The insidious thing about Marxism is that it can recruit people using the ideology of power dynamics and linguistic propaganda. When Lenin referred to “useful idiots”, he was referring to the people that worked on behalf of the Soviet Union and their own destruction/enslavement under Communism without even being fully aware of what they were actually championing. (Read Suicide of the Liberals for a shocking look at how things started.)
Some of the Marxist indoctrination is so ingrained in the American public school system and Western society some comic creators are perpetuating aspects of Marxism without even realizing it. Here now are the Top Twenty Signs You’re a Comic Book Marxist.
- You conflate “equality” with “equity”.
If you use these two words interchangeably, stop. They don’t mean the same thing. Equality refers to equality under the law or equality of opportunity. These are concepts that are part of Western civilizations’ values.
Equity, on the other hand, means equality of outcome. This means that no matter what, each person must get the same money, the same house, the same everything— Naturally, there’s only one way this can happen— By making the system extremely unfair in an attempt to make all outcomes equal. It means someone that has worked hard, obeyed the law, and contributed to society will get the exact same money, house, food, and life as someone who is a strung-out, criminal drug addict that never worked a day in his life.
- You insert race and gender identity issues into a story that doesn’t further the narrative.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union and the revelation of the horrors of Mao’s Communist Revolution, Marxists realized they needed a new strategy to entice the foolish into Marxism. It began with people like Antonio Gramsci in 1935, who said, “Socialism is precisely the religion that must overwhelm Christianity…In the new order, Socialism will triumph first by capturing the culture via infiltration of schools, universities, churches, and the media by transforming the consciousness of society.”
By the ’60s and ’70s, the post-modernists like Herbert Marcuse realized that this transformation couldn’t happen because most people in the middle class in America and Europe had happy lives. You wouldn’t want a workers’ revolution if you had TV, beer and were able to go to the movies on the weekends. (I’m giving you a very condensed version of this history. For more detailed analysis, visit the New Discourses YouTube channel by James Lindsay.)
Anyhow, what eventually emerged in the early 1980s was Critical Race Theory and Queer Theory. In a nutshell, this weaponized racial and gender identity politics. The Marxists also infiltrated the education system at every level, starting with the colleges and all the way to pre-K today.
If you’re inserting race and gender issues into your story, and especially if you’re inserting them in place of a story— You are furthering the goal of today’s Marxists to divide, polarize and categorize the populace.
- You portray characters without Leftist ideology as stupid, ignorant, and evil.
Notice I didn’t say “right-wing”. To the Marxists, anyone without “critical consciousness” is either stupid, ignorant, or evil. This is the evolution of what the Soviet Union called “The Soviet Man”. If you agree with the ideology, you’re good, right, and wonderful; if you disagree— You either are stupid, ignorant, or evil. This is why today’s Leftist use terms like bigot, white supremacy, and Nazi so liberally. There are no degrees of separation. You are either with them or against them. This is why when comic creators question the orthodoxy of the political narrative, they are immediately canceled.
For instance, when some comic creators expressed anything but complete contempt or hatred for Comicsgate— They were immediately attacked on Twitter, threatened and intimidated for their heresy.
In stories and in real life, it is possible for people to disagree on values and politics without one or both of them being “evil”. If you cannot imagine this scenario in your story, you have probably drank too much of the Marxist Kool-Aid.
- You group every character by immutable characteristics.
Whether it’s race, sexual orientation, physical characteristics, or the culture where the character was born, Marxists tend to see groups of people of monoliths that act and react the same way. A good writing exercise to break away from this habit is to take a character trope based on this kind of thinking and turn it on its ear.
Therefore, you take the cliché of the Southern, down-home farmer and make him a sly, cunning operator. The friendly, Irish beat cop who whistles Irish tunes as he walks the beat becomes a music critic in his off hours that loves alternative rock. The hard-boiled detective with a drinking problem and a dark past becomes a relaxed, wholesome dad who solves mysteries in his spare time. Treat every character as an individual regardless of their immutable characteristics, or you’re just writing with a bunch of clichés.
