Talk:Frankfurt School

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Former featured article Frankfurt School is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
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Current status: Former featured article

Criticism from the Right[edit]

The way this article currently stands seems to say that all criticism from the Right can be categorized as "conspiracy theory." Is the intention here to express that all criticism of the Frankfurt School's ideas from the entire Right half of the political spectrum can be summarily dismissed as "conspiracy theory" or is that happening by accident?

There is now an acknowledement on the page of academic use of the term "Cultural Marxism" before Lind, and a series of assertions that amount to any and every use of this term by anyone on the Right as being a "conspiracy theory." If an acadmic uses the term in a friendly, approving context then it is legitimate but if anyone on the Right uses it then it's a "conspiracy theory"? Double standard much?

Are there any examples of anyone on the Right ever using it in the same sense as academics and criticizing Frankfurt School ideas from the Right in a non-"conspiracy theory" context, or is the claim that "Cultural Marxism is a conspiracy theory" just being used here as a rhetorical device to dismiss all criticism from the Right? --BenMcLean (talk) 15:02, 9 August 2017 (UTC)

Are there any examples of anyone on the Right ever using it in the same sense as academics and criticizing Frankfurt School ideas from the Right in a non-"conspiracy theory" context - none that I've seen, they always avoid using quotes in order to mischaracterize the school (reducing the whole Frankfurt School to a misinterpretation of Marcuse is fairly commonplace). This is because the right are interested in holding to the term "Cultural Marxism" - but are not interested in The Frankfurt School's or The Birmingham School's anti-capitalist critiques of mass produced culture. It's now common on the right to simply replace the term "Cultural Marxism" with "Critical Theory" or worse "Post Modernism" - regardless of the fact that Critical theory has a greater breadth of influences than mere Marxism, and that The Frankfurt School opposed Post-Modernism. So it's a bit of a linguistic game that flys in the face of academia on purpose (that purpose being to create the guise of an organized academic plot - rather than an extremely slow grass-roots cultural change that has been growing since the term egalitarianism was first associated with modern democracy and civilization). --Jobrot (talk) 04:34, 10 August 2017 (UTC)

The Creation of a new Cultural Marxism page.[edit]

So, I tried to be WP:bold and install my draft as a live page. This action was quickly rebuffed by RGloucester, as can be viewed in the history of the redirect page (currently occupying the 'Cultural Marxism' namespace).

It seems I have to come here and build WP:CONSENSUS before that sort of action can be taken (that said I may try again, as I'm not trying to re-create the old page, and instead am installing something vastly different). So, what do you guys think of my draft? Should we take it to draft space so we can all edit it comfortably? How many of you will vote yes to having a new 'Cultural Marxism' page? The floor is open to opinions. --Jobrot (talk) 14:22, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

My first reaction to this controversy has always been that Wikipedia needs to have a distinct article on Cultural Marxism. It's a very widely used, popular term, and it's not perfectly synonymous with Frankfurt School Conspiracy Theory. And, I liked the new draft. It's a great starting point.
Is this the place to obtain consensus? Or should we be asking for a deletion review? JerryRussell (talk) 16:19, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
A WP:DRV will be my next step if a consensus can't be formed here. Also: Thanks! :) --Jobrot (talk) 19:46, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Your 'draft' is nothing more than a rehashing of what was deleted. A mix-mash of assorted nonsense coalesced under the title 'cultural Marxism' with no sources behind it, rooted in the abuse of sources that never mention 'cultural Marxism'. This article was deleted, and for good reason. If you want it undeleted, go to deletion review. RGloucester 17:43, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
Actually I'd say that the majority of my sources use the term "Cultural Marxism" explicitly - not the least of which is the Encyclopedia of Social Theory as edited by George Ritzer an expert in the field in question - and published by SAGE Publications a well established publisher. --Jobrot (talk) 19:24, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
We discussed that source before, Jobrot. 'Cultural Marxism' as used by that source is simply "Marxism as it pertains to culture", and not referring to any specific proper noun 'school of though' or any such other thing like that. There is nothing notable about this at all, just as TFD says below. This is the same canard as before, and it seems that you are a WP:SPA with an agenda, nothing more. RGloucester 00:02, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
Well, technically it's the conceptions of culture developed by the neo-marxists of The Frankfurt School, The Birmingham School, and (to a lesser degree) E.P. Thompson. It contains actual concepts pioneered by them, such as The Culture Industry and Adorno's idea of mass-culture as a form of mass-deception (for The Frankfurt School) and Richard Hoggart's ideas of Massification and Drift (for The Birmingham School). These were all formed in the same period, by the main two groups in question, and are all targeted towards the negative cultural impacts of capitalism on what's perceived by these thinkers as more genuine forms of culture (specifically, cultures which are free from the pressures of capitalism). These concepts are specifically about the nature of profit and capital within The Culture Industry - and are not to be confused with Freudo-Marxism (which only some members from each school were interested in, so is a separate concept). But yes; it is an actual school of thought, it has a focus, thinkers within it have constructed concepts related to it. It is a cultural form of anti-capitalism. --Jobrot (talk) 07:33, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
No one in the Frankfurt School or Birmingham School called themselves 'cultural marxists'. The concepts 'pioneered by them' are known as critical theory and cultural studies, which we have articles on, which fall under the banner of Western Marxism. It is not 'anything' at all, because no one calls this 'cultural marxism'. You are grouping people who never claimed to have anything to do with a 'cultural marxism' under that banner for no apparent reason. There is no 'school' with 'focus', with 'thinkers'. Of course, such a thing is not even described by your source, which is very clear that is simply dealing with marxist approaches to culture, not with any 'school of though' made up out of thin air. RGloucester 12:32, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
  • It's gonna take something more than BOLD editing to undo this. Especially given the discretionary around the topic. EvergreenFir (talk) 17:49, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
I'm not so sure about that, I've talked to User:Black Kite previously, and they were willing to lower the protections on the redirect given there was at the time a brewing consensus... and I'm perfectly willing to contact and consult with any other relevant admins. As per WP:CCC; consensus can change. --Jobrot (talk) 19:29, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Deserves it's own page, there's plenty of new info about it, whole reason for its deletion was political. Raquel Baranow (talk) 18:43, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
I agree - and I think the issue is still political. But the landscape has changed. Right now things like the recent Bill Nye performance is being called "Cultural Marxism" when that sort of low-culture attempt at capturing a mass audience for profit is exactly what The Frankfurt School and Cultural Marxism (as a media critique) has traditionally been opposed to. So it's got to the point that the truth of this topic needs to be told. We have the facts, the sources, the resources, and the quotes to do so. So I don't think there's any reason not to at this point. --Jobrot (talk) 19:43, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
The problem is that "cultural Marxism" does not refer to a topic, but is used by different writers to mean different things. It's like the term "tasty dish." It appears in lots of writing, but means something different to every writer. TFD (talk) 22:32, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
That's just an aspect of the philosophy of language - the same could be said of politics, or art, or feminism, or the colour green, or any number of other topics wikipedia has pages on. --Jobrot (talk) 07:33, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
Jobrot, not true, otherwise language would be impossible. Feminism for example means, "the advocacy of women's rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes." Green is a mixture of yellow and blue. Art is objects that have aesthetic value. TFD (talk) 00:36, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
That you have definitions for these things doesn't negate the fact they can me other things and have other usages to different writers. --Jobrot (talk) 12:36, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
  • For me the question isn't one of whether "Cultural Marxism" exists - it's after all a concept that appears in many sources, and has been associated with specific groups of thinkers. The problem to me is how to express and retain Cultural Marxism's distinctive conception. We already have pages on Cultural liberalism and Cultural conservatism and those being rather linear and generalized ideologies with set conceptions (relatively free from paranoia and conspiracy theory obsessed people) has made them relatively simple pages. However the fear and stigma attached to Marxism presents a unique case which requires a clarity of conception. I would put it thus: Cultural Marxism was specifically a form of anti-capitalism that complained about the effects of profit-based systems on the creative industry. That to me seems fairly straight forwards as well as a pungent concern of the thinkers considered to be working within this school of thought. But with that definition I believe Cultural Marxism must be kept distinct from both Cultural liberalism and Freudo-Marxism, as they present common points of confusion around this school of thought. --Jobrot (talk) 07:53, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Much as I disagree with the AfD outcome, and the reasoning used to support it since, I agree unilateral recreation of the page without some more formal discussion is probably not going to work. There also needs to be a broader look at how to string the pages on related/overlapping topics/terms such Neo-Marxism, Western Marxism, Marxist Humanism together, possibly with some other merges/deletions. Yes WP pages should be about clear topics not terms, but "Cultural Marxism" exists as a broadly understood description of trends within 20th Marxist thought to focus on cultural issues as much as pure economics (a usage which pre-date its much looser and pejorative use on the fringes of modern US political disputes; see also "Fascism", "Zionism" et al). Different writers might draw the boundaries slightly differently, as is always the case with political categories and terms, but serious sources are clear on this, despite the constant denials that any exist and the claims that when they use the phrase "Cultural Marxism", they're not really using it somehow. N-HH talk/edits 09:14, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
Both of your sources are very clearly not using 'cultural marxism' in a way that posits a school of thought or a unified body that can be described by an article. The first one deals with 'marxist approaches to culture', which is no basis for an article whatsoever, and the second one says 'culturally oriented marxism', not 'cultural marxism'. This is the basis of the project. No one denies that the term 'exists', but what is denied is that the term is anything more than a loose description of disparate strands of thought within marxism on culture. For instance, the draft Jobrot posited says that 'cultural marxism' is a 'form of anti-capitalism'. According to who? All marxism is a form of 'anti-capitalism'. Essentially, what's trying to be done is to turn a broad term used by a select few academics that has no concrete meaning, and no ability to provide the basis for an article, into a 'movement'. This is, of course, a way to subtly provide legitimacy to the conspiracy theory, which is the dominant usage today, and nothing more. In as much as you facilitate that conspiracy theory by speaking as you are, I'd suggest that you stop. RGloucester 12:37, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
a loose description of disparate strands of thought - a loose discription, yes. Cultural liberalism and Cultural conservatism - are also loose descriptions, and I believe we need to be much stricter with the Cultural marxism page. However I don't think the associated schools of thought are as disparate as you describe them. In fact The Frankfurt School and Birmingham School have a shared theme of anti-capitalism (which you note yourself is tautological to Marxism, so doesn't require a source) as well as being anti-mass-production, a theme which is undeniable in those two schools of thought (and hence well sourced). So that's what the page should focus on; a loose description of what is common between the Marxist cultural schools of thought that are commonly labelled as "Cultural marxism". Just as the Cultural liberalism page is a loose description of what is common in the liberal cultural schools of thought, and the Cultural conservatism page is a loose description of what is common in the schools of thought labelled as 'Cultural conservatism'. So why have a different set of standards or requirements for a page on Cultural marxism but not on the pages for Cultural liberalism or Cultural conservatism? I mean, my draft is already stricter and more well sourced than those other two pages. Surely it's preferable that users can get academically sourced information on what these schools were really concerned with, rather than getting misinformation from conspiracy theory pages? I personally don't want the conspiracy theorist's misconceptions and mischaracterizations to go unchallenged by the facts. Do you? --Jobrot (talk) 15:22, 26 April 2017 (UTC)


