The Marxist Origin of Wokism:

By Dr. Peter Jones

The Hideous Face of Revolution

I am picking up a subject about which I have already written in an article entitled “Wokism: The New Pagan Morality.”[1] We now live in an increasingly post-Christian society. Interestingly, 56% of American voters deemed the term “woke” to be positive, associated with being informed and educated, while just 39% deemed it negative, likening it to censorship and being overly politically correct.[2] In his book, America’s Cultural Revolution: How the Left Conquered Everything,[3] Christopher Rufo traces the origins of CRT/Wokism, showing how America has been quietly taken over by the ideological heirs of 1960s radical neo-Marxists.[4] In his ground-breaking research of contemporary Western culture, he discovered a “hideous face of revolution” that is “a rot spreading through American life. The country’s foundations are starting to shake loose”. If this is true, we all need to know about it. 

We now live in an increasingly post-Christian society, easily seduced by false notions of reality. One recent study found that the median number of people in a Christian congregation in America in 2023 is 60. That’s less than half of what it was 20 years ago, when the number was 137. This steep decline has been called the “Great De-churching” of America.[5] Any respect for or worship of the Creator/Redeemer God is virtually absent. [6] People cannot live without morals, since God created an ethical universe. Those who do not want to respect God’s morals are busy normalizing the LGBTQ philosophy, eliminating the nuclear family and living according to the moral norms of neo-Marxist Wokism. Marxism is thoroughly anti-Christian, denying the being of God and seeing matter as ultimate. It worships the creature (matter) rather than the Creator (Rom 1:25). Marx had a close friendship with the radical New Testament scholar, Bruno Bauer, who claimed that the Christian gospels were forgeries. Marx himself believed that it was necessary to “recognize as the highest divinity the human self-consciousness itself,”[7] thereby dismissing God. Today’s Critical Race Theory is a modern form of atheism that derives from Marxism, as we shall show. CRT believes in the Postmodern “truth,” which does not come from God but is rather an expression of human power. Many, even Christians,[8] are abandoning their personal faith in the God of Scripture and seeking a new source of morality. Wokism’s false morality plays on the sensitive conscience of young Americans.

White supremacy argues, in Marxist fashion, that society is always divided into oppressors (owners) and the oppressed (workers). In today’s context, whites are the oppressors and minorities are the oppressed (particularly Blacks, women, illegal aliens, and LGBTQ). Biblical morality is seen as oppressive because of its standards of sexual behavior. 

As noted in my previous article, Stanley Ridgley has done an excellent job researching the semi-religious movement of Wokism in his book, Brutal Minds (2023).[9] His subtitle describes what he has seen: The Dark World of Left-Wing Brainwashing in Our Universities. He saw the decided intention of university administrators not only to undermine a student’s ability to engage in classical academic thinking but to give them a serious case of “religious” guilt. I have often wondered why the history of the West and of America in particular are not taught in American universities. Jesse Jackson’s 1987 rallying cry at Stanford University springs to mind: “Hey ho, what d’ya know, Western civ has got to go.” We see now that, indeed, it got up and went!

Wokism is a progressive political program that has infiltrated our American culture in its government administrations, its companies and its educational facilities, where “diversity officers” of DEI (“diversity, equity and inclusion”) will “cancel” anyone who does not follow the new rules. This “hideous system,” to use Rufo’s term, is dangerous because it proposes itself as good, seeking social justice and opposing racism. 

Authors who seek to understand present-day culture find its roots in the Sixties Cultural Revolution. Rufo points out that in the Sixties, some radical intellectuals turned away from the violent actions of racial groups like the Black Panthers and attempted to change the culture ideologically. They abandoned racist violence in the streets in favor of “a long march through the institutions,” that would make cultural revolution an attractive philosophical novelty, to be developed in the universities and bureaucracies. This was the original work of the Frankfurt School of German Jewish Marxists, who, seeking to escape Hitler’s Germany, moved to Columbia University, where they pursued their study of contemporary neo-Marxism. One of them, Herbert Marcuse, moved to the West Coast, and exercised great influence on the radical students of the Sixties. Marcuse and Marxist radical Rudi Dutschke (who invented that phrase— “the long march through the institutions”) worked together as early as 1966. Marcuse wrote to Dutschke in 1971 agreeing with this strategy: “Let me tell you this: that I regard your notion of the ‘long march through the institutions’ as the only effective way.”[10]

The modern Left is currently fulfilling Marcuse’s prophesy that if Western society could be liberated from capitalist repression, the “oppressive” moral and religious foundations of the West would collapse and the populace would discover true freedom. Rather than proposing a dictatorship of the proletariat (in the old Marxist style), he proposed “a dictatorship of the intellectuals”. This neo-Marxism is the origin of Critical Race Theory.

