Groucho Marxism - Once Again

Kevin Cabral kcabral at
Sat Jun 8 19:21:34 MDT 1996

	For you entertainment, I present: Theses on Groucho Marxism by the
great proletariat revolutionary Bob Black.

                           THESES ON GROUCHO MARXISM


   Groucho Marxism, the theory of comedic revolution is much more than a
   blueprint for crass struggle: like a red light in a window, it
   illuminates humanity's inevitable destiny, the declasse society.
   G-Marxism is the theory of permanent revelry. (Down boy ! There,
   that's a good dogma.)


   The example of the Marx Brothers themselves shows the unity of Marxist
   theory and practice (for instance, when Groucho insults somebody while
   Harpo picks his pocket). Moreover, Marxism is dialectical (isn't Chico
   the classic dialect comedian ?). Comedians who fail to synthesize
   theory and practice (to say nothing of those who fail to sin at all)
   are un-Marxist. Subsequent comedians, failing to grasp that separation
   is "the discrete charm of the bourgeoisie", have lapsed into mere
   pratfalls on the one hand, and mere prattle on the other.


   Because G-Marxism is practical, its acheivements can never be reduced
   to mere humor, entertainment, or even "art". (The aesthetes, after
   all, are less interested in the appreciation of art than in art that
   appreciates.) After a genuine Marxist sees a Marx Brothers movie, he
   tells himself: "If you think that was funny, take a look at your


   Contempary G-Marxists must resolutely denounce the imitative, vulgar
   "Marxism" of the Three Stooges, Monty Python, and Bugs Bunny. Instead
   of vulgar Marxism, we must return to authentic Marxist vulgarity.
   Rectumification is likewise in order for those deluded comrades who
   think that "the correct line" is what the cop makes them walk when he
   pulls them over.


   Class-conscious Marxists (that is, Marxists who are conscious that
   they have no class) must spurn the anemic, trendy, narcissistic
   "comedy" of comedic revisionists like Woody Allen and Jules Feiffer.
   Already the comedic revolution has superseded mere neurosis - it's
   ludic but not ludicrous, discriminating but not discriminatory,
   militant but not military, and adventurous but not adventurist.
   Marxists realise that today you have to look into a funhouse mirror to
   see the way you really are.


   Although not entirely lacking in glimmers of Marxist insight,
   socialist (sur)realism must be distinguished from G-Marxism. It is
   true that Salvador Dali once gave Harpo a harp made out of barbed
   wire; however, there is no evidence that Harpo ever played it.


   Above all, it is essential to renounce and revile all comedic
   sectarianism such as that of the equine Trots. As is well-known,
   Groucho repeatedly proposed sex but opposed sects. For Groucho, then,
   there was a difference between being a Trot and being hot to trot.
   Further, the Trot slogan "Wages for Horsework" smacks of reform, not
   revelry. Trot efforts to claim A Day at the Races and Horsefeathers
   for their tendency must be indignantly rejected; in truth National
   Velvet is more their style.


   The burning issue confronting G-Marxists today is the party question,
   which - naive, reductionist "Marxists" to the contrary - is more than
   just "Whay wasn't I invited?" That never stopped Groucho! Marxists
   need their own disciplined vanguard party, since they're rarely
   welcome at anybody else's.


   Guided by the Marxist leader-dogmas of misbehaviourism and hysterical
   materialism, inevitably the masses will embrace, not only G-Marxism,
   but also each other.


   Groucho Marxism, then, is the tour de farce of comedy. As Harpo is
   reliably reported to have said:

  "In other words, comedy is riotous or it is nothing ! So much to do, so
   many to do it to ! On your Marx, get set - go ! "


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