Cultural Marxism | Dr. Voddie Baucham

Rough Transcript

Introduction

My assignment tonight is to address the topic of cultural Marxism.

1 Chronicles 12:23-32 Now these are the numbers of the divisions equipped for war, who came to David at Hebron, to turn the kingdom of Saul to him, according to the word of the Lord. 24 The sons of Judah who bore shield and spear were 6,800, equipped for war. 25 Of the sons of Simeon, mighty men of valor for war, 7,100. 26 Of the sons of Levi 4,600. 27 Now Jehoiada was the leader of the house of Aaron, and with him were 3,700, 28 also Zadok, a young man mighty of valor, and of his father’s house twenty-two captains. 29 Of the sons of Benjamin, Saul’s kinsmen, 3,000; for until now the greatest part of them had kept their allegiance to the house of Saul. 30 Of the sons of Ephraim 20,800, mighty men of valor, famous men in their fathers’ households. 31 Of the half-tribe of Manasseh 18,000, who were designated by name to come and make David king. 32 Of the sons of Issachar, men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do, their chiefs were two hundred; and all their kinsmen were at their command. NASU

You need men who understand the times so that you know what to do

This Is A Hot Topic

Cultural Marxism and Social Justice come with a lot of misunderstandings and that leads to name calling and needless division. 

We need to consider our roots and what we know about one another before jumping to conclusions and character assassination. 

The topic is important and worthy of a debate in order to understand, not fight.

Another part of the problem is our ignorant of or misuse of the terms which is one of the reasons that I want to address this tonight

Sincere people misuse the terminology adding to the confusion.

I believe that there are some people within these circles there are some people within these movements who absolutely hold to this ideology…but there are others who don’t hold to the ideology who unfortunately have decided to use the terminology. And that’s a problem.

Terminology Matters

Marxist

Social Justice

Systemic Racism

Intersectionality

my goal is to lay out a sketch of cultural Marxism…at least have an idea of where it comes from and what we’re talking about when you use the term

This is a Critical Matter

some of these ideas are antithetical to the gospel

we find ourselves at this crossroad with in evangelicalism

it’s important that we understand each other

it’s important that we have clarity

it’s important that we find ourselves on the same page

racism is a sin

oppression is real it’s sinful

hatred is real and it’s sinful

too many people been killed by police officers

many police officers have been killed by citizens

serious problems in immigration

poor education

My background

I was a fatherless young black man growing up in the ghetto in South LA drug infested gang infested South LA

two first cousins of mine gunned down in the street

I come from a family of activists

members of my family were part of the Nation of Islam

members of my family who were part of the whole civil rights movement

my father was always an advocate in the criminal justice system. He worked as a counselor in juvenile detention centers

my mother was a victims advocate

my first three jobs were in group homes

So again, this is where I’m coming from on these issues. And yet I despise cultural Marxism. I am NOT a social justice warrior.  I reject ideas like white privilege, intersectionality, and systemic racism theory absolutely, unequivocally. And not just since yesterday.

I started writing about cultural Marxism in the mid 2000s…during the election because of what I saw as the incredible threat Barack Obama who was a massive cultural Marxist and in my opinion then and now. A dangerous man on a number of fronts and for a number of reasons.

Why did I think it was an issue at that time. Because of a number of things let me give you just a few that I wrote about then and I was worried about then.

Because of the philosophy of cultural Marxism and because of this man’s long history with cultural Marxism. Not only from his university days but even his church. This man sat under and overt Marxist pastor for decades. Jeremiah Wright was not just a cultural Marxist he was also a classical Marxist.

Not only had he done that but his position on certain issues like for example his homosexual agenda. The most radically pro homosexual politician that I had ever seen or experienced in the mainstream.

His position on abortion and infanticide which was radical

on judicial activism

hate crimes legislation and I believed and said openly on a number of occasions that I believed this man’s presidency would make race relations in America worse not better.

