Categorized | Culture

“Cultural Capitalism” is yet another road towards decadence and despair

Many academics and theorists are already familiar with the term “cultural Marxism”.  This term refers to the application of Marxist dialectal theory to cultural affairs, particularly in the realm of family composition, gender, race, and cultural identity within Western society.  Those who are impartial can also say that the cultural Marxists helped spark the counterculture social movements of the 1960s as part of a continuing plan of attempting to establish the Freudo-Marxist welfare state.  Many conservatives argue that it is cultural Marxism which has put Western culture on its deathbed, and to some degree this is true.  Cultural Marxist thought, from the kind espoused by people like Gramsci to that espoused by today’s neoconservatives, as we point out in an earlier article, has been essential in destroying the foundations of the West, by deconstructing basic ideals such as morality and family values.

It is is, however, important to note that not all Marxist-Leninist, communist or socialist countries were necessarily culturally Marxist.  If one were to compare the social and cultural atmospheres of the United States and Soviet Union, respectively, during the 1960’s, the Soviet Union might emerge as the more ‘conservative’ of the two societies.  The American author Francis Parker Yockey quite rightly noted this in his work, Imperium.  Yockey felt that the Soviet Union was a far better ally of the West than the Americans, and that in its authoritarianism it preserved something of the traditional European concept of hierarchy.  From its outward manifestations of artwork and music, one could also conclude that the USSR was far more aligned with traditional values than America was.  For instance, while Americans listed to rock-and-roll, the Soviets brought forth such composers as Prokofiev, Shostakovich and Khachaturian, and the Soviets regularly regarded America’s culture as being ‘inferior’ because of its decadence.  Because of this, one can argue that while cultural Marxism has done the West an irreversible harm, so has its counterpart, cultural capitalism.

Just as cultural Marxism takes Marxian theories and applies them to culture, so too, does cultural capitalism take the ideologies of the American and French revolutions, and try to apply them to culture.  However, reaching a more precise definition than this, is quite difficult because its results are nearly indistinguishable from those of cultural Marxism.  This should not surprise any real Traditionalist, because they are actually two sides of the same coin, being a descendant of the Renaissance-era financial oligarchies, the American revolution, and “democratic” ideals in general.  Furthermore, the two are essentially not in competition, but rather complement each other.  For instance, in order to allow for the acceptance of decadent and amoral entertainment, it is necessary to destroy  the sense of morality in the first place through cultural Marxism.

"Americans do not think, yet they are" - Julius Evola

Cultural capitalism, then, consists of all the worst aspects of American culture, including such things as: materialism, secularism, Hollywood and mindless entertainment, spectator sports, ways of dressing, decadent music, superficiality in conversations, rampant divorce, lack of artistic feeling, lack of historical perspectives, and the like, appealing to the most superficial of senses.  In the social sphere, cultural capitalism encourages feminism and liberalism especially, giving these ideas a fertile ground to take root.  Sayyid Qutb criticized some of these things in a seminal essay entitled The America I Have Seen.  Although not typically considered a Traditionalist author, he makes many good observations in that essay.  Qutb notes that civilization is not merely worth the sum of its economic output, but in the “universal truths and worldviews that they have attained,” because these truths “elevate feelings, edify consciences, and add depth to man’s perception”.  In this regard, Qutb noted, as did Evola, that Americans represented the most productive nation in the world, whilst being the most primitive.  (The British satirist Oscar Wilde had stated, deacdes earlier that “America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between.”)

