Hi, Christina, and thank you for another insightful article. I just want clarify a few things, because wow, the conflict between Israel and Gaza is a volatile topic right now!

For one thing, as a strong opponent to Critical Social Justice (CSJ), I would never support a fundamentalist terrorist organization like Hamas. But that does not mean I support a Zionist ethno-centric apartheid state like Israel. Its Zionist government's oppression of the Palestinians was directly responsible for provoking Islamic extremists to create Hamas. Trying to understand why groups like Hamas come into existence, and holding *all* guilty parties in a situation like this accountable, is NOT "supporting" or defending Hamas's actions. I believe stopping the slaughter of both innocent Jewish and Palestinian people calls for taking neither the side of Zionism nor Islamic fundamentalism, as both routinely destroy innocent lives in the name of "protecting" a specific group of people.

Hence, I am not one of those SJWs who cheerleads for Hamas. But I also most certainly do not ignore right-wing Zionist culpability in these thousands of lives lost -- both in Israel and in Gaza. You might want to check out this article of mine arguing that we should not take sides between the Israeli Zionist government and Hamas, and should instead demand a peaceful integration of Jewish and Palestinian people within a democratic framework that will respect both religions but will not allow *any* form of theocracy. Extremists will always exist wherever there is material and political inequality.


Now, one final matter. I am myself a Marxist, yet I am fully against the SJW mentality, as anyone who has read my writings here, on Medium and elsewhere can fully attest. It is often said that Critical Social Justice is inspired by Marxism, but in truth Karl Marx would turn in his grave if he could see this phenomenon today,. This is because competition within the demographics of the working class -- which CSJ basically is -- is anathema to Marxian ideology, which stands firmly for class unity, not unity based on immutable traits we're born with or religious choices. CSJ's ultimate source is big corporations like BlackRock, who impose ESG and DEI scores on companies for the purpose of dividing the working class. SJWs are silly for sometimes invoking the name of Marx, and they only do that in a desperate attempt to gain respect from the Left.

To integrate both of these points together: I am anti-Israel while simultaneously being anti-Hamas because I am against *all* forms of ethno-centric "protection" or power. That said, as a Classical Marxist, I am pro-working class, meaning full support for 99% of all Jewish and Palestinian people -- and everyone else -- while opposing all forms of separatism and division within our class. That puts me firmly against ideologies like both Zionism and the form of extremist Islamic fundamentalism that Hamas represents.

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It’s very useful that this author explains the terms used by academics here bc it gives words to these disturbing phenomena, and they will help us (the real liberals) crawl out of the pseudo-reality-hell that the far-left (fake liberals) are trying to trap us in.

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A brilliant analysis; you’ve really insightfully encapsulated the intellectually vacuous pro-palestinian position, which lacks academic rigor. As if anyone is against the Palestinian ppl per se.

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I too find some issue with your reasoning. If 70% of Palestinians and numerous others around the world march. SJW are chasing teachers down, terrorizing students in dorms, smearing fake blood on buildings. Chanting genocidal tropes against Jews...I repeat myself, all in support OF Hamas...how does a Marxist thread that needle to say they support one group, but not the other? They are all intertwined. How you Marxist cannot see this, or the mental gymnastics you must do, has to be exhausting.

(However, that's the crux of Marxism. Eliminating others religion. Faith in community. Government or institutions. All of which, seem to be the replacement and provider for everyone's needs. Yet, everywhere sprouts Socialism, Communism, Authoritarian regimes. Starvation, sufferage and death. A system of haves and have nots. However, those guys got it wrong....we can do it better. Rinse and repeat.

The hubris of those in charge and our "intellectual betters" is astonishing.)

I think the biggest mistake everyone is making, ESPECIALLY Marxists, is one's religious beliefs. Make no mistake, this is, in the minds of an Islamic terrorist, only about religion. First the Jews, then the Christians. As for a true democracy in the Middle East, Isreal has Muslims, however, Palestine has no Jews.

As a matter of fact, why hasn't anyone reported about the Christian genocide taken place? Is that not worthy?

Tell me, who's more intolerant?

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Colin isn't gay? I'm so embarrassed: I believe I wrote he was in a couple of essays, and maybe even sent him a few gay man-to-gay man DMs. Sorry about that!

