Postmodern philosophy may have eschewed metanarrative in favor of an epistemic skepticism focused on textual and cultural critiques, but Marx’s influence permeates postmodern culture’s obsession with social marginalization, especially as it operates at the level of the subconscious, even though the focus on false consciousness has been inverted—postmodernists claim that discourse makes power invisible to the powerful, rather than to the powerless. That’s the fundamental claim. Few would dispute the prevalence of left-wing sentiment in Hollywood, the mainstream media and other prominent institutions that have exercised progressive “cultural hegemony” since at least the nineties. While there is no doubt hatred, misunderstanding, and disparagement between groups, it has been mollified by public sentiment. Essays written by him in the 1960s had the greatest and most long-lasting impact. “It means they think if ‘I were in Stalin’s position I would have ushered in the damn utopia instead of the genocidal massacres, because I understand the doctrine of Marxism and everything about me is good’.”. On Petersons ‘Postmodern Neo-Marxism’ Proclaimed as “the most influential public intellectual in the western world” by economist Tyler Coen. The work of Don Lavoie will help disabuse you of this idea, Robin Cox. The second was a great increase of educational opportunity for rural and working-class white Americans. In the 1920’s, 1930’s, and 1940’s, even into the 1950’s, immigrant or small-town parents and their college-educated children could still engage in angry arguments over evolution, Bible criticism, dating or marrying boys or girls of the “wrong” ethnicity or religion, or “worldly” habits and practices like smoking, drinking, dancing, lipstick, jazz (or rock’n’roll) music, or Sabbath-breaking. The rise of Rush Limbaugh and the Gingrich Revolution of 1994 afford perhaps the first transparent glimpses of what Matt McManus, following Peter Lawler, calls “postmodern conservatism”—not as a form of resistance against a neoliberal zeitgeist gone awry, but against a “war of position,” which has been waged since the sixties and which gained momentum when the west no longer had victory in the Cold War as a unifying objective. My understanding is that the term "postmodern neo-Marxism" is a term used by Jordan Peterson as a catch-all for the ills of the contemporary cultural left, including stuff like using gender-neutral pronouns and the movie Frozen. Thank you. The negative side of this progress, is it has turned into a witch hunt under the sociological framework of intersectionality. And yet so quick after the event to claim “that wasn’t real XXX-ism” and that it would have gone fine “if only…”. It just seems much less realistically possible now than it seemed in the 1950’s and 1960’s for young Americans to aspire to a high-status career where it was fairly safe to ignore, question, or deride the “square” virtues and prejudices–and manage to “get away with it.” Peterson’s books, lectures, and videos are so popular these days because they inspire young people to adjust to permanent life in “Middle America”–and to like it! At the same time, “Americanization” was an analogous central theme for immigrant writers. The old bourgeois liberalism – while it retained its predominance – lost its dynamism and coherence with the onset of the crises of the late 1960s and early 1970s. The “working-class world,” they felt, “might not have become a subject for major Hollywood films” if its “discovery” had not coincided with that decade’s middle-class “masculinity crisis.” On “the home front,” Ehrenreich and Biskind noted “the inexorable spread of battlefield stretching from the kitchen, through the den, to the bedroom.” On the “job front,” at the same time, the 1970’s “economic downturn,” the fading of America’s postwar 1945-1973 boom, was “limiting middle-class opportunities.” Thus, careers “offering relative autonomy from corporate domination,” as in “academia, many of the service professions, the public sector,” now declined in comparison to “careers requiring direct subordination to corporate priorities.” As a result, “[t]he young man who might, in the sixties, have studied history or philosophy now swallowed his curiosity and took up accounting.” Sociologists in the 1950’s had commiserated” the “man in the gray flannel suit,” the “middle-class male swallowed up by the corporate behemoth.” In the 1970’s, however, “their sons were glad to find a white-collar job at all.” They “chase[d] after their lost autonomy, away from work or home, on the edges of highways, in Adidas sneakers,” in a dig at the vogue of jogging and running as upper-bourgeois status signifiers. Is empiricism the only way to view the world? His conclusion is that both channels of this river lead to the same bloody place in the end. Read some history and economic theory, please. Shoutouts: Comrade Alphabot, ZH, ZW, DV, JO, TPM, and people just like you DISCLAIMER: The text on this website is algorithmically