The node title
is also the title of book by Toni Negri
However, this node, for my part at this time, is not going to be about Negri's book because when I tried to read it few years ago it was so damn difficult (in addition, it wasn't written in my native language) I had to give it up after dozen pages.
So, the node will concentrate in the abuses of Marx. Basically, there are three kind of maltreatments:
- Strawman critique
- Relying on interpretations
- 1: Marxism-Leninism
- First of all, Lenin & co. were revolutionaries. They were not "pure" marxist even though Marx gave them a good hand. The soviet block developed their own dogmatic form of marxism, marxism-leninism to justify the regime of the communist party. The bolsheviks were revolutionary Russian elite, pretty much in the same way as famous nihilists of Russia were supposed to be part of the "better folks". They picked suitable sentences out of Marx's texts, often ripping them out of the context.
- 2: Strawman critique
- I call the second category strawman critique because many of those who condemn the thinking of Marx have never read a single line by him. The abusers of this category make up something Marx never said and attack against ghosts invented by themselves. Very often persons falling into this category pick up something practised in Soviet Union and consider that would represent Marx.
One may take a quick look at this category reading some nodes I've already written to see what I mean.
- 3: Relying on interpretations
- I think it's useful to have a special category for those who are familiar with different trends in marxism but not with Karl Marx himself. Maybe they have read a lot: critique of Marx by the advocates of capitalism, structuralist marxism, ISO tendency, etc. But never Marx himself. It's more than common that some one knows the work by, say Friedrich Hayek, and thinks (s)he's qualified to show the finger for Marx. Nope.
- And then what?
- Eh, even it may sound hypocritical after such a rhapsody I have to say it's not my ambition to clear the name of Marx. Or at least my purpose is not to salute him. I belong myself pretty much in the third category even though I've read something at least. (Grundrisse is the next big project when I find some time, and that will do with "beard-Karl"..) I know Marx made several flaws but still he has some importance as a thinker. I'm just bit fed up with all hullabalooza when you even dare to mention the name of Karl Marx. He shouldn't be an authorative figure we should bow five times a day nor a poor old cunt who wrote some bullshit, in drunk. Maybe it's better you check yourself!
Das Kapital The Communist Manifesto