Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

June 6, 2020

Six millionth hit for the Unrepentant Marxist blog

Filed under: Marxist literature — louisproyect @ 7:38 pm

On August 2, 2017, I reached the five millionth hit on my blog. In my post announcing that milestone, I said I’d check back with my readers after I reach my ten millionth. Who knows if I’ll be around that long?  So, in the meantime, I’ve decided to mark each additional million hits with a post like this that takes stock of the blog and the left in general. The blog stats over to the right puts us at 6,000,477 so we only have another 999, 523 to go.

In 2017, Alexa rated the blog at 407,927 globally. Today it ranks 181,703. It’s a little difficult to figure out what this means since—to be honest—I average about 800 hits a day and am pretty sure it was about a 1000 back in 2017. Frankly, I am not even sure how Alexa collects its data since in its referral metrics, it claims that the top referral site is the fucking Militant.com with Marxmail second. Third is just as bizarre as the first: BenNorton.com. I can’t imagine any referrals coming from #1 and #3 since I am an unperson in both sites.

There are far fewer Marxist blogs like mine that are based on a single blogger’s efforts than there were twenty years ago. What tends to happen is people get the idea that it would be cool to start one but let them lapse after figuring out that churning out two or three posts a week is exhausting. As for group Marxist blogs, there’s only one I check daily: Cosmonaut.blog. Their Alexa rating is 257,457. Commune Magazine, another Marxist group blog that is much more academic and autonomist than Cosmonaut, ranks 593,807. What prevents me from feeling cocky about the comparative ranks is how Richard Seymour is so far ahead (358) of not only us but a popular (deservedly so) website like CounterPunch that comes in at 45,729. Grayzone, despite its notoriety and Russian funding (I would guess) only ranks 88,599. Rather surprisingly, Corey Robin’s blog is trailing far behind: 2,488,935. It probably doesn’t matter that much to him since he has a very high profile in dead tree media like The New Yorker, et al.

As for number of hits, I suppose that I get a slew of readers on CounterPunch who might find my combination of stand-up comedy and old-school Marxism amusing and edifying. I put more research and effort into my weekly posts for CounterPunch than I do with my own blog. I even use Grammarly to polish it up. With 1,500 subscribers to the Marxism list, 3,500 FB friends and 1,348 Twitter followers, I feel like I am reaching a sufficient amount of people on the left as it is. I made the decision about 15 years ago to use the Internet rather than Verso, HM or other more academically-based outlets for my analysis. I prefer the interaction on the Internet and feel a lot less constrained by peer review and other notoriously ingrown features of the left academy.

I get a deep satisfaction out of blogging because it puts me in touch with some of the most interesting and insightful people I’ve ever known: Karl Smith, Reza F., Michael Yates, Richard Estes, Farans Kalosar, Manuel Garcia Jr. and the late Kevin Coogan. For most people writing for New Left Review, HM or any of the Sunkara empire’s publications, there’s probably a sense of accomplishment for “making it”. I can understand that completely since there are so few ways to feel rewarded in the decadent society we live in. Besides being able to interact with the comrades mentioned above and anybody up for the kind of conversation that might go on in a pub favored by leftists, my biggest satisfaction comes from seeing my own words. I learned long ago that unless I write something about an issue that means a lot to me, it is entirely possible that nobody else will. Thank god my mom taught me how to touch-type when I was 13 years old. It makes pumping out the prose a lot easier, even if the journalist Marc Cooper was prompted to refer to me as the prolific buffoon.





  1. “Marc Cooper was prompted to refer to me as the prolific idiot”

    Elsewhere you’ve written that Cooper referred to you as a “prolific buffoon” — far better than idiot.

    And Alexander Cockburn wrote: “That isn’t some old Trotskyist lag like Louis Proyect, dozing on the dungheap of history like Odysseus’ lice-ridden hound Argos, woofing with alarm as the shadow of a new idea darkens the threshold.”

    Ben Norton on Proyect: “obsessive blogger”; “sheer fabrication and mudslinging”; and the ultimate compliment “completely unprofessional”.

    May you make it to seven million and beyond.

