Left and Right

Marx from the Right: Through the Eyes of Alain de Benoist and Diego Fusaro

There exists a peculiar paradox in Karl Marx, the apostle of communism. Marx’s critique of capitalism, while often lambasted from the right for its promotion of a collectivist worldview, offers essential insights that resonate with some right-wing thinkers. The interplay between Marx and the contemporary right, as championed by thinkers like Alain de Benoist and Diego Fusaro, provides a fecund ground for reflection on the nature and purpose of human existence in an era characterized by rampant materialism and disenchantment.

From the French right-wing intellectual de Benoist’s vantage point, the European New Right sees Marx not as a dangerous radical but as an individual diagnosing the ills of modernity. Marx’s disdain for the alienating and dehumanizing facets of capitalism parallels de Benoist’s critique of liberal individualism. For both, the market, unrestrained and amoral, operates as a machine, sacrificing the human spirit on the altar of profit.

This shared critique is where the New Right and Marx intersect. While Marx’s dialectical materialism predicts a classless utopia rising from the ashes of capitalist collapse, de Benoist does not adhere to such a linear historical progression. Instead, he proposes a return to organic societies where individuals find meaning and belonging not in the abstraction of class struggle but in their rootedness to culture, history, and tradition.

The Italian Marxist philosopher Fusaro provides a unique bridge between Marx and rightist thought. Embracing Marx’s analysis of capitalism, Fusaro nonetheless pivots away from the internationalist dimension of communism. He underscores the importance of national identity, sovereignty, and the state as vehicles for resisting the homogenizing forces of global capitalism. Here, Fusaro channels Marx to champion a form of national communism, a vision rooted in the preservation of cultural and national identity in the face of global market forces.

Yet, for all their shared critiques, the divergence between Marx and the contemporary right is still pronounced. The New Right’s emphasis on the primacy of cultural and civilizational identity stands in contrast to Marx’s class-driven analysis. Where Marx envisages a world unified by the abolition of class, de Benoist envisions a mosaic of distinct civilizations, each guarding its uniqueness against the levelling tendencies of modernity.

The convergence and divergence elucidate the rich line of intellectual thought that exists beyond the narrow confines of left and right. Alain de Benoist and Diego Fusaro, in revisiting Marx from the right, challenge us to appreciate the multidimensionality of Marx’s thought. They beckon us to eschew reductionist interpretations and to recognize in Marx a thinker grappling with the profound discontents of modernity, discontents that continue to haunt us.

In conclusion, to engage with Marx from the right is to recognize the multifaceted nature of critique. It is a testament to the enduring relevance of Marx’s ideas that they can be reinterpreted and repurposed across the ideological spectrum, underscoring the need for dialogue and synthesis in our age of polarized discourse.


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