Saturday, March 22, 2014

Fan Mail: Who is this Punk? and Marxism in America

It is a really interesting way to introduce yourself with the question " Who is this punk?" haha
PS: I'm very interested in the Marxism in the US. What is the current status of the Marxism there?
Cheers!
Interrogating Ideology With A Chainsaw's Response:

Thank you for your message. 'Who is this punk?'- is a phrase I use when introducing myself to others. Or as an ice breaker in a speech or training. It gets me laughs. Sometimes I'll say, 'who is this white punk?' if I'm seeking to make a point about institutionalized racism.I wish I had a better answer about the state of Marxism in America. I'm the only Marxist I know, and that is one of the reasons I started blogging. I've been studying social work for the last several years, and am currently on the last term of my masters, and I have found that over the last three years I am the only person who ever mention racism, class-ism, or political economy in my education. When I visited the Jane Adam's hull house museum in Chicago I was surprised by how many anarchists and communists were involved with the social work tradition. Marxism in America is a hidden tradition. The social work tradition has a tenancy to dislocated itself from actual history. I remember one of my text books mentioned Eric Fromm, and didn't think it was necessary to include the fact that his psychoanalytic theory was half derived from Marxism.

There are a few national communist parties, but they have not been too relevant that I am aware of for a long time. I'd like to say that the communist party USA is the largest group. Seconded by the that the Revolutionary Communist Party. But I'm not sure. They have couple bookstores in major cities, and distribute a newspaper. Like many things when an idea or religion hit America it splits in to an incredible amount of factions. I attend an Occupy Chicago 2 day summit and they had a panel of Chicago communist and anarchist but they spent the whole time arguing about theory in a very divisive way.

On the academic side there are a few writers out there pumping out some great theory. The Haymarket book company continually publishes some great writers. Marxism in Praxis seems all talk. The American culture and lifestyle makes it very difficult to find the leisure time to organize when folks are barely getting paid to live, and anti-intellectualism is deep into the core of society. Thinking beyond what happened last week on American Idol is a painful task for most.

Also, there's probably Marxist organizing projects I'm not aware of.

Overall, I'd argue that the state of Marxism in the US is diverse, confusing, and not totally dead.

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