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Coined in Trent Schroyer's The Critique of Domination: The Origins and Development of Critical Theory (1973).


cultural Marxism (uncountable)

  1. (conservative and right-wing discourse) A perceived Marxist conspiracy controlling modern progressive politics, mass media and academia.
  2. (Marxism, academia, rare) Marxist analysis applied to culture and cultural phenomena.
    • 2007, Anna Green, Cultural History, →ISBN, page 45:
      Both cultural Marxism and symbolic anthropology can, in retrospect, be seen to be part of a general movement towards the 'linguistic turn' within the humanities, with its focus upon the semiotic dimensions of human culture (the subject of the next chapter).
    • 2009, Philip Bounds, Orwell and Marxism: The Political and Cultural Thinking of George Orwell, →ISBN:
      Nothing illustrates Orwell's ambivalence towards cultural Marxism more powerfully than his writings on literature.
    • 2014, Lynn Hunt, Writing History in the Global Era, →ISBN:
      A student of youth subcultures, Hall crossbred the increasingly influential cultural Marxism, exemplified by E. P. Thompson, with the French structuralism of the anthropologist Claude LéviStrauss, which burst onto the intellectual scene in the 1960s and soon enjoyed international prestige.
  3. (Marxism, academia) A form of Marxism perceived as subsumed by capitalism and unauthentic by its critics (usually other Marxists).

Usage notesEdit

In the sense of “Marxist conspiracy”, the word is strongly associated with conservative and far-right conspiracy theories about left-leaning groups.

Related termsEdit

Further readingEdit