Ana Stankovic, coming from formerly Marxist Yugoslavia, is awfully sick of people living comfortably in the capitalist West speaking favorably of the philosophy of Karl Marx.
Call me a killjoy but I am sick to death of hearing about Karl Marx. I am sick of his name, his -isms, his undoubted genius, and his â€œphilosophy.â€ I am sick of him â€œhaving reason,â€ as the French say, or â€œbeing right.â€ But most of all I am sick of his â€œrelevance.â€
As someone whose parents were born and grew up in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and who missed the same fate by the skin of her teeth, I know perfectly well what Marxâ€™s relevance amounts to. Marx gave it a name, even if for him it meant something else than it did for the people of Yugoslavia. I am talking about the oft-quoted and seldom understood â€œreligion of everyday life.â€
In postâ€“World War II Yugoslavia, Marxâ€™s â€œrelevanceâ€ was to be a member of the ruling communist party. Outside of that supra-religious institution no substantial share in the social wealth was possible. …
I have a suggestion to make. Given the un-tragic wrongness of Marxâ€™s thought, why not make a case for the great manâ€™s contemporary irrelevance? After all, is there today anything more incongruous, perverse, and patently absurd than the call by self-styled communist philosophers like Slavoj Å½iÅ¾ek for a Marxist-communist renaissance or â€œidea of communism,â€ which looks suspiciously like the idealism or â€œGerman ideologyâ€ that Marx spent his youth meticulously taking to pieces?