Wednesday, April 30, 2014

So is the Tea Party Marxist?

I say yes, others are shocked and say no.  Make up your own mind.  Err, and leave a comment.


New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

No. Next question.

Mark Philip Alger said...

No! HELL No! Couldn't be more wrong. It's fundamental. Marxism is one of a particular strain of evil one might call collectivism. At its bottom it denies the individual. The TEA Party is fundamentally ABOUT individuals -- staggered singly and in aggregate (but NOT, it should stressed, collectively) by the burden of a government that has one single, fiduciary duty, and that is to secure the rights of the individual.


deadmandance said...

I think I stand by what I said in your last post that you linked to, there.

Matt W said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matt W said...

Let me give my thoughts another go:

Borepatch has a point. The reaction is Marxist in nature. Just because the reaction is based on logic similarly presented in Marxian theory, doesn't mean that you have to come to the same conclusions that Karl Marx did. Ultimately, as Foseti wrote in his post, Marx was wrong in his conclusions.

Ultimately the Tea Party movement is about class struggle, even if the ultimate values underlying that struggle differ greatly from Marxian ideals. And in this case, the class struggle is between the middle class and the government elite.

So is the Tea Party a Marxist movement? No. It does, however, have some similarities to the underlying themes in Marxism.

Unknown said...

Just a reminder, if you wanted to have the collected work of Marx and Engels in English, you had better download it before midnight G.M.T. because it is being pulled off due to a UK radical publisher asserting that the copyright in the translation (which was paid for by the Soviet Union...) is their property

Borepatch said...

Remember, Marx was all about the dialectic.

Archer said...

In my opinion, you're both partly right and partly wrong.

The TEA Party is not Marxian. It may or may not be a class struggle, but it's not between the Marx-defined classes: those who own the means of production and those who don't. In modern society, anyone can own means of production - it's more a question of whether they choose to utilize the means for production - so the classes are better defined as "those who choose to produce" and "those who choose to consume what others produce" (a.k.a. Foseti's "'governing class' and its dependents" and "everyone else," retrospectively).

That said, the catalyst for change, including the founding of the TEA Party, is certainly as Marx defined it - immiseration of the masses - but I'd ask if that concept originated with Marx, or if he merely penned that phrase to describe it. Our own Revolution could be described as tyranny-induced immiseration of the masses, but our Revolution predates Karl Marx by a few decades.

Marxism is a variation on a theme as old as civilization. I don't think the TEA Party is Marxian per se, but there certainly are a lot of parallels.

kx59 said...

Such a provocateur you are. :-)
I simply call navel gazing BS on the premise.

Goober said...

Yup. Navel gazing. Who cares?

Also agree with the collectivist vs individual aspect. Leads me to decide "no" if you force me to, but I stand by my opinion that it is a meaningless discussion. Struggles against the power elite aren't always Marxist or you could make the argument that the American revolution was a Marxist movement.

Richard Blaine said...

It's a semantic trap. "Marxist" is rife with meaning, a lot of which is... not quit accurate. But the implication in common usage is, I think, clear. It implies a government policy of collectivism.

The choice of classes was dictated by the politics and economics of the time. So yes, Marxism was defined in terms of class struggle, because using class is simply a way of grouping and dehumanizing THEM. Having a THEM is essential to a propaganda effort. Hard to have a revolution when you don't have an US and THEM.

Marxism is really a collectivist philosophy. It's based on the assumption that crowd sourcing (to put it in to modern terms) always comes up with the best answer so everything should be owned by and decided by the crowd.

The whole idea of class is just rhetoric, it's nothing more than us against them, fancied up to sound oh so intellectual. It's the Liberal Cognoscenti vs the Barbaric, Racist, Money Grubbing, Planet Hating, Evil Bastards.

It was a stupid idea then, it's still a stupid idea.

Is the Tea Party Marxist? - well a bowling ball is spherical and the earth is spherical so is the Earth a bowling ball? Not on any scale I'm comfortable with. Similar is not equivalent.

The similarities - Immiseration, dehumanization and propaganda - are important only in that they lead to the historically obvious result - revolt or death. The difference this time around is that they all all coming from the same side.

Well to be fair I guess the right uses it's own share of propaganda and dehumanization but They Started It!