Communism is evolving. But the new version isn’t any less toxic than the old

If identity politics takes over from traditional Marxism, it will be every bit as repressive and intolerant as its predecessor.

. 6 June 2021 •

On Thursday, I debated against the cult Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek at the Cambridge Union. The motion? “This House believes that Marx was right.” It is extraordinary, on one level, that such a debate can still be held. No one would dream of discussing whether Torquemada or Mullah Omar or Anders Behring Breivik was right. In the grisly tally of murder, Marxism stands unchallenged. The abominable Atlantic slave trade claimed ten million lives. The Nazis, their evils protracted by the lights of perverted science, killed 17 million. Communism has so far slaughtered 100 million. Marx may not have killed anyone with his own hands. Neither, as far as we know, did Hitler, but no one tries to claim that this exculpates him from the horrors unleashed by his doctrines. Only communists get a special pass here. Every barbarity they inflict is explained away as “not real socialism”.

To see how absurd that is, imagine arguing that Hitler’s crimes were “not real fascism”. Fascism, like every other doctrine, is judged by its actual record. Only communism is treated as textbook theory, too pure and numinous to be sullied by real- world examples. Yet history has furnished us with some laboratory-standard experiments: China versus Taiwan, East Germany versus West Germany, North Korea versus South Korea. While free-marketeers are generally prepared to accept that, say, South Korea, marred by occasional corruption and abuses, is an imperfect capitalist state, Western communists resolutely refuse to allow similar inferences to be drawn about North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela or anywhere else. Such, at any rate, were my arguments in the debate. But I was uneasily aware as I made them that they were unlikely to hit home. Marxism is more like a religious sect than a political creed. The more palpably absurd its tenets become, the more the faithful flaunt their piety by embracing them. Marx insisted that his doctrines were scientific truths rather than political opinions. Yet every prediction he made turned out to be wrong. The market system did not destroy the bourgeoisie – it enlarged it. It did not concentrate wealth in the hands of a tiny oligarchy – it increased it across the board. It did not exhaust resources – it kept finding more. Most obviously, it did not collapse under the weight of its contradictions.

Yet, in every generation, a new crop of devotees arises to explain that this time it will be different, this time the prophecy will be fulfilled. Marxists resemble nothing so much as doomsday cultists, constantly shifting the date of their Armageddon as it keeps failing to materialise. Then again, religions evolve, adapt, spawn heresies that sometimes displace them. During the debate, Žižek told me that he had become something of a hate figure among younger Leftist radicals because he diverged from the woke line on some gender and identity issues.

Woke began as an offshoot of left- wing ideology, transferring the role of the proletariat from the traditional working class to various minorities and ethnicities. But it soon evolved its own dogmas and sacraments, its own purity rites. Like Marxists, wokies are millenarians, working for a magical tomorrow that owes nothing either to past practice or to human frailties.

Like Marxists, they see themselves as an elect, and are constantly on the lookout for deviations from orthodoxy. One of the things they have started to notice is that the old cadger himself had, by their lights, some sacrilegious views. Even if we discount Marx’s abhorrent anti-Semitism (which wokies too rarely count as proper racism), we are left with his dismissal of “backward races”, which he believed would hold humanity back, and his pleasure that “lazy” Mexicans had been conquered by an expanding America: “In America we have witnessed the conquest of Mexico and have rejoiced at it. It is to the interest of its own development that Mexico will be placed under the tutelage of the United States.”

Could it be that the woke are breaking from the old faith? Might they even cancel its original prophet? Žižek told the Cambridge Union that he “radically oposes” radically opposes the politically correct obsession with identity and gender politics. “In this sense, I am an orthodox Marxist”. One thing is already depressingly clear. If identity politics takes over from traditional Marxism, it will be every bit as repressive and intolerant as its predecessor. It has left us in no doubt on that score.

6 comments

  • Polling shows that 31% of millennials in the US are sympathetic to Marxism. It’s likely to be similar or the same in Britain. One of the main reasons for this absurdity is the infiltration of Marxists into academia back in the 1950’s or earlier. Impressionable minds have been poisoned with this drivel ever since. Some of them grow out of it, but others never shake it off. 
    The British Labour Party has been a Marxist outfit from day one. The Miliband brothers were brought up under the ideas of the grisly Stalinist Eric Hobsbawm. They remain proud of that fact. The hapless but oddly quite likeable Ed was replaced with a vile Russian agent of influence; JeremIRA CorbLenin, who in turn has been replaced with a more moderate socialist; Kier Starmer, whose parents were so impressed with the rabid anti-Semite who founded the Labour Party that they gave his name to their son.
    Marx would be quite comfortable living under the rule of putler; a venal Marxist-Leninist turned fascist. He would particularly approve of the crushing of educated middle class resistance; as exemplified by Navalny, Kara-Murza and of course the late Boris Nemtsov, who being a Jew would have been particularly hated by Marx.

    Liked by 2 people

    • And in all those studies getting into minds of mush, never a mention of the millions of untold lives that were lost under that ideology.

      Liked by 2 people

      • As Dan Hannan says, communism is evolving. The players are getting smarter. Barmy Bernie is an out-and-out Marxist who honeymooned in Yaroslavl and enjoyed hanging out with scum like Daniel Ortega. Yet he likes to position himself as a Scandi-style socialist when he’s nothing of the sort. His protégés; the evil hags of ‘the squad’, also claim to be ‘democratic socialists’. What bullshit! Those savage harpies would soon be lining up firing squads for their enemies, given half a chance.
        What the far left/far right have in common is anti-semitism; the hallmark of the degenerate. Bernie, like Marx, is a self-hating Jew who hates Israel.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Last week one of those Harpies said the way to reduce crime was to reduce prison beds.
          Perhaps someone as clever as you could explain that theory to me because as usual with most Socialist/Communist ideas, it doesn’t register with me.

          Liked by 1 person

  • Perhaps these lovers of commies would like to go and live in a country run by the biggest commie psycopath of them all, and also the fattest.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-57225936

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, the fat little fuck imports luxury Swiss cheese to keep up his waistline. He also likes imported lobsters, champagne etc; like a textbook Marxist dictator. He is believed to own 17 palaces around NK, a private island, 100 luxury cars, a private jet and a 100 foot yacht.
      There are also lurid tales about the life of that other communist revolutionary; Castro, who also loved luxury goods. He claimed to take a salary of $43/month and live in a ‘fisherman’s hut’ by the beach. All bullshit. He actually made huge money by offering safe haven to international drug traffickers. He spent so much time boning and impregnating models that it was surprising he found the time to run his commie shithole.

      Liked by 1 person

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