Also, some of the content of my draft already exists in the current section, namely:

Originally the term 'cultural Marxism' had a niche academic usage within cultural studies where it referred to the Frankfurt School's critiques of the culture industry, an industry they claimed was able to reify an individual's self-interests, diverting individuals away from developing a more authentic sense of human values.[56][57][58][59][60][excessive citations] British theorists such as Richard Hoggart of The Birmingham School developed a working class sense of 'British Cultural Marxism' which objected to the "massification" and "drift" away from local cultures, a process of commercialization Hoggart saw as being enabled by tabloid newspapers, advertising, and the American film industry.[61]

Does this mean you'd also prefer this text be removed from the current section? That would be a logical conclusion from your position, would it not? Otherwise this is a case of wanting to have your cake and eat it too? --Jobrot (talk) 15:36, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
The problem is that you, as an editor, do not have the right to do original research. You do not have the right analyse what you see as 'shared themes' and then create an article that links them on that basis as a unified 'movement'. If users want information on the Birmingham School or the Frankfurt School or critical theory, &c., they can see the relevant articles on those subjects, which are sourced reliably and deal with the subject adequately. Placing these subjects within a frame of 'cultural marxism' in the way that you propose is not supported by reliable sources (certainly not the ones you cite), nor can the loose definition of 'marxist views on culture' support an article on Wikipedia. There is absolutely no content independent of the existing articles on the subject that can be placed in article on so-called 'cultural marxism'. The only reason this article existed, and the only reason why you and others want to restore it now, is because the term 'cultural marxism', as it is used now, presently, refers to a conspiracy prominent in certain political circles. If this conspiracy theory did not exist, nobody would be arguing for restoring the article. If it were restored, it would be nothing more an POV fork of the relevant articles, such as Frankfurt School, an attempt to frame these disparate schools of thought as a subversive 'movement'. That's the root of the conspiracy theory, despite having no basis in fact, and even if the article claims to be about the Frankfurt School, &c., the framework of a so-called 'cultural marxism' is by itself legitimising the conspiracy. Essentially, if you restore this article, forking content into it from legitimate articles like Frankfurt School or critical theory, give all these disparate strands of Marxist thought the unifying label 'cultural marxism', and then proceed to frame said 'cultural marxism' as an 'anti-capitalist movement', you're doing nothing but providing some conspiracy theorist fuel for the fire. "Look! It exists! Wikipedia says so!" Independent of that, an article about 'cultural marxism' can have no purpose, as there is no legitimate substance to term independent of the articles that already exist. Take a moment and step back. Think. RGloucester 22:29, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
This is not a case of WP:OR - the sources DO say that Cultural Marxism refers to elements of both The Frankfurt School and The Birmingham School; and those schools do both critique the effects of the mass production of culture via a profit driven culture industry.
an attempt to frame these disparate schools of thought as a subversive 'movement'. - no one is suggesting that. This is a strawman of what I'm saying. I'm actually talking about being very strict with any replacement article specifically to avoid what you're suggesting here.
articles like Frankfurt School or critical theory I don't actually believe the term relates to Critical Theory at all.
Take a moment and step back. I have. --Jobrot (talk) 02:58, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
The sources do not say that 'cultural marxism' refers to anything. The term is very rarely used to refer to 'marxist approaches to culture', and even more rarely used to refer to things like cultural studies and critical theory. That the term exists as an alternative to the established terminology has been known, but that doesn't mean that a) it warrants an article separate from the existing ones b) that it consists of a coherent school of thought or as a unified movement of theorists. RGloucester 04:04, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
"That the term exists as an alternative to the established terminology has been known" I think this is fairly accurate. --Jobrot (talk) 05:45, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
I agree. And Wikipedia cannot go through the process of that major deletion debate, and then have one editor get up one morning and recreate the article. That makes no sense. And why did you, Jobrot, spend all that time debating other people and then do what they wanted? That's wasting everyone's time.--Jack Upland (talk) 22:40, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
spend all that time debating other people and then do what they wanted? I wouldn't do that, and I'm not. The whole task has been obfuscated by conspiracy theorists. So it's taken a while to get a handle on what the term meant prior to them becoming involved. That's all. --Jobrot (talk) 02:58, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
You most definitely are doing that. Just because you have devoted a good portion of your life here arguing with conspiracy theorist, anti-semitic trolls, and now believe you've found a way to beat them, doesn't mean everyone else wants to create another damn POV Fork for you to patrol. Just stop it. Dave Dial (talk) 18:28, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
Do you deny that the term is used in Academic texts and can be found within sources of high editorial quality? Or that there are similar pages for equally vague concepts such as those for Cultural liberalism and Cultural conservatism? Also, WP:GF - watch it buddy, don't tell me what I'm doing, anyways WP:CCC. --Jobrot (talk) 14:17, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
Yes, yes I do. Also, I suggest you read, then re-read the AFD & closing decision/discussion by 3 uninvolved admins. Have you found something new? Have there been tons of new credible sources using the term? No. If anything, the term has fallen more out of use on the fringes than before the first AFD. You're using the same old arguments that were used in the AFDs that were rejected, along with the same old 'sources'. So do everyone a favor and just come to your senses. Dave Dial (talk) 23:30, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
I suggest you stop being so rude and aggressive before I report you, and read the AfD yourself, you won't find mention of the source I just furnished you with [3]. It's from a Sociology PhD who already has a Wikipedia page (George Ritzer) and contains a workable definition. Saying something "has been debunked" isn't the same as making sure and being able to express for yourself why it is bunk. You have to actually look at the source material then refute it based on policy; if you can't do that - then it's an acceptable source. --Jobrot (talk) 03:19, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
British cultural studies? Been discussed many times. Discussed to death. Here, there is already an article about it. Cultural studies, try improving that article, and leave the POV forks alone. Report away, buddy, report away. Dave Dial (talk) 19:57, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
RGloucester is in error in that link you've supplied, the Ritzer source does indeed use the term in its body text. You can check for yourself here, and I have already informed RGloucester of this fact. Here is one example of Cultural Marxism being used by with the Ritzer source: "a large number of theorists throughout the globe used cultural Marxism to develop modes of cultural studies that analyzed the production, interpretation, and receptions of cultural artifacts within concrete sociohistorical conditions that had contested political and ideological effects and uses." - so it is indeed a credible modern source. --Jobrot (talk) 03:58, 27 July 2017 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────When a specialist acamedic encyclopedia has a whole entry titled Cultural Marxism and then proceeds to define that term and explain what it refers to in longstanding academic and non-pejorative usage at some length, it doesn't look good for other editors to simply say "doesn't prove anything" and to keep insisiting that they know better and have been right all along. And it's not a one-off – I cited several similar publications ages ago:

  • Cultural Marxism and political sociology (Sage, 1981): "the culturally oriented Marxism that emerged in the 60s and 70s"
  • Perspectives in Sociology (Routledge, 2015): has a heading "The rise of 'cultural Marxism'", which refers to "the attempt to develop Marxist theories of art, painting, the novel and so on"
  • Understanding Education: A Sociological Perspective (Polity, 2009): "It is commonplace to talk of two Marxist approaches – sometimes labelled structural and cultural Marxism ..."
  • Handbook of Cultural Sociology (Routledge, 2010): has a heading "Cultural Marxism and the space of postmodernism", which refers to "the tradition of cultural Marxism, pioneered by George Lukacs and the Frankfurt School [which] transcends the deterministic base-superstructure model"
  • Encyclopedia of Literature and Politics (Greenwood, 2005): describes British cultural Marxism as "an unorthodox theoretical tradition that acknowledged the semiautonomy of the cultural realm"

As long accepted, there's a debate to be had about how to deal with the term and its multiple uses (and how that fits in with existing pages on Western Marxism etc (concepts which are just as diffuse btw), but it's just head-in-the-sand arrogance to claim it wasn't and isn't used in this way to describe a separate topic from both the Frankfurt School (which yes forms part of the tradition, but not the whole of it) and the modern term of political abuse. N-HH talk/edits 17:51, 27 July 2017 (UTC)

As far as I can gleam "Cultural Marxism" is the application of Historical Materialism (in terms of power dynamics, or as the Ritzer source puts it "concrete sociohistorical conditions") to "the production, interpretation, and receptions of cultural artifacts" - a practice both The Frankfurt School performed, as well as The Birmingham School in which it's called "British Cultural Marxism"; these claims are actually already in the article which points at Richard Hoggart's concepts massification and drift as examples of "Cultural Marxism"... So to include the original academic uses, even including example concepts (as the current section does); yet deny having a separate section for that original meaning... well, it's a case of trying to have your cake but eat it too. We have to trust the audience to be able to separate fact from fiction. Just as there's a separate space for The World Trade Center and the conspiracy theories around 9/11 - so there should be for this topic. Admitting the original usage doesn't mean having to agree with the conspiracy theory usage. Nor should it. It just means trusting the audience to comprehend the delineation between the two. --Jobrot (talk) 15:26, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
N-HH and Jobrot, I agree with your reading of the sources, and it seems clear that 'Cultural Marxism' is a meaningful and notable term in an academic context that is distinct from the conspiracy theory. The discussion on the talk page here has become very confusing, because it's not clear whether we're talking about creating a new article about CM (which was the original topic) or whether we're just trying to create some new content for this Frankfurt School article. I'd like to express my support for both of those goals. JerryRussell (talk) 21:49, 28 July 2017 (UTC)

I think it warrants an article, but dealing with it as a modern conspiracy theory or meme (which is currently the most popular usage of the term). Critical theory and cultural studies are the common academic names for actual schools of thought which are targeted by the conspiracy theory so it would be wrong to have an article treating it as an actual school of thought under the title "Cultural Marxism" (the term has sometimes been used in such a context but rarely).