generated, for purposes of satire. «What “communism”»? Sometimes motives of the person are much more prosaic than we think. McManus is not. You very well may come to the understanding that post modernism and Marxism have more in common than sophists and apologists are prepared to acknowledge. Schools Don’t Have to Adopt Critical Education Theory to be Inclusive or Just. Helen, ditch McManus. That is, their goal was to use culture and ideology as a proxy by which they could effect the revolutions of the various underclasses. There was no communism in the Soviet Union , or China or all the other pseudo-communist states/ This is still one of the best books on the subject and its downloadable https://libcom.org/library/state-capitalism-wages-system-under-new-management-adam-buick-john-crump. May be, the main reason McManus attacks Dr. Peterson is because regardless of you agree or disagree with Peterson, but Peterson makes you think; he is interesting to people. noted a steady post-1970 shrinkage of “cultural elite” career opportunities for college-educated young men in a 1980 *Socialist Review* paper with film historian Peter Biskind. So yes, I don’t think he fully understands it but he isn’t far wrong. Since *The Gulag Archipelago*, *The Black Book of Communism*, *Last Exit to Utopia*, *Heaven on Earth*, etc. After World War II and the revelations about Stalin's crimes, academic Marxists began migrating from traditional, economic Marxism to a culture-based version, even dropping the Marxist name. That may well be partly true, but I also suspect that there is a structural economic reason as well. Marxism and postmodernism are more or less incompatible. This may be the video you’re thinking of. She first. Are these people happy or are they living in a conformist tyranny? I have explored the Marxist influence on social justice activism elsewhere. The new “call-out culture” makes the college experience far less comfortable than it used to be! For a very long time, language was viewed as the articulation of thought. If you enjoy our articles, be a part of our growth and help us produce more writing for you: https://letter.wiki/JonathanChurch/conversations, A Blood Alcohol Guessing Game and a False Accusation of Racism, The University and the Social Justice Movement: A French Perspective. No, Helen, give us more McManus. Secure, high-status jobs in academic or public-service fields are hardly open these days to anybody who just bothers to get some credentials and show up, as it seemed in the 1960’s. Racism, sexism, and a metaphysical or spiritual search for meaning in an alienating, bewildering secular society might indeed explain part of his appeal–but they may be trumped or reinforced by a more practical, down-to-earth, essentially economic motive. Fascism/Communism are not much different, much less polar opposites. Once, campus liberals and radicals appealed to young people rebelling against parental, religious, or community prejudices they felt to be irrational and I would agree, having heard from a number of post-modernists arguing the subtle distinctions between Marxist and post-modern thought, that Peterson generally ignores them. When they put a bullet in your brain for thinking the wrong things, or for being the wrong person, you don’t care what color pants they wear. Here is Michel Foucault explaining why the proletariat engage in class warfare: Instead, they frequently insist that Peterson misleads us in identifying postmodern neo-Marxism as the scapegoat behind reactionary right-wing political movements. In the 1950’s, when Riesman and Glazer wrote their article, American society was approaching the culmination of two processes that had dominated it in the first half of the 20th century. Are people shackled by their gender roles? In such a community, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels argued that it is more progressive, and people are more determined to boost their welfare. One concise way to explain Jordan Peterson’s popularity might be that it reflects a decline of David Riesman and Nathan Glazer’s mid-20th century “eager strivers for cosmopolitanism and culture,” their term for the college-educated children from upward-mobile working or lower-middle class homes questioning what they had come to consider their families’ less “hip,” “sophisticated” or “enlightened” assumptions. Wonderful. One was economic, and the other was cultural. “Postmodern Neo-Marxism” One of Peterson’s frequent bêtes noires is “postmodern neo-Marxism.” In a 2018 interview with Big Think, Peterson laid out … Dwelling on the nuances of the difference could end up being nothing but a distraction. :=) :=). These “eager strivers” constituted a major portion of mid and late 20th century America’s college students and graduates (though of course by no means all of them). Brevity is apparently the soul of wit, and since I have plenty of viewers on this piece, but less start to finish readers I will attempt to be brief. It does not represent