Wait a second, wait a second, let me clear something up here: Michael, in your previous post were you seriously trying to say that Chavismo ISN'T the future?
A couple responses to Michael's post: Tony Judt says that the appeal "of one or another version of Marxism" never really faded in the Middle East. Uh…well, a few tiny, moribund, and totally inisignificant left-inflected political parties are still around…and a few Islamist organizations use inherited leftist terminology to describe organizational bodies that have nothing whatsoever to do with the left (e.g., Hizbollah and its "politburo"). But in the Middle East, Marxism is far more commonly viewed as one of the pathological exports of the filthy, degenerate West than as something at all admirable. So when Judt says that "one or another version of Marxism" is still alive and well in the ME, that sounds rather suspicious to me…does Tony perhaps feel that reactionary, misogynistic theocrats are practicing "one or another version of Marxism" so long as they're promising to kill American infidels? Are "Western infidels" the new "running dogs of capitalism", Tony? No, surely he's not thinking that.
Another note: I'm fascinated by the way present-day leftoids like Judt have begun to speak almost exclusively about "disparities of wealth" when they talk about economic injustice. It's obviously their way of adapting to the fact that the proportion of humankind living in backbreaking poverty is now lower than at any time in human history. Big example: We see literally hundreds of millions fewer people living in absolute poverty in China as a direct consequence of that country's opening up their economy and discarding much of their garbage leftist economic regulation. And those people who ARE impoverished are generally not the urban proletarians of Marxist theology.
So now leftoids don't talk to us as much about poverty…they talk about the "anger" people feel about "disparities". In other words, instead of fighting systemic poverty (of which–Crikey!!–capitalism seems to be doing a pretty good job) the left now seeks to address bratty status anxiety. Ooh, inspiring.
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