An article about Culture and Marxism (broad in scope, dealing with these theories and the culture of actually existing socialism in Marxist-Leninist states, such as socialist realism, socialist classicism and Mao's Cultural Revolution) would be different to one about "Cultural Marxism" (paleocons claiming the Frankfurt School is magically turning everybody into homosexuals, drug addicts and prostitutes). What is certain is that the subject needs to be separated from the Frankfurt School article because it is taking up too much article space and the actual connection to most FS theorists is tendentious at best. Claíomh Solais (talk) 18:32, 28 April 2017 (UTC)

Although a Google Books search suggests the main usage is in fact the more formal, academic one, defined in one of the books it brings up, as noted above, as "the culturally oriented Marxism that emerged in the 60s and 70s". Not a school of thought as such, but a clearly identifiable and discrete trend within Marxism, which is described in the relevant literature, similar to Structural Marxism and Orthodox Marxism. The modern, pejorative usage of the term on the right is not only much looser (it's just a broad piece of invective meaning whatever people using it want it to mean, akin to "political correctness") but is confined to the fringe right, mostly in the US. It's not a term you hear much, for example, in the UK. As for a "Culture and Marxism" page, that would surely be too broad and risk becoming, like so many "X and Y" pages, a synthesis based on a wide reading of any connections implied by the word "and". N-HH talk/edits 08:02, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
All of the sources that pop up in that search were thoroughly debunked by me and others in the deletion discussion. Are you really going to force me to copy and paste what I said then? Dworkin And no, by the way, 'cultural marxism', the conspiracy, is not confined to America, and is well known in Britain. RGloucester 13:56, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
Copy and paste from the deletion discussion:

"Well-sourced"? Where? Where are there any "sources" that posit the existence of a school of thought that spans the entire 20th century and contains people that never met each other, and never defined their theories as belonging to a school of "Cultural Marxism"? There are none. There never were, and there still are not any. A few books have been cited as using the phrase "cultural Marxism", but none of them support the existence of a school of thought called "Cultural Marxism".

As an example, which I and others have refuted numerous times, people like to cite the Dworkin book called "Cultural Marxism in Postwar Britain: History, the New Left, and the Origins of Cultural Studies" as supporting the existence of a school called "Cultural Marxism". However, the book does not do this, indicative of the fact those citing it have not read it. First of all, Dworkin, writing in 1997, says "My account is the first intellectual history to study British cultural Marxism conceived as a coherent intellectual discipline" (pg. 3). From the start of the book, Dworkin makes clear that the argument that there has been this long-running school of thought called "cultural Marxism" is totally false. He says that he invented the term in this context. His book's purpose is to establish it, long after the theorists were dead, and after the conspiracy theory had already come to light.

What's more, he specifically says that the Frankfurt School and Gramsci, two people that all these IPs and SPAs claim are part of a school of "Cultural Marxism", are explicitly not part of his "cultural Marxism". In fact, he says he proposes the term "cultural Marxism" as an alternative the more mainstream phrase "cultural studies" for an exclusively British movement that began in the 1960s, with the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies at Birmingham. This is a fringe usage. No one other than Dworkin has proposed this usage, and mainstream academia calls it "cultural studies", which we have an article on. He admits that it doesn't exist outside of his work, and that he is creating term for his own sake to reframe the traditional academic viewpoints on the Birmingham school. He explicitly excludes those who IPs and SPAs say are part of "cultural Marxism". Regardless, his view is not accepted in academia. You will not find any other books referencing this definition. It is exclusively his, and WP:FRINGE. This is just one example of the manipulation occurring here.

Another example is a 2004 essay by Douglas Kellner, called "Cultural Studies and Cultural Marxism", which these SPAs and IPs like to use. These two works are the main sources for the IP and SPA arguments. It was written long after the conspiracy theory had emerged. It is not a peer-reviewed journal article. It was never published anywhere. It is a personal essay of 15 pages long, that only exists on the internet because he has released it personally for free. None of the sources it cites propose the existence of a school of thought called "Cultural Marxism". In fact, Kellner himself does not use "cultural Marxism" to posit the existence of a school of thought, but instead uses it in the purely descriptive sense of meaning "applications of Marxism to culture", which is not a definition that can be used as the basis for an encylopaedia article. Citation of sources, and WP:V, do not mean that one can just throw a bunch of links in an article and say that it is "well-sourced". WP:V means that the sources must support the text, and that the sources must be reliable, and not WP:FRINGE. None of the sources in the article, especially these two favourites of the IP and SPA crowd, support the idea of a school of thought called "Cultural Marxism". Zero. If people can't read the sources, that's their fault. WP:V is a policy, and to adhere to it, the sources must support the text. All of them have been debunked repeatedly by me, and other editors. RGloucester 02:36, 12 December 2014 (UTC)

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That takes care of the most prominent 'sources'...and all of the others are similar. In case, I think you should take a better look at the Google Books searches...I wonder what "Islamic Jihad, Cultural Marxism and the Transformation of the West" is about...but, put that aside...because most of the books cited do not include the words 'cultural marxism'. It brings up 'Dialectic of Enlightenment', for instance, a great work...but that book never once contains the words 'cultural marxism'. Of course, this is exactly how people tried to justify the existence of the article last time. Using phoney sources, sources that don't support their arguments, &c., to try and fight with all of their might for an article that Wikipedia doesn't need, and might as well be considered a hoax. RGloucester 14:06, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
I see discussion is active on this page again, and thought I'd just belatedly point out that I had already read the deletion discussion from way back. The point is I disagree with your comments there and those of others, and the conclusion. Just because you declare yourself to have "debunked" something or to have shown academics to not mean what they clearly do mean, doesn't mean you have. You've wilfully ignored and misrepresented my points (even at the most trivial level, eg by claiming I'd said the pejorative term is confined to the US) and seem to have totally misunderstood Dworkin's point by bizarrely claiming that he admits there is no such thing as "cultural Marxism" while saying at the same time that he "invented" the use of the term in this context. That's just confused on multiple levels – for example he says neither, and it would be contradictory even if he had – but I really couldn't, and can't, be bothered to argue that in all its detail. But I'd recommend you read the introduction to the book again, a bit harder this time and see what he is *actually* saying. N-HH talk/edits 17:33, 27 July 2017 (UTC)


While some could argue about what shape a "Cultural Marxism" article should take, what is the main policy argument against separating the information from the Frankfurt School article, where it doesn't really seem like the correct place?

The conspiracy theory does seem to have been covered in mainstream bourgeois liberal publications such as The Guardian and Vice, as well as lobby groups like the SPLC, suggesting notability.

Although these sources are problematic, since they are mostly interested in pious virtue signalling instead of showing HOW the conspiracy theory is false and most of the Frankfurt School or Gramsci did not even advocate the cultural libertinism that the paleocons claim. It at least gives a barebones, non-SNYTH starting point to work from. The conspiracy theory phrase has been systematically picked apart by more reliable sources, actual Marxists, such as the American Party of Labor in their Red Phoenix publication. Claíomh Solais (talk) 15:42, 30 April 2017 (UTC)

The conspiracy is a well-researched topic, and there are numerous books/journals on the subject (such as Jackson, Cospey, Southern Poverty Law Centre) . There formerly was a 'Frankfurt School conspiracy theory' page, but this was deleted and merged here. The main concern with having a separate article is that certain people always seem to come along and try to twist it away from the conspiracy and toward this amorphous and baseless 'school of thought' stuff as a way to try and create a seemingly legitimate foundation for the actual conspiracy. That's the main reason the original article was deleted, and also why it was merged here. The goal is containment, to avoid the possibility that hoax and unsourced rubbish doesn't find its way back in. RGloucester 18:13, 30 April 2017 (UTC)
I think we have to respect the consensus reached in 2014. The thoroughness of the process was unprecedented (in my experience at least).--Jack Upland (talk) 04:11, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
Also, most versions of the conspiracy theory either start with or involve The Frankfurt School. --Jobrot (talk) 08:08, 1 May 2017 (UTC)

That Wikipedia doesn't allow an article on Cultural Marxism is a reflectiuon of it's Leftist political bias. RGloucester, who seems to have a big influence in this, clearly says that the reason to not have a dedicated article is to contain the discussion, to not allow reason and debate to flow freely because it could drift into something that goes againt his political ideology. It could be a case of cultural marxists not happy that their critics will have a say. That the term is used more often by rightwingers is no good reason to exclude it, unless Wikipedia is a leftwing encyclopedia, which it shouldn't be. 165.143.155.57 (talk) 06:41, 18 July 2017 (UTC)

