The Official Blog Of Edward Cline

On the Destructiveness of Political Correctness

A guest essay by William S. Lind from An Accuracy in
Academia Association meeting in 1998. The Wikipedia entry for
him reads:
William S. Lind (born July 9, 1947) is an American monarchist,
paleoconservative, columnist, Christian,
and a light
He’s the author of several books and one of the first proponents of the Fourth-generation warfare theory. More
recently Lind has advocated for police to have RPGs as standard issue, and for a return
to death by
as a common sentence for crime in ‘urban areas’.[4][5]
Lind is a key proponent of the “Cultural
” conspiracy theory, he asserts that Marxists control
much of modern popular media, and that Political correctness can be directly
attributed to Karl Marx.[6][7]
Lind also wrote Victoria: A Novel of 4th Generation War, in which a
group of Christian Marines leads an armed rebellion against political
correctness within the American government.[8]
He revealed using the pseudonym Thomas
in a column for The American Conservative.
See also the Full Wikipedia on Lind. Here
is his ALA  paper on
political correctness:
 The Origins of Political Correctness

An observation from the late, great Barzun

An Accuracy
in Academia Address by Bill Lind (7/10/1998- 13th AIA Annual Summer Conference)
of this speech have been delivered to various AIA conferences including the
2000 Consevative University at American University
Where does
all this stuff that you’ve heard about this morning – the victim feminism, the
gay rights movement, the invented statistics, the rewritten history, the lies,
the demands, all the rest of it – where does it come from? For the first time
in our history, Americans have to be fearful of what they say, of what they
write, and of what they think. They have to be afraid of using the wrong word,
a word denounced as offensive or insensitive, or racist, sexist, or homophobic.
We have seen
other countries, particularly in this century, where this has been the case.
And we have always regarded them with a mixture of pity, and to be truthful,
some amusement, because it has struck us as so strange that people would allow
a situation to develop where they would be afraid of what words they used. But
we now have this situation in this country. We have it primarily on college
campuses, but it is spreading throughout the whole society. Were does it come
from? What is it?
We call it
“Political Correctness.” The name originated as something of a joke,
literally in a comic strip, and we tend still to think of it as only
half-serious. In fact, it’s deadly serious. It is the great disease of our
century, the disease that has left tens of millions of people dead in Europe,
in Russia, in China, indeed around the world. It is the disease of ideology. PC
is not funny. PC is deadly serious.
If we look
at it analytically, if we look at it historically, we quickly find out exactly
what it is. Political Correctness is cultural Marxism. It is Marxism translated
from economic into cultural terms. It is an effort that goes back not to the
1960s and the hippies and the peace movement, but back to World War I. If we
compare the basic tenets of Political Correctness with classical Marxism the
parallels are very obvious.
First of
all, both are totalitarian ideologies. The totalitarian nature of Political
Correctness is revealed nowhere more clearly than on college campuses, many of
which at this point are small ivy covered North Koreas, where the student or
faculty member who dares to cross any of the lines set up by the gender
feminist or the homosexual-rights activists, or the local black or Hispanic
group, or any of the other sainted “victims” groups that PC revolves
around, quickly find themselves in judicial trouble. Within the small legal
system of the college, they face formal charges – some star-chamber proceeding
– and punishment. That is a little look into the future that Political
Correctness intends for the nation as a whole. 
Indeed, all ideologies are totalitarian
because the essence of an ideology (I would note that conservatism correctly
understood is not an ideology) is to take some philosophy and say on the basis
of this philosophy certain things must be true – such as the whole of the
history of our culture is the history of the oppression of women. Since reality
contradicts that, reality must be forbidden. It must become forbidden to
acknowledge the reality of our history. People must be forced to live a lie,
and since people are naturally reluctant to live a lie, they naturally use
their ears and eyes to look out and say, “Wait a minute. This isn’t true.
I can see it isn’t true,” the power of the state must be put behind the
demand to live a lie. That is why ideology invariably creates a totalitarian
Second, the
cultural Marxism of Political Correctness, like economic Marxism, has a single
factor explanation of history. Economic Marxism says that all of history is
determined by ownership of means of production. Cultural Marxism, or Political
Correctness, says that all history is determined by power, by which groups
defined in terms of race, sex, etc., have power over which other groups.
Nothing else matters. All literature, indeed, is about that. Everything in the
past is about that one thing.
Third, just
as in classical economic Marxism certain groups, i.e. workers and peasants, are
a priori good, and other groups, i.e., the bourgeoisie and capital owners, are
evil. In the cultural Marxism of Political Correctness certain groups are good
– feminist women, (only feminist women, non-feminist women are deemed not to
exist) blacks, Hispanics, homosexuals. These groups are determined to be
“victims,” and therefore automatically good regardless of what any of
them do. Similarly, white males are determined automatically to be evil,
thereby becoming the equivalent of the bourgeoisie in economic Marxism.
Fourth, both
economic and cultural Marxism rely on expropriation. When the classical
Marxists, the communists, took over a country like Russia, they expropriated
the bourgeoisie, they took away their property. Similarly, when the cultural
Marxists take over a university campus, they expropriate through things like
quotas for admissions. When a white student with superior qualifications is
denied admittance to a college in favor of a black or Hispanic who isn’t as
well qualified, the white student is expropriated. And indeed, affirmative
action, in our whole society today, is a system of expropriation. White owned
companies don’t get a contract because the contract is reserved for a company
owned by, say, Hispanics or women. So expropriation is a principle tool for
both forms of Marxism.
And finally,
both have a method of analysis that automatically gives the answers they want.
For the classical Marxist, it’s Marxist economics. For the cultural Marxist,
it’s deconstruction.
essentially takes any text, removes all meaning from it and re-inserts any
meaning desired. So we find, for example, that all of Shakespeare is about the
suppression of women, or the Bible is really about race and gender. All of
these texts simply become grist for the mill, which proves that “all
history is about which groups have power over which other groups.” So the
parallels are very evident between the classical Marxism that we’re familiar
with in the old Soviet Union and the cultural Marxism that we see today as
Political Correctness. 

