What is surprising is how easily meme theory accommodates newer forms of mysticism, not to mention anarchistic politics, conspiracy theories, and weird scientistic forms of Nietzschean ubermensch thinking.
In Cultural Software, Balkin argues ingeniously that meme theory replaces more familiar critical theories of ideology, because it alone explains how people come to believe the things they believe, without reference to dubious assumptions about "false consciousness" or "hegemony.
From one critical vantage, meme theory is little more than a slight recasting, in apparently hard-edged scientific terms, of long familiar ideas: the self as story, the world as interpretation.
The baseline is that, whatever its appeal to ravers and shamans and cyber-anarchists who fear conspiracy, meme theory is a type of hard-core materialism, and thus reductivist, even eliminativist, in intent.
Seen as a grand explanation of What It All Means, meme theory paradoxically suggests that such grand explanations are impossible.