There is no "left wing vs right wing" here on Wikipedia. There is only "reliable sources vs citation needed". Please try to adhere to that paradigm and Wikipedia's policies, starting by reading and understanding WP:GOODFAITH and applying it to your fellow Wikipedians as well as the website as a whole. --Jobrot (talk) 07:06, 18 July 2017 (UTC)
It's difficult to assume good faith once the double standards become obvious. The bar for "reliable source" is much higher for rightwing ideas. For example, Vice and the Guardian get used all the time as references but if Breitbart had to be used in a non-critical way as a legitimnate source it would be dismnissed as an unreliable right wing source. Talking of which, the late Andrew Breitbart's book Righteous Indignation does a good job of explaining Cultural Marxism to laymen. Would wikipedians consider that book a reliable source? 165.143.155.57 (talk) 10:52, 18 July 2017 (UTC)
Would wikipedians consider that book a reliable source? - You're clearly unfamiliar with how Wikipedia operates. There is a hierarchy of sources expressed in WP:RS, WP:NN, WP:NPOV and WP:FRINGE, and they all have contexts and uses. Generally Academia and hard journalism (the reporting of facts) are at the top of the hierarchy of reliable sources and have the widest usage on Wikipedia. Personal opinion pieces are at the bottom and have the narrowest usage.
Accordingly Andrew Breitbart's book would only be considered a reliable source for what Andrew Breitbart himself believes, and for what's in the book (and I'm sure they can be added to the Andrew Breitbart article). However, since Breitbart's book is not academic, and doesn't contain material of any relevance to the current section due to the fact he has no grasp on the academic meaning of the term "Cultural Marxism", the contents of The Frankfurt School's writings, or even a basic comprehension of what Critical Theory is (putting forth the view that Critical Theory is a singular ideological viewpoint rather than an entire discourse where opposing theorists debate each other eg. Modernists vs Post-Modernists, Redistributive politics vs recognition politics, individualist identity vs social identity) - no, he is not eligible for inclusion in this particular section (particularly due to WP:OR).
In fact I'd wager that if "right wing" journalists were more media literate, better at vetting sources, less reliant on their own opinions more reliant on evidence outside themselves, and more willing to perform high quality research - they'd probably be more widely used on Wikipedia.
Anyways, I recommend you visit the Wikipedia:Teahouse for any further questions. As per WP:TALK talk pages are intended for editorial discussions about the article in question, and you are violating WP:TALK (so consider this a warning). Talk pages are not a place to have fellow editors explain basic elements of Wikipedia policy to you, you are expected to know them by the time you're discussing editorial changes on talk pages. See WP:TALK for details, and ask more questions over on Wikipedia:Teahouse. --Jobrot (talk) 15:19, 18 July 2017 (UTC)

This articale reads like a tabloid[edit]

By googling the word Cultural Marxism the first thing that shows up is this article that deems cultural marxism as a conspiracy theory before the first sentance has even ended. A large number of the sources are scholastically uncitable any attempt to edit them out is met with a flurry of anger from some junkyard dog editor.

It would take a fool to look at this and not see the bias, either nuke the page, or rewrite the entire bloody thing. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 199.21.230.106 (talk) 01:48, 2 June 2017 (UTC)

Junkyyard dog editor here, do you think - this draft - reads as less-tabloid like? --Jobrot (talk) 05:00, 3 June 2017 (UTC)

"Cultural Marxism is simultaneously a proponent of identity politics and a term which cultural conservatives have missapropriated after confusing it with identity politics"[edit]

Hopefully I am not the only one who sees the problem here.72.83.8.183 (talk) 05:29, 21 July 2017 (UTC)

No where does it say Cultural Marxism supports identity politics. --Jobrot (talk) 17:03, 21 July 2017 (UTC)
"Within more recent history Cultural Marxists have critiqued post modernism in favour of 'communicative reason' and identity politics (also known as recognition politics), in favour of redistributive politics". It seems this has since been reverted but at the time I posted the preceding quote was present in the article. Looking at it more closely I don't even know what it is supposed to be saying so good riddence I guess. 72.83.8.183 (talk) 01:45, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
It's a fairly simple sentence to parse, and it's backed up by the sources. Jürgen Habermas is one of the key critics of post-modernism, and the source is solid. Likewise Nancy Fraser, a critical theorist and listed here, here and here as being associated with The Frankfurt School (ie. practising in the same lineage of Cultural Marxism) has indeed "Within more recent history" advocated putted redistributive politics above recognition politics. Specifically in the may/june 2000 issue of New Left Review... and she's also re-enforced that position in this more recent 2016 article. So these fairly simple sources and statements do check out as factual, and Wikipedia's focus is on factuality. --Jobrot (talk) 12:25, 23 July 2017 (UTC)

Section on academic and non-pejorative use of "Cultural Marxism" for this article[edit]

In hopes of moving the conversation forward, I've restored Jobrot's material on academic usage of the term "Cultural Marxism" with respect to the Frankfurt School. I've tried to take into account Ad Orientem's concerns about non-neutral language in the material. JerryRussell (talk) 22:05, 28 July 2017 (UTC)

That didn't take long. RGloucester reverted my edits with the comment "Sources do not support the additions here. Citations to Adorno do not include the term 'Cultural Marxism'...." My reply: while it's true that Adorno didn't use the term 'Cultural Marxism', nevertheless it's important to include citations to Adorno and other Frankfurt School sources, as part of the documentation for the claim. The academic niche usage of the term is documented in the Ritzer citation, as Jobrot and R-HH have explained.
I do see a problem, though. Aside from Sage 1981 which seems rather vague, there's no evidence that this academic and non-pejorative use of the term 'Cultural Marxism' existed prior to the conspiracy theory usage. @Jobrot:, @N-HH:, perhaps instead of claiming that the term originated as an academic niche term, the truth is that academics came up with this niche usage as a more explanatory and useful alternative to the conspiracy theory? Ritzer can be taken as an attempt to explain what the Frankfurt School people were really talking about, as opposed to paleoconservative caricatures of their views. JerryRussell (talk) 23:44, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
Hey JerryRussell thanks for your efforts in pushing the conversation forwards. Just some comments here from me;
Citations to Adorno do not include the term 'Cultural Marxism' - My understanding is that very few people within The Frankfurt School even used the term "The Frankfurt School" to refer to themselves. From the current article:

The term "Frankfurt School" arose informally to describe the thinkers affiliated or merely associated with the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research; it is not the title of any specific position or institution per se, and few of these theorists used the term themselves.

So I don't see that "Cultural Marxism" is any different in this regard. It's merely an informal term that is associated to a set of ideas (much like Cultural liberalism and Cultural conservatism are), and I'm also fairly sure that the title of a section doesn't actually need a source - WP:COMMONNAME suggests it can be whatever is most recognizable or common to the topic.
Aside from Sage 1981 which seems rather vague, there's no evidence that this academic and non-pejorative use of the term 'Cultural Marxism' existed prior to the conspiracy theory usage. The first use of the phrase "Cultural Marxism", according to our own Russell Blackford, aka User:Metamagician3000 in this article he did for The Conversation, the term can be found dating back to 1973; "Weiner attributes the actual term “cultural Marxism” to Trent Schroyer in the latter’s 1973 book, The Critique of Domination: The Origins and Development of Critical Theory" which as far as I've researched, pre-dates any conspiracy theory usages - however I'm pretty sure Blackford's article itself can't be used as a source due to WP:COI and the fact it uses Wikipedia WP:RS, WP:CITOGEN.
Apart from that; I have other issues with Blackford's article, namely that it comes from a fairly pungent libertarian stance which falls into some questionable claims such as that the term "Critical Theory" was chosen to "deliberately obscure" the Frankfurt School's "true" mode of analysis.
Between that sort of conspiratorial claim, and the fact that Trent Schroyer's 1973 book is about the DEVELOPMENT of Critical Theory (not Critical Theory per se); I personally take the position that Critical Theory isn't directly Cultural Marxism - it's Critical Theory. There are many Critical Theorists who in fact don't use Marxism as their primary mode of analysis: See Outline of critical theory, and of course The Frankfurt School thinkers were not classical Marxists themselves, they were neo-marxists.
So I think the "Marxism" within "Cultural Marxism" specifically refers to the application of Historical Materialism (aka Marxist analysis) to The Culture Industry. I think the conspiracy starts when previously delineated areas of discourse such as Critical Theory (or Critical Theories of Sociology), Post Modernism and Identity Politics are re-written for purposes of ideological convenience as "Cultural Marxism". That historical revisionism, is to my mind, a pretty good indicator that the "Cultural Marxism" conspiracy theory is in play. --Jobrot (talk) 02:52, 29 July 2017 (UTC)
I will try to explain this as well as I can, for the final time. We can see that Jobrot thinks that "the "Marxism" within 'Cultural Marxism' specifically refers to the application of Historical Materialism (aka Marxist analysis) to The Culture Industry". That's fine. The problem is this...he's inserted this definition (his opinion) into the article. However, there is no source that says anything of this sort. If you want to say what the version that I removed said, which was "The term Cultural Marxism originated as a niche academic term describing the Frankfurt School's critique of The Culture Industry. It is a form of anti-capitalist cultural critique that focuses on the Cultural reproduction of Consumer capitalism, and in particular the commercialization, industrialization and massification of culture and the effects these processes have on human happiness and liberation", then you need to provide sources that say that this is what "Cultural Marxism" is. You can't cite Adorno, because nothing in Adorno can be used as a source for what 'cultural marxism' is, because Adorno never wrote about what 'cultural marxism' is. You can't cite Jane Barker, because she didn't do that either. You can't cite Habermas, because he didn't do that either. You can't use the Kellner piece, which has been dealt with thousands of times, because all it talks about is 'cultural studies', never mentioning 'cultural marxism'. Finally, there is the Encyclopaedia of Social Theory piece, which seems to be the source you think is most viable. However, once again, it does not support the assertion you are making about what 'cultural marxism' is supposed to be. It most patently does not say that "Cultural Marxism originated as a niche academic term describing the Frankfurt School's critique of The Culture Industry". Try and find that assertion in the piece, and you won't find it.
Assertions like this, about what so-called 'cultural marxism' is, require sources. None of the sources cited say anything about what 'cultural marxism' is, and so do not support the assertions made. If you want to say what you've written, you need to find a source that says it, not make up original research based on WP:SYNTH. Of course, what we really find when we look at that Encyclopaedia of Social Theory source, for instance, is that 'cultural marxism' was simply a niche term used broadly to refer to Marxist approaches to cultural in general, not to any specific school of thought, not to any specific theory. This is what the deletion discussion found to be the case, and it's true. The term, in this form, is such a niche usage as to be irrelevant, nothing worth writing about, nothing worth an article, and nothing independent of the existing articles on the subjects it is meant to cover. We must adhere to deletion discussion result. The only reason why this is continuing to be discussed is because of the conspiracy theory, not for any other reason. Stop feeding the flames. RGloucester 05:48, 29 July 2017 (UTC)
You can't cite Adorno, because nothing in Adorno can be used a source for what 'cultural marxism' is, because Adorno never wrote about what 'cultural marxism' is. No, you would be citing Adorno for writing about the application of Historical Materialism to the Culture Industry, which for instance Adorno writes about in this chapter of Enlightenment as Mass Deception[4]. But as I note above The Frankfurt School didn't use the term The Frankfurt School either - yet obviously there's an article that uses that term because OTHER sources (secondary and tertiary sources) use that term. The policy for this is Wikipedia:Combining sources where it is stated; "It can be legitimate for a single compound statement to be supported by more than one source, even in cases where the complete statement is not a rephrasing of information found in a single individual source." - so in this case we have Ritzer labelling Adorno as using "cultural Marxism to develop modes of cultural studies that analyzed the production, interpretation, and receptions of cultural artifacts within concrete sociohistorical conditions that had contested political and ideological effects and uses." and Adorno himself as the WP:PRIMARY source for his writings on what Ritzer is describing. To quote WP:PRIMARY and WP:SECONDARY:

