The Myth Making of Antifa Intellectuals Reply

By Paul Gottfried

The American Conservative

Mark Bray is in his early thirties and the recipient of a Ph.D. in history from Rutgers in 2016. He is also rapidly becoming antifa’s chief ideologue. Among his works describing or advocating for the often violent demonstrators are Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook and Translating Anarchy: The Anarchism of Occupy Wall Street.

Bray has yet to find a major commercial press for his tracts and, so far as I can tell, remains a lowly lecturer at Dartmouth College. But he has presented his case for antifa’s protest activities and the disruptive forms they have taken in, among other venues, Foreign Policy, The Washington Post, and Boston Review. Bray was also invited to voice his views at the Politics and Prose bookstore in Washington, D.C., an honor usually reserved for intellectual and political celebrities. It was after watching Bray’s Politics and Prose address and the remarks it elicited from the mostly “antifascist” audience that my editor at Northern Illinois University Press arrived at the idea that I should write a book on antifa’s worldview.

READ MORE

Stop Throwing Around the ‘Socialist’ Label Reply

By Paul Gottfried

The American Conservative

Several years ago I wrote an essay for TAC on what fascism is not. In that broadside I spared neither right nor left for their misappropriations of the F-word.

It may now be time to raise similar questions about the overuse of the “socialist” label by Republicans and Conservative Inc.

This task seemed particularly timely after I was paired last night on a podcast with Riva Enteen, the co-editor of the anthology Follow the Money: Radio Voices for Peace and Justice. Although Riva described herself as a Marxist and a “historical materialist,” just about everything she seemed passionate about was a contemporary cultural issue. She advocated for women’s “reproductive rights,” endorsed Black Lives Matter, and stressed the uphill battle still being waged by gays. And, oh yes, she was against war because she thought it was inhumane. Whatever her intent, Riva gave the impression that Marxism, and more generally socialism, is about being culturally progressive.

Yet I don’t think I heard much orthodox Marxism in what she had to say.

Unlike feminism and the LGBT lobby, Marxist regimes have historically been socially reactionary, with Russian, Cuban, and Chinese communists throwing homosexuals and drug addicts in labor camp, or worse. As I write in my book The Strange Death of Marxism, what our progressive culture now celebrates as new forms of liberation profoundly offended real communists when they were in power. In fact, communists treated groups that the contemporary left holds up as historical victims with contempt.

There is a long established practice of confusing what is misleadingly called “Cultural Marxism” with socialism and Marxist economics. The two are most definitely not the same. Those who invented what the Frankfurt School in interwar Germany called Critical Theory, and that was called by its friends and later adversaries “Cultural Marxism,” were intent on a cultural revolution. Critical Theory was only secondarily about changing the economic system, which is the primary interest of socialists and which real Marxists maintained could only come about through violence. Although the Frankfurt School and its descendants favored state ownership of productive forces, they took this stand only as a means towards a cultural end. They viewed socialism as instrumental for overcoming sexism, anti-Semitism, and homophobia. These things, which they equated with “fascism,” were their primary targets.

READ MORE

Cultural Marxism and the Frankfurt School 1

Paul Gottfried is interviewed by Tom Woods. Listen here. For those who are unfamiliar with Paul Gottfried’s work, he is well worth checking out. Probably the best right-wing critic of the Left out there. You don’t have to be a right-winger to get something out of his work.

—————————————————

Is there such a thing as “cultural Marxism”? If so, what is it? And what was the Frankfurt School, and what was it trying to accomplish? Paul Gottfried, who holds a Ph.D. in history from Yale and has written extensively on these subjects, joins me to get to the bottom of it all.

About the Guest

Paul Gottfried is professor emeritus of humanities at Elizabethtown College and a Guggenheim recipient.

Selected Books by the Guest

The Strange Death of Marxism: The European Left in the New Millennium
Fascism: The Career of a Concept

Previous Appearances

Ep. 977 Left, Right, and Charlottesville, with Paul Gottfried
Ep. 947 Divided Republicans, Unified Democrats, and Our Future
Ep. 889 The Biases of Historians, Beneath a Magnifying Glass
Ep. 862 The Alt Right
Ep. 650 Fascism: The Career of a Concept
Ep. 574 Neocon Says Word Neoconservative Is Outdated Now; I Remain Unmoved
Ep. 496 Wilsonianism: The Legacy That Won’t Die
Ep. 386 What Fascism Is, and Why It Isn’t Just a Name for Everything People May Oppose
Ep. 87 World War I: Sleepwalk to Suicide

Cultural Marxism v. Post-modernism: Paul Gottfried disagrees with Jordan Peterson Reply

For modern conservatives, a question looms large: Has cultural Marxism or post-modernism done more damage to society? Canada’s Jordan Peterson claims the latter, while Paul Gottfried — one of America’s most most serious paleo-conservative intellectuals, says the opposite. On this week’s episode of ‘The San Francisco Review of Books on Sunday,’ Gottfried explains why he thinks that cultural Marxism is far more serious than post-modernism and what this means not only for America, but Western Civilization.

Neocons Are Upset With Me 3

This is an important piece by Paul Gottfried which points out that the fragmentation that is growing the United States is not primarily about race, something that both leftists and white nationalists are constantly missing. Every bit of evidence shows that the political and class divides are wider than the racial divides. The Red/Blue war is primarily, though not exclusively, an “intra-white” war, at least in terms of the leadership of both sides. While a “majority of minorities” tend to side with the Blue Team, and growing “minority of minorities” is siding with the Red Team. What Dr. Gottfried describes in the following paragraph is what the future of the Left/Right divide will look like, albeit in an even more radicalized form.

The most lunatic Cultural Marxists I’ve encountered are Aryan-looking Germans and Swedes, who right now are running their countries, into the ground. I haven’t noticed any black people in Europe pushing radical lifestyle agendas or demanding that Europeans open their borders to more Muslim migrants. For the last thirty years I have been battling PC fanatics, including the ones in conservatism, inc.; and these zealots have been predominantly white. Although I wouldn’t deny that the PC Left has tried to “empower” minorities for revolutionary or political transformational uses, the roles played by these minorities have been secondary. The major war for civilization has gone on among whites.

I am, moreover, delighted that some black commentators are willing to attack black race hustlers with the appropriate contempt. It was black conservative Larry Elders who had the spunk to say what I couldn’t imagine Stephen Hayes, Bret Baier, or Bernie Goldberg ever allowing himself to utter. Elders called Al Sharpton a bigoted thug who managed to start a race war in Brooklyn before becoming Obama’s gray eminence. And he described the raving California Congresswoman Maxine Waters as a “delusional poverty pimp.” Sheriff David Clarke of Milwaukee County was also one of the first interviewees whom I heard on TV openly condemning both sides for the Charlottesville riot. In the war for civilization at least a minority of blacks has been vocally and persistently on the conservative side. Am I supposed to reject such warriors in favor of white leftists who happen to have the approved skin color? I shall happily make common cause with decent people of all races to battle the Cultural Marxist totalitarians, who are taking power in just about every so-called liberal democracy.

By Paul Gottfried

We Seek the Truth

A Polish friend, who reads this website regularly, sent me recently this characterization of my personality and worldview:

More…