Tag Archives: identity politics

Coke vs Pepsi

The “culture war” is an argument between fools. The conservative fools want capitalism without capitalism, “free enterprise” and the Ancien Régime at the same time. Liberal fools want to abolish what capitalism has already abolished, the old paternal function, and replace it with something more arbitrary and totalitarian, the rule of “sensitivity.” The conservatives pine for the old master. Liberals would prefer a dominatrix. Between them they have succeeded in reducing political discourse to a choice between inanities. This is why the categories of political affiliation align so nicely with those of consumption, Apple versus Microsoft, Honda versus Ford, etc. Identity politics is not, as is often supposed, a strictly liberal phenomenon. It is the default of politics reduced to brand choice.

Phantom

This “Cultural Marxism” that conservatives like to invoke as the source of every cultural outrage is really just a mask for the anti-cultural agency of capitalism itself. Progressivism has always nicely aligned with capitalism’s drive to dismantle all traditions that impede the absolute supremacy of money. This is why patriarchy and masculinity are objects of unrelenting progressive assault. For money to rule without restriction, all residual patriarchal notions of honor and integrity had to be discredited as outdated and oppressive. Unable or unwilling to comprehend what Marx had already figured out by 1848, that capitalism profanes everything formerly holy and turns everything solid “into air,” the right responds by invoking nostalgia for a slightly less developed less-monopolistic capitalism and wishing for the restitution of pre-1960s ideals of masculinity. Someone like Jordan Peterson, for instance, is reduced to advising his readers to clean up their rooms, stand straight, and refrain from telling untruths, advice that any schoolmarm might in the past have dispensed. He too rails against “Cultural Marxism,” but avoids noticing how well the evil designs of this phantom Cultural Marxism mesh with the requirements of corporate-driven consumerism: how, for instance, feminist and queer claims about the constructedness of gender feed into making gender a commodity, how the conscription of women into the labor force has undercut wages and benefited corporations, how identity politics has fractured the working class and disabled its resistance to capitalism.

So the net effect of “Cultural Marxism” has actually been to further entrench the globalist corporate order. Where is the “Marxism” in that?