Do not base an entire article on primary sources, and be cautious about basing large passages on them. WP:PRIMARY

and from WP:SECONDARY -

Wikipedia articles usually rely on material from reliable secondary sources. Articles may make an analytic, evaluative, interpretive, or synthetic claim only if that has been published by a reliable secondary source. WP:SECONDARY (emphasis added)

...so the claim that Adorno works within the tradition of Cultural Marxism to analyse the mass production of culture is not WP:OR but is in fact - I would argue - completely in line with WP:PRIMARY, WP:SECONDARY and perhaps most importantly; Wikipedia:Combining sources as it fits under most suggested applications of that policy, namely: Combining an advanced and introductory source, combining sources to offer a broader view, recognising when two sources are on the same topic, and decisions on the organization of material.
Those headings variously suggest that: "it can be good practice to define the term based on a second source", that sometimes "multiple sources provide a fuller picture when taken together", that "it is not always original research for an editor to make a judgement that different names used in different sources refer to the same topic" (eg. The Frankfurt School and associated thinkers), and that "Sometimes it will be good encyclopaedic writing to combine the information from the two sources into a single sentence.".
By the way Kellner most definitely does use the term "Cultural Marxism" in relation to The Frankfurt School. Saying specifically under the heading "The Rise of Cultural Marxism" that "Gramsci’s critique of the dominant mode of culture and media would be taken up by the Frankfurt School and British cultural studies providing many valuable tools for cultural criticism." and it's Trivial under Wikipedia:Combining sources to say that The Frankfurt School critiqued mass media. It's what they're known for. Anyways, the term is used 10 or so times in the Kellner source [5], and Kellner is described on his Wikipedia page as being part of the ""third generation" of critical theory in the tradition of the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research, or Frankfurt School and in cultural studies in the tradition of the Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies".
Likewise George Ritzer does indeed state that ""a large number of theorists throughout the globe used cultural Marxism to develop modes of cultural studies that analyzed the production, interpretation, and receptions of cultural artifacts within concrete sociohistorical conditions that had contested political and ideological effects and uses." - and it's that "within concrete sociohistorical conditions" that is Historical Materialism. So both WP:SECONDARY sources are agreeing with the WP:PRIMARY sources that it's the analysis of media using concrete sociohistorical conditions. This is not WP:SYNTH or WP:OR as it's coming from the sources. This seems to me to be listed under the heading of Trivially simple interpretations of Wikipedia:Combining sources.
So let's get to the meat of this; can you, proffer under these sources (from The Frankfurt School, The Birmingham School and any WP:RS academic sources that use "Cultural Marxism" as a term; ANY OTHER definition of Cultural Marxism? Because to me, that would be the real test. There is quite an obvious line of accepted facts that all these sources concur with, and it spans multiple pages and sources that aren't argued, because they are given as fact, starting with that Historical Materialism was Marx's theory (making it Marxist), that it (to quote the page) "is principally a theory of history according to which the material conditions of a society's way of producing and reproducing the means of human existence" and that The Frankfurt School and Birmingham School as can be found on their pages analysed media and mass communications, and that all the sources point to the application of one (Historical Materialism) to the other (The Culture Industry). Using these sources, and any other that remotely approach the topic; I don't believe there is another definition of Cultural Marxism possible.
As noted earlier; pages on Cultural liberalism and Cultural conservatism already exist (and the WP:LEAD of Cultural liberalism is less well sourced than the proposed section on Cultural Marxism) - so whilst I can understand taking due care with this topic - I don't think it should be blown out of the water entirely. Nor do I think that having a section (or page) for the academic usage of the term is the same as accepting its WP:FRINGE usage - indeed quite the opposite. I believe that following the sources at hand to define the subject in clear and understandable language as per the facts - is within Wikipedia's purview as an educational and academically rigorous resource for information AKA an encyclopedia. This is the way consensus is heading WP:CCC and multiple editors are in agreement above; that we need to deal with the legitimate side of the topic. You may say we're fanning the flames of conspiracy; but I believe we're by removing the tension of the unknown we can convey the information found within the sources to give a solidly representative context and definition to the topic. Removing the heat of debate, and throwing sand on the flames to quell them once and for all.
As always, I'm arguing from policy, and I respect that you do the same... and we must respect WP:SYNTH as well as WP:NOTSYNTH. To quote WP:OR: "Rewriting source material in your own words, while substantially retaining the meaning of the references, is not considered to be original research." --Jobrot (talk) 07:58, 29 July 2017 (UTC)
As ever, this is all getting very wordy, and bogged down in looking for very precise and somewhat speculative definitions. The concept of "cultural" Marxism as academically defined is quite broad and diffuse, but is relatively simply and fairly consistently explained in the sources I cited and quoted above, as well as in the Kellner piece, as published in the Ritzer-edited encyclopedia. These should be the basis for any definition here (although it's questionable how much detail about non-Frankfurt school matters should be packed into this page). As for the argument that the Kellner piece doesn't mention cultural Marxism. What? It has a heading using the term, mentions it 11 times and defines it in the opening paragraph ("employed the Marxian theory to analyze cultural forms in relation to their production, their imbrications with society and history, and their impact and influences on audiences and social life").
The fact that people later often described as being "cultural" Marxists did not use the term themselves is irrelevant. That is how these things work: Michelangelo and Titian did not describe themselves as "Renaissance" artists; these categories and classifications are created later to describe and categorise trends and periods, often quite general and vague ones. They also do not have to apply to rigid groups with fixed membership or rigid schools of thought to count as real things. N-HH talk/edits 08:47, 29 July 2017 (UTC)
As to my suggestion that the paleoconservatives were the first to use the term "Cultural Marxism", I clearly was mistaken. Schroyer 1973 has an entire chapter (pp. 199-223) dedicated to his survey of the topic. I have the sense that his definition was perhaps a little broader than later authors. He said it was "a new form of crisis theory" which implied that "as advanced industrial societies developed, the individual was more integrated into and dependent upon the collectivity and yet less able to utilize society for active self-expression." He wrote that "Theorists such as Lukacs, Marcuse, Habermas, Lefebvre, and others, have all emphasized the combination of enforced dependence, cultural manipulation and growing political powerlessness that derives from the dynamics of industrial society."
I don't see any reason why Blackford's article isn't a viable source for the claim that Schroyer seems to have coined the term, and that Wiener recognized Schroyer as such. The Conversation is a reputable publication with a quality control process, Blackford is a qualified author, and the specific claims to be documented are not from Wikipedia. Blackford might have a COI if he tried to self-cite, but any other editor can endorse the quality of the source. Jobrot, while I respect your concern that Blackford might have a libertarian bias, I don't see that as a reason why he can't be used as a reliable secondary source for claims that can be easily verified in the primary sources (Schroyer and Wiener) as well.
If RGloucester has any concerns about Jobrot's reading of these many academic sources, perhaps he could offer a reading of his own? Simply suppressing the material from Wikipedia is not an adequate solution. JerryRussell (talk) 16:36, 29 July 2017 (UTC)
There is no 'suppression' of material. I will try to make this very clear. My concern is not that the Frankfurt School theorists did not call themselves 'cultural marxists'. My concern is that citations to Adorno, cannot be used to support a definition of the term cultural marxism, because he did not write on that subject. None of the sources cited above 'define' the term 'cultural marxism' as a coherent subject, and so cannot be used as sources for such a 'definition' as the one provided by Jobrot, ie "The term Cultural Marxism originated as a niche academic term describing the Frankfurt School's critique of The Culture Industry. It is a form of anti-capitalist cultural critique that focuses on the Cultural reproduction of Consumer capitalism, and in particular the commercialization, industrialization and massification of culture and the effects these processes have on human happiness and liberation". If you want my own reading of the relevant material, I'll give it. This is the reading that was accepted in the deletion discussion, by the way. It's very simple...'cultural marxism' is occasionally (rarely) used in a broad sense to mean any marxist approach to culture, from Marx's own views onward to every other marxist theorist's views. This broad term does not imply a coherent subject that can be covered by an article, nor does it imply a coherent encyclopaedic subject. It is simply a simple way to say 'marxist approaches to culture', 'marxist theories on culture', &c. We've got articles on all these things, from cultural studies to critical theory, &c. There is no coherent subject of 'cultural marxism'...none of the sources provided claim such a thing. The only reason, again, that anyone is discussing this matter is because of conspiracy theory, which is a coherent subject that is defined in reliable academic sources. Trying to purport that all of these random sources somehow support a monolithic 'cultural marxism' as some kind of ideology of critique or any such thing is a nonsense, because they don't. The only people that try to weave such a narrative are the conspiracy theorists. RGloucester 17:11, 29 July 2017 (UTC)
It is simply a simple way to say 'marxist approaches to culture', 'marxist theories on culture, We've got articles on all these things, from cultural studies to critical theory,' - neither of those articles are on marxist approaches to culture. I'm starting to question the accuracy of your knowledge of these subjects. I was hoping for a more policy-based argument. --Jobrot (talk) 00:44, 30 July 2017 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────There is no coherent subject of 'cultural marxism'...none of the sources provided claim such a thing.No, the sources do define a coherent subject. It's certainly distinct from Marx's own views. It's not "monolithic" but since when is that a problem? @Jobrot:, @N-HH:, I suggest a three step process: (1) arrive at a proposal for the revised text at some side location, such as Jobrot's draft at his sandbox, suitable for inclusion in this article. We can presumably never satisfy RGloucester, but it might be possible to create something that would be acceptable to a broad cross section of editors. (2) Float an RfC to test consensus for the revised text. (3) The revised text could become the basis of a DRV. My sense reading the deletion review of the old article, is that the text at that time had many shortcomings. Even so, the deletion was hotly contested, and certainly left open the possibility that a better text might prove acceptable even as a stand-alone article. JerryRussell (talk) 21:55, 29 July 2017 (UTC)

