Wednesday, 26 December 2012

The Spectre Of Lefty Students

The man at the local Socialist Workers Party had a decent introduction to his speech a few years ago, picturing the scene in Full Metal Jacket where Private Pile was caught with a jam doughnut in his foot locker and the rest of the dormitory were punished by having to do press-ups while Pile ate the doughnut. 
This would then lead him into how the bankers and financial institutions were the real life's Private Pile's stuffing their faces with jam doughnuts while the rest of us were the innocent members of the dormitory doing press-ups or struggling with debt, unemployment, house repossessions, austerity cuts and worse.
He has now dropped that particular analogy from the 1987 film mainly because a good proportion of his audience were too young or not even born when the film was made.
Since 2008 i have noticed a large increase in Marxism, Socialism and Communism interest from the younger generation, i should have asked for commission from the estate of Robert Tressell the amount of times that i have suggested The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists to students as a gentle introduction to Socialism before they hit the more heavier stuff. Now i advise them to download it for free from here
There has certainly been a revival in interest in Marx and Marxist thought, sales of Das Kapital, have soared over the last few years, as have those of The Communist Manifesto (which can be downloaded free here)
The revival of interest especially for young people, comes as the present Capitalist system is in crisis across the globe and is being kept on life support by the people who crashed it, making the little people pay for their crisis and so why on earth should they not be looking for an alternative to a system which hands out crumbs for the workers and then no crumbs at all when those on the top table mess up, and Marxism is the direction they seem to be turning.
The Socialist Worker Party speaker hit the nail on his head when he said his audience is getting younger because the younger people weren't around when Marxism was associated with Stalin and the nasty flavour of Communism in the Soviet Union or East Germany, now it is associated with men like Hugo Chavez in Venezuela whose Socialist philosophy has dragged his country out of poverty and bettered the lot of the poorest in his country. 
The younger generation look at the rich men making up the Worlds Government's, and feel alienated, rightly asking how can they possible understand their plight and not do anything about the pitiful, sinister and corrupt economic shambles going on around them. Many of the new left movements like Occupy are organised by the younger generation who saw at first hand the violent efforts the Governments will go to when the present system is threatened. 
As tempting as it may be for the establishment to ignore or just shake their heads at this new wave of interest in Marx, large swathes of the new generation coming through, the future politicians and policy makers, are questioning the present system and are not being fooled by the Capitalist mantra that what we have is all there is because they know there is an alternative where the majority also get a bite at the jam doughnut.
A spectre may well be haunting Europe and the World — the spectre of a Socialist generation.  

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

"like Hugo Chavez in Venezuela whose Socialist philosophy has dragged his country out of poverty and bettered the lot of the poorest in his country."

that is one view of him. how many of his people got to go to Cuba for cancer treatment? and the nation is not nearly out of poverty. wow. not even close. and what little gains were made were due to oil, not due to improvement in the national economic infrastructure... the oil is fading...

q

Lucy said...

What has how Venezuela got the wealth got to do with how Chavez spent it? The poverty rate in his country is 27%, when he came into power it was 67%. During his time in power he has lifted 40% of his population out of poverty. A feat to be applauded.

Anonymous said...

that is something. i did not know they had that much success.

how he did it matters a lot. he stripped the wealthy with the threat of force and 2 wrongs don't make a right.

castro made a lot of things right as well its just that a lot of people guilty and innocent had to die...

q

Anonymous said...

lucy,

in 14 years under his leadership the gini ratio has ONLY gone from 42 to 39.

few (15%) now live on less than $1 per day (down from 55%), but most still live in abject poverty. this small improvement can be attributed to increased oil sales which they are depleting.

q

Lucy said...

What has how Venezuela got the wealth got to do with how Chavez spent it?

Anonymous said...

he could have spent it in a way that assists the future of the economy? i'm sure he build more schools.

not that it matters. it seems he did not make that much change based on the gini. the whole economy improved (temporary on the back of oil) and thus people making less than a dollar a day now make 2 dollars a day, therefore they are not in poverty anymore (that is written with much sarcasm).

q

Anonymous said...

I didn't know there were still Fox news watching McCarthy era relics like q about.

haveaniceday said...

A proper gun toting, commie hating, god fearing man is q.

Anonymous said...

i don't hate commies, i just think the ideology is founded on a falsehood and is deeply flawed.

q