New Discourses
Politics • Spirituality/Belief • Writing
CRT, Queer Theory, and Marxism by Any Other Name
November 01, 2022
Guest contributors: ConceptualJames
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As a theory of “political economy,” Marxism isn’t at all complicated. At the very bottom, it is the belief that human beings are fundamentally social beings whose true nature shapes and is shaped by their societies. Off this, Marxism boils down to two essential beliefs about people and society. Those are

  1. The Division of Society Through Private Property: Some people illegitimately declared themselves the exclusive possessors of some special kind of private property and order society and its supporting ideological narratives to justify their claim on this property now and into the future; and
  2. A Dynamic Relationship Between “Praxis” and Its “Inversion”: People—especially those with access to structural power—can shape society as a matter of continually becoming what it is and will be (called “praxis”), and in turn structural power in society shapes the people who live within it (called “the inversion of praxis”). Phrased otherwise: Man makes Society makes Man makes Society… in an endless loop of praxis and inversion of praxis.

That’s how Marxism understands society. Basically, certain people create systemic (or structural) injustice by granting themselves exclusive access to a special form of private property and using it to shape society to their own persistent benefit, including by arranging systems and the narratives surrounding them to brainwash people into accepting this unjust state of affairs. This arrangement becomes the fundamental organizing principle of society until such time as it is overthrown from its conscious margins in societal revolution, according to Marxist thought.

That word “conscious” is the key term because Marxists believe that humans are making society and thus themselves no matter what. They’re always doing praxis, and the inversion of praxis is always occurring. Society and mankind are always becoming what they have been, are, and will be, whether we’re conscious of the trajectory of it or not. Marxism bills itself as the first true scientific study of History, which claims to reveal the true causes of the unfolding of society and thus man historically, by which is meant through his entire past, present, and future. Hitherto, one might say, this process has largely happened blindly, by people unconscious of the Scientific Socialism, as Marx called it, but that doesn’t need to stay the case. We can consciously seize the means of production of society and consciously direct it where it’s meant to go.

For Marxists, whoever has control over the capacity to do meaningful praxis in the world can shape society, which in turn shapes mankind. That’s, in fact, what makes us human, except that oppression is inherently dehumanizing, so we’re all estranged from our true nature until all structural dehumanization is brought to an end. Communism, writes Karl Marx, as the “positive transcendence of private property as human self-estrangement” and as “the abolition of private property” is the only possible answer to the end of all dehumanizing structures, by which we remember who we really are as human beings—Communists. The people who would benefit least from this transformation of society have arranged things so that they can’t possibly see it, and the people who would benefit most from it have been conditioned (through narrative, ideology, and the inversion of praxis) to accept those terms as “just how it is” or to be too marginalized, divided, and disenfranchised to do meaningful praxis.

Marxism isn’t just a descriptive theory of political economy, then. The point isn’t merely to understand society, explained Karl Marx, but to change it. As a theory of consciousness—which in this case means gnosis—Marxism is a program with two other essential beliefs about what to do with their beliefs about the organization of society at the level of its fundamental organization. Those are

  1. Historical Purpose (Telos): History has a purpose and a trajectory, and it is people’s role in life to realize this purpose and direct it to its (teleologically) intended endpoint; and
  2. Class Conscientization: People, especially those who directly experience the oppression, estrangement, and alienation of this unjust arrangement in society, can be awakened to it being the fundamental organization of society, which was historically derived and is malleable by understanding and seizing the means of the production of society, i.e., of the inversion of praxis, which is effected not so much by individuals but by the class in which they are situated.

In short, Marxism posits that those excluded from the special form of property are disenfranchised from the capacity to do praxis to shape society to their betterment (and, in fact, emancipation from the structural injustice imposed upon them). The privileged have structured society to reinforce their own worldview and principles from every dimension, so they naturally operate as though they are a conscious class even though they are not. Their imposition of “structural reality” and the ideology that seeks to justify it prevents the oppressed underclass from being able to realize that they could band together as a class to do meaningful praxis and transform the system to one that is more just and equitable.

Speaking religiously, as an aside, what Marx proposed is that the real Fall of Man and ejection from the Garden of Eden was self-imposed by taking up “knowledge” of the ownership of private property. This, in turn, created the division of labor and thus, through the inversion of praxis, the division of Man. Man sundered himself from himself, each other, nature, his true nature in this Fall. Marxism is therefore a “theory” (technically, it’s an anthroposophy or, depending on one’s perspective, a theosophy) for how Man can remember who he really is (a socialist), undo the Fall (the division of labor created by the belief in private property), and return to the Garden on his own terms.

There’s nothing particular about economic material production that defines the essence of Marxism, then. Karl Marx, for reasons we might speculate about, believed that one’s material economic conditions are the overwhelming primary determiner of one’s person and character through the inversion of praxis. In other words, it is one’s material and economic conditions that “make Man” and estrange him from his true social nature, which is Communist. Classical Marxism therefore becomes a matter of teaching the disenfranchised workers, who are marginalized and exploited in the unjust system of capitalism, to realize how things really work, seize the means of economic and material production (like factories and farms), and then use that to control the means of societal and human production, consciously and in line with Marxist anthroposophy about the purposed endpoint of society, which is Global Communism. In other words, there’s no reason that other types of exclusive or private property than capital might not be plugged into this political economy machine and spit out another fully formed Communist theory. This allows Marxist Theory to mutate according to need in whatever society it finds itself in, depending on where the biggest levers of power against that society might reside.

Take race, for example. If one assumes, as did Cheryl I. Harris in 1993, that “whiteness” defines a special form of property that certain people (“whites”) can treat as exclusive, a complete Marxist theory of race can drop out of the political economy machine. They call it “Critical Race Theory,” and, for reasons that are about to be perfectly clear, I call it “Race Marxism.” Here’s how it works, comparing against classical Marxism with a forward slash between the concepts.

