Murray Attributes the Effect to the Wrong Cause. And He’s Not Alone

But it is clearly not a Marxist maneuver. Douglas Murray is so wrong about this—as is Jordan Peterson, James Lindsay, and all the other right-wingers who advance this ridiculous claim that postmodernist-style critical theory is based on the logic of Marxism.

Think about it for only a few moments and you will see why this is a garbage argument. If the point is to divide the majority and disrupt their individualism by defining them in essentialist terms—black, Muslim, gay, gender identity, whatever (while denying sex and obscuring class)—and demanding they pursue the “interests” of group identity rather than their material interests (which is what Murray is arguing in this clip), then how on earth could it be Marxist when the point of Marxism is precisely the opposite!?

The point of Marxism is to break down the identitarian and ideological divisions that disrupt the development of proletarian (majority) consciousness for the sake of a class politics that can effectively challenge bourgeoise power—the actual force engineering the divisive politics of identity. How is the contradiction in Murray’s argument not immediately obvious?

Remember when both the political right and “leftwing” progressives were both—as was BLM itself—characterizing Black Lives Matter as a Marxist thing when in fact it was based on race essentialism and queer theory and bankrolled by corporate power? BLM (and Antifa) is about as far apart from Marxism as a thing can possible be yet self-described leftists just gushed over co-founder Patrisse Cullors describing the nucleus of the organization as “trained Marxists”—right before they took the money and bought big houses and signed exclusive deals with corporations in the culture industry.

Murray spoils a potentially useful point by attributing the effect to the wrong cause. And Murray is a super smart dude. Shit like this just wants to make me give up. I swear.

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Andrew Austin

Andrew Austin is on the faculty of Democracy and Justice Studies and Sociology at the University of Wisconsin—Green Bay. He has published numerous articles, essays, and reviews in books, encyclopedia, journals, and newspapers.

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