- You justify character choices by power dynamics rather than a moral code by which the characters live.
What I believe is a real and stark example in the world of comics is the Genosha storyline in Marvel’s X-men. Creating their own country for mutants (mutant abilities being an immutable characteristic), the X-men have abandoned their fight for justice to save mutantkind regardless of that individual’s moral code. Therefore, their former villains were blended into the ranks of the heroes with little distinction between them in the island country.
Good and Evil did not really matter. It only mattered whether or not you had mutant powers. I believe this is probably a conscious or subconscious metaphor for Soviet Man. In either case, having your characters abandon their moral responsibilities (especially one that had been clearly established for decades in the comics) undermines those characters. If there is no good and evil, what are the characters even fighting over? Marxists see everything as a power dynamic. It doesn’t matter if you’re “right”; all that matters is you have the power to impose your will. This is probably why Marvel is constantly announcing new and better powers for characters in a desperate bid to get fans interested in some of their newer, much less popular characters.
- Your characters believe in a real Utopia that is perfect and achievable.
The Marxists believe that they are pushing their ideology for the glorious goal of a Utopia. By tearing down everything using a process called “The Dialectic”, the Marxists complains about anything that isn’t Marxist until they control it. The idea is that by endlessly criticizing things, you will tear away the bad and leave only the good. So by tearing down everything in society and starting over, you can rebuild the perfect society assuming everyone has accepted Marxism, get it?
Now when I say utopia, I mean an actual utopia. A perfect society is free of all problems and pain. The Marxist is not talking about an improved society with problems. If your characters believe in, for instance, the complete elimination of crime despite the fact that it is impossible— Well then, you might have a tiny bearded weirdo named Marx whispering into your ear.
- Most, if not all, of your important characters, are self-inserts.
Self-insert characters can represent the kind of narcissism that usually accompanies the Marxist mindset. And while not all self-inserts are bad, especially if you’re willing to have that character have flaws and weaknesses rather than being a mary sue. Some self-inserts smack of the kind of preening and smug posturing you get on Twitter when you dare disagree with a Leftist. I think Ms. Marvel, Kamala Kahn, is a good example of the kind of self-insert you want to avoid, in my opinion.
This kind of writing can be dangerous for a creator regardless of political affiliation. One of the dangers is falling in love with your character and never allowing them to look bad, make mistakes, or do something wrong because you subconsciously feel like it would make you look bad. I’ve done this with some of my own projects, but don’t worry. I’m not a Marxist, I’m just a run-of-the-mill egomaniac.
- Your protagonist was always great; it was just the world, society, and the system that held them back.
While it is true that in real life and in stories, it is possible for someone to be wronged by a system and held back from their true potential. However, for the Marxists, this is often the only theme. For them, it is a thinly disguised metaphor for “let’s tear down the system and start over”. Institutional racism, transphobia, homophobia, etc., is ever-present for the modern-day Marxists (until they control that institution), so beware of falling into this overused plot device.
I believe it’s probably the reason a character like Rey in Star Wars was so powerful. With no training, she seemingly became the best Jedi and best star pilot. If only the Empire wasn’t there “holding her back”.
- You see critics of your comic book as hateful, bigoted, and wrong.
Most Marxists can’t take criticism. If they debated their ideas instead of just ruthlessly pursuing power, they would lose so honest discussion is off the table. Naturally, when their terrible comic comes out, and it’s full of ideology, self-inserts, and identity politics— It’s boring, even to other Marxists. They have no choice but to react this way, if they engage at all.
- You portray all wealthy characters, especially businessmen, as evil, greedy, and corrupt.
The Marxists are extremely jealous of those with power and influence. Since they can only see things through power dynamics and they see the system as being rigged, then the only logical conclusion is that the successful people cheated. They also identify with the characters that have been “held back by the system” because it also explains their own lack of success.
