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Cultural Marxism Is an Oxymoron

Written by Gary North on July 1, 2014

A specter is haunting American conservatism. It is the specter of cultural Marxism.


1. a visible incorporeal spirit, especially one of a terrifying nature; ghost; phantom; apparition.

2. some object or source of terror or dread: the specter of disease or famine.


Let me start with a scenario. A group of theologians inside a Protestant denomination begin to preach the doctrine that Christianity is true, except for two doctrines: first, Jesus was not divine in any way, and second, the Bible is not literally true. What would you say about the orthodoxy of these people?

The West began to hear these arguments in state-funded German universities in the early 1800’s, but this basic approach for interpreting Christianity and the Bible had begun in the middle of the 17th century in England: the Tew Circle. This is not generally recognized in academia, but historically it was the case. The historical background was presented in a comprehensive form over 30 years ago in a book titled The Authority of the Bible, by H. G. Reventlow. The book and its author are virtually unknown to scholars, but the book is a masterful monograph.

This outlook began to be accepted more widely in American Protestant academic circles about 1875. It spread very rapidly. It became known as theological modernism, and by 1930, it had captured most mainline American Protestant churches above the Mason-Dixon line. The main exception was Missouri Synod Lutheranism, in which the battle continues.

Those who were members of non-mainline churches regarded this outlook as anti-Christianity. The most famous manifesto against it was J. Gresham [GRESSum] Machen’s [MAYchen] book, Christianity and Liberalism (1923). He was correct.

The non-mainline churches began to grow. Growth in the mainline denominations slowed after 1925. Sometime around 1960, the year John D. Rockefeller, Jr. died, they began to shrink. Rockefeller more than anyone else had funded theological modernism after 1920, as we read in Shenkel’s book, The Rich Man and the Kingdom (1996). This shrinking process continues.

A similar infiltration/separation process occurred inside Marxism.


Marxists in the USSR in 1960 regarded the movement known as cultural Marxism with the same degree of skepticism that Bible-believing Christians regarded theological modernism. In other words, they denied that it was Marxism at all.

When you abandon the fundamental tenets of a particular ideology, and yet you attempt to retain that ideology’s name, because there are lots of adherents to that ideology, you will be regarded as an invader by the defenders of the original ideology.

Cultural Marxism is to Marxism what modernism is to Christianity. Anyone who regards cultural Marxism as Marxism has not understood Marxism. Yet it is common in conservative circles to do this. This is a strategic mistake because it is a conceptual mistake.

(For the rest of my article, click the link.)

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11 thoughts on “Cultural Marxism Is an Oxymoron

  1. bojidar says:

    ,,To win this battle, we must persuade men that "thou shalt not steal" means this: it is immoral to steal, with or without majority vote.

    This has nothing to do with the mode of production." I totally agree with you, Gary.

  2. Michael4yah says:

    Either you believe in the life, death and resurrection of Jeshua the Christ or you don't. But to say you're against some of the tenets of Christianity but for Homosexuality is an Oxymoron.

  3. Same. To let the rich continue to steal from the poor is completely immoral.

  4. Sapient Hetero says:

    Poor, deluded liberal; giving people a job and allowing them to enjoy a better life than they could manage if left to their own devices is hardly "stealing". Perhaps you've confused capitalism with Marxism, which not only steals everything one earns for redistribution by "the state", but enslaves the populace as well. Any thinking person realizes the imaginary "People" so revered by communists is in fact those who run the government.

    It's pathetic that you were allowed to graduate from high school (assuming that you did) without the ability to think more clearly than your silly post suggests.

  5. bouboulina says:

    The majority faithful membership of this "Protestant denomination" need to create a groundswell that will sweep these Marxist infiltrators out the church door. True to their nature, these cynical interlopers are beginning the usual Marxist process of infiltrating a benign organization in order to pervert its true nature & legitimate goals in order to enslave it to their own nefarious ends.

  6. When you apply for a job, you are well aware of your salary and benefits, if you don't believe that they are equal to your abilities, you work somewhere else. The business owner didn't open HIS business for you he opened it for him and his family to succeed. He took the risk, he laid out the investment to start, not the employee. A vast number of the "poor" you speak of are willingly poor because the Demonrat party keeps them that way. The Dems give them just enough of someone else's money to survive and so that is all they do, survive. Please cite me one case where someone rich actually stole from a "poor" person.

  7. Wisdumb says:

    It is a modern folly (enlightenment) to think that it is our intellect that motivates us. We are driven by our desires, and our culture demonstrates what those desires are. Faith and religion slowly seeps into our desires and culture changes as a result.

  8. This is a very interesting read, Gary. Kudos! It'll take some brain-cell space on my hard drive for a while.

  9. So, who's to say whether or not God might decide to channel some new information? http://www.godchannel.com

  10. jeers1215 says:

    Anti-consumerism is an inherently materialistic criticism of market developments, is this not cultural Marxism?

  11. jeers1215 says:

    “Your lifestyle has already been designed”
    This does not constitute a religion-like regard for the mode of production?