But the parallels are not accidents. The
parallels did not come from nothing. The fact of the matter is that Political
Correctness has a history, a history that is much longer than many people are
aware of outside a small group of academics who have studied this. And the
history goes back, as I said, to World War I, as do so many of the pathologies
that are today bringing our society, and indeed our culture, down.
theory said that when the general European war came (as it did come in Europe
in 1914), the working class throughout Europe would rise up and overthrow their
governments – the bourgeois governments – because the workers had more in
common with each other across the national boundaries than they had in common
with the bourgeoisie and the ruling class in their own country. Well, 1914 came
and it didn’t happen. Throughout Europe, workers rallied to their flag and
happily marched off to fight each other. The Kaiser shook hands with the
leaders of the Marxist Social Democratic Party in Germany and said there are no
parties now, there are only Germans. And this happened in every country in
Europe. So something was wrong.
knew by definition it couldn’t be the theory. In 1917, they finally got a
Marxist coup in Russia and it looked like the theory was working, but it
stalled again. It didn’t spread and when attempts were made to spread
immediately after the war, with the Spartacist uprising in Berlin, with the
Bela Kun government in Hungary, with the Munich Soviet, the workers didn’t
support them.
So the
Marxists’ had a problem. And two Marxist theorists went to work on it: Antonio
Gramsci in Italy and Georg Lukacs in Hungary. Gramsci said the workers will
never see their true class interests, as defined by Marxism, until they are
freed from Western culture, and particularly from the Christian religion – that
they are blinded by culture and religion to their true class interests. Lukacs,
who was considered the most brilliant Marxist theorist since Marx himself, said
in 1919, “Who will save us from Western Civilization?” He also
theorized that the great obstacle to the creation of a Marxist paradise was the
culture: Western civilization itself.
Lukacs gets
a chance to put his ideas into practice, because when the home grown Bolshevik
Bela Kun government is established in Hungary in 1919, he becomes deputy
commissar for culture, and the first thing he did was introduce sex education
into the Hungarian schools. This ensured that the workers would not support the
Bela Kun government, because the Hungarian people looked at this aghast,
workers as well as everyone else. But he had already made the connection that
today many of us are still surprised by, that we would consider the “latest
In 1923 in
Germany, a think-tank is established that takes on the role of translating
Marxism from economic into cultural terms, that creates Political Correctness
as we know it today, and essentially it has created the basis for it by the end
of the 1930s. This comes about because the very wealthy young son of a
millionaire German trader by the name of Felix Weil has become a Marxist and
has lots of money to spend. He is disturbed by the divisions among the
Marxists, so he sponsors something called the First Marxist Work Week, where he brings Lukacs and many of
the key German thinkers together for a week, working on the differences of
And he says,
“What we need is a think-tank.” Washington is full of think tanks and
we think of them as very modern. In fact they go back quite a ways. He endows
an institute, associated with Frankfurt University, established in 1923, that
was originally supposed to be known as the Institute for Marxism. But the
people behind it decided at the beginning that it was not to their advantage to
be openly identified as Marxist. The last thing Political Correctness wants is
for people to figure out it’s a form of Marxism. So instead they decide to name
it the Institute for Social Research.
Weil is very
clear about his goals. In 1971, he wrote to Martin Jay the author of a
principle book on the Frankfurt School, as the Institute for Social Research
soon becomes known informally, and he said, “I wanted the institute to
become known, perhaps famous, due to its contributions to Marxism.” Well,
he was successful. The first director of the Institute, Carl Grunberg, an
Austrian economist, concluded his opening address, according to Martin Jay,
“by clearly stating his personal allegiance to Marxism as a scientific
methodology.” Marxism, he said, would be the ruling principle at the
Institute, and that never changed.
The initial
work at the Institute was rather conventional, but in 1930 it acquired a new
director named Max Horkheimer, and Horkheimer’s views were very different. He
was very much a Marxist renegade. The people who create and form the Frankfurt
School are renegade Marxists. They’re still very much Marxist in their
thinking, but they’re effectively run out of the party. Moscow looks at what
they are doing and says, “Hey, this isn’t us, and we’re not going to bless
initial heresy is that he is very interested in Freud, and the key to making
the translation of Marxism from economic into cultural terms is essentially
that he combined it with Freudism. Again, Martin Jay writes, “If it can be
said that in the early years of its history, the Institute concerned itself
primarily with an analysis of bourgeois society’s socio-economic
sub-structure,” – and I point out that Jay is very sympathetic to the
Frankfurt School, I’m not reading from a critic here – “in the years after
1930 its primary interests lay in its cultural superstructure. Indeed the
traditional Marxist formula regarding the relationship between the two was
brought into question by Critical Theory.”
The stuff
we’ve been hearing about this morning – the radical feminism, the women’s
studies departments, the gay studies departments, the black studies departments
– all these things are branches of Critical Theory. What the Frankfurt School
essentially does is draw on both Marx and Freud in the 1930s to create this
theory called Critical Theory. The term is ingenious because you’re tempted to
ask, “What is the theory?” The theory is to criticize. The theory is
that the way to bring down Western culture and the capitalist order is not to
lay down an alternative. They explicitly refuse to do that. They say it can’t
be done, that we can’t imagine what a free society would look like (their
definition of a free society). As long as we’re living under repression – the
repression of a capitalistic economic order which creates (in their theory) the
Freudian condition, the conditions that Freud describes in individuals of repression
– we can’t even imagine it. What Critical Theory is about is simply criticizing.
It calls for the most destructive criticism possible, in every possible way,
designed to bring the current order down. And, of course, when we hear from the
feminists that the whole of society is just out to get women and so on, that
kind of criticism is a derivative of Critical Theory. It is all coming from the
1930s, not the 1960s.

