There’s nothing Marxist about Black Lives Matter

This woke movement, supported by capitalists, is disguising the class divisions that Marxism highlights.

Paddy Hannam

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Topics Politics UK USA

It has become increasingly common for commentators to describe Black Lives Matter as a ‘Marxist’ movement. Most such characterisations have been pejorative, intended to discredit the organisation. But at the same time, one BLM co-founder was more than comfortable describing herself and her colleagues as ‘trained Marxists’.

It serves the interests of both critics and supporters of BLM to talk about it as a Marxist outfit. Critics get to dismiss BLM as part of the loony left, and supporters get to believe they are part of something genuinely revolutionary. But are they right?

Perhaps the most defining characteristic of Marxism is its explanation of class and its role in society. The Communist Manifesto famously claims that, ‘The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles’. In other words, class conflict is the driving force of history. Revolutions happen when societies can no longer contain that conflict.

Marx said such revolutions can only be successful if oppressed classes become sufficiently unified to be able to outnumber and overcome those in power. Attaining class consciousness, and rejecting the artificial differences imposed upon us by our rulers as a means of keeping us at war with one another, is key to bringing about change.

Fast-forward to today and many of the so-called Marxists of BLM are virtually devoid of any analysis of class at all.

One example of this refusal properly to engage with class is the accusation of ‘class reductionism’, levelled against those arguing that class is just as important as race in explaining inequality. Adolph Reed Jr – a black Marxist – was recently deplatformed for his ‘class reductionist’ views on race. Taking the traditional Marxist approach lands you in hot water with activists who live and die by the all-subsuming doctrine of institutional racism.

In fact, the BLM movement doesn’t only ignore class analysis, it also obscures the reality of class relations. The constant focus on ‘white privilege’, for instance, has come at the expense of any recognition that lots of poor white people suffer from deprivations, police violence and prejudice, too. Racial disparities are a problem. But obsessing over white privilege stands in the way of any real attempt to draw on the common experiences of the white and black working classes, with the aim of building a cross-racial campaign for change. Instead of putting aside our differences, we are encouraged to wallow in them.

Talk of ‘white fragility’, a term coined by Robin DiAngelo and discussed in her best-selling book of the same name, is an example of this trend. It undermines cross-racial unity by focusing on difference and by insisting that all whites are inherently racist. As Luke Gittos has pointed out on spiked: ‘By fixating on “whiteness” as the root of all the problems facing black Americans, DiAngelo discounts the possibility that solidarity in the face of common problems can be more powerful than racial identity.’ The same is true for BLM more broadly.

Indeed, how can the workers unite across racial lines if today’s anti-racist movement is right that the lived experiences of black and white people are so totally different? And if white workers are inherently racist, why would black workers want to join with them?

Modern identity politics wrongly views society as a split between a white ruling class and a non-white mass proletariat. It refuses to engage with the reality that Marx identified – that workers can be equally exploited regardless of their origins, and that the key to progressive change lies in building bridges between hitherto distinct communities rather than in setting them apart. In this regard Black Lives Matter clearly stands in opposition to Marxism.

Other woke campaigns have similarly been described (or dismissed) as an offshoot of Marxism. Right-wing critics of things like identity politics, political correctness and the trans movement say we are witnessing the rise of ‘Cultural Marxism’. But these movements are often more reactionary than revolutionary. We have only to look at how quick multinational corporations have been to endorse the woke worldview to see how utterly un-radical it is.

Every big firm from McDonald’s to Apple has doffed its cap to Black Lives Matter. Even members of the royal family – the epitome of inherited power and privilege – have backed BLM. When you have the backing of these sorts of people, you know you are not about to turn the world upside down in favour of workers’ revolution. The fashion today is less for champagne socialism and more for iPhone identitarianism, it seems.

The ‘Marxist’ appellation is not simply false, though. It is also both counter-productive and dangerous. George Orwell warned about the political implications of using ‘meaningless words’ in his great essay, ‘Politics and the English Language’. Bemoaning the abuse and overuse of the word ‘fascism’, in words that ring truer today than ever, he said that word now had ‘no meaning except insofar as it signifies something not desirable’.

In recent years, there has been a resurgence of this desire to brand all political opponents as extremists, without much serious consideration of the terminology deployed. Such hollowing-out of language inevitably leads to confusion and misunderstanding. But it also inadvertently eats away at independent thought and expression.

Orwell said that, rather than pick the words that best and most clearly convey our meaning, many people often choose the easier route of ‘letting the ready-made phrases come crowding in’. If you do this, you allow these phrases to ‘construct your sentences for you’, and even to ‘think your thoughts for you’. Ultimately, this can lead to ‘partially concealing your meaning even from yourself.’

This is one of the ways we end up with commentators and politicians attacking their enemies by using little-thought-out terms which they cannot ultimately justify. This is how parts of the modern left are able to brand everyone and everything they disagree with as ‘racist’. But it is also how people can use the word ‘Marxist’ in a similar way, in place of proper analysis or critique. If we are fairly to reject accusations of racism made against anyone who does not take the knee for BLM, we must lead by example. We have to make sure that the words we use have meaning, and that we understand what that meaning is.

Paddy Hannam is a spiked intern.

Picture by: Getty.

