Su Jacobin Magazine, Matt McManus confuta un lungo articolo pubblicato su Quillette nel quale l’autore, il filosofo nazionalista israeliano Yoram Hazony, critica duramente il socialismo invitando i liberali a unirsi ai conservatori nella lotta allo spauracchio del marxismo. La tesi portata da McManus, invece, è che in realtà i valori liberali sono molto più vicini a quelli socialisti che non a quelli nazionalisti.
Hazony opens his essay with an odd claim. Contemporary Marxists, he argues, aren’t willing to wear their colors proudly, instead attempting to “disorient their opponents by referring to their beliefs with a shifting vocabulary of terms, including ‘the Left,’ ‘Progressivism,’ ‘Social Justice,’ ‘Anti-Racism,’ ‘Anti-Fascism,’ ‘Black Lives Matter,’ ‘Critical Race Theory,’ ‘Identity Politics,’ ‘Political Correctness,’ ‘Wokeness,’ and more.” Nonetheless the essence of the political left remains staunchly Marxist, building upon Marx’s framework as Hazony understands it.
For him, Marxism has four characteristics. First, it is based on an oppressor/oppressed narrative, viewing people as invariably attached to groups that exploit one another. Second, it posits a theory of “false consciousness” where the ruling class and their victims may be unaware of the exploitation occurring, since it is obscured by the “ruling ideology.” Third, Marxists demand the revolutionary reconstitution of society through the destruction of the ruling class and its ideology. And finally, once the revolution is accomplished, a classless society will emerge.
This account ignores a tremendous amount of what makes Marxism theoretically interesting, focusing instead on well-known tropes and clichés. It is startling, but telling, that Hazony never once approaches Marxism as a critique of political economy, even though Marx was kind enough to label two of his books “critiques of political economy.” By effacing this fundamental characteristic of Marxism, Hazony reduces it to a simplistic doctrine that could be mapped onto more or less anything.
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