Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

November 13, 2014

Roland fucking Boer?

Filed under: Academia,religion — louisproyect @ 12:33 am

Roland Boer

The latest on the Stalin worshipper:

https://louisproyect.org/2014/11/13/roland-boer-having-his-cake-and-eating-it-too/

https://louisproyect.org/2014/11/13/roland-boer-plagiarist/

I discovered from a report on the HM conference in London that this asshole just received the 2014 Isaac Deutscher prize, the worst decision since it was given to Francis Wheen in 1999 for his Karl Marx bio. It was announced at a lecture by Panitch and Gindin:

The lecture started with the announcement of the winner of the 2014 Deutscher Prize, which was awarded to Roland Boer for his In the Veil of Tears: On Marxism and Theology, V, both in recognition of the book itself and of the Criticism of Heaven and Earth series of which it was the culmination. The other shortlisted works were Costas Lapavistas’ Profiting without Producing: How Finance Exploits Us All, Frederic Jameson’s The Antinomies of Realism, John Saul and Patrick Bond’s South Africa – The Present as History.

I’ll take Patrick any day of the week.

Boer is a clown. His “Stalin’s Mustache” blog is the sort of garbage that could be heard at the Stalin Society in London, even more embarrassing than the junk I used to hear from Maoists in the 60s and 70s. Here’s a sample:

Screen shot 2014-11-12 at 7.31.11 PM

 

Here’s the HM blurb on the book:

In the Vale of Tears brings to a culmination the project for a renewed and enlivened debate over the interaction between Marxism and religion. It does so by offering the author’s own response to that tradition. It simultaneously draws upon the rich insights of a significant number of Western Marxists and strikes out on its own. Thus, it argues for the crucial role of political myth on the Left; explores the political ambivalence at the heart of Christianity; challenges the bent among many on the Left to favour the unexpected rupture of kairós as a key to revolution; is highly suspicious of the ideological and class alignments of ethics; offers a thorough reassessment of the role of festishism in the Marxist tradition; and broaches the question of death, unavoidable for any Marxist engagement with religion. While the book is the conclusion to the five-volume series, The Criticism of Heaven and Earth, it also stands alone as a distinct intervention in some burning issues of our time.

“challenges the bent among many on the Left to favour the unexpected rupture of kairós as a key to revolution”?

Where have I been? How did I miss this? I guess I was lost in the woods spending all my time on putting Lenin in context than in addressing the “unexpected rupture of kairós as a key to revolution”. I’ll pick up a hernia belt at CVS tomorrow. That should help.

13 Comments »

  1. […] good comrade at Louisproyekt has just written a lovely review of my work, called ‘Roland f**king Boer?‘ This is arguably the review of reviews, for he calls me an ‘asshole’, […]

    Pingback by Roland f**king Boer: Perhaps the best review ever | STALIN'S MOUSTACHE — November 13, 2014 @ 4:35 am

  2. That’s right, Boer. You are a fucking idiot. Just look at you in the picture above, with your idiotic matching cap and t-shirt. Isaac Deutscher must be spinning in his grave to see an award given in his name to someone that would have embarrassed Anna Louise Strong.

    Comment by louisproyect — November 13, 2014 @ 3:52 pm

  3. You have no sense of humor. And apparently, you have not read anything by Roland. If you did, you would think otherwise.

    Comment by Warren S. Goldstein — November 13, 2014 @ 10:26 pm

  4. Goldstein,

    What’s the joke in forcing Turks living in Bulgaria to adopt Bulgarian names, something that caused widespread rioting against the Stalinist dictator Boer extols in this article:

    http://philosophersforchange.org/2014/10/28/the-failure-of-communism-a-fall-narrative/

    After 5 years of resistance, 300,000 Turks left Bulgaria en masse and moved to Turkey. This is typical of Stalinist ethnic cleansing and is related to what just happened in Crimea.

    Maybe there’s a joke there somewhere but I don’t get it.

    Comment by louisproyect — November 13, 2014 @ 10:35 pm

  5. Roland is not a Stalinist. “Stalin’s Mustache” is a joke- get it? If you read him, he comes closest to the critical theory of the Frankfurt School- Benjamin, Bloch, Adorno, Horkheimer. He is working his way through Marxist texts- Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, and Mao, etc – looking for religious references- but his approach is critical- that means to discern both positive and negative.

