Sunday, February 27, 2011
You want to read this.
It is a deeply puzzling thing. The grip, that is, of Marxism on the minds of so many evidently intelligent people. I think I understand the appeal of Marxism on the brain of the early twenty something, having suffered through it, not to mention my poor father, myself. (That is, he suffered through my infatuation with Marxism.) But it goes way beyond that. You have to think that if our planet were ever to be discovered by some moderately ethical star faring race, and they were able to appreciate along with everything else the history of communism and all its acolytes, the case against just sterilizing the muddy ball on which we live would be made considerably weaker. What an appalling, nasty, weak-minded and heartless batch of insects it makes us look. And even that's unfair to insects -- ant colonies work well at least. They don't set up little ant gulags. If the aliens arrive, somebody will have to make sure Hobsbawm STFU. He merits the dubious distinction of having made scholarship a crime against humanity.
And yet it remains true that your chances of getting hired as an historian by the University of California and most US universities of stature would have to be greater if you were known to believe that Stalin was at bottom engaged in a noble experiment and deserved our qualified admiration, than if you were known to think that Jesus had had a grip on an ethical insight that rose to the supernatural, or even just was really swell. It baffles one still and among other reactions, how can one not feel, as a human and Californian or whatever, ashamed? If this is enlightenment, I would hate to see the dark void ruled by lies, hatred, ignorance and lust for power.
But on the bright side, we did win the Cold War, which was just the long, drawn out end to beating that other and closely related Evil of Hitlerism and its various horrific mutations. We can whine about how comfortably the Marxists have burrowed into the academy but I doubt we would get much sympathy from, say, the Poles, or the Cambodians, Cubans, Koreans, Chinese, and one could go on. At least it gives us something to do, being undertakers for history's unmarked grave of forgotten lies. Just now a ways to go before the lies are forgotten, or so at least one hopes that is all is going on.