Chris Cutrone

Chris Cutrone is a college educator, writer, and media artist, committed to critical thinking and artistic practice and the politics of social emancipation. ( . . . )

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Consciousness is essential — why the death of the Left is consequential: A rejoinder to Benedict Cryptofash


Chris Cutrone

Platypus Review 145 | April 2022

BENEDICT CRYPTOFASH CRITICIZES me for using the “Left” as a concept for its alleged idealism and metaphysical essentialism.[1] But by identifying the “Left” with a group of people, e.g. members of Jacobin/DSA et al., Cryptofash reifies the phenomenon of the Left, and in the worst possible way, by personalizing it. But even in colloquial discourse it is well understood that Left and Right represent principles not people. This is why someone who was a Leftist can become a Rightist: he can change his mind.

The Left is not a thing but rather expresses a process; moreover the Left refers to the tendency or force of a historical process. Aaron Benanav criticized Platypus for its preoccupation with the Left rather than with class — similar to the criticism of Platypus by my old ex-comrades of the Spartacist League[2] — and referred as Cryptofash does to the Left as the Left-wing of capitalism, as if this disqualified the concept.[3] But Marxism always considered itself to be the consciousness of the historical tendency of capitalism that pointed beyond it and that was necessary in order to actually get beyond it. For instance, Lenin considered the Marxist approach to socialism to be overcoming capitalism on the basis of capitalism itself. But that tendency was self-contradictory in that it pointed both further beyond capitalism but also back to the reconstitution of its historical roots in bourgeois society — the society of labor Download Windows 7 PhotoViewer. The modern labor movement of the proletarianized working class was itself the core engine of capitalist development, driving the industrial development of production, which contradicted and undermined and destroyed its bourgeois social relations, producing crisis. The problem with the present Left — and for the past hundred years — is that it no longer expresses the emerging and developing consciousness of the subject of a historical tendency — proletarian socialism — but rather the memory of something that proceeds today seemingly objectively — without a corresponding political movement aiming to go beyond it. In the absence of such a subjective consciousness of history as a phenomenon in practice, capitalism itself appears to regress.[4] This regression is something that can be observed in both long-term and short-term political processes.

In my previous article in this thread, I tried to explain very briefly the mind of original historical Marxism as a political movement.[5] I will now try to illustrate the point with the example of the leader of Jacobin/DSA, Bhaskar Sunkara, who recently took over the historically progressive liberal Nation magazine. Sunkara has apparently changed since he published an article in The Nation, “Reclaiming Socialism” (2015), in which, under the influence of my teachings in Platypus, he cited Kołakowski’s “Concept of the Left” to justify his political vision.[6] Back then, Sunkara’s influences were Lenin and Kautsky (from “when Kautsky was still a Marxist,” as Lenin put it[7]) Hot body. But this is no longer the case.

More recently, Sunkara claimed that he was less a follower of Kautsky than of Ralph Miliband. This is in keeping with the 2017 statement written by Vivek Chibber to distinguish Jacobin/DSA’s perspective from that of the Marxism of Kautsky and Lenin, “Our Road to Power” — by contrast with Kautsky’s 1909 The Road to Power, which Lenin followed in the Revolution of 1917.[8] I addressed this on the 150th anniversary of Lenin’s birth, to which Sunkara and Leo Panitch replied, defending Miliband’s “Marxist” bona fides against my characterization of him as a “liberal” — a proponent of a liberal democratic road to socialism, very much like the reformist Revisionism of Eduard Bernstein et al. from more than fifty years earlier.[9] Miliband’s idea, with which Sunkara, Chibber and Panitch agreed, was that the capitalist state could not be overthrown and replaced by the working class’s own organizations in the dictatorship of the proletariat, but had to be worked through existing liberal democratic electoral means to a potential transformation of society — the endless dream of reformist social democracy (through the Democratic Party of all vehicles!) that has ensnared the Millennial Left like the generations before them. Most recently, Sunkara said that socialism was probably ultimately impossible in the U.S., but at least some “social democracy” was possible, by which he meant public sector and welfare state expansion.[10] This was an abandonment of Marxist ideas, or at least of their current relevance politically.

Perhaps Sunkara thinks he has remained consistent, but there seems to be some change of mind Mysterious apartment free. Perhaps not in principle — perhaps he still finds socialism desirable but not possible, and ultimately not necessary to meet the needs of the present — but certainly in terms of practical politics and what he takes to be the “art of the possible,” which is the essence of politics. In so doing, he has abandoned the Left’s role in pushing — and transcending — the envelope of possibility and realizing hitherto unrealized potentials, not even necessarily in changing society but merely in renewing the Left and socialism or Marxism as a political tendency. Sunkara has abandoned the task of building a socialist party. Instead, Sunkara et al. among the Millennial Left have fallen back upon the dead traditions of the past post-Marxist “Left” — accepting and reinforcing the liquidation of proletarian socialism over the course of the past century, since Lenin’s time. This is why and how it takes the form of calls for a “new New Deal” etc.[11]

This downward trajectory in perspectives is a significant degeneration of consciousness on the part of a key leader of the Millennial Left. Five years ago I called it the death of the Millennial Left, in its liquidation into the Democratic Party.[12] It has only grown worse since then. I take Cryptofash’s objection to “Leftism” to be a symptomatic phenomenon of the same degeneration, but one which throws the baby out with the bathwater, in rejecting Jacobin/DSA’s road back to the Democrats. Cryptofash derogates consciousness by calling it “idealistic” and “metaphysical,” an “abstract” and so supposedly unreal “essence.” But then one must ask what the purpose of Cryptofash’s own writings is 택시 드라이버. What is the point of his arguments if all that matters is “material reality”? Indeed, in prioritizing empirical reality over consciousness, Cryptofash follows the present dead “Left’s” lead into accommodating the power of the status quo, abandoning the consciousness of how it could and should be changed — first of all, how the present “Left” must be fundamentally changed. Cryptofash’s “anti-Leftist Marxism” merely strikes a pose against the “Left.”

Marx followed Kant and Hegel’s — modern German Idealism’s — and bourgeois thought’s more general sense of the task of “consciousness” as the necessity of freedom: the struggle for freedom is motivated by consciousness of necessity. And the highest necessity is not base “material” need — the animal survival of the workers — but rather freedom: the necessity of changing the world, specifically of overcoming capitalism. It was a matter of Rousseau’s “general will” of society as more than the sum of its parts in the wills of its members, Kant’s “transcendental subject” of freedom, and Hegel’s “objective mind” (Geist, Spirit) as it develops in history. Marxism’s consciousness of “communism” was more specifically — and empirically — that of a political outlook and strategy for pursuing it and the reasons for this historically. Marx did not invent communism, which predated him, but critiqued it. Marx’s was moreover a “historical” critique of existing society in the contradictions of capitalism to be overcome, a “historical consciousness” or “consciousness of history” and its tasks: why socialism or communism arose as an ideology in the very specific phase of history in the Industrial Revolution. Marx thought that the world had only to recognize what it was struggling for in order to realize it.[13] Marx found the existing communist consciousness of his time to be lacking: its call to abolish private property resulted in a reification of labor rather than its overcoming, especially since capitalism itself already abolished private property snagit 2018 다운로드.[14] But he thought that proletarian socialism as a movement was capable of learning the bitter lessons of its struggles — why it remained trapped in its opposition to and within capitalism. This learning process was the subjective factor of history. But what can be learned can also be unlearned.

Cryptofash exhibits a striking “historical” liquidation of the historical, reducing things like the splits of Marxism in revolution and civil war as mere “context,” which ends up affirming whatever happened. — I am reminded of my late professor Moishe Postone saying that capitalism will be overcome when it is good and ready, despite what the Left wants or thinks. The Marxist critique of history is lacking. The fact is that the workers’ movement for socialism has up to now failed, and this has affected history. The issue is the objective vs. subjective character of the proletarianized working class in capitalism. — In his last interview before he died, Postone claimed that we were presently witnessing the historical liquidation of the working class.[15] But for that to actually happen would require a subjective political act, leading to actually overcoming capitalism, since capitalism can objectively by (Marx’s) definition not do without workers. As long as there are desperately poor people willing or able to have their labor exploited, capitalism will continue — until the workers themselves put a stop to it. There is a necessity of politically achieving the dictatorship of the proletariat.[16] Communism as the “real movement of history” according to Marx is not merely an objective but a subjective issue: “theory gripping the masses” as a “material force”[17] also means the masses grasping theory — or at least a political ideology. That’s the role of the Left.

Antonio Negri had an idea that we were already living in communism but just didn’t realize it.[18] But the point of the Left is to realize it — not in the sense of just an idea or change of “consciousness” in the colloquial sense, but a critical theory helping make it happen in reality, in practice. The working class won’t be able to do so without a Left, without a theory of what they are trying to do in practice. Cryptofash’s desire to proceed separately from and in opposition to the Left, and without the necessity of Left theory and ideas, expects communism to happen on its own — with people as not the subjects but the objects of history. But people have perspectives and ideas, and those ideas and perspectives matter. We cannot afford to abdicate on helping to provide them. They are affected by the history of the Left and the historical self-liquidation of Marxism, which is not merely past but a continuing obstacle to the future.[19] The Left’s corpse is not something we can ignore.[20] We must remember history. | P


[1] “The Left is not the Right,” March 10, 2022, available online at <https://antileftistmarx.substack.com/p/the-left-is-not-the-right>.

[2] See “Platypus Group: Pseudo-Marxist, Pro-Imperialist, Academic Claptrap,” Workers Vanguard 908 (February 15, 2008), available online at <https://www.icl-fi.org/english/wv/908/ysp-platypus.html>, where they wrote that “For Platypus, the fundamental social divide is not the class struggle of proletariat vs. bourgeoisie, but an amorphous and classless contest of ‘Left’ vs. ‘Right’.”

[3] See Benanav’s remarks on the panel discussion “Program and utopia,” Platypus Review 58 (July 2015), available online at <https://platypus1917.org/2013/07/01/program-and-utopia/>.

[4] See The Decline of the Left in the 20th Century: Toward a Theory of Historical Regression, Platypus Review 17 (November 2009), available online at <https://platypus1917.org/the-decline-of-the-left-in-the-20th-century/>.

[5] “The Left is a concept — but social revolution is not: A response to ‘Benedict Cryptofash’,” Platypus Review 143 (February 2022), available online at <https://platypus1917.org/2022/02/01/the-left-is-a-concept-but-social-revolution-is-not-a-response-to-benedict-cryptofash/>.

[6] The Nation, 150th Anniversary Issue 300.14 (April 6, 2015), March 23, 2015, available online at <https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/red-any-other-name/>.

[7] “I. In What Sense We Can Speak of the International Significance of the Russian Revolution,” in “Left-Wing” Communism: An Infantile Disorder (1920), available online at <https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1920/lwc/ch01.htm>.

[8] Jacobin, December 5, 2017, available online at <https://jacobinmag.com/2017/12/our-road-to-power>.

[9] See my “Lenin today,” Platypus Review 126 (May 2020), available online at <https://platypus1917.org/2020/05/01/lenin-today/>.

[10] “The Promise (and Limits) of Social Democracy,” The Jacobin Show, June 6, 2021, available online at <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLl2fAydnhE>. — Actually, I don’t know when and where Bhaskar said this exactly; I couldn’t find it when looking for it now. Perhaps it was something I dreamed in the haze of the COVID pandemic lockdown. But I’m pretty sure he said it in some context or other, and it struck and stuck with me. See also “Biden Offers Fiscal Liberalism, not Social Democracy,” Jacobin Show, June 7, 2021, available online at <https://youtu.be/uTBGqc0O3oI>. ADDENDUM (4/1/22): I finally found it!  In the Bard College Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities talk of March 2, 2021, “Tough Talks: Bhaskar Sunkara,” Sunkara said that, “Perhaps we will fall short of our loftier ambitions [of socialism], but we will still manage to win a more just United States that will at least have Medicare for All, and a living wage for all, and the chance for decent work for all,” online at <https://youtu.be/UpJ9iqvIdmY>.

[11] See my “The end of the Gilded Age: Discontents of the Second Industrial Revolution today,” Platypus Review 102 (December 2017 – January 2018), available online at <https://platypus1917.org/2017/12/02/end-gilded-age-discontents-second-industrial-revolution-today/>.

[12] See my “The Millennial Left is dead,” Platypus Review 100 (October 2017), available online at <https://platypus1917.org/2017/10/01/millennial-left-dead/>.

[13] See Marx’s September 1843 letter to Arnold Ruge, “For the ruthless criticism of everything existing,” in The Marx-Engels Reader, ed. Robert C. Tucker, 2nd ed. (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1978), 12–15, available online at <https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1843/letters/43_09.htm>.

[14] Marx and Engels, “II. Proletarians and Communists,” in Manifesto of the Communist Party (1848), available online at <https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/communist-manifesto/ch02.htm>.

[15] “Marx in the Age of Trump,” Vienna Humanities Festival: Hope and Despair, September 17, 2017, available online at <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJIaze-C2Qs>.

[16] See my “The dictatorship of the proletariat and the death of the Left,” Platypus Review 141 (November 2021), available online at <https://platypus1917.org/2021/11/01/the-dictatorship-of-the-proletariat-and-the-death-of-the-left/>.

[17] Marx, “Contribution to a Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right” (1843), available online at <https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1843/critique-hpr/intro.htm>.

[18] See Michael Hardt and Negri’s books Empire (2000), Multitude (2004) and Commonwealth (2009) where this is elaborated.

[19] See my “Remember the future! A rejoinder to Peter Hudis on ‘Capital in history’,” Platypus Review 8 (November 2008), available online at <https://platypus1917.org/2008/11/01/remember-the-future-a-rejoinder-to-peter-hudis-on-capital-in-history/>.

[20] See my “Vicissitudes of historical consciousness and possibilities for emancipatory politics today: ‘The Left is dead! — Long live the Left!,” Platypus Review 1 (November 2007), available online at <https://platypus1917.org/2007/11/01/vicissitudes-of-historical-consciousness-and-possibilities-for-emancipatory-social-politics-today/>.

April 1, 2022 | Posted in: Essays | Comments Closed

Ukraine: More of the same

Chris Cutrone

Platypus Review 145 | April 2022

WHY IS THERE WAR? Because capitalism is self-contradictory, and this is expressed in conflicts among workers as well as among capitalists, and between “national” working classes and capitalist states, between politicians and political parties both within and between nation-states, and often these conflicts are violent. But this does not mean that economics determines politics in capitalism. Quite the opposite. Neither does politics determine economics. Indeed for Marxism politics means the “class struggle” — and the class struggle means overcoming capitalism in socialism — and anything less than that is not really politics at all — not struggle for the direction of our freedom — but just Darwinian struggle for existence and gangsterism: eating and being eaten Download finaldata.[1]

There is thus no alignment of economic and political interests. There is not only independence of politics from economics but also within politics. The Marxist approach to socialism is in crucial ways fundamentally different from capitalist (pseudo-)“politics” in that it seeks however conjuncturally — in revolution — to line up economic and political interests in proletarian socialism, but this is not normative and applies to literally no other form of politics and is moreover critical in character: that economics and politics should be made identical so that they can be overcome through their mutual contradiction. Indeed this is the very point of Marxism: in capitalism there is not only no alignment of economics and politics, but they are in direct contradiction to each other 방송 효과음 다운로드. The proletarianized working class is the most self-contradictory of all subjects of capitalism: they have no objective interest other than their self-abolition as laborers — though they have a subjective interest in their self-fulfillment as workers.[2] The workers’ individual and collective interests are contradictory.[3] The capitalist bourgeoisie can seem by contrast to have identical political and economic interests — and identical collective and individual interests — and hence appear to represent the interests of society as a whole in a non-self-contradictory way.

The lack of contradiction leads us to the slaughter. There is no reason whatsoever to doubt that the present conflict is between the Ukraine and Russia gifs 다운로드. Under present conditions it makes no sense to say that it is a conflict between Ukrainian and Russian capitalists to whom the Ukrainian and Russian workers and other people are subject. Nor does it make sense to say that this is a conflict between imperialism and anti-imperialism — however one might regard this, whether of U.S./NATO imperialism and/or Russian imperialism. This is not only because national-communitarian conflict predates the current crisis — the breakaway Russian-majority provinces in the Donbas region of Ukraine and Ukrainian nationalist militias as well as the Ukrainian government’s attempts to suppress them — but because there is no possible or potential alternative political leadership in the current conflict other than capitalist ones; only an alternative opposition to capitalist leadership would make the present leadership specifically capitalist as opposed to something else — other than simply nationalist Download the swordsman's youngest son.[4] The Ukrainians and the Russians have the leadership they do in this moment, and this shapes the nature and character of the conflict. There is no point to pointing to contrary “underlying causes” for this conflict other than the obvious ones: it really is Putin vs. Zelensky; and, yes, Zelensky is receiving support, albeit qualified, from the U.S. and NATO (as well as from the greater “international community” i.e. other capitalist leaders — from whom Putin also receives support, including from the U.S., for instance through oil sales) Download english cursive fonts. That war is a horror show and miserably sordid affair is captured well by the image of rusting Russian tanks swerving to crush fleeing cars and shooting up apartment blocks in their invasion of the Ukraine. — Superfluous labor and capital indeed.[5]

A Marxist approach hence has little if anything — perhaps nothing at all — to say beyond what in the capitalist policy debates is already being said.[6] For example, the “Realist” academic International Relations professor John Mearshimer has criticized the U.S. political consensus of liberal humanitarian interventionism and neoconservatism that has dominated policy for decades — except Trump.[7] As was observed recently by Christoph Lichtenberg of the former Spartacist “Trotskyist” Bolshevik Tendency, Fox News conservative pundit Tucker Carlson has a more accurate analysis of the Ukraine war and its causes than most ostensible “Marxists.”[8]

The “Left” has fallen out over Ukraine depending on which capitalist politicians they want to tail after and follow in the present conflict, cheering from the sidelines in the usual ways of unseemly sports spectatorship. Some on the “Left” are positioned as “anti-fascist” — whether Russian or Ukrainian — in Russia’s “military operation of denazification” of the Ukraine; others of the “anti-imperialist Left” lick their chops in hopes of a new anti-war movement — which will not happen out of fear that criticizing the Biden Administration will help Trump’s otherwise inevitable return to the U.S. Presidency: the “Left” in all its varieties is as ever switched on and off as needed by the Democrats; and the Democrats are beating the drums for war against Russia, convinced by their own lies about Trump and other Republicans’ “Russian collusion;” and anyway desperate to stem their coming rout in the 2022 midterm Congressional elections due to their cascade of failures from COVID to crime to inflation — and now Ukraine.

The Millennial Left was born in the anti-war movement against the George W. Bush Administration that vanished upon Obama’s election in 2008.[9] Its revival in Occupy Wall Street and other anti-austerity protests in the Great Recession led to the rebirth of the Democratic Socialists of America under the leadership of Jacobin magazine’s editorial board convened by Bhaskar Sunkara, boosted by the Bernie Sanders campaign that was part of the same moment as Trump’s election in 2016.[10] It is telling that DSA today is equivocal on the war: they have nothing new to say; neither does anyone. “World War III” is just yet another 1980s remake streaming on multiple platforms. Condoleezza Rice said that she didn’t want the “smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud,” but we know that was never going to happen. Now, after the death of the Millennial Left,[11] a new generation can come back full circle to the terrifying spectacle of war 20 years later — long enough to have forgotten the last war and requiring the same lessons to be learned — which weren’t — again.[12] They won’t be.[13] | P


[1] See my letter, “Platypus ‘position’ on ‘imperialism’,” published as “Platypus fuss” in the Communist Party of Great Britain’s Weekly Worker 964 (May 30, 2013), available online at <https://weeklyworker.co.uk/worker/964/letters/>.

[2] See my “The dictatorship of the proletariat and the death of the Left,” Platypus Review 141 (November 2021), available online at <https://platypus1917.org/2021/11/01/the-dictatorship-of-the-proletariat-and-the-death-of-the-left/>.

[3] See my “The negative dialectic of Marxism,” prepared opening remarks for the Platypus Affiliated Society public forum panel discussion on “The politics of critical theory,” transcript published in Platypus Review 140 (October 2021), available online at <https://platypus1917.org/2021/10/01/the-politics-of-critical-theory-2/>.

[4] See my “Internationalism fails,” Platypus Review 60 (October 2013), available online at <https://platypus1917.org/2013/10/01/internationalism-fails/>.

[5] See Moishe Postone, “History and helplessness: Mass mobilizations and contemporary forms of anticapitalism,” Public Culture 18, no. 1 (Winter 2006), available online at <https://read.dukeupress.edu/public-culture/article-abstract/18/1/93/31815/History-and-Helplessness-Mass-Mobilization-and>.

[6] See Spencer Leonard, “Nothing left to say,” Platypus Review 10 (February 2009), available online at <https://platypus1917.org/2009/02/03/nothing-left-to-say-a-critique-of-the-guardians-coverage-of-the-2008-mumbai-attacks/>.

