Cultural Marxism is dangerous to your mental health

published Jul 07, 2020

An excerpt from New Discourses.

Cultural Marxism is dangerous to your mental health

The following is excerpted from The contradictions of critical theory and counseling.

Critical theories like these are also guilty of numerous thinking errors relevant to professionals of mental health, and thus to their patients.

  • Black-and-white thinking: As seen in antiracism, proposed by Ibram X. Kendi in How To Be an Antiracist: “One endorses either the idea of a racial hierarchy as a racist, or racial equality as an antiracist.” There is clearly room for more nuance than is allowed in this statement. One can be non-racist, when we treat everyone as the unique individual they truly are, with their own thoughts, feelings, emotions, and actions, and we hold each person reasonably accountable for those actions based on the appropriate context.
  • Catastrophizing: speech and words are legitimately violent. Pointing out an inconvenient truth is violence. To Theory, disagreeing with any of their premises is violence. “Concept creep” takes hold, and the original meaning of words lose their power as they are applied too broadly (see also, microaggressions).
  • Filtering out the good, highlighting the bad: One of Theory’s favorite games to play.
    • Step 1: Point at an institution of Western civilization
    • Step 2: point at where it is not perfect
      • Step 2b: ignore what it does well
    • Step 3: Problematize it in a way that aligns with Theory
      • Step 3b: read everything in the least charitable light
    • Step 4: Infiltrate the institution with Motte & Bailey tactics
    • Step 5: Take over and corrupt or dismantle from the inside

    Just because Theory rightly points out where our institutions do indeed fail, this does not mean the correct next step is to tear down the entire institution. It is certainly possible to keep what works and let go of what is ineffective.

  • Jumping to conclusions: Where there exists a group difference, Theory necessitates that the difference is due to sexism, racism, ableism, or another sinister plot formulated by those in “power.” In a just society that has thrived on the ability to conduct sound science, we can do better than this. We can control for factors that might contribute to a given group difference—and when we know we’ve controlled for all of these, and there still remains a difference, we can have a reasonable discussion and debate about how equity might be found.
  • Emotional reasoning: Lived Experience is number one. Because objective reality does not exist and only uses appeals to “reality” when it is convenient, perceptions of lived experience steeped in emotional reasoning are to be unquestioned, especially by those with more privilege (see also, Position/Positionality). The “oppressed” person is able to see and understand more of the world, and the “oppressor” could never understand this position. Further, each person could only speak as a mouthpiece for their group, as socially identified because of the importance of standpoint epistemology, which tells us that one’s position within power structures determines how much and which knowledge(s) one has access to. Simply put, a straight, white female counselor would have far less access to knowledge(s) than a black, lesbian woman precisely because of their respective positions in relation to Theory’s beliefs about systemic dominance and oppression. Typically, mental health professionals listen to an individual’s lived experience, and from this we are mindful of what might be true and what the client might claim to be true but might be at risk of using thinking errors such as the ones described here. Through the lens of Theory, however, lived experience is the primary way knowledge is implicitly and explicitly said to be created. Theory also claims that lived experience goes deeper than the story one tells and includes experiences of alleged dominance and oppression experienced from social structures. The understanding of this dominance and oppression must be understood through Theory and a critical consciousness (see also, Wokeness). In other words, one’s lived experience must be filtered and spun through the lens of Theory before it gains “authenticity.” If a client from a marginalized population describes his own experiences, but it does not follow the rules of Theory, it does not count. Indeed, they may be said to be experiencing internalized oppression or internalized racism, or perhaps of “acting white.” As such, a person of a minority group cannot simply disagree with Theory’s claims but is said to be suffering from internalized oppression that they cannot yet see, and to help this person would be to show them how oppressed they truly are. This has sinister ramifications for mental health counseling. The role of a counselor is generally to help the client feel empowered to improve their circumstances, focus on what is within their control, and begin to live the life they wish. But when a counselor takes Theory to its logical end, the right thing to do would be to highlight how oppressed a client truly is, which fosters victimhood-centrality and a victimhood culture, wrongly suggesting that development of a critical consciousness is necessary.
  • Mind-reading: Biases alleged to be held by those with privilege and power are often regarded as unseen and unacknowledged. To correct this false consciousness, one must cultivate a critical consciousness (that is, Wokeness), which allows them to see their bias. Emphasis on implicit bias is seen to prove Theory’s correctness in that they are the ones who really know what that bad person with false consciousness thinks.

For useful definitions, see here.