Despite the collapse of the Soviet Union, Communism itself did not die in the early 1990s. It survived as the ruling ideology in several countries, notably China, North Korea and Cuba, and it morphed into a tool for the undermining of traditional Western and other spiritually-based cultures and institutions. Today it inspires everything from the outright negation of religion to the destruction of traditional families and the burning of cities. This collection of books includes both advocates of cultural Marxism, such as Wilhelm Reich and Herbert Marcuse, and critiques of their theories.
This book looks at the psychological roots of the anti-capitalist mindset that dominates Leftist thinking and increasingly is filtering into educational institutions and mass media in the West and elsewhere around the world.
Reich combines Marxism with Freudianism in his prescription for human liberation, in so doing following the Critical Thought approach of the Frankfurt School. Although Freud, with whom Reich worked for a while, ultimately dismissed Reich’s theories, Reich did provide a theoretical basis for the sexual revolution that would sweep the Western world, especially after WWII, embracing a Marxist view critical of the traditional family as a positive foundation for society.
Herbert Marcuse was a leading figure in the Frankfurt School, which sought to combine Marxism with Freudianism in what they called Critical Theory. As with Wilhelm Reich, Marcuse saw traditional Western society, with its roots in Judaism and Christianity, as the source of unhealthy sexual repression, and capitalism as the primary obstacle to freedom. Critical of both the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany (from which he escaped to the United States), he nevertheless became the ‘Father of the New Left’ which rose in the 1960s, inspiring many of its leading figures, including his student Angela Davis. Critical Theory would reappear in Critical Race Theory, which is currently the basis for the racialization of almost all issues in America today, including in institutional racism theory, intersectional theory, and white privilege theory.
Michel Foucault was a French philosopher and one of the key figures in postmodern thinking, first rising to prominence in the late 1960s. He is currently the most cited scholar in the social sciences and humanities, and many academics consider his insights on power, government, politics, history, sexuality, and the state to be revolutionary. His book Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, published in 1975, is one of his most famous works. The book describes how massive technological advancements in the 17th and 18th centuries made it easier for governments to have power over their people. He analyzed the creation of the modern prison (and the move away from public displays of torture) to describe how these updated practices controlled prisoners and people in other social and economic institutions. Like Nietzsche, Foucault focused extensively on the physical human body and how it could be controlled by the abovementioned practices. The book is one of many examples where Foucault deconstructs modern society, retells history and rejects both absolute truth and reason in favor of a postmodern analysis. Although he rejected the Soviet Union’s brutal practice of Marxism, he adapted Marx’s dialectic to the Critical Theory that is at the core of the Leftist social justice agenda to this day, including Critical Race Theory, White Privilege, intersectionality, gender studies, and the cancel culture.
Dedicated to Lucifer, this book is something of a Bible for Leftist activism in the United States and beyond. The subject of Hilary Clinton’s college thesis, and the inspiration for Barack Obama’s community organizing, Alinsky’s work takes its inspiration from similar roots as Foucault’s: the Marxist dialectic with its prescription for stirring up group resentments against common ‘oppressors’, ultimately justifying violent revolution. Based on his own work in the C.I.O., once a communist-dominated labor union, Alinsky provided practical methods for organizing groups and communities, demonizing ‘enemies’, and using activism to go beyond deconstruction to destruction of traditional societies. His book’s dedication to Lucifer as “the very first radical” says a great deal about his atheistic intentions: “Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins— or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer.”
Kimberle Crenshaw is a leading figure in the Critical Race Theory school of thought, working as a full time professor at UCLA School of Law and Columbia Law School, where she specializes in gender and race studies. With her three fellow editors, she has compiled a basic text on the theory that is currently the basis for many educational programs in academia as well as for sensitivity training of government and corporate employees.
Building on Critical Race Theory, this book finds racism deeply entrenched in American society. However, the anti-racist is in danger of being a racist by attributing negative stereotypes to another race, namely white people. The anti-racist doctrine also castes a shadow over otherwise normal interracial relationships, suggesting that racist tendencies are so deeply embedded in our culture that we are not aware of them and need someone else to point them out. This anti-racist notion is being used to educate people in various sectors of society to be sensitized to their own, formerly unknown, racial biases.