And we plan to have many more spoiled brats!

Other key
members who join up around this time are Theodore Adorno, and, most
importantly, Erich Fromm and Herbert Marcuse. Fromm and Marcuse introduce an
element which is central to Political Correctness, and that’s the sexual
element. And particularly Marcuse, who in his own writings calls for a society
of “polymorphous perversity,” that is his definition of the future of
the world that they want to create. Marcuse in particular by the 1930s is
writing some very extreme stuff on the need for sexual liberation, but this
runs through the whole Institute. So do most of the themes we see in Political
Correctness, again in the early 30s. In Fromm’s view, masculinity and
femininity were not reflections of ‘essential’ sexual differences, as the
Romantics had thought. They were derived instead from differences in life
functions, which were in part socially determined.” Sex is a construct;
sexual differences are a construct.
example is the emphasis we now see on environmentalism. “Materialism as
far back as Hobbes had led to a manipulative dominating attitude toward
nature.” That was Horkhemier writing in 1933 in Materialismus und Moral.
“The theme of man’s domination of nature,” according to Jay, ”
was to become a central concern of the Frankfurt School in subsequent
years.” “Horkheimer’s antagonism to the fetishization of labor,
(here’s were they’re obviously departing from Marxist orthodoxy) expressed another
dimension of his materialism, the demand for human, sensual happiness.” In
one of his most trenchant essays, Egoism and the Movement for Emancipation,
written in 1936, Horkeimer “discussed the hostility to personal
gratification inherent in bourgeois culture.” And he specifically referred
to the Marquis de Sade, favorably, for his “protest…against asceticism in
the name of a higher morality.”
How does all
of this stuff flood in here? How does it flood into our universities, and
indeed into our lives today? The members of the Frankfurt School are Marxist,
they are also, to a man, Jewish. In 1933 the Nazis came to power in Germany,
and not surprisingly they shut down the Institute for Social Research. And its
members fled. They fled to New York City, and the Institute was reestablished
there in 1933 with help from Columbia University. And the members of the
Institute, gradually through the 1930s, though many of them remained writing in
German, shift their focus from Critical Theory about German society, destructive
criticism about every aspect of that society, to Critical Theory directed
toward American society. There is another very important transition when the
war comes. Some of them go to work for the government, including Herbert
Marcuse, who became a key figure in the OSS (the predecessor to the CIA), and
some, including Horkheimer and Adorno, move to Hollywood.
origins of Political
Correctness would probably not mean too much to us today except for two
subsequent events. The first was the student rebellion in the mid-1960s,
which was driven largely by resistance to the draft and the
Vietnam War. But the student rebels needed theory of some sort. They
just get out there and say, “Hell no we won’t go,” they had to have
some theoretical explanation behind it. Very few of them were interested
wading through Das Kapital. Classical, economic Marxism is not light,
and most
of the radicals of the 60s were not deep. Fortunately for them, and
unfortunately for our country today, and not just in the university,
Marcuse remained in America when the Frankfurt School relocated back to
Frankfurt after the war. And whereas Mr. Adorno in Germany is appalled
by the
student rebellion when it breaks out there – when the student rebels
come into
Adorno’s classroom, he calls the police and has them arrested – Herbert
Marcuse, who remained here, saw the 60s student rebellion as the great
He saw the opportunity to take the work of the Frankfurt School and make
it the
theory of the New Left in the United States.
One of Marcuse’s books was the
key book. It virtually became the bible of the SDS and the student rebels of
the 60s. That book was Eros and Civilization. Marcuse argues that under a
capitalistic order (he downplays the Marxism very strongly here, it is
subtitled, A Philosophical Inquiry into Freud, but the framework is Marxist),
repression is the essence of that order and that gives us the person Freud
describes – the person with all the hang-ups, the neuroses, because his sexual
instincts are repressed. We can envision a future, if we can only destroy this
existing oppressive order, in which we liberate eros, we liberate libido, in
which we have a world of “polymorphous perversity,” in which you can
“do you own thing.” And by the way, in that world there will no
longer be work, only play. What a wonderful message for the radicals of the
mid-60s! They’re students, they’re baby-boomers, and they’ve grown up never
having to worry about anything except eventually having to get a job. And here
is a guy writing in a way they can easily follow. He doesn’t require them to
read a lot of heavy Marxism and tells them everything they want to hear which
is essentially, “Do your own thing,” “If it feels good do
it,” and “You never have to go to work.” By the way, Marcuse is
also the man who creates the phrase, “Make love, not war.” Coming
back to the situation people face on campus, Marcuse defines “liberating
tolerance” as intolerance for anything coming from the Right and tolerance
for anything coming from the Left. Marcuse joined the Frankfurt School, in 1932
(if I remember right). So, all of this goes back to the 1930s.

