Saturday, 12 February 2011

On Marxism Today

Norm Geras, self-described Marxist, in his essay "What Does It Mean To Be A Marxist?":
"At the risk of startling you, or some of you, but not just for that effect – rather in order to register my own conviction that here is a way of being a Marxist that no longer recommends itself – I am sorry to say that to be a member of the Marxist left today is to be part of something, a body of opinion, a political current, that is accursed."
What Geras is complaining about is the intellectual and moral depravity, so frequently characteristic of those on the Marxist Left. To wit:
"...this is a Marxist left that can make no further appeal to historical 'innocence'. It already knows the consequences of undemocratic organization, the absence of liberal safeguards, the elevation of the great leader; and of turning a blind eye to all this so as, supposedly, not to give comfort to enemies on the political right. It should know better, but it doesn't."
Moreover, Geras is keen to dispel the predictably lame objection that it is only a small section of the Left, and not at all increasingly mainstream:
"I anticipate, as one possible response to all this, that these ideas and activities may be features of a small fragment, the 'far left', but that it is too quickly generalizing on my part to treat them as any more widespread than that, or as typifying the Marxist left in general. I am familiar with this response and I don't accept it. To put it briefly and bluntly, I read. I read what goes on in the opinion pages of the national press, and so far from these tropes being confined to the far left, the SWP and its like, they extend even beyond what I have referred to as the more amorphous Marxist left, into broadly 'progressive' circles that would not willingly own to the name Marxist."
I say he is understating his case there for the benefit of polite company.

Whenever drawn on the topic of U.S. government policy vis-a-vis Taiwan, I unhesitatingly preface what I go on to say with the recognition that the current occupants of the White House are Marxists. This description is apparently to some, "inflammatory". Perhaps Geras himself would reject association with them. Yet, judging the current depraved condition of the Marxist Left, and judging the actions, inactions and associations of the current occupants of the White House (principally the President and the Secretary of State), I say that "Marxist" is a precise description (or perhaps "vulgar" Marxist).

And it isn't just me: here's the first of journalist and anthropologist Stanley Kurtz' five-part interview with Peter Robinson, in which Kurtz insists that his intention in researching the President's history was to downplay any associations with the "far left" and yet that was precisely what he found - in spades.

Geras' essay via Donald Sensing, via John Venlet.

And I got a laugh out of what Tam K had to say on Obama's phone chat with the Saudis:
"So Barry supposedly had a frosty phone call with King Abdullah over his unhandling of our unpolicy on the situation in Egypt. Dissed! Over the phone! All that bowing and scraping for nothing."

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