Some people (whites/capitalists) unjustly declare themselves the exclusive possessors of a special form of private property (whiteness/capital), thereby divide society into those who have it and those who don’t, and begin to arrange society such that the power granted through that access increases for those people over time. Those excluded from the resource and thus power by this declaration (people of color/workers) are thereby exploited for their productive capacity that is then turned into surplus value (cultural property/profit) for the advantaged class. Not only are the exploited thereby robbed of what they produce (cultural property/labor value), but they are estranged from who they really are (valid representatives of a culture/producers). More specifically, the product of their work (cultural production/labor) is subsumed into the privileged class (becomes part of white culture/is turned into profit), leaving the exploited (people of color/worker) impoverished (culturally/materially) and unable to recognize himself for who he really is (say, authentically Black/a producer). All this is enabled by the privileged class structuring society at its most fundamental levels for their own benefit (structural or systemic racism/structural classism), justified by the privileged class promulgating an ideology that it’s how things are supposed to be (white supremacy/capitalism and meritocracy). People in this dynamic system can be awakened to the structural “realities” of their lives and become (race/class) conscious activists (antiracists/proletarians) who work to seize the means of production (cultural/material) of their society to make it more fair (equitable/socialist). Eventually, this will be generally understood as the right way to order a society and will, through their praxis inverting into the inversion of praxis and thus socially conditioning people to accept it, become spontaneously fair (socially just/communist).

This extends to other forms of property, construed more abstractly as not just material as in capital and land, but also as social, cultural, and even human capital. This allows for the instantaneous creation of the entire constellation of “Identity Marxist” theories of identity politics with virtually no work (which makes it funny how much work it has taken these people to devise this stuff). Again, technically none of these is a theory (they’re all anthroposophies and/or theosophies). Here’s a quick summary:

Marxism: The bourgeoisie claims access to a special form of property called capital. They create an ideology called capitalism (based on things like meritocracy) to justify this. This allows them to structure society with structural classism that advantages the bourgoisie and exploits, estranges, and disenfranchises the working class. People can be made aware of the Marxist theory of societal production and become class-conscious proletarians or a bourgeois vanguard operating in solidarity on their behalf. If they seize the means of production of society and Man, they will usher in socialism that will eventually ripen into Communism through the inversion of praxis.

Critical Race Theory: The whites (and their adjacents) claims access to a special form of property called whiteness. They create an ideology called white supremacy (based on things like meritocracy and racism) to justify this. This allows them to structure society with structural or systemic racism that advantages whites and exploits, estranges, and disenfranchises people of color. People can be made aware of the Critical Race theory of societal production and become race-conscious antiracists and/or “white allies” operating in solidarity on their behalf. If they seize the means of race-cultural production of society and Man, they will usher in racial equity that will eventually ripen into racial justice (a kind of social justice) through the inversion of praxis.

(Marxian) Feminism: Men claim access to a special form of property called maleness or masculinity. They create an ideology called male supremacy or hegemonic masculinity (based on things like meritocracy and sexism) to justify this. This allows them to structure society with patriarchy and structural or systemic sexism, enforced by misogyny, that advantages men and exploits, estranges, and disenfranchises women, as a class. People can be made aware of the (Marxian) feminist theory of societal production and become feminist-conscious feminists and/or “male allies” operating in solidarity on their behalf. If they seize the means of sex-cultural and material production of society and Man, they will usher in gender equity that will eventually ripen into feminist justice (a kind of social justice) through the inversion of praxis.

Queer Theory: Straight people whose “gender identity” and sex match (and those who pass as such) claim access to a special form of property called normalcy (by declaring themselves the normal ones and defining normalcy to mean like themselves). They create an ideology called normativity (e.g., heteronormativity and cisnormativity) to justify this. This allows them to structure society with structural or systemic homophobia and/or transphobia (or, generally, queer-phobia) that advantages the “normal” and exploits, estranges, and disenfranchises “queers” (anyone different, especially gays, lesbians, bisexuals, the gender non-conforming, transgenders, and the mentally ill). People can be made aware of the Queer Theory theory of societal production and become queer-conscious (“proud”) allies operating in solidarity on their behalf. If they seize the means of normative cultural production of society and Man, they will usher in gender, sexual, and sex equity that will eventually ripen into gender, sexual, and sex justice (a kind of social justice) through the inversion of praxis.

Disability Studies: The able-bodied claim access to a special form of property called “ability.” They create an ideology described from the outside as dis/ableism (based on a belief that it is generally better to be fully able-bodied than not, and further based in ideas like “medicalism”) to justify this. This allows them to structure society with structural or systemic dis/ableism that advantages able-bodied and exploits, estranges, disenfranchises, and disables the disabled or “differently abled.” People can be made aware of the Disability Studies theory of societal production and become disability activists conscious allies operating in solidarity on their behalf. If they seize the means of ability-relevant cultural and material production of society and Man, they will usher in ability-based equity that will eventually ripen into ability-based justice (a kind of social justice) through the inversion of praxis.

Fat Studies: The “thin” (those who are not “fat”) claim access to a special form of property called “normal weight” or even “health.” They create an ideology described from the outside as thinnormativity (based on a belief that it is generally better to be at a healthy weight than not, and further based in ideas like “healthism” and “medicalism”) to justify this. This allows them to structure society with structural or systemic fatphobia that advantages “thin” people and exploits, estranges, and disenfranchises the “fat” (they cannot be called “obese” because that “medicalizes” them or “overweight” because that “unjustly” implies a normal or acceptable weight). People can be made aware of the Fat Studies theory of societal production and become fat activists fat-conscious allies (or fat) operating in solidarity on their behalf. If they seize the means of weight/health-relevant cultural and material production of society and Man, they will usher in fat-based equity that will eventually ripen into fat-based justice (a kind of social justice) through the inversion of praxis.