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Comments

M Jones

14th July 2020 at 4:31 am

Why are folks on the right so hung up on the proper political classification of left wing extremist groups? The Left figured out long ago that the best way to defeat the opposition is through good old fashioned demogaguery, mud slinging, name calling and of course intimidation and violence.
To BLM, you’re all deplorables, neo-nazis, white supremacists and racists. Logic, reason and truth never enter into it.They’re not trying to win a college debate or a battle of ideas. They want to destroy their enemy and gain power.. We’re in the denial phase. Ultimately this will be settled by force.

frank stipp

13th July 2020 at 10:13 pm

My experience in politics, movement journalism, etc. recalls one of the most important investigations I read about many years ago. It was the expose’ that the Ford Foundation was laundering intelligence funds to l’america’s National Student Association. After its buying off of the 50s and 60s student leadership, there has been no substantive student leadership. It buried the chief source of leadership experience, for 60 years and counting.
I learned from a rather credible marxist commentator a couple of years ago that Ford Fdtn more recently purchased the founders of Black Lives Matter for its trophy case. (For all intents and purposes, friends, one cannot be on both sides at the same time). Well, identity politics is the antithesis of class consciousness, one cannot do both of those either. So while certain issues are getting a mild airing, in the desperately media-illiterate condition of the Far West, with its shallow/if any culture and literally no evidence of civil society whatsoever, sadly, the occasional bleeps of wisdom are few and far between. Please airdrop literature. Thank you.

dom torato

13th July 2020 at 7:01 am

They are not just Marxist in name only. Here are pages and pages outlining their Marxist ideology HERE► Read More

Rachel Kopfle

10th July 2020 at 1:11 pm

They are not just Marxist in name only. Here are pages and pages outlining their Marxist ideology: https://www.socialistalternative.org/marxism-fight-black-freedom/black-lives-matter-marxism/

The Reactionary

10th July 2020 at 12:18 am

I used to read Spiked years ago, so I am heartily amused that they don’t seem to realise that BLM is the radical left now. Completely in lock-step with the megacorporations, supported by the leftist academy (wouldn’t want to be racist and go against them), globalist controlled, for destabilisation and constant revolution, and dedicated to wiping out any and all symbols of white culture and for subordinating whites by force. Its ideology connects straight to leftist anti-colonialism from many decades ago, but no longer just against past colonialism or for reparations because of slavery, no, now it wants to attacks whites in the countries they built, in their home countries, and it is not going to let up with the the guilt or the violence. Marxism was for destabilisation, ruination, and revolution, and BLM continues that with the leftist ideas of recent decades turned against anti-white societies in any form.

It’s not just a descendant of Marxism, this is where the left has been led. Destroying statues, wanting to destroy Christianity, constant agitation and agitprop, riots, those with property being targetted for violent death, this isn’t new for Marxism. Blacks, indigenous of all types, they are simply being used along with white leftists and vast top down support to make the revolution happen.

If BLM are useful raging idiots for the elite that control, destabilise, and subordinate us all by using the left, then Paddy at Spiked is twice as stupid, because they don’t even realise what is going on. 🤣

Thomas C

8th July 2020 at 11:47 pm

Great article, Paddy. This hollowing out of language is everywhere. I recently saw a sign saying: “keep your social distance”.What’s the word “social” doing in there? Or, before lockdown, the NHS used to stress that people should come to A&E only if they have a “serious” emergency – as though there’s any other kind! Even the way in which people band the word “Covid” about is a problem. More often than not they’re actually referring to lockdown, not the virus. I agree with you, and Orwell, that getting these things right – or rather, thinking for ourselves – is crucial. Otherwise we’re just passing around other people’s thoughts.

Brandy Cluster

8th July 2020 at 11:33 pm

It is FAR simpler than this commentary suggests. Britain was obsessed with CLASS, the USA is obsessed with RACE. And at the heart of this, er, ideology is a simple idea: IF I CAN’T HAVE IT NEITHER CAN YOU. The oldest hit in the capitalist playbook.

Owen Salisbury

12th July 2020 at 10:12 am

It is far simpler, but not in the way you suggest. Two of the founders trained at or were affiliated with the Rosa Luxembourg Foundation, founded by ex-Stasi; two had honest-to-god Maoists as mentors and/or predecessors in the Maoist organizations they formerly belonged to; and they admit it, by the way. Not just the founders, either.

That doesn’t mean every idea, interest or member is a Marxist, but simply to hand-wave their own words and beliefs away…? And based on what evidence?

Their rhetoric is full of the rhetoric and language one hears from other outright Marxists. Their goals line up with tearing down the United States, perhaps because that was the main enemy of the Soviet Union before and the Chinese Communist dictatorship today.

I’m not suggesting a conspiracy, mind you, or a concerted effort directed by Beijing. But if you’re going to say “Nope! The Marxists who use the post-Marxist work of former Marxists, and the latter-Marxist work of modern Marxists, who trained with Marxists and say they’re Marxists, aren’t Marxists!” then have the receipts and back your claim up, don’t just assert it.

Jack Sprat

8th July 2020 at 10:46 pm

A very good analysis with some very good comments. Apart from the fringe I don’t see Marxism in extreme BLM I see an aim of replacing colour blind harmony with promoting individual colour identityism versus white “ privilege” . yet at the top of the income heap In UK are ethnic Chinese and Indians , near the bottom are white ethnic minorities ( “ white other “ census group) with average income less than most Asian ethnic groups and at the very bottom ethnic British ( white British census group) working class young people which even the government has realized need special equality initiative .