Remember that it is possible for rich businessmen to be noble, kind, and generous in a story and in real life. Making every good capitalist a ruthless and greedy crook who loves only money is not only inaccurate, but it’s boring and cliché.
- You portray all poor characters as noble, selfless, good, and pure.
The second verse is the same as the first. While poor characters can be noble and good, they can also be ruthless and evil. In fact, as Henry Kissinger once said, “University politics are so vicious because the stakes are so low.” A millionaire is much less likely to fight over losing a couple of hundred dollars, while a poor person might be financially devastated for weeks by losing fifty bucks. Again, don’t get trapped in the clichés; it makes your story boring.
- You portray all tribal characters and primitive societies as noble, selfless, good, and pure.
Marxists believe that prior to civilization and all its inherent system biases, we basically all frolicked in the woods and had a great time. Because no one had jobs, it must’ve been great. To anyone that’s studied early man, life was short and harsh. It was mostly a constant battle to find food and shelter and to survive.
But because Marxists have a romantic delusion about the past, they tend to romanticize primitive societies as a whole. (Again, they see groups as monoliths.) They ignore historical evidence that clearly shows that tribal cultures had war, slavery, cannibalistic practices, and a whole host of other problems. In modern life today, some people are good, some people are evil, and most people fall somewhere in between.
Portraying tribal societies like this is a cliché. It’s also boring and uninteresting because, without good and evil characters, you’ll have no conflict. Any group of people the size of a tribe should have more depth and personality.
- You portray men and women as 100% equals in all categories, going out of your way to “prove” this in your story.
Add Feminist Theory (now 4th Wave Feminism) to the growing list of Marxism subgenres, and you can see where this is going. Marxists would have you believe that each person, regardless of their sex, is an interchangeable cog in the Marxist Machine. It’s not only untrue to the Marxist; it doesn’t even matter.
It doesn’t mean that every creature that ever wrote about feminists is a Karl Marx stan, but they were at least on the path. In comics, it’s given us muddy-colored comics instead of ones bursting with primary colors. Women’s eyes see more nuanced layers of color thanks to evolution. (Check out RJ’s channel, the Fourth Age, for more on this subject.) This allowed females to note the subtle changes in skin color for their young, thereby being better at seeing whether or not a child was getting pale and sick.
Men, on the other hand, see the contrasting colors. This allows the hunters to focus better on movement and throw a spear into a mastodon. Thus, the primary colors that were once used in comics often appealed to the male-dominated audience.
Additionally, the Feminists at the big M has given us splash pages with more word balloons than former members of the Fantastic Four and crossover specials like the X-men Gala. That “event” looked like a Barbie fashion page festooned with Wolverine and Bishop. If you have a strong stomach, you can check out some of the “fashion” here. Because I know when the general public thinks superhero, they don’t think mutants saving us from evil they say, “Hey, when’s the fashion show?”
And from a writing standpoint, every panel I’ve forced myself to read of current-day Marvel seems to go out of its way to be as emasculating as possible to the males. From making straight characters gay or bi to inserting the fan fic idea that Cyclops, Jean Grey, and Wolverine are a “throuple” and to the absolute destruction of The Punisher— Which included removing his guns, changing his logo, and resurrecting his wife just so she could divorce him and take his money— Is Marvel being run by editors or the First Wives Club?
But I digress. Marxism loves to blur the lines, sew confusion and unravel anything (including the sexes and feminism itself), so it makes sense that this falls within their purview. These “stories” are not only tiresome, but they also fly in the face of a reality that not even the 4th Wave Feminists would believe.
- You portray Socialists, Marxists, Communists,s and centralized collective governments as functional, kind, and prosperous.
Marxist, Socialist, and Communist countries don’t work. They are corrupt, broken regimes that enslave their citizens, steal their wealth, jail dissenters and end disastrously. Don’t take my word for it; just ask someone that’s escaped from one of those dystopian nightmares to the United States. They’re some of the most patriotic new American citizens you will ever meet.