It’s extremely important to understand Marxism on this general level so that what we’re dealing with around us in the world can be properly understood, called out for what it is, and prevented from achieving its ultimately destructive goal of seizing the means of production of anything, especially Man and History. Understanding these “theories” for what they really are not only allows us to call them out accurately and understand why they must be stopped, but it also allows us to be strategic in our fight against them because it enables us to easily predict their next moves and to delegitimize their manipulations as quickly as they arise. Failure to understand them this way means continually being taken off-guard, losing, and being manipulated, or—more accurately and through the inversion of their praxis—being exploited, estranged, and disenfranchised from our own societies.

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Intersectionality Is American Maoism

It isn’t possible to discuss Intersectionality without starting with Kimberlé Crenshaw, who named it. Like with most Woke Marxist ideas, though, Intersectionality is recycled and repackaged, more than once. Crenshaw is therefore the wrong person to discuss to talk about the issue, but she’s a starting place.

Intersectionality was first described by this cumbersome term in a paper by Crenshaw in 1989, wherein she likened the idea of occupying more than one “position” of sociocultural systemic oppression to being caught in an intersection of highways. Crenshaw argued that if you are, say, a black woman, occupying at least two such positions of “relational” systemic oppression, then you might be hit by racism (a car coming down one road) or sexism (a car coming down the other road) without even being able to be sure which one got you. She also noted, though her colleague Patricia Hill Collins did it much more thoroughly, that to be a black woman is also to face prejudice and discrimination (so, systemic oppression) of a unique sort specific only to that intersected identity. That is, there are certain stereotypes of black women specifically, not because they are black or because they are women more generally, that could also be a source of their systemic oppression. By adding in the confusion of source, that means to occupy two systemically oppressed positions in society is to endure something like four times the capacity for oppression—creating something of a quadratic law of multiplying oppression across the Intersectional Matrix of Domination, as it is sometimes called.

The purpose of Intersectionality as a doctrine is therefore to link the various forms of systemic oppression together into a kind of meta-system of domination. It is to insist that all forms of systemic oppression are interlinked, though not the same. Technically, Intersectionality, then, is the dialectical synthesis of the various forms of systemic oppression described by Critical Identity Politics (Identity Marxism) into one overarching concept of how systemic oppression manifests and operates in society.

Like all Marxist Theories, Intersectionality isn’t merely a self-reflexive doctrine. It is also a practice, and Crenshaw was explicit about this point on many occasions. “Intersectionality is a practice,” she has often said. Ok, fine. It’s a religion. We almost all know that at this point, but what is it a practice of? What does it do? Two things: it aims to raise an Intersectional Critical Consciousness, and it does activism consistent with that consciousness to achieve the outward manifestation of its goals, equity. Intersectionality, specifically, is a way to yoke together the various forms of Critical Identity Marxism attendant to this view and this aim into a single meta-system.

Critical Consciousness is nothing more than understanding the world the way Intersectionalists do: society is actually organized by largely deterministic intersecting systems of oppression that have to be denounced in the hopes something better will emerge from the denunciation and ensuing power grab by the Intersectionalists, who, as right-thinkers, will make sure the right decisions are made and equity is achieved. Equity, on the other hand, is a little more specific. It is an administered sociopolitical economy in which shares are adjusted so that citizens are made equal. In other words, equity is socialism rebranded and broadened to include less-visible types of social and cultural, if not human, capital. Intersectionality is a cult religion that “awakens” (hence, Woke) people to this view of the man world and the attendant duties of consciousness.

As it turns out, this model of reality is not just wrong, it’s pernicious and divisive. Humans are at bottom individuals, not representatives of “intersecting” sociopolitical classes. Crenshaw’s Intersectionality rejects this vigorously. In her famous 1991 paper on the subject, “Mapping the Margins,” Crenshaw delineates that there’s a fundamental difference between the statements “I am Black” (capitalization in the original) and “I am a person who happens to be black.” The second of these, she says, puts the personhood of the individual first, rather than their class identification, which she says isn’t possible because identity-based power dynamics are imposed upon people (one can fill in that they are imposed by a racial bourgeoisie, of course). So, personhood, to Crenshaw, is inferior to racial class identity because she has bought the cultish Critical Race Theory (Race Marxism) worldview that race is the fundamental organizing principle of society, as above. Instead, “I am Black” becomes, in her words, a form of self-identifying with “a positive discourse of resistance,” which is inherently divisive (literally oppositional), class-collectivist, and intolerant, and which only makes sense by adopting her cultish mindset about race in Western (particularly American) societies. You may have noticed that it is simply not possible to disagree with Intersectional analysis because to do so, at its heart, requires questioning the stories those involved tell themselves about their identities—who they are and what it means to be human, both in general and in this world.

So that’s Intersectionality: a means of yoking together divisive identity politics (Identity Marxism) to achieve some kind of social, cultural, and political transformation directed by the cultists who think this way. It is a program to bind Marxian identity politics together to bring society to heel under the discipline of a new standard called “equity,” which it sees as a measure of and precursor to “Social Justice.”

But as I said, Intersectionality is not original to Crenshaw. Not only were various Queer Theorists using the phrasing of the “intersection of sex, gender, and sexuality” in the decade preceding her discovery, it emerged directly out of the Black Feminism school of thought in which Crenshaw participated. The idea of yoking together the various Identity Marxist approaches to identity politics—and the first recorded use of that specific term (“identity politics”)—comes from the Combahee River Collective and its manifesto (“Statement”) from 1977, published twelve years in advance of Crenshaw’s first paper on the subject. The Combahee River Collective was a group of radical socialist Black Feminists who were dedicated to transforming the feminist movement, black nationalism and black liberationism movements, and American society to their way of thinking.

