Cultural Marxism, Modern Art and Hipsterism

Sadly, Bauhaus was not just a band, but a hideous communist architecture style that likely bombarded your senses when you were in college.

Sadly, Bauhaus was not just a band, but a hideous communist architecture style that likely bombarded your senses when you were in college.

By: Jay It is a frequently misunderstood notion that "modern" and "abstract" art was an organic development that arose from grassroots battles against "oppression" and the "folk art" of the lower classes. In fact, ugly, degenerate art arose from Soviet and communist circles as a means to attack aesthetic beauty. I often remark that "Bauhaus" architecture is communist to the surprise of listeners, but the facts are, "modern art" is almost wholly a communist and Soviet invention of weaponized culture. To understand this, one must look at the Frankfurt School of Marxism, tasked primarily with social engineering and destroying culture. Weaponized culture was a key tool for destroying the West's social values and social structure. This is also true of the modern transformations of "art" into its own internal nihilist critique of meaning itself, with hipsterism. Hipsterism could accurately be called the full blossoming of Theodore Adorno's critical theory, particularly in terms of music. Adorno writes: What radical music perceives is the untransfigured suffering of man.... The seismographic registration of traumatic shock becomes, at the same time, the technical structural law of music. It forbids continuity and development. Musical language is polarized according to its extreme; towards gestures of shock resembling bodily convulsions on the one hand, and on the other towards a crystalline standstill of a human being whom anxiety causes to freeze in her tracks.... Modern music sees absolute oblivion as its goal. It is the surviving message of despair from the shipwrecked." So modern music is geared towards the breakdown of order, beauty, form and meaning, waging a war on all the elements with the intent of disorienting man's psyche and breaking down his worldview.  In fact Adorno describes it as an attempt at actually causing mania:

It is not that schizophrenia is directly expressed therein; but the music imprints upon itself an attitude similar to that of the mentally ill. The individual brings about his own disintegration…. He imagines the fulfillment of the promise through magic, but nonetheless within the realm of immediate actuality…. Its concern is to dominate schizophrenic traits through the aesthetic consciousness. In so doing, it would hope to vindicate insanity as true health.”

Analysts Meyer and Steinberg comment: Adorno itemized these: 1. depersonalization, the loss of connection to one’s own body; 2. hebephrenia, which he defined as “the indifference of the sick individual towards the external”; 3. catatonia (“a similar behavior is familiar in patients who have been overwhelmed by shock”); and 4. necrophilia. Adorno declared, “Universal necrophilia is the last perversity of style.”

Adorno had been “recruited” if you will by the West, to wage war through cultural Marxism on a global scale.  Meyer and Steinberg comment:

A promising future concert pianist in his youth, he had later studied in Vienna  under the atonal composer Arnold Schoenberg. In 1946, while in the United  States, working on the Frankfurt School’s “Cultural Pessimism” agenda, the former Soviet Comintern (Communist International) asset, now living on the largesse of the Rockefeller Foundations and other Anglo-American fondi, wrote an infamous book, The Philosophy of Modern Music, a barely intelligible diatribe against Classical culture.”

"I'm so purposefully inauthentic that my authenticity has affirmed my bad faith in my own poseur authenticity."

“I’m so purposefully inauthentic that my authenticity has affirmed my bad faith in my own poseur authenticity.”

The Rockefeller Foundation promoted modern art globally, utilizing western intelligence to spread the death that is abstract art. The London Independent states:

“The US government now faced a dilemma. This philistinism, combined with Joseph McCarthy’s hysterical denunciations of all that was avant-garde or unorthodox, was deeply embarrassing. It discredited the idea that America was a sophisticated, culturally rich democracy. It also prevented the US government from consolidating the shift in cultural supremacy from Paris to New York since the 1930s. To resolve this dilemma, the CIA was brought in.

