The Cultural Revolution

The line about mandated LGBTQ etcetera specific diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training? That’s straight out of the Maoist Cultural Revolution playbook. DEI training thus has another name: “struggle session.” The way the sessions were framed during the Cultural Revolution was as a form of public reconciliation over class oppression. Today, the struggle session is pitched as a form of reconciliation over the myriad of intersecting oppressions. The oppressor is the straight white man and woman, presumed Christian.

One of rare posed DEI training session not showing participants happy and smiling

The struggle session is designed to do several things:

First, struggle sessions are recruiting operations involving captured subjects. In cult induction and grooming, these are known as “targets.” Embedded in the corporate bureaucracy, workers are captive in much the same way workers were captive under conditions of bureaucratic collectivism. Corporate governance arrangements are very different from liberal capitalist relations and resemble more those of People’s Republic of China (PRC) than the American republic prior to the institutionalization of progressivism.

Second, struggle sessions are designed to detect disallowed or disfavored attitudes and opinions and to identify enemies of the Revolution. Resistance to both participating in the session and during the ensuing struggle mark you as a subversive. Suppose you work at a university and you do not believe trans women are women, or that one cannot change sex, or that males should not compete in women’s sports. These positions are not inclusive and therefore they do not support the goals of the DEI university. What does the institution do with your heresy? What will it do if its demands are met?

Third, struggle sessions are designed to intimidate resisters by presenting the ideology of the revolution as the institution’s official position, thus giving the doctrine the force of normal authority. Many of those who are of the opinion that, for example, one cannot change his sex, will not voice that opinion because they are fearful of what the institution might do with their heresy. This is the chilling effect. The chilling effect may not need high-profile examples. The process itself chills the air.

Fourth, struggle sessions are designed to reeducate resisters and break the recalcitrant by having them rehearse the slogans of the revolution, or at the very least appear not criticize the doctrine. The latter is usually viewed as passive resistance, however, and one may not escape having to finally rehearse the slogan. He may be reprimanded for his half-hearted commitment to it. This violates the First Amendment of the US Bill of Rights and Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Freedom of speech and conscience mean that I cannot be forced to hold the opinions of others or punished for the opinions I hold or don’t hold. 

Fifth, struggle sessions are designed to train subalterns to police and correct the thoughts of not only those in the session, but those who lie beyond the reach of the mandated training. In other words, mandatory trainings are designed to disseminate the idea to the general population. This is the proselytizing character of Cultural Revolution.

This would make a nice gift to the DEI official in your life.

It is crucial to realize that the Chinese youth carrying out the cultural revolution did not spontaneously take up these ideas, nor did they design the struggle session. This was the work of the administrative state and technocratic apparatus, and the functionaries and organic intellectuals embedded in those structures, all controlled by the Chinese Communist Party. The American youth carrying out the cultural revolution in Biden’s “Build Back Better” is no more clever than those Chinese youth. Like their counterparts, they are directed by the administrative state and technocratic apparatus and the functionalities of organic intellectuals embedded in these structures, all controlled by the corporate state. (See The Mao Zedong Thought Shift from the Class-Analytical to Race-Ideological.)

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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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