The Golden Staircase
Haven't you noticed how Cultural Marxists ask the same questions over and over again, but NEVER LISTEN to the answers anyone provides? Marxists are rather like an old-fashioned tabletop radio designed for home entertainment --- they broadcast, but never receive.
I've had more satisfactory dialogues with telephone poles, park benches, flagstone patios, brick walls, beach blankets and empty bird's nests than I've had with Cultural Marxists.
Whether they acknowledge it or not --- or even if they honestly doesn't know it --- Cultural Marxists are by definition superb practitioners of Cultural Marxism's Critical Theory.
What that means is to be ALWAYS on the attack, and NEVER to give your opponent credit for ANYTHING, even if your opponent has managed with expert volunteer assistance and lovingly donated materials to build a wide, exquisitely beautiful Golden Stairway that ends right at the foot of Jehovah's Awful Throne.
The Cultural Marxist will first call your achievement "A Stairway to Nowhere," then tell you that Jehovah doesn't exist. Then he'll say the superstructure of your stairway may be unsound, therefore unsafe, and not in compliance with environmental and safety regulations. He will then demand to know whether the stairway was built by union workers who were properly protected by the strictest adherence to the regulations set forth by OSHA, and were at least 50% of those doing the heavy lifting women? If not, the Cultural Marxist will demand an "impartial" building Inspector, employed, of course, by the government, to go over your stairway at taxpayer's expense in the earnest hope that it will be condemned and have to be "deconstructed" ( i.e. torn down).
Failing that, the Cultural Marxist will then tell you that "golden" is non-specific-therefore-potentially-deceptive term. He'll demand that you prove by chemical analysis [run and strictly supervised by a team of "experts" in a taxpayer-funded government laboratory, of course] whether it is made of either 14K, 18K or 24K gold. If the gold has been alloyed with any other metal to increase its strength and durability, the Cultural Marxist will tell the public that you LIED, because your "gold" isn't REALLY "gold" at ALL but merely an ALLOY.
If Jehovah, Himself, descends the stair to tell the Cultural Marxist how wrong he is on every count, the Cultural Marxist will simply thumb his nose at Jehovah, call Him an illusory mythological social construct designed to provide crowd control in ancient, outmoded societies guided by fear and superstition.
When Jehovah grabs the cultural Marxist by the scruff of his neck, and casts him straight into Hell, the Cultural Marxist will continue loudly to protest the injustice of his having been subjected "without due process" to an unreal, but nonetheless painful and humiliating fate.
Hell, of course, is the place where one is forced to listen to Cultural Marxists carp, cavil, complain, castigate, counsel, and condemn without ceasing.
Not the first time I've read you on these issues, but I still don't know precisely what you mean byReplyDelete
1) cultural marxism
2) critical theory
The fault may be mine, but in my defense I've never seen you define these terms without shrouding them with so much negativity that the basic definition is obscured.
Here are my unsatisfying guesses:
Is "cultural marxism" the non-military wing of revolutionary communism that is fought through cultural infiltration?
Is anyone who is inclined to find the flaws in a theory or argument practicing "critical theory?"
Many Marxists today shy away from the label "Marxist." But the practice of Marxism is the same, no matter what the label.ReplyDelete
Marxism or some form of it pervades most of the thinking of the second half of the 20th Century.
Why not go with the Wiki definitions, jez, lest you blow to much smoke into the room to cloud the argument?ReplyDelete
OOOps . Bad link for CT above.ReplyDelete
Rebelling against the O.T. god is a glorious act of freedom.ReplyDelete
Well said, FT. A most excellent parable, and so very true.ReplyDelete
FJ: the wikipedia entry for critical theory only make my question more relevant. eg. "The term has two different meanings with different origins and histories: one originating in sociology and the other in literary criticism. This has led to the very literal use of 'critical theory' as an umbrella term to describe any theory founded upon critique."ReplyDelete
What does FreeThinke mean by it? Is he in danger of conflating the distinct meanings we know the term can carry? Impossible to tell currently.
