Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

July 24, 2020

Matt Taibbi, the Harper’s Open Letter, and the Intellectual Dark Web

Filed under: Counterpunch,Harper's Open Letter,journalism — louisproyect @ 1:20 pm

COUNTERPUNCH, JULY 24, 2020

Just a day before the Harper’s Open Letter appeared on July 7th, Osita Nwanevu wrote an article for The New Republic on “The Willful Blindness of Reactionary Liberalism” that made Matt Taibbi sound as if his name would show up there the next day. Indeed, in a convivial Rolling Stone podcast that Taibbi and his partner Katie Halper did with Thomas Chatterton Williams, the godfather of the letter regretted that he didn’t have Taibbi’s email address otherwise he would have been invited.

Nwenevu’s article addressed the widespread assault on identity politics that makes it sound like the greatest threat to American democracy is diversity training seminars by Robin Diangelo, the author of “White Fragility.” Indeed, Matt Taibbi described the philosophy behind her book as positively “Hitlerian.”

This furor over “cancel culture” or what used to be called “political correctness” is not exactly new. I saw it as early as 1991 when Nat Hentoff was on the warpath against efforts to reduce racism at universities and the media, just as is happening today:

For 2 1/2 years, I have been interviewing students and professors across the country for a book I’m writing on assaults by orthodoxies — right and left — on freedom of expression. Many specific incidents of political correctness — with names — have been printed in this column from those interviews.

One very bright young man at Brown, for example, told me he finally gave up offering his questions on affirmative action — like “What has it done for poor blacks?” — in class. He got tired of being called a racist, in and out of the room.

Continue reading

40 Comments »

  1. I just finished reading your takedown of Matt Taibbi in Counterpunch. In it, you draw a comparison between Taibbi and the fascist German historian Oswald Spengler. A clearer example of cancellation could hardly be found. I’m sure that Taibbi will appreciate the irony more than anyone. Whether his opinions on the subject of cancel culture are right or wrong, good or bad, he deserves to be heard and not dismissed as secret fan of fascism.

    Comment by Rob — July 24, 2020 @ 5:15 pm

  2. What kind of fucking imbecile are you? Spengler completed his book in 1922 and it had nothing to say about Hitler. Yes, it was influenced by Nietzsche but also by Goethe. Even Theodor Adorno found value in it.

    Comment by louisproyect — July 24, 2020 @ 5:56 pm

  3. And what kind of a rude blog host are you? Spengler was not a Nazi, but he was indeed an admirer of the original facsist, Benito Mussolini. There was a reason for your introducing Spengler into your discussion of Matt Taibbi and that was to associate Taibbi with a proto-fascist historian. Go ahead and deny it and hurl further insults in my direction. I will consider it an honor to be cancelled by the likes of you.

    Comment by Rob — July 24, 2020 @ 6:29 pm

  4. Spengler was not a Nazi, but he was indeed an admirer of the original facsist, Benito Mussolini.

    So was Columbia University and the NY Times, you dumb shit.

    https://louisproyect.org/2014/08/09/when-columbia-university-was-on-the-mussolini-bandwagon/

    Comment by louisproyect — July 24, 2020 @ 6:40 pm

  5. Taibbi and his ilk are pathetic. Sexist, racist shits, covering up their nasty personalities with cries of freedom of expression. I had to laugh at your reference to Quillete. Former NYU professor and once student of Alan Ginsberg, Michael Rectenwald, published in Quillette as he moved from a know-nothing Marxist prof at NYU to a reactionary right-winger. guest of Fox News luminaries like Tucker Carlson. His move to the far right has been good for his pocketbook. So boo hoo that he was canceled at NYU. And really, is there any evidence at all that those right-wingers who have been attacked on Twitter have suffered one bit? I haven’t seen any. On the other hand, we could all name leftists who have been canceled and worse. Worse, as in murdered. It is curious than in the midst of a pandemic, economic collapse, and massive protests over police brutality and systemic racism, we are hearing about cancel culture. Maybe all these people are working for Trump.

    Comment by Michael D Yates — July 24, 2020 @ 6:46 pm

  6. “Spengler was not a Nazi, but he was indeed an admirer of the original facsist, Benito Mussolini.