The connection is not quite as odd as it might appear. At this time the new agency, staffed mainly by Yale and Harvard graduates, many of whom collected art and wrote novels in their spare time, was a haven of liberalism when compared with a political world dominated by McCarthy or with J Edgar Hoover’s FBI. If any official institution was in a position to celebrate the collection of Leninists, Trotskyites and heavy drinkers that made up the New York School, it was the CIA.”


To pursue its underground interest in America’s lefty avant-garde, the CIA had to be sure its patronage could not be discovered. “Matters of this sort could only have been done at two or three removes,” Mr Jameson explained, “so that there wouldn’t be any question of having to clear Jackson Pollock, for example, or do anything that would involve these people in the organisation. And it couldn’t have been any closer, because most of them were people who had very little respect for the government, in particular, and certainly none for the CIA. If you had to use people who considered themselves one way or another to be closer to Moscow than to Washington, well, so much the better perhaps.”

This was the “long leash”. The centrepiece of the CIA campaign became the Congress for Cultural Freedom, a vast jamboree of intellectuals, writers, historians, poets, and artists which was set up with CIA funds in 1950 and run by a CIA agent. It was the beach-head from which culture could be defended against the attacks of Moscow and its “fellow travellers” in the West. At its height, it had offices in 35 countries and published more than two dozen magazines, including Encounter.”



That ugly art was all a CIA tool is not really correct.  Most of the hideous artists were Marxists.  Take Pablo Picasso, for example.  Possibly the most famous modern artist, Picasso’s crap is nothing but the painted expression of Marxism. Picasso notably proclaimed his Marxism and considered his art the purest expression of Marxism.  One can clearly see the train of sewer from Marxism and Frankfurt school necrophilia to modern garbage and postmodern hipster meaninglessness.  Little do these hipsters understand that their “philosophy” is nothing else than an engineered social tool for morons, with the end being the destruction of those morons.

10 Comments on Cultural Marxism, Modern Art and Hipsterism

  1. “To create a new guild of craftsman, without the class distinctions which raise an arrogant barrier between craftsman and artist” – Walter Gropius, socialist founder of Bauhaus architecture

  2. This article is spot-on. I operate in the artworld–for one with far-right leanings this requires its own level of espionage skills–and it becomes evident as soon as you dig into the artists’, critics’, and curators’ lives and philosophies that the artworld is a totally leftist enterprise. Just take a look at the artists featured in the PBS series Art 21 and you’ll see what hippie/hipster bullshit constitutes good art in the contemporary space.

  3. Umm, this isn’t what I learned in art history. The leaders of the Communist Party centralized control of artistic productions and outlawed all forms of art except Socialist Realism. The Soviets actually BANNED abstract art.

    • That is certainly what I learned – that Stalinist Russia outlawed modern art, though it was promoted a good deal during the Lenin years. It should be noted, though, that from the time of Tony Cliff’s ‘State Capitalism in Russia’, many Western Marxists though that Stalinist Russia (and Eastern Europe, North Korea, China, Vietnam, Cuba etc.) was a variation of capitalism in which the Party bureaucracy accumulated wealth at the expense of the majority.

      Moreover, it is clear that only from the late 1970s “punk revolution” did popular art really comply with the ideals of cultural Marxism – and even then the most extreme examples were anything but intentional. AC/DC – probably responsible for more conversions to atheism than anything bar ‘The Communist Manifesto’ and other Marxist works – were on the surface quite apolitical in their lyrics. Yet the moral values AC/DC so clearly preach are vehemently atheist – that people should have every right to do whatever they want even if it hurts others, that femininity, gentleness and obedience to any authority are totally destructive, that women (effectively) should be completely masculinised to create a unisex society, and of course that rock and roll can achieve this – that to consider AC/DC’s canon a part of cultural Marxism is not outlandish.

      Extreme radical individualism without moral laws as preached by AC/DC requires absolute equality of result to contain the potential for violence if there is no moral law against even murder (and with ‘Shoot to Thrill’ and ‘T.N.T.’ one cannot argue AC/DC preached that murder should be acceptable if one simply feels angry or frustrated). The equality AC/DC’s moral libertinism necessitates is in fact much more extreme than simply protecting the workers against poverty or unemployment.

      With other bands possessing similar cultural influence like Metallica, Pantera and N.W.A., the leftist politics was more apparent, but even there actual politics is overwhelmed by libertine moral commandments like “don’t fool with me or I’ll kick your buttocks” (sanitised version of a line from ‘Gangsta, Gangsta’) and that someone should accept a life going around killing people (from that same song). Metallica’s ‘Damage, Incorporated’ has a similar attitude, whilst Pantera’s ‘(expletive) Hostile’ further moves the belief in eliminating moral law by saying outright that all “truth in right and wrong” is made up by Gods that do not exist.

  4. @redoves — if you indeed “operate in the art world,” clearly it is on the outskirts. The art marketplace (>$50 billion per year) runs on the money of bankers, corporations, and the 0.001%. The artwork here accused of “cultural Marxism”in fact serves to support the right-wing neoliberal inequity the author seems to be so in love with.

    And, oh yeah — those hipsters, they’re what’s wrong with the world today. Damn kids, get off my lawn.

    • Yow, didn’t notice this for two years. I won’t bank on Honkie’s bothering to notice my late reply, so I will thus write for the benefit of anyone else who will read these comments.

      Yes, I do operate on the outskirts of the art world, but that’s just it: the art world doesn’t make much of an effort to hide its ideological allegiances, as evidenced by the public television program Art 21. Public television! What the art world does try to hide is the deeper connections of its ideologies with plutocratic realities, i.e., the bankers, corporations, and 0.001% you mention. This might seem contradictory inasmuch as we forget that Marxism as a whole is itself a means to support the “neoliberal inequity.” Marxism was born of the middle class, and Marxist revolutions have always had Big Money behind them. (Antony Sutton provides a standard account of this.)

      This is the point Jay often makes: hipsters et al like to think they are opposing the status quo when they are in fact only another of its components. While Marx said that religion is the opiate of the masses, the inverse of it proves much more enlightening: the opiate of the masses is religion. This raises the question of what serves as an effective opiate to creatively and intellectually oriented youth, since unironic Star Wars and Jay-Z will not suffice for that crowd. The contemporary art world clues us in to an answer, and it is something like the facile anti-capitalist and postmodern rhetoric that can only attack “The Establishment” because said “Establishment” funds it. All it effects is the moral self-satisfaction of its practitioners–case in point, Occupy Wall Street–or else moral sea changes that “The Establishment” itself desires. Sounds much like an opiate, no?

  5. All cultural products are weaponized, insofar as they are used to propagate cultural values and the conomic/political interests of those who make them.

    Communist avant-garde art was revolutionary because it aims to destabilize Art as an elite practice into the domain of labor.

    On the other hand, American ‘modern/abstract art’ was not against anything. It tried to mimic Soviet art in order to validate American ‘democracy’. CIA’S intervention only strengthened the isolation of art from actual life.

    I get the hipster hate but it is necessary not conflate Russian avant-garde with American abstract art. They’re apples and oranges.

  6. Reblogged this on Philosophies of a Disenchanted Scholar and commented:
    “Universal necrophilia is the last perversity of style.” I always know when I’m reading Adorno because there’s a wave of immoral revulsion entirely separate from the fact of him being gay. But that explains some of it, certainly (no instinct of protection).

  7. Everytime I visit the depressingly dark and ecumenical Mark Rothko Chapel at the Menil Museum in Houston, TX I’m always reminded of that SNL skit featuring Christopher Walkin as a leather jackted rock music producer who keeps interrupting a recording session of Blüe Oyster Cult’s “Fear the Reaper” to insist on, “More cowbell!”

    Mark Rothko, Abstract Expressionism and the Decline of Western Art, Part 1

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