Tony Benn

8th July 2020 at 10:29 pm

Real Black Lives Matter has never been tried.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8bqQ-C1PSE&feature=youtu.be&t=86

Gareth Edward KING

8th July 2020 at 9:44 pm

So, Dr. David Starkey’s been ‘cancelled’ because of what he dared say in an interview with Darren Grimes. Congratulations to 23-year old Grimes for getting him on his show. BLM and their intolerance on Twitter is unforgiveable; Starkey’s 73 years old! He was an honorary Cambridge academic who would’ve written a fair few more books than this noisy, philistine bunch! Now he’s been told to go (he stepped down). Satisfied are you? You heartless bunch! He’s 73, now how’s he going to live the rest of his life in peace?

Lyn Keay

8th July 2020 at 7:48 pm

They gave the game away when they said they were ‘trained marxists’. I’ve met a few trained dogs & a few trained brick layers etc, but marxism, that takes education not training.

Tony Benn

8th July 2020 at 10:35 pm

Thus proving yet again that education and intelligence are two separate things.

Christopher Tyson

8th July 2020 at 7:02 pm

Adam Smith back in the 18th century came up with the idea of ‘the invisible hand’. Left to its own devices Smith argued that the market economy could regulate itself, bringing together buyers and sellers, deciding prices and so on, as if controlled by an invisible hand. Since Smith’s time commentators have not had much difficulty in understanding this vaguely metaphysical idea.
Marx’s idea of class struggle has created much greater conceptual difficulty. Marx was not describing a cause and effect relationship, but capitalism was a self-perpetuating system. Within capitalism there were winners and losers, as a system of wealth creation capitalism could also mitigate exploitation, so the working class could benefit to some degree. Today we have some social mobility, we also have a prosperous middle class, who are not strictly speaking part of the capitalist class, they are employed and paid for their labour.
The point then is that the system operates to perpetuate the system and the system workers in the interest of creating and investing capital, ultimately in the interest of a capitalist class, but the benefits can be distributed throughout society.
For Marx his analysis provided an objective account of how society works, as a political propagandist he would not have been surprised that his conclusions were dismissed by his political opponents, and adopted by those who shared his political views.
Today even those who consider themselves left wing or Marxist do not seriously envision the overthrow of capitalism. Marx insight was that capitalism was an economic system that could be transcended. Capitalists apologists have been successful in naturalising capitalism, and in its contemporary form we have TINA, there is no alternative to the market.
Marx and Marxism, then, are irrelevant today, there is no critical mass opposition to capitalism, certainly not in the Marxist sense, any opposition is moral, environmental or relates to social justice. Capitalism is able to co-opt this form of opposition, or to redistribute resources to appease the discontented, this may even be for sincere moral reasons.
Without a sense of common humanity, a clear view of economic interests and a conflict of interest, and more importantly today, a sense of individual agency, Marxism is hopelessly anachronistic, today’s radicals have the character of the diminished subject, the vulnerable, fragile, atomised individual, a victim of circumstances, as I have summarised it, nihilism, solipsism and narcissism. If we do not challenge the contemporary culture, never mind Marxism, we will have no politics at all.

Christopher Tyson

8th July 2020 at 7:05 pm

Great article by the way

Cody Bailey

8th July 2020 at 5:33 pm

BLM is following the same insidious playbook as the socialists everywhere always have. It is not an ideology or a school of thought. It is a strategy.

In the end it is the cultural version of regulatory capture.

Brandy Cluster

8th July 2020 at 11:35 pm

BINGO. Everybody here is over-intellectualizing BLM. It’s just hatred and resentment by another name.

Dominic Straiton

8th July 2020 at 5:21 pm

Just like Marx this is all spoilt brat daddy issues.

Jim Denham

8th July 2020 at 4:18 pm

You fake-Marxists and ex-Student R-Revolutionaries may like to read a proper, serious Marxist analysis of Black Nationalism: http://www.columbia.edu/~lnp3/mydocs/race/black_nationalism.htm

James Knight

8th July 2020 at 4:17 pm

‘letting the ready-made phrases come crowding in’

That is the basis for almost all social media and the algorithms behind it.

Jerry Owen

8th July 2020 at 4:04 pm

When did Marxists not target people for attack?
The BLM is stuffed with SWP middle class white reactionaries ( once revolutionaries untill they won the institutions ). Their predictable placards are to be seen filling the BLM marches everywhere.
If the BLM walks like a duck and squawks like a duck then indeed it is a duck.

Brandy Cluster

8th July 2020 at 11:36 pm

All of it – all – playing into the hands of Donald Trump.

KATHLEEN CARR

8th July 2020 at 3:23 pm

The present lot are maoists who are in alliance with the nation of islam groups. Russia and Eastern Europe countries used to finance terrorist groups. After Russia stopped being communist these various groups changed their alliance as there was no longer any money. No country has ever carried out Marxist ideas ‘to each according etc’ the mixture of socialism/ capitalism in the Western world has created the most equal societies in the world, communist countries are simply state run totalitarian places with super wealthy elites. These protesters think they will become part of this elite when western society falls. Most protesters turn out to be motivated by money and power not political conviction-look at all the people who betrayed Britain Philby, Burgess etc -none of them cared for the common man.In just a few weeks BLM has helped turn American cities into even poorer and more dangerous places-how does that bring about a fairer society?