Herbert Marcuse is also the source of contemporary “cancel culture,” the denial of free speech. Before that term was invented, he defended the notion of “repressive tolerance,” that is, the notion that the free expression of ideas ought to be repressed. Only tolerance for progressive (Marxist) ideas should be allowed—which is classic one-sided expression of Marxism. Liberalism, which respects free speech, has lost its way. It was challenged in the Sixties by “Boomer radicals…. By the eighties it was meaningless, by the ‘noughts’ (2000s) no one believed it, and by twenty-twenties, it’s a marginal belief held by a few college professors at odds with society.”[11] The Marxist Marcuse decided that the new proletariat should use race rather than class to overturn society”. Thus racism as a revolutionary ideology was born and has moved from the margins to the center. As Rufo shows, they have sought to change the language, the law and the historical discourse. They have succeeded in controlling the institutions and redefining public orthodoxy.

Almost by accident, I came across a little known fact that is crucial for understanding the attacks on white supremacy, white privilege and white anger.[12] It shows that CRT is a Marxist plot, and the accusation of racism is a classic Marxist idea. Read on!

The origin of white racism was described, not by Rufo, but by an African-American first-hand eye witness, Manning Johnson, in his book Color, Communism and Common Sense (1958). He describes a broad and deliberate attempt by Soviet and American communists in 1934–35 to undermine faith in American institutions through a massive program that would expose America as deeply racist. The goal was to create “a common front against the white oppressors.”[13] Johnson documents that the plot to use “Negroes as the [expendable] spearhead” to undermine America was created by Stalin in 1928, ten years after the creation of the Comintern (the World Organization of Communism), whose goal was to wipe out Western civilization. This tactic was employed also by “the top white US communist leaders” hypocritically promoting the idea of racial conflict in “a cold- blooded struggle for power” to “advance the cause of Communism” in America.[14]

The goal was “to make the white man’s system, the white man’s government, responsible for everything.” He noted: “Smear is a cardinal technique,” seeking to “divide America” that can only be called “a propaganda hoax.”[15] “Black rebellion was what Moscow wanted. Bloody racial conflict would split America. During the confusion, demoralization and panic would set in.”[16] At the same time, apparently, the anti-racists had little time for black people. According to the recently deceased Walter Williams, Marx dismissed the black race as much closer to the animal kingdom.[17] Robert Robinson, Black on Red: My 44 Years Inside the Soviet Union, observed: “I can say as an expert that one of the greatest myths ever launched by the Kremlin’s propaganda apparatus is that Soviet society is free from racism.”[18]

The New Marxists

It is little wonder that the Marxist Marcuse “suggested a new axis for revolution: ‘racial conflict.’” He believed class conflict and cultural revolution could be produced by such racial conflict. “He saw the black militant movement as a viable means of breaking the Establishment’s stranglehold on language and culture”. He saw the liberal democratic notion of tolerance as an illusion (see above), and proposed a new regime of liberating tolerance” (intolerance against movements of the Right). Free speech and free assembly were “a clear and present danger”. The revolution for justice today is not based on social class and economic values (as in the old Marxism) but on human identity and racial justice. This is the “neo” side of Marxism. Wokists define white identity as soaked in guilt due to its oppression, thus setting an antithesis to black identity, which is deeply oppressed. Neo-Marxism insists that whiteness is a malevolent invisible force that produces cultural sickness.