That doesn’t mean a Socialist country can’t be stable for a period of time. Hugo Chavez nationalized the oil companies in Venezuela and gave everyone a microwave while oil prices were high. Then the bottom dropped out of the oil market, and the money dried up. And, as the saying goes, Socialism only works until you run out of other people’s money. Within a few short years of instituting more and more Socialism, Venezuelans went from being able to feed themselves to slaughtering and eating zoo animals out of desperation.
If you’re portraying one of these countries in your comic or a fictional one, know what you’re talking about. Don’t just assume because Bernie Sanders and AOC said it was a good system that, it works.
- You portray Western and de-centralized governments as cruel, greedy, warlike, and destructive.
Western countries can be cruel, greedy, warlike, and destructive, but they have a political system in place that is answerable to the voters. They do not typically enslave their political rivals like a Banana Republic, and their people tend to be prosperous. There’s a reason most people want to flee to the West. You can make a lot of money if you work hard. Yes, there are problems and hardships, but these pale in comparison to hardships found under other government systems. They are also, thanks to voting, self-correcting.
Marxists only see the West as bad and evil. These Champagne Socialists decry Capitalism while typing on their $1000 iPhone, sitting in a Starbucks, and sipping a $10 latte. It’s trendy (again) to say the West is bad, but if you follow the trend, your project will die with it. Read some comics from the hippie era to hear some cringe-inducing lines of dialogue and clothing styles. The current era of virtue-signaling narcissists will make these hippie foibles tame in comparison.
You don’t have to love Western Civilization or think it’s perfect, but if you have nothing in your heart but hate for it you just might be…a Marxist.
- Your characters want to tear down Western systems of government and tradition, believing them racist, patriarchal, and unfair.
I mean, this is what Marxists want to do. The fantasy mostly exists in their heads, but in a comic book, they can make it seem real.
And that’s not to say there isn’t unfairness in the world and nasty people, there absolutely are— But that’s a little like saying, “Hey, there’s a shoplifter in the store. Better tear down the entire store and completely remake the idea of a store to fix the problem.”
The idea behind Western systems is that they are answerable to the people they serve. Sometimes they fail at that in big and small ways, but the answer is not to throw away hundreds of years of development and systems that mostly work for a system that has proven to never work.
Characters that act this way are transparently Marxist and are either deeply ignorant, malevolent, or both. Making them heroes is impossible since their ideology only values power at any cost. Their compassion only extends to the point at which it can acquire power and spread the ideology. The moment that progress stops is the moment that Marxists throw you under the bus “for the greater good”.
- Your characters see revolution as the primary solution to solving a problem, even a very complicated and nuanced one.
Remember Jonathan Kent marching in a “climate protest”? Does it make any sense that someone with the powers of Superman would do this when he literally has the power to do something? (Welcome to Climate Justice, the latest iteration of Marxism, btw.) It makes perfect sense to a Marxist for him to protest, however, because revolution is always the solution to the problem.
Got a problem at work? Take to the streets! March with the workers! Got a problem at school? Student walk out! Organize! Don’t like a law? Raise your fist! Protest! Protest! Got a hangnail? March on Washington! Big Toe must be stopped!
Now, is there ever a time for a protest? Sure, but usually, all avenues to fix the problem have been exhausted first. But for the Marxists, it’s always revolution time because they don’t want to fix the system; they want to tear it down and replace it (although their ideology won’t allow them to stop the dialectic and therefore, what they actually want is a state of constant revolution).
Part of the fantasy of superhero comics is to live through a character that takes the action we wish we all could. Batman doesn’t just protest; he’s a vigilante that takes the law into his own hands and succeeds. Superheroes help people and support law and order. They don’t burn down a city in righteous anger, screaming about racism. Heroes attempt to fix a problem, not make it worse.