An article that I wrote and actually reprinted two years later because I’m not big on I told you so’s but I told you so and so yes this is I don’t don’t think that I’ve come here this weekend suddenly talking about cultural Marxism because you know now it’s a trump card that can be used in this particular debate nearly a decade and a half now I’ve been addressing this issue so

Cultural Marxism and Classical Marxism

These are two different things and this is one of the things that makes the discussion difficult.

Classical Marxism

Karl Marx was an economist

Classical Marxism is an economic system

the bourgeois and the proletariat

from each according to his ability to each according to his need

the uprising of the masses to overthrow capitalism

we know that Marx was a communist who wanted to see capitalism overthrown

he saw capitalism as oppressing the masses

he also saw religion as the opiate of the masses that allowed them to be oppressed by capitalism so he was rabidly atheistic

and this is one of the things that makes it difficult to talk to people about cultural Marxism

three main ideas let me give you this just to understand marks a summary of his salient points

Three Epochs of History

  1. the ancient stage
  2. the feudal stage
  3. the capitalist stage

Class Consciousness

that each one of these societal epochs contained internal contradictions and these internal contradictions would lead to struggle and would eventually lead to the next phase

Historical Determinism

Ultimately capitalism would fall

Capitalism had to fall. Why? Because the way he viewed history was history was a view of struggle, a series of struggles, a series of conflicts. He was a disciple of Hegel.

So this was sort of his dialectic if you will – thesis antithesis synthesis right. So capitalism had to fall. Workers of the world would unite and there would be a revolution. And there was right but not everywhere and so toward the end of his life and then during life of his followers they tried to explain and understand why it is that capitalism didn’t fall. I mean if capitalism is exploitation of the masses and if history is all about these conflicts and if this conflict is going to come and if the next thing that is going to come is a capitalist society then why haven’t we seen this enter.

People To Know

a couple of guys to explain why the revolution didn’t occur as Marx thought it would. Marx died in 1888 by the way. So now we get into the late 1800s the early 1900s. We get into World War one and there are a couple of players that you need to know if you’re going to understand cultural Marxism.

Antonio Gramsci

an Italian Marxist

Cultural Hegemony (power) – refers to domination or rule maintained through ideological or cultural means. It is usually achieved through social institutions which allow those in power to strongly influence the values, norms, ideas, expectations, worldview, and behavior of the rest of society cultural.

Cultural hegemony explains why women who make up more than 50% of the population are considered a minority. Women are not seen as part of the cultural hegemony.

The cultural hegemony is patriarchal. The cultural hegemony for example in our society is white, male, heterosexual, cisgender, able-bodied, native-born, Americans.

You know who you are and everybody who’s not that is a minority. And everybody who’s not that is a victim of the cultural hegemony established by those individuals. Which means that everybody who’s not that is at war with that. And everybody who is that is privileged. And the more boxes you tick off the more privileged you are.

Gramsci developed the concept of cultural hegemony in an effort to explain why the worker led revolution that Marx predicted in the previous century had not come to pass.

Central to Marx theory of capitalism was the belief that the destruction of this economic system was built into the system itself. Since capitalism is premised on the exploitation of the working class by the ruling class why didn’t it happen?

Well because we’re not dealing with economics. We’re dealing with culture. Marx missed this part or so Gramsci would argue. He missed this part so the revolution that comes doesn’t need to be an armed revolution or a revolution of force. It needs to be a hegemonic revolution.

In other words we need to change the cultural hegemony. We need to overturn the cultural hegemony. And how do you overturn the cultural hegemony?

For Gramsci control the robes of society. What are the robes of society? The people who wear robes – judges, professors, pastors, politicians.

Leverage those positions in order to educate and mobilize the masses against the hegemonic power. Use the educational system the political system the judicial system in order to overturn the cultural hegemony. Does that sound at all familiar? This is how you gain power by the way.