S. Garside

8th July 2020 at 3:11 pm

Ackchyually … … … !
It’s warmed-over Marxism, that’s true.
Class-consciousness, race-consciousness, age-consciousness, national-consciousness, it’s all the same tool for sewing division and subversion, setting a house up against itself.

nick hunt

8th July 2020 at 2:52 pm

So does Paddy condemn the ‘philosophy’ of Marxist insurrectionists since time immemorial, ‘by all means necessary’? BLM embrace this, so rejecting the ballot box in favour of ‘direct action’ AKA violence. But we need to worry about democratically elected leaders mistakenly calling them ‘Marxists’? I think Paddy should debate this with BLM activists as they smash the statue of black abolitionist Frederick Douglas, violently intimidate churchgoers and their kids, or call white people ‘subhuman’. You’ll find such reports easily enough. Start with Gateway Pundit

Dominic Straiton

8th July 2020 at 2:26 pm

Im waiting for Marx to be cancelled because he was as racist as Gandhi. He was a Darwinian and his letter to Engels (30th July 1862) (Marx 1979,p 468) shows exactly that. Id copy it here but it has to many N words for moderation.

Jerry Owen

8th July 2020 at 3:58 pm

Dominic
Absolutely.. If Marx is cancelled I will admit my error to this author.

James Knight

8th July 2020 at 4:45 pm

This takes offence archeology to a new level. Spoiler Alert! Marx did not use PC language!

Dominic Straiton

8th July 2020 at 6:29 pm

Neither did Churchill, although he never used the N word. It was all “settled science” back then. Im sure they could have drummed up a 97% bullshit statistic like we do in our day with our own shitty “settled science”

Jerry Owen

8th July 2020 at 2:19 pm

The problem for Marxists is that they are totally irrelevant, Marxism has been beaten by a better and fairer system called capitalism. The history of Marxism shows that there is no end game for it’s beliefs and ideals. In fact the only end game is death and destruction of all opposition and all things deemed to be apposite to Marxism. There is no Marxist Utopia.
What we are witnessing at the moment across Europe and America is Marxism, we are witnessing the destruction of everything ( or soon to be ) deemed ‘imperial’ or indeed ‘conservative’, monuments churches etc. The left destroy they do not build, and to date they cannot hold up any example of a successful socialist / Marxist / Communist / Fascist society, all socialist led societies are doomed to failure at great human cost and misery.
We had the march through the institutions of the Marxists and they captured them successfully, they have power but that power cannot build their Utopia because most people are naturally opposed to Marxism / totalitarianism.
So what do we have ? We have the left controlling the institutions and big business that’s nothing new for socialists, ( just look at Hitler’s, yes he was a socialist big business support base ), but what they don’t control is peoples minds.
Marxism has morphed into what ultimately is as far as it can go. It is in a cul de sac of its own making and it has never worked out how to take a detour, or in fact realise its own futility as an ideology.
Marxism is dead it is superfluous, unfortunately it can’t smell it’s own rotting corpse.

Jerry Owen

8th July 2020 at 2:28 pm

I would add, that the white middle class students we see on the streets are the brown shirts of their Marxist parents who control the civil service, education system etc. The long march was extremely successful.
The problem is that the working classes haven’t got the memo and they never have done. If your black and have the memo you’re on board, if you haven’t you are the ‘wrong kind’ of black.. Ditto woman/ gay / Jew .. And so it goes on.
Socialism is divisive as a system, it relies on favouritism and bribery of the mind.
We can see the bullying and street violence get worse as the years roll by Brexit and Trump have speeded up the process.
We are witnessing Marxism entering the beginnings of its historically repeated death throes and it won’t be pretty.

Jerry Owen

8th July 2020 at 2:30 pm

I have added to the above post to clarify but is now under mod, so my thread has gone.

David McAdam

8th July 2020 at 12:59 pm

Yes, it seems that everything that crops up en-masse with the loudest voice on the streets, is labelled by the right echoed by the middle occupants as ‘Marxist’. The Russian revolution, for example, was led by soldiers abandoning their posts and peasants consisting of many identities. BLM is exclusive and divisive driven by largely middle-class whites possessed by a snobbish, distaste of ‘working class’ whites coupled with a condescending attitude towards minorities within this class.

nick hunt

8th July 2020 at 2:55 pm

Does your theory of popular revolt exclude any role for Marxism?

David Graham

8th July 2020 at 12:57 pm

It’s a bit like the use of the term ‘Nazi’, though not commonly used nowadays has been brought out as an accusation against something/one the accuser disagrees with. I believe some historians group communists and the Nazis together where the concept of class was ‘replaced’ with the concept of race under the Nazi regime?. These were extreme regimes, but there appear elements of ideological comparison throughout time and place.

Jim Lawrie

8th July 2020 at 12:50 pm

The extension of guilt to those who have done nothing and are 200 years and 5,000 miles from the events of slavery echoes the Soviet charge of guilt “by moral complicity”. For which men were executed.

Mor Vir

8th July 2020 at 1:10 pm

It also ‘echoes’ the Christian dogma of original sin, that all are born guilty for what some alleged ancestors did thousands of years before we were even born or had any possible control over events or responsibility for them – when Eve was chatted up by a talking snake and Adam had a try on Satan’s apple. Yes, some people actually ‘believe’ that stuff.

