[Marxism] Re.: Terry Eagleton

Chris Brady cdbrady at sbcglobal.net
Sun Feb 1 13:18:57 MST 2004

Dave Dorkin focused on William Deresiewicz's criticisms of Terry
[Deresiewicz's words]
"His fertility, it turns out, is partly a matter of shameless
Chomsky was criticized the same way in a recent New York Times article.
We got a laugh out of that on this list.  So bogus.

[Deresiewicz drones on from a higher moral plane:]
"Eagleton wishes for capitalism's demise, but as long as it's here, he
plans to do as well as he can out of it" and "Someone who owns three
homes shouldn't be preaching self-sacrifice."

Wow, talk about class envy!  That's the very sin that capitalists charge
against anyone to the left of liberals.  There are Marxists who work in
economics and finance.  In fact, their work led them to recognize the
truth of Marxism: the evidence was in their face.  (Some examples may be
found in the MR school.  Then there's Engels.  Many bourgeois hacks find
it fulfilling to point out that many advocates of the proletariat are
actually not proletarian--as if that meant anything other than class
position augments education.).

Any mature Marxist would tell you that individualism is the antithesis
of the movement for social and economic justice, and (through that
process:) peace.  We can’t change the world by self-flagellation and/or
begging.  And where’s the contradiction in a socialist call for
redistribution of wealth, regardless of one’s personal possessions or
social position?  They might even make the call more genuine.  (I
imagine that many of the better off would gladly forsake their
privileges if it was guaranteed they would be replaced by equality,
social and economic justice, and peace—in effect, a transformation of
private quantities into a general quality of life.  But that’s beside
the point.)

When a clever individual does well, and is quite critically forthright
in the identification of the reasons why, such as factors of class, race
and gender in a capitalist political economy, as in Eagleton's case,
their insights into the insides of the system provided by their
experience and analysis MIGHT be of some use.  But often bourgeoisie
evaluators find it easier to mock intelligence with ad hominem attacks,
rather than to grapple with the facts and the more complicated and
critical issues of theory.

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