Quote Of The Day

“More generally, the political culture of the West is only now beginning to recover from the memetic damage done to it from 1920 on by Soviet propaganda and Soviet agents of influence (see, for example, Stephen Koch’s Double Lives : Stalin, Willi Munzenberg and the Seduction of the Intellectuals). This memetic attack followed the prescriptions of Antonio Gramsci and other Marxist theoreticians, and was determinedly (even brilliantly) executed for over fifty years. Part of the resulting damage is manifest in what you aptly describe as the pervasive “wacko leftism” of the academic/educational world. Where you see in humanities and social-science academia resentful victims of a system that fails to reward them properly, I see an academic establishment that swallowed not just Stalin’s bait but the hook and the line and the sinker as well (multiculturalism, postmodernism, and “world system” theory), and in doing so rendered itself largely incapable of teaching anything of value. Their economic troubles are not the cause of their political fecklessness, but its completely inevitable consequence”.–Eric S. Raymond, responding to David Gelernter’s critique of capitalism

12 Responses to “Quote Of The Day”

  • Richard Thomas

    There is a spectre haunting Mr. Raymond, that of Karl Marx’s ghost. ;`)

    His article is packed with weak analysis and anecdotal evidence.

    Antonio Gramsci was critical of the bureaucratic centralism of Stalin and Lenin since it entailed brutal coercion.

    Mr. Raymond appears to believe that there is a monolithic “pervasive ‘wacko leftism” out there and fails to consider that leftists range from socialists, Marxists, anarchists, and libertarians and that each of these categories have different strands.

    While Mr. Raymond has a right to consider what is of value (capitalism) and not (“multiculturalism, postmodernism, and “world system” theory), his criticism of those to whom he disagrees with is superficial. For example, leftists like Slovoj Zizek and Henry Louis Gates have criticized multiculturalism and others like Frederic Jameson and David Harvey have criticized postmodernism. And Mr. Raymond fails to acknowledge that there is a conservative postmodernism.

    If capital apologists like Mr. Raymond are afraid of criticism by some wooly sweater wearing academics, they may need to re-think their positions.

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