In the meantime how do you gain political power? You gain political power by promising various groups of people that you will advocate for them. That’s how you do it. That’s why you can have so many white male heterosexual cisgender able-bodied native-born American politicians who present themselves as representatives of the people who are not any of those things. That’s how Cultural Marxism works.

The Frankfurt Schools

A collection of scholars in Frankfurt Germany. These individuals who were known for developing critical theory and popularizing the dialectic method of learning by interrogating societies contradictions.

And it’s most closely associated with the work of a number of German philosophers during the early 20th century. They saw a couple of things that for them explained why the revolution didn’t happen. And for them part of it was the fact that people were receiving so much information through mass media. Remember this is the earlier 20th century. Radio you know just coming around. TV not so much. So people weren’t necessarily associating and interacting with each other like they had been in the past but were receiving information through things like newspapers and radios and so on and so forth.

So one of the main goals of the Frankfurt Schools was to leverage these tools in order to bring about the change in the hegemonic powers.

Reduce everything to discussions of race class gender sex.

And notice I used both of those because sex and gender are two different things. Sex to do with your biology. Gender your social construct. Your gender doesn’t necessarily have to match your sex. And if your gender doesn’t match your sex then you are transgender as opposed to cisgender for those of you who are wondering what that was assistant or cisgender just means that you’re not special

The Frankfurt Schools was concerned with mass media. And the mass media culture saw people becoming passive recipients of political and ideological information instead of being activists and they believed that this explained why the Revolution didn’t take place. They theorized that this experience made people intellectually inactive and politically passive as they allow mass produced ideologies and values to watch over them and to infiltrate their consciousness.

Because of what happen in World War I they left Germany and in 1933 they went to Switzerland. But they only stayed there for a couple of years and in 1935 they came to New York and became affiliated with Columbia University.

there’s a man by the name of Balint Vazsonyi. He came to the United States fleeing the Nazis in Eastern Europe, fleeing the Nazis in Hungary and he wrote a book called America’s 30 Years War. And essentially his thesis was this. He ran away from what was happening in Europe by force only to come to the United States and watch it happen gradually over the course of a generation.

Summary

critical theory. Have you heard the idea of critical race theory it’s a grandchild of Frankfurt Schools political correctness multiculturalism

So as a result of these ideologies we have all been taught over time through our media through our educational systems to view ourselves not as part of a whole but as part of subgroups. Who in some way shape fashion or form are being oppressed by the hegemonic power that rules and governs our culture.

So even when we talk about elections we don’t talk about this person is ahead in the polls by this much. That person is. No this person is ahead with red-headed left-handed white people from the south while this person is getting the vote of second-generation migrant workers with eczema. Why do we talk like that? Why do we think about politics that way? Why do we think about each other that way?

Why do ideas like intersectionality from Kimberlee Crenshaw in 1989 gained such popularity that people use it like we know what it is?

Intersectionality in a nutshell basically is the idea that to the degree that you don’t have those things you are oppressed.

And so if you are male heterosexual cisgendered right native-born American able-bodied by the way also attractive. There’s pretty privileged too. By the way if you are all those things but you’re not white alright then your oppression is limited to this area. But what if you’re not white but you’re also not male.

Now that place where you’re not whiteness and you’re not maleness intersect is where you feel the weight of the oppression. But what if you’re not white and not male and not heterosexual. Well now the oppression is even worse on you because you have these three intersections of oppression. What if you’re not white not male not heterosexual and not cisgendered. Woo so now you are a black trans male lesbian – four. Anyway now there are four intersections of oppression right. Well if you’re not white and you’re not male and you’re not heterosexual and you’re not cisgendered and you’re not able bodied or you’re not a native-born American you’re an immigrant or you’re not a.

You see intersectionality says that the level of oppression and the kind of oppression that you experience combines itself in these areas and layers itself in these areas these intersections if you will.

But what is that, if not a grown up expression of cultural Marxism?

