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Tim Wise: Frankfurt School Marxist

It’s frustrating being a Leftist. Leftists in their collective munificence have a grand and beautiful vision for mankind and they get very, very annoyed when reality gets in the way of their plans.

A most frustrating conundrum for many progressives (who are often secret Marxists or quasi-Marxists) in the 20th century (and today) is the way various theories of worker’s revolution consistently did not work out the way Marxists insist they should. You notice that I keep using the present tense. Some quick and dirty notes about real Marxists:

1. They did not disappear when the Soviet Union fell. All that did was royally piss them off. Imagine how stupid they felt; their one big success down the toilet in less than 80 years. And with the whole world watching, too!

2. Marxists are defined by their fanatical and stiff-necked insistence that human history is naturally GOING SOMEWHERE. Things are the way they are because things were the way they were and things will be the way they will be because of things being the way they are. PERIOD. History cannot be consciously changed through force of will, collective or individual. It’s a conveyor belt, so HANG ON!

3. Marxists define morality as anything that leads workers to revolution. Anything that hinders revolution is immoral or, at least, unethical.

Said Lenin: “Communist morality is that which serves this struggle and unites the working people against all exploitation, against all petty private property; for petty property puts into the hands of one person that which has been created by the labour of the whole of society. In our country the land is common property.”

4.  Marxists insist history necessarily progresses thus:

primitive humans in family groups>>



nation states>>

international trade/capitalism>>

stateless socialism/communism>>

end of history.

Each “stage” lays the groundwork for the next, within each stage are sub-stages and between each “stage” is some sort of revolution. Nation states can begin as monarchies and end up democratic nations, for example.

Russia’s revolution in 1917 broke some of the rules, as it jumped from fiefdom over capitalism straight to socialism or some brutal semblance of it (called “War Communism.”) Lenin and his ilk claimed it was possible because the education and evolving consciousness of the masses had outstripped the development of the economy and, thus, some compromise was going to be needed, intellectually. This breaking of the rules of Marxist revolutionary progression, by the way, is a popular excuse among Leftists as to why the Soviet State failed. The superconscious/subconscious cultural and organizational groundwork necessary for socialism wasn’t laid properly, as capitalism never flourished in Russia. Thus, the USSR was doomed to fail. This is what they say, anyway.

But I digress. Badly.

Privilege as Insurance Against Revolution

Anyway, Leftist intellectuals have been trying for 100 years to explain why revolution hasn’t happened first in the most developed capitalist nations on earth, as Marx predicted it should. Why in the world would all those poor, oppressed workers keep busting their asses to keep rich people rich? Why would they keep paying rent to those parasitical landlords? Why do they keep paying mortgages to filthy, evil bankers? Don’t they know they are being exploited? What are they, stupid?

This is the question that has obsessed the Left since the 1920s. Why are you working for The Man when you could shoot him and his family and start running things with your high school football buddies?

In order to explain the problem, Marxists got the idea that the answer must be in the CULTURES that give rise to or are compatible with capitalism. So, starting in the late 1910s, Marxist sociologists got down to work, thinking and talking about it ad nauseam. Eventually, an Italian Marxist named Antonio Gramsci came to the conclusion that the anti-revolutionary urge must lie in ACCULTURATION and the structuring of society.

Gramsci, though not himself Jewish, was one of the founders of the Frankfurt School of Marxism, a group of mostly German-speaking Jewish Marxists. They make for interesting reading that you can do elsewhere.

After all this, I come to my point.

The Frankfurt School’s Marxists concluded that the owning class or bourgeoisie, being the lazy exploiters that they were, had engineered—consciously and unconsciously—various social strata and subclasses. They were at the very top, of course, while the lumpenproletariat (the ghetto-dwelling scum of the earth) remained at the bottom. Between them were layers of insulating coolies, kiss-asses and water carriers that worked jobs like the clergy, law, middle management, the military, police, civil service, etc. These people agree to work so hard for the owners because they are implanted with FALSE CONSCIOUSNESS, the Marxist term for the “incorrect” notions you have about yourself. You know, like that you belong to a race or ethnic group or nation or family group.

This is from Tim Wise’s own website:

“For those who come out of a Marxist tradition, and who insist that the working class has false consciousness, which leads them to ignore or misunderstand their true interests — and that this consciousness has been instilled in them largely by capitalists — what is often ignored is the way that white privilege, relative to people of color, has served as the transmission belt of false consciousness.”

