Lots of people in the New Zild social media vortex got very excited about Marxism this week.
I suppose it keeps them off the streets.
Over at Dimpost, Danyl has had a go at the limits of 21st Century Marxists, still proclaiming the destruction of capitalism will solve everything.
His main point is that it won’t, I think. And, all things considered, it’s probably not a view I’d disagree with.
He’s had a response from Gio, who backs Marxism, as anyone familiar with Gio’s work might expect, although it isn’t all that clear what he is exactly backing Marxism to do except make things, and people, nicer.
Which has to be the ultimate triumph of hope over experience, I suppose.
I think it’s safe to say I’ve read enough Marx to conclude I’m not a big fan.The verbosity, the moral superiority, the perpetual anger, the body count in the millions, etc etc etc…it’s just not me, really.
To be fair, Gio is a charming chap in real life, and as unlikely to cart anyone off to any gulag as I am to lecture you on dialectical materialism.
I’ve written before about the style of thought, of which Marxism is but a subset, before, here – again, in response to something Danyl had written.
The only thing I’d add, perhaps, is to put a bit more emphaisis on the danger of all encompassing systems of political thought – and the way in which they have come to replace religion, or at least the least attractive aspects of organised religion.
English poet T E Hulme, writing in the first decade of the 2oth century, called Romanticism ‘spilt religion’ and it seems to me this style of thought has often spilled over into politics, mostly with unfortunate results.
Still, as a conservative interested in political ideas, I find all this stuff diverting. It is fruitless at best and dangerous at worst, though, to take it all too seriously.
So, finally…Monty Python, in a kind of of Unspeakable Secrets of Aro Valley Goes to the Gulag (and if you haven’t read Danyl’s latest novel, Mysterious Mysteries of the Aro Valley, then do so: it’s hilariously brilliant):
This from Lance Wiggs. Who, if you are on Twitter, you should follow. Even when he’s wrong, he’s interesting.
“You are entirely at the mercy of poorly coded algorithms and the arbitrary judgement of some 20 year old Frappuccino swilling douchebeard”
— Lance Wiggs (@lancewiggs) September 12, 2016
It features, funnily enough, character called Bill. He is a stick figure depicted doing something praiseworthy: cleaning his fingernails, washing his hands, putting the cushions away after Morning Talk – that sort of thing.
Yes folks: social media has come to this. People are now using it to treat each other like eight-year-olds.
At some point in the last year social media has become a kind of free range Singaporean government, if such a beast can be imagined.
Not only are you pulled up for using the wrong metaphor, (columnist David Slack attracted much tut-tutting for using the Salem witch trials as a simile in a column on the weekend) but there are now these annoying little poster-ettes which urge correct behaviour upon us all.
And we’re doing it to each other. It is not some centralised bureaucracy in a government, not some overbearing religious leader or assembly doing this.
The finger wagging, the bossy boots: it is all now being crowd sourced.
The only sensible, rational, spirited response to any of this hideous, overbearing bossiness is a hearty raspberry – and failing that, a full throated PISS OFF.
I love social media and its capacity to share views, facts, ideas, humour and philosophy.
It should be – as previous revolutions in communication have been – channels to widen and deepen the spread of ideas.
But this is turning into a narrow avenue of mean spiritedness, spite and self righteousness.