Cultural Marxism: Do you know what it is and how to fight it?


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LEFT DENIES CULTURAL MARXISM — WHAT IS IT AND IS IT TRULY RAMPANT?

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, anyone who’s listened to Today in Perspective for any length of time knows you often use the term “cultural Marxism”. Michael Walsh recently ran an in-depth article on cultural Marxism. 

Cultural Marxism, he says, has become a catchphrase of the right. It isn’t used to mean just a Marxist approach to the way power operates through culture, but it’s used to imply a programmatic undermining of Western civilization by Marxists who have been beaten in the political-economic arena and they’ve now transferred their attentions to the cultural sphere. They’re responsible for political correctness, identity politics, ‘60s liberalism and the threats to the established order that these represent.

DR. REEDER: He says “programmatic” and I’d say “tactical” use today. Many times, you know that you have put your finger on something when they even deny its existence. Cultural Marxism is a development, first of all, of Marxism, going back to the 19th century and then, secondly, it is a new tactic given the failures of Marxism in the 20th century.

MARXISM COMES FROM HEGEL PHILOSOPHY ALONG WITH EVOLUTION

What is Marxism? Well, Karl Marx developed a theory of government and economics and life that was based upon what was called “dialectical materialism”. There was a philosopher by the name of Hegel and the notion is this: You have in life a reality and, because of that reality, reality always creates an anti-reality. And the anti-reality and the reality eventually have a violent confrontation. Now, it may be verbal, physical or academic violence, but it will come into conflict. Out of that conflict will come a new reality, which will create a new anti-reality.

There is thesis and, when you have a thesis, it then creates an antithesis and the thesis and the antithesis come into conflict and that creates a synthesis out of the conflict and the synthesis becomes the new thesis that then creates another antithesis, another conflict and that becomes the pattern of society.

Well, Hegel’s view was adopted by a couple of thinkers — one was a scientific thinker by the name of Darwin and Darwin adopted that so his view was called “evolution”. He didn’t develop evolution from observations, scientific experiment and the fossil record, but he actually interpreted observation and fossil records through the prism of his Hegelian dialectic.

MARX ADOPTED AND CREATED SOCIAL VERSION

Karl Marx did the same thing and he said you have the bourgeois, that is, the people in power, you have the proletariat, the oppressed, and the proletariat will finally rebel against their oppression and, instead of evolution, he developed the theory of revolution. The state was “the Messiah,” the God, the Savior and so the way the state would expand its power is it would foment revolution. Well, if there’s revolution, people don’t like to live in the midst of conflict and disorder so the state says, “Oh, we’ll solve it for you,” and the state becomes the Savior in the midst of the chaos of revolution.

The political and economic dynamics of Marxism led to socialism and then its next step is the reality called communism. Those who believe in the supremacy of the government then had two choices: one is the fascism that we saw under Nazism or communism, which uses the lack of values or the profane values of the left in order to advance the power of the state.

Well, it soon found out that the biggest enemy of Marxism was Christianity and, therefore, under the regimes of Stalin and then Mao Zedong in China, Pol Pot in Southeast Asia came with the wholesale annihilation of Christians and the annihilation and control of religion by the state. You can’t have a nation under God if you want the nation to be under the state, itself.

FAILURE IN PAST DECADES FUELS NEW TACTICS NOW

Politically and economically, in the ‘70s and ‘80s and ‘90s, the communist movement fell apart because it couldn’t sustain itself, but there are those who have not given up on Marxism, nor on communism.

And they’ve decided the way to move this forward is cultural Marxism so what we want to do is create conflict in society, culturally and socially, so we will get this thesis/antithesis and, therefore, violence and conflict and now who is it that will step in to solve it economically and governmentally? The state. The state will take over economics. The state will take over the social order.

Therefore, it marginalizes Christianity because you don’t want Christianity that teaches the dignity of humanity and a hope that is found outside of the government. Thus, in our country, the cultural Marxists despise the First Amendment, it wants to marginalize self-reliance, thus they despise the Second Amendment and then they eventually despise all of the amendments because they’re rooted in local authority, that is state authority, and they want ultimate authority at the national level to control the state and the individual.

