In this YouTube video, James Lindsay argues that “woke” ideology is a form of Marxism, which he refers to as “Maoism with American characteristics,” and that its various ideologies, such as critical race theory, postcolonial theory, and radical feminism, share the same intersectional logic and seek to develop class consciousness against dominant cultures. He explains the evolution of Marxist theory towards critical theory, which led to the current form of identity-based Marxism that seeks liberation from Western civilization and attacks it through its tolerance, acceptance, openness, and generosity. Lindsay warns that Europe faces the risk of giving away its culture and countries or being attacked with middle-level violence and needs to be careful in its reaction to the woke movement, which seeks to make people into global citizens and enslave them.
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In this section, James Lindsay argues that “woke” is not really about advancing equity in Europe but is a form of Marxism that is “Maoism with American characteristics” and that its various strains (e.g., radical feminism, critical race theory, and postcolonial theory) are part of a genus of ideological thought that shares a logic based on intersectionality. Marxism, according to Lindsay, is not primarily an economic theory but is about seizing the means of production not just for the economy but for human beings and society itself. Economic production, in Marx’s view, produces society and humans and shapes their identities, which makes what a society produces (i.e., its culture) just as important as its economic system.
In this section, James Lindsay discusses how Karl Marx wanted to produce a religion for mankind that would supersede all other religions and bring man back to his true social nature. He believed that the economic conditions of society were used to control how man produced himself. Marx proposed that there was a special form of private property in society that separated society into class conflict and the goal was to awaken the underclass to fight back and transform society to have equity. James then explains how this idea of a special form of property was changed to race, giving rise to critical race theory. Rather than capitalism, systemic racism is enforced by an ideology of white supremacy, and the goal is to awaken racial consciousness in people so that they can band together as a class to seize the means of cultural production and abolish whiteness, similar to Marx’s goal of abolishing private property.
In this section, James Lindsay discusses how critical race theory, queer theory, and post-colonial theory are all forms of Marxism. They all seek to create a class consciousness that is against whiteness, dominant culture, and heterosexuality, respectively. Like Marxism, they call everything they want to control “racist” until they control it, or “bourgeois” until they control it. Lindsay claims that the goal of Marxism is to seize the means of control of the production of man, history, and society, and whereas Marx believed this was to be achieved through economic means, it is now through socio-cultural means. He also explains how cultural Marxism began in the 1920s when the marxists in Europe failed to have a revolution, and so needed to change cultural institutions from within to make them socialist.
In this section, James Lindsay explains the evolution of Marxist theory, which led to the development of critical Marxism and critical theory. According to Max Horkheimer, the critical theory was developed to criticize the entirety of the existing society, and not only capitalism. The critical theory became the basis for Marxist conflict analysis, which criticized everything and sought answers through the middle of the 20th century. Herbert Marcuse’s writing in the 1960s stated that Marxism should evolve and abandon the working class, which opened up opportunities to seek power by making friends with the corporations. Instead, the new energy would come from racial, sexual, and feminist minorities. Lindsay states that the woke culture evolved from the identity-based Marxism that seeks liberation from Western civilization and attacks the West at its weakest points. It is based on Maoist theory and has different species to attack the West through its tolerance, acceptance, openness, and generosity – traits that people should be proud of.
In this section, James Lindsay discusses how Mao used identity politics to radicalize Chinese youth by categorizing them based on their identities and pressuring them to identify as revolutionaries. He then compares this to the current situation in the US, where children are told that being white is bad, but celebrating being queer is encouraged. He argues that this is a form of Maoist cultural revolution with American characteristics that is being exported to Europe to destroy Western civilization from within using maoist techniques. Finally, Lindsay warns about the two-fold risk that Europe faces: giving away their culture and countries or being attacked with middle-level violence.
In this section, James Lindsay argues that Europe needs to be careful in reacting to woke ideology, as overreacting can lead to the weaponization of their overreaction. He states that woke ideology is Marxism evolved to take on the West and will conquer Europe if not correctly identified and combated. Lindsay believes that the woke movement seeks to make people into global citizens which, according to their literature, is someone who supports the 17 sustainable development goals of the United Nations agenda 2030. He warns that the woke movement seeks to enslave people and that Europe’s future may be similar to China’s if the woke movement is not stopped. Lindsay’s thesis is that the woke movement is Marxism evolved to take on the West and that it has been successful so far because its opponents have not identified it as the enemy.