Butler is considered a pioneer in gender studies, a field that has now generally replaced feminism and women’s studies in academia. Gender studies are based on the notion that gender, sex and sexuality are fundamentally the products of social and cultural rather than biological influences. As with other postmodern ideas, this view is counter to accepted science but has had a profound impact on thinking and teaching in academia. This impact has translated into academic and even governmental policies and rules that insist there are numerous genders and that individuals have the right to determine what theirs is, and how others should view and address them.
Cynical Theories explains a half-century arc of intellectual history culminating in our current state of histrionic overreach in the name of social justice. Cynical Theories exposes a history of ideas which, in challenging unifying narratives and universal values, have come to threaten free speech, honest debate, and the valuing of reason itself.... [Pluckrose and Lindsay] argue instead that the crusade marching in the name of critical social justice is often not about social justice at all. It is about a nakedly illiberal set of cynical theories that find their origin in the ideas of postmodern intellectuals dating back to the late 1960s. -- Jonathan Church in Quillette
The New York Times has called Jordan Peterson: “The most influential public intellectual in the Western world right now.” He is an outspoken critic of political correctness and identity politics, known both through his books and videos of lectures he has given around the world. He is largely credited with having popularized the term ‘Cultural Marxism’ as a catchall for current Leftist thinking and activism. His 12 Rules for Life has recently been supplemented by Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life.
Horowitz was a man of the Left before becoming a conservative who has warned of the dangers of Marxist thinking taking over much of academia. This book is a defense of Christianity with the values it imparts to America.
Murray analyses the problems with identity politics / intersectionality, showing how the overreach of radical feminism, gay rights activism, transgenderism and anti-racism have transformed once real issues of concern into movements that seek to punish groups that do not adhere to their radical viewpoints. The ideas and behavior of these groups is not aimed at righting imbalance, but at exacting revenge for perceived inequalities in the past. He points out that much of the theory espoused in defense of these agendas lacks any foundation in science, but that fear of criticism by these groups has cowed many in almost all areas of society to adopt their language and practices.
The agenda of the New Left has translated into political correctness, making its values the accepted norm in much of government, education and media. In this culture of the Left, those who espouse traditional values are criticized and sometimes punished, as if they were violating sacred standards of morality. William points out that the PC culture is in fact a false morality that works to undermine and replace traditional moral values.
This reading of American history has sold 2.5 million copies and is widely used as a textbook in high schools and colleges. Zinn was associated with Communist activities in the post WWII period, and a self-admitted Marxist, although he said he was leaning towards anarchism later in life. His history is a critique of America as an essentially racist country built on the oppression of minorities, contradicting the traditional narrative of America as a refuge for victims of religious persecution in Europe and a country built on a belief that human rights are granted by God and enshrined in its founding documents.
Published in 2020, this is a robust critique of Howard Zinn’s best selling A People's History of the United States, which has sold over 2.5 million copies and is used widely in high schools and colleges around America. Zinn spins a Marxist tale of America as a country discovered and founded by white racists who oppress minorities at home and exploit them abroad. His dark account has inspired countless young people to attack a country they see as evil, destroying property, attacking police and ordinary citizens, and seeking to destroy traditional institutions, from the family to religious organizations, all in the name of social justice.
This history of America is uplifting, hopeful. It is an excellent counter to the gloomy work of Howard Zinn, which sees American history as a long, sad tale of oppressed groups having to fight their oppressors. Land of Hope paints a picture of America in its proper context: a remarkable nation that shook off the established tradition of hereditary rulers, that was built around the idea that government should serve the governed, that the rights of individuals are paramount, and that those rights are not ultimately granted by governments but by a good Creator. These good foundations would result in hundreds of thousands of Americans dying to purge the nation of slavery, and fighting to counter and defeat oppressive regimes abroad, be they socialist, fascist or communist.
This single-volume history of America is a best-seller for good reason. It traces the American story from its inception through independence and the Revolutionary War, through the deep wound of the Civil War, through its incredible economic development afterwards in a period of domestic expansion and dramatic population growth, to its emergence in the 20th Century as a major world power and ultimately the dominant superpower. Based on his extensive knowledge of world history, Johnson understands the American dynamic and why America has been so successful. Written in clear and compelling language, this is a fascinating and encouraging read.