By the way when people use the term racism today the term racism you got to be careful. And you got to understand what people are talking about because when people say racism they could mean you are being accused of being an individual who has racist prejudicial ideas toward other individuals.

Or they could just be saying that you are a person who is part of the cultural hegemony. Which by the way is inherently racist against people who are not…

Which means that now you have racism without a racist. By the way how do you handle that – racism in the heart of an individual. Let’s go to the book. Amen.  Let’s go to the book. Let’s call that what it is.

But racism that exists because of cultural hegemony, how do you fix that. Now instead of a preacher you’ve become a politician because the only way to fix that one is to change the hegemony.

You see why these ideas matter. And so the very ways in which we think about ourselves, the very ways in which we think about issues, the very ways, and this is why sometimes you can feel like you’re having a different conversation than another person.

A prime example is the Mike Brown case. I mean I got absolutely hammered hammered over the Mike Brown case. Tom Ascol got hammered over appreciating what I said about the Mike Brown case. And you can feel like you’re having two different conversations because on the one hand you come to this.

And you say okay a guy six foot four three hundred and some odd pounds reaches into a police car and grabs the gun of a police officer. Anybody who knows anything about anything says if I have a gun and you reach to grab my gun one of us is in trouble. If you get it it’s me. If you don’t it’s you. Hands up don’t shoot never happened. It was a complete fabrication. So a guy who had just strong-armed robbed somebody in a store stop by policeman aggressive action against the policeman gets shot and killed.

And you may have had some of these conversations or you’re sitting there and you’re going okay okay. Listen you tell me the story of the police officers who acted inappropriately and we can go together to be against that person. But you tell me this story and I say there was no injustice here. That wasn’t racism. Unless the problem is not one police officer and his actions on that one night but a cultural hegemony that has established structural racism that disproportionately targets black males. Therefore every time something like that happens to one of them it is another piece of evidence.

Which is why you have people who say things like the facts of that case really don’t matter or worse you start talking about the facts of that case and people say oh now you’re blaming the victim. What’s the end result of that? The end result of that is you don’t engage. You don’t discuss. You don’t interact. Because here’s what you learn. Whatever your answer is if it doesn’t line up with what the cultural Marxist says it ought to be or with the person who is borrowing the ideology of the cultural Marxist says it ought to be or the person who is unwittingly falling prey for the cultural Marxism that all of us have been saturated in wants it to be then you’re wrong. And you’re a racist. Or in my case a sellout who’s trying to curry favor with white people. Why is this important I’ll leave you with this

Why It’s Important

It’s important because this is an agenda not just an idea. It’s a disruptive transformative agenda. That’s number one. And it’s an agenda that needs to be recognized and an agenda that needs to be confronted.

here’s the second problem. And to me this is the sinister part of the problem. The sinister part of the problem is that the end result of this agenda is real pain real sin real brokenness that doesn’t get addressed.

Let me explain as someone who grew up in drug infested gang infested South LA, the son of a single teenage mother. I look at the Mike Brown situation and I want to say to all of the young black boys like him, who were young black boys like me. We can’t live like that. To all of the fathers who were not there to the tune of nearly 75% among black children, what I want to say is we have a problem that needs to be addressed. We can’t live like this. We have to deal with this. There is brokenness here that has to be addressed. There’s brokenness that has to be fixed.

But the way things stand now to say that is to blame the victim. Do you know what that means? That means that whatever pathologies there are that need to be addressed don’t get addressed. Because it’s the systems fault.

And again like I said at the beginning, I am not arguing that that there’s no racism. I’m not arguing that there’s no brokenness, that there’s no injustice. And we don’t want too many people in prison in this country.  We got way too many people in prison in this country. There’s something broken about that. We imprison more of our population than like 82 countries in the world. There’s something broken about that. Especially when a large number of those people are in there because of addiction to drugs.

so here’s what worries me. What worries me is that we’ve created an environment where we’ve divided everyone up into constituencies. Which is incredibly ironic because what that creates is stereotypes. And we look at everyone’s problems in relation to the system. And what the system is doing has done needs to do. And what that has the potential to do is to move us away from addressing individuals and their sin and their pain and their brokenness. Does this make sense?

