[Marxism] Kolakowski celeb

Jurriaan Bendien bendien at tomaatnet.nl
Sat Feb 14 15:20:27 MST 2004

The elites always like to embellish, coquet and ornament their lives with
interesting, inspirational people who affirm and assure them that their
wealth, their efforts and their power is in full accordance with the
loftiest human ideals.

Basically Kolakowski equates Marx and Marxism with punk, and that is exactly
how the bourgeois elites also look upon it - interesting, flattering but
basically harmless. Kolakowski is basically a humanistic "Christian Science
Monitor" type of liberal with a lot of interesting and worthwhile ideas
about all sorts of topics. It's all about the spirit of free and critical
inquiry. When you get too many of these neocon Hitlers around, then you ned
people like Kolakowski to remind people of the nuance.

He's writes in a way which it is difficult to disagree with, and in fact, he
himself argues you can be a liberal, conservative and socialist all at the
same time, anything to get your rocks off, you know, the important thing is
to agree, and not to disagree. But as regards his interpretations of Marx
and Marxism, I'm personally very skeptical of them.

His ideas are academicist and strongly influenced by his own experience of
Polish Marxism-Leninism-Jaruzelskism. Isaac Deutscher is a much more
trustworthy source on Polish communism, though, of course, he's dead now,
and Kolakowski is alive, which is a definite advantage, because the dead
don't talk back anymore, except in the sense that somebody digs out the
truth after the fact.

What you need to ask yourself is why there are no young advocates of
Kolakowski-type ideas anymore, young people with a bit of sap who would get
this kind of prize. Is it that the American ideals of humanistic-liberal
critical thought all look like Kolakowskis these days ? Why didn't
Kolakowski get a prize like that, when he wrote dissident texts about
socialism for which he could get arrested or even killed ?

 John W. Kluge was a billionaire broadcasting and telecommunications
investor associated with Metromedia Company (New York) as far as I know. In
broadcasting exploitation, they always like to have the freedom to do what
they want to do, to exploit the poor for ideas for private profit, so it
makes sense if Kluge would support independent, free-thinking people like
Kolakowski who provide a justifying ideology for them.

And the Librarians are happy also, because library work is often dependent
on donations, especially when governments try to turn them into
profit-generating factories. People come and go, libraries remain, but the
librarians'custodianism requires an income to sustain itself too.

Basically, the American ruling class likes to use Marxist insights and
skills in order to make capitalism and imperialism work better, that is all.
Both Democratic and Republican politicians can be very pragmatic about that;
they're just looking for insights they can use for their purposes, things
which can move people or inspire them.

There is nothing radical about Kolakowski these days, at least,  I haven't
read anything that suggests that.

Reference: http://www.namebase.org/xkli/Leszek-Kolakowski.html


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