I disagree with a couple of points. If anything, this support for Hamas is suffocating the social justice movement by flushing out its true nature. Elon Musk was clumsier than usual in his failure to explain that his actions and words weren't antisemitic; rather, he was echoing the voices of many Jewish socialists who had enabled Wokeism, the same way the Northeastern Protestant establishment did — the road to Woke hell has been paved with their good intentions — who are now appalled by what they're seeing. As a member of the latter group, and a native New Yorker in the entertainment biz who lives amidst the former, I can assure you that without their support, it dies from neglect.

In the end, Marxism has never been and never will be a threat to America for the simple reason that it's a pointless tautology — the system will address social injustices eventually, after careful deliberation and consensus. Any fretting to the contrary is judgment clouded by fear and hysteria, but it's pointless trying to sway pessimists who believe that America is on the verge of collapse, or that the sky is falling in general.

The question is, What will you and Colin do now that it's dying?

As for the dangers of indoctrination through critical theory, having been married to a queer/critical theory adjunct professor in London, and having attended a critical theory conference at Princeton well before this silliness became a menace, my take is it's a mechanism to supply modern philosophy students at the end of history; there's been nothing left to say in the theoretical branch of the discipline. Critical theory offers endless dissertation subjects through intersectionalities and other intellectual juju. They tend to follow a formula: A social trope + Freud/Jung/another psychologist or pseudoscientist + French Midcentury postmodern philosopher + pop culture phenom = dissertation.

It's not malicious indoctrination; there will be no killing fields in Connecticut. Elite Anglosphere schools will always be attractive to "Marxists." They get over it when they settle down. The fostering of social justice rebellion is an integral part of OG Yankee culture, trust me on that — it's America's raison d'être, literally. We don't take it seriously; nor should anyone else. It did get out of hand for a while.

Whisky, on the other hand, should be taken seriously — I know Colin's as passionate as I am about it.

My ex ended up a victim of his own teachings when he was passed over for tenureship after waiting 18 years for an opening. They'd told him to keep publishing — he published 5 books in as many years. They gave the position to a young Asian woman who'd only been there 2 years. Now his go-to phrase is "fuck identity," even though he remains an old-school, pre-social justice queer theorist.

I've actually written extensively about the origins of Wokeism and why America has embraced it so fervently. Those essays are under the 'Establishing Shots' section of my newsletter. But I've said my bit. Everyone's bored with social justice/Wokeism — it's dreary, ugly and loud. Same as with McCarthyism. I've moved on.

UTA just fired Susan Sarandon. That's a major repudiation of social justice from the custodians of world propaganda, who will never themselves pay for their many transgressions over the past ten years, but "That's Hollywood," as we remind each other constantly.

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Your description of postmodernism is overly-simplistic, but other than that I appreciate what you’ve done. I was a professor of Humanities and Gender Studies until I retired, and I’ve been through these wars. These people gave us Trump and are on the verge of delivering him to us again. You might consider my substack: susanbordo.substack.com. And if you want to check out my books: bordocrossings.com.

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the oslo accords were ment to allow israel and palestinians a chance to stop fighting. the Palestinians did stop fighting, with the exception of a few hold outs. Israel decided that instead of ending their 56-year harsh illegal military siege of millions of native people, that instead israel will ethnically cleanse and commit genocide against millions of people. israrl is commiting genocide on US tax payer dime with a blank check provided by US gov.

literially everything in this article about the palestinian issue is 100% false.

"Palestinians have started (and lost) every war" - this is a false reading of the present situation. its only israel that cynically continues its brutal illegal occupation of millions of native people that has been going on for 56 years. israel could end the occupation tomarrow. Palestinians pose zero threat to the nation of israel. hamas is a crime issue nothing more. Palestinians have stopped fighting for the most part. israelis continue to stomp of necks of innocent natives and are enacting genocide against them.

