Darwin, Marx, and Freud — They’re Back!

The Discovery Institute has no coherent theory, no data, and no credible research. So what do they do to promote their agenda? For one thing, they make up imaginary enemies and wage a fake intellectual war against them. The Wedge Document, their founding manifesto, declares in its introduction:

The proposition that human beings are created in the image of God is one of the bedrock principles on which Western civilization was built. Its influence can be detected in most, if not all, of the West’s greatest achievements, including representative democracy, human rights, free enterprise, and progress in the arts and sciences.

Yet a little over a century ago, this cardinal idea came under wholesale attack by intellectuals drawing on the discoveries of modern science. Debunking the traditional conceptions of both God and man, thinkers such as Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, and Sigmund Freud portrayed humans not as moral and spiritual beings, but as animals or machines who inhabited a universe ruled by purely impersonal forces and whose behavior and very thoughts were dictated by the unbending forces of biology, chemistry, and environment. This materialistic conception of reality eventually infected virtually every area of our culture, from politics and economics to literature and art.

[…]

Discovery Institute’s Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture seeks nothing less than the overthrow of materialism and its cultural legacies.

The grouping of Darwin with Marx and Freud makes no sense. The Discoveroids seem to dimly recognize this, because they rarely write about their Terrible Troika (or Toxic Triumvirate). The last time they did we wrote Darwin, Marx, and Freud: The Evil Threesome.

Marx was evil — or insane, or both. As for Freud, we’ve never studied his work, and he seems to be irrelevant these days — at least he is to us. As for Darwin, he was neither a commie nor a psychoanalyst, but a wealthy, law-abiding gentleman, whose theory of evolution is the bedrock of modern biology. Tossing him into a trio with the other two is … well, it’s bizarre.

Anyway, the Discoveroids are writing about the threesome again. The new essay at their creationist blog is Darwin, Marx, and Freud: The Genealogy of “Posthumanism”, by David Klinghoffer, a Discoveroid “senior fellow” (i.e., flaming, full-blown creationist), who eagerly functions as the Discovery Institute’s journalistic slasher and poo flinger, We’ll give you some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis.

Klinghoffer begins by complaining about Posthumanism, a topic we’ve ignored, but which Wikipedia says has at least seven different definitions. Klinghoffer quotes a Discoveroid who blogged about something by Cary Wolfe. Wikipedia says:

[Wolfe] currently teaches English at Rice University. He has written on a range of topics, from American poetry to bioethics. He has been a significant voice in recent debates in Animal Studies and advocates a version of the posthumanist position.

Wolfe was a co-author of something that appeared in the New York TimesIs Humanism Really Humane? Klinghoffer quotes Wolfe:

There is, in fact, a genealogy of posthumanist thought that stretches back well before the 21st or even 20th century. You find hints of it in anything that fundamentally decenters the human in relation to the world in which we find ourselves, whether we’re talking about other forms of life, the environment, technology or something else.

[…]

Darwinian thought was a huge step in this direction. So was Marx’s historical materialism or the Freud of “Civilization and Its Discontents.” [Klinghoffer’s bold font.]

That is sufficient for Klinghoffer. In his final paragraph he says:

Darwin, Marx, and Freud — the trio who did so much to give us modern culture with its deformities. Exactly how posthumanism cashes out in contemporary cultural terms is the subject of a detailed study with new polling data by John G. West, [link omitted]. Download it now.

Sure — go ahead and download it, if you have nothing better to do. As you know, West pretty much runs the Discoveroids’ creationist “think tank,” and he was the first winner of the Curmudgeon’s coveted Buffoon Award.

So what was the point of this post? It’s a good reminder that the Discoveroids are sticking to the blueprint laid out in their Wedge Document for waging a counter-revolution against the modern world. For more about that, see one of the first posts we ever wrote for this humble blog: Discovery Institute: Enemies of the Enlightenment.

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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12 responses to “Darwin, Marx, and Freud — They’re Back!