I've physically moved my eyes over the wikipedia entry on cultural marxism, but it didn't help. Is it just me? Is this a clearly written page? Does it explain how it is possible to be critical of any traditional artifact without lapsing into Marxism? -- that's the missing piece of the puzzle for me. Without that, it's just paranoid aversion to any criticism however valid it may be.
Your apparent failure to deduce my meaning of the term from the context of what I've written astonishes me.
What could possibly be clearer?
I've never denied your intelligence, and recognize you have knowledge and expertise in areas -- primarily Science and Mathematics -- where I do not, but your capacity to appreciate figurative language and draw inferences and understand how parallels from parables, fables, allegory, folklore, mythology, fairy tales, poetry and substantive fiction may apply to "real life" seems to be a bit lacking.
Frankly your repeatedly asking me what I mean, as you have been wont to do, when the meaning is abundantly clear to most from context, is, itself, an example of Critical Theory at work, though you are probably unaware of it, so conditioned must you have you been by background, upbringing and education as to have absorbed this by osmosis, and think it, therefore, perfectly natural.
Wearing down the opposition by pretending not to understand, but repeatedly asking for definitions and explanations already given, and by refusal to accept or recognize any sense or merit in ideas and arguments presented by the opposition is the quintessence of Critical Theory. It has nothing to do with legitimate literary criticism. It is simply a technique used in the attempt to harass, bully, shame, humiliate, discredit, and if possible destroy opposition by a ruthlessly determined application of intellectual brute force.
Briefly: "Cultural Marxism" is a term used to describe a methodology devised by The Frankfurt School inspired by the bitter, angry, virulently divisive anti-Christian, anti-Middle Class, anti-Capitalist denunciatory writings of the Italian Antonio Gramsci.
Marxist intellectuals in Europe -- most of them disaffected atheist Jews, it must be said, -- realized that the kind of Marxism that led to the brutal Bolshevism that destroyed Czarist Russia was unappealing to Europeans, so they set about devising ways to make it seductive primarily to youth.
By encouraging ouright rejection of and active rebellion against cherished customs, traditional forms of authority vested in Church, School, and the Home through increasingly outrageous, belligerent, aggressive, anti-social behaviors and by giving the green light to rampant sexual libertinism, experiments with sexual perversion, "recreational" drug use and a sort of mindless embrace of anything and everything bound to insult, appall, distress and weaken the grip parents, teachers and the clergy had had for centuries, Cultural Marxism has made tremendous inroads in the past one-hundred years, and has been so successful that you, apparently, have no clue that the direction of your existence has been subsumed within its grotesque, sadly illegitimate purview.
That you are apt to define and dismiss this observation as mere "paranoia" on my part is proof of how hideously successful the insidious advance of Cultural Marxism has been. So successful you seem completely unaware of its hulking presence.
I think it was C.S. Lewis who said:
"The Devil's greatest accomplishment to date has been to convince the world that he doesn't exist."
Germans can be VERY stubborn, I know first hand. German economists/philosophers and their advocates can be REALLY, REALLY, VERY stubborn.ReplyDelete
"What could possibly be clearer?"ReplyDelete
I'd hoped for something shorter, more focused, and without editorial.
"your capacity to appreciate figurative language"
It isn't. However, I assume you don't mean to apply terms such as "critical theory" figuratively, so I'd like to know exactly what you mean by it. Thank you for telling me.
"It is simply a technique used in the attempt to harass, bully, shame, humiliate, discredit, and if possible destroy opposition by a ruthlessly determined application of intellectual brute force."
OK. Balance that thought with my observation that proving each other wrong is evidently productive. I can agree with you if the above is restricted to cheap debating tactics such as ad hom. Polemics, including the partisanship you have recently defended, is grubby, brutish and low -- an expression of our savage instinct to power. Robust argument on the other hand is humanity at its pinnacle.
Jez, with all due respect you provide a near-perfect example of a superb, practitioner of Critical Theory in action.ReplyDelete
I'm so glad you showed up to illustrate my point so tellingly.