    So was Columbia University and the NY Times, you dumb shit.”

    And your point is what, that Spengler had good company.? Surely that is one of the weakest arguments imaginable.

    You know, I read your essays in Counterpunch frequently and have profited from them, but I never realized what an intolerant creep you are in real life. You don’t accept criticism and have difficulty controlling anger. I suggest anger management therapy, though you’re probably too far gone for that to help. On second thought, I think you probably like being angry. Anger helps to reinforce your feelings of superiority.

    Comment by Rob — July 24, 2020 @ 7:18 pm

  7. …or overcome your feelings of inferiority.

    Comment by Rob — July 24, 2020 @ 7:21 pm

  8. And your point is what, that Spengler had good company.? Surely that is one of the weakest arguments imaginable.

    —-

    My point is that “Decline of the West” was no worse than most of the bullshit you can read on Quillette or any other of these Intellectual Dark Web sites that Eric and Bret Weinstein are involved with. You seem to have some sort of inability to see how shitty Bari Weiss, the Weinsteins and these other enemies of cancel culture are. The piss-ant Taibbi says that Diangelo is “Hitlerian” while palling it up with Bret Weinstein, whose racism is palpable.

    Comment by louisproyect — July 24, 2020 @ 7:26 pm

  9. Rob’s post is a prime example of the repressive intent behind the idiotic Harper’s letter and the liars and elitists who–apart from OC neurotics and plain old dimwits–constitute the vast majority of its supporters, in addition to the mostly corrupt, self-dealing, and dishonest signatories themselves.

    Rob accuses Louis of “cancellation” because he has published a thoughtful essay sharply criticizing a powerful, established, very loud, and increasingly reactionary public bloviator. But the near-unimpeachably established likes of Taibbi–unserious entertainer and comedian though he may be at the end of the day–should expect to be criticized more sharply than others, not coddled and sucked up to by the “Robs” and “Karens” of this world in the name of their delicate feelings and special privileges.

    Nowhere in his Counterpunch piece as far as I can see does Louis request that any punishment or actual harm of any kind, let alone “cancellation” or “deplatforming” should be meted out to Taibbi for having proved what a shitbird he and his kind are. Louis lays a well-documented, rather nuanced–and in places actually appreciative–critique of a public figure who Rob is implying should be beyond criticism except presumably of the pattycake, softball, “respectful” variety so popular among academic backscratchers and other pious frauds–like the majority of the Harper’s signatories.

    In posting his ridiculous response to the Counterpunch piece, IMO, Rob is aligning himself objectively, and whether he likes it or not–like Harper’s and Taibbi–with that great crusader against “cancel culture,” Donald Trump, who, together with the notorious male prostitute and leather queen Chad “Ernst Roehm” Wolf, is currently demonstrating his love for free speech by conjuring up legions of Nazi-like stormtroopers to physically assault and–make no doubt about it–eventually murder anyone who dares take action against the rising tide of caudillo-ism.

    This is what the Harper’s signatories–themselves all but invulnerable to “deplatforming”–are objectively supporting when they disingenuously play the victim vis a vis such sinister and powerful enemies as the very canceled and thoroughly deplatformed Stephen Salaita. Shades of the Harvard “liberal” anticommunists of the 1950s.

    Now, Robbie, piss and moan and stamp your petulant foot and cry about how abysmally you are being victimized and ground into the dust–just like Matt Taibbi, Fucker Snarlson, Richard Spencer, Milo Yannopoulos, and similar champions of freedom worldwide since the beginning of time. Poor suffering little you.

    Comment by Farans Kalosar — July 24, 2020 @ 8:39 pm

  10. The fact is that you guys know nothing about my politics, but you think that you do, because I defend Matt Taibbi. I am a Leftist, though not a Marxist. I despise Bari Weiss, but I like Matt Taibbi. He’s not right about everything, just most things, IMO. I doubt that Taibbli agrees with much, if any, of what Weiss has ever said or written. He just thinks that she should not be silenced. Personally, I celebrated when she left the NYT, though I’m quite certain that she will find a lucrative platform somewhere. And BTW, I’m not stamping my foot, you are. To me, the seriousness with which you all take yourselves is quite amusing.

