparable process, although the details would obviously vary widely from place to place. The deterioration of various societies under the reign of neoliberalism has also triggered a renewed interest in various radical or utopian philosophies in many places, along with a growing interest in political, economic, and technological decentralization on a more general level. To be sure, a range of philosophies has emerged that favor synthesis of all of these tendencies as well but tendencies of this type remain very small and fragmented. So far, there has not been an emergence of an intellectual or activist vanguard that is publicly advocating for such a synthesis as a matter of thought and action in a coherent and focused manner. The development of such a vanguard is the next step that is needed.