As we enlarge self-evidence the abstraction shrinks, and our understanding penetrates towards the concrete fact. —Alfred North Whitehead, Modes of Thought
Postmodern Marxism’s idea of freedom is a calculated abstraction that gathered theoretical force post the 1960s, albeit, pushed along by the denizens of the Frankfurt School and their long march toward Soviet-driven state messianism.
Curiously, postmodernism’s notion of freedom is not a call for personal liberty. Marx and Lenin concoct many reasons for this. Marxism’s theoretical framework and manual for the practice of violence—theoretical and physical—has an alleged answer for everything under the sun. This is one way that Marxism ingratiates itself with naïve and unsuspecting people.
Marxism’s crafty and politically expedient modus operandi protects it from becoming devoured by its untenable internal contradictions. In practice, this requires adherents of Marxism to be shameless and intellectually dishonest, for what matters most is the end, not the means. This is why censorship, disinformation campaigns and defamation of its perceived enemies play such a pivotal role in Marxism.
Politically savvy people understand that Marxism is rationalized guerilla warfare that attacks the defenseless and retreats. This process is repeated ad nauseam. This is what Marxists mean by perpetual warfare. This is also what “the end justifies the means” signifies. The sinister reality of Marxism’s end justifying the means is no longer in question—not in the second decade of the twenty first century—after over one hundred years of Marxism’s systematically dismantling of Western democracies and institutions. People who are respectful of personal liberties can no longer afford to vacillate about the goal of Marxism. One practical approach to combat Marxism’s the end justifies the means is to understand and expose how pervasive Marxism’s infernal praxis of destruction is in Western democracies and institutions.
Marxism evades its paralyzing logical contradictions by brazenly selling itself as the antidote that can cure man from the alleged disease that is capitalism. One of these contradictions is that Marxism is parasitical of capitalism, for socialism and communism produce nothing. These are predatory totalitarian systems of government that usurp personal ingenuity and work ethic to support centralized government
The public relations branch of Marxism is run by operatives that view all aspects of life through the lens of the totalitarian impulse. Marxism must continually attract envious, resentful and unsuspecting people who do its bidding. Marxism’s quest to obscure human reality is a perennial crusade that never sleeps. Consistency is Marxism’s lifeblood. Marxism can’t afford to become complacent because that would enable a vast majority of people to figure out on their own the time-proven tenets of human life and reality. Marxism’s ceaseless strategizing and permanent warfare are two essential components of its longevity.
Consider how Herbert Marcuse, one of many postmodern Marxist proponents of here-and-now messianic totalitarianism, begins his 1958 diatribe on Marxism, Soviet Marxism: A Critical Analysis. In the first section of the first chapter, entitled “The Original Conception,” Marcuse feels compelled to explain the driving force behind Marxism’s nefarious manner of evading sincere intellectual pathos. Marcuse writes:
The dialectic-historical structure of Marxian theory implies that its concepts change with a change in the basic class relationships at which they aim – however, in such a way that the new content is obtained by unfolding the elements inherent in the original concept, thus preserving the theoretical consistency and even the identity of the concept.*
Marcuse’s alleged critical analysis of Soviet Marxism is instead a form of apologetics for despotism that, he and other Marxists apparently believe, is akin to the invention of the wheel. In a practical sense, it is. According to Marcuse, Marxism’s zeal for destruction cannot afford to cut corners, if it is to effectively corrupt Western democracies, culture and institutions for social-political gain.
Marxists rationalize despotism better than any despots in history. The reality of Marxism’s pervasive social-political-economic and cultural program is more heinous and abominable than most people suspect, for behind the iniquitous and fanatical zeal of Marxist theorists one uncovers profound pathological dysfunction and self-loathing; the death-dealing character flaws of tyrants and executioners. This explains part of the assault against the human person and human reality that Western democracies and institutions are undergoing, circa 2021.
Postmodern Nihilism: The Cradle of Moral and Spiritual Dysfunctionality
Postmodernism is not a continuation of modernity. On the contrary, postmodernism claims to have de-constructed modernity, not to mention history, in exchange for a self-serving concept of human life that is based on philosophical materialism’s secular reductionism.
Postmodernism promotes the notion that there are no grand narratives: transcendence, the sublime; no objective values, no good and evil, and, of course, no God. Perhaps the most dishonest claim that postmodernism makes is that it is anti-ideological. That one is a true head-scratcher.