The Dictionary of the English
language: on  the 
Progressives’ own Index Librorum Prohibitorum?
conclusion, America today is in the throws of the greatest and direst
transformation in its history. We are becoming an ideological state, a country
with an official state ideology enforced by the power of the state. In
“hate crimes” we now have people serving jail sentences for political
thoughts. And the Congress is now moving to expand that category ever further.
Affirmative action is part of it. The terror against anyone who dissents from
Political Correctness on campus is part of it. It’s exactly what we have seen
happen in Russia, in Germany, in Italy, in China, and now it’s coming here. And
we don’t recognize it because we call it Political Correctness and laugh it
off. My message today is that it’s not funny, it’s here, it’s growing and it
will eventually destroy, as it seeks to destroy, everything that we have ever
defined as our freedom and our culture.


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  1. Prashant

    Thank you Ed.

    I am grateful to hear a voice of reason in a world where mostly we encounter shallow thoughts and boring narrow-mindedness to which the initial impulse is to just ignore or dismiss it lightly and laugh it off. However, as in one of your novels : "The luxury of ridicule can only be indulged in after accomplishing the serious act of refutation".


  2. Iceherinit

    Illuminating article. It is marred, unfortunately, by "America is in the throws of . . ." It is not throws, it's throes.

  3. Edward Cline

    Not my error but Lind's.

  4. Rob McVey

    Ed, Thanks for some food for thought; agree that identity politics is from Marxism. It's entailed in materialist determinism as replacement for [spiritual] volition. There are points of contention, perhaps most blatant is 'ideology.'

    I disagree with his view on ideology: "Indeed, all ideologies are totalitarian because the essence of an ideology (I would note that conservatism correctly understood is not an ideology) is to take some philosophy and say on the basis of this philosophy certain things must be true – such as the whole of the history of our culture is the history of the oppression of women." It excludes freedom and capitalism as ideology in opposition to statism. However, I have seen other conservatives claim that they steer clear of ideologies; that is what needs explanation. It's in Rand; just can't think of where offhand.


  5. blnelson2

    And they took this "critical theory" from the universities in the 30s into the educational system at the grade school level in the 40s and 50s and inculcated the generation that became young adults in the 60s. I was one of them, although I knew something was wrong. I did not identify what that was properly however, until I read "The Fountainhead" in 1974. If we can get Objectivism, rational egoism, into the grade schools, we can turn this thing around in one or two generations. We have to fight to privatize schools. Thank you Ed, for not quitting and for continuing to bring us important information like this.

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