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Shorter Helen + Cat : "intellectual" terms may be flung around like taurine fecal matter to rile up those for whom "cultu-" and "Marxi-" are hot-button noises. They don't need to have much content.

Very true. It's also true that there are people for whom they may appear to have serious content into which to be initiated, and those people can be foot soldiers (particularly network-enabled) in the war to make the terms and the smoke-wreathed theories behind them become common wisdom. It's a war that began in the mid-20th century against the leftward movement of society at the time. How to shoot down the leftwing intellectuals that held front and centre stage in the '50s - '70s? How to halt the slide to socialism? (Cue in the Chicago School of Economics and authoritarian "neo"-liberalism.)

Of course, even well-funded reactionary efforts have not been enough in themselves to bring about the current destruction of the left. For a new wave of economic liberalism to triumph, new rapid communications had to offer cheap Asian labour to world capital. For reactionary political and social ideas to flourish, the same rapid communications we are using here (in our quaint little way) are a formidable vector. And we're not fooling ourselves about who's winning the Internet wars, are we?

And finally, what has the left been doing while capital restructures the world and toxic ideology takes increasing hold (whether on a destabilised and insecure ex-working class, or on wannabe intellectuals)?

TBG above : Instead of enumerating and challenging actual oppressive political relationships you can deconstruct cultural metaphors for power - which is a much less dangerous hobby that's unlikely to bother anyone who matters.

Decades of ineffectual thinking leading straight into the identity trap, the culture wars that the right just loves, because they displace energy and fight away from class analysis and war. (Don't forget what Warren Buffet said).

So, you know, it seems to me it's worth thinking about what's behind "cultural Marxism".

I used to be afew. I'm still not many.

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Mon Apr 22nd, 2019 at 07:11:04 PM EST
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