Yes, it can help to get a sense of perspective by drawing on parallels but It takes more than that to understand and to identify exactly what is going on and why.

nick hunt

8th July 2020 at 3:07 pm

Many argue that ‘original sin’ is metaphorical rather than literal, which you assume here. Christian original sin is a description of our fallen human nature, not of crimes by specific ancestors. Unlike God, humans are imperfect and always prone to violence and corruption by nature. But racist leftists only accuse whites of the eternal sin of racism, so treating them as an inferior race or species. Leftist bigots like BLM are conducting a race war with the goal of seizing political power. In such an existential struggle, demoralising your victims, as Hitler did to Jews, is essential for success.

nick hunt

8th July 2020 at 3:09 pm

Many argue that ‘original sin’ is metaphorical rather than your literal interpretation in this post. Christian original sin is a description of our fallen nature, not of crimes by specific ancestors. Unlike God, humans are imperfect and always prone to violence and corruption. But r_cist leftists only accuse whites of the eternal sin of racism, so treating them as an inferior race or species. Leftist b_gots like BLM are conducting a r_ce war with the goal of seizing political power. In such an existential struggle, demoralising your victims, as Hitler did to J_ws, is essential for success.

Jim Lawrie

8th July 2020 at 3:45 pm

Your usual whataboutery. You have said nothing.

Christian doctrine is was about striving to be a better person. Not taking it upon yourself to judge, condemn and re-educate others.

Mor Vir

8th July 2020 at 5:06 pm

Really getting somewhere there, Jim.

X is like Y in some sense.

X is also like Z in some sense.

Maybe X is neither Y nor Z, it just has an abstract similarity? Maybe X is X.

‘That is whataboutery, you are saying nothing!!!’

You must try harder, Jim.

Mor Vir

8th July 2020 at 6:48 pm

Nick, historical RCC dogma officially holds that we were all born guilty of the sin of Adam.

Council of Trent:

“If any one does not confess that the first man, Adam, when he had transgressed the commandment of God in Paradise, immediately lost the holiness and justice wherein he had been constituted; let him be anathema.

“If any one asserts, that this sin of Adam,–which in its origin is one, and being transfused into all by propogation, not by imitation, is in each one as his own, –is taken away either by the powers of human nature, or by any other remedy than the merit of the one mediator, our Lord Jesus Christ; let him be anathema.

“If any one denies, that, by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is conferred in baptism, the guilt of original sin is remitted; or even asserts that the whole of that which has the true and proper nature of sin is not taken away; but says that it is only rased, or not imputed; let him be anathema.”

The doctrine of the Reformers approximated to the RCC doctrine, and held us to be ‘guilty’ by reason of the sin of Adam, eg. Calvin, Institutes.

Individual Christians can ‘believe’ whatever they want, but the historical doctrine of the churches is clear: Adam was a real person, he sinned, and we were all born guilty because of it. – Which is not to say that any of the churches believe in original sin today any more than they believe in anything much these days.

Augustine is the key early medieval theologian who influenced the dogmas of Western Christianity on original sin, as on matters of ‘grace’ generally. Modern Christians are often closer to his opponent Pelagius.

Jim Corrigan

8th July 2020 at 11:30 am

Agreed with the author on many points. Still, police violence is more common in black communities in the USA. Also the Blacks are not immigrants, and most have been in the US longer than most Whites. Makes sense, right 1660-1860s verses 1880-1920? Also in some areas the overlap between poor and black is almost total, think Northeastern US and California. The area where the media is located. In a limited scope of police brutality BLM has some value; however, most of it is silly, destroying statues, renaming, virtue signalling, etc. Nothing will change. Final note, interestingly BLM was spearheaded by immigrant Black Muslims.

Mor Vir

8th July 2020 at 11:58 am

‘Black’ functions as a dichotomy with ‘white’, in gist it encompasses all non-white persons.

USA has very much relied on imm igration to expand the workforce in recent decades and it continues to do so. About a million new workers legally enter USA per year under Trump, as before.

USA has gone from 87.7% white in 1970 to 72.4% in 2010; under 5s were 50% white in 2013. There are currently 90 million first and second generation m igrants in USA, 28% of the population.

‘Blacks’ have a historically specific background in USA dating back centuries, but the dependence of the USA capitalist economy on increased labour utilisation mirrors that of other ‘mature’ capitalist economies, and its need for an ‘anti-r acist’ ideology that facilitates that material interest is also the same.

nick hunt

8th July 2020 at 3:17 pm

Don’t forget that FBI statistic that 94% of all black homicide victims are killed by other blacks. Aren’t you curious that BLM remains silent about that, and also about the huge enslavement of black Africans by Islamic regimes today? It seems that only black deaths matter to BLM: those enslaved by white Americans, and those killed by white cops. For example, Islamic Mauritania has aroundd 600, 000 slaves today, as many as the total number of Africans siold to the USA during its 80 years of slavery. But not a peep from BLM. Surely our self-confessed Marxist heroes wouldn’t use dead blacks for its race war against white people and democracy?

Jim Lawrie

8th July 2020 at 3:56 pm

Whites have massively outnumbered blacks for the entire history of The USA. White people built The USA, not blacks. No matter how much history is rewritten.

