Sunday, March 2, 2008

Marxist Nutters

Since the collapse of communism there has always been an argument that Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot etc were an aberration from real Marxism and therefore that real Communism had never really been tried. This has enabled some on the left to keep alive their belief in Marx despite the seeming failure of communism. Of course this is nonsense because, rather than being some accidental aberration, the totalitarianism that has resulted in every attempt to implement Marxism was an inevitable result of Marxism’s closed, utopian system and of the class-based demonization of whole groups of people, however well-meaning Marx’s original sentiments may have been in some respects. It does at least have some semblance of a basis for discussion, however.

This cannot be said of a whole other group of nutters who, rather than regarding Stalin and Mao as aberrant monsters, regard the real problem that caused the failure of communism as being that these great leaders were sold out by wishy-washy liberals like Kruschev and Deng Xiaoping. If only hard-core Stalinists and Maoists had inherited the mantle of communism, they argue, they could have carried on the good work, exterminated the last few million reactionaries opposing them and achieved the glorious world communist revolution. I first came across this weird field of human thought when reading some of the work of the French Structuralist, Marxist influenced philosophers like Badiou and Althusser. Badiou, for example, was for many years a Maoist, regarding the Culural Revolution as a great event. He has since gone on to create a new definition of the ethics of evil, which can accommodate his previous support for Mao, rather than simply `fes up and admit that he had been a bit of an idiot and wasn’t quite as smart as he thought.

Whilst this sort of behavior is perhaps not so unexpected from ivory tower French intellectuals, my prize for Leninist-Stalinist-Maoist Nutter of the year goes to this guy, Comrade Zero. It`s hard sometimes not to think that this site is a satire but he is seemingly for real. The site is replete with a multitude of ironies, for example simultaneously campaigning against police brutality in the USA whilst also arguing for the implementation of the policies of Stalin; that well-known advocate of caring, community policing.

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