    Comment by Rob — July 24, 2020 @ 9:07 pm

  11. There, there. Now, now.

    Comment by Farans Kalosar — July 24, 2020 @ 11:20 pm

  12. Oh definitely. Poor me, poor, sad little me. To spare myself further humiliation, I shall now leave this thread.

    Comment by Rob — July 25, 2020 @ 1:42 am

  13. What happened to you, Proyect? You behave like a misanthropic über asshole and spray your patented ad hominem bile at anyone who disagrees with you in the slightest even if the points they raise are reasonable.

    Contrast that to 2011 when you were still able to engage in good faith debate with your critics.

    I ask again, what happened?

    Do you really want all your readers to respond to your essays like adoring sycophants (e.g. Michael Yates, Reza and Farans)?

    Nah, I don’t see it. But here’s what I do see. I see a guy who calls himself the “unrepentant Marxist” taking positions on several contentious issues that are far from Marxian. The Syrian Civil War is one. Here, you accept at face value the word of prominent internet warriors who unequivocally support the motley crew of ultra religious zealots and criminal opportunists known in western propaganda parlance as the “moderate opposition.”

    The unfortunate fact that these “moderates” persecute or even kill actual Marxists and others who don’t buy into their puritanical theology and want to turn Syria into a theocracy that is even stricter than Iran is at odds with your professed ideological alignment.

    You could have done more thorough research on the situation in Syria and re-evaluated your position but for whatever reason you chose not to. So cognitive dissonance sets in and, knowing that you don’t have a logical argument to stand on, you simply plug your ears and shout insults at your critics, accusing them all of being Assad stooges etc.

    Another position you’ve taken that is antithetical to Marxism is your support for the bourgeois “social justice” cultural revolution brigade. Here again, we have a movement that is fully backed by the “centrist” elites and actively hostile to the working class and worker emancipation.

    There is absolutely nothing Marxist about a bunch of bourgeois strivers, enthusiastically supported by famous working class stalwarts like Apple, Google, the NYT etc., consolidating their power via coopting the language of social justice and antiracism while demanding recognition by the dominant capitalist power structure.

    But you’ve thrown your lot in with these duplicitous totalitarians and you can’t refute honest criticism logically so you do the cognitive dissonance shuffle and shower them with insults.

    You are at the mercy of your ego, terrified of losing face by admitting that you made the wrong call. So you double down on the ad hominem invective and hysterically shout down even your most reasonable and mild mannered critics.

    You’ve probably even convinced yourself that your position is logically consistent and that your critics really are all fascists or “Assadist” trolls. But at some level you know that you made an error by unequivocally supporting movements that are fundamentally opposed to the ideology you claim to champion.

    Hence, your headlong flight from reason and logical argument and resorting instead to troll tactics to ridicule and silence your critics. Before you publicly committed to anti-Marxist positions you had no trouble refuting challengers using arguments rather than insults.

    So every time you lose your shit and holler at someone for daring to challenge your blatant inconsistencies, it’s actually you that you are fighting against so angrily.

    Comment by Eric Blair — July 25, 2020 @ 1:20 pm

  14. Rob wrote:

    “I never realized what an intolerant creep you are in real life. You don’t accept criticism and have difficulty controlling anger. … I think you probably like being angry. Anger helps to reinforce your feelings of superiority. …or overcome your feelings of inferiority.”

    Well said. Anyone who wants to see Louis Proyect in full form should read through the old Marxist news group. Not the pathetic mailing list he administers, but the old Spoons collective group.

    The first thing Proyect did when he started his mailing list was ban everyone who argued with him. He does the same on his Facebook account, his Twitter account, and his blog. He storms angrily out of every panel he attends at the Left Forum, loudly abusing someone on the panel.

    He is a sad old man.

    Comment by Urnot — July 25, 2020 @ 1:42 pm

  15. Another position you’ve taken that is antithetical to Marxism is your support for the bourgeois “social justice” cultural revolution brigade. Here again, we have a movement that is fully backed by the “centrist” elites and actively hostile to the working class and worker emancipation.

