I’ve been purged!

Adam and Eve driven from the Garden
But then, I never have been able to turn off my brain and robotically accept dogma. My thought crime apparently involved being insufficiently Marxist. Mentioned this to a long-time socialist friend who laughed and said, congratulations.

A Steppenwolf lyric seems appropriate.

Your mind is so narrow
That it’s no surprise
If you fell on a pin
You’d be blind in both eyes.

And a bit more poetically, also from Steppenwolf.

I can’t return to where you’re goin’
What I have learned, it can’t be undone

All my faith got caught in a maze
Lost our dreams in a far a way place
Now that I have seen you again
Can’t believe your world’s still the same.

This was of course done in the finest tradition of the far left, without explanation or recourse and in a way that insured any existing friendships were vaporized. Go figure.

Update: Thoughts on the subject. Marxist groups, organizing, and clowning.

  • Hi Bob:

    I’m sorry to hear this … the Marxist left can be a bizarre and self-destructive place at times. Too many grouplets believe that preserving their pure version of the revealed truth is more important than building a broad movement against capitalism.

    By way of encouragement … some of us continue to defend to what I believe is really “the finest tradition of the far left” — a tradition of open investigation, debate and discussion, a tradition of non-sectarian organizing and action. Marx and Engels set the standard 160 years ago:

    “The Communists do not form a separate party opposed to the other working-class parties. They have no interests separate and apart from those of the proletariat as a whole. They do not set up any sectarian principles of their own, by which to shape and mold the proletarian movement.”

    By that standard, many today who claim to be Marxist have no riht to the word.

    Ian Angus

  • Thank you for your support. I appreciate it.

    I’ll be blogging the next few days on how the “correct program” belief of many grouplets invariably leads to sectarianism and insures the grouplet will remain tiny.

    An important source for my posts will be a quite amazing article by Peter Camejo, who in addition to running for VP as a Green with Nader, was the Socialist World Party candidate for president in 1976. The article deals with the groupthink of such parties and how it is ultimately self-defeating.

    Stay tuned!

  • Studying the sayings and stories of ancient masters and expounding them for deluded people is of no use in awakening ourselves and guiding others. In the end, what’s the use? ~ Dogen

    The first thing that popped into my seven year old mind, and out of my seven year old mouth, upon seeing that graphic nearly fifty years ago ‘where did they get the cloths (note the spelling), I thought they only had fig leaves?’

    The answer is never the answer. What’s really interesting is the mystery!

  • Leon Trotsky

    This reflects poorly on the PSL, since as far as I can tell you have always been a liberal, not a Marxist. So you joined because they lied to you that Marxism is just garden-variety liberalism, and they purged you because they lied to themselves that they are Marxists.

  • So you joined because they lied to you that Marxism is just garden-variety liberalism

    I doubt you can find a single sentence in any article published on which will give you the slightest impression that the PSL thinks (or says to anyone publicly or privately) that “Marxism is just garden-variety liberalism.”

  • The original recruiting pitch from the grouplet to me was something along the lines of, it’s a better form of democracy. So it was a soft sell.

    The indoctrination about the dictatorship of the proletariat came later. It was couched in the Marxist theory that the dictatorship was only supposed to be against the recently deposed bourgeoisie. But that’s hardly what happened in practice. The purges, etc. were never discussed.

    When criticism of Chavez, Ahmadinejad or the loathsome Mugabe becomes forbidden because of their supposed “stand against imperialism” that’s where, for me, the cultist aspects begin. Like friends never criticize friends? Isn’t that what a real friend (or ally) can and should do when needed?

    PS If anyone wants to email me privately about any of this, unlike the standard policy here, your email will NOT be published without your specific ok first.

  • It’s another way Marxists are like churches: they kick people out the same way.

  • Bob,

    Sorry to hear that. It’s a shame that people have to be so petty. It really does stop us from building larger and more successful movements.

    Keep on keepin’ on, brother. The struggle continues.


  • Sometimes, it’s WWLD (What Would Lenin Do), isn’t it?

    “Lenin said it, I believe it, that settles it.”


  • Red Cloud

    Oh yeah. Right on! Free from those crazy Marxist sects! Now we can all go vote for Obama and the Democratic wing of the property party just like our friends!

    Free at last, free at last!

  • DJ

    There is a bit of irony in that: people Left and Right are planning to vote for Obama, people (including me) who would normally never vote Democrat. Something is happening, but I don’t know what it is… but it transcends party affiliation, at least for the moment.

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