    Comment by alan ginsberg — June 6, 2020 @ 8:42 pm

  2. Congratulations Louis! Hope you and yours are doing well. San Francisco/Bay Area is very exciting. Anti-racist demos in Walnut Creek if you can believe that. I’m finishing up a short article on PL for Paul Buhle who is publishing a new edition of his Encyclopedia of the American Left to be published by Verso. PL in 1000 words…

    cheers, john

    On Sat, Jun 6, 2020 at 12:38 PM Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist wrote:

    > louisproyect posted: ” On August 2, 2017, I reached the five millionth hit > on my blog. In my post announcing that milestone, I said I’d check back > with my readers after I reach my ten millionth. Who knows if I’ll be around > the? So, in the meantime, I’ve decided to mark eac” >

    Comment by levin1944 — June 6, 2020 @ 8:59 pm

  3. Yeah, it was buffoon, not idiot. Fixed…

    Comment by louisproyect — June 6, 2020 @ 9:50 pm

  4. Well done Louis. 6 million for any Marxist these days is pretty damn impressive!

    Comment by Philip Ferguson — June 6, 2020 @ 11:12 pm

  5. Prolific buffoon AND world class professional name calling sectarian. A sad little man with a poorly trafficked blog. Just FYI my personal blog that i have not touched after I abadoned 10yrs ago also gets about 1k clicks per day. That’s mostly random hits from Google searches you digital moron. Same thing for ur traffic. It it took you 3 yrs to get from 5m to 6m it means your blog is in its afterlife. Dont bother replying as I never waste my time reading your garbage.

    Comment by Marc — June 7, 2020 @ 12:30 am

  6. Marc Cooper does not have a blog. Nice try, asshole.

    Comment by louisproyect — June 7, 2020 @ 12:46 am

  7. Excellent, Louis. I don’t know how you do it. You’ve written more gems than I could imagine writing. Prolific doesn’t quite do you justice! Stay well, brother and comrade. To 10,000,000 hits and beyond!!!

    Comment by Michael D Yates — June 7, 2020 @ 12:51 am

  8. Pretty damned impresssive. Keep ‘em coming, Louis.

    Comment by Elliot Podwill — June 7, 2020 @ 1:02 am

  9. Kudos! I think more important than the number of hits is that you routinely produce quality work; agree with it or not it stimulates real thinking. I’ve learned a lot here. And thanks for the kind mention. I worked out that my blog will reach 6 million hits in 180 years! Well…if I live that long and keep writing maybe.

    Comment by manuelgarciajr — June 7, 2020 @ 1:39 am

  10. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
    You are in every meaning if the word a comrade.

    Comment by Arthur Birnbaum — June 7, 2020 @ 2:24 am

  11. Re Comments 5 and 6 — Marc Cooper did have a blog. See https://marccooper.typepad.com/
    It apparently moved to http://www.marcooper.com, which seems to no longer exist.

    Comment by alan ginsberg — June 7, 2020 @ 10:45 am

  12. Well done Mr Proyect on your blog

    I’ve just had a comment published on the Off Guardian website,its just above yours,on the Edward Curtin article

    It seems they’ve been indulging themselves again,in that whole Red-Brown alliance thing

    They’ve been publishing stuff this time,on a site called Fort Russ,which is run by someone called Joaquin Flores,who also runs the Belgrade based
    Centre For Syncretic Sudies

    He also has a site called New Resistance Evropa,which i think you’ll find very interesting,as its ideology is based upon Alexander Dugin

    Anyway,i thought I’d just drop this in,hope you find Fort Russ and Off Guardian collaboration of potential interest

    All the best

    Comment by alwayswrite — June 7, 2020 @ 2:19 pm

  13. Louis–you’re indispensable. The Unrepentant Marxist and Marxmail are unfailing stimuli to thought.

    May you enjoy many more millions of happy hits to scum–no, to come.