[7] See my “Why not Trump again?,” Platypus Review 123 (February 2020), available online at <https://platypus1917.org/2020/02/01/why-not-trump-again/>.

[8] See the Platypus Affiliated Society public forum panel discussion “Crisis in Ukraine! The Left and the Current Crisis,” held on March 10, 2022 in New York City: watch online at <https://youtu.be/Uyoe5ml05LQ>.

[9] See my “Iraq and the election: The fog of ‘anti-war’ politics,” Platypus Review 7 (October 2008), available online at <https://platypus1917.org/2008/10/01/iraq-and-the-election-the-fog-of-anti-war-politics/>.

[10] See my “The Sandernistas: The final triumph of the 1980s,” Platypus Review 82 (December 2015 – January 2016), available online at <https://platypus1917.org/2015/12/17/sandernistas-final-triumph-1980s/>; Postscript on the March 15 Primaries, Platypus Review 85 (May 2016), available online at <https://platypus1917.org/2016/03/30/the-sandernistas/>; and P.P.S. on Trump and the crisis of the Republican Party (June 22, 2016) appended to the prior Postscript.

[11] See my “The Millennial Left is dead,” Platypus Review 100 (October 2017), available online at <https://platypus1917.org/2017/10/01/millennial-left-dead/>.

[12] See my “Afghanistan: After 20 and 40 years,” Platypus Review 139 (September 2021), available online at <https://platypus1917.org/2021/09/02/afghanistan-after-20-and-40-years/>.

[13] See my “1914 in the history of Marxism,” Platypus Review 66 (May 2014), available online at <https://platypus1917.org/2014/05/06/1914-history-marxism/>.

| Posted in: Essays | Comments Closed

The Left is a concept — but social revolution is not: A response to “Benedict Cryptofash”

Chris Cutrone

Platypus Review 143 | February 2022

LESZEK KOŁAKOWSKI’S “THE CONCEPT OF THE LEFT” (1958) is useful for addressing what it means to say that there is a Left and a Right in Marxism.[1] It is derived from the Revisionist Dispute regarding Orthodox Marxism and the question of reform vs. revolution in the 2nd Socialist International 라따뚜이 영화. The actual occasion for Kołakowski’s article was Soviet Premier and Communist Party head Nikita Khrushchev’s denunciation of Stalin for “crimes against Leninism” and against socialism. What did this mean?

It goes back to the accusation against the Socialist Party-associated labor unions and the Marxist theorist Eduard Bernstein and his Revisionist associates in the 2nd International, who advocated reform struggles within liberal democratic capitalism at the expense of socialist revolution, that they were “opportunists.” This is what characterized them as the Right edonkey 다운로드. Kołakowski describes this as adaptation to and expression of the “inertia of the status quo” that characterizes the Right as conservative.

By contrast, Orthodox and “revolutionary” Marxism upheld what Kołakowski called the Left as “utopia.” Kołakowski wrote that what characterized the Left was an “idea” and moreover its “negation” of the status quo, not programmatically as in a blueprint for a better society, but rather as a “mysterious and obscure” expression of historical potential and possibility that is not yet realized.

This goes back to the bourgeois revolutionary philosophy of Rousseau, Kant, Hegel and others which contrasted what “is” with what “ought” to be, the process of becoming within a state of being that expressed what could and should be but “is not” yet jsp 텍스트 파일 다운로드. Marxism descended from this revolutionary philosophy of the era of bourgeois emancipation and enlightenment from traditional civilization.

So what is the difference that makes this such a contentious issue? Capitalism has its origins in the bourgeois revolution, but for Marxism expresses a potential beyond it: socialism/communism — “communism” as an Ancient religious ideal of collective equality; “socialism” as a modern political ideology stemming from the potential inherent in capitalism but not possible previously and not yet existing in historical reality Download Sechskies.

The problem is not that the Marxist Left — the revolutionary political ideology and “[Hegelian] scientific theory” of historical Marxists such as Karl Kautsky, Rosa Luxemburg, Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky, among others — is descended from bourgeois revolutionary philosophy, but rather that since the failure of Marxism historically to achieve socialist revolution in the early 20th century, capitalism itself has tried to adapt to the threat of proletarian discontent and disorder through “progressive liberal” democratic capitalist welfare-state measures and the national organization of capital accumulation.

Stalinism was an adaptation to this failure of world socialist revolution and assimilation instead to “progressive capitalism,” thus making Stalinism the modern expression of the Right wing of Marxism, expressing the inertia of history and society and becoming the ideology of the liquidation of the proletarian struggle for socialism 아이패드 웹. Trotsky called Stalinism the “antithesis of Bolshevism” — of Marxism.

The Left is dead today because it is the Right — not because it is the Left. The Left as a historical idea of Marxism motivating the proletarian struggle for the socialist transformation of capitalism has become instead a late bourgeois ideology of the “progressive” reform of capitalism. This already happened nearly 100 years ago and is still in effect very strongly today. Marxism is thus entombed in history.

The Left–Right distinction is not social but political and ideological in nature. Its meaning for Marxism comes from a division and split in the political party for socialism — the split of the 3rd Communist from 2nd Socialist International in the Russian Revolution and its world-historic aftermath: the old Socialists were the Right and the new Communists were the Left. From a Marxist perspective, the established Socialist Parties existing today are still the Right, despite being called the “Left.” Trotsky and his comrades called themselves the Left Opposition to Stalinism in the Communist International. They made a claim to uphold the true spirit of Marxism and proletarian socialist revolution that still haunts us today.

Lenin (in)famously observed that socialist ideology must come from outside the social and economic and political struggles of the working class within capitalism.  What was this “outside”? It wasn’t sociological — from bourgeois intellectuals — but rather historical: it comes from the past accumulation of experience of the bourgeois democratic revolution and its self-contradiction and defeat in capitalism. Lenin called socialists “Jacobins indissolubly connected to the workers movement.” This is the idea.

The workers movement comes from bourgeois discontents in capitalism: capitalism’s contradiction and betrayal of “equality of inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” (Jefferson — who importantly led the Left wing of the American Revolution). Only historical experience and its critical lessons can teach the proletarianized working class in capitalism that the goal of its struggle is beyond bourgeois emancipation and freedom, within which their struggles are otherwise inevitably circumscribed, reproducing capitalism.

Only a Marxist socialist Left could possibly lift the horizon of such struggle beyond capitalism. But only the working class can actually achieve the real goals of this struggle in social revolution. | P


[1] See Benedict Cryptofash, “The Left is not a concept,” Platypus Review 142 (December 2021 – January 2022), available online at <https://platypus1917.org/2021/12/01/the-left-is-not-a-concept/>.

February 1, 2022 | Posted in: Essays | Comments Closed

Paths to Marxism

Chris Cutrone

Platypus Review 142 | December 2021/January 2022

MY PRINCIPAL TEACHERS IN MARXISM were the Spartacist League, Adolph Reed and Moishe Postone — Theodor Adorno was also a crucial teacher, through his writings, which Reed had pointed me towards when we met up in Chicago after I graduated from college. The title of this essay is an homage to Adolph’s own “Paths to Critical Theory,” which narrates his political and theoretical coming to consciousness. I first met Reed when I was in college at Hampshire, in the same entering class as his son Touré, and when I was already a member of the Spartacus Youth Club, the youth group of the orthodox Trotskyist Spartacist League.

High school

I had previously considered myself to be a “Marxist” after having read the Communist Manifesto and other random, miscellaneous writings by Marx (also Ernest Mandel’s Revolutionary Marxism Today) in high school. I had been equivocal about the Russian Revolution and Lenin, but felt predisposed towards respecting Trotsky as a dissident figure — I had been taught not only George Orwell’s 1984 but Animal Farm as well: Emmanuel Goldstein and Snowball were sympathetic if tragic figures. But it was really Marx who got me.

I was a “Leftist” activist in high school during the 1980s, protesting against local anti-black racism (housing discrimination) and in solidarity with Central American movements and the anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa. I was surrounded by Catholic Worker, Quaker (American Friends Service Committee) and Secular Humanist adult activists on Long Island, but I occasionally encountered “Marxist” Leftist organizations at demonstrations in New York City. My family was apolitical or otherwise conservative. Of all my friends, only one had any “Leftist” background of any kind: his parents were Irish immigrants of the Catholic Worker Liberation Theology variety and his older sister supplied us with “Left” literature as well as music listening recommendations (Depeche Mode, New Order, et al).

In my solidarity work on Central America and South Africa, I met émigré refugee militants who told me melancholically that “socialism is impossible” because “American workers voted for Ronald Reagan.”

College

By the time I was applying to college, my high school boyfriend discovered Hampshire College, to which we both applied and attended together Download iTunes 64-bit. It was during our first year that we met the Spartacist League at the nearby University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Actually, a mutual friend had first met them and asked us to attend a meeting between them and her, because as “Marxists” we could help her evaluate them: Were they for real? She was unmoved but we were interested and became contacts.

The Spartacist League provided my first real education in Marxism. One of the first things I read by them was their Lenin and the Vanguard Party pamphlet from 1978, which greatly impressed me. (My first serious college course paper was on Rosa Luxemburg’s critique of Lenin, rebutting the usual anti-Lenin misreadings of Luxemburg.) Soon after, they had me read Cliff Slaughter’s 1960 essay “What is revolutionary leadership?,” whose oblique reference to Lukács’s History and Class Consciousness I filed for a later date — I had already read Gramsci by that point in college and was intrigued but not exactly convinced by his arguments. Adolph said that the problem with Gramsci was that “he means all things to all people.” The Spartacists said simply that Gramsci was a Stalinist.

At this time the Fall of the Berlin Wall and uprisings in Eastern Europe and the USSR were taking place — the Soviet dissident Boris Kagarlitsky was an invited guest speaker at Hampshire College, who I distinctly recall telling me point-blank that there was no point to Marxism which was an outdated ideology of industrialization (when I asked him about this almost 30 years later, he denied ever saying such a thing, he claimed because he never believed it — perhaps it was someone else?).

With the Spartacist League I attended speeches with Q&A discussions by Noam Chomsky and Michael Harrington, with whom I was otherwise not acquainted. The Spartacists’ provocative questions from the audience prompted Chomsky and Harrington to articulate their anti-Leninism — their anti-Marxism: Chomsky rehearsed his condemnation of the Bolsheviks for allegedly hijacking and dominating the Russian Revolution; Harrington sarcastically confessed that, yes, he “killed Rosa Luxemburg,” with a cynicism that turned me off completely. I later came to respect Harrington more through his writings, and, if not Chomsky himself, at least anarchism to some degree, mostly through the classical writings — I had met Murray Bookchin in high school at New York City’s anarchist book store, when he came storming out of the back office to scold me after hearing me ask if they had any books by Lenin: I swear he yelled at me, “Listen, Marxist!”