I don't want to get involved in this as there's too much confusion involved, from people trying to navigate themselves through the history of Marxist thought for the first time to those who seem to think acknowledging the serious use of the term – post-Marx btw – is analagous to accepting some kind of modern conspiracy theory. The definition as used in academic discourse provided is clear. It's up to others what they want to do with that, including if they want to ignore it, which they seem to want to. In the meantime, WP will remain a wholly confusing source for explanation of political issues and trends. N-HH talk/edits 22:04, 29 July 2017 (UTC)
  • If the definition is clear, what's the definition? I'd like a word-for-word quotation from a proper academic source. That is to say, "Cultural Marxism is..." RGloucester 23:18, 29 July 2017 (UTC)
You're playing a language game, also if you're not well versed enough in the source material you shouldn't be working on this page. As per my argument above we don't have to have some perfect word-for-word definition, in fact we're meant to re-write FROM the source material, staying as close as possible to the intended meaning, and using quotes. Part of that is making policy-based arguments on talk. As per WP:combining sources we have Kellner saying that Cultural Marxism is when a theorist "employed the Marxian theory to analyze cultural forms in relation to their production, their imbrications with society and history, and their impact and influences on audiences and social life" - and I'd say that the production he's referencing - seeing as he counts himself as in the lineage of The Frankfurt School - is obviously The Culture Industry. Likewise when in the Ritzer source Kellner writes that Cultural Marxism is used to "develop modes of cultural studies that analyzed the production, interpretation, and receptions of cultural artifacts within concrete sociohistorical conditions that had contested political and ideological effects and uses." he's talking about exactly what Adorno is discussing in The Culture Industry chapter of Dialectic of Enlightenment (1944). Indeed on the Culture industry page it's described as being influenced by Marx's theories of alienation and commodity fetishism, and Georg Lukacs' concept of the reification of consciousness. Now I agree with you that we can't write from these WP:SECONDARY sources alone. There's a reason the sources always point to The Frankfurt School and Birmingham School, and use terms from these specific theorists - and that should be included in any article on Cultural Marxism. So we have to go back to the WP:PRIMARY sources in order to get a specific focus on what the original theorists were describing (and obviously the WP:SECONDARY sources are commenting on, by proxy of directly mentioning them). So we have things like Adorno's concept of The Culture Industry which he describes as being when:

Films, radio and magazines make up a system which is uniform as a whole and in every part. Even the aesthetic activities of political opposites are one in their enthusiastic obedience to the rhythm of the iron system.

Critiquing that system with quotes like:

"The ruthless unity in the culture industry is evidence of what will happen in politics. Marked differentiations such as those of A and B films, or of stories in magazines in different price ranges, depend not so much on subject matter as on classifying, organising, and labelling consumers. Something is provided for all so that none may escape" -Theodor W. Adorno, Enlightenment as mass-deception

and

"The Culture Industry not so much adapts to the reactions of its customers as it counterfeits them."

Likewise you have Richard Hoggart with his criticisms of the same industry within his seminal work The Uses of Literacy (1957). To quote two sections of that page:

Massification of culture

The Uses of Literacy was an attempt to understand the changes in culture in Britain caused by "massification". It has been described as marking a "watershed in public perception of culture and class and shifted academic parameters".[3] Hoggart's argument is that "the mass publicists" were made "more insistently, effectively and in a more comprehensive and centralised form today than they were earlier" and "that we are moving towards the creation of a mass culture, that the remnants of what was at least in part an urban culture 'of the people' are being destroyed".[4]

The "drift"

In his study Hoggart looks at pulp fiction, popular magazines and newspapers and the movies and finds in all of these, "drift". He documents the break-up of the old, class culture, lamenting the loss of the close-knit communities and their replacement by the emerging manufactured mass culture. Key features of this are the tabloid newspapers, advertising, and the triumph of Hollywood. These "alien" phenomena have colonized local communities and robbed them of their distinctive features. Hoggart's attack is not on popular culture; rather it is on mass culture which is imposed from above. "Popular culture" being self-created has a fundamental integrity and evolves according to its own laws and dictates, not as a result of the mass media.[4]
Likewise you have Raymond Williams in Problems in Materialism and Culture with chapter titles like "Means of Communication as Means of Production"... do I really have to continue? It's fairly obvious that Cultural Marxism is the Marxist critique of The Culture Industry - isn't it? I mean, there's a reason all these guys just happen to be writing on the same topic, in the same way, and are all included by WP:SECONDARY sources under the banner of Cultural Marxism. This is not a giant leap. This is not WP:OR or WP:SYNTH this is the most moderate and concise definition to use going from combining the Primary and Secondary sources. It's a usage which prohibits too broad a definition of the term. I don't want Wikipedia to claim things like "It's anyone who read Marx and then commented on culture" - I don't count post-modernists under Cultural Marxists specifically because they're not labelled that way by the sources... and that's what we should go from. That's what this discussion should be about - THE SOURCES. --Jobrot (talk) 01:52, 30 July 2017 (UTC)
I'm very well acquainted with the source material, thank you. I did not ask for another wall of a text. I asked for something very simple: a definition of "cultural marxism" from a reliable source. If this is an encyclopaedic subject, you'll be able to find one. I can find an equivalent definition for just-plain 'marxism' easily, and the same can be said for 'western marxism', and for other such terms. Why can't you find one for your 'cultural marxism', I wonder? RGloucester 02:16, 30 July 2017 (UTC)
When you ask "If this is an encyclopaedic subject" I hope you're aware that one of the sources we've been referring to in the discussion is "The Encyclopedia of Social Theory" (emphasis added).
"I'm very well acquainted with the source material, thank you." - I honestly don't believe that's the case at this point. Just today you've claimed that Cultural Marxism "is simply a simple way to say 'marxist approaches to culture', 'marxist theories on culture'" and that "We've got articles on all these things, from cultural studies to critical theory," - when in fact neither of those articles are on "marxist approaches to culture"... and that is in fact something I've already pointed out yesterday... and if you read the page I linked to (Outline of critical theory) you can see directly that your claims are incorrect.
In fact I haven't seen a policy based, or source based argument from you in some time. WP:GOODFAITH has its limits, and I'm starting to seriously question the accuracy of your knowledge on these subjects. If you're not going to bother getting involved, if you're not going to bother interacting with other editors, if you're going to be lazy and reply within minutes of a lengthy post with a short glib reply that simply isn't appropriate (had you read the post, which is the second one I've made answering your question), or in other cases where you show a wanton lack of understanding of the source material; then you can hardly expect your views to be abided by on these matters.
Interfacing with the source material, making a cogent argument, backing it up using evidence, the sources, and policy is what should be done on talk pages (as per WP:Talk)... and frankly I haven't seen anything like that from you lately on this subject. As I said the other day; I was hoping to see policy and source based arguments from you. I have not. --Jobrot (talk) 00:44, 30 July 2017 (UTC)
Critical theory and cultural studies are two examples of 'marxist approaches to culture', or applying the marxist analytical lens to culture, though both came to expand beyond Marxism. I'm not sure what you're contesting about that. I've had enough of your original research, and I'm really not interested in your long-winded diatribes. It's very simple: find secondary sources that support your assertions, or stop. You've yet to find one. You can do all the 'inferencing' and 'inferfacing' you like on your own time, but that doesn't mean that Wikipedia is a WP:SOAPbox for your views. RGloucester 03:27, 30 July 2017 (UTC)
The sources that Jobrot has been kind enough to provide, do give definitions. Perhaps they're not quite as clear and focused as when Jobrot says "Cultural Marxism is the Marxist critique of The Culture Industry". For example, in the first paragraph of Ritzer's article about Cultural Marxism, we find: "Many twentieth-century Marxian theorists, ranging from Georg Lukacs, Antonio Gramsci, Ernst Bloch, Walter Benjamin, and T.W. Adorno to Fredric Jameson and Terry Eagleton, employed the Marxian theory to analyze cultural forms in relation to their production, their imbrications with society and history, and their impact and influences on audiences and social life. Traditions of cultural Marxism are thus important to the trajectory of cultural studies and to understanding its various types and forms in the present age." Similarly, in his chapter about cultural Marxism, Schroyer 1973 (p. 199) explains that he is writing about "a new form of crisis theory" which implied that "as advanced industrial societies developed, the individual was more integrated into and dependent upon the collectivity and yet less able to utilize society for active self-expression." He wrote that "Theorists such as Lukacs, Marcuse, Habermas, Lefebvre, and others, have all emphasized the combination of enforced dependence, cultural manipulation and growing political powerlessness that derives from the dynamics of industrial society."
In both cases, I see a sort of operational definition, that Cultural Marxism is what Cultural Marxists write about. But it's distinct from general cultural studies, because it's from a specifically Marxist perspective. (I don't see any reason why capitalists can't participate in cultural studies, or even critical theory.) And Cultural Marxism is to be distinguished from "structural Marxism", which was largely the focus of earlier Marxists. JerryRussell (talk) 03:33, 30 July 2017 (UTC)