The Combahee River Collective was the first group of Identity Marxists to flatly state that all forms of oppression are interlinked and operate the way that Intersectionality describes. They were also unabashed in their calls for transforming American society through the movements they were attacking for the broader cause of socialism. Crenshaw, as a Black Feminist in radical circles herself, was certainly aware of the Collective and, in fact, cites one of its participants, Angela Davis, in “Mapping the Margins” on something near to the central point. Again, though, we cannot say that the Combahee River Collective created Intersectionality because, like all Marxist ideas, it’s just a repackaging and repurposing of older ideas that eventually drag back to the Gnostic social sorcery of Rousseau, Hegel, and Marx, predominantly (three dead white, European men, one might add).

The radicals in the Combahee River Collective, including Angela Davis very directly, were themselves students of Herbert Marcuse, the most influential Critical Marxist thinker of the 20th century. Marcuse noted in all of his major works in the 1960s and 1970s that the American and Western working class would not be a suitable base for a socialist revolution because, to put it bluntly in his own words, “advanced capitalism” “delivers the goods.” The working class isn’t just made complacent and “one-dimensional” in this way but also conservative and even counter-revolutionary. Marcuse’s solution is to seek out a new “working class,” a new proletarian class that has the “vital needs” for revolution. He suggested identity politicking: the racial minorities, feminists, outsiders, and so on. Identity Marxism, including the radicalism of the Combahee River Collective and the “Intersectionality” of Kim Crenshaw, gets its start with Marcuse’s radical suggestion to abandon class identity for other types of identity.

Yet again, Marcuse was borrowing these ideas from another source—and I promise not to run this all the way back to Rousseau, Hegel, or even Marx. Marcuse was inspired by a Communist who had a decidedly different tack than Josef Stalin, whom Marcuse had come to distrust deeply. This character, who had been in turn deeply distrusted by Stalin, was running a grand Cultural Revolution in China at the time; Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution. Marcuse, like many of the Western Marxists of the 1960s (cf. Paulo Freire), greatly admired what Mao was doing so much more successfully than either the disaster of Stalin or the flailing of his Soviet successor, Nikita Khrushchev. In the riots of 1968 and 1969, largely inspired by Marcuse, the people chanted the three M’s for a reason: “Marx, Mao, Marcuse! Marx, Mao, Marcuse!” The source for what we call Intersectionality today is largely attributable to Mao Zedong. It is Cultural Maoism.

Thanks to our vigorously redwashed education system in the West, few Americans or Canadians today know how Mao did what he did. Though there are lots of technical elements involved, including a swift and total takeover of all education from 1950–1952, he primarily achieved his aims through identity politics in which several different types of identity categories were bound together into a systematic program of (youth) radicalization and power acquisition—just like today.

Mao, following the Soviets, defined “the people” and its “enemies.” Among “the people” were the socialists and Communists, but also the peasants and laborers whose image the CCP used while failing to do much for them (and visiting untold calamity upon them over and over again). Also among “the people” were those Mao and the CCP considered able to be “reformed,” though they had a great deal of “struggle” ahead of them so that their thought could be reformed to Chinese socialism. The “enemies” of “the people” were myriad, including former Guomingdang officials and sympathizers, landlords, “rich” farmers (“kulaks”), and the unreformable—counterrevolutionaries, bad influences, and rightists. Mao advocated ruthless treatment and taught open, vicious hate of the “enemies” of the people but always held out the opportunity (often through brutal struggle, brainwashing, and labor) to become one of “the people” by adopting “socialist discipline” under his system of “democratic centralism” that would administer an economy that redistributed shares so that “the people” were made equal.

More specifically, Mao originally created ten identities for people: five “black” (bad) and five “red” (good, Communist). People and their children, grandchildren, and further descendants were classified and handled according to this system. The idea was primarily to pressure youth given black identities to want to renounce and destroy the “Four Olds” of society and become Maoist revolutionaries. A variety of identity campaigns, involving both carrots and sticks, were employed in the process. Denounce your old way of life and thinking publicly and repeatedly, undergo criticism, self-criticism, and struggle, denounce your father and family if they had the wrong kind of identity, pledge loyalty to Mao, help his revolutionary cadres and forces—those kinds of things could get you a ticket out of a “black” identity into a “red” one.

The goal Mao had was to enact the formula he claims he created in 1942, though it is probably a Soviet import. That program he called “unity – criticism – unity.” Create the desire for unity (just like Biden’s Democrats). When people desire to have unity, show them how they are failing to live up to the standard unity demands through criticism. Get them to self-criticize. Put them through humiliating struggle. Teach them that they’re racist and must become anti-racist and would except they lack racial humility and exhibit white fragility because they covet their own white privilege and the benefits it provides, for example. Exact confessions and apologies and promises to “do better.” Always hold out radical identities as a possible escape from some or all of the pressure, which never quite goes away (white and queer is still white—do better). Only when they die to their old selves and are reborn on the side of the oppressed (in Freire’s language, anyway) can they adopt unity “on a new basis,” which Mao called “socialist discipline.”

Today, of course, under Intersectionality, the program is the same. Straight, white, male, cis, blah, blah, blah: black identities. Ally, radical activist, change agent, queer, and all that: red identities. The goal isn’t “unity”; it’s “inclusion” and “belonging.” Those sound nicer. The program is the same. Create a desire to belong; initiate a period of struggle, criticism, and self-criticism as a cult initiation and hazing ritual; and achieve unity under a new “inclusive” standard.