Mor Vir

8th July 2020 at 5:08 pm

Did you even read what you were supposed to be responding to, or did you just feel like saying it anyway?

Must try harder, Jim.

Tony Benn

8th July 2020 at 11:00 pm

No it’s not Jim, the stats show that’s not the case. https://www.nationalreview.com/2017/09/police-violence-against-black-men-rare-heres-what-data-actually-say/

As for the “most black have been longer than whites” I’d like to know where you got those figures from and how you define where someone is “from”?

Mor Vir

8th July 2020 at 11:15 am

BLM is a bourgeois quasi-religious front that is funded by Wall St. and the C iA. It promotes an ideology that is ordered to the material interests of the capitalist state for an increased utilisation of labour to keep GDP growth growing and to maintain the decrepit late capitalist economy. ‘Anti-r acism’ generally is a post-imperialist bourgeois ideology that is aimed at expanded labour and profits. BLM is a puppet of the capitalist state.

Mor Vir

8th July 2020 at 12:35 pm

China also promotes ideology and ‘values’ among its diverse population to facilitate the state and its material objectives. It is part of the ‘core socialist values’ campaign.

A quote from Chinese Communist Party general secretary Xi Jinping at the Eighteenth National Congress says:

“If our 1.3 billion citizens and 82 million Party members as well as overseas Chinese can achieve consensus, we will constitute a powerful force […]  We must realize that people from different localities and social strata who have different backgrounds and occupations think differently. We must therefore consider: where can we find consensus? Where can we allow differences to persist?”

‘Anti-r acism’ is not a bourgeois ideology in a timeless, ahistorical sense; it is so in the West because of bourgeois class dominance and the historically specific ordering of ideology to its material interests.

The promotion of ideology and ‘values’ goes much deeper in the West, and “it is ‘concealed’ in the social sciences, education, religion, and entertainment, whereas the CCP presents ideology ad-hoc.”

Both the West and China promote ideology and values to facilitate the state and its material objectives.

Citizens generally are consumers of ideology rather than analysts of it. So, they do not really grasp what is going on and why. It is usually the place of the citizen to be manipulated and controlled by the powers that be. Most citizens ‘believe’ that stuff lol.

nick hunt

8th July 2020 at 3:19 pm

Is Marxism generally a puppet of capitalism?

Mor Vir

8th July 2020 at 5:10 pm

Must something always be so in order to sometimes be so?

Sophisms do not work on me, I am too logical for that.

There is nothing particularly ‘Marxist’ about BLM in any case.

harry briggs

8th July 2020 at 11:06 am

I am not sure what a “trained Marxist” actually is and maybe the founders of BLM aren’t either, it’s ironic that Marx would have been cancelled for his racist views today.

Major Bonkers

8th July 2020 at 1:22 pm

On the other hand, he would have fitted right in with today’s Labour Party!

nick hunt

8th July 2020 at 3:25 pm

The Marxist Saul Alinsky, a big fan of the pyschopathic killer and tyrant Vladimir Lenin, is credited with developing the action manual for training leftists as street ‘activists’, and his book was adopted and taught by both Obama and Hillary. Back in 1969, Hillary Clinton was in fact a student and personal devotee of Alinsky, and wrote a thesis on his work. Google ‘Want to understand Hillary Clinton? Read Saul Alinsky’ for more.

Dave Patterson

8th July 2020 at 10:51 am

Excellent, 5** and you just got yourself another donation – I am extremely sick of these barbarians being referring to as ‘marxists’ when it is so obviously untrue to anyone with any understanding of history – which these goons obviously do not. This is being driven from above in a much more reactionary fashion, as again noted by the writer. You keep this guy on.

nick hunt

8th July 2020 at 3:27 pm

BLM directed from ‘above’? Evidence please, especially as BLM leaders call themselves trained Marxists.

K Tojo

8th July 2020 at 10:20 am

Have “The Committee” at Spiked decided that the journal needs to return to it’s good old Living Marxism roots? Is that why they have put Paddy the Intern on the case?

Paddy tells us that the good name of Marxism is being sullied by Woke activists trying to pass themselves off as Marxists when in fact they are just tools of the Global Capitalist hegemony (or is it oligarchy?).

The young intern is particulary keen on quoting George Orwell, that great exponent of the Marxist revolution, to support his analysis – language is being misused to the detriment of true Marxism. If only the correct words were used we’d all understand that what we need is a class war, not a race war. Struggle against capitalism and the class enemy worked out so well for those 20th century Marxist revolutionaries – as long as we find the correct definitions what could possibly go wrong?

By the way, on the subject of correct definitions: back in the 1970s Marxist academics were concerned about the term “Red Army Faction” being used by the media as the name of the Baader-Meinhof gang. The true term, they claimed, should have been “Red Army FRACTION” (ie. a small advance guard unit of the Red Army heralding the revolution to come). Labelling them as a mere faction was a tactic designed to mislead the public and cool their revolutionary ardor. That’s Marxist academics for you!

James Knight

8th July 2020 at 4:28 pm

“Paddy tells us that the good name of Marxism is being sullied by Woke activists”

Hardly. The whole point of the article was that the description was false and inaccurate.

Guess you didn’t read the article.

