The word “Marxism” now has become a slur. This is due to associating Marxism with The Frankfurt School.
The Frankfurt School is a group of thinkers such as Erich Fromm, Herbert Marcuse, Theodor Adorno and others. Those thinkers are in fact defectors from the Communist parties and have nothing to do with the original classical theories of Marx. They abandoned the Marxist class struggle and formed a strange combination between the theories of Marx and those of Freud, devoid of economic analysis, and focusing on capitalism as being a system that represses the instincts and desire.
Their theories are sometimes referred to as “Cultural Marxism” despite their lack of analysis of class relations and historical dialectical materialism. Instead of analyzing class antagonism, they analyze antagonism between different groups of the society, such as men and women, white people and black people, old people and young people, straight people and gay people, etc… According to The Frankfurt School, the dominant group is not the social class that owns the means of production, but groups such as men, white people, and so on, they are the privileged ones and their privilege should be taken away from them, while Marx on the other hand considered that the only privilege is owning the means of production.
Marx is innocent from all this, if he witnessed The Frankfurt School he would have denounced them and denied any relation to them.
When the Nazis took over Germany, The Frankfurt School thinkers went to the US, became employed in elite positions in academia and the US Intelligence and started spreading their poisonous ideology in the US university campuses and inspired the 60s hippie movement. The ideologue of this movement was Marcuse, not Marx, they were against Soviet Communism yet now they are being labeled as “Marxists”. They do not empower the working class, they do not empower anyone, they just intimidate people on university campuses and everywhere with their “political correctness”, rushing to label anyone as racist or sexist or homophobic if he or she says anything which they disagree with. They play on tensions such as racial tensions in the society and do nothing to solve them.
This isn’t Marxism, or Communism. Marx would consider that white people are not always the privileged and black people are not always the oppressed. Marx would consider the only clash in societies is that which is between classes, neither races nor genders nor sects nor orientations. To Marx, there would be no clash between Sunnis and Shias or between different religions or genders or races, and if there is, it is originally an economic clash taking this shape.
The Frankfurt School is, if anything, a deviation from the Marxist thought yet Marx himself is getting the blame for the thought police of the political correctness army.