1.-Douglas Murray studies «The Marxist Foundations» of the new movements about gender, race and identity on pages 51-63 of his book «The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity» (2019-2020). To begin with, he notes the change of target:
“Just as Marxism was meant to free the labourer and share the wealth around, so in this new version of an old claim, the power of the patriarchal white males must be taken away and shared around more fairly with the relevant minority groups”.
Murray then reminds us that we are dealing with a genuine ideology. Certainly, “this new ideology was not taken especially seriously by its opponents”. What was the reason? : “Some of its claims seemed so laughable, and its inherent contradictions so clear, that coherent criticism was almost absent”.
But, at the end, these new ideas about gender, race and identity –approximately the famous “woke culture”-, effectively work as an ideology which, like any other, “provides a lens for understanding the world and a purpose for an individual’s actions and life whitin the world”.
2.-What is the main trend in the formation of these ideas? Probably you know the answer. It is very clear the footprint of Marxist and post-Marxist authors. Firstly, Michel Foucault and his “monomaniacal lens” of power:
“From Michel Foucault these thinkers absorbed their idea of society not as an infinitely complex system of trust and traditions that have evolved over time, but always in the unforgiving light cast when everything is viewed solely through the prism of “power”.”
I am witness, in the field of urban planning, to the often ridiculous research to detect a male power that is organising the city and its smallest details. Murray reacts: “Of course power exists as a force in the world, but so do charity, forgiveness and love”. By the way, this distorting prism allows us to understand another of the slogans of this movement: “the personal is political” (the unfortunate motto popularised by Carol Hanish).
3.-But not only Foucault and Marx are the well-known parents. We find too Antonio Gramsci, from which they absorbed his “notion of culture as a “hegemonic force” the control of which is at least as important as the working class”. And from Gilles Deleuze they take the idea that “the role of the individual is to see through and undo the web that the culture you were born into has wound around you”. This is the final result, with appropriate irony from Murray:
“And always and everywhere is the aim –taken from French literary theory- to “deconstruct” everything. To “deconstruct” something is as significant in academia as “constructing” things in the rest of society. Indeed, it is one curiosity of academia in recent decades that it has found almost nothing it does not wish to deconstruct, apart from itself”.
I would say that there is a peculiar coincidence between the obsession with deconstructing and the obsession with the transversal analysis of all public policies (advocated by feminist mainstream since the Beijing summit, 1995).