K Tojo

8th July 2020 at 6:00 pm

JAMES KNIGHT

Your guess is wrong. I NEVER comment on articles I have not read. I’m sure you read the piece as well but but I wonder if you really understood it. Below are a few quotes from the article.

The subtitle under the heading:
“This woke movement, supported by capitalists, is disguising the class divisions that Marxism highlights.”

“…one BLM co-founder was more than comfortable describing herself and her colleagues as ‘trained Marxists’”

“…many of the so-called Marxists of BLM are virtually devoid of any analysis of class at all”

[Modern identity politics] “…refuses to engage with the reality that Marx identified – that workers can be equally exploited regardless of their origins”

“The ‘Marxist’ appellation is not simply false, though. It is also both counter-productive and dangerous”

The “whole point of the article” was that woke activists, labelled Marxists by both themselves and their critics, fail to understand that Marx was attacking class and the huge disparities in wealth that created. The woke rebellion gains enthusiastic support from the corporate capitalists probably because it provides opportunities for moral posturing without seriously threatening their wealth. Woke Marxists are not Paddy’s kind of Marxists. In capturing the brand they have misrepresented it (and sullied its “good name”).

Tony Benn

8th July 2020 at 10:42 pm

When someone tells me they are a Marxist, they believe in intersectionality, the destruction of capitalism, the removal of all borders and the ending of the family, I believe them.

Brandy Cluster

8th July 2020 at 11:38 pm

I expect they’re just exercising their editorial freedom of choice and freedom to speak. The beauty of it is that you don’t have to agree. I don’t, but that doesn’t give me the right to shut them down.

Linda Payne

8th July 2020 at 9:55 am

The ruling class can’t beleive their luck; instead of having to impose divide and rule to undermine any class action all they have to do is adopt a movement (BLM) that is basically doing the job for them. Expect more demonisation of working class white people especially to those who oppose the narrative, more lost jobs etc more attacks on usual suspects football fans for example, there needs to be a mood to counteract all this

Mor Vir

8th July 2020 at 11:25 am

A lot of people cannot see past the puppet, which is laughable. They have their own contemporary tribal symbol system that only allows them to see certain things in certain ways. ‘Marxists’ is a part of that symbol system, the ultimate ‘explanation’ of what is wrong in this society. It is rooted in an attempt at political warfare and its need for an identifiable and realistically fightable ‘enemy’.

nick hunt

8th July 2020 at 3:30 pm

Marxists famously know who the enemy of society is. Will you be correcting them too?

Mor Vir

8th July 2020 at 5:11 pm

What?

nick hunt

8th July 2020 at 3:29 pm

Is your ‘ruling class’ ventriloquated by patriotic or progressive values these days?

Claire D

8th July 2020 at 9:02 am

At least Marxism was based on a reasoned analysis of history even if I don’t agree with it.
Identity politics, BLM, Feminism etc, seem to be reactive and neurotic responses to current conditions, positively encouraged by (in the UK) by government policy, ie, the Equality Act 2010.

Dominic Moorhouse

8th July 2020 at 8:30 am

Clever – eventually getting round to using the phrase ‘Cultural Marxism’ (which describes BLM), but then using it to describe the woke supporting organisations instead!
Start again Intern, by describing why BLM are cultural marxists not marxists (hint – they use Race rather than Class to push their agenda…)

George Whale

8th July 2020 at 7:01 am

Maybe BLM’s rabble-rousers (primarily the SWP, it appears) are Trotskyites rather than Marxists. A commie by any other name…

nick hunt

8th July 2020 at 3:48 pm

I think it’s enough to know that the various shades of red fascism have the same ultimate mission: to achieve government that controls the people, rather than to protect government controlled by the people. Red fascists will ultimately use bullets before ballots, because leftism is a coercive movement which endorses ‘by any means necessary’. Fight it.

Tom Joad

8th July 2020 at 6:33 am

No, they are not marxist, they are anarchists. Old style leftiness was actually pretty diciplined, and always on the side of the native working class and the poor. In the sixties socialists in Finland were against of immigration, because the supply of extra working force would danger the working classes power to negotiate with their bosses. That’s why we were very white country for so long, lefties were against of immigration. And they were against the EU until around 2005! Again because they were worried about the situation of the native working class under the EU. Then it all changed suddenly pretty much upside down. What happened? Obama happened. They went totally nuts because of Obama”s victory, they abandoned their past principles. Trump’s victory caused terrible hangover for them. Now they are replacing the class theory with intersectionalism, but they still loathe the native working class. Despite all that modern blah-blah, they identify native working class person with very refined instict.

I have arrived to a conclusion that this is happening at least partly because constantly climbing education level of society. In society where majority of people have academic education, the native working class will be put down more than ever. It has lot to do with the inflation of the value of education, which can not be stopped. Even highly educated people can not find work often these days, but many still feel they are above the native working class, and they have to find a way to display that somehow. Then we get this modern snobbery and elitism.

George Whale

8th July 2020 at 6:56 am

What a pity Finland has fallen to the globalist agenda. The country will soon be swamped by third world immigration, just as England has been. East Helsinki is already starting to look like East London.

