Culture Wars/Current Controversies

“The Rise of the Radical Left” with Christopher Rufo

Center-right conservatives like Rufo and centrist liberals like James Lindsay are good at critiquing the rivers that flow into the woke ocean. But to understand the ocean floor, you need Gottfried, Hedges, Maupin, Kotkin, Lind, McWhorter, and Ramaswamy. Other relevant critics might be Bill Lind, Hanania, Oglesby (from the 1970s), Bishop, Brooks (“bobos”), and at the risk of immodesty, myself. A vast range of ideological thinkers whose work helps us to better understand the rising ruling class ideological superstructure.

Left critics like Hedges, McWhorter, and Maupin demonstrate how “woke” is not about helping disadvantaged people but about legitimizing the ruling class within the context of the dominant cultural paradigm in light of decades-long processes of cultural change. Gottfried uses intellectual history to critique woke, Ramaswamy uses business analysis, Bill Lind uses cultural criticism, Mike Lind uses political science, Brooks examines pop culture, Oglesby examines intra-ruling class conflict, and Joel Kotkin applies socioeconomic analysis.

My guest today is Christopher Rufo. Christopher is a political activist and filmmaker known for his opposition to Critical Race Theory or CRT. He’s a senior fellow and director of the Initiative on Critical Race Theory at the Manhattan Institute and he’s the author of a new book called “America’s Cultural Revolution: How the Radical Left Conquered Everything”

In this episode, we talk about the German philosopher Herbert Marcuse and the role he played in popularizing critical theory. We talk about the legacy of the weather underground. We talk about the admiration that left-wing intellectuals in the 20th century had for Mao and Stalin. We discuss the relationship between Critical Theory and Marxism. We talk about the psychological and emotional appeal of communism. We discuss the effect of the collapse of the Soviet Union on the Western left. We disagree somewhat about the legacy of McCarthyism. We talk about the political leanings of public school teachers today. We talk about the strengths and weaknesses of classical liberalism as a philosophy. We also go on to talk about the teaching of CRT in public schools and much more. Check out Christopher’s New Book: “America’s Cultural Revolution: How the Radical Left Conquered Everything” –

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