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The dread Sparts and other Left wing lunatics

October 23, 2007

The idea that the Internet is evil crops up in some surprising circles.

Here’s the Spartacist League, a Trotskyist group, claiming that Wikipedia is an imperialist plot against the historical and scientific truth of Marxist materialism.

Ahem:

“But Wikipedia is no encyclopedia. A menace to historical knowledge, it is a New Age fraud that often provides a sanctuary for libel and character assassination…..

“The Web is often lauded as a means of mass participation and democracy. But neither facts nor scientific laws are determined by such methods, much less by an anonymous, multiplayer, fantasy computer game. Science is the product of hard work and a rigorous critical assimilation of the achievements of past cultures and epochs, and it is embodied in the work of authoritative figures and institutions.”

The reason for their hatred soon becomes apparent. Some one has obviously been writing nasty things about them:

“What better habitat for the dregs of yesterday’s Spartacist-hating “Marxism” and “Trotskyism” Internet newsgroups, the kind of people who probably have not left their computers, bathed or seen sunlight in weeks? As for cyberspace frauds, we are reminded of David North’s Socialist Equality Party, an organization of dubious political bandits that years ago liquidated its paper in favor of the “World Socialist Web Site”—a medium through which it can rewrite its history when convenient.”

Fortunately, it will all be over soon:

“Today, capitalism in its death agony creates a barrier to the expansion of the means of production while dragging culture back into a new dark age….

“Embracing science and the scientific method, we Marxists understand that only the revolutionary overthrow of the decaying bourgeois order by the proletariat will pave the way for the elimination of scarcity, making mankind’s great achievements and knowledge available to all.”

So that’s all right then.

Now, personally I dispute the historical and scientific reality of Marxist materialism, as I imagine Marx himself would. He was a brilliant thinker, but a man of his time, critiquing a modernist politics from a modernist perspective.

The world has moved on.

If the ‘wikiality’ that really frightens the Sparts is reality as created by mass participation, then bring it on. I have taken enough drugs to realise that there’s no objective reality, or at least that we are unable to accurately perceive one, as our entire experience is filtered through our consciousness.

Consciousness is the most important realm to be working in now, and the Internet gives us the unprecedented ability to participate in the development of a new consciousness.

Even Marx says, in (Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right)

“Material force can only be overthrown by material force, but theory itself becomes a material force when it has seized the masses.”

We live in consensus reality. Let’s give everyone a say.

Since I am writing about Left wing lunacy, here’s another example:

The group that came out of the Revolutionary Communist Party.

Essentially, they tried to be so far to the Left that they fell off the edge and came back on the pro-corporate far-Right. They published a magazine called Living Marxism, which folded in 2000 after being sued for libel: they claimed that images of concentration camps in Bosnia had been fabricated.

They’re now back as Spiked Online, peddling the same bullshit.

Here’s George Monbiot:

“One of strangest aspects of modern politics is the dominance of former left-wingers who have swung to the right. The “neo-cons” pretty well run the White House and the Pentagon, the Labour party and key departments of the British government. But there is a group which has travelled even further, from the most distant fringes of the left to the extremities of the pro-corporate libertarian right. While its politics have swung around 180 degrees, its tactics – entering organisations and taking them over – appear unchanged.”

I’m laughing as I write this, but with tears in my eyes. These are just two extreme examples of the failure of the Left to notice the evidence of their senses, and it’s is clearly a great tragedy. Marx’s analysis of society, and the barriers it throws up to human freedom, was unprecedented. Other thinkers have added incredible insights, and thousands of brave men and women have sacrificed their lives fighting for freedom.

The Left, however, has by and large not moved on from the Russian revolution, and sees everything through that prism. It’s a great loss to humanity.

At least there’s a dark humour in it, and we can get a laugh out of the unintended hilarity of it all. If you liked the scene in The Life of Brian about the People’s Front of Judea, then the Spart’s newspaper is always worth a read for the sheer surrealist insanity of it all. They are currently urging us to “Defend, Extend Gains of Chinese Revolution!”

Right.

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