Tory MP Suella Braverman has been slammed for repeating a far-right conspiracy about cultural Marxism, but in truth the racist ideology is already widespread on the Conservative right.
Braverman was speaking at a meeting of the Conservative Bruges Group think tank yesterday when she claimed that “as Conservatives, we are engaged in a battle against cultural Marxism.” When journalist Dawn Foster reminded Braverman of the conspiracy theory’s association with far-right mass murderer Anders Breivik, she doubled down, saying “I do believe we are in a fight against cultural Marxism. We have a culture evolving from the far-left which is about snuffing out freedom of speech, freedom of thought.”
The New Statesman’s Sarah Manavis has explained the online far-right’s love affair with the conspiracy theory that Jewish “cultural Marxists” are using immigration, feminism and pro-LGBT campaigns to undermine traditional society from within. But for years now it has been quietly mainstreamed by the Conservative right here in Britain.
Indeed, the think tank that invited Suella Braverman to speak has produced an entire report with accompanying video that explicitly deals with “cultural Marxism” and claims that left-wing politicians exploit immigration to undermine elections. Other institutions of the Conservative right including the Spectator, the Bow Group think tank, and Roger Scruton’s Salisbury Review have become markedly more obsessed with “cultural Marxism” in the years following the EU referendum.
But perhaps the greatest danger is posed by the emergence of a British alt-right for whom the idea of “cultural Marxism” is foundational, rather than just a fashionable term. When US alt-right outfit Turning Point press-released their UK launch, they announced it was “The Solution to Cultural Marxism”. The group’s chairman, Tory donor and former Bullingdon Boy George Farmer, has said the group’s mission is to “reverse the direction of travel in a lot of these universities, where left-wing academics are broadly filling young minds with cultural Marxism.”
It signals that Suella Braverman’s adoption of alt-right language is just the first stagger in a lurch to the alt-right inside the Conservative Party.