A New Tack; or, Smash Your Damned Idols

A New Tack; or, Smash Your Damned Idols

I swear to whatever remains holy, if I see another Marxist pamphlet with Lenin’s face emblazoned on it, if I have to read another schismatic party’s organ hailing 1917 as “the most important event in human history,” I’m going to join the EDL. This is not the way forward. It is, in fact, exactly the opposite.

There is a reason I describe myself as Marxian rather than Marxist, as non-aligned rather than a party member. Too much of what qualifies as campaigning, as organising, as “fighting the good fight” amongst the Left of today is a just a stultifying, inward-looking, Bourgeois circle-jerk. If a puerile clown like Russell Brand can get people more excited about politics than we can, we who claim to have the answers (or at least the program), it’s pretty obvious we are doing something wrong.

Which working-class person, in this day and age, gives a flying fuck about Lenin, or Trotsky, or any other Menshevik/Bolshevik? None, that’s who. The whole experiment of the USSR was a fiasco, and should be consigned to history. Lenin is no hero – he, almost alone, had the power to stop Stalin from undoing whatever good had been accomplished in 1917, and he didn’t. Mind you, it’s likely the same, or worse, would have happened under Trotsky, but there you have it. We need to set our sights on the 21st century, not the 19th. Rather than offering discussion groups on the Communist Manifesto, we should be reading Harvey, or Cockshott, or anyone who isn’t actually 90 years dead. The Manifesto is a historical document of interesting note, certainly, but it is a product of its time, and doesn’t have very much to say about what’s on the ground today. Ain’t no spectre haunting Europe these days, unless it’s that of religious extremism and state oppression in the wings.

I’m not advocating for unreflective action, far from it. We should still read Lenin, we should still read Marx – but foisting rhetoric on an unreceptive public? That is no way of popularising our position. We have to recognise the damage done to our brand by the McCarthy’s, the Thatcher’s, the Reagan’s of the world. If we don’t offer people something real, something tangible tailored to their own reality, then they are just going to look at us with the same suspicion that’s been our unfair due for the last 100 years.

Self-congratulatory stances following having the biggest bloc at the local rally makes you look like a pissant. This isn’t a dick-waving contest. And if you think that that is what is of primary importance, building some mystical “Revolutionary Party,” rather than helping people in our own communities, now, well, I don’t want to be part of it. There hasn’t been any sort of viable revolutionary party in any of the Western European countries since Marx himself, and, it’s no big secret, ain’t gonna be one any time soon, either. What remains to us is to improve what we can, where we can, how we can. If that makes me some dirty Immediatist, so be it. Time is running out for us.


Posted on October 26, 2014, in Maunderings and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: