Darrow Miller and Friends

Cultural Marxism: The Root of Trans Rights, etc.

Wonder where the trans “rights” movement comes from?

Answer: Soft Marxism

Question: What do Black Lives Matter, trans “rights,” same-sex “marriage,” feminism, campus safe spaces, multiculturalism, political correctness, gender studies and the modern social justice movements have in common?

All these movements and ideas are cut from the fabric of a new “soft” Marxism.

As we have restated many times, ideas have consequences. And often those consequences do not manifest themselves in daily life for a generation or more. Twenty years passed from the time William Wilberforce began campaigning to outlaw slavery in England before the Slave Trade Act became law. Margaret Sanger opened the first birth-control clinic in the US in 1916; 57 years later Roe v Wade made abortion legal.

As ideas take time to mature into government policies and then programs that affect everyday citizens, many of the trends mentioned above, and more, which are sweeping the globe today were born in Germany between the first and second world wars and are known as soft Marxism, or cultural Marxism.

trans rights are rooted in the Frankfurt SchoolThis intellectual movement began at The Frankfurt School, at Goethe University, in Frankfurt, Germany. The Frankfurt school rejected both capitalism in the West and traditional Marxism in the Soviet Union.

The first attack of these intellectuals was on capitalism. Both traditional Marxism and the new soft Marxism are strongly anti-capitalist. Traditional Marxism was based on a kind of economic determinism that believed that capitalist societies would ultimately collapse as oppressed workers rose up and revolted against oppressive capitalists and ushered in communism.

When that didn’t happen, the Frankfurt School social theorists redirected their aim at the culture that gave rise to capitalism. If that culture could be transformed, then the desired revolution could happen.

Of course, the culture that gave rise to capitalism was Western, Christian and largely Protestant. The key shapers and drivers of the culture were the Christian religion, families, and education. All of these became the new targets. They reframed the conflict from “capitalists vs. exploited workers” to “white European Christian males vs. exploited minorities” (blacks, homosexuals, Muslims, etc.)

While traditional Marxism embraced an economic struggle between the haves and the have nots, soft Marxism places the conflict in social terms, the majority and the minority. The majority are the privileged and oppressors, the minority are the under-privileged and oppressed.

The Frankfurt School social theorists fled Germany to escape the Nazi regime in the years leading up to WWII and came to America where they took leadership roles in American universities. This explains why the US (ironically, since we fought and won the cold war against the USSR) has become one of the strongest centers of Marxism in the world today. The Social Sciences and Humanities departments of American (and other Western) universities are rife with soft Marxism.

They attacked education (particularly history, Western civ, etc.) through the promotion of a broad approach known as “Critical Theory.” This school of thought can be understood fairly simply as the critique of anything with roots in historically Protestant, Western culture. So “Black Critical Theory” was the study of how white Protestant European culture gave rise to the systemic and institutional oppression of blacks. Feminist Critical Theory focused on how White Protestant European culture gave rise to a dangerous patriarchal society that oppressed women. Over time, various Critical Theory courses replaced the study of American history and Western Civilization, which is now almost completely absent from university curricula.

Soft Marxism is the ideological framework behind the trans “rights” movement

In the public square beyond academia, this has worked out to a kind of tribalism of identity politics. Every group of non-white, or non-Christian, or “non-male” identity claims the status of an oppressed minority, a victim of white, male Protestant systemic oppression. It explains the rise of PC and sensitivity training.

Finally, they attacked the family by fomenting the sexual revolution in hopes of ushering in the desired cultural revolution.

Marcuse (one of the Frankfurt School’s original members) borrowed heavily from Freud and assaulted the family by encouraging the sexual revolution in the 60s. Hugh Heffner was not a Marxist, but he was what you might call a “useful idiot” as someone who furthered the soft Marxist cause of the breakdown of marriage and family. A key donor is billionaire George Soros who is committed to the breakdown of Protestant Western civilization.

In this school of thought, heterosexuals, whites, natural families and Christians are oppressive. Thus LGBT and trans, blacks and Hispanics, alternative families, and Muslims are oppressed. If this is the case, then society should support the oppressed and promote transgender, BlackLives Matter, “same sex marriage” and Islam.

Those who do not support this agenda are labeled unloving, homophobic, racist, and Islamophobic.

trans rights came from Antonio Gramsci early efforts Marxist theorist Antonio Gramsci of Italy saw clearly that it was the God of the Bible and the worldview of Judeo-Christian theism that produced Western civilization. If the West were going to be transformed, it needed to be decoupled from Judeo-Christianity. Before society could be transformed, culture needed to be transformed. Gramsci argued that this transformation would mean a “long march through the culture.” This cultural transformation would lead to a wholesale redefinition of traditional institutions such as the family, the church and civil society.

Columnist Linda Kimball writes of the materialist paradigm that is foundational to soft Marxism:

The linchpin of Cultural Marxism is cultural determinism, the parent of identity politics and group solidarity. In its turn, cultural determinism was birthed by the Darwinian idea that man is but a soulless animal and therefore his identity is determined by for example, his skin color or his sexual and/or erotic preferences. This proposition rejects the concepts of the human spirit, individuality, free will, and morally informed conscience (paired with personal accountability and responsibility) because it emphatically denies the existence of the God of the Bible.

Read more of Kimball’s article here.

A growing number of controversies are causing upheaval – BlackLives Matter, trans restrooms, same-sex “marriage.” All these issues are being driven by one Issue – the worldview manifested in Secularism/Atheism and its philosophic offspring, soft Marxism. These matters are not unrelated. They are all connected by a set of ideas. And ideas have consequences.

While we need to engage these issues on a policy and programmatic level, until we realize the ideological framework and provide a winsome alternative rooted in Truth, we will continue to witness the onslaught.

  • Darrow Miller



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Darrow is co-founder of the Disciple Nations Alliance and a featured author and teacher. For over 30 years, Darrow has been a popular conference speaker on topics that include Christianity and culture, apologetics, worldview, poverty, and the dignity of women. From 1981 to 2007 Darrow served with Food for the Hungry International (now FH association), and from 1994 as Vice President. Before joining FH, Darrow spent three years on staff at L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland where he was discipled by Francis Schaeffer. He also served as a student pastor at Northern Arizona University and two years as a pastor of Sherman Street Fellowship in urban Denver, CO. In addition to earning his Master’s degree in Adult Education from Arizona State University, Darrow pursued graduate studies in philosophy, theology, Christian apologetics, biblical studies, and missions in the United States, Israel, and Switzerland. Darrow has authored numerous studies, articles, Bible studies and books, including Discipling Nations: The Power of Truth to Transform Culture (YWAM Publishing, 1998), Nurturing the Nations: Reclaiming the Dignity of Women for Building Healthy Cultures (InterVarsity Press, 2008), LifeWork: A Biblical Theology for What You Do Every Day (YWAM, 2009), Rethinking Social Justice: Restoring Biblical Compassion (YWAM, 2015), and more. These resources along with links to free e-books, podcasts, online training programs and more can be found at Disciple Nations Alliance (https://disciplenations.org).