    Comment by Warren S. Goldstein — November 13, 2014 @ 10:39 pm

  6. Didn’t you read the email I just sent you, Goldstein? Boer wrote an article for the Philosophers for Change website that made the case for the Stalinist dictatorship in Bulgaria. I happen to be married to a Turk and the thought of 300,000 Turks fleeing Bulgaria in 1989 reminds me of what just happened in Crimea. Boer supports Chinese control of Tibet, calls the Hong Kong protests a CIA-backed colored revolution, and god knows what else–I don’t have the appetite to search further. The only reason I posted about this nitwit is because he got the Deutscher prize, a real travesty. I understand that he is your pal and the two of you have a lengthy CV with the same kind of vaporous articles about god and all that crap, but don’t tell me that he is just kidding around. I know a joke when I see it.

    Comment by louisproyect — November 13, 2014 @ 10:47 pm

  7. ** Boer supports Chinese control of Tibet**

    As do Trotskyists like the Sparts and plus anyone with a brain who is not a squishy liberal clinging to the totally discredited idea of “national liberation” in 2015.

    Comment by Salpuris Dexter — November 14, 2014 @ 3:15 am

  8. As do Trotskyists like the Sparts and plus anyone with a brain who is not a squishy liberal clinging to the totally discredited idea of “national liberation” in 2015.

    Why don’t you expand on the idea when “national liberation” became obsolete? Plus, why China has the right to fuck over the Uighurs and the Tibetans.

    Comment by louisproyect — November 14, 2014 @ 1:28 pm

  9. Okay Proyect, I have now read the piece in question. I don’t agree with everything- particularly the part about the necessity of an authoritarian phase. But I think he makes a good point – that certain aspects of life (economic conditions, ethnic tensions) for certain parts of the population may have been better under the Soviet regimes. He does provide some detail – certainly more than you do in your objections. Simply saying “Roland Fucking Boer” is not enough. I also think you mischaracterize his position. If you object, you do so point by point.

    Comment by Warren S. Goldstein — November 14, 2014 @ 1:29 pm

  10. Goldstein, i believe in democratic socialism. In a way, the “democratic” part is redundant since socialism means rule by the majority over the means of production and every aspect of society. I strongly suspect that the paternalism that is implicit in Boer’s admiration for Stalinist police states is drawn from the Calvinist well of his early clerical training. But I look at things from the perspective of Marxism. If you want to understand more about how we see such matters, I recommend Michael Lebowitz’s books

    Comment by louisproyect — November 14, 2014 @ 1:46 pm

  11. I agree with you there. I support democratic socialism in the pre-1917 sense. If the left can’t win elections, then they do not deserve to govern. Roland is more of a revolutionary communist. But from my perspective, this is only necessary under monarchies and dictatorships.

    Comment by Warren S. Goldstein — November 14, 2014 @ 2:27 pm

  12. Saying I believe in ‘democratic socialism’ betrays a failure to come to terms with historical materialism and to fall back on idealism. I think this is a forgivable disease of being a pampered child of the West, though one should recognise this failing and try to break free of it. Nothing else Proyect says is of course forgivable, being the man who supports the murderous Kiev junta and it’s extreme oppression of the legitimate grievances of the disenfranchised people of the East, who for Proyect have no right to universal suffrage and must accept the will of Kiev or else!

    Incidentally, Lapavistas’ book is really first class and I would urge all to read.

    Comment by Simon Provertier — November 16, 2014 @ 9:51 am

  13. Roland is not a Stalinist. “Stalin’s Mustache” is a joke- get it?

    I see Boer the blogger as a postmodern ironist who has unsurprisingly lost control of his irony. The joke about “Stalin’s Moustache” may simply be that in perpetrating his jest, Boer has become a completely serious, if mediocre, Stalinist,

    It scarcely matters if he giggles while manifesting this. The question is why we should pay attention when the world is full of jokesters.

    But maybe the book is better than the blog.

    Comment by Pete Glosser — November 17, 2014 @ 5:52 pm


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