[Marxism] A comment from a young Marxist

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri May 11 08:00:35 MDT 2012

(This appeared under Pham Binh's "Liquidating Lies".)

As someone who started identifying as a Marxist six months ago, I 
find the state of the Marxist Left in the US to be embarrassing. 
Frankly, in addition to blaming myself, I blame the absurd 
sectarian squabbles for the reason I didn’t become a Marxist years 
ago – because to the extent that I even knew about these tiny 
grouplets (I didn’t) I probably considering them fringe groups 
stuck in the past. They also have no web presence, because they 
have successfully divided up into enough factions to render them 
negligible in a networked world of exponential returns. It’s a 
small miracle that I managed to find my way to Marxism, instead of 
becoming an anarchist like everyone else my age who is radicalized 
these days.

The challenge facing the Marxist left would seem to me obvious. 
There aren’t enough Marxists. And there aren’t enough Marxists 
because the Marxists have isolated themselves from everyone else. 
These organizations seem paranoid about being diluted by those who 
do not meet their purity tests, but in reality there is nothing to 
dilute because they don’t even have anything approaching a 
legitimate party yet alone a mass movement. And then when a mass 
movement does come alone (OWS) they sit on the sidelines 
criticizing it for not meeting their ideal, which becomes a 
self-fulfilling prophecy because they largely refuse to work with it.

In addition there seems to be a lot of personal issues with people 
who would rather be a big fish in a small pond than actually see 
the mass movement they sit around talking about flourish. As it 
stands, these groups are mostly irrelevant by their own choosing.

I’m sure I could dig up some quotes from a historical Marxist to 
back up my perspective, but I don’t give a shit, because as much 
as I personally love history this obsession with historical 
theoretical texts is part of the problem. Until you guys get your 
act together i’ll be working with the anarchists, who frankly are 
100x more enjoyable to be around.


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