In the Marxist’s mind you are only one thing: YOUR RELATIONSHIP TO THE MEANS OF PRODUCTION. You are only a class and any other distinction is a lie. Period. This is what people like Tim Wise mean when they say that “White Privilege” hurts white people, too. After all, it keeps them from hating and overthrowing “the system”!

Because of the total, albeit hidden, control that the bourgeois have over capitalist societies, they have the ability to assign to these groups STRUCTURAL PRIVILEGE that keeps them motivated to work and also keeps them oppressing by the very nature of their existence. The privilege might mean that the law goes easier on them, that their behaviors are considered “normal,” that they get all the best jobs, that university classes are taught with their class and ethnic backgrounds in mind, and so on.

This belief is based on nothing scientific; the Marxists merely “analyzed” or “criticized” history and came up with this sub-theory under the larger theory of Marxist revolution (or lack thereof).

So, quick recap: the rich are rich because they steal from the worker and workers don’t rise up, in part, because the rich keep them divided and spying on/controlling each other. Those who help the rich stay rich are the benefactors of STRUCTURAL PRIVILEGE.

Marcuse, MacIntosh and Wise

Now. When Hitler and the Nazis came to power, they shut down the Frankfurt School and some of the Jews running it ended up in the United States. Most important of these was Herbert Marcuse, who came to America in 1934, became a citizen in 1940 and taught at Columbia, Harvard and Brandeis.

While Marcuse was in Waltham teaching at Brandeis, Peggy MacIntosh was matriculating at Harvard, just across town. Peggy MacIntosh is the woman who is noted for making the notion of “white privilege” popular with her “Invisible Backpack” franchise/lecture that gets foisted on white college students with some regularity. She might even be said to have brought the term “white privilege” to the masses. I can’t find any record of MacIntosh having attended a guest lecture or anything by him, but Marcuse was, among Silent Generation moonbats like Peggy MacIntosh, a very popular figure. Very popular, indeed.

In 1988, MacIntosh published a paper titled “White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming To See Correspondences Through Work in Women’s Studies.” In it, she essentially regurgitates standard Frankfurt School Marxist arguments about the role gender and race play in keeping oppressed people (she, being a feminist, explicitly includes women) oppressed. Around this same time, “anti-racist” Tim Wise was making news in the New Orleans area by using media and political pressure to force Tulane University—the private, Jew-friendly private college (Tim Wise is half Jewish) where he was a student—to stop holding stocks in South African corporations, as the money was supporting the apartheid regime.

A couple years later, he was a founding member of LCARN, a group formed to keep White Nationalist and ex-Klansman David Duke from being elected Senator from Louisiana. It is not inconceivable that Wise would have been exposed to MacIntosh’s work at the liberal Tulane or that MacIntosh might have seen an article about Wise’s work and that some connection might have been made. I can’t say for certain.

The larger point that I mean to make is that Tim Wise’s bread and butter argument—that white people are socially and economically privileged solely by the nature of their race and that they oppress non-whites necessarily and eternally just by going to work at 3M and then home to the suburbs—is a Marxist idea.

And note carefully…It is not disguised as science, it is not argued to be the result of methodical research. One cannot dissect a dead White man and find his privilege.  The notion of WHITE PRIVILEGE is a politically radical idea originally meant to explain why the races of America don’t join together, gang up on rich people and live in harmony like a human rainbow under a race-neutral socialism. It is not presented as a Marxist idea or one rooted in Leftist politics. It is presented as a fact and couched in the language of actual research.

By now, MacIntosh and Wise have done an excellent job–Wise is better at it, being louder and more abrasive–of spreading the “White Privilege” gospel while simultaneously obfuscating the genealogy of the notion of “White Privilege.” Most of the clueless college students forced to sit through “Invisible Backpack” seminars or lectures will be too young to recognize Marxist thought and many will simply take the information at face value. And the idea will continue to take root as “truth.”

But you’ll know better, dear reader. Or perhaps you’ll simply buy it and let the Toiletnation fester just a bit more.

Other reading.

1 Comment

  1. mindweapon says:

    Reblogged this on Mindweapons in Ragnarok and commented:
    Bolshevism from Marx to Wise

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