Thursday, September 20, 2007

Marxism Is Fun In Theory & Why Blowing Up Yourself Can Sound Like A Good Idea

I haven't been blogging as much since teaching the little ones. (Today, we learned about Egypt, Turkey, The Kurds, and Syria. Yes, we did.) Because of being otherwise detained with a business deal, too, reading has become secondary, especially web reading.

Shrinkwrapped knocked this out of the park, though, explaining why Marxism is dangerous. He tells this story:

In college, I dabbled in radical politics. I went to many anti-war demonstrations as a teenager. I enjoyed the frisson of rebellion that the Psychedelic 60s was shrouded within, yet a single incident awoke me to the reality that I would never be a good Marxist. I had been intrigued by Trotsky, the idea of constant revolution was fascinating to someone who wished to resist falling into the predicted and predictable path I feared I was on. On campus was a well established group of young Trotskyites, the Young Socialist Alliance. They were involved in various protests, which were always enjoyable, not least for the presence of many nubile, young radical women who approved of radical young men. One fateful day I stopped by the YSA table to find out more about them. I made a joking reference to the previous weekend's demonstration and discovered that the leader of the group was a young man who was incredibly humorless. He proceeded to lecture me (hectored me, perhaps) with a diatribe on how much commitment was necessary for the revolution to succeed and how there was no room for humor in the revolution; this was deadly serious business fighting the oppressors and jokes had no place in it.

I thought he was a complete jerk; I also thought he was a very dangerous jerk. This was the kind of person who would have no trouble condemning someone for thought crimes. If that was the kind of person who was attracted to Marxism, perhaps I wasn't as much of a radical as I fancied.

Years later I can still recall him, with a Che Guevara beard, intense eyes, and a complete lack of humor or humanity. Any revolution that condemned humor was not a revolution for me.

Rage at a cruel and withholding universe (often a derivative of infantile frustration) is difficult to tolerate. Most of us, with good-enough parenting, come to temper our infantile frustrations (which have roots in our infantile grandiosity which is so painful to give up) by using our loving ties to our parents to metabolize the rage which would otherwise be so destructive. Those unfortunates who cannot do so via love are left enraged and searching for ways to offload the rage to an external victim. Ideologies that enable such offloading attract the angry and the failed and it is through this pathway that Marx (the angry, anti-Semitic hater of religion) and the Islamists (descended from Qutb, the angry, anti-Semitic hater of secularism) find their true identity.
That all-consuming anger, that root of bitterness, gives a place to the devil. It reminds me of a scripture in Ephesians, chapter 4 verse 27:
“Be angry, and do not sin”:[f] do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give place to the devil.
There are many people in the world giving the devil ample room to do his work.

1 comment:

sandy said...

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