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PM Carpenter, your host. Email: pmcarp at mchsi dot com.
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October 11, 2011


Marc McKenzie

Great post, PM....and sadly, spot on.

Writers like Todd Gitlin (in the US), Al Giordano, and Nick Cohen (in the UK) have chronicled what happened to the Left since the late 1960s until today--and it isn't pretty. It is, however, ignored by too many.

CK MacLeod

"who years ago ingested the same great politico-philosophical works that so many of us have"

Do you mean Niebuhr? His warnings about seeking or achieving some notional final victory over the Commie other, amidst the settling of last properly American frontiers, are worth considering very closely at this stage in American history.

Robert Lipscomb

I hope that the Democrat Party takes on the role of unions. that is to say that we negotiate benefits for workers that they are unable to obtain for themselves. and i want it for the 99%.

I take umbrage with those on the left who point out how much those at the 9 percentile make and argue that they are not with us. One needs to look at the 400 families who ownhalf of the wealth of the country to see that the 99 percentile are just not in their league or country club or country. Yes, the couple who are making $500,000 a year are getting screwed by the patriarchs, just as we are.

Unions have been neutered. we can get European style benefits only if if one major party becomes the Labor Party. The GOP will not fill that role. It is up to the Democrats or some spin-off from them.

CK MacLeod

"Yes, the couple who are making $500,000 a year are getting screwed by the patriarchs, just as we are."
No, not just as we are.

Since this comment thread proceeds under the heading of "end of Marxism," I'll use the Marxian categories: They belong to a very different petit bourgeois stratum.

Consider the recent Republican reply to the "99%" slogan: Compared to rest of the world (insert photograph of child-victims of some unspecified African famine), "you" are a member of the 1%. The statement is as true-enough as it is nakedly amoral, a brute appeal to material self-interest, a reminder that membership in the club is contingent on continued good behavior.

All of us, including our honorable host, are writing our assessments of the state of politics and history as interested parties. So we of course reject the notion that our consciousness could be false. What else would someone suffering from false consciousness do?

We may be "getting screwed" along with the 500k/annum lackeys by those at the tippy-top, but everyone's screwed. Wherever you stop on the ladder, you find someone who cannot find satisfaction in the position afforded him or her by Capital. Marx, at least in his Young Hegelian mode, understood this, but praxis, as usual, tended to override such insight in favor of action, which in political terms often seems to mean finding, naming, and, if possible, destroying enemies.

In the 20th Century, bad praxis almost totally overwhelmed its supposed philosophical bases, to the point of fully obscuring them. Nonetheless, the neo-Marxian critique of Late Capitalism, and specifically of financialized neo-liberalism against the declining rate of profit in high tech industry has been rather well borne out in recent history, up to the present moment.

As the early dialectical materialist Lao-Tse put it, nature empties that which is full, and fills that which is empty. The communist moment has not passed: It's just taking its world-historical superhuman time to arrive, and works by mysterious means. As the early Marxist prophets explained, a thousand years is only a blink of an eye for the Almighty World Revolution.

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