Tom Joad

8th July 2020 at 7:34 am

Yes it is. I was born and bred in eastern Helsinki. In Finland the fall has been very fast. We have been through the same change in around twenty years that in England took lot longer and started much earlier. In my school during the eighties there were zero black or coloured people, and there were 600 pupils. 100,0% white. It was pretty harsh how the media started to push this new agenda through after the fall of Soviet Union. They said everywhere that we have bad genes, that we need better genes..Old stories can still be found from archives. When in reality they just needed to crush the negotiating monopoly of the native working class on job markets.

PAUL ROGERS

8th July 2020 at 7:36 am

Well put. And I’m sure you’re aware of the British Great University Ponzi Scheme. We now have 50.2% of kids going into higher education despite the fact that many of the qualifications they are getting are of low quality and carry enormous personal debts. There was a naive hope that the ‘market’ would weed out the lower quality offerings but it has been slow to come.
The pandemic has finally had a dozen or more signal they will fail. We can only hope it will be many. Truth is, outside STEM, we do want that many kids to be indoctrinated for three years. Hell, I cannot buy enough AI, DataScience, Cyber skills at a reasonable prices on the market. I need them. But they are too hard for most kids.

This new white BLM elitism is pure snobbery, as you say. Pride is a sin. And we allow it to run rampant today.

George Whale

8th July 2020 at 8:14 am

@TomJoad
“When in reality they just needed to crush the negotiating monopoly of the native working class on job markets.”
But Finns are among the best workers in the world, whilst many of the immigrants live on welfare and spend their time hanging around the railway station causing trouble.

nick hunt

8th July 2020 at 3:38 pm

There is a more basic argument: leftists preach equality to those non-leftists they assume to be inferior to themselves. Leftists are ‘self-annointed saviours’ (Sowell) who depend on non-leftists for superior status, meaning and mission in their alienated lives. That is the basis of the elitism you describe. What’s more, leftists must ultimately use force to impose equality, meaning that the most equal societies are really the most divided into privileged party of leftist rulers and the inferior proles they rule over.

Graham Southern

8th July 2020 at 6:31 am

You are right that technically speaking, BLM is not Marxist. This is because the traditional class-based form of Marxism was long ago jetisoned because it so clearly didn’t work. What we have now is known as ‘cultural Marxism’, of which BLM is a prime example.

Philip Humphrey

8th July 2020 at 8:48 am

I’m not sure you can even call it “cultural Marxism”. “Cultural Marxism” was originally a movement in academia that didn’t even have a name that effectively wanted to undermine and replace the mainstream culture (largely Judeo/Christian western culture) with something new and more to the liking of the proponents. That has largely degenerated into pure emotionalism and the politics of race and identity and one of the fruits of that is BLM. I’m not sure you can call it Marxist at all because it’s tribalist more than Marxist.

Graham Southern

8th July 2020 at 10:42 am

I agree. Everything needs a label, but perhaps the word ‘Marxist’ is misleading. It’s a different tool in the nihilist toolbox.

nick hunt

8th July 2020 at 3:41 pm

Why should those endorsing Marxist values be any less ‘tribal’ than groups endorsing Buddhist or Islamic values?

Ad Dam

8th July 2020 at 5:31 am

Hahahahaa!

No.

Own it.

R Rodd

8th July 2020 at 2:03 am

Very good article, and from an intern no less.

nick hunt

8th July 2020 at 3:43 pm

Does Paddy prefer the bullet or the ballot, do you think? Also, does he favour government controlled by the people, or government which controls the people?

John D Henry

8th July 2020 at 1:49 am

If the BLM Organisation with policies such as anti-police, anti-capitalist, anti-family, & anti-nation is not Marxist then what is it? This agenda certainly doesn’t strike me as being any good for society, quite the opposite. Regarding racism, we have an organisation that appears not to care for black police, black military, black conservatives, or victims of B on B murders – doesn’t strike me as being positive for most decent black people either, let alone considering their disdain for people of paler complexion. Perhaps the word Evil will suffice instead of Marxist.

Tolar Owen

8th July 2020 at 12:19 pm

Well, it’s old-fashioned doctrinaire totalitarianism. Just because “Marxism” was the most prominent of this species doesn’t mean it’s inclusive of it. I’m a former “Leftist” come over here because it’s the only place I can find informed, heterodox opinions and discussion, but I never realized how much the term “Marxism” has become such a catchall on the “Right.” I’ve been saying for the past six weeks in comments sections what this writer said much more eloquently and succinctly, which is that calling this madness “Marxism” elides the real elephant in the room here–desperate, greedy neoliberalism–and prevents issue-based alliances across multiple positions and parties. Note that Women’s Liberation Front and Concerned Women for America have gotten past this to partner to battle the very dangerous transactivist agenda–it can be done, but one has to avoid these globalizing labels as far as possible (it’s hard–I just did it even by using terms like Left and Right, but we must try if we’re to find common ground among sensible people.)

Owen Salisbury

12th July 2020 at 10:16 am

And if the founders were Marxists? Who trained under Marxists?

One can use the term without intending it as anything other than the most descriptive of labels…heterodoxy is a great thing, but a reflexive shying away from what the two sides in conflct think to automatically split the difference isn’t heterodoxy; sometimes one side is factually correct about something, and one must recognize it, or one finds that oneself saying “Well, he went too far, but Hitler had a point…”

Not that you are saying that–just using the extreme and ridiculous to illustrate the point. Besides, it’s not like neo-liberalism can’t attempt to use BLM for its own ends.

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Deplorables — a spiked film