The Spartacists introduced me to various different social and political realities, through activity in their locals on the East Coast. They had me do various manual labors as proof of my “proletarian” affinities, in addition to selling their newspaper Workers Vanguard weekly. For instance, I was required to do my bit cleaning the bathrooms and scrubbing the floors of their fortified international headquarters in New York’s financial district, as well as paying regular dues and contributing to various fundraising efforts Longman pre-download. They resented my need as a working class student to work in the summer as well as work-study jobs to help pay my tuition and other expenses at Hampshire, asking, “Couldn’t your parents just give you the money?” (No, they couldn’t.) We attended a strike at the New York Daily News newspaper, where a union shop steward carried a pistol openly in his hip holster to defend against scabs, while across the street a police sniper was set up on the roof overlooking the picket line. At a demonstration against something or other in Manhattan, the Borough President Ruth Messinger showed up — the Spartacists pointed her out as a prominent member of the DSA (Democratic Socialists of America): I saw a villain.

The big issues of the day were things like the Crown Heights anti-Semitic riots over a black child struck and killed accidentally by a Hasidic Jewish motorcade, and City College of New York’s Professor Leonard Jeffries teaching students that whites were “ice people” and blacks “sun people.” A Latino gay Spartacist member with whom I was acquainted was stabbed while selling WV on the campus of Howard University by a Nation of Islam supporter, because the Spartacists pointed out that Louis Farrakhan had called for Malcolm X’s death after Malcolm had broken with Elijah Muhammad. My friends and I had read Alex Haley’s The Autobiography of Malcolm X (as well as Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver’s Soul on Ice) and watched all the Roots series on television. Public Enemy and NWA kept the memory alive.

Chris Hani of the South African Communist Party spoke at UMass and said that the “wind of democracy blowing through Eastern Europe should come to South Africa” — upon his return to South Africa a Polish immigrant gunned him down outside his suburban home. I was shocked and appalled by both his speech and his murder. — Later, I would meet Nelson Mandela of the ANC (African National Congress), Jay Naidoo of COSATU (Congress of South African Trade Unions) and other famous anti-Apartheid political figures, when I visited South Africa for their first Gay and Lesbian Film Festival with a delegation of American and British filmmakers, including Isaac Julien, Barbara Hammer and others, in 1994. At a reception dinner, I got Mandela to inform my fellow travelers, who were otherwise drunk on rhetoric, that the end of Apartheid in South Africa was “not a revolution,” which anyhow would only provoke a civil war and U.S. invasion. At the time, Mandela’s ANC was engaged in fierce bloody street battles against Chief Buthelezi’s Inkatha Freedom Party of Zulu nationalists. I was critical but sympathetic to Mandela: at least he didn’t lie.

I met Adolph Reed when he visited Hampshire, as back then he was not so far away in New Haven at Yale Windows 7 oem. I had written to him in response to an op-ed in Long Island’s Newsday I read on the problem of black student activists’ demands on campus — at first, I had no idea he was a Marxist, though the Spartacists informed me that he was and spoke admiringly of his work. Adolph wrote back and said we could meet when he next came up to Hampshire.

I had read Horkheimer and Adorno’s “The Culture Industry” chapter of Dialectic of Enlightenment in a Media Studies course at Hampshire, but it didn’t leave much impression on me — I was much more influenced by Stuart Hall and Raymond Williams in that context. It wasn’t until after I graduated that I started reading the Frankfurt School in earnest, and not until I was a graduate art student in Chicago that I read Adorno’s writings with any seriousness — in order for Adorno to help defend my Marxism against the postmodernism I was encountering for the first time: my Hampshire professor Margaret Cerullo, a friend of Adolph Reed and editor of the legacy SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) journal Radical America, had said to me discouragingly that, while her education was in Marxism (she later told me when applying for graduate study that “the Frankfurt School is like a second skin” to her, but no one was interested anymore, so why would I want to pursue such things?), perhaps now Foucault was more relevant; and anyway weren’t the Spartacists an FBI COINTELPRO operation?

Adolph Reed spoke on campus and made a special visit to my class taught by Margaret Cerullo and Carollee Bengelsdorf. The following week after Adolph spoke, some (white) students in class complained about him as an “African-American who was interested in an obscure 19th century Jewish philosopher (Marx).” When my professors failed to challenge this, saying, “That’s a good question,” I stood up to defend both Adolph and Marx, shouting, “No, it’s not!”

The anti-war movement around the Gulf War U.S. intervention against the Iraqi invasion and occupation of Kuwait was a key moment for me. The utter futility of the protests, which were met by counter-protesters with lurid signage against “Sodom Insane” (Iraqi Baathist leader Saddam Hussein) charging anti-war marchers with American flagpoles wielded as weapons, seemingly permitted to pass through police lines to do so, left me dejected as President George H.W. Bush declared, unhindered, the “New World Order.”

By the time I graduated from Hampshire in 1993, I was done with the “Left” — but not with Marxism. Events of my final year in 1992 — the “Left” protesting of the quint-centenary of the Columbian Discovery, the Los Angeles riots against the acquittal of the police who beat Rodney King that the “Left” called a “rebellion,” and the election of William Jefferson Clinton after 12 years of Republican Presidents, which was met with jubilation by my fellow “Left” students as well as by our “Leftist” professors at Hampshire — convinced me that my moment was not apt for Marxism or socialism. I was depressed that the world seemed forever frozen and stuck in a dead-end 1960s New Left framework that I could not abide. During the Rodney King protests, I witnessed black students take over an administration building at Hampshire, but proceed to kick out first the white students, then the non-black students of color and finally the black women for supposedly not sharing the plight of black men’s abuse by police. When soon afterwards the Spartacists decided to try to “break” me with accusations of “petit bourgeois intellectualism,” I had had enough.

Richard Rubin, an acquaintance from the Hampshire Spartacus Youth Club chapter, and I kept alive the idea of trying to carry on the Spartacists’ outlook without their organizational insularity and paranoia: we toyed with the idea of starting a “Leviné League,” named after the martyr of the 1919 Bavarian Workers Republic, Eugen Leviné, but it amounted to nothing 유튜브 구입한 동영상. All the former Hampshire Spartacus Youth members I had recruited except me and Richard scattered to the wind. We maintained our subscriptions to Workers Vanguard. I dutifully checked in with the Chicago local — and reunited with Richard, who had always kept his distance from the Spartacists as an avowed heterodox “Menshevik Centrist” — when I moved there. But I settled depoliticized into the 1990s Clinton regime, struggling to make my way in the world as a young adult.

Chicago

I became a video artist and publicly continued to avow and promulgate my Marxism — mostly through quotations from Adorno’s cultural-critical writings in artist statements — but this made me into more of a curiosity than a militant ideologue in the art world. I met the poet Reginald Shepherd, who was the first to recommend Adorno’s Aesthetic Theory (as well as his Notes to Literature) to me — Adolph had recommended Negative Dialectics, Minima Moralia and Prisms. Reginald told me that Adorno would cure me of my Marxism, but ended up only confirming it — and deepening it. I became convinced I had to read everything by Adorno — eventually, I realized I must write a dissertation on Adorno, on his Marxism.

Eventually, I earned first my Master of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and my Masters and PhD from the University of Chicago, launching my teaching career, first as a graduate student, and then thereafter, up to the present.

At SAIC, I studied in the Video Department, which was staffed with avowedly “Marxist” professors, one of whom had made a documentary on Mumia Abu-Jamal that the Spartacists used to promote Mumia’s case. — I recall vividly attending with the Spartacists a “Free Mumia!” rally in Philadelphia, which was denounced by the local Fraternal Order of Police head, who said on TV that we protesters should be put on an “electric couch” to join in Mumia’s execution. But my art work was accused of being “too aesthetic” by my professors and fellow students at SAIC. The separate Film Department was also staffed by “Marxist” filmmakers but was regarded by the Video Department as being too interested in art as opposed to “politics.” But I knew the difference between politics and art 원펀맨 1기.

During this time of the mid-1990s, I met and became friends with the up-and-coming “New / Post-Black Black Artists” such as Isaac Julien, Glenn Ligon and others, as well as meeting the faculty at the new Harvard University department organized by Henry Louis Gates Jr., such as Cornel West, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Paul Gilroy, Homi Bhabha and others — including meeting Stuart Hall on a visit — when Isaac Julien was teaching there (in New York, Isaac introduced me to bell hooks, who objected to my existence). As an artist, I spoke individually and on panels about — dissenting against — racial and sexual identity, at film festivals, art museums and galleries, and colleges and universities around the world.

Many conversations about Marxism were had: the consensus was that it was finished.

Back in Chicago, I was living through the brunt of neoliberal capitalism. I participated marginally in Adolph’s anti-Clintonite Labor Party USA organizing, meeting his local colleagues in the venture (mostly Maoist labor union activists). I made my skepticism about the Labor Party clearly known to Adolph, and suggested that we should be working towards a socialist party instead. He said that I sounded like the “Trotskyite sectarians” he was struggling against in the Labor Party — the ISO (International Socialist Organization), Solidarity, and others — and accused me of being “too abstractly theoretical” in my politics. The Labor Party USA project seemed to me to be just Democrats dissenting against Clintonism. He was opposed to running Labor Party candidates against Democrats — he didn’t want to be a spoiler. Nonetheless, he called for voting for the Green Party’s Ralph Nader against Al Gore for President in 2000 — and regretted it ever since. Adolph amused me driving around Chicago: just missing an open parking space, he would exclaim, “Racist yuppies!” He introduced me through the Labor Party activities in Chicago to his then-girlfriend, Stephanie Karamitsos, a PhD student at Northwestern University, with whom I bonded as a fellow artist, reading and discussing Adorno widely and at great length.

Adolph is a follower of the later “council communist” Karl Korsch and of thinkers who were students of the later Lukács such as Istvan Meszaros and others such as Karel Kosik, whose book Dialectics of the Concrete Adolph opposed to the alleged bad “idealism” of the Frankfurt School. Both the later Korsch and Lukács had turned away from their Hegelian Marxism circa 1917 towards “materialism.” In Korsch’s case this meant turning against Lenin and ultimately against Marxism as a whole — including Marx — because of their alleged “bourgeois elitism and vanguardism” contra the working class. Adolph disliked Trotskyism on this basis. He worked out a very elaborate argument concerning this issue in his book on W.E.B. Du Bois on which he was working when I was in my period of closest contact with him.