PS: I left a detailed message for you two days ago in the comments regarding The Fisherman and His Wife. - FT
Proving each other wrong is inherently UNPRODUCTIVE so long as both sides fail to bridge the "cynical" gap that separates them.ReplyDelete
The Left have always adopted the "cynical" school of ancient philsophy as "their own". Only recently have they begun to apply their own preferred "critical" methodologies upon themselves.ReplyDelete
Okay, so here goes an oversimplification of what you wrote, FT.ReplyDelete
Basically we're not allowed to criticize anything ever.
We're not allowed to call each other out when we know the other person is being completely inconsistent, and we're not allowed to question culture. Ever.
We're never allowed to hilight the differences and similarities between cultures, and we're never allowed to talk about their downsides.
This seems odd to me, because you and many other conservatives spend SO MUCH TIME taking an intellectual dump allover other cutlures. But it seems like any time someone critiques American culture, it's as if we've committed some sort of grave blasphemy for which we can never be forgiven.
What's funny is that from what I've read, critical theory doesn't have to devolve into a penis measuring contest where we're all trying to prove each other wrong. I think that mentality only arises from the pride and arrogance of the persons involved in the discussion.
If every human would buy into the idea that perhaps your respective culture ISN'T inherently the pinnacle of civilization, perhaps then we could have real, productive conversations about how to move human culture and civilization forward.
If you all think this is as good as it gets, if you think that this is the pinnacle of human civilization, then Dr. Pangloss and I will just tend to our garden.
"Jez, with all due respect you provide a near-perfect example of a superb, practitioner of Critical Theory in action."ReplyDelete
Interesting. I consider myself eminently reasonable. Do you disagree? That's a genuine question -- it occurs to me that your objection to critical theory might not be its reasonableness, or lack of.
Critical theory isn't about "questioning" what is. If it were, it wouldn't seek to Unquestioningly CHANGE society. It's advocating FOR "change" for change's sake alone.ReplyDelete
If you all think this is as good as it gets, if you think that this is the pinnacle of human civilization, then Dr. Pangloss and I will just tend to our garden.....ReplyDelete
but why do you have to tax MY garden to subsidize your own? That's what I object to.
"but why do you have to tax MY garden to subsidize your own?"ReplyDelete
Because you and he have some garden in common.
Honestly, these absolutist arguments are pretty boring. OBVIOUSLY you accept the need for some taxation to cover some services. The real question is how much.
Jack, most of the time you sound personally outraged, indignant, affronted, irked, annoyed, infuriated, and approach discussion as though you, personally, -- or something or someone you love very much -- had been unfairly attacked.ReplyDelete
That may not be true, but that is the way it sounds to me.
Frankly, instead of digesting the substance of other's words, you reflexively go into combat mode. The result is that you waste a lot of energy wrestling with phantoms, boxing with strawmen, and tilting at windmills.
It's all right with me of you want to come over here and vent your spleen, but I'm honestly concerned at the effect your habitual reactions must be having on your emotional and social life.
Where does all this anger come from? It certainly could not have been generated by today's little parable.
The very idea that you assume someone is trying to dictate to you in a situation like this indicates a need to investigate your own motives.
Because you and he have some garden in common.ReplyDelete
And THAT "common" Constitutionally ONLY consists of facilitating Inter-garden commerce and Garden Defense.... NOT research for YOUR future commercial crops of hybrid corn and soybeans and a water subsidy for your illegal Poppy Crop.
I read your blog often, but comment seldom. This is mostly because I don’t have much to say about your point of view. I sense that you don’t really care about my point of view —or the views of others. It leaves me scratching my head. If you demean others for wanting to pursue dialog, what is the point of encouraging comments? This is not the behavior of a gracious host.ReplyDelete
Well then, Mr. Sinclair, if you don't feel like commenting, and the items posted annoy you, you are welcome to stay away.ReplyDelete
We are not interested in winning any popularity contests, nor are interested in using the blog as a substitute for a social life.
Neither are we here to be a target for gratuitous personal criticism, badgering or other forms of verbal abuse.
In our short existence we've posted a wide variety of items some political, some cultural, some serious, some meant to be entertaining, some intentionally comical. All have had a point. If people don't get the point, don't agree with it, or choose to ignore it, that's their affair.
We are what we are, and no one has to love us or agree with us.
If you find anything here to be interesting or enlightening or amusing, naturally we're delighted. If you find it puzzling, feel free to ask questions which we will be glad to try to answer.
More than that we cannot promise.
Please continue to read if it interests you, but we'd appreciate it if you'd refrain making gratuitous personal remarks in future.
The video you linked about the Socratic Method being used to evoke embarrassment, elicit shame and virtually force and interlocutor into an admission that he is wrong looks interesting, but very frankly my poor old eyes cannot keep up with the text, and I find the background music very distracting.
How I wish the words had been spoken aloud instead of flashed with lightning rapidity before my eyes!
At any rate, my own feeling about "dialogue" is that it too often becomes -- or even starts out -- combative instead of inquisitive.
Mr.Sinclair's post is a good example. He didn't ask me any questions. He didn't express any curiosity or understanding about the material posted. Instead he made a rather petulant accusation.
I've known Jack Camwell for a year now, and realize he's intense, intelligent, but fundamentally angry. For one so young he does an awful lot of grousing, and seems to feel that all remarks within earshot or eyeshot are made with the intention of making him feel attacked, outraged, or whatever.
Like all of us, Jack hates to be criticized, and doesn't accept it well. In fact I've never known him to accept it at all.
It's difficult to deal amicably with an attitude like that.
I'm old enough to be his grandfather for heaven's sake! -- not that that means I am intellectually superior, but long experience ought to count for something. Apparently few-if-any are ever interested in benefitting from someone else's knowledge, insight or experience, however.
It's too bad. The advance of Civilization no doubt has been retarded, each generation's need to discover the wheel all over again -- metaphorically speaking, of course.
Oh well! Who was that fellow who said life is tragedy to him who feels, but a comedy to him who thinks?
Walpole! Horace Walpole, That's who it was.
Know anything about Horace, Thersites? I think he's an eighteenth-century English literary figure who had a brother who was also very clever with the language, but that's about all I know of him.
I don't always understand you perfectly well, I'm sure, but I'm always glad to see you even so.
By the way, thank you, Kurt, for the stamp of approval. Coming from you it means a great deal.ReplyDelete
'Critical theory isn't about "questioning" what is. If it were, it wouldn't seek to unquestioningly CHANGE society. It's advocating FOR "change" for change's sake alone.'
That's close to what I have in mind when I cite the term, but instead of change for the sake of change alone, if we are to believe The Frankfurt School, it's more about constant, relentless, insistent, aggressive DEMAND for change so as to weaken and destroy the specifically the Capitalist-Protestant-Christian-Bourgeois Establishment by causing it with incessant harassment to lose faith in itself, tire and let the "reigns of power" drop from exhausted hands into those of the tormentors.
Now Jez is certainly no tormentor, but he admits to seeing probable merit in these agitators and troublemakers' point of view.
I see some, myself, believe it or not, because a smug, complacent Philistine Establishment is much in need of periodic shaking up in order to remain viable.
I emphatically do not sympathize with the desire of activists, agitators, Marxists, "reds," social-reform insurgents -- whatever you want to call them -- ambition to annihilate the Establishment.
that's right I'm a moderately radical Old Tory. ;-)
Never read Walpole. Sorry. Perhaps I should... but good authors are so few and far between... especially in the modern era.ReplyDelete
I'm very much afraid I responded to you with too much acerbity. Please try to forgive me.
Instead of showing I was bit stung by your mildly rebarbative criticism, what I should have done was to ask you if you felt unwilling or uninterested in posting comments, because you mostly agree with the point of view expressed here, or because you disagree with it -- or because you believe I might be apt to come down on you like a ton of bricks?
I always have a point in mind and continue to hope others will see it, and comment accordingly without any prompting from me.
Instead, what I get most often are largely irrelevant, tangential, often personal remarks that seem unaware of what i was trying to say.
I don't mean to imply that I crave agreement. That's not the problem. What I do long for, however, is a measure on understanding of what I'm driving at.
Understanding -- even with reasoned disagreement is, apparently, The Pearl of Great Price in the blogosphere.
Most interlocutors seem to have a positive genius for NOT getting the point, and instead choose to air grievances of a general sort often totally unrelated to the topic.
It is rather trying. So, please try to forgive me, if i seem testy at times. I don't mean to be unkind.
There are too many days when I feel too much like Alice in Wonderland.
You always have great graphics. How do you find them?ReplyDelete
I like reading your stuff. Its really interesting.
I wasn't feeling particularly angry when I posted my response. At least I don't recall feeling angry.ReplyDelete
And I think that I even threw out a disclaimer that my response was probably way overly simplified.
I even threw in "???" to express that I wasn't sure if my understanding of what you said was correct.
I don't deal in strawmen, and personally I think it's a bit ridiculous when people throw that term out there.
This is not a contest. This is a discussion. If my arguments are weak, show me how they are weak. Show me where I'm wrong.
I'm a reasonable guy, and I'm sorry if I came off as unreasonable here. I suppose "penis measuring contest," was probably not the most... neutral... term I could have used, but I admitedly wrote that response in a bit of a hurry.
And don't worry about my emotional and social life. They're just fine. I do digest what people say. Most of the time I take some time to really think it through before I repsond, just in case I might have misunderstood.
You assume that if I disagree with what you're saying, then I obviously don't understand what you're saying. Because your words are truth. To you, the truth that you express is so apparent and blatant that it should be comprehensible to even the dullest of people.
That's not really an attack on you, because I do the same thing, too. I generally don't "vent my spleen" on other people's blogs unless I think there's some affront to decency or the life of the mind.
Anyway, whenever someone on my blog writes a response detailing their understanding of what I said, and it's apparent to me that their understanding is contrary to what I was trying to say, I usually try to explain it in a different way rather than berate them or accuse them of venting their spleens.
Surely you've seen me do that. Sometimes I write nearly an entire article's worth just to better explain myself.
It's tiresome at times, but it's better than just saying "you didn't get it, dimwit," and leaving it at that.
This is supposed to be a discussion, right? So discuss.
They always put forth the same old crap and expect different results. Mental instability.....ReplyDelete
The Origins of Political Correctness by Bill Lind.ReplyDelete
Some videos on the subject of political correctness and cultural Marxism by Bill Lind
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.ReplyDelete
I should expand slightly something I wrote yesterday.ReplyDelete
"proving each other wrong in cases where you are wrong is evidently productive"
Trick tactics to make your opponent appear wrong, even when he's really right, are not productive.
If we're wrong, we want to be aware of it, don't we?
Running a blog and hosting a discussion in the blosophere are difficult tasks.ReplyDelete
So, why do we blog?
I can speak only for myself:
Yesterday, I blogged very little. I was "in a mood" -- and not a good one.
Well, thanks for all the contributions pro and con.ReplyDelete
I never called anyone a "dimwit," though I suppose such an inference might be drawn if someone on the receiving end is sensitive.
This process is not as stressful as you might think, AOW. I admit to feeling frustrated when others fail to "catch my drift," as it were.
For instance, did NO ONE notice the HUMOROUS aspect of this little item?
Even though I made an effort to make a serious point about the nature of overzealous interventionists who want to change the world through their wily, often deceitful machinations, a lot of what I said was couched in terms so fanciful and exaggerated I thought it impossible that anyone might take it literally or strictly at face value.
I've always thought it was possible to express serious concepts in ways that are entertaining and not purely didactic.
Didacticism undoubtedly has its uses, but it really can be deadly dull when untempered with wit and the occasional flight of fancy.
I don't know who said it first, but I've often quoted a line I first ran across at least thirty years ago:
"The world will not end in nuclear holocaust or by some cataclysmic natural disaster. It is far more likely the human race will become extinct through the persistent application of TERMINAL EARNESTNESS."
I wouldn't be a bit surprised given the megadoses of oppressive suffocating nonsense coming out of Washington, D.C., if that diagnosis didn't prove to be prophetic.