  1. Marx was evil — or insane, or both.

    And you complain about the Discoveroids talking nonsense. Marx was far from evil and he certainly wasn’t insane. You should perhaps take the time to read a biography of him — and preferably not one written by someone like Glenn Beck, David Barton, Bill O’Reilly, Eric Metaxas, David Irving . . .

  2. michaelfugate

    Why not Copernicus or Galileo or the others who “decentered” the earth from the center of the solar system and the solar system from the center of the universe? Isn’t that more important?

  3. Why not Newton, who began the mechanistic, deterministic view of the universe?
    Why not the atomists, who were the first materialists?
    Why not the anatomists, who studied the mechanism of the human body?
    Why not those who studied the mechanisms of reproduction and growth?

  4. Retired Prof

    Marx had the notion large populations could function using the ethic that well-run families operate on: everyone helps keep the operation going by contributing in their own ways, while babies, doddering elders, and the disabled are cared for by the group. There is nothing immoral about the idea, it’s just that it can’t be scaled up much beyond an extended family-size group of 75 persons or so. Hutterite communities, which operate in this way, divide after they reach a population of about 150 because beyond that size internal rivalries disrupt the structure.

    It is worth noting that on the larger economic scale these communes function like corporations and compete (usually successfully) in capitalist economies.

    Marx was not immoral, just misguided, out of ignorance. The only part of human development he could see was the progression from feudalism to capitalism. From that base he extrapolated to his post-capitalist utopia. He didn’t take into account the lives of humans in prehistoric roving family groups or in ancient villages, which got absorbed into city-states after agriculture had drastically increased populations. He couldn’t, bless his heart, because anthropologists had not described them yet.

    I cut Marx himself some slack and appreciate the insights he provided. What I can’t understand is how people can still call themselves Marxists, having seen how badly his pie-in-the-sky theory works in the real world.

  5. Love how the Discoveroids discount anyone that discounts their imaginary sky friend. As to Marx, far from evil and equally as far from having any coherent understanding of basic human behavior and economics.

  6. @Retired Prof

    Or, as Arthur Clarke used to say, there’s nothing wrong with Marxism except for the fact that it doesn’t work.

    What I can’t understand is how people can still call themselves Marxists, having seen how badly his pie-in-the-sky theory works in the real world.

    I regard the term as analogous to “Darwinist.” Evolutionary theory has changed quite a bit since Darwin proposed it, yet the term still seems apropos. Maybe the self-styled Marxists should call themselves “neo-Marxists” instead.

    Whatever, what drove Marx was essentially compassion — he and Engels had seen what capitalism had done for the London poor — which is neither an evil nor an insane motivation.

  7. Darwin, Marx, and Freud — the trio who did so much to give us modern culture with its deformities.

    What a wonderful turn of phrase.

    I think I’m going to count Klinghoffer as one of those deformities.

  8. One should also excuse Marx because of his dependence on an intellectual milieu in which Hegel ruled.

  9. Stephen Kennedy

    As a medical doctor I agree that Freud is now largely irrelevant. During his time psychoanalysis was all that was available to treat mental illness so it was used despite being ineffective.

    Now we have imaging technology that allows us to know much more about what happens in the abnormal brain. While there is still no “cure” for mental illness, we do have medications now that can control symptoms so well that people who would be institutionalized in Freud’s time can now lead reasonably normal lives.

  10. michaelfugate

    TomS, the DI completely buys into the mechanistic universe – they want organisms to be machines made of smaller machines – computers, motors, and the like – it is the signature in the cell. They believe God is an engineer architect, computer programmer, etc. – hence the Salem effect.

  11. MichaelF and TomS ask urging questions. The answer is simple: because they didn’t challegen “I ain’t no kin of no monkey!”

  12. Marx may have been evil and/or insane, he has done something no Creacrapper ever managed to do: make a prediction that came true.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immiseration_thesis

    It’s his remedy that sucks. However I somehow think that the preferred solution of SC – keep on praying to Adam Smith’ Invisible Hand – won’t work either.

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