The driving force behind postmodernism is nihilism. Simply stated, nihilism is the destruction of all values, law, order, objectivity, and tradition. Nihilism promotes violence, terrorism, recklessness and, most importantly, nihilism attacks people who promote traditional values. Nihilistic anti-values are embraced by people that the Spanish philosopher, José Ortega y Gasset, refers to as mass man. From nihil—Latin for nothing—nihilism foments self-loathing in its adherents, for nihilism is a form of radical skepticism. Philosophically speaking, nihilism advocates for nothingness over being and creation. It is nihilism that fuels postmodernity’s defamation of human reality, for nihilism serves as the core of annihilation of traditional values in our time.
Theoretical freedom, the postmodern abstraction that originated in university seminar rooms, eschews personal, natural and constitutional liberty as a threat to Marxism’s collectivist utopia. The hollow notion of theoretical freedom turns liberty on its head to fit in with postmodern Leftism’s defamation of human reality. According to Marxists, to be free has nothing to do with human freedom, as the genuine depository of personal liberty. Marxists assert that genuine freedom is dispensed by the state. This is representative of the altar that Hegel and Marx erected to totalitarian collectivism.
Why does postmodern Marxism find it imperative to defame human reality? From time immemorial, thoughtful persons have uncovered an objective basis to human reality. Common sense shows that in the past people were born, lived, suffered, struggled against often brutal contingencies, yet somehow found life worth living. This is the tough pill that well-adjusted persons throughout human history swallow; the understanding of human reality that is transmitted from generation to generation. One can hardly imagine what infrahuman conditions man experienced in pre-history.
Driven by nihilism, postmodernism has taken common sense out of the equation as one of man’s tools to understand human reality, which makes the human condition more tenable. Marxism takes advantage of this unprecedented moral/spiritual and existential vacuum that nihilism has ushered. How does Marxism benefit from declaring war on human reality? Marxism understands that the most effective way to gain social-political power is to erode people’s ability to make sense of reality by taming the stronghold of subjective emotions and whims.
Leftism takes advantage of postmodernism’s dissolution of traditional values to attain social-political power. Postmodernism attacks the Enlightenment and what it views as the latter’s attendant values, i.e., the coherent architectonic of objective reality that reason attempts to uncover; postmodernism has created an axiological void that Leftism is eager to fill. Marx had a bitter hatred of the hand that fed him—capitalism.
At this point, a qualification is needed. While Marxists are leftists not all leftists partake in the Marxist rubric. George Orwell, Arthur Koestler and Malcolm Muggeridge are a few examples of leftists who came to despise socialism and communism. The Chilean socialist writer, Alfredo Edwards, is another. Edwards wrote about his disenchantment with Cuban communism in his 1970 book, Persona Non Grata. Finding themselves disenchanted by the totalitarian deception of communism, these and many more thinkers eventually acknowledge their naiveté in considering communism an honest attempt at governance. Instead, disenfranchised former socialists discover that communism has no interest in governing, only the appropriation of absolute power and despotic rule.
Marxists, leftists and postmodernists have a seething hatred of Western civilization, orthodox Christian values and objective reality. One thing they share in common is that they are explicitly and implicitly driven by nihilism.
The many guises of postmodern leftism have expanded post the 1960s by appealing to academic opportunists and careerists. While exploiting the pathology of envy and resentment that foment the rejection of human reality, postmodern Marxism converts human reality into the plaything of self-serving relativists and opportunists.
Dystopia—the twentieth century and the first two decades of the twenty first have taught us—is the end game of postmodern Marxism’s dishonest notion of freedom. A dystopia that fractures human reality and balkanizes values into a kaleidoscope of contradictions is easier to manage for people who possess the totalitarian impulse; a pathological quest to turn human liberty into an abstraction.
Leftism’s Re-Education and Castration of Language Campaigns
In Modes of Thought, Alfred North Whitehead, the British mathematician and philosopher, points out some of the significant differences between speech and written language. Speech is spontaneous, he tells us. Speech is the vital lifeblood of practical and existential human communication in day-to-day affairs. Speech is the manner in which human beings communicate their thoughts—practical and mundane.
On the other hand, the written word is the form of language that enables human beings to transmit culture and civilization from generation to generation. Written language is also responsible for the expansion of techniques that build civilization and promote its upkeep. Written language becomes archival; a form of collective memory. Written language establishes fundamental truths about human reality that, once understood and internalized, make it easier for subsequent generations to maneuver through reality. This makes teaching and learning possible. It also makes for cultural and moral/spiritual stability.
