[Marxism] Fwd: Do 1500 year old theological debates explain Stalin? Roland Boer’s latest nonsense | Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Apr 19 11:27:55 MDT 2016

The Australian theologian and Joseph Stalin publicist Roland Boer is a 
rather ubiquitous figure on the left. He has turned up on Yoshie 
Furuhashi’s blog (aka MRZine) and the journal of the British SWP. He was 
the recipient of the Isaac Deutscher Prize in 2014 for a book titled “In 
the Vale of Tears: On Marxism and Theology”, the final installment in a 
five-part series that for some unfathomable reason has earned plaudits 
from people such as Paul LeBlanc. This book has been published by 
Historical Materialism (and republished in paperback by the ISO). Since 
his admirers (except for Furuhashi) have shown a marked aversion to 
Stalinism, it is a bit of a mystery why they seem to overlook one of his 
main activities—blogging at Stalin’s Moustache. For some on the 
anti-Stalinist left, the blog appears harmless. Scott McLemee put it 
this way in a November 2014 Inside Higher Education column:

	Anyone attempting to extract ideological significance from that title 
does so at his or her own peril. Boer himself indicates that it was 
inspired by General Tito’s remark “Stalin is known the world over for 
his moustache, but not for his wisdom.”

Frankly, there is an ideological significance to the blog, whatever you 
make of the moustache. In fact, Roland Boer is one of the Internet’s 
prime sources of Stalinist ideology alongside Grover Furr and some of 
the more obscure websites associated with tiny sects hoping to breathe 
new life in a moribund movement. At one time, someone like Boer would 
have had a lot more traction. When SDS self-demolished in the early 70s, 
there were any number of Stalin imitators such as Mike Klonsky and 
Robert Avakian who after crawling out of the wreckage would have hoisted 
Boer on their shoulders. Ironically, his biggest admirers today happen 
to be people with a heavy commitment to anti-Stalinist politics. Go figure.


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