[Marxism] Renegade Marxist intellectuals

Philip Ferguson plf13 at student.canterbury.ac.nz
Tue Mar 23 21:29:20 MST 2004


> In every other country in the world where there is a tradition of Marxist 
> thought, it is easier to make an affiliation with Marxism either as an 
> intellectual or an activist. The United States provides a very hostile 
> environment. Not only has it remained more prosperous, it has also elevated 
> rugged individualism to the level of a religion. The average working person 
> dreams of starting his own business, while the left-wing journalist or 
> academician is preoccupied with his career. As "Arguing the World" reveals, 
> when Marxism gets in the way of a career move, it is excess baggage easily 
> dumped overboard.

Not sure if that was Louis or he was reprinting it from somewhere else.

This trend is pretty strong outside the USA.  There is a whole big heap 
of 60s left intellectuals in Britain who ended up on the right in the 
80s and 90s.

Maybe the social pressure in the US is greater and Marxism had less 
acceptance in wider intellectual circles, but it is apretty common 
feature of left-wing academics to be preoccupied with their careers. 
These are basically people who are academics who happen to be left-wing 
at some point in time (often when it is easy), rather than left-wingers 
who happen to have jobs as academics.

In my view it is crucial that those of us who teach in universities see 
ourselves as Marxists who just happen to work in academia as a job to 
earn a living (and that we are very privileged to be able to do so).

Philip Ferguson






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