[Marxism] The Jihadism of Fools By Fred Halliday
brownh at hartford-hwp.com
Thu Feb 15 05:14:58 MST 2007
> Haines Brown: For example, it is debated just what "Marxism" is, but
> for the sake of argument let's suppose it is an ideology appropriate
> to the modern working class based on materialism and the dialectical
> method. If so, "communism" seem something altogether different.
> CB: Not in common usage. Marxism and communism seem very close if
> altogether identical.
> Surely the Dissent writers themselves don't consider themselves
OK, perhaps so, but you don't offer any counter argument. I boldly
offered single-sentence definitions of Marxism and communism, and I
suggest you do the same in order to illustrate that they are merely
differences within the same general category. For example, what
_ideological_ position is definitive for communism and is not Marxist
(I assume we are talking here of the communism of Lenin, Trotsky,
Stalin, Mao)? How would you demonstrate that communism is not so much
a political tactic, but instead is primarily ideological (a way
of seeing things rather than doing things)?
I turned to Wikipedia "social democracy" to get some idea of the
modern consensus, and concluded you may have a point. That is, many
social democrats apparently aim not at displacing capitalism (however
far down the road), but merely reforming it. But, of course, some
social democrats remain Marxist.
Now, how about Dissent? One thing that misled me was that I used to
read Dissent avidly when it first came out and it was my introduction
to Marxism. So I naturally thought of it as a Marxist journal. I've
not seen it since the mid 60s, and didn't even know it continued since
But all this is a minor affair, and of more immediate interest to me
is the implication that this list has an official ideological position
other than broadly "Marxist". Is that so? Is it the position of the
list that there is a difference between Marxism and communism, and if
so, where does it stand? And, whose "Marxism" and whose "communism" is
deemed proper? Or are the charges of sectarianism wrong and the list
welcomes all Marxist/communist viewpoints?
Haines Brown, KB1GRM
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