    I have no fucking idea what you are trying to say. Are the protests over George Floyd’s murder anti-working class? You call yourself Eric Blair, George Orwell’s birth name. Orwell was in favor of clear language. My advice is to use some other author who has nothing to do with Orwell. Maybe James Joyce for his “Finnegan’s Wake”. That’s what your bullshit reads like.

    Comment by louisproyect — July 25, 2020 @ 1:43 pm

  16. Urnot, they have medication for obsessive-compulsive disorders. They say that Clomipramine works wonders.

    Comment by louisproyect — July 25, 2020 @ 2:07 pm

  17. “The Syrian Civil War is one. Here, you accept at face value the word of prominent internet warriors who unequivocally support the motley crew of ultra religious zealots and criminal opportunists known in western propaganda parlance as the “moderate opposition.””

    Yo, Eric Blair: Thank you for bunching me with Michael Yates, and Farans: Two gentlemen I will proudly stand with.

    Now … Here’s the thing: The “ultra religious zealots” (from your comment) = is actually Islamic Republic of Iran.

    I always get a good laugh from that one (before I cry out of frustration with western assholes who know nothing about our region and still find it appropriate to pontificate about something they know nothing about). Here is an ACTUAL theocracy in power and killing its own people at will, that has been propping up Assad, and you keep bleating about “religious zealots” who want to overthrow a tyrannical butcher?

    Islamic Republic stones women for infidelity, considers women as half worth men, is a one-man dictatorship … I could go on … and you still seem to have nothing to say against them, but vehemently oppose religious minded people who oppose tyranny.

    Now THAT’s sycophancy! Except you’re kissing the asses of a bunch of leech-like murderers and mullahs! Please proceed to the corner where love yourself.

    Comment by Reza — July 25, 2020 @ 2:46 pm

  18. That should have read: Proceed to the corner where YOU love yourself!

    Comment by Reza — July 25, 2020 @ 2:47 pm

  19. That is a good point, about the fact that a religiously–based state is backing Assad’s government. However, would the outcome of a victory for Assad’s government be the imposition of a state based upon religion? Given that the core of the dictatorship in Syria are Alawites, then it would seem to me that they would find it in their best interests to maintain the secular nature of the state.

    It seems to me that there are many people in Syria who belong to minority religious sects who have thrown in their lot with Assad regime, because they fear that a victory for the opposition will mean the imposition of a state based upon mainstream Sunni Islam, which would persecute them.

    Comment by John Wake — July 25, 2020 @ 3:21 pm

  20. It seems to me that there are many people in Syria who belong to minority religious sects who have thrown in their lot with Assad regime, because they fear that a victory for the opposition will mean the imposition of a state based upon mainstream Sunni Islam, which would persecute them.

    Assad sought to polarize Syrian society along sectarian lines. That is why he released a bunch of Sunni zealots from prison early on and left secular-minded Sunni activists behind bars.

    Comment by louisproyect — July 25, 2020 @ 3:27 pm

  21. “minority religious sects who have thrown in their lot with Assad regime, because they fear that a victory for the opposition will mean the imposition of a state based upon mainstream Sunni Islam, which would persecute them”

    This is amazing. There IS religious persecution going on in Syria: it is against the MAJORITY of the population who are Sunni Muslims! Their towns and neighborhoods have been thoroughly destroyed, their schools and hospitals bombed, their entire populations driven to refugee camps or into mass graves, and their emptied out towns are now occupied by Shiite Muslims and bought up by Iranian Revolution Guards.

    Just listen to yourself.

    Comment by Reza — July 25, 2020 @ 3:30 pm

  22. Eric Blair: “Another position you’ve taken that is antithetical to Marxism is your support for the bourgeois “social justice” cultural revolution brigade.”
    Proyect: “I have no fucking idea what you are trying to say.”

    Of course you don’t. People have been telling you that in all of these vile screeds of yours. *The left* is now an upper-middle-class project against the ruling class. Catch up!