THIS EXPLAINS WHY THERE IS ALWAYS “CONFLICT” AND VIOLENCE

And the way to do that is to create chaos. How do you create chaos? You create thesis and antithesis and then revolution and that is conflict. We now have the cultural elite who are promoting this with the tactic of cultural Marxism, “Let’s turn black against white. Let’s turn rich against poor and issues such as income inequality, oppression, etc.” They take, many times, what are value issues and turn them into occasions for conflict.

And so, what is the answer to the conflict? It is not liberty. The answer is the state, the government, so we turn male against female, black against white, rich against poor, the employer against the employee. There’s taking the dynamics of life and, instead of teaching the creation sanctities that unify society and opening the doors for redeeming grace that changes the lives of men and women and how they treat one another and how they do their work.

Instead of opening the door for that, which historically has been what has matured and maintained our society, it is now marginalized in shaming the Christian witness or assimilating the Christian witness into its own brand of liberation theology whereby the Gospel now becomes the liberation from the oppressors of society. Instead of the Gospel being liberation from the penalty and power of sin, it is liberation from the oppressors of society so liberal Christianity is now co-opted by cultural Marxists as it reinvents the Gospel into the “cultural warrior” movement.

CHRIST’S CHURCH MUST COMBAT THIS

And what the church has got to do is say, “No, you’re not going to co-opt this. We’re going to continue to teach the sanctities of creation — that there’s the sanctity of life, the sanctity of marriage, the sanctity of sexuality, the sanctity of work, the sanctity of men and women made in the image of God.”

That is, ultimately, the antidote to cultural Marxism, which, hopefully, our listeners now understand is even more than a social and political tactic — it actually is a religion that man needs a savior and the only savior is governmental authority and power over the rights and liberties of humanity.

Peter has already told us that we’re exiles so what you do is prepare yourself, out of the love of Christ, to always be ready to give an account of the hope that’s within you. And you do this with gentleness, clarity and a courageous compassion, but with conviction. You start in your own life through evangelism and discipleship, you share this with others, you engage in small group discipleship under the umbrella and oversight of a godly local church, you then gather for worship and then you scatter with the message of hope into a hopeless society because it doesn’t take long to make very clear that the state is not the savior.  The state has a God-given role, but it is not God and, whenever it is under God but wants to be God, it eventually will take the lives of people because it claims the prerogative of God.

COMING UP WEDNESDAY: PERSONAL IDENTITY CRISES ABOUND?

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, on tomorrow’s Today in Perspective, I want to somewhat stay on the same theme as we go to an article by Dr. Peter Jones on personal identity.

DR. REEDER: Yes, Tom. How did we get from “I am; therefore, I think,” to “I think; therefore, I am,” to now “Whatever I think I am, that’s what I am”?

Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin, editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News, who has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and whose work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.

 

12 hours ago

VIDEO: Prisons could be built with COVID-19 funds, Shelby endorses Katie Britt for Senate, Brooks battles with Swalwell as a new poll shows big lead and more on Alabama Politics This Week …

Radio talk show host Dale Jackson and political consultant Mecca Musick take you through Alabama’s biggest political stories, including:

— Will Alabama really use COVID-19 relief funds to build prisons?

— Does Katie Britt’s entering of the U.S. Senate race shake things up, or has U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) already won this race?

— Can U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) keep the more radical members of the Democratic Party at bay?

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Jackson and Musick are joined by former U.S. Attorney Jay Town to discuss the issues facing the state of Alabama this week.

Jackson closes the show with a “Parting Shot” directed at those who want to use the illegally acquired tax returns of the uber-wealthy to push for higher taxes. He argues the released returns show that we should implement a flat tax and do away with all deductions.

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN and on Talk 99.5 from 10AM to noon.

15 hours ago

Auburn’s David Housel tackles more than sports in ‘From the Backbooth at Chappy’s’

When David Housel retired from Auburn University in 2006, after a legendary career as athletics director for the Tigers, it wasn’t long before his wife urged him to get busy again – and a deli on Glenn Avenue in Auburn was the beneficiary.