What this achieved, especially thanks to his thorough and early capture of the schools, turning them into revolutionary universities and high schools, was the creation of an extremely radical youth culture that didn’t know any other standard some sixteen years after Mao first claimed power. These were called the Red Guard, and they were selected only from the ranks of the red identities. They had praise heaped upon them; they were celebrated and affirmed; and they were largely above the law in their rampant and destructive radicalism. They ransacked homes and temples, destroyed statues and art from the old culture, bullied, humiliated, and tortured wrongthinkers, sometimes to death, all with the blessing of Mao’s police. From 1966 to 1968, they ran a red terror through every corner of China, and Mao rode the terror to increasingly consolidated and unquestionable power.

In 1967, the Red Guard did what Mao had most hoped they would do. They captured, struggled, humiliated, and exiled his primary political enemy, Liu Shaoqi, who had replaced Mao when he stepped down from the head of the Party following the catastrophe of the Great Leap Forward, which killed over 55 million people. With its primary functions achieved, Mao declared the Red Guard was turning too far Left and too radical, and he started having the People’s Liberation Army put them down. By late 1968, the Red Guard movement had been suppressed, with many of its participants killed by the government they had supported into power and most of the rest sent to the peasant countryside to be reeducated through farm labor in primitive conditions. The Woke “change agents” of today should take note of this fate because they are the “Red” (Rainbow) Guard of the Western Cultural Revolution.

So that’s what Intersectionality is. Intersectionality is a meta-system to yoke together all the various identity categories and create a functional pressure pump from “bad” identities to radicalized “good” ones. That is, Intersectionality is Maoism. Put another way, Intersectionality is a system for achieving what Mao referred to as “the correct handling of contradictions among the people.” See, the feminist movement is too white and needs Critical Race Theory—a contradiction among the people that must be handled. The black liberation movement was too patriarchal and needed feminism—a contradiction among the people that needed to be handled. Feminism is too trans-exclusionary and needs to be physically beaten by men in dresses and humiliated through campaigns to erase womanhood and motherhood completely—a contradiction among the people. Enemies of the people, say, “good whites,” need to be suppressed, struggled, and criticized until they “do better” or get “cancelled” from professional society—a contradiction among the people that needs to be handled.

A Note to Young Woke People

I think you’ll find what I have to say to you mostly incomprehensible, but you need to hear it.

This is what you are participating in, whether you know it or not. This is what your schools and universities and influencers are miseducating you—brainwashing you—into. Western Maoism. Maoism with American characteristics. And this is what you need to know about where it goes. The whole philosophy is based upon the formulations of GWF Hegel’s vision for how to move History to its intended “End” (the right side of history), and what Hegel said about you is this: “History uses people and then discards them.”

As a  movement, Woke believes itself to be the movement of History. History is using you to move itself. It will discard you. You know how everything in Woke philosophy is “temporal,” “spacial,” and “contingent”? So are you. You are a contingency for the Woke movement. You have your time—until you don’t. When you become useless or a hindrance to the movement of History, you will be discarded. Every Marxist and Hegelian movement in history has proceeded this way, and this one will not be different. I wish you luck with that.

What you need to understand about the people you’ve been trained to see as your “enemies,” or “transphobes,” “racists,” “fascists,” “homophobes,” or whatever else is that most of the people you think are those things are not those things at all. You have been trained to hate, allegedly in the name of “stopping hate.” These people are, by and large, trying to warn you, not trying to uphold “oppression.”

What you need to know about the people in the movement you’re supporting, including your friends in the movement, is that you’re less than disposable to them. Contingent barely covers it. The Woke movement pretends to care about you—or, worse, “people who look like you”—but it does not. It is using you so its sociopathic fringe can gain power over society, using you as cannon fodder for their unconventional political warfare apparatus. Instead of living your life, growing, learning, preparing a future, you’re doing activism, for them. And they will discard you. Will. You are worse than disposable once they get power: you’re a problem.

You are being trained by this movement to be a destabilizer. That’s what all that “disrupt and dismantle” stuff is about. Their intention is to establish a perfectly stable system with them (not most of you) on top of it, and people trained and brainwashed to be destabilizers are a problem in such a system. Mao said that himself too. He said that the handling of the people is different in the different phases of the revolution. First you encourage and support destabilizers, and then you crack down on them so that there’s total stability under the new standard. You are an asset today and will be a liability tomorrow. You will be discarded, coldly and possibly violently.

Make no mistake. This fate has awaited the “change agents” of every red revolution in history. Communist defectors have been trying to tell you for decades, longer than most of you have been alive. It will not be different in anything except method this time. If you, as Wokes, “win,” you surely lose—all but the most sociopathic and sycophantic of you, in which case you hollow yourselves out, sell your souls (if you have one left by then), and become a true monster of history.

If you don’t believe me, let me ask you: do you see any identity politics in China today? Is China Woke? Will it go Woke? No! They already did that, and that phase of their revolution is over. It is viciously suppressed there, and they laugh at you here in the West and call you baizuo, white left. They know what you are and how misinformed and misguided you are. Their operatives attempt to stoke these fires and use you because you are strategically useful to their anti-American aims, which you foolishly might share. In China, however, they’re openly encouraging patriarchy and masculinity. They’re racially ruthless. They stamp out homosexuality. Why? They did Intersectionality already, got what they wanted out of it, and discarded it (and its change agents) in favor of power. That’s your future. Look at the screen, scan your face, and smile for the government, and don’t dare signal in any way that you think anything you shouldn’t be thinking.

You have been falsely convinced that you’re the protagonists in a vast morality play called “the arc of History” and that you’re “bending it toward justice.” You’re “on the right side of History,” and that feels good—right up until the boot comes crashing down on your face. Then you’ll realize it. You are bending the arc of history, of course, if we can even indulge such a metaphor, and you’re bending it straight into a twenty-first-century gulag, whatever those will look like in our increasingly Black Mirror society. You will be “thought reformed,” or you will be discarded.