    Comment by Urnot — July 25, 2020 @ 4:20 pm

  23. I plead guilty to being ignorant of that of which you write. Does it invalidate my point, though?

    Would a victory for Assad’s forces result in every Sunni community being expelled and being replaced by a Shiite community?

    Would a victory for Sunni Islamist forces result in the expulsion of minority communities?

    I do not claim to know much about Syria, but my position is this. I would have supported the protests against the Assad regime that took place in 2011. It seems to me that to oppose those protests is incompatible with holding a left-wing position. Left-wingers must support protests against repression by capitalist regimes.

    It seems to me that after some time the opposition to Assad’s regime became dominated by reactionary forces. I could not see much to choose between the sides. I can imagine that if I lived in Syria, I would have fled abroad.

    Is it not the case that some militias base upon some minority religious communities have fought alongside Assad’s forces?

    Do we actually have to take sides in the conflict in Syria?

    The only positive in the situation appeared to me to be the Kurdish-led forces. From what I know, they seemed supportable.

    Comment by John Wake — July 25, 2020 @ 4:25 pm

  24. *The left* is now an upper-middle-class project against the ruling class. Catch up!

    —-

    I take it that you oppose the protests against the killer-cops, right? Did you come to this conclusion reading The Militant or did you just pull it out of your ass?

    Comment by louisproyect — July 25, 2020 @ 4:30 pm

  25. John Wake,

    It is possible, and easy even, to look at the brutality going on in a civil war (or a classic war between nations) and decide that one cannot support any side in a given brutal conflict. I understand that.

    But consider the following two points:

    1) The Vietnamese were truly brutal towards the French and then the Americans, and they were also very brutal towards their own when a spy was caught, or when you consider the war between the north and south after the Americans left. Nevertheless, their fight was just and I would have supported (and still support) their fight against the American military occupying forces.

    2) When it comes to religion, most westerners forget some basic facts to do with religious denominations. For example, would you equate supporters of Liberation Theology and the evangelical supporters of Trump? So, maybe some of the so-called jihadi’s in Syria are the equivalent (doctrine-wise) of the Liberation Theology followers. It is very possible that such fissures are forming among different Muslim denominations in Syria and the greater Middle East. Not every religiously-oriented Muslim is an al-Qaida foot soldier; in fact an overwhelming majority of Muslims denounce al-Qaida, and just like most people in the west are peace-loving people who just want to live in peace.

    Anyway, I am not trying to convince you of anything. Just respectfully planting some questions.

    Comment by Reza — July 25, 2020 @ 9:48 pm

  26. To Reza: I agree that there are causes which are supportable, even though some of those furthering that cause use methods that we would not agree with. I also understand that not all political groups that are inspired by Islam are the same. I am aware that, for example, there is a political party in Tunisia, the name of which I cannot immediately recall, which had a leader who said that European “welfare states” were the closest thing in the world to societies governed according to Islamic principles. I am also aware that when we hear people in Syria or elsewhere exclaim “God is great” we would be wrong to conclude that they are of the extreme right, for this is a common expression in that part of the world.

    I would be pleased indeed to see evidence that the predominant Arab rebel groups in Syria were not reactionary. However, I have seen no such evidence.

    Comment by John Wake — July 26, 2020 @ 1:55 am

  27. I would be pleased indeed to see evidence that the predominant Arab rebel groups in Syria were not reactionary. However, I have seen no such evidence.

    —-

    The FSA was not “reactionary”. It was the dominant group politically but the reactionary Sunni states tended to fund Islamist groups that lacked popular support, especially in the cities. However, none of the Islamist groups ever committed the kinds of atrocities that Assad committed like bombing hospitals, chemical warfare, starving civilians under siege, murdering captives in prison, etc. On its worst day, al-Nusra were like angels compared to the coalition of murdering militias loyal to Assad, consisting of Syrian Alawites, Iranians, Hizbollah, Russians, and Afghan mercenaries. All this is documented in various places online and in print but I doubt that you’ll bother to consult them because your politics kind of suck, to tell you the truth.

    Comment by louisproyect — July 26, 2020 @ 2:00 am

  28. “*The left* is now an upper-middle-class project against the ruling class.”