“Susan wanted me to do something to get out of the house,” Housel recalls. “I started going to Chappy’s to drink coffee, read the paper. Pretty soon, Kenny Howard would meet me there, and it just kind of grew from there.”

In short order, friends of Housel began to gather, first a few one day a week and then, just prior to the pandemic, 12-16 people nearly every day of the week.

They meet at Chappy’s, where a plaque commemorates Housel’s booth, and they talk – about sports, of course, but about pretty much anything that’s on their minds.

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Housel began to write essays about those mornings, posting them to Facebook. He’s now compiled more than 100 of those pieces into a new book, “From the Backbooth at Chappy’s: Stories of the South: Football, Politics, Religion, and More.” It’s officially released next week at a series of book signings at Chappy’s in the Auburn area from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. each day: Tuesday in Auburn, Wednesday in Montgomery and Thursday in Prattville.

“Consider this Housel unleashed,” the author says. “Most of the stuff I’ve written in my life has been about Auburn on an Auburn platform. Even after I retired, I was a representative of Auburn, even though I wasn’t working there. This is not an Auburn book. It’s about football, politics, religion and more.”

“From the Backbooth at Chappy’s,” with a foreword by Auburn graduate and acclaimed journalist Rheta Grimsley Johnson, evolved as Housel’s morning gatherings at Chappy’s evolved, though he began writing the essays fairly early in the process.

“When something is in your mind, in your heart, in your head, if you’re a writer, it just has to come out, and it just comes through your fingers,” Housel says. “Turns out people like to read it, so I got the Facebook page. I shared thoughts and essays and that kind of thing. It was not a planned thing.”

When COVID-19 came along, Housel decided to listen to a few folks who told him his musings would make a good book.

“I had been thinking a lot about it, and it was time to do it,” Housel says.

Housel has written six other books. Most have to do with Auburn sports history, but one, “From the Desk of David Housel,” is similar to “From the Backbooth at Chappy’s.”

“That one was primarily sports, but it had some other things in it,” Housel says. “This one is about the other stuff, but it has some sports in it.”

Though the three topics in his book’s title – football, politics and religion  – are often the subjects people are warned not to bring up if they want to keep the peace, Housel and his friends don’t shy away from any of them. Housel especially gravitates toward religious topics.

“I like the ones that I hope make people think,” he says of his essays. “The good Lord gave us a mind, and we’re supposed to use it. Too few people who call themselves Christians do what the Lord said and use their minds. … Faith has got to be built not on challenging God but questioning God. I think God likes that, because it shows we’re engaged and that we care.”

Now that the pandemic is ending, the Backbooth at Chappy’s events are slowly but surely returning to normal. On Mondays, Housel eats two eggs scrambled, lean bacon and a helium biscuit; on Tuesdays maybe a parfait with granola; on Wednesdays, it’s blueberry pancakes, and Fridays a waffle.

What remains constant is the conversation. And the writing.

“I’m still writing the Backbooth, and since the first of the year, I’ve written a couple I think are book-worthy,” Housel says. “I started out doing maybe one a week, but I’m old enough that I don’t have to meet a self-imposed deadline. When the spirit moves me, I write.”

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

16 hours ago

State Rep. Pringle pushes to ban critical race theory in public schools — ‘Woke culture indoctrination,’ ‘Needs to be stopped in its tracks’

Last week, Florida’s Board of Education banned so-called “critical race theory” from its public schools, and it is a move State Rep. Chris Pringle (R-Mobile) hopes to follow in Alabama.

Critical race theory, a belief that racism is ingrained in some of America’s sacred institutions, is widely panned by critics because it distorts and weaponizes history for political gain.

Friday, Pringle discussed his prefiled bill for the Alabama Legislature’s 2022 regular session to prohibit critical race theory from being taught in Alabama’s public schools.