On one level cultural capitalism might be defined as all the outward things which have come to characterize American ‘civilization’ since the 1950’s, but it is much more, because as culture is rooted in spiritual and mental predicates, capitalism as we know it is itself a symptom of all that is modern – in which the aspirations of man are merely for temporal goals, namely the acquisition of more “material,” and nothing else.  In practical life, this means that for many, running the money rat race is an imperative to survive and make a meager living, while for those who are a bit better off is a competition for more possessions and trinkets.  For the very wealthy, living in an existential impasse of confusion between need and want. This is the psychological corner stone of capitalism and consumerism driven by marketing and advertising: turning a desire for a product into an artificial need where enough is never enough — hence the need for ever more and more possessions and diversions.  Rather significantly, we might note that while cultural Marxism is adapted to disrupt the social patterns in the West, cultural capitalism is aimed at disrupting developing or non-Western countries, and thus serves for a vector of imperialism.  In this sense, it ironically fufills the Marxist pseudo-prophecy of societies needing to pass through a phase of “capitalism” before the socialist phase can be accomplished.

This is to say, that in the midst of our modern age, combined with the lack of a real hierarchical authority, capitalism is merely the pseudo-antithesis of its much more deranged cousin of Marxism, since both ultimately reduce man to a mere “cog in the machine”.  On the one hand, in the capitalist system, man must constantly be a producer of either goods, capital, or some other type of value, but on the other, the system is such that he must also be a constant consumer.  In such a society, all culture tends towards the lowest common denominator, even among the upper classes, because life becomes a merely mechanistic repetition.  Coupled with this, especially in America, is the frantic striving for equality, and the near cult-like admiration for individualism without personality, which, of course, can only be equality in degradation.

Since cultural capitalism is not in any way opposed to cultural Marxism, Traditionalism, as a general rule, does not engage in the discussion of economic theory.  Rather, Traditionalism holds that the tyranny of the economy must be abolished at its source.  In traditional societies, of course, the economy was simply one area within an all-encompassing hierarchical structure.  This attitude, as Evola writes, is not just “obscurantism”;  Evola was opposed to declaring what he called the superiority and the rights of a merely economic class living in a materialistic fashion.”  It is however, a statement against utopianism of either capitalism or communism, as well as its cultural implications.  In a few words, it opposes the “enslavement of the single individual to the productive mechanism,” which leads to the aforementioned ills.

About William van Nostrand

William van Nostrand is a native of Chicago, Illinois and is currently the Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of RidingTheTiger.org. He holds a B.A. in Economics as well as a minor in cultural anthropology. His interests are highly varied and include late medieval European architecture, German romantic classical music, and travel.
  • The plummer

    Excellent blog….I have long been aware of the ills of Cultural Marxism & have been recently putting two & two together about how corporate capitalists embrace and use cultural Marxist ideologies to their own ends.

    I’m rather conservative constitutionalist, and Orthodoxical Catholic by nature, and readily see how both ends of the socioeconomic bell curve are impuning their ideologies upon the majority middle.

    I regularly refer to Cultural Marxism in my posts on forums such as AVFM (a rather liberal, mostly athiest group), and am usually excoriated for my doing so, as liberal minded folks are so entrenched in their belief that conservative capitalist are totally evil, they cannot see how their own ideology is the same thing they fight so vehemently against.

    Coining a dual meaning of Cultural Capitalist, I believe, is going to be an effective way to enlighten the liberal minds to the ills of their own ideologies.

    I’m going to share this blog with AVFM and see what feedback is returned.

    It’s time for the middle of the cultural bell curve to push back, suppress the corporate capitalists ( read, Uber wealthy, Federal Reserve Bank owners), and the society anarchist, psychopathic, Leninist/Marxist ideologues back into the depths of hell where they belong.

    Both the democratic and Republican Party are deeply entrenched in progressivism and there really isn’t a viable party that upholds and defends the constitution that this nation was built upon. Republicans own the lip service of being constitution upholders, though if one looks past the rhetoric and oberves the actions, one can clearly see the two party system is also the two sides of the same coin.

    I’ll share one thought that I have to achieve individuality and personal freedoms is for the majority of the bell curve to embrace a dual style of American government. With regards to the Federal Government, strict adherence to the Constitution should be the drive, with limiting the governmental power to control, while the states should adopt a Subsidairity form of government for all other social matters.

    I’m interested in your thoughts.

    Good day, and keep up the good work!

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