    Louis, I know you like to listen to the radio. I don’t know how you are with regard to podcasts. For the most part, I don’t like them — they all sound the same to me. I found one recently though that I really like. It’s called “What’s Left?” You can find it on Soundcloud. It’s hosted by Aimee Therese and Oliver Bateman (I mention their names in case there are other podcasts with a similar name). Recently, they’ve had two semi-permanent guests on, Angela Nagle and Malcolm Kyeyune. Kyeyune wrote a piece called “On ”Strasserism” and the decay of the left.” (Link below). Give them a listen. See what you think.

    https://www.thebellows.org/on-strasserism-and-the-decay-of-the-left/

    Comment by Urnot — July 26, 2020 @ 12:50 pm

  29. Dear Louis: Please do not be so rude. It does nothing to further your political position, and alienates potential allies.

    I am well aware that the Assad regime and its allies are inflicting brutal violence on unarmed civilians in Syria. That this violence is greater than the violence inflicted by their Arab opponents is not an argument for giving support to those opponents.

    You write of the FSA in the past tense, and appear to concede that the armed Arab opposition to the Assad regime is now dominated by right-wing forces.

    It seems to me that both of the aforementioned sides offer nothing to the working class and peasantry of Syria, and are not supportable.

    It seems to me that the Kurdish-led forces are supportable.

    Comment by John Wake — July 26, 2020 @ 4:51 pm

  30. Re canceling blog posters. This is always going to be a sore point, but anyone who thinks every blog not sponsored by some crew of Platonic virtuous liars like–for example, pretty much the entire Harvard faculty of arts and science, especially Prof. Emeritus Steven “Pearls” Pinker–should be Hyde Park Corner should take a close look at the braindead commentary on Facebook and just about any other “open forum” social media venue.

    The Counterpunch commentary page on fbook, for example, is so full of outright idiocy, conspiracy theories, and trolling both rightwing and other, that it is almost impossible to make sense of most of it and an exercise in futility to post anything requiring serious thought or analysis. You might as well wallow in excrement and show up at a wedding. Every time I’ve tried it I’ve wound up feeling dirty and deleting the whole thing. Here at least you can develop ideas if you express them clearly and without too much repetition

    I actually think that Louis strikes a pretty decent balance between inclusiveness and combativeness. You have to be a real snowflake or have very little to say to be melted by his scorn, and his policy on eg banning the use of proxy servers is IMO quite reasonable. When it comes to the big controversies like the war with Adolph Reed, I confess I wish it weren’t necessary, but it takes two to tango and Reed has certainly fired without restraint at Louis and many others with every weapon at his disposal. Louis hasn’t banned Reed or his intelligent supporters even when he gives them holy hell. During a recent kerfuffle over Reed some idiot accused Louis of name-calling Reed when in fact he’d done nothing of the kind. Assholes can be counted on for that kind of thing–and yet the fellow wasn’t banned.

    By the same token, if you pick a fight with the likes of Michael Yates, you can be sure of having a fight on your hands,but you’re free to step into the ring if you think you can handle it.

    As far as I’m concerned, given the passion of his convictions, Louis is actually more than tolerant. If he calls a hard name too many once in a blue moon, well, it isn’t sticks and stones, and besides–in the immortal words of Joe E. Brown–“Nobody’s perfect.” And there’s none of this Disqus BS, which is IMO truly repressive and thought-destroying. Louis is an active moderator and some version of that is necessary if genuine exchange is going to take place, especially in a blog for Marxists published by a Marxist.

    Comment by Farans Kalosar — July 27, 2020 @ 1:35 am

  31. Reviewing this thread, I have one final question. Why is it that “old man” is accepted as an appropriate term of abuse by so many of these fake champions of social equality? What vile, bigoted hypocrites.

    Comment by Farans Kalosar — July 27, 2020 @ 6:11 pm

  32. I agree about the use of the term “old man”. Far worse, in my opinion, is the use of the term “fuck”, which is misogynist. It implies that sexual intercourse is a violent thing done to others.