    Comment by Farans Kalosar — June 7, 2020 @ 6:02 pm

  14. May you live long enough for ten million hits and more.

    Thank you for all your hard work, and for restoring my faith in the American left. Before reconnecting with you, I was ready to call it a day on the American left; all the websites that had previously seemed like reasonable leftist outlets, back in 2009 turned against the millions of people in Iran who had justly poured into the streets to demand justice and a stop to social oppression, and instead sided with the viscous theocracy and were posting articles spreading Iranian regime’s propaganda to the effect that the protests were cooked up by CIA. Then came the Syrian civil war and those websites were publishing garbage that was unbelievable to read and sickening to the stomach. In the midst of all that, you proved to be among a few with principles that upheld a long tradition of solidarity with the oppressed. Thank you for that. And thank you for the kind mention.

    By the way, who is Marc Cooper?

    Comment by Reza — June 7, 2020 @ 6:43 pm

  15. That should have been “vicious theocracy”, not “viscous theocracy”! Although, for the likes of Code Pink — who go to Iran, NOT to visit political prisoners or social activists and feminists who advocate the same things as does Code Pink, but to visit state ministries, go shopping and have dinners with torturers of political prisoners in Iran — ‘viscous’ probably spells better!

    Still learning to spell good!

    Comment by Reza — June 7, 2020 @ 6:49 pm

  16. I dunno, Reza–“viscous theocracy” sounds like very good postmodern Theory.

    Comment by Farans Kalosar — June 8, 2020 @ 9:48 pm

  17. Hey Farans,

    You know … let’s develop that idea of yours. Let’s write a joint paper together and submit it to a post-modernist journal. (You know any?)

    The paper’s working title could be: “The Metrics and Modalities of Social Viscosity in Theocratic Formations”.

    In it, we expound on the idea that low-viscosity theocracies (closer to a liquid state) have the potential to be more friendly to their subjects since their textual-sign systems are flexible enough to absorb other sign systems, such as may be prevalent among their subjects. Throw in some Baudrillard, Rorty, Lyotard, Derrida, and since Foucault was a fan of the Iranian Ayatollahs, let’s throw him in there too. In contrast, highly viscous theocracies (closer to a solid state) are naturally more rigid (as in, Duh!), move much more slowly and have structural inabilities with textual and sign deconstruction of their own discursive systems, therefore less responsive to their subjects’ sign systems. In the closing paragraphs, we conclude that, due to their viscous qualities, no matter high or low, all theocracies are equally true and valid since a theocracy is a real thing, not a representation mediated through electronic media. It stands on its own terms and is immediately experienced by its subjects. Therefore, valid and real.

    Comment by Reza — June 9, 2020 @ 12:35 am

  18. You might try Social Text but Alan Sokal beat you to the punch.

    Comment by louisproyect — June 9, 2020 @ 12:39 am

  19. Damn! Well … They may get fooled again!

    Comment by Reza — June 9, 2020 @ 1:05 am

  20. Of course the tangential referent of viscosity is invariably to some extent liquid. Thus the illusion of paradigm confronts the irrepressible fluxion of utterance, which at the same time deflects it. But this does not in any way, as Baisemoncul has taught us, decompose the necessary icons of authority, which, the more riot undoes their syntax, float all the more ineluctably in the persistent blu dipinto di blu whereof Baudrillard, without saying so, has indisputably suggested that we may not speak.

    Therefore their fragmentation, as viscosity becomes solidity, is mediated by the dialectic of authoritarian amicitia and inescapably appears to the eyes of the faithful as mere additional rays of divine light surrounding the central figures like the echo of a scream, audible to the devout as no more than the faint echo of a blacksmith’s hammer or the nerve-inflected singing of the faithful frau as she kneads her daily loaf, oblivious to the hammering at her door.

    It matters little that this transparent glacier des vols has on closer inspection more than a tinge of excremental intransitivity. It may be that what cannot fly must melt and flow if it cannot be shattered, but sans a full-ondekonstruktive Kampagne, these turds remain gems sub the unreachable specie aeternitatis…..

    Sorry dudes–I like just can’t get the tone. Pls. excuse the attempt. Reza, your idea is brilliant although I must say it seems to make a bit more sense than would be allowed in Social Text or some other organ of tenured infallibility. Now where are the wine and cheese and nubile graduate students?