Now, there are other genres of comic books other than superheroes, of course. But regardless, if you find yourself constantly drawing protest signs, raised fists, and angry faces— Welcome to Marxism.
- When your characters do obtain power, they centralize it excessively and favor authoritarian means to achieve their goals.
As James Lindsay has said in his videos, the purpose of Marxism is to call everything racist, homophobic, transphobic, misogynist, etc, until you control it. Once you control it, it’s time to stomp on your enemies and crush dissent.
I believe this is why so many comic book creators at the big two turned on their fan base with ravenous glee during the old Twitter Regime. Tolerance in the Marxist world only goes one way. The post-modernist, Herbert Marcuse, formulated a plan that any excesses on the Left had to be tolerated but none on the Right. Now apply that logic to Old Twitter, and I think you see why conservatives were banned in droves while radical Leftists openly threatened people and were rarely if ever, punished.
With this kind of open-hunting license on conservatives, many of the more left-leaning comic creators ran amok. You weren’t just wrong; so was an ignorant bigot that had to be banned from polite society. Blacklists were shared on Twitter so that the more radical the creators could keep vast swaths of the fan base from commenting. (Again, Marxists don’t like criticism.) At the top of the hit list was anyone who was a member of Comicsgate or expressed even mild support for its members. This article in Bleeding Fool goes into detail about some of the drama.
The Genosha story I referenced in X-men is another example of that, in my opinion. Rather than using the island nation to help all of humanity, the X-men only helped mutants and helped the bad ones. This wasn’t the noble Professor Xavier that I read back in the day; the Genosha government sounded more like the Soviet Politburo for mutantkind.
Characters that obtain power centralize it, and then act in authoritarian ways are bad. There’s no good way to do that. If you think you can make a character like that good, you’re not just Marxist— You’re bordering on Dr. Doom-like megalomania.
- In your stories, non-Leftist characters that are in charge must be deposed because they are evil and always make evil decisions.
These next two are one-way tolerance in action. This doesn’t mean you can’t have a character with right-leaning views do something bad, or someone with left-leaning views does good. However, the worlds you create are like an open sandbox video game where you make the rules. If you always game the system in favor of the radical leftist college students, well, comrade— Do I have to spell it out for you?
- In your stories, Leftist characters that are in charge must be supported because they are good and always make good decisions for the benefit of all.
So finally, you can see where I’m going with this. You may not even realize you’ve been writing your stories this way until you think about it. Look at your protagonists— Do they all have the same left-leaning political views? That’s pretty conformist and boring.
In any political ideology, there are good and bad actors. Even under a ruthless monarch, there might be a good guard in there somewhere, but it’s all about context. A ruthless monarch will tend to surround himself with the worst kind of people.
Marxists tend to surround themselves with the most miserable people alive. This is because they tend to see the world as a miserable place where the little guy is constantly getting crushed by forces he can’t control. But much of the blather that comes out of Marxist mouths tends to be hyperbolic and untrue. Screaming Nazi at everyone isn’t a productive avenue for fixing problems; in fact, it just creates more. And by shouting that at anyone that’s even remotely right-wing is not only inaccurate (the Nazis were Socialists) it denigrates the survivors of the real horrors of World War 2. They faced actual death and destruction, not mean tweets.
Conclusion: So check the list and check it twice. Make sure you’re not falling into old tropes with your characters and plotlines just because comic books of the past followed the same pattern. Marxism is an insidious ideology that can slip into the cracks through language. (As James Lindsay says, “Marxists use the same vocabulary, but a different dictionary.”) If you find yourself constantly creating power dynamics, maybe it’s time to explore morals, principles, (and as RJ at the Fourth Age would say) self-sacrifice and prudence— Or maybe just remind yourself about Truth, Justice, and the American Way.
That’s all this week, patriotic fanboys; see you at the con.
Check out the other entries in our Comic-Con 101 series here.
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