Economics/Class Relations

Theses on Leftism About “The Antileftist Marx”

This is an interesting application of Marxist analysis to the contemporary left, which I think is accurate. In fact, I have a similar essay myself, based on a talk  I gave a few years ago.

By Benedict Cryptofash

Over the past year, as @BCryptofash, I have developed a theory of antileftist Marxism based on the following theses:

  1. Leftism is the ideological production of progressive capitalism.
  2. The left is the left wing of the bourgeoisie.
  3. In the US, the left = the Democratic Party.
  4. There is no meaningful difference between leftists and Democrats.
  5. The left exists to naturalize the left/right organization of bourgeois democracy.
  6. The left works to conceal the class nature of social antagonisms.
  7. The left has not been co-opted, compromised, or corrupted.
  8. The left is the enforcer of bourgeois class domination.
  9. Leftism defangs Marxism.
  10. Marxism demystifies the left’s habitual idealism, moralism, and utopianism.
  11. Marxism is antileftism.

The left’s conspicuous role as the vanguard of recent bourgeois ideological campaigns surrounding Black Lives Matter, Biden-Harris, 1/6, and COVID-19 has made some of these claims less incendiary than when they first appeared. The notion of an antileftist Marxism remains paradoxical, however, for those accustomed to the idea that Marxism is synonymous with the left. Although a Marxist critique of the left has made sense to followers acquainted with Marx’s frequent polemics against the left-wing moralizers, petty bourgeois democrats, and utopian socialists of his time, “antileftist Marxism” continues to be met more often with bewilderment, even among those intrigued by the possibility that the symbol of leftism in fact provides the resources for its critical demolition. This has led to invitations to clarify this theory in long-form writing, something that I have declined until now.


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