Do you want to be its guard, Agent Smith? Would you like to be its administrator? Is it worth the sale of your soul? Some of you might aspire to such a demonic station in your lives, but most of you don’t. You’ll be subjected to it instead, even as a student at an elite university.

This corruption of you and your future is happening in place of your education, which is simultaneously being degraded in every meaningful sense of the word. You’re not getting the education you could be or perhaps aren’t getting a real education at all. You’re not learning to be informed, independent adults who can answer questions about reality and navigate it successfully. You’re being taught you have to defer to some kind of expert to answer a question like “what is a woman?”

Meanwhile, you’re getting degrees that are increasingly being seen as liabilities, not assets, in the working world outside of the most corrupt megacorporate sector that is our new Western Soviet—a council of “stakeholders” that knows “the Science of Right Human Relations” and the keys to “Sustainable Development.” Employers are increasingly suspecting you’re probably Woke, radically Leftist, entitled, unlikely to work hard, likely to create a hostile working environment, underskilled, and likely to sue if fired even on perfectly solid grounds. You’re a liability to them, and many of them are only still hiring you because they have to to keep their place in the corrupt corporate scoring schemes that control the way business is now done in the West. If that gives way, who are you? If it succeeds and you participate in it, what are you?

Make no mistake, if this system loses, you lose because your university tried to make you “change agents” and “global citizens” instead of educated adults. If this system wins, you lose because you know too much and are too big a problem. Your only option will be to sell your soul to it, and how much is that worth to you?

Think I’m kidding? Mao said, “not to have correct political opinions is like not having a soul.” Think about that and what this is costing you, whether you participate or cower against it. Doesn’t that ring true? That’s what you’re sacrificing.

So, why you? Because you happen to be the age you are at the worst time in Western history to be the age you are, and because many of you come from wealth and status and other resources the System covets and requires to succeed (they’re not really against “privilege,” they just want to redistribute and repurpose it). They need those resources. They need your enthusiasm and zeal. They need your impressionable minds. They need the future citizens and the future leaders, but History uses people and then discards them. They don’t need you for long, and they only need you for specific purposes, then you will be corrected or discarded, unless you choose to come off worse by selling out.

My message to you about intersectionality is simple. You need to know what you’re really involved in, stop participating, deprogram yourself and your friends, and start fighting for the blessings of Liberty that allowed you to have the privilege to think this way in the first place. You can and might lose it—the first generation in American history to face the loss of liberty, and you’re enslaving yourselves. “Liberation” movements are lies. Mao called his army—the same one he dispatched to destroy your counterparts in the Red Guard—the People’s Liberation Army for a reason. You need to fight for Liberty. Your chains are forged by frauds and locked only in your heads.

The oldest recorded cautionary tale in human history, the story of the Serpent and Eve in the third chapter of Genesis, warns you about liberation, whether you are religious or not. Liberation is a destructive lie. You are the future. Your choices matter. Choose better.

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The Workings of the Woke Cult

Recently, I published an essay describing the structure of cults, particularly the Woke Marxist cult. I explained that cults have an internal structure in three types of layers: an “Outer School” of low-information initiates, an “Inner School” of informed adepts, and then one or more “Inner Circles” of disciples, leaders, and directors. At the end of that essay, I promised to elaborate on the workings of these various levels in greater detail, to which I am now turning.

Before elaborating, to make an important note, the internal structure of cults can be quite formal or quite informal and vague. In Wokeness, the structure of the cult is extremely vague because it is not a formal cult. In fact, it’s almost wholly decentralized, which leads it to be described as a “mind virus” at least as often as a cult. Thanks to the influence of Paulo Freire and the development of Critical Pedagogy in education from his work, Woke can be taught merely as an attitude of dissatisfaction and disposition toward finding oppressive systems everywhere and denouncing them (and the people who “support” them). Anyone can learn that without learning almost anything, and then suddenly there’s “racism” in literally everything. In Woke, there’s not necessarily any particular first initiation rite one must pass through like with various fraternities, for example, and the distinctions between what function like “levels,” especially in the middle part of the cult structure, is almost entirely ambiguous, even though it can be discerned. Do not let this fact distract you from the general discussion.

This isn’t to be confused with the delivery mechanism of the cult doctrine, which can also be quite formal or informal. In Woke, unlike with secretive fraternal orders, it is both at once. There are formal trainings like people suffer at work or school, educational programs at every level (pre-K, primary, secondary, and college), and various seminars and programs people can sign up for or be made to sign up for, say as “professional development.” There’s also entertainment, social media, interaction between family, friends, and associates, and just everyday culture, all of which are quite informal in their delivery of Woke themes, theory, and practice.

Most of the cult consists of followers who are emotionally, socially, psychologically, and/or morally committed to the idea of the cult and the “communities” it fosters without actually knowing much cult doctrine, if any. This group is the Outer School. The goal of the cult is to make the uninitiated want to join the Outer School and then to increase interest, commitment, and a sense of identity among those who have been initiated. The Outer School carries most of the water for the cult, especially in terms of resources (including human capital). Its commitment is usually social, moral, or hopeful (to grow in the fruits of the doctrine), and the deeper layers of the cult have the objective not only to direct the Outer School members but also to strengthen those commitments. They are, in some sense, like the children of the cult, whether literally children or legally minors or not.

To bring this “thought reform” into the cult doctrine, which Mao Zedong referred to as “remoulding” and his CCP prisons called “brainwashing,” members of the Outer School are subjected to a period of alternating affirmation, acceptance, criticism, and struggle. As Mao explains it, first, there must be the “desire for unity” (with the cult). Ironically, this begins with a period of alienation: being made to feel as though you don’t fit in with the social group around you or the current of society as it progresses in some new direction. Wanting to fit in is a powerful motivator, and when that feeling of alienation is strong enough, acceptance and affirmation will flood a person with desperately wanted good feelings and the illusions of friendships and social bonds. Acceptance and affirmation are commonly used to create the initial social and moral commitment, along with interest, in the earliest phases of initiation.

