Chris Bertram has a brilliant point about Marx –
he would reject much of the anti-globalization movement that idolizes him.
Don’t believe him? Read the quotation he picks from none other than the
Communist Manifesto itself. Marx believed that capitalist system was the
next necessary step towards liberating the people from the drudgery of the rural
life. It is that idocy that the Left currently seems to want to preserve at all costs.
Bertram makes a point I find to be absolutely brilliant:
The problem isn’t that the far right is adopting leftist
themes, but that the left, still as hostile to capitalism as ever but lacking a
clearly articulated modernist alternative of its own since the failure of the
Soviet experience and the Hayekian critique of central planning, has been
drawn into adopting traditionally reactionary and conservative positions and a
celebration of the very "idiocy of rural life" that Marx condemned.
That doesn’t mean that we should be passive in the face of environmental
destruction, but it does mean that we should think harder about how to
combine a modern urban and diverse civilisation with greater social justice.
In other words, the Left’s current anti-industrial bent only takes us right
back to where we were. Their support of primitivism over modernity means that
they’re the ones who are stuck in the past. Collectivism was a failure wherever
it was tried, yet the Left still thinks that if it were just done "right"
it would somehow lead to a more just and equitable society. The fact is, those
nations which have pursued the path of social dynamism and the open market
are the ones who have the greatest amount of social justice. Those countries
that collectivized their economies and production are often the most repressive
of all. Until the Left can do something else other than revisit the failed ideas of
the past they remain an ideology adrift, reactionary yet impotent, unable to
understand or substantively change a world which has left them behind.