I’m a marxist of the stupid meathead tendency. Our tradition believes that things really aren’t that complicated.
I have lost my interest in political reading to a great extent. I know – for a marxist, that’s like losing your libido. Well, I’m almost 25, so I guess I’m getting to that age, huh. All the reading just seemed like a mania for no purpose. It’s not that I’m not around enough political people. Even when I was lucky enough to be in a place with more Left organization, it seemed like the only purpose the high-level reading served me was to help me argue with sectarians. It didn’t help me communicate with normal people. Actually it made me worse at that.
I’m not kidding, I really do think it’s a cultish thing where people all feel like they need to climb some group hierarchy by memorizing the most shit.
I confess to having once read Capital Volume I. I benefited from it, it’s true. But I just don’t think telling people to read an 800-page book of translated 1800s German is the way to do it anymore. We can boil the economic ideas down into short and simple language. I’ve read Lukacs, too. But that really could’ve been shortened down a lot as well – maybe a pamphlet explaining the power of ideas.
Can we stop with “theory?” Theory sucks. Ideas, concepts, socialism, anarchy, politics, those are all great. Maybe even a little history, if you can choke it down, though it is honestly asking a lot. But what people mean by “theory” anymore is not directly relevant or even indirectly relevant to organizing.
Look, you want to talk about dialectics? It’s all about (1) everything is connected (2) if you’re a Perfect Marxist, that connection is material not magical (I believe in both) (3) the forward motion of things comes from the tension between different bodies or forces (4) it’s possible to find a “unity of opposites” or synthesis, like instead of being a sectarian on the sidelines or a participant who hides their views, be a radical-in-a-movement. There. It’s not complicated. Maybe it deserves a slightly longer treatment, especially the parts relevant to organizing, but not too much longer. Most of the verbiage and length confuses more than it clarifies and so hurts, not helps.
Again on “theory.” I find all that stuff completely unreadable. “Being,” “the object,” “ontology,” I have no idea what’s going on. I don’t care. Those postmodernists writing in loop-de-loops piss me off. They make up all these words, and not just postmodernists, either. It’s like the entire Left is infected by Grad School.
I’d like a Left of the high-school level, not the grad school level.
And everyone makes shit too damn long, too. So I’m gonna stop here.