[Marxism] Fwd: The CIA Reads French Theory: On the Intellectual Labor of Dismantling the Cultural Left - The Philosophical Salon

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Mar 1 07:56:49 MST 2017

It is in this light that we must understand the intelligence agency’s 
fondness for conversion narratives and its deep appreciation for 
“reformed Marxists,” a leitmotif that traverses the research paper on 
French theory. “Even more effective in undermining Marxism,” the moles 
write, “were those intellectuals who set out as true believers to apply 
Marxist theory in the social sciences but ended by rethinking and 
rejecting the entire tradition.” They cite in particular the profound 
contribution made by the Annales School of historiography and 
structuralism—particularly Claude Lévi-Strauss and Foucault—to the 
“critical demolition of Marxist influence in the social sciences.” 
Foucault, who is referred to as “France’s most profound and influential 
thinker,” is specifically applauded for his praise of the New Right 
intellectuals for reminding philosophers that “‘bloody’ consequences” 
have “flowed from the rationalist social theory of the 18th-century 
Enlightenment and the Revolutionary era.” Although it would be a mistake 
to collapse anyone’s politics or political effect into a single position 
or result, Foucault’s anti-revolutionary leftism and his perpetuation of 
the blackmail of the Gulag—i.e. the claim that expansive radical 
movements aiming at profound social and cultural transformation only 
resuscitate the most dangerous of traditions—are perfectly in line with 
the espionage agency’s overall strategies of psychological warfare.


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