This alternating cycle of alienation and affirmation is then continued with increasing intensity once inside the cult structure in the “criticism” phases, which are meant not only to criticize you for failing to live up to the cult expectations but also to teach you to reflect upon yourself and criticize yourself in the same way. Woke praxis has been described as a “lifelong commitment to an ongoing process” that includes “self-reflection,” “self-critique,” and “social activism.” What this does is creates, exploits, and channels a shame and guilt spiral into aims the cult finds productive. As explained by Robert Jay Lifton in Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism, the impact of this abuse on the psyche is profound.

Not only did making these accusations increase their feelings of guilt and shame, it put them in the position of subverting the structures of their own lives. They were, in effect, being made to renounce the people, the organizations, and the standards of behavior which had formed the matrix of their previous existence. They were being forced to betray—not so much their friends and colleagues, as a vital core of themselves. (pp. 68–69)

In destroying your own vital core, the cult supplies you with a false one. The process of cult induction from initiation forward drags its victims through this pattern again and again so that it can destroy the individual and turn him into a cultist.

But it is only after commitment is achieved—through social isolation, moral reorientation, exhortation, and extortion, psychological manipulation, etc.—that the “desire for unity” will be transitioned into criticism and struggle. Mao’s full transformative formula, which he openly bragged about, was “unity – criticism – unity.” Once the desire for unity (with the cult) is established, criticism begins. Initiation is over and how the process of cult deepening starts on suitable members. As indicated, this is done by repeatedly subjecting initiates to hazing-type circumstances in which they are criticized for the flaws in their comprehension of the cult doctrine, shortcomings past and present, outside relationships, etc., and in which they are called to account for them, repent of them, or otherwise strongly increase the moral, emotional, social, and psychological commitment (and dependency upon) the cult. The message is simple: “we would have unity, the exact unity you claim to desire, but you’re too problematic and need to do better.”

We see this kind of initiation taking place in Wokeness, for example, in workplace, institutional, and school “DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion),” “unconscious bias,” “sustainability,” and other training sessions, which are often a mandatory job requirement. These introduce the doctrine and force people to take place in a pathetically bureaucratic initiation rite that often includes struggle sessions, confessions, evocative presentations, and more. Criticism about “structural racism” or “unconscious homophobia” or any other number of thought-crimes is usually a part of the affair, and reflection, confession, and pledges to “do better” are often present, if not required, of participants.

“Unity” takes on a number of names, not just literally unity. It might be “social justice,” “racial justice” or “an end to hate.” It might be “environmental sustainability” or “climate justice.” It might be “equity” or a “sustainable and inclusive future.” It might be “liberation” or “socialism,” but in all cases you are the problem because you aren’t doing better enough. You aren’t doing the work, so unity is impossible—because of you. You and also them, the outsiders who haven’t been converted yet, and the enemies who refuse to and must be demonized for their refusal. But you have to leverage your desire for unity to engage in that “lifelong commitment to an ongoing process” of “self-reflection, self-critique, and social activism” as the remedy for this shameful personal failure. This is how it works.

Obviously, these cult dynamics aren’t something someone would just take. They have to be leveraged socially. It has to matter to who you are and who you are to your peers or you would never tolerate any of it. In analyzing the way this phenomenon played out in practice in CCP thought-reform prisons in the 1950s in China, Robert Jay Lifton indicated that the social milieu brings upon the person a tremendous psychological and social pressure while offering only a few ways to resolve the tension. The pressure not only to confess to crimes only visible from “the people’s standpoint” (the cult view) but more specifically to want to confess as a means of resolving the psychosocial pressures put upon you are emphasized. The treatments as such are often sold as “help.”

In the Woke cult, this desire for unity into criticism pathway applied to members of the Outer School may also be completely informal, apparently socially organic and spontaneous, with friends and family members “calling out” their less-Woke associates. It doesn’t have to take place in a captive-audience DEI session at work or school. The process and phenomenon are the same, even when diffuse and undirected. In this case, an initiated person rather than an adept (e.g., paid consultant or corporate political officer) facilitates the same pathway: first, make them desire unity (or peace, or getting along), and, second, make that only be possible by renormalizing to the cult view about racism, transphobia, or some other vector of Woke manipulation. There can be no unity with a “racist,” and you can’t stop being “racist” until you want to be “antiracist” and start the “ongoing process” of “self-reflection” and “self-critique” that will ultimately transform you. Shame and humiliation are key tools in this process. The people doing this do not have to know virtually any Woke Marxist ideology or even that there is such a thing, but they’re following its moral strictures nonetheless because those can be learned without reading a single page of “the work.”

That implies someone knows the Theory and is somehow channeling it into people. It’s true, and it happens in a variety of ways. It’s diffused into society through entertainment, mass media, and public displays. Adepts are behind this. It’s taught in schools, explicitly and implicitly, by Inner School adepts posing as teachers and other teachers who are sometimes Outer School initiates and sometimes are just forced to go along with the programming, conscious of the problems with it or not. From there it bubbles up into society as thought-reformed young people interact, create, and put pressure on each other, parents, relatives, and other members of society. It’s also forced upon people in workplace training sessions led by Inner School adepts that function effectively like prisons, though with a lower adoption rate than through other means. Every bit of this infection of society is informed by the Inner School adepts and socially enforced by the initiates who have already been taken in on it.