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“It’s simply a bill that says in public education, you can’t teach or indoctrinate our children with critical race theory,” he said. “People are waking up all around the nation to how bad this stuff is. I mean, this is woke cancel culture gone completely amuck. They want to completely disregard our 14th and 15th Amendment rights, the Voting Rights Act, the Civil Rights Act. If you don’t agree with them — here’s what’s crazy: They want to send you to a reeducation camp. Think about that, a reeducation camp. Don’t they do that in China, Russia and North Korea?  That’s how bad this stuff is. Either you agree with them or you have to be sent off to a reeducation camp.”

“This is just indoctrination — the woke culture indoctrination of our children,” Pringle continued. “That’s all it is and it needs to be stopped in its tracks. I mean, our children need to learn history and we ought to open a frank discussion about history — the good, the bad. But this is not about good or bad. This is teaching our children that our nation is a bad nation, is an evil nation and is not the great country that we live in. We are the safest, freest people in the world and that’s what our children need to learn.”

“Do we have problems? Yeah,” he added. “Have we done bad things? Yeah. But we’re still the greatest nation in the history of the world.”

According to the Mobile County Republican lawmaker, the response to the effort thus far has been positive and supportive.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

20 hours ago

Why Sylacauga marble is known around the world

If you’ve ever visited the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. and stared up at the translucent marble ceiling, you’ve witnessed a piece of Alabama history. The ceiling is made of white marble mined in Talladega County’s Sylacauga (appropriately known as the Marble City).

In addition to lending its natural treasure to some of the nation’s most notable buildings, Sylacauga also holds the title for having the longest deposit of marble in the world. The bed of stone runs 32 miles long, a mile and a half wide, and more than 600 feet deep. The marble found in this quarry is especially desirable for two key characteristics: its purity and its durability. When paired together, these distinct qualities make Alabama marble some of the most desired in the world for large-scale buildings and monuments, as well as homes and sculptures.

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The History of Alabama Marble

sylacauga marble

The Sylacauga Quarry (Sylacauga Marble Festival/Facebook)

Marble is formed when limestone is subjected to extreme pressure and heat. In Sylacauga, the conditions are perfect for the formation of metamorphic marble. Sylacauga’s massive deposit was first discovered by Native Americans, but it wasn’t quarried until 1834, 20 years after army surgeon Dr. Edward Gantt stumbled upon the vein while passing through with General Andrew Jackson’s army.

In the years that followed Gantt’s discovery, Sylacauga’s marble business thrived. More quarries popped up, mining the marble for everything from funerary monuments to building projects to sculptures. By the 1960s, the use of the quarried marble shifted toward the utilitarian. Rather than being mined in huge chunks for building material, the marble was being ground down for use in products like cosmetics, diapers, magazine paper, fertilizer, fiberglass, toothpaste, and chewing gum. In 1969, marble was named Alabama’s state rock.

A Timeless Treasure

Sylacauga Quarry (Sylacauga Marble Festival/Facebook)

Today the charge for Alabama marble is being led by the Swindal family, who own Alabama Marble Mineral & Mining Co. (AM3). AM3’s 50-acre quarry in Sylacauga is the world’s only supplier and leading distributor of Alabama marble. Owner Roy Swindal’s goal is to reintroduce the world to Alabama marble, once again marketing it as a prized material for both commercial and consumer construction. According to the Alabama Department of Archives and History, around 30 million tons of marble have been pulled from the ground in Sylacauga since 1900. The Swindals hope to add to that number by continuing and improving upon the state’s tradition for many years to come.

Marble Mania

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Sculptor Enzo Torcoletti at the Sylacauga Marble Festival (Sylacauga Marble Festival/Facebook)

It’s only fitting that a town built on marble pay tribute to the stone that brought its success. For the past 13 years, the city has celebrated its marble mining heritage with the 12-day Magic of Marble Festival. The festival, typically held in April, features several activities and events that are all free and fun for the whole family. Festival participants can take a tour of operational quarries and visit the Gantts/IMERYS Observation Point that overlooks the town’s historic first quarry. The creative side of marble is put on display at Blue Bell Park, where 25 sculptors create original pieces made entirely of marble. On the final day of the festival, the finished pieces are displayed and sold at nearby B.B. Comer Library. Other activities include a 5K run and a scavenger hunt.

