[Marxism] Fragmenting Left

Jurriaan Bendien andromeda246 at hetnet.nl
Sun May 30 03:04:29 MDT 2004


Jack writes:

"I dont understand why what is called the left seems to 
just endlessly fragment. It is so much like the crazy
religious types I grew up around, always damning the
'liberals' and heretics, purifying that small band of
the pure and true believers." 

Interesting comment. I think it is possible to 
understand it. Of course the ISO does not 
define "the Left". Many Leftwing people are really conservative,
and many liberals are really Leftwing. The distinction
between Left and Right makes sense, if you can define
the polarity, or if you can define different positions 
taken with respect to a specific issue or goal. 
But "the Left" does not really exist as a group of
people, at most you can talk about "a body of 
progressive opinion". 

Somebody might be very radical in their head,
but conservative in their action or lifestyle, and 
conversely somebody might be an ideological 
conservative, but engage in very radical 
progressive action. It can be very hard to get
ideologies and lifestyles together, especially
if you're very different. :-)

People who are old, and who have seen it all 
and done it all in life, can have helpful insights
to offer in this respect. See for example the
article by the wonderful American novelist Kurt 
Vonnegut (now aged 81) at 
http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0512-13.htm .
(Vonnegut has been a regular contributor).

Jurriaan
 






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