The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Instapundit Goes Socialist?

Posted on | November 30, 2021 | No Comments

Glenn Reynolds linked to and quoted a critique of the “underhanded journalism and bogus history” behind the New York Times‘ 1619 Project.

When I clicked the link, I was shocked to find myself at the World Socialist Web Site, a platform of the Trotskyite “Fourth International.” And if you keep reading the article by Professor Tom Mackaman, you eventually get to the part where he quotes and praises Karl Marx:

But history is “a fixed thing” in at least one sense. The past actually happened. Generations of people lived, worked, created, struggled, loved, fought and died. They did so under conditions not of their own choosing, but those handed down to them from preceding generations. And they did not do so alone. Out of the development of the productive forces, as Marx long ago explained, classes emerged—lord and vassal, master and slave, capitalist and worker—now in hidden, now in open conflict. On top of all of this culture, law, politics, language, nation—and, with apologies to Hannah-Jones—race developed, always reflecting the ideology of the ruling layers, and always interacting dynamically with the class structure. . . .
Gobineau’s racialist conception of history appeared as a ruling class response to the emergence of the working class, and, in that connection, to the development of the materialist conception of history. This Marx and Engels had begun to develop in the 1840s as a critique of the Hegelian dialectic, which, not dissimilarly from Bancroft’s conception of American history, had imagined history to be the working out of a transcendent idea into the real world. Among the many expositions Marx and Engels gave of the materialist conception of history, perhaps the most succinct is a portion of Engels’ eulogy at Marx’s graveside in 1883:

Marx discovered the law of development of human history: the simple fact, hitherto concealed by an overgrowth of ideology, that mankind must first of all eat, drink, have shelter and clothing, before it can pursue politics, science, art, religion, etc.; that therefore the production of the immediate material means, and consequently the degree of economic development attained by a given people or during a given epoch, form the foundation upon which the state institutions, the legal conceptions, art, and even the ideas on religion, of the people concerned have been evolved, and in the light of which they must, therefore, be explained, instead of vice versa, as had hitherto been the case.

Within this vast arena history has unfolded. It is “fixed” because none of what happened can ever be changed even by one whit. And therein lies both the tragedy of history and its powerful capacity to speak to that which is progressive in the present. The tragedy of history and “the lessons” go together. This is the Via Dolorosa of the working class, Rosa Luxemburg said.

It is not my habit to look a gift horse in the mouth and, when one is engaged in all-out political combat, it is unnecessary (and in many cases unwise) to question the motives of one’s allies — the enemy of my enemy is my friend, and I don’t much care why he hates my enemy.

“Any stick will do to beat a mad dog,”  as the old country saying goes, and when a doctrinaire Marxist is whacking away at Nikole Hannah-Jones, Ibram X. Kendi, et al., all I can say is, “Carry on, brother!”

Nevertheless, it must be said that Marxism is the deadliest idea in human history, having caused about 100 million deaths in the 20th century.

Marx’s “materialist conception of history,” far from being a scientific discovery, was an intellectual formula for limitless hatred.

Karl Marx began with the idea of fomenting bloodshed in revolutionary class warfare, and his “materialist conception of history” was developed as a pretext for this intended slaughter. The ironic consequence — i.e., that the Marxist idea ultimately killed far more workers than the reactionary forces of the bourgeoisie ever did — has never been fully acknowledged by the Left, including such Trotskyists as Professor Mackaman. Like their namesake, Trotskyists prefer to dwell in that dream world where their beloved “dictatorship of the proletariat” requires no gulags, no secret police, no summary executions.

For Trotsky himself, this dream ended with the “materialist conception” of an ice-ax to the skull wielded by Stalinist agent Ramón Mercader.

Like so many socialists before him, Tom Mackaman wishes to rescue the Marxist idea from the evidence of its failure. And in attacking the racial obsessions of Hannah-Jones, et al., Professor Mackaman fails to acknowledge what is obvious to most conservatives, namely that “Critical Race Theory” is derived from Marxism, with race replacing class as the categorical basis of revolutionary struggle. (Feminism is similarly derived from Marxism, with sex replacing class as the basis of struggle.) That the Left has fragmented into warring factions, divided by identity politics, is something Mackaman laments but cannot remedy for the simple reason that leftists are human beings, and thus naturally self-centered, prone to heed whatever political appeal is most flattering to their egos.

“Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun? . . . The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. . . . Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”

Such is the only wisdom that will preserve us in this evil hour, the only truth that can guide us toward righteousness. The godless Commies are doomed to the pit of Hell, of course, and I would hope Professor Reynolds doesn’t mind my McCarthyism in warning against this danger.

If hating Commies is wrong, I don’t want to be right.




 

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