We don’t have to be either/or. It doesn’t have to be that you know either that we address individuals in their sin and their brokenness a bit or we look at problems with systems.  It doesn’t have to be. Why do I have to choose between advocating for laws to change in the area of abortion which disproportionately affects people who look like me. Or proclaiming the Gospel with a view toward changing the hearts of young women so that they won’t kill their babies. Don’t make me choose between those two. I won’t. I want to both coach. And why do I have to choose between acknowledging the fact that there are huge problems and pathologies both among individuals and cultures and systems.

Again let me hasten to say I’m not arguing that everybody who talks about justice issues is somehow excluding both. But here’s what I am saying when we choose to talk about this in certain terms and when we choose to accept certain ideologies and agree with certain premises the end result is that if you don’t find yourself on the right side of this you’re disqualified. And that can’t be.

So what do you do with this? In all honesty I’m in a unique position I got magic melanin. So even though there’s people who will say certain things about me when I address certain of these issues I can say things that a lot of people can’t.

I’ve said to people, I think Jesus was a Pharisee. Number one: I don’t think it’s likely that He would have gone through 33 years of living and not identified with any of those groups. Number two: theologically, all the rest of them were way far away from where He was. Number three: He hammered those dudes in a way that generally you only get away with. Now again I’m not going to go to the mat over you know Jesus was part of the Pharisee group whatever.

But there is something real about that but there’s also something wrong about that because as we heard earlier in Christ there is now neither Jew nor Greek neither slave nor free no male nor female. We’re all one in Christ. We end up in a very unique situation. And this goes back to something that I said earlier. And it’s controversial and I want you to hear or understand this the wrong way.

A lot of people I know you tell them black people to shut up. No. No. I would never tell black people to shut up. But for me there’s something that I have to consider. If I’m your brother and there is something between us that causes you to be afraid apprehensive unwilling to speak truth into my life, then I got to go the extra mile to free you up to do that. And you have to go the extra mile to trust our relationship in Christ and do that. Well that’s hard y’all. It’s hard both ways isn’t it?

It’s hard if Tom and I are friends and brothers in Christ and there are things that Tom can see in my life and I know that I can come back at him and play the race card and maybe even prevent him from speaking to some of the things that he sees in my life. It’s hard for me to say I’m not going to do that to him my brother. And it’s hard for him knowing that I have the ability and opportunity to do that to speak certain things into my life for fear that I might.

One of the things that this cultural Marxism has exposed recently it’s a false unity. Because we got people who for years have been talking about how unified we are in Christ. Who now are suddenly dismissing one another because of where they fall on a particular social issue.

And again I’ll say more about that as the weekend goes on but for now just know that that’s why these things matter. That’s why these things are important.

It’s important because there’s an ideology here. There’s a there’s a goal here. There’s an endgame here.

And we see it in the world of politics. If you’ve been on a university campus at all recently you see this. It has to be addressed. And secondly because there are issues real brokenness real sin real problems that if we’re not careful we render ourselves unable or unwilling to address because of these ideologies that we’ve imbibed. Which means that finally we have to love the gospel enough and we have to love one another enough.

Hey here’s the great irony. The great irony is that in a way I’m borrowing language from the other side now because the other side is always saying check your privilege right. And I’m kind of saying that but here’s the difference. I’m saying it to everybody. I’m not saying that if you’re white male heterosexual cisgender able-bodied native-born American check your privilege. I’m saying if you are a member of the body of Christ and in discussion in this debate you have learned how to shut down the other side regardless of who that other side is check that.

It is going to require boldness both in terms of trusting our brothers and sisters in Christ and in terms of willingness to speak to issues that in this day and age we’ll get you out right just castigated. But the truth is worth it.