Living Marxism

Bringing Marxism to life

Bringing Marxism to life

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Lenin at Finland Station

There is a need for a blog that is up front about using Marxism as a guide to everyday life. I already do this as part of a revolutionary party and as a teacher. But there is a need for some more living Marxism in the blogsphere.

There are plenty of broadly Marxist blogs that talk about the big and small events taking place all over the world.

But these are blogs which assume a broad left audience that has some basic knowledge of Marxism. The default position of these blogs is usually a dumbed down form of Marxism that deals with social classes as if they are relations of exchange. That is, what’s wrong with capitalism is that it exploits and oppresses people by not paying full value for the commodities that they produced.

The solution is to organise to force the bosses’ to pay full value or “fair value”. It was exactly such backsliding that Marx objected to in his Critique of the Gotha Program, and when he said he was not a “Marxist” like his son-in-law Paul Lafargue who was proposing to reform capitalism.

Today, the dumbed down Marxism is common in the theories and programs of the broad left that marries Marx to all sorts of people. Chavez in Venezuela marries Marx to Jesus. Prachanda in Nepal marries Marx to the World Bank.

This dumbing down of Marxism is understandable since the 20th century gave Marxism a tough time, and today its even tougher to fight for ideas that seem to be dead, tried and failed, or plain mumbojumbo.

But the fact is that these ‘Marxists’ are bastardising Marx because it is in their interests to do so. They are bourgeois or bureaucratic ‘Marxists’ who act as agents for capitalism by fooling the masses into excepting deals where they continue to be exploited and oppressed.

Hence most ‘Marxists’ deliberately act to obscure and prevent the use of powerful Marxist concepts to make sense of everyday life to prove that the real Marx is the key to understanding their lives and what they must do to change society.

They end up as a left wing of capitalism arguing for reforms instead of revolution.

Worse, some former Marxists like the defunct “Living Marxism” now reborn as have abandoned any reference to Marxism, and end up pushing purely libertarian ideals.

I chose the name for this blog because bringing Marxism to life is too important to be abandoned in the rush to the right or to revolutionary phrases.

The Living Marxism I identify with is that of the struggle of the Fourth International to replace the Stalinist Third International in the 1930s up to the time of Trotsky’s assassination in 1940.

I’ll keep you posted.

Written by raved

June 16, 2008 at 11:19 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. […] I have argued elsewhere, exchange theory views capitalism as a system in which one class exploits another (leaving aside […]

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