Learning the Theory yourself and becoming an Inner School adept in the cult is something mostly done by people already committed to it through the above processes. The first grip the cult has on people is moral and social. That proceeds through the above alienation, criticism, affirmation cycles into the psychological domain through vitiating the essential core of initiates’ identities and replacing that core with the cult moral and linguistic frameworks. If you feel like a cultist and talk like a cultist, you’ll start to identify as a cultist. Only after the commitment is made personal through this process will studying the doctrine be likely to stick, outside of rare cases in which people “find a voice” for things they already feel in the literature. Primarily, moral commitment is followed by social commitment is followed by psychological commitment and is then sealed through study, which teaches the skill of cult apologetics to close off any avenue to doubt. Theory becomes a set of elaborate, complicated rationalizations for why the cultist should stay a cultist despite literally everything in the world saying otherwise.

As both Lifton and Mao make clear in their various materials, progression from the Outer School to the Inner School is a matter of “study.” It’s also one of action, namely “praxis,” which is a fancy word that means putting the cult doctrine into practice and shaping your life’s activities around it. So, after enough criticism and struggle, you will want to start “doing the work,” which is your initiation rite into the Inner School of the Woke cult. You’ll study the theorists and maybe their antecedents, especially the pop-theorists, read lots of their books, watch their videos, and deepen your understanding of the issues from the cult perspective. Or, maybe you’ll learn about these things in schools or your college classroom. When you become conversant in the basic theoretical worldview—that is, the roots of the cult doctrine—you have graduated from the Outer School into the Inner School. The axis here, in the vague realm of the decentralized Woke cult, is one of being student, scholar, activist, and/or organizer.

Some people think because the Outer School of the (Woke) cult carries almost all of its water and only the Inner School members really know anything about the theory, and only the “scholars” and “organizers” among those actually know the antecedent theory, that the theory itself isn’t that relevant to the cult. This is wrong. The theory is the cult doctrine. The Inner School members, who are adepts, largely end up directing and facilitating the criticism, struggle, affirmation, and acceptance cycles mentioned above. These not only solidify and consolidate those in the Outer School but keep their ideas and activities in line with the doctrine.

Most of your life as an adept in the Inner School is devoted to study of theory and application of praxis, according to your understanding, but you’re still subject to the criticism and struggle cycle as you grow in cult doctrine. Again, not only does this keep you on the “right” path according to the cult, it also continues to deepen your psychological, social, and moral commitment to the cult. It also serves as a useful lesson for others, especially initiates, who might waver. The purpose of “study” is to develop an intellectual commitment on top of those other commitments to the cult doctrine, which will also enable you to reframe and rationalize away contradictory information, ideas, and evidence, or to subsume it skillfully into cult doctrine.

Only the most committed and loyal members of the cult’s Inner School have any chance of progressing into the outer circuit of the Inner Circle; that is, to become disciples. Disciples are very few in number relatively speaking because they will actually start to learn the real purposes of the cult and its “mysteries.” Only the most committed, most interested, and most useful members will ever have a chance to learn these mysteries, but they will primarily be selected for their loyalty, ability to keep secrets, and willingness to provide guarantees of those traits. There very well may be an initiation rite that might also involve generating blackmail on you so that you remain a safe keeper of those secrets, purposes, and mysteries even if you come to waver later.

While the Inner School advances most of the cult’s theory and activism, the Inner Circle actually advances and directs the cult’s activity, usually for their own glorification, benefit, enrichment, and power. They’re the directors and producers of the cult’s Truman Show. They use the Inner School members and exploit the Outer School initiates to achieve their aims. Mao explains this clearly when discussing intellectuals and businessmen in 1950s China, who by a few years into his CCP-run regime in China were almost all committed to the idea of socialism (initiates, Outer School) but that only a few were becoming Communists (adepts, Inner School), though more would follow through diligent and right study. Party members (disciples, outer Inner Circle) will be chosen from among those in various domains, and some will become Party officials (leaders, inner Inner Circle) depending on their skill, utility, commitment, and loyalty, perhaps inter alia.

With regard to Woke, most Woke people are Outer Circle. They’ve morally accepted the idea of a “just and equitable” or “sustainable” society, but they don’t know they’re practicing Neo-Communism. The longer they are in, as their commitment rises, the more study they will begin to do. These will become students, scholars, activists, organizers, and consultants; they’ll recruit “co-conspirators” in institutions like schools from among higher-level Outer Circle initiates and create pressures that sway, manipulate, and lead the Outer Circle to follow the cult doctrine and increase commitment and understanding of it. The leadership is more vague, and, as with many cults, may not be veridically Woke themselves. They are operatives working in the large organizations that fund and promote Woke initiatives, which they can use to their advantage whether they agree with the ideas and premises or not. Entities like the World Economic Forum and United Nations, for two examples, push these initiatives vigorously, as do many others, often will billions of dollars behind them.

Understanding that Woke is a cult and is structured like a cult—with its closest parallels in Maoist Communism—is crucial to understanding it and formulating our responses to it. It’s very difficult to make sense of the behavior of our captured friends and family without realizing how they have been captured and how they’re being kept. It’s challenging to tie what seems to be (and is, in a very real way) highly esoteric Theory to people we all know haven’t read a word of it and couldn’t name almost any of the relevant Theorists. It’s not clear how this thing gets the kind of funding and strategic coordination that it gets from a bunch of people who don’t quite seem to be the type for that kind of high-level executive activity. It’s confusing why people who get pulled into this way of thinking about the world can very quickly let it color and contour their interpretations of everything they experience in the world, which is a feature of ideological totalism. All of this becomes clear, however, when we understand that it is a cult and how cults are structured.

Woke is a cult. Being woke means having “critical consciousness,” which means your understanding of the world has been reorganized through Critical Theory. Critical Theory, which is shorthand for Critical Marxist Theory, is the doctrine of this cult. Doing something about it begins with rightly understanding these facts, and doing something about it is absolutely necessary.

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