If you can’t wait for next year’s festival and you want to see Alabama’s famous white marble in action now, there are several locations around the state to see it put to good use. In Birmingham, try the John Hand Building, Wells Fargo headquarters, City Federal building, or the Chamber of Commerce. If you’re in Montgomery, don’t miss the “Head of Christ” sculpture at the Alabama Department of Archives and History. It was created by Italian sculptor Giuseppe Moretti, who also happens to be the artist behind Birmingham’s Vulcan.

(Courtesy of SoulGrown)

20 hours ago

The economics of paying ransom

The cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline by the hacker group DarkSide disrupted gasoline supplies across the Southeast. The company caused a stir by paying a 75 Bitcoin ransom to DarkSide. America historically has been opposed to paying evildoers, as reflected in the slogan, “Millions for defense, but not one cent in tribute,” and President Jefferson sending the Navy and Marines to fight the Barbary Pirates.

Ransomware raises many economic issues. A first question is, do hackers ever give the data back if paid? DarkSide provided Colonial Pipeline a key to decrypt their data. According to Proofpoint, this is the norm: 70% of ransom payers got their data back, 20% never got their data back and 10% received a second ransom demand.

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From an economic perspective, this is not surprising. About two dozen groups, identifying themselves by name and known to insurance companies, carry out most of the sophisticated attacks. Insurers would never recommend payment in the future to a group which has reneged. The hackers must deliver as promised to make money.

Some have suggested making payment of ransom for cyberattacks illegal. If no one ever paid ransom, the hackers could not make money. Refusing to pay ransom though faces two significant economic challenges.

The first is time consistency. Kidnapping illustrates this concept. Before an event, the incentive exists to say, “We will never pay ransom.” If the bad guys believe this, they will never invest the time, effort and expense to stage a kidnapping. Once they hold hostages, however, our incentive changes; negotiating just this one time now makes sense. Our policy to never pay ransom is not credible.

Collective action poses the second challenge. Businesses collectively have an interest in not rewarding cybercrime, yet individual businesses suffer these attacks. A business which does not pay ransom benefits other businesses, creating the challenge. Why should Continental Pipeline suffer losses to make other businesses less likely to be attacked?

Why do businesses pay ransom? Reports mention several factors. A business may face a closure of unknown length and cost. Customers’ personal information will be sold if ransom is not paid, leading to fines and bad publicity. And the hackers might sell proprietary information to competitors.

Good economists know better than to second guess business managers’ decisions. Decisions to pay ransom often involve the business’ executives, its insurance carrier and tech security experts. They know the options and likely costs and should make a good decision, despite the pressure of a crisis.

Insurance companies and government regulations reduce organizations’ vulnerability to hackers, which is good. But what about channeling President Jefferson and going after the hackers? Most of the hacker groups operate in Russia, which provides Safe Haven as long as the hackers do not target Russian companies. Some law enforcement options may exist. Federal prosecutors apparently recovered most of the Bitcoins paid to DarkSide.

Crime is a very costly way to transfer wealth. Stolen merchandise typically sells for one-third (or less) of market value. A criminal might have to steal thousands in property to net $1,000. Ransomware appears much more wasteful than traditional theft. Consider just the value of the time Americans spent searching for gas during the disruption. Remember then that the ransom was about $4.4 million.

Cybercrime makes us poorer. The hackers and defenders at tech security companies are highly skilled computer programmers. But instead of making new apps or games, they are hacking or defending existing computer systems. Add to this the service disruption during cyberattacks, the reduced use of technology for fear of being hacked and the time spent on security training. The costs may be $1 trillion annually, or one percent of global GDP.

We must guard here against comparing the real world to an imagined utopia. We cannot costlessly protect our property from thieves or our computers from malware, or make people no longer willing to steal from others. Economics teaches that there are no perfect solutions in life, only tradeoffs. Vigilance, antivirus programs and backup are the tradeoffs we face with cybercrime.

Daniel Sutter is the Charles G. Koch Professor of Economics with the Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy at Troy University and host of Econversations on TrojanVision. The opinions expressed in this column are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of Troy University.