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2008/02/29

Communism Has Only Killed 100 Million People…

…Let's give it another chance!

Jean-Claude Milner and Fabrice Jambois wax eloquently about Karl Marx as Le Monde puts a volume of (Marx's) philosophy on sale, while stating (reassuringly?) on the front page (top right, in reddish purple) that Karl Marx has not said his last word. (While France's élites and Le Monde's editors think it educative to add a volume of Marx's thoughts to a collection of philosophers for the undying benefit of the country's citizens, Atlas Shrugged has still not been translated to French…)

In Jean Birnbaum's interview of Jean-Claude Milner, the philosopher (?) states that Marx's economic doctrines "entirely" deserve the interest they are currently regaining — this in spite of the fact that, as Milner himself acknowledges, the "great thinker" had nothing but contempt for matters as diverse as the State, suffrage, the institutions, powers, the right of law (just about anything, really, that had to do with… the functioning of a state and a nation!, something you come to realize as the list starts reading like Monty Python's What have the Romans ever done for us?). Milner adds that although Lenin's "improvisations" in statesmanship led to catastrophe, they happened to be nothing if not "brilliant".
Je serai le premier à soutenir que les doctrines économiques de Marx méritent entièrement le regain d'intérêt dont elles bénéficient. Mais est-ce là l'essentiel ? Je ne le crois pas. Pour la politique, on ne peut pas passer sous silence le prix que Marx a dû payer pour se détacher de Hegel : l'absence de toute réflexion véritable sur les institutions. Sur l'Etat, sur le suffrage, sur les pouvoirs, sur le droit, rien que de la critique hautaine. C'est pourquoi il a fallu que Lénine improvise - brillamment, certes, mais l'improvisation dans ces domaines est interdite : elle a conduit à la catastrophe.
…"rien que de la critique hautaine"! Isn't this the reason — the real reason — that Marx is so beloved by the Left in the Western world?

As David R Henderson recalls from his youth in The Joy of Freedom, a
former communist told us of his intense resentment of the fact that he was smart and had nothing, while the rich were dumb and had a lot. "That," he said "was how I became a Marxist. I hated the rich." We were shocked. We had thought that virtually all intellectuals came to their views via their intellect, not via their resentments … His route to Marxism was a very common one. "The number of people who become Marxists by reading Marx," I still remember him saying, "can be counted on the fingers of one hand."