Skip to main content

View Diary: The "Marxism is coming back" trope (264 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Nice piece. (11+ / 0-)

    Succinct and cogent.

    I, frankly, find Douthat's reference to

    "cultural identity — family and faith, sovereignty and community"
    more than a little sinister, evoking as it does the 20th century's chief ideological rival to Marxism. The crux of which being that nationalist, ethnic and racial cohesion could substitute for a radical revision of political economy.

    I haven't yet read The Nation article, so I've no opinion of your take on it. However, is this an actual quote:

    "...the radical 'Marxists' are all a bunch of dogmatists who think revolution is the big thing, and so you should loudly proclaim your indifference to the scene."
    or only a summation of your own view?

    Nothing human is alien to me.

    by WB Reeves on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 02:35:49 PM PDT

    •  The above sentence-clause (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WB Reeves, eyo, 4Freedom, TomP, caul, FindingMyVoice

      is my characterization of the general dismissal of marxism and of radicalism that you see among certain writers who want to define themselves into a non-marxist peer group.  Shenk wrote a biography of Maurice Dobb, after all, and so it stands to reason that he ought to know better than to end his piece in The Nation with such an offhand dismissal of marxism.

      "Assume man to be man and his relationship to the world to be a human one: then you can exchange love only for love, trust for trust" -- Karl Marx

      by Cassiodorus on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 03:08:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for the clarification (0+ / 0-)

        I thought as much but I wanted to be sure I was getting it right.

        I'll have to read the piece. My off hand reaction to the quoted portion is colored by the fact that I recently read a long, rhetoric laden exchange where a small business owner, a shop keeper with no employees, was denounced for being petit bourgeois and incapable of solidarity with the interests of workers, despite having expressed sympathy with those interests.

        Not the kind of thing I think Marx had in mind but every such instance gets hung around the neck of both Charlie and marxism generally.

        Nothing human is alien to me.

        by WB Reeves on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 03:39:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Even creepier, he writes about populist energy (12+ / 0-)
      from movements like the Tea Party, Britain’s UKIP, France’s National Front and others that incorporate some Piketty-esque arguments (attacks on crony capitalism; critiques of globalization) but foreground cultural anxieties instead.
      a litany of fascist, racist, xeonophic groups.  Invoking them as anything but malevolent forces is very revealing for Douthat.

      Steve Gilliard Lives.

      by Bethesda 1971 on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 03:48:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Woah! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dirtandiron, TomP, Bethesda 1971

        That is pretty blatant. Disturbing.

        Such people bear watching.

        Nothing human is alien to me.

        by WB Reeves on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 04:32:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  in fairness, those groups are populist (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dirtandiron, Bethesda 1971

        Populism is anti-elite, not simply anti-rich, and it's also anti-other.  Populists are always and everywhere going to be skeptical of immigration and foreign influences in general out of the fear that these are necessarily hostile to "the people" simply by virtue of being different from them, and that bringing them over in large numbers and legislating accommodating them is going to smother the people.  The cynical populist laments that the only people who have any rights in a country are people who don't live there, and that's as true for rich countries as it is for poor countries.

        Ironically the belief that all poor people everywhere are on the same side simply by virtue of being poor is quintessentially Marxist.  Marx rejected national identity as well as racial and religious identities as part of "false consciousness".

        Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

        by Visceral on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 04:40:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I suspect it's just idiocy (0+ / 0-)

      rather than Nazism.

      Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 05:45:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Important to recognize that Nazism is a subset (0+ / 0-)

        of the larger phenomenon of Fascism.

        Both are historic proof that idiocy is no measure of the danger an ideology can pose.

        Nothing human is alien to me.

        by WB Reeves on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 09:37:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What I'm saying is that the dipshit assertion (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          WB Reeves

          that writer just made about how the problem isn't anything economic but the fading of cultural identity, etc etc ignores the obvious connections between, duh, economics and culture. I'm going to assume here that this is willful ignorance on part of writer, who needed a handy binary to get him out of his troubles, no matter how false said binary was.

          I mean, really; like Mexican culture wasn't affected by NAFTA and its effect on Mexican agriculture? Like indigenous cultures haven't been affected by the economics of reservation life, or the economic aspects of being a racial minority? One really really obvious way that economics influences culture quite directly is in real estate development.

          For instance, this is one example of culture, recorded on film and integrated into John Landis' movie The Blues Brothers, itself, of course, culture in a different way:

          But if you get Landis' Director's Cut of Blues Brothers you get to hear that Maxwell Street, where this scene was filmed, no longer exists. The land became part of the University of Illinois, the market was moved, gentrified, and moved a second time. Presto chango! Where did that bit of culture go? The quickness of the hand deceives the eye. Oh, well, that probably wasn't important; culture isn't anything real anyway. Except when we need to throw around the concept of culture to evade a logical conclusion.

          Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 01:59:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  All good points (0+ / 0-)

            but as another commenter pointed out, the writer actually celebrates "populist energy", referencing Right wing political formations such as the T-Party and the National Front as examples.

            Whatever he has in mind, I'm pretty sure it isn't cultural expressions like the Maxwell Street Market.

            Nothing human is alien to me.

            by WB Reeves on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 03:46:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site