Both kinds of Marxism postulated class conflicts and even warfare. However, there is a crucial difference between them.
Classical Marxism declared a war between the vast majority of the proletarians and a tiny minority of the capitalists. The vital interests of the great mass of workers, almost of society as a whole, were held hostage to the vicious selfish interests of a much smaller clique of capitalists or bourgeoisie. The latter clung to power only by inculcating false consciousness among the proletarians. Dispel the fog of illusion, and we’ll have our revolution.
This numerical difference was key in the argument that socialism was inevitable: there is no way that this oppressed majority would forever acquiesce in being exploited. You can’t fool all the people all of the time. It is also why Marxism is collectivist.
Modern cultural Marxism abandons this understanding entirely. Women, it says, are oppressed and exploited by men, but women are neither a majority nor a minority. Blacks are oppressed by whites; Muslims are oppressed by Christians; etc., but precisely as part of their being minorities. How many transsexuals are there really? A tiny percentage of the population. But they, too, say the new Marxists, are oppressed.
In stark contrast to the old-style Marxism, a revolution in which the transsexuals rise up and sweep away the oppressive order is out of the question; even more important, cultural Marxism is, far from collectivist, in fact hyper-individualistic.
Note the idea of “intersectionality”: there are minorities within minorities, battling for the title of Most Oppressed. It’s an Oppression Olympics: are black women more or less pathetic than gay Muslims? Who determines these things? Since the oppression hierarchy shifts all the time, it is even possible that group B that’s being oppressed by group A itself oppresses group C. It’s all very complicated and unlike classical Marxism.
Other traditional Marxist tropes like communism, alienation, the material productive forces, stages of history, labor theory of value, immiseration of the working class, what Rothbard called “reabsorption theology,” and so on, too, are gone and forgotten.
I like sushi; there are many others who do, too. Let’s say we form a club, Sushi Lovers of America, where we share recipes, restaurants reviews, and sushi’s health implications. Here’s a brand new “group identity,” where a bunch of people are associating with their own kind. Our group is a minority. Surely, however, we would not be oppressed. If some person were to lobby for legislation to outlaw Japanese restaurants, or even express contempt for our habit, everyone would think him unreasonable.
Now there are some men who want to fuck each other in the ass. They, too, enjoy associating with each other. Call this group identity “homosexuals.” This group is legally unrestrained; the state does not punish sodomy.
It is true, however, that the larger society exerts a non-coercive pressure on gays by despising them. Homosexuality is a nasty lamentable vice. Gay sex is nauseatingly disgusting. Homosexuals defile their nature. They humiliate themselves abjectly by sucking dick. By not even realizing that they are wretched sinners, they are deluded. Etc.
Gays are not all too happy with this attitude. As a result, they have resorted to implausible measures. For example, what kind of an intellectual sicko got the idea to call the various gay events “pride”? What are gays proud of? Their dick-sucking abilities? On the contrary, it’s shame, accursed brethren, great shame in what you are doing, and not pride at all.
So, is the contempt of homosexuals by society an injustice and oppression, or is it a perfectly reasonable and just stance?
I say the latter. It helps to call attention to the viciousness of homosexuality and to the fact that gays, far from embracing their “identity,” are duty-bound to try to shed it, to cure themselves. Where sushi lovers are free to enjoy themselves with self-forgetfulness, gays are to hate their perversion and to burn this corruption from their souls.
If, however, I am wrong, then there is a sense in which gays are oppressed for having to endure unjustified contempt and disapproval from the great majority of the population.
In any case, what with May Day having been replaced with Gay Day, “cultural” Marxism bears only a slight resemblance to its forefather.