our views, either. Foucault and whether postmodernism is neo-Marxist November 7, 2020 November 7, 2020 Stephen Hicks 1 Comment Michel Foucault, Noam Chomsky. Karl Marx was more honest – he admitted this «arch». If interracial marriage or dating was still rather “edgy” a half-century ago, it was nevertheless still more common and more acceptable in academia, publishing, “highbrow journalism, and the arts than in most other sectors of mid 20th century American society–while inter-ethnic and inter-religious dating and marriage between young men and women of different “white” groups were quite commonplace and “no big deal”–very few if any eyebrows were censoriously raised in academia, publishing, or “quality” journalism by an Irish boy falling head-over-heels over a Jewish girl, or a Jewish boy marrying a “shiksa,” or a WASP girl dating a Polish or Italian boy. Men make more money than women, it must be the result of prejudice and bias. It just plain FEELS far less realistically possible these days than it maybe did 40 or 50 years ago, I think, for a plumber’s, electrician’s, or truck driver’s son (or daughter) to rise someday to become Chairperson of the Yale or Harvard English department or associate editor of “Harper’s” or “The Atlantic”! Peterson’s diatribes against “postmodern neo-Marxism” may obscure the subtle differences between Marxism and postmodern philosophy, but he is not wrong in tracing a long historical arc from Marxist agitation to the postmodern epistemic skepticism that galvanizes Social Justice activism in particular, and progressive activism in general. The first was the assimilation of millions of European immigrants into mainstream American society. All this, however, was foreclosed for millions of young Americans by the post-1970 economic downturn–and has continued to remain increasingly foreclosed ever since! Prejudice and bias went from a factor in our society, to THE factor in our society. Civilisational Guilt and the Paradox of Tolerance, Defund the Police: A Bad Slogan and a Bad Policy, We Need a more Context Sensitive Understanding of Identity, Myth and Mayhem: A Leftist Critique of Jordan Peterson | KoolKill, https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/pamphlet/marxism-revisited/, https://theotherclub.org/2017/12/the-right-hand-knows-full-well-what-the-left-hand-is-doing.html, https://libcom.org/library/state-capitalism-wages-system-under-new-management-adam-buick-john-crump, https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/pamphlet/from-capitalism-to-socialism-how-we-live-and-how-we-could-live/, Combating Psychology’s Replication Crisis, Dostoevsky’s Critique of the Modern World. Ehrenreich and Biskind first noted the shrinking post-1960’s career opportunities for educated young men in their 1980 *Socialist Review* discussion of “Machismo and Hollywood’s Working Class,” analyzing the 1970’s popularity of films like *Saturday Night Fever*, *Rocky*, *Rocky II*, and *Bloodbrothers* with blue-collar protagonists. “White” people make more money, and enjoy better lives, it must be the result of prejudice and bias. And I don’t believe he even attempts to do so. oppressive. In other words, it’s far harder these days for such kids to become “eager strivers” and young recruits to “upper Bohemia” than it was half a century ago! It seems fitting to quote Dr. Peterson on “what they mean when they say that wasn’t real Marxism”: “neo Marxism” is a meaningless noise, which is where Corey Mohler slips in a mickey. From the 1960s to the modern era, we’ve had successive revolutions in American society. Postmodern Neo-Marxism is real, stop pretending it isn’t. In their 1955 article “The Intellectuals and the Discontented Classes” analyzing the social bases of Senator Joseph McCarthy’s popular appeal, sociologists Riesman and Glazer noted that many of post-World War II America’s “newly prosperous” rejected the “traditional cultural and educational leadership of the enlightened upper and upper-middle classes.” However, Riesman and Glazer continued, those same “newly prosperous” had also “sent their children to college as one way of maintaining the family’s social and occupational mobility.” Some of those children had become “eager strivers for cosmopolitanism and culture, rejecting the values now held by the discontented classes,” while many others however had rather “acquired…and helped their families learn, a half-educated resentment for the traditional intellectual values” of “some of their teachers and schoolmates.”. May 20, 1984, p. 36 ff.]. “Postmodernism” is a big tent, containing a pretty big pile of dumb ideas, a pretty big pile of good ideas, and an enormous pile of ideas no thinking human cares about even slightly. So logically, anyone critical of intersectionality, or its misapplication, are not genuinely concerned onlookers worried that we have created a racist and sexist framework in which intelligence, ethic, and work, are treated as non factors, but merely subconsciously bigoted opponents who are attempting to hold on to their sociological station. Don’t denounce Matt, just refute him. I wish I could find the video (but alas it’s 4pm on Friday, nearly drinks time) in which Peterson himself admits he knows neo-Marxism and postmodermism is quite different beasts, opposed to each other in many ways, and he elaborates that he can’t exactly explain what these are in the usual short interviews. In social science, cultural theory, politics and philosophy postmodernism’s enemy number one is Marxism. A college-educated young American is nowadays lucky to find any white-collar employment at all, when since the 1970’s and 1980’s so many PhD’s have found themselves obliged to earn their living as taxi drivers, waiters/waitresses, bartenders, or carpenters. I’ve posted this repeatedly in the comment section on this site, and, to be frank, the Left simply do not want to admit McManus is a partisan hack. Input your search keywords and press Enter. Why dont people call a spade a spade. That will be a fun place. Thus, as Ms. Ehrenreich observed, the “young man who might, in the sixties, have studied history or philosophy now swallowed his curiosity and took up accounting.” While 1950’s sociologists had lamented the bland conformity of the “man in the gray flannel suit,” the “middle-class male swallowed up by the corporate behemoth,” in the 1970’s “their sons were glad to find a white-collar job at all.” Countless “formerly middle-class, educated youth” now “drifted downward to become taxi drivers, waiters or carpenters.” Other college-educated young Americans “crowded into the most vocationally promising areas” like “medicine, law, management,” but soon “those too became hazardously overpopulated” as well. We should also add another important observation, I think, to my March 1st discussion of Jordan Peterson’s popularity as a reflection of the decline of David Riesman and Nathan Glazer’s 1950’s “eager strivers for cosmopolitanism and culture.” I did summarize the economic and occupational shifts already described by Barbara Ehrenreich in the early 1980’s that since the 1970’s have made liberal-arts majors and academic or “cultural elite” careers increasingly seem unrealistic and unattainable for college-age Americans from non-elite family backgrounds. I suspect that the economic changes in American society in recent decades (the 2008 crash being only the most dramatic illustration), the increasingly crushing burden of student debt, etc., have made college-age young Americans increasingly skeptical and pessimistic in our time about their realistic chances of ever leaving the struggling lower-middle or middle-middle class and entering the ranks of the so-called “cultural elites,” “effete snobs,” “limousine liberals,” or “Brie and Chablis set” who have traditionally felt free to safely be a bit cavalier or skeptical about the so-called “square” virtues extolled by Peterson, to be a bit irreverent about them and still safely “get away with it,” as seemed much easier and much more realistically possible in, say, the 1950’s, 1960’s, and 1970’s! Quit posting this drivel from the Socialist Party’s PR department. I think he is a bit wrong — that is, I agree with your criticisms of him — but in the spirit of genuine intellectual thrust and parry, I think he’s in good faith and his challenges should be met cordially and in that spirit of genuine intellect. Jordan Peterson prefers the term "postmodern neo-Marxism" and condemns it as dangerous – for which he is targeted in the media and accused of … Social justice movements like Black Lives Matter and #MeToo owe something of an unspoken debt to Marx through their unapologetic targeting of the “eternal truths” of our age. “Postmodern neo-Marxism,” on the other hand, is a conspiracy theory holding that an international cabal of Marxist academics, realizing that traditional Marxism is unlikely to triumph any time soon, is out to destroy Western civilization by undermining its cultural values with “cultural” taken out of the name so it doesn’t sound quite so similar to the literal Nazi conspiracy theory of “cultural … Just like atheism, it is not a codified belief, but rather an uncodified lack of belief. All this, as I’ve been arguing, has had a particularly dampening effect on the sort of young men–only I’d also add young women here as well–whom Riesman and Glazer back in 1955 described as the “eager strivers for cosmopolitanism and culture,” and ESPECIALLY so on those coming from less privileged families–and I’m NOT thinking here of so-called “white privilege”! One of the core progressive criticisms of Jordan Peterson is that Peterson is wrong to claim that the rise of reactionary political forces is a manifestation of cultural resistance to the deep and pervasive threat of cultural Marxism (or postmodern neo-Marxism). Let us start a revolution to create a fraternity of man. Shouldn’t women be allowed to define themselves outside the household? 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