I can’t say I have a good explanation for it. But, more than five years into the recovery from the most recent global financial crash, the specter of Marx continues to haunt contemporary capitalism.
For example, the Reuters’ John Lloyd is convinced “communism is again haunting Europe.” I suppose that was inevitable, given the landslide victory of Syriza in Greece. The irony, of course, is that Alexis Tsipras, Yanis Varoufakis, and the other members of the new government have promised nothing more than to create some breathing room (by renegotiating the external debt), ameliorate the worst effects of the previous government’s austerity policies (by providing food aid to the poor and rehiring some government workers), and modernize the state (by making it more difficult for the oligarchy to avoid paying its taxes). The fact that such proposed changes are actually haunting contemporary Europe should give us some pause.
Which reminds me of an earlier piece, by , in the Guardian, who argues that, for many in his generation, the “ideological underpinnings of capitalism have been undermined.”
Marxism in America needs to be more than an intellectual tool for mainstream commentators befuddled by our changing world. It needs to be a political tool to change that world. Spoken, not just written, for mass consumption, peddling a vision of leisure, abundance, and democracy even more real than what the capitalism’s prophets offered in 1939.
And then there’s the fact that I’ve been invited this spring to present a university-wide lecture on “Utopia and Critique: A Marxian Perspective.”
Yes, indeed, there seems to be a whole helluva lotta Marx goin’ on out there. . .