Communism staging a comeback?

karl marx
He’s back and ready to party (maybe)

From the Guardian

Move over Jacko, Idea of Communism is hottest ticket in town this weekend

The hottest ticket in London this weekend is not for a pop singer or a football match but for a conference on communism which brings together some of the world’s leading Marxist academics.

Should corporate titans be trembling in their over-leveraged boots? Ah, no. Given a superb, once in a lifetime opportunity to genuinely organize, given the current economic crisis, are these Marxists plunging into the torrent, mixing it up with the workers. Not hardly

One of the organisers, the Slovenian philosopher and writer, Slavoj Zizek, has emphasised that the purpose of the gathering is not to “deal with practico-political questions of how to analyse the latest economic, political, and military troubles, or how to organise a new political movement”. He added: “more radical questioning is needed today – this is a meeting of philosophers who will deal with communism as a philosophical concept, advocating a precise and strong thesis: from Plato onwards, communism is the only political idea worthy of a philosopher.”

Absolutely. Let’s all try to be as irrelevant and useless as possible. Rather than using some of Marx’s ideas to explain to a worker why he just lost his job / home /pension, instead let’s get theoretical and talk philosophy. No wait, I’ve got an even better idea. Let’s spend inordinate amounts of time squabbling about what some obscure Communist in 1920 thought about the national question. That will be sure to win followers and smash capitalism too.

On socialist listservs, you can sometimes find long (very long) debates about “What is the working class.” Well, uh, how can you organize it if you can’t even define it or find it? But here’s a hint. Go to the West Texas oil fields. You’ll find lots of genuinely exploited working class folks there. Tell them you’re a philosopher and that communism is the only worthy political idea. You’ll be sure to grab their attention, I guarantee that.