    Comment by John Wake — July 28, 2020 @ 3:27 pm

  33. You can’t be serious. What a dumb fuck.

    Comment by Farans Kalosar — July 28, 2020 @ 9:01 pm

  34. I bow before your ignorance.

    Comment by John Wake — July 28, 2020 @ 11:04 pm

  35. Michael.K Yates, I read that you called me a (former) “know-nothing Marxist” before I became a hard right winger. First of all, I challenge you to a debate on Marxist theory and socialist history. Second of all, your characterization of my current politics is a cartoon version of reality. Third of all, you have no idea about either my motives or whether my political apostasy has been lucrative or not. I was not canceled. I cancelled the culture of rhetorical plug-and-play leftist sloganeering and “scholarship.” I also challenge to compare your scholarly achievements to my own. The left is utterly tribal and denunciatory based on so-called affiliation. I am not affiliated with anything. I disdain all collective politics, and not because I want to spew racist remarks with impunity, but because I refuse to have the singularity of my selfhood erased by the barkers of patent phraseology and cult like adhesion to the creed.

    And if you think, with Louis Proyect, that Lenin’s biggest flaw was his humorlessness, you might want to investigate his genocidal slaughter of the Kulaks and Cossacks. Lenin was a butcher. I reject Lenin not because he couldn’t tell or laugh at a joke, but because he had no regard for universal human rights. He was a mass-murdering monster.

    Comment by Michael Rectenwald — August 1, 2020 @ 7:44 am

  36. Rectenwald, you putz, it was Taibbi who said that Lenin’s biggest flaw was humorlessness, not me. That doesn’t serve your bragging about what a genius you are very well.

    Comment by louisproyect — August 1, 2020 @ 11:33 am

  37. “The singularity of my selfhood”!! Man has a way with words. I can hear my old English teacher say, upon reading this, “I had to pour a stiff drink.”

    Comment by Michael D Yates — August 1, 2020 @ 1:49 pm

  38. Louis Proyect, Excuse me. Upon re-scanning your article, rife as it is with tendentious denialism of the left’s totalitarian impulses on full display, I see that you believe Lenin had a great sense of humor. Then again, you probably find this statement of Lenin’s is just hilarious: “(1) Hang (I mean hang publicly, so that people see it) at least 100 kulaks, rich bastards, and known bloodsuckers. (2) Publish their names. (3) Seize all their grain. (4) Single out the hostages per my instructions in yesterday’s telegram. Do all this so that for miles around people see it all, understand it, tremble, and tell themselves that we are killing the bloodthirsty kulaks and that we will continue to do so. Reply saying you have received and carried out these instructions.Yours, Lenin. P.S. Find tougher people.” (August 9, 1918).

    Since Michael K. Yates is a sniveling coward who can’t face those he’s libeled but instead blocks them on Facebook when challenged, I’ll challenge *you* to a debate on Marxist theory and socialist history. Misreading your article was the result of haste and the nausea it elicited. One can only hold one’s nose so long before the stench of buried bodies seeps into one’s nostrils. But I won’t be so careless in utterly eviscerating Your Unrepentant Marxist Ass.

    Comment by Michael Rectenwald — August 2, 2020 @ 5:15 pm

  39. Rectenwald, I have no opinions on whether Lenin had a sense of humor or not. One thing I am sure of, it is that you are a joke.

    Comment by louisproyect — August 2, 2020 @ 8:09 pm

  40. I love it when people come into the pizza kitchen and tell the pizza chef that they don’t like pizza, like when Rob says he’s a leftist but not a Marxist? That’s like a biologist saying he’s got no use for Darwin. Rectenwald wants to debate Yates on socialist history while decryiing Lenin the butcher for his treatment of kulaks and cossacks. It’s a safe bet then that he’s never read Trotsky’s “Their Morals and Ours” because nobody but slave owners and their ideological brethren ever called Lincoln a butcher for what he did to the American equivalent of kulaks and cossacks in the South — as if Lenin started the civil war Like him or not Mr. Rectenwald the fact is Lenin is still the single individual who has most influenced the political trajectory of the last 100 years.

    Comment by Karl Friedrich — August 3, 2020 @ 1:38 am


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: