[Marxism] Marx as Left of the Marxists

Jurriaan Bendien bendien at tomaatnet.nl
Sun Feb 8 06:47:41 MST 2004

"Jurriaan boasts that he has advanced beyond Marxism...."

I don't "boast" this at all, it makes no sense, why should I want to do that
? This type of imputation or attribution precisely shows one facet of the
poverty of "Marxist" discourse to which I have referred. How can you get
anywhere if you impute false inclinations and motives to other people, who
are closest to your own way of thinking ?

The basic fallacy of Marxism in my opinion is the transformation of Marx's
ideas from a tool or method to understand and change the world, ideas that
you use to understand social reality, into an ideological system which must
be propagandised, and to which people must be converted. Its easy to do, in
the transition from student radicalism to mature political activity.

That is the basic source of the prejudice, racism and hatred I've personally
had from various Marxists, and the foundation of Marxist sectarianism and
opportunism. Once you can distinguish appropriately between Marx's own
thought and the socialist movement which preceded him and succeeded him in
all its variants, then you are in a much better position to have a healthy,
effective politics and healthy, effective human relations.

A while ago, at the end of October 2003, I criticised the way Cockburn
slated Paul Krugman, and wrote in all modesty "The question that needs to be
asked is what we achieve by polemically writing off Krugman and calling him
nasty names. Krugman is a very learned left-liberal economist capable of
very good critical inquiry into the US economy and suggesting positive
alternatives. I personally believe we should aim to attract people like that
to the socialist movement, rather than vent abuse language against them. By
doing so, we just shoot ourselves in the foot more than anything else."

You should have seen the response to what I wrote ! The infantile,
Hitler-Marxists go apeshit. They regard themselves as experts on judging
human character, politically or otherwise. How dare I suggest such a thing !
Krugman was supposed to be a liberal scourge, a Clintonite arse-licker and
what not besides.

That shows you once again that Marxism is for many an undeclared religious
faith, where people look for confirmation of their faith. If Bush demonises
Saddam Hussein, the Marxists are against it. But the Marxists feel it's
quite okay to demonise all sorts of other people, including Bush, and engage
in character assasination. This is "politics" and this is "class struggle"
according to them. To me, it's characterless nonsense, infantilism.  The
best Marxists either applied Marx's insights to write a good book, make a
good work of art, or changed the world for the better through political
activity. The rest of them just look for something to confirm their faith,
and are disgruntled by the lack of progress of the Marxist movement.

Personally, just like Louis, I don't like people like D. Horowitz and C.
Hitchens - they're anti-socialists who believe in the progressiveness of
bourgeois class power, in the rule of elites with whom they seek to
ingratiate themselves. But if you explore the psychology of these people
biographically, you have to conclude that they share many of the same faults
and personality patterns with many Marxists.

Marx's ideas will not die out, socialism will not die out either. Marxism
will. If I want to understand a Marxist, I just look at his or her partner.
That tells me all I need to know.


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