Adolph ascribed my resistance to his Labor Party USA project to my supposed “abstract idealism” that he attributed to my Trotskyism and strong affinity for Adorno. It was precisely Adorno who, in his Negative Dialectics, had helped me sort out the vexed issue of “materialism vs. idealism” in Marxism, which he taught me to see as a historical symptom of the defeat of the revolution rather than a matter of ahistorical principle as Adolph and others did. There was no need to raise the failure of Lenin and Trotsky to achieve socialism through the Russian Revolution to a matter of principle; indeed, Adorno taught me that it was important to remember them and Marxism against the grain of subsequent history, as an important attempt not easily explained away.

In addition to working various odd jobs — for instance at Kinko’s photocopy shop, where I met a couple of young Zapatista militants visiting Chicago who came in with literature to print, and including as support staff for engineers at the local Shure Electronics factory, drafting assembly-line instructions for workers (mostly Mexican women) there as well as at their sister location across the border in Juarez — I taught film and video production to aspiring workers in the media industry at Columbia College in Chicago.

Meanwhile, local “Leftist” activists were protesting against “big box stores” such as Borders Books and Walmart, Target, et al, trying to defend local businesses from them — I saw them rather as opportunities for organizing — and shopping — for the working class. Adolph said of mom-and-pop stores that “exploitation begins at home.” Cynical city aldermen would hire insta-crowds to picket the stores. I encountered race-baiting at the NGO level with local arts and media “Left” organizations descended from the 1970s–80s post-New Left cultural activist scene, which lost their government funding and, seeking private foundation support, were attacked for being too “white” — and promptly confessed their guilt and disappeared, leaving a void artistically, culturally and politically. It was the end of an era.

At the time of the O.J. Simpson trial, Adolph pointed out that single cases never serve well as rallying-points politically because the facts are always complicated and reality is not symbolic or allegorical, though the capitalist politicians and news media try to make it so. About Simpson himself, Adolph observed that “even a guilty man can be framed” and the police frame people, innocent or guilty, routinely. O.J. was found not guilty, though he was not innocent. I learned later as a victim of crime that the trial court, if not the criminal justice system as a whole, exists — at least ostensibly — for the benefit of the accused defendant against the state — as it should be. The police are there not to protect society against crime but to enforce the law; and prosecutors try to win cases, not achieve justice — which cannot be found in court anyway, especially not in capitalism. A bitter truth, but true nonetheless. — Life is not a morality play.

Graduate school

At the University of Chicago, I again met my Irish-American high school friend, who was then finishing his PhD in Musicology, writing a dissertation on Weimar Republic popular music, and who told me that a German professor had said that unless one is a native German language speaker one can never truly understand Adorno. He studied German, found a German boyfriend and relocated there, claiming his Irish citizenship in the EU. Before parting, he warned me against studying with Moishe Postone because Postone didn’t tolerate any dissent from his students — I ignored his advice and became Moishe’s student anyway. Adolph warned me archly that Moishe was perhaps too “tribal” — a veiled reference to Moishe’s (famous, but as-yet unknown to me) criticisms of Palestinian solidarity and “anti-Zionist Leftism.” For his part, Moishe said that, while he appreciated Adolph’s work a great deal, he found it too “angular:” Moishe couldn’t countenance Adolph’s fierce criticisms of black Democrat politicians.

Before studying with Moishe, I first took Adolph’s friend Kenneth Warren’s courses in African-American literary history and theory at the University of Chicago, and Ken became one of my advisors, eventually serving as my dissertation chair. My dissertation was on Adorno, and when a professor, editor of a prestigious critical theory journal, heard my subject of study, he exclaimed, incredulously, “I didn’t know Adorno was gay!,” to which I replied that as far as I knew he wasn’t — I certainly hoped he wasn’t. Who knows what he thought of Ken chairing my committee?

I started out as an Art History — Media Studies — student, and earned the ire of the department chair when I corrected a fellow student’s misreading of Walter Benjamin’s essay on “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” as a culturally conservative rejection of modern mass media rather than a dialectical critique, which the chair blamed me for the student, the one black member of our cohort, eventually dropping out — he cut me from the program as punishment. Or perhaps it was for another reason: when discussing my Masters thesis on Benjamin, the chair chastised me that Lenin and Trotsky relished “killing the innocent as well as the guilty” — I learned later that he was an ex-Marxist.

At Univ. Chicago, I took courses with the Hegel scholar Robert Pippin, who had been a member of the SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) in the 1960s and became an acolyte of Marcuse when he taught at University of California at San Diego. We conversed in and out of class on issues of German Idealism and Marxism, with Adorno and Benjamin figuring prominently. The question regarding Hegel and Marx was the philosophy of freedom.

The Marxist literary critic Fredric Jameson once replied to a question I posed at a Univ. Chicago event about his account of Flaubert’s novel Madame Bovary — that perhaps it was about freedom and not merely happiness — that “freedom is a Right-wing concept.” Adolph responded to my question in a graduate student colloquium he co-taught with Ken on the history of anti-black racism in the U.S., regarding the issue with the Taft-Hartley Act of official government-recognized labor unions as a historical gain or setback for workers, that “freedom is in the eye of the beholder,” a version of the usual Leftist “freedom for who?” dismissal of the question of social freedom — the freedom of society as a whole, over which Marxists such as Lenin and Adorno considered capitalism to be dominating as an impersonal force, affecting all of its members.

As Postone did later, Pippin confessed that he felt he “couldn’t really understand” Benjamin and Adorno, which made sense to me as ignorance of the Marxism at the core of their work. Pippin highlighted a sentence in one of my course papers on Marxism about the philosophical difficulty of “recognizing oneself as a subject of change from within the process of self-transformation.”

Postone’s courses — which I attended with Stephanie and sometimes Richard as outside auditors — on Marx and the Frankfurt School as well as on the post-1960s “Left” criticisms of capitalism, were a welcome respite from the otherwise unrelenting anti-Marxism of postmodernist academia — if however, as I soon came to realize, they were their own form of anti-Marxism. Moishe would say that, while Marx himself was politically a “traditional Marxist,” his theoretical work pointed beyond this. When teaching Adorno’s work, Moishe confessed that he wasn’t sure he really understood it: I replied simply that Adorno was a Marxist; and maybe Marxist politics was more and other than what Moishe thought.

In Moishe’s classes, I met a new friend, Spencer Leonard, with whom I immediately engaged on issues of Lenin, Trotsky, the Russian Revolution and historical Marxism more generally. Spencer, Stephanie and I formed a close friendship circle; we were joined by fellow graduate student friends Atiya Khan, Sunit Singh and James Vaughn.

I appreciated the pedagogy in Marx and the Frankfurt School we were receiving from Postone, but felt it all made sense only if one took certain things about Marxism for granted, politically, which Moishe did not and indeed opposed. Still, I was a little shocked when Moishe told me point-blank, angrily, that I was inappropriately trying to reconcile his work with what it was designed precisely against, Marxism — more specifically, Lenin. But it was clear to me that Marx and Lenin wanted to overcome labor as a social relation and not hypostatize it politically, as Postone alleged. James’s old Trotskyist professor Robert Brenner (and member of Solidarity) said that Moishe’s insights into Marx were nothing new to actual Marxists, and his political apprehensions were misplaced. But I knew that most “Marxists” were exactly what Moishe said they were, not really followers of Marx at all: they were the socialists and communists that Marx himself had critiqued in his day. Marxists had always complained of the constant degeneration into “vulgar” and pseudo-“Marxism” and relapse into pre-Marxian socialism, for instance Luxemburg’s critique of reformist Revisionism of Marxism.

Moishe objected to what he called my characterization of “Luxemburg and Lenin as bosom buddies walking arm-in-arm,” and was incensed when I produced evidence that Luxemburg spoke and wrote fondly of Lenin and that they were indeed good friends who spent many an evening together, walking arm-in-arm, to which he responded dismissively that, “Of course Luxemburg was a traditional Marxist anyway.” Moishe ended up protesting stridently during my dissertation defense on Adorno’s Marxism, but relented when I talked him down, admitting, “Perhaps everything ended in 1919, but we’re still thinking,” to which I replied, “But are we really thinking, Moishe?” Meeting for coffee several weeks later, he said, “You know, Chris, you might have a point about Lenin, but you need to support it better.” I thought Lenin supported it best himself.

In any case, I remained independent from Postone in ways that always irritated him and made him distrustful of me. He told others that while he admired that I am “always thinking,” he thought that I was, problematically, “once a Spartacist, always a Spartacist.” — Here Moishe agreed with Adolph. Nonetheless, Moishe hired me in the College Core Curriculum of the Social Sciences, teaching undergraduates courses on Marx, Weber, Durkheim and Freud for the next decade and a half — until, after Moishe’s death, his students were purged from the staff.

When I began teaching Adorno and the Frankfurt School at SAIC, 9/11 had happened and the War on Terror was already underway, and Iraq had been invaded, but the U.S. occupation was facing difficulties, and the anti-war movement was regaining ground. My students attended protests and encountered the “Left” and its “Marxist” organizations, and the effects of this filtered back into my classes, raising many questions.

My students at SAIC and Univ. Chicago asked me to start an extra-curricular reading group in early 2006, wanting me to inform them more explicitly of the political implications of the Marxism I was teaching, outside the academic classroom. I warned them that this would become very intense and very political very quickly. Among the first writings we read together was something recommended to me by Adolph Reed more than a decade earlier, Korsch’s 1923 essay on “Marxism and Philosophy.” We attended “Left” events as a group, including the first national conference of the new Students for a Democratic Society, held at the University of Chicago in summer 2006. These activities soon led to founding an organization, the Platypus Affiliated Society, in 2007.