Marxism is an anti-philosophy that is not interested in organizing human experience in a coherent manner. Instead, Marxism is a virulent attack on the human person and objective reality; a theoretical vehicle to attain social-political power. Marxism must destroy and re-configure language according to its current social-political program. Marxism has taken notice of postmodern nihilism and, acting in self-interest, takes appropriate measures to consolidate power. One effective way to achieve this is through censorship.
Censorship of speech means that people can never establish a culture of lasting value, given that censorship paralyzes the will out of fear of reprisal. This is the desired effect of postmodern Marxism’s censorship. Even the current usage of “cancel culture” and “woke” are forms of re-naming the word censorship itself.
By censoring the written word, postmodern Marxism sweeps through history with a sickle, slashing away at the beauty of learning, culture and discovery that reading offers healthy people. Gone are the excitement and freedom to become a free spirit, to participate in the esprit de corps of thinkers and writers that have come before us and have traditionally inspired young people.
Censorship creates a regimented and jaded society of double-dealing, double-talking people who realize they are not allowed to express themselves. Censorship of language emboldens totalitarianism by eroding man’s capacity to separate appearance from reality. Societies where Marxist censorship shows its fangs become societies where people privately keep the score.
One does not have to go back very far to showcase leftism’s maniacal, calculated abstractions to realize the extent of its program of re-education in Western democracies and institutions. In the 1980s, multi-culturalism was all the rage. That jingoistic simplicity morphed into globalism, which gave way to diversity and now inclusivity, and so on … Leftism has made peace, pacifism, community and racism its raison d’être, while failing to offer a sincere appraisal and convincing argument for any of its ever-changing, chameleon-like linguistic calisthenics. The more that leftism abuses language for self-serving social-political gains, the more weary and demoralized people become.
Leftism’s vision for postmodern man promotes the vague notion that freedom is not the purview of individuals. Leftists equate freedom with collectivism. Marxist ideological voodoo turns logic and reason on their head. Let us not miss the point that in a postmodern, post rational world reason is the enemy of thought and thought becomes a threat to collectivism.
The gymnastics of Marxism’s dialectical materialism turn A into B and B back into A, on demand. For Marxism, reality and human beings are equally malleable and expendable. While Marxists expect to confuse people about the nature of human reality by repeating the lie that mankind is in a perennial war against itself, this does not work well with astute people. For the former to be effective, indoctrination and re-education must be employed.
Lamentably, the twenty first century is proving to be a haven for collectivism in the form of socialism, communism, globalism and Marxism’s latest foot soldiers, the call of millionaire and billionaire elites for the Great Reset.
Postmodernism, Dialectical Materialism and Violence
Marxism’s endless contradictions, violence perpetrated on human reality and the corruption of reason are the inescapable logical conclusion of the cascading abstractions of dialectical materialism. What does this mean in the real world of men and women of flesh and bones? For one, it means that reason must be eroded so that it cannot expose the destruction of human reality by postmodern nihilism. When the cat’s away the mice …
Leftism’s Marriage to the 1% and the CCP
It wasn’t long ago that Western leftists were clamoring at what they consider to be the wealthiest 1% that run the United States and other Western nations. The heads of banks and other financial institutions were vilified as capitalist monsters, criminals that only look out for themselves.
The difference today is that Marxism’s strong-arm extortion of bankers, financial institutions, multinational corporations and cultural institutions—which Lenin understood was the most effective way to corrupt capitalism and Western institutions from within—is the new standard of leftism’s censorship. Currently, Western institutions are doing leftism’s dirty work.
The aforementioned is evidenced in the marriage of Western Marxists and the Chinese Communist Party. This is hardly a new development, though, for postmodern Marxism promotes the notion that China’s corporate communism is the ideal model for the rest of the world, especially for the benefit of Western Marxists and opportunist elites.
Marxism’s extortion of Western financial institutions has quickly turned Western 1% opportunists into willing proponents of China’s state-mafia corporatism. While the heads of communist countries have always been the 1% —people who have lived in communist countries can attest to that—leftists 1% elites have joined them in what is truly a can’t lose bid for world domination.
Who is left to bring to light the abuses against reason, democracy, and the human person in postmodernity? How many people are up to that task? Certainly not spineless intellectuals or the yellow, leftist run state-media. The Catholic Church? Civic groups that purport to defend collectivism and not individuals? The answer is today—as it has always been—conscientious and courageous individuals.
[*] Marcuse, Herbert, Soviet Marxism: A Critical Analysis. (Vintage Books: New York, 1961),