It's not a WP:SOAPbox if you're using sources. Also see WP:combining sources, WP:PRIMARY and WP:SECONDARY. --Jobrot (talk) 03:52, 30 July 2017 (UTC)
Please read your 'combing sources' essay, not that it has much relevance. It says "Any wikipedia policy or guideline takes precedence over any essay. Therefore the editor who wants to combine sources should refrain from doing so, if met with objections. This may mean leaving information out or trying to find a different single source that fully supports the desired compound statement". Let's follow WP:NOR. However, I don't even think that the 'definition' you provided is supported by the two sources, synthesised or not. The sources simply do not say anything about the 'culture industry', which is a term specific to the Frankfurt School, and you've not got the leeway to make that association.
In response to Mr Russell, I would say that that sentence is clearly not a 'definition' in any true sense. First of all, it doesn't clearly say what 'cultural marxism' is. It simply says that many Marxist theorists, spanning across an entire century, used Marxist methods to analyse culture. We know this, but this in and of self does not imply the definition that Jobrot provided. It certainly does not do what you say it does, labelling the relevant theorists as 'cultural marxists'. It is completely vague, and is simply an appearance of the 'broad definition' of the term 'cultural marxism' to mean any Marxist analysis of culture forms in relation to their production. As has been indicated before, this association is not commonly accepted in academia (see WP:DUE), and is a niche usage without basis to support an article independent from articles about the theorists and the theories themselves. Such an article, if based on the sentence you believe to be a definition, would simply consist of a list of assorted 20th century theorists, and nothing else. That's not what the text that you and Jobrot introduced into the article implies. RGloucester 15:53, 30 July 2017 (UTC)
Hoggart is targetting mass culture, and specifically - the tabloid newspapers, advertising, and the triumph of Hollywood. which sounds like the Culture industry to me. So to my mind the concepts line up, even though the individual terms/labels don't necessarily... however the headings often do in that The Frankfurt School and Birmingham School are often found together in the sources under headings like "The Rise of Cultural Marxism" or just plain "Cultural Marxism"... and they both have in common the fact that they were critiquing mass culture from a neo-marxist perspective (with the only slight difference being the Frankfurt School's elitism vs the Birmingham School's desire to valorize working class British Culture (hence British Cultural marxism).
Anyways, I see the similarities.
I quite like that Kellner limits the era of the critique of The Culture Industry (what I believe constitutes Cultural Marxism) to a specific time period: "During this period, mass culture and communication were instrumental in generating the modes of thought and behavior appropriate to a highly organized and massified social order. Thus, the Frankfurt school theory of the culture industry articulates a major historical shift to an era in which mass consumption and culture was indispensable to producing a consumer society based on homogeneous needs and desires for mass-produced products and a mass society based on social organization and homogeneity. It is culturally the era of highly controlled network radio and television, insipid top forty pop music, glossy Hollywood films, national magazines, and other mass-produced cultural artifacts" as I think that further limits the conspiracy nuts. It also suggests that Stuart Hall's Encoding/decoding model of communication can be seen as the end of the "Cultural Marxist" era of critiquing mass communications (in that it's no longer so centralized). --Jobrot (talk) 17:00, 30 July 2017 (UTC)
RGloucester says that my sources provide a vague 'broad definition' of the term 'cultural marxism' to mean any Marxist analysis of culture forms in relation to their production. I agree that's what the sources are saying, although I also agree with Jobrot that the vast majority of this literature is concerned with mass culture and the culture industry. It's also true that this is a niche usage within academia, and that the paleoconservative usage is far more widely known. But the question at hand is whether the academic niche usage is noteworthy enough to be given its own section within this article. I think so, both because it's the historically original usage (as Jobrot demonstrated) and because it's a respectable and academically useful terminology.
As I mentioned before, I think it's premature to discuss whether 'Cultural Marxism' should be the topic for its own article. First we should agree how to represent the topic within this article. Later on, perhaps we can go to WP:DRV to discuss creation of a stand-alone article. JerryRussell (talk) 00:04, 31 July 2017 (UTC)


I just noticed an interesting thing about the Kellner article. I'm talking about the one which RGloucester maligned as Another example is a 2004 essay by Douglas Kellner, called "Cultural Studies and Cultural Marxism", which these SPAs and IPs like to use. These two works are the main sources for the IP and SPA arguments. It was written long after the conspiracy theory had emerged. It is not a peer-reviewed journal article. It was never published anywhere. It is a personal essay of 15 pages long, that only exists on the internet because he has released it personally for free. Actually, folks, it's the exact same article as the one published in the Ritzer encyclopedia! Please compare: [6], [7] And of course, Kellner also describes the practitioners of cultural Marxism as "cultural Marxists". JerryRussell (talk) 00:48, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
I noted that in passing above. Plus even if it were not the case, per WP:SPS the piece should never have been dismissed on the basis it was self-published. As for the description "cultural Marxist", Googling the term in Books with the names of people often associated with it, eg Gramsci, Jameson, EP Thompson etc, throws up lots of good examples of its use as a descriptor in serious academic writing (again, the fact they may not have used the term or self-described as such is irrelevant). Add all that to the definitions of the term in multiple encyclopedias and other reference works cited previously, and it's hard to see why this has all dragged on for so long and so unproductively. N-HH talk/edits 09:13, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
ps: I also dislike the use of the term "niche". It's the serious, objective and original use of the term, and we shouldn't necessarily privilege the more recent polemical and pejorative use of it, primarily in US political discourse, any more than we would, say, when it comes to the term "fascist", which is a term of political science but which is also flung around a lot these days much more loosely as a general political insult. N-HH talk/edits 09:37, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
Yes, that was already addressed above. There are very few examples, at all, of this term being used. It is used in the works of a few writers in this way, not in the vast majority of academic works that deal with this subject. For that reason, it must be given WP:DUE weight, and not WP:UNDUE weight. This is not a mainstream academic opinion. If the definition truly is what Mr Russell says it is, then the term really has no relevance, as it is once again, too vague to define a coherent subject, which is what was clearly stated in the deletion discussion. RGloucester 15:35, 31 July 2017 (UTC)

Proposed wording[edit]

The current section on this really needs wholesale rewriting, and not just because of the issues identified above. It's very scrappy and confusing, and misdefines "cultural Marxism" as discussed above from the outset: it is not a term used simply "within cultural studies"; nor is it limited to referring to simply a critique of profit-driven and mass culture. As noted, it's a broad concept, about the shift away from classical Marxism and economic determinism. Then there's far too much about what some on the modern US right think about things, which is not significant for a serious page on the Frankfurt School (precisely because it is all a bit bonkers; the detail should be on those individuals' pages, not here). I would also prefer to drop the term "conspiracy theory" from the heading. Yes, in some cases, it amounts to that, as attested in sources, but there is also the more serious usage we have been discussing and the fact that even when use pejoratively, it's often just a throwaway insult. So, as a broad suggestion, based partly on some of the sources cited above:

  • Cultural Marxism
  • The term Cultural Marxism is often used in academic writing to describe trends in Western Marxism in the 20th century, led by members of the Frankfurt School and others, including the Birmingham School in the UK, to focus on culture and ideology as much as on economics and to develop Marxist theories of art and literature. Building in part on the work of Antonio Gramsci, many cultural Marxists also moved away from orthodox Marxist assumptions about economic determinism, under which the cultural and ideological "superstructure" of a society was simply seen to reflect the economic "base" and modes of production, and acknowledged that cultural forms could develop semi-autonomously. Since the late 1990s, conservatives in the United States have also used the term, pejoratively, to criticise what they see as an activist ideology that threatens mainstream American society and moral values by promoting minority rights, multiculturalism and the permissive society. A conspiracy theory propagated by American religious paleoconservatives such as William S. Lind and Paul Weyrich directly implicates the Frankfurt School in what they claim was a deliberate and calculated plot to undermine western values.

That needs expanding and direct citations, but any content here needs to be far less detailed and also to focus more on the Frankurt School's (real or alleged) part in all this, as this is the page about them, not about cultural Marxism per se, whatever it refers to, or about the ravings of the fringes of the American right. N-HH talk/edits 09:21, 1 August 2017 (UTC)

