Possessed by an ideology: The re-emergence of Marxism

Ideologies possess us
Ideas do not die: they my hibernate, they may go underground, they may mutate or metastasize, adapting to new circumstances, adopting suitable trains of thoughts from other ideas, stripping themselves of some of the old ones. Yet, once they are born, they are immortal. What is more, though ideas originate in human minds, paradoxically, once they are born, as Carl Gustav Jung famously said, it is not people who have ideas; people are possessed (obsessed) by ideas.

It is the peculiarity of the human mind to create ideas about the world, life, natural and social phenomena. These can be channelled in the form of a religion or ideology or a mixture of the two, never mind the denominations. A thought has a life of its own and starts growing, ramifying and developing, now due to clashes with real, palpable problems, now due to clashes with other ideas, beliefs, thoughts. A thought evolves in the process, and at times it is more real than reality itself in that a man who believes in dragons will spend his lifetime in pursuit of them: a belief will control his activities.

Beliefs, philosophies, ideologies – you name them – are there to explain the world and to provide guidelines. A human being needs guidelines: he needs to know whether it is good or bad to lie, to cheat, to steal; whether it is mandatory to lie to some, to tell the truth to others; whether it is prudent to lie under these, but be veracious under those circumstances. A human being needs to know what is worth striving, fighting, or dying for. And a human being has little time and little capability to solve each and every problem; instead, he prefers to rely on recipes of conduct that are rooted in an ideology. That is why ready-made sets of rules and values are in such demand.

Eternal Marxism
Marxism is one of the many ideologies that explain the world and provide guidelines. It traces its origins back to the 19th century. It was not a birth of a star but rather a transmutation and coalescence of earlier ideologies: German ideal philosophy (Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel), from which it took dialectics, French utopian socialism (Charles Fourier, Henri de Saint-Simon), from which it took the social concerns, and English classical economics (David Ricardo, Adam Smith), from which it took the economic thought.

In the age of thriving industrialism and the rapid development of the sciences Marxism worked out an appeal that was suited to the people of the epoch: it claimed to have discovered scientific therefore immutable and infallible laws governing the life of human societies since times immemorial to the present and well into the future. The ideology’s attractiveness was reinforced on the one hand by the promise it made that it had found the effective cure for social ills and on the other by the flattery that it extended to the down-trodden, the weak, the poor, and the outcast that they deserve better. Continue reading

Last week Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez booed at military parade, with calls for “elections”

(old article we missed) Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez was booed on Friday during his first October 12 military parade since he took office in June. When the convoy of official cars in which the politician was traveling made its way down the Castellana boulevard in central Madrid, thousands of people began to jeer and whistle at him. Source El Pais