The rest is history. | P

December 1, 2021 | Posted in: Essays | Comments Closed

Republicans and riots

The Left in death, 1992 and 2020

Chris Cutrone

Platypus Review 128 | July 2020

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“The most magnificent drama in the last thousand years of human history is the transportation of ten million human beings out of the dark beauty of their mother continent into the new-found Eldorado of the West. They descended into Hell; and in the third century they arose from the dead, in the finest effort to achieve democracy for the working millions which this world had ever seen. It was a tragedy that beggared the Greek; it was an upheaval of humanity like the Reformation and the French Revolution. Yet we are blind and led by the blind. We discern in it no part of our labor movement; no part of our industrial triumph; no part of our religious experience. Before the dumb eyes of ten generations of ten million children, it is made mockery of and spit upon; a degradation of the eternal mother; a sneer at human effort; with aspiration and art deliberately and elaborately distorted. And why? Because in a day when the human mind aspired to a science of human action, a history and psychology of the mighty effort of the mightiest century, we fell under the leadership of those who would compromise with truth in the past in order to make peace in the present and guide policy in the future.”
— W.E.B. DuBois, Black Reconstruction in America (1935)[1]

 
“Life is tragic simply because the Earth turns and the sun inexorably rises and sets, and one day, for each of us, the sun will go down for the last, last time. Perhaps the whole root of our trouble, the human trouble, is that we will sacrifice all the beauty of our lives, will imprison ourselves in totems, taboos, crosses, blood sacrifices, steeples, mosques, races, armies, flags, nations, in order to deny the fact of death, the only fact we have. It seems to me that one ought to rejoice in the fact of death — ought to decide, indeed, to earn one’s death by confronting with passion the conundrum of life 정승환 응급실. One is responsible for life: It is the small beacon in that terrifying darkness from which we come and to which we shall return.”
— James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time (1963)[2]

 
“The people can not be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. . . . And what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.”
— Thomas Jefferson, Paris, November 13, 1787[3]

   

I QUIT THE “LEFT” in 1993, after the LA riots, the quint-centenary of Columbus’s Discovery and Bill Clinton’s election in 1992 — in that order. These events told me that there would be no struggle for proletarian socialism, no Marxism, but only Republicans, riots — and Democrats. In 2020, nothing seems to have changed since 1992 — or 1968.

Riots and republicans

Riots are bad for black people, turning them into targets for police and civilian vigilantes. Racism is real, and in the U.S. it targets blacks. There are no “people of color” but only blacks and more-or-less “white” people (the latter including “black” — African and Caribbean — immigrants, who do not readily identify with historically black Americans, and indeed actively do not) 스택독. During the recent riots, in Chicago’s Little Village, the Latin Kings harassed blacks, pulling them from their cars — they left the white hipsters, “Antifa” or not, alone. During the riots, mostly the police stood by; some people were arrested — and they were disproportionately black. The riots enacted the very anti-black racism against which they protested, ending up confirming it. Does it matter if there are black cops, black police chiefs, black mayors doing it? The glass is swept up (how many [black] workers’ hands will be cut?), streets cleared (how many toxins inhaled by [black] clean-up crews?), and normal life, such as it is, returns. But the bitter after-effects remain (how many stores closed permanently and their [black] workers cast into unemployment?). What was it all for? If the police are defunded or even abolished, private security will not be — nor will the state; but it might be privatized (further), perhaps with black contractors — or not. Perhaps the riots will have in the end been in vain. — Children, be careful what you wish for!

Republicans point out that the U.S. is not a democracy but a constitutional republic; that it is a nation not of people but of laws — a nation based on an idea or ideas: that all are equal, with rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; and all are equal before the law — if not exactly with respect to each other. Republicans hold to the value of freedom over mere life; that law should prevail and provide the true meaning of life, over mere living; and that, while generations pass, freedom endures. This is the — revolutionary — legacy of the American Revolution to which they adhere. And so should we.

The law is not tyranny. Crime is not revolutionary. Rioting is not the revolution. Trump is not the Tsar; Biden is not Kerensky; the DSA are not the Bolsheviks (nor the Mensheviks); the anarchists are not the anarchists 이니셜 d. The Third Precinct is not the Bastille; Jacobin is not the Jacobins; CHAZ/CHOP is not the Paris Commune. Raz Simone is not Huey Newton or Robert F. Williams; BLM is not the Jewish Bund; 2020 is not 1917 — or 1968. But it might be 1992.

While 1992 led to the election of the Democrats, in 1968 and 2020 it led and will lead, now as before, to electing Republicans — let there be no doubt. The DNC riots (and George Wallace) led to Nixon’s victory; the Days of Rage and Kent State led to his reelection. In 1992, George H.W. Bush sent in the U.S. military (active duty troops, not National Guard) to “pacify” Los Angeles; and there were dozens of bodies felled in the streets and hundreds more sent to hospitals — thousands to jail. But the riots did not harm Bush’s reelection: Clinton would have lost if Ross Perot had not split the electorate, allowing Clinton to win with a minority of the vote. Donald Trump was a supporter of Perot’s Reform Party (out of opposition to Bush and Clinton’s NAFTA) — before he and Jesse Ventura left in protest later against its Right-wing takeover under Pat Buchanan, a true “America first” nationalist and isolationist. As in 2016, the silent majority will speak again; again, it is only a question of how loudly they will do so. Perhaps more loudly than the vocal minority. Prepare to be gobsmacked — again. Even if it’s Biden/Harris in 2020, it could be Trump again in 2024 — do not expect him (of all people) to go gentle into that good night 너나해 다운로드!

Columbus

The other event in 1992 that convinced me of the impossibility of struggle for proletarian socialism was the observation of 500 years of the Columbian Discovery of the New World in 1492 — which the “Left” protested as the beginning of “500 years of racism, sexism and homophobia,” neglecting that all human communities, in all places, ever, for thousands — tens of thousands — of years, have been racially chauvinistic and genocidal, enslaved those they conquered and did not simply kill, were patriarchal, and asserted murderous sexual morality over all their members; and that the transformation of the world and of humanity in our modern bourgeois emancipation, of which the Renaissance Italian Columbus’s voyage was part, was the very first time that the potential for overcoming myriad generations of racism, sexism and homophobia had ever emerged in history.

Genghis Khan was a protagonist of history even greater than Columbus, in both action and atrocity — should the people of Asia (and beyond) mourn who and what he made them? But of course Khan was just a prominent and particularly dramatic example of what humanity has carved in its blood over the course of millennia — or eons. Only since Columbus has slavery been abolished, genocide made a crime, and sexual freedom and gender equality been achieved. The epochal bourgeois revolution, of which Columbus’s Journey of Discovery was part, is the first — and only — successful slave revolt in history. 1992 marked not 500 years of oppression but five centuries of liberation, for the entire world. It put an end to ancestral guilt and began history anew. This change continues to this day. Its task is not over yet.

In Mexico, Columbus Day is celebrated as the “Day of the Race,” celebrating the marvelous mixture of European and indigenous people, the new modern race of Americans. — Shall we regret them as “illegitimate children” instead? Republican U.S. Congressional Representative Steve King said that all existing human populations are the products at some time or other of rape and incest, but that it is not the children’s fault for the sins of their fathers and mothers. — Shall we prefer that they were aborted?

Slavery

We are told by those such as the Mayor of Minneapolis and the Governor of Minnesota — the Speaker of the House of Representatives and various Senators and other Governors and Mayors — Democrats, all — that today in the U.S Download focus games. we are living in 400 years of slavery and its effects, of “white supremacy” — really! One wonders whether they are truly ashamed or rather proud to say so; anyway, various Hollywood actors, music and sports celebrities tweet their applause. It must be very kick-ass to be white nowadays. (Remember The New Jim Crow and Orange is the New Black that everybody was reading and watching: Poussey Washington’s death was protested, however that did not end well.) But isn’t present misery much more specific (and much less sexy): the deindustrialization of the past neoliberal capitalist generation; not 400 years of racism but 40 years of postindustrial poverty, in which not only the black underclass but also the black middle class has grown? The unexpected plot-twist after the achievement of Civil Rights reforms in the 1960s against racism was that the working class as a whole would be thrown onto the scrapheap of neoliberal capitalism. A century earlier, the Robber Baron Jay Gould had declared that he could hire one half of the working class to kill the other. Is this what we have been seeing for the last generation, the “poverty draft” — not only to the military but the police (including prison guards)? Jean-Paul Sartre asked whether there was any sense to life in a world where there are people whose job is to break our bones. He was right 70 years ago — and is still.

The “white” underclass has also grown since the 1970s — has been decimated (starved, sickened, bastardized, drug-addicted, criminalized — lumpenized) — as well: has this been the “white genocide” that the actual “white-supremacists” (or “-nationalists”) bemoan? Shall we look forward to a “race war” to settle the issue; shall we prove the old white racist fears of black revenge true; or are we beckoned by another future? Frantz Fanon declared that slavery was long overcome, and said that there is no black mission and no white burden — that he had no desire to crystallize guilt in hearts, and wanted to move into a future in which children would not scrutinize their color. Fanon said that excessive consciousness of the body is destructive of our humanity, psychologically and spiritually: it is not only mortifying but morbid, succumbing to morbidity. Fanon called on us to reject the destructive impulse of Thanatos, the Death Drive, and instead to embrace Eros, “to build the world of the You;” and prayed, “O my body, make of me always a man who questions!”[4] He was right 70 years ago — and is still.

Slavery is not the remarkable fact of American history, but its abolition is. The abolition of slavery in the U.S. was the attempt to prevent, for the whole world, it ever coming back. It is the extremely brief century and a half of the ban on slavery that is the exception to history, the difference from countless ages of slavery across the eternity of time — it is in fact what makes the U.S. exceptional and indeed the leader of the freedom of the entire world, to this day. The U.S. is the land of the free and home of the brave — the U.S. banishing slavery has been an act of unprecedented bravery and freedom, and still is.

But the guilty liberals’ 1619 Project last year, claiming indelible blackness and the permanent effects of the past visible in our bodies, will be taught in schools instead. Democrats don kente cloth this year and take a knee for eight minutes and forty-six seconds. — “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”[5] — A true mortification of the flesh, but without any sort of spiritual redemption.

Thomas Jefferson said that the world belongs to the living and not the dead. But in tearing down a statue of Jefferson we might not claim the world that actually belongs to us, the world of not mere life but of living — in freedom — but only the world of the dead. Shall we let the dead’s claims dominate us? Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty or give me death!” was not a mere phrase. “Live free or die” does not mean literally dying but not really living. Are we actually living, or is our life rather a living death? Are the living today only the evidence of past death; are we only living monuments to the dead?

Pathology of freedom, or death

When looking up at a statue of Columbus today, the rage we feel is the frustration and confusion of our liberation. We hate Columbus for his role in making our freedom inescapable. We blame the herald and harbinger and seek to kill the messenger for the bad news that, as Rousseau said, society has forced us to be free. Christopher Columbus the man is long since dead; but his image haunts us with all the terror — what Fanon called the “pathology” — of freedom. This is the fear and hatred of the revolution — our hatred and fear of freedom. We feel freedom itself as an oppression. Of course it has been and continues to be traumatic. But no destruction of symbols, no matter how furious, can cure our ills. As Freud observed, what is painful can nonetheless be true. The truth is that we are — painfully — free.

The painful truth is that we are not living through a revolution in the riots, or even a prelude to revolution; but the riots are only the expression of pain at the actual revolution in capitalism, a “cry of protest before accommodation”[6] to the new post-neoliberal reality, the change at the political Center that is being led by Trump. We look at Trump and see the effect of Columbus. We look at Columbus and see Trump. But while we decapitate Columbus, Trump keeps his head — and we brain ourselves. — Children, don’t let statues fall on your head!

Like Sally’s brother James Hemings, freed by Jefferson, we might become lost, and drink ourselves to death, after our manumission. That is our liberty. But the world goes on — and we cannot, or at least ought not to, hate others for living.

They will live and they will die but they will be free. Free to suffer and free to die, to find their own paths to death — which is the only possible meaning of life. Can our lives (our deaths) find their true meaning in freedom? Or will we be freed only from “this mortal coil”[7] and not from our mere mortality? The riots were provoked by the death of George Floyd and memorialized him: were they a true celebration of his life? Floyd’s family says they were not. The protests called for convicting the police who killed Floyd, to hold their lives responsible for his death. The righteous police will hold the wrongful police to account, and they in life along with Floyd in death will be sacrificed to redeem our collective guilt, the living deaths of our own lives, in memory of his dying. Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor called the riots a “festival of the oppressed”[8] — but can they be anything beyond what Rosa Luxemburg called the “dance of bloody shadows without number”?[9] Can they bring meaning to life, or only to death?

Is the dying of the oppressed the only meaning of our life — is death the only meaning of black life? What will our meaning be — can there be any meaning to us — in history? Beyond riots and Republicans, law and order, and, for now — today and tomorrow — Trump? Will we look only at ourselves, with morbid fascination and rage, and not look beyond ourselves to “the open door of every consciousness”?[10] — Children, I hope that you hope for more than death — for more than mere life! | P


[1] W.E.B. Dubois, Black Reconstruction in America (Rahway: Quinn & Boden Company, 1935), 727.

[2] James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time (London: Michael Joseph LTD, 1963), 99.

[3] Thomas Jefferson, “Correspondence of Thomas Jefferson,” in The Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States of America, ed. Edward Livingston (Washington: Blair & Rives, 1837), 2:116.

[4] Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks, trans. Charles Lam Markmann (London: Pluto Press, 1986), 232.

[5] 1 Cor. 11:24 ESV

[6] The phrase “a cry of protest before accommodation” is a paraphrase of “Passionate self-assertion can be a mask for accommodation” from Bayard Rustin in “The Failure of Black Separatism,” Harper’s Magazine (January 1970); See also, Chris Cutrone, “A cry of protest before accommodation? The dialectic of emancipation and domination” in Platypus Review 42(December-January 2012) available online at <https://platypus1917.org/2011/12/01/cry-of-protest-before-accommodation/>; Adolph Reed, “Black Particularity Reconsidered,” Telos 39 (1979), later expanded as “The ‘Black Revolution’ and the Reconstitution of Domination,” in Stirrings in the Jug: Black Politics in the Post-Segregation Era, ed. Adolph Reed (Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 1999); and Adolph Reed, “The Limits of Anti-Racism: Vague Politics about a Nearly Indescribable Thing,” Left Business Observer 121 (September 2009), available online at <http://www.leftbusinessobserver.com/Antiracism.html>.

[7] William Shakespeare, “Hamlet, Prince of Denmark,” in Shakespeare: Complete Works, ed. W.J. Craig (London: Oxford University Press, 1966), 886.

[8] Keeanga Yahmatta Taylor, “How Do We Change America?,” The New Yorker (June 2020), available online at <https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/how-do-we-change-america>. The phrase “festival of the oppressed” originates from V.I. Lenin, “Two Tactics Social-Democracy in the Democratic Revolution,” in Collected Works, trans. Abraham Fineburg and Julius Katzer, ed. George Hanna (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1977), 9:113. Available online at < https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1905/tactics/index.htm>.

[9] Rosa Luxemburg, The Junius Pamphlet: The Crisis of German Social-Democracy, trans. Dave Hollis. Luxemburg Internet Archive, <https://www.marxists.org/archive/luxemburg/1915/junius/>.

[10] Frantz Fanon, op. cit., 232

Capital and labor

Chris Cutrone

Platypus Review 126 | May 2020

ACCORDING TO MARX, capitalism is the contradiction of bourgeois social relations and industrial forces of production.[1] The effect of this self-contradiction of bourgeois society in industrial production is the division of capital and labor 2017 달력 다운로드. It is from this division that the opposed classes of capitalists and workers derive. The class struggle between workers and capitalists is a phenomenon — the phenomenal expression — of the self-contradiction of capitalism. It expresses labor’s contradiction with itself — which is also capital’s contradiction with itself. When referring to “capital and labor” there are actually just two forms of capital — Marx called these “variable and constant” as well as “fixed and circulating” capital — and both refer to labor — Marx called capital “alienated labor.” Labor and capital are two aspects of the same thing in capitalism 리눅스 서버 파일 다운로드. The bourgeois social relations of production are the social relations of labor.

The usual oppositions posed by the labor movement and by socialism, such as profit vs. human needs (and the needs of the natural world beyond humanity), are expressions of this self-contradiction of society in capitalism, the needs of capital as opposed to the needs of labor 아가능불회애니. The contradiction of capital is not external but internal.

Marx described capitalism as “false necessity.” What he meant by this was not simply wrong necessity, but rather self-contradictory necessity. For the needs of capital and the needs of labor are the same. In becoming opposed in capitalism, there is the conflict of labor with itself as well as of capital with itself Download powerpoint objects.

In capitalist politics, there is another phenomenon — expression — of capital’s self-contradiction, namely, the disputes among capitalist politicians over government policy, which can also express conflicting interests of different capitalists, including different sectors of industry, between different capitalist nation-states, etc. Workers employed in different occupations as well as in industries can thus have different and conflicting interests, competing over the priorities of social investment in capital 캔디크러쉬. The opposed aspects of capital — and of labor — are inseparable. Labor cannot be extricated from capital any more than capital can be from labor.

The goal of socialism is to realize capital as well as labor — to negate labor as well as capital. It is to realize as well as negate — overcome — capitalist necessity. What would such Aufhebung [sublation] mean?

Discontents in capitalism take various different and even opposed forms. The history of socialism itself as well as the history of capitalism expresses self-contradictory desires and goals. At different moments in the history of capitalism, the goals of socialism have taken various different and indeed opposed forms. For instance, socialism has variously regarded its goals as realizing the potential of capitalist production as opposed to abolishing capitalist production: achieving hyper-industrialism versus returning to subsistence primitivism[2] have both found home at one time or place or another in the struggle for socialism. Socialism could be defined as both and neither of the opposed alternatives that capitalism generates as its own positive goals and its own self-negations. All the various opposed demands arising from the discontents in capitalism will be both fulfilled and negated — overcome — in socialism.

Capital seeks to abolish labor and labor seeks to abolish capital — but more importantly in capitalism capital seeks to abolish itself and labor seeks to abolish itself. By making labor more productive it becomes less necessary; by producing excess capital it becomes more superfluous — less a real measure of social value. Labor seeks to abolish itself in capitalism, and thus to abolish capital, tasking socialism.

Only by encompassing the wide variety of discontents within the working class and across the history of its developments in capitalism could the political movement for socialist revolution to overcome capitalism become adequate to its task and mission, by becoming conscious of it. Since capital is the product of labor and labor the product of capital, this would mean encompassing the divisions among the capitalists as well as within capitalism itself as a total movement of society. The achievement of socialist revolution would be when the working class can take responsibility politically for capitalism as a whole. In so doing, the working class would confront the choices posed by the contradictions of capitalism that are otherwise expressed by the conflicts between the different capitalists and thus among workers of the world. All the conflicts exhibited in the world must be grasped as expressions and various forms of the self-contradiction of capitalism. Such conflicts are necessary — to be overcome.

The false necessity of capitalism as self-contradictory but opposed real needs can only be truly engaged and overcome from the standpoint of universal world history.[3] This can only take place from within the social antagonisms of capitalism, and not from partial, single-sided aspects of its contradictory totality.

The “workers of the world must unite” because the world is united in its self-contradiction and crisis in capitalism. The laborers must themselves take up and overcome the social relations of labor in crisis in capitalism by assuming the socialist political responsibility for capital that is eluded by capitalist politics.

Otherwise, the social conflicts in capitalism — between and among its capitalists and workers — will reproduce its contradictions forever. | P


[1] Please see my prior articles on “Robots and sweatshops,” Platypus Review #123 (February 2020), available online at: <https://platypus1917.org/2020/02/01/robots-and-sweatshops/>; and “Jobs and free stuff,” PR #124 (March 2020), available online at: <https://platypus1917.org/2020/03/01/jobs-and-free-stuff/>, of which this is meant to be the third and final entry in the series.

[2] See the articles in the Platypus Review issue #125 (April 2020) published to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first observation of Earth Day, April 22 (the same date as Lenin’s birthday), in 1970 (thus on the 100th anniversary of Lenin’s birth in 1870), available online at: <https://platypus1917.org/category/pr/issue-125/>.

[3] See my “Capital in history: The need for a Marxian philosophy of history of the Left,” Platypus Review #7 (October 2008), available online at: <https://platypus1917.org/2008/10/01/capital-in-history-the-need-for-a-marxian-philosophy-of-history-of-the-left/>.

Jobs and free stuff

Chris Cutrone

Platypus Review 124 | March 2020

THE CURRENT POLITICAL POLARIZATION in the U.S. is not Democrat vs. Republican or the minorities of race, gender and sexuality against straight white men: It is between the politics of free stuff vs epub 다운로드. the politics of jobs — demands for more free stuff vs. demands for more jobs.[1]

“Democratic socialist” candidate for Democratic Party nomination for President Bernie Sanders has responded to charges that he is actually a communist with the assertion that the U.S. is already socialist, but it is a socialism for billionaires. The kernel of truth in this is that there is already government subsidy and other kinds of support for capital Download the linux http file. The question is, why is this so? Corruption? Or rather is it actually in the interest of society? Of course it is the latter — the general interest of capitalist society, which both Parties serve (as best they can).

Karl Marx observed that the productive activities of general social cooperation are a “free gift to capital.” What did he mean? The social process of production is not at all reducible to the paid wage-labor of capitalist employees, but includes the activity of everyone in society 조영남 딜라일라. As Frankfurt School Director Max Horkheimer wrote, in “The little man and the philosophy of freedom,” “All those who work and even those who don’t, have a share in the creation of contemporary reality.”[2]

Whether in terms of Andrew Yang’s proposed “freedom dividend” of free money for all in a UBI or free public education and health care for all, the question is not who’s going to pay for it, but rather how can capital make use of it. These are not anti-capitalist demands but demands for the better functioning of capital. The question is, what are we going to do in our society with all the fruits of our production — with all our free stuff CartoonWars Gunner Bugpan? How can we make it benefit everyone? Is it just a matter of better shaving off more crumbs?

