… but given the world’s experience with every other marxist revolution, we might want to be careful about what changes we make in American society and how we make them.No Cambodians, Zimbabweans, or Venezuelans were available for comment as this post was written. However, several Czechs and Poles noted their experience was that making political systems more like our has reduced oppression in their countries.
The Overton Window is the range of ideas which are considered acceptable for public consideration and debate. It moves around as the climate of public opinion changes.
President Trump’s speech at Mt. Rushmore was an attempt to move the window upward to include a more respectful view of the Enlightenment principles generally held by the Founding Fathers and away from the Postmodern Neo-marxist worldview underpinning much of the turbulence in America these days. I hope he was successful. I’m not sure that he was. Oh, he did a fine job of rallying the people who already agree with him, but he was preaching to the choir.
Let me extend that metaphor a bit. I’m not sure how effective he was as an evangelist, one who brings good news to the unconverted. There are a large number of Americans who have come to believe the marxist fallacy that everything can be defined as a power struggle among various identity groups, and that someone else’s is the result of privilege and oppression. They want what they see as their turn controlling the levers of power, and many of them are willing to tear down the current system in order to change things.
What many of them don’t understand is the difference between the ideals of the American Revolution and so many others—the people have granted power to the government so it may serve them not rule over them. Those who wish to be change things so that they can become part a new ruling class need to look at the history of those other revolutions. Only a few of the revolutionaries become part of the nomenklatura, and even fewer make it into the Inner Party. The rest become the proles in a failing society.
The good news these folks need to hear is that the American Revolution produced a melting pot society where everyone’s positive contribution has a chance to prosper. It’s not a perfect society, but it’s the best humanity has come up with to date. Events such as the Minneapolis riots or the failure of Antifastan in Seattle are hitting some with a dose of Reality that may show them the folly of their worldview.
It will be interesting to see how they react.
Meanwhile, I hope President’s speech successfully framed some of the questions to be considered by the public between now and the Third of November.
Karl Marx was a man of the 19th Century. As such, his philosophical and economic models are less refined than later thinkers who had the benefit of more historical experience, While it is probably impossible to drag Democratic Socialist politicians (Bernie Sanders, ¡Ocasio! She Guevara, etc.) into the 21st Century, perhaps they can be induced to consider basing their programs on the work of 20th-Century Marxists.
In one sense, they already do. They keep wanting to try the same failed “solutions” to nonexistent problems. That strategy models Chico’s economic behavior; he squandered his earnings and kept betting on the wrong horses. Clearly, Groucho’s approach was better. His cheerfully irreverent approach to the facts (“How the elephant got in my pajamas …”) and willingness to deal with them usually led to desirable outcomes.
However, the correct model for them is Harpo. They should just shut up and let us laugh at them.
It’s the first day of May and a big day for Marxists around the world to celebrate their various workers’ paradises.
And then there’s this—
I think so, Brain … but why would a Marxist screw in a light bulb? Wouldn’t he expect it to contain the seeds of it’s own revolution?
Stacy McCain has a post up on the Marxist underpinnings of feminism.
Before you go off to read the whole thing, allow me go Hegelian on you.
If we take feminism as the thesis and its real world fruits as the antithesis, we could call the synthesis Dielectical Immaterialism.
Roger Kimball has a review of the French philosopher Raymond Aron’s critique of Marxism, The Opium of the Intellectuals at PJ Media. It’s worth reading, especially considering the Marxist leanings of the OWSers.
In his foreword to The Opium of the Intellectuals, Aron noted that he directed his argument “not so much against the Communists as against the communisants,” against those fellow travelers for whom the West is always wrong and who believe that people can “be divided into two camps, one the incarnation of good and the other of evil.”
The primary target of Aron’s polemic was fanaticism. But he also recognized that the defeat of fanaticism often leads to a contrary spiritual sickness, indifference. Both are expressions of the ultimate enemy, nihilism. Skepticism, Aron wrote, is useful or harmful depending on which is more to be feared at the moment: fanaticism or apathy. The intervening faculty that orients us appropriately is practical wisdom, prudence, “the god” (Aron quotes Burke) “of this lower world.”
Aron’s indictment of intellectual intoxication is not the same thing as an indictment of intellectuals. He was not anti-intellectual or contemptuous of ideas. This was not simply because he was an intellectual himself. He clearly discerned the immense power, for good or ill, that ideas can have. “Intellectuals suffer from their inability to alter the course of events,” he noted. “But they underestimate their influence. In a long term sense, politicians are the disciples of scholars or writers.”