This is a quote from Yoram Hazony’s new book on conservatism:
At the same time, an updated Marxism (calling itself “Progressivism,” “Anti-Racism,” or “Woke”) launched an astonishingly successful bid to seize control of the institutions that had been, until only recently, responsible for the development and circulation of liberal ideas in America, Britain, and beyond.
It’s sad that that one thing Hazony has decided not to conserve is treating language with respect. Instead, he has embraced the strategy of vague, confused name-calling. “Obama is a socialist!” “Trump is a fascist!”
Marxism is all about “proletarians of the world unite!” It’s not about “proletarians of the world, jump at each other’s throats because a bourgeois lady told you that you are sworn enemies based on your race.”
Marxism is the idea that economic relations are at the heart of everything. Class struggle and economic exploitation, not “white supremacy,” are the key to understanding how things work. The goal is not “social justice” but economic justice. In Marxist thought, ruling classes brainwash workers (this is called “implanting a false consciousness” in Marxist parlance) to make them believe that their enemy is another group of workers instead of the wealthier social class that exploits them. Isn’t this exactly what wokesters do? Sic us on each other to rip us off?
When an unemployed coal miner in West Virginia is considered more privileged than the Vice-President of the US, that’s as far away as one can possibly get from Marxism. I’m not saying this to defend Marxism but to defend language from careless abuse.
Yes, BLM called itself “Marxist.” Understandably, they didn’t call themselves “a scam to dupe frumpy middle-class white ladies into sending over cash.” What people “identify as” is crucial only to wokesters.
There’s no “cultural Marxism” either. The idea that everything is Marxist/socialist or fascist/Nazi is simple laziness. We can’t solve a problem that we can’t even be bothered to diagnose. I was looking forward to Hazony’s book but this sloppiness is putting me off. I want insight, not vapid name-calling rooted in Cold War nostalgia.