Yang proposes that the invaluable but currently unpaid labor of mothers, inventors and artists should be supported by society. Marx called this the communism of the principle of “from each according to ability, to each according to need” in a society in which the “freedom of each is the precondition for the freedom of all.” We already live in capitalism according to this principle, but capital fails to fulfill it Download excel table.

The Democrats propose to make capital fulfill its social responsibility; the Republicans think it already does so as best as possible, and any attempts at government intervention to make it do better no matter how well intentioned the reforms will actually be counterproductive. The result will be stagnation and lack of growth, undermining society along with capital. Without people working there can be no greater social benefits of production; without jobs there can be no free stuff 유튜브 영상 구간.

This is the essential difference in U.S. politics or really in capitalist politics everywhere: progressive capitalism vs. conservative capitalism. Not spendthrift vs. frugality or kindheartedness vs. cynicism or liberality vs mean-spiritedness, nor is it optimism vs. pessimism or idealism vs. realism Download Infinite Stratos. It is a division of labor in debate over advocating how to keep people working and how to distribute freely the products of their labor. It is not a difference in principle or one of honesty vs. deception: both sides are sincere — and both sides are self-deceiving.

Marx observed that the free gift to capital is the “general social intellect.” But that general social intellect has become the “automatic subject” of capital centos openjdk. How do we make it serve us, instead of us serving it? All politicians in capitalism want the same thing. The problem is that capitalist politics is not as intelligent as the society it represents. This is the true meaning of socialist politics — to realize the general social intellect — which today unfortunately is inevitably just a form of capitalist politics, whether by Sanders, Yang or Trump Download The Maneuver Gundam nt. They all want to better serve us — which means better serving capital. | P


[1] See my “Robots and sweatshops” as well as “Why not Trump again?,” Platypus Review 123 (February 2020); and “The end of the Gilded Age: Discontents of the Second Industrial Revolution today,” PR 102 (December 2017 – January 2018) and “The future of socialism: What kind of illness is capitalism?,” PR 105 (April 2018), available online at: <https://platypus1917.org/2020/02/01/robots-and-sweatshops/>, <https://platypus1917.org/2020/02/01/why-not-trump-again/>, <https://platypus1917.org/2017/12/02/end-gilded-age-discontents-second-industrial-revolution-today/> and <https://platypus1917.org/2018/04/01/the-future-of-socialism-what-kind-of-illness-is-capitalism/>.

[2] Horkheimer, Dawn & Decline: Notes 1926–31 and 1950–69 (New York: Seabury, 1978), 51 Cvx.

Robots and sweatshops

Chris Cutrone

Platypus Review 123 | February 2020

STARTING WITH THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION, there have been two contrary tendencies in the development of social production: increased automation lowering socially necessary labor-time; and the desperation of people rendered superfluous as workers 아크로벳리더.

For Marxism, this presented a social and political task for the working class to demand higher wages for fewer hours.

An alternative to this would be for workers to try to fight against technology — the Luddites 썸뱅크.

Conversely, the capitalists could invest in machines instead of labor.

Thus was born the antagonism between wage-labor and capital Tekken tag tournament.

The outcome of the class struggle between the workers and capitalists was to be the realization of the potential for both increased production and the reduction of human toil: socialism 스타 피쉬서버.

However, since machine production created a permanent class of unemployed people, there would always be a demand for work that could be exploited by the capitalists to pay lower wages Download Jeju Air.

Paying lower wages decreases the market for produced goods, which means a drive for higher profitability, leading to further pursuit of cost-efficiency in production as well as depression of wages 다우트 자막.

That leads to both robots and sweatshops.

Disparities and imbalances between capitalist profits and workers’ wages lead to periodic crises in which there is money that cannot find profitable investment and workers who cannot find employment titanium.

But eventually balance is restored through the cheapening of money-capital — and the cheapening of labor.

New forms of work are developed to serve new technologies of production Download The Sun's Descendantost. — Until the next crisis begins the cycle all over again.

This meant that the working class as a whole — both employed and unemployed — needed to be organized as a social and political force to ensure increased social wealth and to prevent exploitation Chrome Edge.

Since this is a matter of the organization of society as a whole — including internationally, and indeed globally, in the cosmopolitan exchange of wage-labor and capital — it requires the political act of taking state power: world socialist revolution Download Kangwon University. | P

Why I wish Hillary had won

Distractions of anti-Trump-ism

Chris Cutrone

Presented at the Left Forum 2018 on the panel “Has ‘the Left’ Accommodated Trump (and Putin)? A Debate,” with Ravi Bali, Brendan Cooney, Anne Jaclard, Daphne Lawless and Bill Weinberg, organized by the Marxist-Humanist Initiative at John Jay College in NYC on June 2, 2018. A video recording of the event is available online at: <https://youtu.be/tUvBeXO02JY> Jerry Maguire downloaded.

AS A MARXIST academic professional and a gay man living in a Northern city, married to a nonwhite Muslim immigrant, it would have been beneficial to me for Hillary Clinton to have been elected President of the U.S. That would have served my personal interests. No doubt about it.

I am opposed to all of Trump’s policies.

I am especially opposed to Trump on his signature issue, immigration. But I was opposed to Obama on this as well, and would have been opposed to Hillary too. I am opposed to DACA and its hierarchy of supposedly “deserving” recipients 카봇 시즌7. “Full citizenship rights for all workers!”

One response to Trump was a Mexican nationalist slogan, in response to Trump’s “Make America Great Again!,” “Make America Mexico again!” But, as a Marxist, I go one step further: I am for the union of Mexico and the U.S. under one government — the dictatorship of the proletariat. But Trump made Rudy Giuliani and Jeff Sessions wear hats saying “Make Mexico Great Again Also.” This was wholly sincere, at least on Trump’s part but probably also for Sessions and Giuliani. Why not? If I am opposed to making America great again, then I suppose I am also opposed to making Mexico great, too.

For the purposes of the struggle for socialism I seek to pursue, I wish Hillary had won the election code39 font. All the anti-Trump protest going on is a distraction from the necessary work, and, worse, Trump feeds discontent into the Democrats as the party of “opposition.” With Hillary in office, this would have been less the case — however, we must remember that, had she won, Hillary still would have faced a Republican Congressional majority, and so we would have still heard about how important it would be to elect Democrats this year!

I am opposed to Trump’s law-and-order conservatism. Not that I am against law and order per se, mind you, and perhaps I am not even so opposed to the order and law of society as it is now. I play by the rules and follow the law. Why wouldn’t I? — And, anyway, honestly, who here doesn’t: “rebels,” all?

But I am aware that laws are selectively enforced and that the social order is run by those who don’t always play by the rules — don’t always play by their own rules Warsaw 1944! I am aware that the social order and the law are used as excuses for things that are not so lawful and orderly, for things that are not so social. I am aware of Trump’s demagogy.

But it is funny watching the established social and political order go into fits over Trump’s insistence on law and order!

Trump’s election gave the “Left” something to do — they should be grateful! They would have been bored under Hillary. Especially after 8 years of Obama. “Fascism” is much more exciting, isn’t it?

I would have been grateful if Hillary had been elected instead — Saturday Night Live’s jokes about Hillary are much funnier than about Trump 나인 패치 다운로드.

My family voted for Trump — mostly. My mother and my brother and his wife voted for Trump. But my father voted for Hillary. When Hillary collapsed due to fatigue from pneumonia, my father dutifully went to get his pneumonia shot. But my mother previously had voted twice for Obama; I’m not sure if my father did, too — he might have voted for McCain and Romney.

In the primaries, I intended to vote for Bernie, but it turned out the Democrats sent the wrong ballots to my precinct (which was more likely to vote for Bernie than other precincts: I thus personally witnessed in action the Democrats’ suppression of votes for Bernie in the primaries), so I went to the (empty) Republican line and voted for Trump. — In November, too: I knew that Hillary would win Illinois, but I wanted her to win by one vote less: no sense rewarding the Democrats for being greedy 스페셜솔져 다운로드.

I expected Trump to win.

From the very moment that Trump descended the golden escalator and announced his candidacy, I thought he could win. As time went on, I increasingly thought that he would win.

I had mixed feelings about this.

On the one hand, I dreaded the shit-show that ensued in Trump’s campaign and that I knew would only get worse if he was elected.

But on the other hand, I felt an obligation as a teacher to prepare my students for Trump’s victory. — If he had not won, nothing would have been lost: my students didn’t require any special preparation for a Clinton Presidency xinetd rpm. But if Trump won, I knew that there would be a great deal of confusion — and scare-mongering by the Democrats. I couldn’t stand by and watch my students be lied to.

I had lived through the Reagan Revolution and watched The Day After on television along with everyone else. I heard Reagan denounced as a “fascist” by the “Left” and experienced the multiple anti-climaxes of Mondale and Dukakis. The world hadn’t ended. As an adult, I lived through the George W. Bush Presidency, 9/11 and the War on Terror, the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the financial crash, and the “change we can believe in,” the election of the First Black President Download Mount & Blade mode. In all that time, not much changed. At least not much attributable to the Presidency.

So I didn’t expect much to change with Trump either.

But I did expect a lot of hysterics in response. I knew that my students would be scared. I wanted to protect them from that.

So I sought to get out ahead of it.

My students asked me to write a statement on the election in the beginning of the new academic year before the election, something short that could be handed out as a flyer.

So I wrote, “Why not Trump?” — which is why I was invited here to speak to you now: to answer for my alleged crime visual studio code 한글 다운로드. It was not an endorsement, nor an equivocation, but an honest question: Why not Trump? Perhaps it was too philosophical.

As I wrote in that article, I thought that the mendacity of the status quo defending itself against Trump was a greater threat than Trump himself. I was prompted to re-read Hannah Arendt’s article on the Pentagon Papers, “Lying in Politics:” she said that the ability to lie was inextricably connected to the ability to create new things and change the world.

I don’t know.

I did find however a difference in quality and character between Trump’s lies and the Democrats’.

The only argument I found for Hillary was that we lived in the “best of all possible worlds” — as Voltaire’s Professor Pangloss described it in Candide toy story 다운로드. I didn’t want to be Professor Pangloss. I wanted to spare my students that.

But perhaps we did live in the best of all possible worlds under Obama, and would have continued to do so under Hillary. Perhaps Trump really has ruined everything for everyone. Perhaps the world has come to an end.

I don’t know.

I wish Hillary had won — so I could have found out. | P