"palestinians rejected every offer for a two-state solution"

false. israrl never offered anything more than a bogus cynical offer that was nothing different than the brutal 56 year illegal occupation. israel is enacting genocide. their past bogus offers also offered genocide and ethnic cleasing. thanks but no thanks.

like gender ideology, the pro israel movement is a carefully crafted and well financed PR and lobby campaign whose purpose is to rob the rights of marginalized people on behalf of white men who are not marginalized but pretend to be.

eventually people figure out they were lied to by the pro israeli and gender ideology astro turf propaganda machines.

i heard pro israel people are offering big $ for small time media people to support israel. did you take the $ ?

because it sure seems like you did. tired tropes you level against people who have lived in palestine for 1000s of years are the zionist equivalent of "trans women are women" or trans genocide. the reality is these slogans were created to benefit white men. similarly your straw man explanation of palestinian supporters is way too complicated. yeah, i get that it applies to gender ideology in a limited context. but it doesnt apply to the israeli situation

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I appreciate Christina Buttons' praiseworthy campaigning against the travesty of gender identity, but I beg to differ on the question of "postmodernism" -- which, admittedly, is open to multiple varying interpretations. I have explained that postmodernism is neither an offshoot of Marxism, nor allied with Marxism in any way. Jordan Peterson and James Lindsay notwithstanding, Marxism is nothing like what they think it is, although there are many semi-educated egotists who have decided to refer to themselves as "Marxists." Postmodernism was born in France after WWII and popularized by certain subjective idealists who deluded themselves into thinking they were "Marxists." Marxism, at the time, was popular. For a fuller treatment of this topic, see my Substack essay:


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Great summary, thanks for making the instagram post, I find it strikes the right level of detail for that audience.

One thing worth including perhaps might be the connection with Iran and Russia. Authoritarian regimes are pushing for this conflict in order to weaken the West’s support for Ukraine, and Islamist leaders are happy to sacrifice Palestinian lives for their cause.

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Not my favorite article.

Had Israel not killed so many after Hamas terrible attack this might land better.

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1. Nice article! I wish I could address complex issues so succinctly. Always a struggle for me to keep my essays down to a digestible length.

2. Glad you found my pipeline useful!

3. And you linked my essay with Maranto on how wokeness is corrosive to science! I am flattered but more than flattered, it is great to feel that I am not completely useless or just growling at a hurricane.

4. But the real news in the story was ... YOU ARE COLIN'S GIRLFRIEND? WHO KNEW?

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Free-energy Minimization and “Critical Theory”

There a fascinating (ultra-geek fascinating) set of observations around self-organizing information systems and their ability to maintain themselves with Bayesian inference into the future , which are well-summarized in the Friston Free-Energy principle.

Science, Politics, Consciousness, Language, Reproducing Organisms all fight dissolution by constantly expending energy in sensing and refining a model of reality used to predict the future and avoid disasters (like dissolution, death, etc.)

Scientific Theorems model reality, Politics models population needs, consciousness predicts my immediate environment, language predicts meanings, DNA “predicts” cellular processes required to sustain life in different environments…

When prediction error (difference between the model and reality, or “surprise!”) is high enough, the system doesn’t have sufficient energy to continue to adapt and the system breaks down - it cannot maintain itself as an independent entity - scientific knowledge, a system of government, our conscious mind, a dying language, an organism which cannot defend against being eaten alive. The system liquidates.

Systems which constantly and successfully “minimize free energy” or dissipation survive the longest.

The distance between “Critical Theory” as a system, and reality is large and growing. Marxism is of course dead, though like a dead tree some pieces of it may sprout temporarily. While anthropology is alive, branches of it which deny reality to the extent that sex doesn’t exist, the positive therapy for bullied gay children is surgery and sterilization, and self-declared genocidal maniacs must be empowered to continue, the gap is so large that the tipping point is close for collapse.

When nobody participating in the farce can survive themselves if they spend all their time and energy on things which will destroy their children, their working careers required for food and shelter, and their ability to evolve political power to direct food and homeless aid to themselves, then they themselves will only exist as a mad anonymous rabid fiction separated from functioning society, a warning about breaks from reality.

The long term average of surprise in such a system is Entropy, and entropy always wins, disorder dissolving meaning and existence.

Friston Free-energy:


Persistent, long-working systems seek to minimize free energy, not maximize it. Once you understand the principle it’s easy to understand why Marxism was doomed at the outset, why science generally moves from strength to strength, and why western liberal thought and politics absorbs so many other. They adapt quickly, with low energy.

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Your description of postmodernism is overly-simplistic, but other than that I appreciate what you’ve done. I was a professor of Humanities and Gender Studies until I retired, and I’ve been through these wars. These people gave us Trump and are on the verge of delivering him to us again. You might consider my substack: susanbordo.substack.com. And if you want to check out my books: bordocrossings.com.

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