It’s used to imply a programmatic undermining of western civilisation by Marxists, who having been beaten in the political/economic arena, have transferred their attentions to the cultural sphere. They are responsible for “political correctness,” “identity politics,” 60s liberalism, and the threats to the established order that these represent.

Is this happening? You’d have to doubt it.

So, from the UK’s Prospect magazine. At PJ Media, Michael Walsh doubts the doubters:

Needless to say — having written a book on the subject — I beg to differ. Marxism, despite have failed so signally on the economic front, never died, it just molted. In The Devil’s Pleasure Palace, I laid out the Frankfurt School’s profound animus against Western civilization, and how they launched their attack via the medium of “Critical Theory” and its unholy offspring, “political correctness.” But it’s just like contemporary cultural Marxists to take refuge behind the Frankfurt School’s “relative obscurity” and “unreadability” as a way of downplaying the profound influence Marcuse and others have had on the American educational system and thus on several generations of college students.

I call it “cultural Marxism” because all the mechanics and metaphysics of Marxism are still there but the class war has been largely jettisoned in favour of the conflict between races, ethnicities, genders, sexualities and other societal divsions. What also remains, as Walsh notes, is the deep seated hostility to one’s own society and the equally burning desire to tear the old structures down and replace them with something else that’s never particularly well described because the revolutionary left’s basic instinct – and talent – has always been to destroy rather than create. Which is why all their practical experiments at building the new world have been catastrophes that are “not real socialism”, to quote socialism. They certainly aren’t the utopias that Marxist theory predicts, but they are real enough in their inevitability as the product of a revolution. Like the proverbial second marriage, every new socialist experiment is a triumph of hope over experience.