Andrew Sullivan: Campus SJWs Driven by a Marxist Ideology That Is Like a Religion


In a recent column for New York Magazine, conservative political commentator Andrew Sullivan argued that the wave of political intolerance sweeping across American college campuses is driven in part by a blind adherence to a neo-Marxist ideology that operates almost like a religion.

Sullivan is describing intersectionality, the new political phenomenon that has taken college campuses around the country hostage. It was on display earlier this month at Middlebury College when students derailed an event featuring American Enterprise Institute Scholar Charles Murray.

Writing in New York Magazine, Sullivan defines intersectionality:

“Intersectionality” is the latest academic craze sweeping the American academy. On the surface, it’s a recent neo-Marxist theory that argues that social oppression does not simply apply to single categories of identity — such as race, gender, sexual orientation, class, etc. — but to all of them in an interlocking system of hierarchy and power. At least, that’s my best attempt to define it briefly.

Sullivan argues that this recent neo-Marxist theory manifests itself almost as a religion, as many of its characteristics and practices of its believers mirror that of fundamentalist faiths throughout the world.

It is operating, in Orwell’s words, as a “smelly little orthodoxy,” and it manifests itself, it seems to me, almost as a religion. It posits a classic orthodoxy through which all of human experience is explained — and through which all speech must be filtered. Its version of original sin is the power of some identity groups over others. To overcome this sin, you need first to confess, i.e., “check your privilege,” and subsequently live your life and order your thoughts in a way that keeps this sin at bay. The sin goes so deep into your psyche, especially if you are white or male or straight, that a profound conversion is required.

You can read the entirety of Sullivan’s piece here.

Tom Ciccotta is a libertarian who writes about education and social justice for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @tciccotta or email him at


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