Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

January 2, 2016

Maxim the Russian is not Louis Proyect

Filed under: humor — louisproyect @ 12:45 am

Screen Shot 2016-01-01 at 7.43.26 PM

A week or so ago, someone named Max showed up on Socialist Unity, a hardcore Stalinist/Assadist website that was one of my favorites about 7 years ago until it mutated into what it is today, a place where articles praising Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin appear routinely. Needless to say, John Wight (his reply to Max appears above) is one of the regular contributors there.

After Max began taking them to task for the bullshit they were posting, they insisted he was me. Apparently these imbeciles are so used to being around their own likeminded fans of barrel bombing, etc. that they assume it is only a handful of of people who disagree with them–like me, Gilbert Achcar and Elliot Higgins. So if Max disagrees with them, it is me using a sock puppet.

I do admit that they have the numbers on their side. When I wake up in the morning and realize that I have to not only contend with John Wight but Pepe Escobar, Mike Whitney, Marine Le Pen, Donald Trump, Alex Jones and countless other Putinites, I can hardly muster the strength to get out of bed.

In any case, I just discovered that Max has revealed himself on PEN-L, a mailing list for radical economists that I have been subbed to for 24 years. Wow, that’s a long time. Max was prompted to reveal himself after I posted this to PEN-L:

From: pen-l-bounces@lists.csuchico.edu [mailto:pen-l-bounces@lists.csuchico.edu] On Behalf Of Louis Proyect
Sent: Thursday, December 31, 2015 11:02 PM
To: Progressive Economics <pen-l@lists.csuchico.edu>
Subject: Re: [Pen-l] Star Wars and the death of American cinema

On 12/31/15 2:41 PM, Marv Gandall wrote:

John Wight, writing in Counterpunch, sees Star Wars and other 
contemporary shallow fare as cultural expressions of the neoliberal 
zeitgeist, a reaction to the more creative and critical culture of the 
rebellious 60’s.

That’s the kind of stupid, dogmatic crap I would expect from someone who defended barrel bombing open-air markets in Syria. These “reviews” trashing Hollywood blockbusters from Wight and from assorted contributors to Jacobin are a throwback to the film reviews that Irwin Silber used to write in the Guardian in the 70s. “Rocky”–oh so racist. “The Green Berets”–oh so warmongering.

It is a crude Stalinist mindset that is as predictable as it is useless. You would think that “alternative” media would hone in on the neglected films that need to be supported but instead we get this sort of thing. When I get around to reviewing “Bridge of Spies”, I’ll have a word or two about the East Germany studies professor who wrote about the film’s Cold War mentality as if he could not come to terms with this being Spielberg’s best film in years. To give credit where credit is due, James Agee gave a thumb’s up to “Birth of the Nation” against its leftist detractors when he was the film reviewer for The Nation. People like Wight need to read Trotsky on art and literature but I guess he first needs to learn how to read.

* * * *

From Max:

——– Forwarded Message ——–
Subject: Re: [Pen-l] Star Wars and the death of American cinema
Date: Sat, 2 Jan 2016 03:12:42 +0300
From: Maxim <xxx>
Reply-To: Progressive Economics <pen-l@lists.csuchico.edu>
To: ‘Progressive Economics’ <pen-l@lists.csuchico.edu>

This might be tangentially relevant. I’ve just had the pleasure of “debating” some of the Socialist Unity crowd recently, on topics ranging from Syria and Ukraine. It was certainly a one of a kind experience. They really do circle their wagons around Putin and Assad. Some of the arguments were truly bizarre. Sometimes Assad was the Churchill or our day, other times he was Abe Lincoln. The Islamist rebels were naturally the SS, who should be exterminated mercilessly. The rest was just transparent hypocrisy. Not ONE word of criticism levelled at Assad or the Russians. The consensus is that what they say goes.

Interestingly enough, they all assumed I was Louis Proyect. So when I replied in Russian to show I was someone else they blocked precisely those comments and then the IP. Many of the people there are as shrill and naïve as a five year old, and really can’t take a joke or a jab. Figures. But they are probably right that Star Wars sucks, although their ideal seems to be a Sergio Leone “Western” monstrosity.

Fun crowd. They’ll shower any “enemy of NATO” with praise. I wonder what would happen if they lived in say Russia. Those contrarians would probably be singing praises to NATO.



  1. Reblogged this on psychosputnik.

    Comment by jsbielicki — January 2, 2016 @ 8:56 am

  2. […] Quelle: Maxim the Russian is not Louis Proyect […]

    Pingback by Maxim the Russian is not Louis Proyect | psychosputnik — January 2, 2016 @ 3:25 pm

  3. As an aside, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is pretty mediocre. But engrafting an ideological motivation other than making money onto the film is a pretty challenging endeavor, given the puerile nature of the narrative. Watching the 1977 Star Wars was a fun, playful experience, totally different than the calculated marketing of toys and the greasing of the runway for sequels that are the primary features of The Force Awakens.

    As a consequence, the film is cinematically conservative, playing it safe in every respect with long drawn out spaceship battles, simplistic characterization that doesn’t stray far form contemporary social norms and a visual style that keeps the audience at a safe distance from any emotional involvement or shock. The space battles were new and exciting in 1977, but, by 2015, they have become routine. Both the Harry Potter films and series 8 and 9 of Doctor Who are more daring in their approach to narrative and visual styles that challenge an audience.

    Comment by Richard Estes — January 3, 2016 @ 2:37 am

  4. “But they are probably right that Star Wars sucks, although their ideal seems to be a Sergio Leone “Western” monstrosity.”

    I was really starting to like Max until he said this. 🙂 I still remember watching “For a Few Dollars More” at the drive-in with my father when I was 7 or 8 years old. Still one of my favorite films.

    Comment by Richard Estes — January 3, 2016 @ 6:21 am

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