Sounds like you want to fully justify the conspiracy usage in the broadest possible terms. I don't support that. You've gone too far in the 'legitimating' direction now. I'd like to cover both sides of the topic (the actual academic usage AND the modern alt-right conspiracy theory usage), but not at the expense of each other. I now find myself agreeing with RGloucester that your version of the concept is too broad. I mean I can't think of anyone who went on from The Frankfurt School to develop "Marxist theories of art and literature" - I can barely picture what that would entail (Socialist realism?).
I think you should probably look into some of the more conspiratorial claims around the term "Cultural Marxism" - get a better understanding of that side of things... and keep in mind that Wikipedia is justified in having pages and sections on conspiracy theories... and that their titles often come close to their real-world counterparts (eg. September 11 attacks/9/11 conspiracy theories, Rothschild family/Rothschild family#Conspiracy theories. But yeah, no sale here! --Jobrot (talk) 16:24, 1 August 2017 (UTC)
I have no wish whatsoever to justify the conspiracy theory, or to dispute that it exists and is described as such. Where on earth did I give that impression? Nor did I say that the Frankfurt School wanted to develop Marxist theories of literature and art (although they did, of course, analyse culture from a Marxist perspective); I said "cultural Marxism" was, in part, about that. The phrasing is based on that found on p344 of Perspectives in Sociology, cited above, not something I invented off the top of my head or "my" personal version of anything. And it means a focus on analysing culture through Marxist ideas. It's not complicated, or inaccurate. As I stated above, it's the current version which is full of garbled inaccuracies and an overemphasis on things that have nothing to do with what serious sources say about the term, let alone the Frankfurt School, and it needs sorting out. N-HH talk/edits 16:55, 1 August 2017 (UTC)
That's funny, because when I search the text of Perspectives on Sociology (6th edition) it doesn't return any usage of "Cultural Marxism": https://books.google.com.au/books?id=__uPCgAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=Perspectives+in+Sociology+6th+Edition&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Cultural%20Marxism&f=false
I have no wish whatsoever to justify the conspiracy theory, or to dispute that it exists and is described as such. Where on earth did I give that impression? - here: I would also prefer to drop the term "conspiracy theory" from the heading.
And it means a focus on analysing culture through Marxist ideas. It's not complicated, or inaccurate. - I find it a complicated subject, and I find your description of it inaccurate, can you provide any examples of "Cultural Marxist" analysis of art? At anyrate it appears we have two conflicting ideas about the term, I've only ever seen it applied to The Frankfurt School and The Birmingham School. That's what was argued in the AfD on the subject.
I don't think this effort is going anywhere. Looks like we're at loggerheads again. --Jobrot (talk) 17:50, 1 August 2017 (UTC)
I also think the part after "Since the late 1990s, conservatives in the United States" definately belongs more so under the "Conspiracy Theory" heading. --Jobrot (talk) 17:53, 1 August 2017 (UTC)
Your search seems to be missing some pages. I found the quote and the reference to cultural Marxism online from the UK, and I'm not making it up. The entire text is based on sources I have cited time and again. It should not be controversial that this broad, slightly diffuse concept is what academics mean when they refer to cultural Marxism. As for "analysis of art", yes, people write whole books about the idea. As for conspiracy theory, yes I said it could be lost from the [sub]-heading – for very specific reasons, which I explained. I still don't think btw that it needs a sub-sub-heading, but that's obviously not set in stone. I clearly talk about the "ravings" of the US right and include a sentence describing the conspiracy theory. It's impossible to see how anyone could suggest I am trying to validate the theory. And finally, just because you've "only ever seen" a term applied to two things, doesn't mean it is the only way it is applied. Plenty of others have been cited in these ranging discussions – including Gramsci, per the proposed text (see here and here for examples in texts). We are going round in circles, because no one who knows what they are talking about (you admit yourself that you don't), or without preconceived political points to make, is willing to engage sensibly or constructively on the topic. N-HH talk/edits 18:07, 1 August 2017 (UTC)
you admit yourself that you don't [know what you're talking about] - hey either point out where I say "I don't know what I'm talking about" or stop being such an asshole. Saying a topic is complicated; isn't the same as going "I don't know what I'm talking about". You're not very good at forming a consensus BTW. Bit too much of an attitude problem I suspect... just because you've "only ever seen" a term applied to two things, doesn't mean it... and oh so condescending too. Good luck with your proposed changes, you'll need it - WP:SALT remember. WP:SALT... and your proposed text looks a whole lot like an attempt to recreate what was deleted. --Jobrot (talk) 18:27, 1 August 2017 (UTC)
Saying "because you haven't seen something, it doesn't mean it doesn't exist" is not condescending, but a statement of logical fact (and I have provided citations that show it does exist). This should be no more complicated than working out, following simple and sourced definitions, what serious academics broadly mean when they talk about "cultural" Marxism. The details of Marxist theories are indeed complicated; the basic terminology sometimes applied to them are not. And let's not forget you accused me, totally spuriously and due to an inability to read what I said properly, of justifying a right-wing conspiracy theory just now. I have expended thousands of words with you as you flip-flop and express your own confusion on this topic (including just now, and previously on my talk page), while others act similarly obtusely, and I don't think it's unfair for me to query your competence or indeed the general idiocy of most WP contributors. N-HH talk/edits 20:24, 1 August 2017 (UTC)
"or indeed the general idiocy of most WP contributors." - alright, I think I see why your additions to this discussion have never resulted in a constructive outcome (it's due to violations of WP:GF on your part). What you just said was totally inappropriate and runs counter to any constructive purpose you might have here.
As far as I've seen THE SOURCES, only ever use this term to apply to - in order of how often it's applied to them -; E.P Thompson, Gramsci, The Birmingham School and The Frankfurt School (and it's mostly applied to the latter two, for whom Gramsci is a distant inspiration). If you want to make it into some broad attempt to create a Marxist culture, you can find somewhere else to do that, as that doesn't fit to the intentions of the thinkers the term is applied to... and note, all those listed pre-date discourses like Post-Modernism and Critical Theory. Those discourses are not "Cultural Marxism" (hence having their own terms). "Cultural Marxism" is in that sense, bracketed, historical and specific. It's mostly applied to The Frankfurt School prior to Critical Theory. It's not some over arching attempt to take over or recreate academia or culture. --Jobrot (talk) 02:58, 2 August 2017 (UTC)

This page needs Truth Not CIA/Right Wing propaganda[edit]

I post a section headed "Debunking the Cultural Marxism/Frankfurt School Right wing propaganda and somebody who has political non neutral view deleted it. now it is well know that they do have people that don't fall for the idea that Cultural Marxism/Frankfurt School/ new left is left wing at all. so my neutral section NEEDS TO STEY. Torygreen84 (talk) 02:17, 31 July 2017 (UTC)

The problem is that the sources in that section don't pass WP:RS. Blogs (like those hosted on blogspot and wordpress) or personal websites (like Gary North's) aren't reliable sources, since anyone can throw up a blog or website and post whatever they want there. Sources need to have a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy. Beyond that, we already have many academic sources (ones that do pass WP:RS) going into detail on the conspiracy theory and taking it apart - no part of the section presents it as credible (since no reliable source presents it as credible), so a 'debunking' subsection is redundant. --Aquillion (talk) 06:12, 31 July 2017 (UTC)

who does The fact checking You from the CIA?, or other Elite News?, who won't report on what gary north said. why can't you be a normal working class man who is Independent from the Elite News. Torygreen84 (talk) 06:34, 31 July 2017 (UTC)

"Cultural Marxism" vs "British Cultural Marxism"[edit]

My understanding is that "Cultural Marxism" refers to The Frankfurt School's critiques of mass consumerism as created by The Culture Industry - and that "British Cultural Marxism" refers to The Birmingham School's critiques of mass consumerism, but using the concepts of massification and drift as key concepts.

To further this distinction, The Frankfurt School's Cultural Marxism is considered anti-popularist, and elitist in that "Adorno and Horkheimer especially perceived mass-produced culture as dangerous to the more technically and intellectually difficult high arts." - where as The Birmingham School was concerned with "more positively valorizing traditions of working class culture and resistance" [8] and so is seen as more working class and less elitist.

Does anyone have any other understandings of these two terms, and particularly the distinctions between the two? --Jobrot (talk) 04:21, 14 August 2017 (UTC)

It doesn't really matter what anyone's "understanding" is, nor do we need to keep fumbling our way through like this. The question is how the term is defined in serious sources. I have cited and quoted on multiple occasions such definitions, eg here, which clearly show the term is quite a broad one, referring to a series of trends, but nonetheless has a fairly consistent and well-understood meaning. The concept is not defined by or limited to individual and specific opinions propagated by either Frankfurt or Birmingham thinkers, nor is there a fundamental or taxonomical difference between "British" and "other" cultural Marxisms: the former is just cultural Marxism as it appeared in Britain. N-HH talk/edits 10:04, 14 August 2017 (UTC)
I'm not talking about the generalities you are. I'm talking about the actual schools the label is associated with. There's a reason they are academically linked. --Jobrot (talk) 16:24, 14 August 2017 (UTC)
You explicitly asked about the meaning of the terms "cultural Marxism" and "British cultural Marxism", and about the distinction between them. It's the title you gave this section. I tried to answer those questions as posed, by pointing out that they *are* general terms and that nor are they discrete concepts with a substantive or fixed distinction, or dependent on or even necessarily always directly related to the Frankfurt or Birmingham schools respectively, as you tried to suggest. If you weren't talking about the generalities of those terms, but about the ideas of the schools themselves, you should have asked a different question or framed it differently. And of course the Birmingham School per se is not the topic of this page. Finally, I'm not even sure how this is about improving the content here (which is a necessary task). Might you not be better off at Quora? N-HH talk/edits 17:02, 14 August 2017 (UTC)
@N-HH:, would you consider editing your remark Might you not be better off at Quora? per WP:CIVIL, i.e. avoid name-calling and condescension? Thanks.
I agree that the definitions of CM in the sources are quite broad. But, N-HH. wouldn't you also agree that Jobrot's analysis of the characteristic thrust of works by the Frankfurt School and Birmingham School is also basically correct? Not that I know anything about the Birmingham school. But I have read Adorno's Dialectic of Enlightenment and of course it's about mass consumerism & the culture industry, as Jobrot says. However, furthermore: having reached that tentative conclusion, we can't put it in the article unless we can identify a credible secondary source that supports it. JerryRussell (talk) 02:10, 15 August 2017 (UTC)


I'm asking because I feel there will eventually be a need to separate the section into subsections. Which I attempted to do earlier. All in all the current section is becoming quite long. Currently the section is mostly dedicated to how the term has been abused, not how it's been associated with The Frankfurt School and Birmingham School critiques of consumerism and mass-culture (which in my view is its original and correct usage).
The conspiracy theory usage has come up in the media recently with the director of strategic planning for the National Security Council - Rich Higgins accusing left wing progressives and Islamists of "interoperating" to destroy western civilization, but it's also been used previously by prominent individuals and publications such as by Australian ex-primeministerial candidate Mark Latham, separately by Cory Bernardi in relation to Australia's Safe Schools program, by another Australian senator blaming crime on immigrants, in an attempt to boycott the release of the StarWars remakes, in relation to the Rio-Olympics ect, ect..
So yes, we may have to cross this bridge at some point by having a "current events" section, and I suggest we have specifics on the original schools of thought and what makes them "Cultural Marxist" rather than just having some grab bag catch-all definition of "Anything to do with Marxism and culture". We're meant to stick to the meaning and intentions of the original sources we use, not distort them by broadening terms beyond all recognition.
Anyways, it's something to consider. --Jobrot (talk) 03:03, 15 August 2017 (UTC)