Omnimarxism

The perception that society is composed of groups that either dominate or are dominated, and that the dominant group ruthlessly oppresses and exploits the weaker group, is the essence of what I call omnimarxism.

omnimarxism n : a largely subconscious and emotion-driven progressive social philosophy, which is an outgrowth of the Marxist dialectical explanation of society and history, in which the Marxist oppressor/oppressed dynamic is applied to virtually every major division in society

A portrait of Karl Marx.

A portrait of Karl Marx. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Omnimarxism is Marxism applied to everything. According to the omnimarxist perception, society teems with opposing groups. Society is a battlefield, a group struggle for domination. This struggle always has winning and losing groups. The dominant group is the oppressor, exploiter and aggressor; the subordinate group is the oppressed, exploited and victim. Oppression is the push; exploitation is the pull. The dominant group pushes the subordinate group down and pulls out anything worthwhile they can from them. So, according to this perception, we have rich oppressing poor, men oppressing women, European-Americans oppressing non-European-Americans, heterosexuals oppressing homosexuals, America oppressing the rest of the world, and so on.

This leads to the omnimarxist theory of history, based on a single theme: oppressor groups wielding power over victim groups. It’s related to the Marxist dialectical explanation of modern history as the struggle between the owners of the means of production and the working class. But omnimarxism is Marxism to the nth power. It is applied to all realms of social relations, not just economics. With omnimarxism, the oppressor/oppressed dynamic is ubiquitous: virtually every prominent social group is perceived as either oppressor or oppressed. Further, omnimarxism is largely a subconscious and emotion-driven social philosophy. Many progressives perceive society from an omnimarxist perspective but don’t consciously know it.

The Progressive Worldview’s Society Metaphor: Society Is a Battlefield

Newthink’s society metaphor is Society is a Battlefield:

Society is a Battlefield Metaphor
• Society is a Battlefield
• Social interaction is war between groups.
• Warring groups either dominate or are dominated.

The traditional American worldview’s society metaphor was Society is a Wilderness. In traditional America, humanity’s social purpose was to civilize the wilderness. From this metaphor came unconscious entailments like “civilization must be defended from barbarism,” “it is virtuous to go into the wilderness and spread civilization” and so on.

The progressive worldview’s society metaphor is Society is a Battlefield. Under this perception, society is composed of groups struggling for domination. Warring groups either dominate or are dominated. Many of the progressive worldview’s most important beliefs branch out of this fundamental metaphor.

The unconscious logic supporting this belief goes like this:

• Society is a Battlefield
• Social interaction is war between groups.
• Warring groups either dominate or are dominated.

WorldviewTree_p100

The unconscious logic of this belief’s single entailment is:

• The dominant group ruthlessly oppresses and exploits the weaker group.

A Progressive Belief: Great Social Evil Is Improbable

Traditional Americans believed that they must carefully guard against great society-wide human evil. To them, history provided many examples – tyranny, slavery, Nazi death camps, soviet gulags – of humanity’s dark potential. But newthinkers, to repeat a point, don’t even think in terms of “evil.” It’s not one of their virtue categories. While they do worry about society-wide crises occurring due to human stupidity, they are generally unconcerned with the possibility of great social evil because it doesn’t fit their template for vice. It’s not that they would condone evil behavior; they just tend to be blind to it.

The unconscious logic supporting this belief goes like this, starting from the “Human beings are inherently and transcendentally noble” branch of the newthink worldview tree:

• Human beings are inherently and transcendentally noble.
• Great social evil is improbable.

The unconscious logic branching out of this belief is:

• We don’t need to tirelessly guard against genocide, war or tyranny.
• Since all humans are inherently noble, if we can show strangers that our motives are inherently noble, they will exist peacefully with us.

 

Pacifism is a conspicuous part of progressivism largely because of the newthink belief that the inherent nobility of humans makes great social evil improbable. Progressives think the great scourges of humanity unlikely to occur among the progressively virtuous; they believe that as the benighted are educated about progressive virtue, they will be less likely to occur at all, and that those who purposely shun progressive virtue — the “evil conservatives” — will always be a small anomaly. That, for instance, is why progressives are happy to shrink the Defense Department and direct the savings elsewhere: on a very fundamental level, they assume that it won’t be necessary in the near progressive future.

A Progressive Belief: Our Struggle Is Not Internal

Cartoon about a dog's guardian angel.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Traditional Americans saw themselves and all humans as imperfect beings, subject to good and evil influences, and prone to good and evil behavior. Remember the old cartoon characters with a little angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other? Traditional Americans tended to believe that every person faced an internal struggle to be good. Progressives, on the other hand, believe that people are inherently noble and do not face an intrinsic internal struggle to be virtuous.

The unconscious logic supporting this belief is as follows, starting from the “Human beings are inherently and transcendentally noble” branch of the newthink worldview tree:

• Human beings are inherently and transcendentally noble.
• Our motives are inherently noble.
• Our struggle is not internal.

The unconscious logic branching out of this belief is:

• Don’t worry, be happy.
• We do not need to struggle against anything inherent to our internal makeup – we only need remove negative habits learned from traditional morality.
• Our struggle is external.

 

Traditional Americans tended to believe that every person faced an internal struggle to be good. Progressives, on the other hand, believe that people are inherently noble and do not face an intrinsic internal struggle to be virtuous.

Three social dynamics are powered by the belief that our struggle is not internal: progressive hedonism, the self-actualization movement and newthinkers’ focus on external rather than internal struggle.

What a weight is lifted from our shoulders if we don’t face an internal struggle to be good! Don’t worry, be happy. It’s often good advice, but it’s a siren song if applied to all situations. The naive hedonist wing of progressivism, very big in the 1960s and 1970s, which gave us everything from acid rock to est, was powered by this unconscious logic.

The self-actualization movement in psychology also grew out of the belief that our struggle is not internal. If we don’t need to struggle against anything inherent in our internal makeup, then psychology should instead focus on striving to help one reach one’s personal potential. That way (so the logic goes) we remove the traditionally imposed burdens that prevent us from fully perceiving and experiencing our inner nobility.

And since newthinkers perceive no need for an internal struggle against the temptations of evil behavior, they focus instead on external political struggle.