    Comment by Farans Kalosar — June 9, 2020 @ 4:45 pm

  21. Farans, man, you *know* your lingo! You must have had to do this kind of prose production in graduate school, no?

    Whereas I only superficially know *about* their rhetorical style, you KNOW their rhetoric to the T! I am humbled! I also don’t understand more than a third of what you wrote (Hee hee!), which is the true mark of postmodernist prose.

    I was hoping you would provide the right language. And you did. Thank you for participating in the gag. Best to you!!

    Comment by Reza — June 9, 2020 @ 5:19 pm

  22. As Baisemoncul has, without saying it, irrefrangibly implied, the non-transiltivity of the viscous, coalescing finally into paradigm, has an unarguable tangential referent in the liquidity of utterance, which perpetually contests it. This despite the aggressivity of syntax, which always fails to restrain its revolutionary impetus. The status quo, without intervention, invariably expands in the horizontal flood of riot, which tears down the vertical and reaches upward only in tongues of flame, however momentary or indeed illusory. Syntax, in the end, reaches out in vain to claw back the onrushing flood of revolutionary utterance.

    This therefore advantageously counterpoises the friendliness of the clerisy against the blank authority of the secular State–the holy oil of sacramentality alone appears to liquify the fetters of authority even in strengthening them. Thus it confronts the dissolution of syntax with the impermeable crystallizations of incantation. The fragmentation of holy images can only ever appear to the faithful as the addition of more rays of divine magic, floating above tangible reality in that blu>depinto di blu of which Derrida has taught us we may not speak even when we fly there. It is thus that the good frau sings nervously, kneading her loaf, oblivious to the hammering at the door of her neighbor.

    I better stop this right now. Sorry Reza–I tried.

    I believe there are computer programs that can crank postmodern stuff out by the yard without ever lapsing into intelligibility, though the whole Sokal thing was
    AFAIK hijacked years ago by reactionaries in favor of glib and smart-alecky illiberalism.

    Comment by Farans Kalosar — June 9, 2020 @ 5:47 pm

  23. Farans, You didn’t just “try”. You succeeded valiantly. Man, you should write the ‘paper’ and submit if anyway. Just for laughs … ;-)) We need some lighthearted relief.

    Comment by Reza — June 9, 2020 @ 6:25 pm

  24. I thought I had deleted my comment and instead rewrote it and posted it again. Typical screwup–not intentional. As I approach age 72 this kind of thing happens more and more often.

    Comment by Farans Kalosar — June 9, 2020 @ 7:16 pm

  25. It seems that your blog site has a loyal readership. Whether 800 or 1000 per day, that is a respectable number of hits in the very competitive universe of the Internet. However, as you state that one of the purposes of your article is to “take stock of the left in general,” I think your survey should have included some mention of the readership figures of the World Socialist Web Site (which you last did back in 2011). It is now recording between 80 and 120 thousand hits per day. This is extraordinary, especially given the fact that the WSWS is very open about its Trotskyist politics. In your 2011 article on the WSWS, you describe its circulation as “f— amazing.” At that time, according to the information you provided, the WSWS’ Alexa global traffic rank was 38,549. Its US rank was 23,233. Its ranking placed it behind Counterpunch, whose 2011 ranking, according to your article, was 33,853 (and 11,038 among US sites).
    During the past decade, the growth of the WSWS’ readership has grown very substantially. According to Alexa, the WSWS now ranks at just about 11,500 globally. Its US ranking is just about 2500. Its readership is far higher than Jacobinmag (which ranks about 26,000 globally and 6300 in the US, and seems to be lagging badly) and Counterpunch (ranking c. 45,000 and just over 12,000 for the US alone). The WSWS stats are all the more remarkable, given the fact that Google and other major search engines and social forums restrict access to the WSWS.

    Comment by Jim Crivens — June 10, 2020 @ 10:26 pm

  26. Except for its reporting on Syria and Ukraine, there is some good material on WSWS. I very much appreciate the film reviews and have forwarded links to its coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Comment by louisproyect — June 10, 2020 @ 11:15 pm

  27. Great blog. I use it to look up people’s political credentials (where they are situated in the political spectrum). I hope you blog for many more years and more people use the information.

    Thank you.

    Comment by ramki — June 14, 2020 @ 10:16 am

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