Thursday, 17 August 2017

The Alt-Left Fiasco.

"[R]esentful failsons sweating from video games and chicken fingers, cynical media wannabes, bloviating internet commenters who think they're Ignatius J. Reilly, and others who think they're the Joker". (Sam Kriss).

Who'd have guessed, it seems "Lord Keynes" finally gained a reader outside the English internet intellectual aristocracy. Sam Kriss, writing for Politico:

Probably the first people to use the term [alt-left] were a small, strange band of alt-right offshoots with a few low-traffic websites, rejecting some of the reactionary-libertarian elements in traditional far-right ideology for some kind of Herrenvolk social democracy, a Strasserite-inflected vision where there are slightly higher taxes but no Jews allowed. These were undoubtedly the only people to have used "alt-left" unpejoratively, to describe themselves. (His formatting)
And the thing is, whoever or whatever "Lord Keynes" is/are, he/she/it is the alt-left's reject. He/she/it wanted the "alt-left" label for him/her/it/-self as Fuehrer or Lord of a new Herrenvolk social democratic movement. "alt-left" was "their" gimmick, "their" marketing masterplan. Sadly, it was too late: the term "alt-left" (TM) label was already taken. :-)

(sorry, not sending any internet traffic there)

On the other hand sooner or later that "alt-left" or "realist left" ("realist" as in "race realist") was going to come back to bite the genuine left on its backside. It did. That's Kriss' point. For post Keynesian academics it could easily get a lot worse.


Still, the question "Lord Keynes" and his Breitbart allies pose deserves an answer: was Marx a racist?

Frankly, I don't know. I never met him. Believe it or not, I was born a few years after the man's death in 1883.

I wouldn't be surprised if he (or Engels) had been. Many back then were. As prosecutorial evidence against him one can point to his July 30, 1862 letter to Engels. It was a tirade against Ferdinand Lasalle. That's the letter "Lord Keynes", in his customarily inept manner, tried and failed to link to.

Funnily enough, the letter his "lordship" did link to could be used as evidence in Marx's defence. This was his August 7, 1866 letter to Engels, where Marx tells that his daughter Laura was "half promised" in marriage to Paul Lafargue, Marx's "medical Creole" (Laura and Paul did marry in 1868, presumably with Marx's blessings). If he was racist, he wasn't so racist as to object to his daughter's marriage to a Creole.

Speaking of letters, Marx wrote plenty of them. On behalf of the International Working Men's Association Marx wrote one addressed to Abraham Lincoln (presented to the US ambassador Charles Francis Adams on January 28, 1865). It was signed by Marx and other 58 names, from Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, and Switzerland. Although his "lordship" and his Breitbart friends apparently don't know about it, its existence should not be an earth-shattering revelation: NYTimes and Jacobin. Of course, they wouldn't know it, as they don't read those publications.

Marx also wrote plenty journalistic pieces about the American Civil War (sorry, folks, they are copyrighted; though I'm sure those interested could dig those articles with some Googling).


So, was Marx a racist? It's up to you to judge. Whatever your verdict, it shall make little difference: Marx is dead. Whatever he was, things won't change a bit.

More important is the question of 21st century hypocrite illiterate racists pretending to be otherwise. At least, that's what I think.

19/08/2017. Considering the misinformation on the attitudes of the working class towards race-relations, misinformation deliberately divulged by our class enemies and eagerly adopted by middleclass intellectuals, indulging in petty bourgeois elitism and moralising, I think a lot more relevant than Marx's attitude to race, whatever they might have been, is the attitude of the working class to the emancipation of slaves: "How the British Workers' Movement Helped end Slavery in America", by Joe Mount. Part One (Jan 5, 2015); Part Two (Jan 7, 2015). From the World Socialist Web Site.

Fight Google's censorship of socialist websites.



    To paraphrase: "We need help, Trump is poisoning our brand!"

  2. I don't like Zuckerberg spying on me, so I never got a bloody FB: one needs to logon to see theirs.

    Well, they should proclaim that The Donald is poisoning their brand publicly. It makes no sense to cry and whinge about something in silence. That's for wimps. It makes them sound like Christopher "Crying Killer" Cantwell [*]

    They should complain in public, manly, openly, with bold titles, neon signs, loudspeakers. And they should tell liberals: "Listen, liberals, we are not the guys fighting the neo-Nazis or the KKK. We have no problem with them or with Robert E. Lee. You and The Donald are bullshitting the public".

    After all, they are the Herrenvolk social democrats. Hello?


  3. I don't have a FB account and I'm able to view the postings.

  4. Funny. I don't and FB asked me to logon.

  5. Maybe they have a Marxist detector ;)
    Sometimes I get a log in pop-up, but there is an option to ignore it. I use Opera browser.

    1. Maybe they have a Marxist detector ;)

      Who knows?

      Well, then I suppose I owe the alt-left guys an apology: My bad. You guys did good. Don't feel discouraged and keep trying.

      I just hope next time you'll get more hits. :-)


    I had stopped reading VSPaul Krugman. He's way too serious for lil' ole me.

    Today, however, I gave in to temptation, I confess. And I throw myself to readers' mercy: I actually read VSP-K. Mea culpa.

    I didn't read the whole thing, as I'm not a NYTimes subscriber, but i can say VSP-K has also learnt of the alt-left's existence. He mentioned a "herrenvolk welfare state" (with lowercase "h", give me a break).

    I'm not suggesting he actually read any of the alt-left sites. Instead, I imagine he read Sam Kriss' article. But something is something, right, alt-left guys?

    Now, I suppose I should ideally check with VSP-K's obese UC Berkeley sidekick. You know, the "bona fide genius" and "polymathic"? But that's really too much, even for a pitiful sinner like moi.

  7. A longer post has been made at the facebook address linked above. It reiterates the position of the alt-left in light of Trump's comments.