File spoon-archives/marxism2.archive/marxism2_1996/96-07-31.055, message 76

Date: Tue, 23 Jul 1996 15:09:55 -0700 (PDT)

Oh, Alex.  GONE TO CROATAN is an excellent book, proving that even
anarchist dolts score once in a while.

>Is egoism really the "party line" these days?

I don't know.  You couldn't pay me enough to have anything to do
with any of these parties.  Of course, the concept of 'communist
egoism' seems like a novelty after decades and decades of party
discipline, or should I say, intimidation of intellectuals.  If
you have any self-respect, you will not be much of a prospect for
some party leaders to exploit the shit out of you and ruin your
life, as the Trots, Maoists, and other misfits do.  I'm hoping
they'll all die off soon.  Well, you won't see me appealing to
middle-class guilt in order to whip the intellectuals into line,
unless you're reading carelessly.

>Blake and Lenin together? How curious. What would Blake say
>about those Soviet satanic mills ....

Blake knew where Urizen was going and what Ulro would look like.
The end result was Joseph Stalin.  (See CLR James' STATE
CAPITALISM AND WORLD REVOLUTION for a secular explanation.)  But
did you see me engage in mindless sycophancy of Lenin?  (Uncle Joe
did take out the patent on "Marxism-Leninism," beating out
Zinoviev and making Trotsky bitch for another decade and a half.)
I limited my claims for Lenin to the following:

>Even Lenin, privately in his philosophical notebooks, recognized
>this matter by 1914-5, though he didn't take it very far.

Does this sound like uncritical hero-worship to you?  Perhaps you
are familiar with Raya Dunayevskaya's take on Lenin's notebooks
and the meaning of his failure to publish them?  I disagree pretty
thoroughly with her interpretation.  Do you want to suffer through
my spiel?  However Lenin's philosophical writings relate to
imperialism and the bankruptcy of the Second International and the
course of political strategy, I don't think Lenin took his
insights more than an inch in the direction that concerns us now.
He made a brilliant statement ending with that phrase about
omnipotent human knowledge, left the library in Zurich, and that's
about it.  He was too austere even to indulge in his sensitivity
to music, let alone develop his insights on human cognition and
cultural expression.  Lenin belongs to distant and harsh
conditions; our world is a different one.

The two-souls-of-Marx line is pretty unconvincing.  How about the
Marx who was too engrossed in politics and the daily course of
living to bother to get his manuscripts published or to oversee
his legacy or think about his impending iconic status and see to
it he would not be misunderstood?  But then, he couldn't even
finish the volumes of CAPITAL, let alone see to the rest.  Does
this sound like two souls or one ordinary mortal soul?

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