In 1972, Marcuse argued that the only path to liberation was a socialist regime, the end of which was traditional Marxism. According to Marti Gurri, a former CIA analyst who studies media and politics, “nothing like the woke DEI ideology has transpired since the conversion of Constantine.” Nearly every major American institution—including federal, state, and local governments,[19] universities and public schools, hospitals, insurance, media and technology companies and major retail brands—has accepted the DEI social justice, which pedals a false morality based on hatred and revenge. The driving ideology claims that such an infrastructure is essential to the nation’s proper health and function. Most leading companies and the universities have bought into the ideology that claims moral power by rejecting white racism while supporting minority groups such as LGBTQ movements and women’s reproductive rights (abortion). From Amazon to Walmart, most major corporations have created and staffed DEI offices within their human resources bureaucracy. So have sanitation departments, police departments, the military, and government departments of agriculture, commerce, defense, education and energy. Employees can be instantly fired if they dare to challenge the DEI definition of equity. We see the beginning of fascism that joins state, media and business. Last year, a proposal was made to put in place a Disinformation Governance Board that would have the power to “cancel” the speech of ill-informed citizens. The Board failed miserably since the person in charge of judging speech, Nina Jankowicz, came under relentless attack for her partisan and biased opinions. The political attempt to control speech came too early—but, if things continue as they now are, we may see such a board return in the future to “cancel” free speech.

“Everything we have seen in the Soviet Union will inspire us in our own struggle…”, said the radical racist, Angela Davis. She hailed Marcuse as “the intellectual leader of the new Left’s revolution and stated: ‘We cannot combat racism until we have destroyed the whole system’”. What we need is a “total and complete change in the structures of society” —thus tying wokist racism to Marxism.

Political control of behavior and speech (the goal of CRT/Wokism) is a significant stage in the arrival of full-blown cultural Marxism. Though Rufo does not consider religious issues in his book, he states on his substack page that the future of America concerns the rejection of both religion (Christian morals) and of political liberalism (that is, constitutional law): “The problem I see is that abandoning a Christian moral framework and a liberal political framework means abandoning the United States as a whole….[it]would mean that we are in a Weimar scenario, with radical movements across the political spectrum vying for the regime”[20]. In Germany, the Weimar Republic led to the Hitler regime.

To survive in God’s world, human beings need at least a knowledge of God’s law, so it is the responsibility of Christian believers to make God known both as Creator and Redeemer, to preach the Gospel, yes, but also the law, as the Apostle Paul says so eloquently in 2 Cor. 4:6:

For God (the Creator), who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (the Redeemer).

We may feel extremely discouraged as we see the direction of our country, and we are not promised peace and tranquility. Yet the stunning intricacy of God’s creation still makes thoughtful people sit up and take notice. Those who are ready to acknowledge the Creator may well be drawn to the beauty, power, and love of God the Redeemer, who receives anyone who puts faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

[1] Jones, Peter, Wokism: The New Pagan Morality, (

[2] Bond, Paul, Newsweek, “Has Hamas Hastened the Demise of ‘Woke’” (Nov 6, 2023).

[3] Rufo, Christopher, America’s Cultural Revolution: How the Left Conquered Everything (Broadside Books, 2023).

[4] My page references in brackets all refer to Rufo’s book.

[5] Henrickson, Charles, “Christ Will Build His Church” (Sermon for Reformation Day, on Matthew 16:13-20), October 29, 2023.

[6] Doyle, Rob, Doyle is an Irish novelist, short-story writer and essayist. His most recent book is Autobibliography.

[7] Skousen, W.Cleon, The Naked Communist: Exposing Communism and Restoring Freedom (Izzard Ink, 2017), 40.

[8] Miles, Lucas, Woke Jesus: The False Messiah Destroying Christianity (Humanix Books, 2023) and Robles, A. D., Social Justice Pharisees (MJ Nashville, 2022).

[9] Ridgley, Stanley, Brutal Minds: The Dark World of Left-Wing Brainwashing in Our Universities (Humanix Books, 2023), x.

[10] Marcuse, Herbert, Marxism, Revolution and Utopia: Collected Papers of Herbert Marcuse, vol 6, (Routledge2014), 336.


[12] See Christopher Collins and Alexander Jun, White Out (Peter Lang, 2017), 72-73.

[13] Manning Johnson, Color, Communism and Common Sense (Martino Fine Books, 1958), 7, 15.

[14] Johnson, ibid., 37.

[15] Johnson, ibid., 44, 52 and 54.

[16] Hippolito, Joseph, BLM, Antifa and the Communist Strategy to Destroy the United States, Frontpagemagazine, Sep 24, 2020.




[20] Rufo, Christopher, substack, (Oct 21, 2023).

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