27 Mar 2018

Send Marx to the Ash Heap of History!

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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 “philosophy.” I am sick of him “having reason,” as the French say, or “being right.” But most of all I am sick of his “relevance.”

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 Marx’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 “religion of everyday life.”

In post–World War II Yugoslavia, Marx’s “relevance” 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 Marx’s thought, why not make a case for the great man’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 Žižek for a Marxist-communist renaissance or “idea of communism,” which looks suspiciously like the idealism or “German ideology” that Marx spent his youth meticulously taking to pieces?

RTWT

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