A Marxist responds as predicted

I swear, I could have written this piece in advance. To any non-Marxist, it will look like complete nonsense, and you will wonder who could be convinced by such arguments. But to wonder that is to miss this point: Zimmer is not trying to convince anyone. What he is doing is shoring up the defenses of a position to which he and his readers are already committed. Chait's piece might have shaken the resolve of a few comrades, so they must be given talking points they can repeat, to drown out the disturbing sound of the enemy beyond the gates.

This quote is priceless:

"For Marxists, on the other hand, freedom of expression is not a free-floating abstraction—it’s a key aspect of the radical democratic vision of building a society free of oppression and exploitation. Marxists value free speech because they are committed to building a society where all can decide matters of public concern democratically, as genuine equals. Thus, the Marxist has a consistent way of explaining why speech that aims to dominate or marginalize others should be challenged rather than protected: it is contrary to the very values animating our commitment to free speech in the first place."

A third grader could figure out that this means that "free speech" is a right Marxists have and others don't, and that "all can decide matters of public concern" means "Marxists can decide matters of public concern."

Which is, of course, exactly how things have worked out in practice every time someone has tried to implement Marxism. Anyone who is rationally evaluating Zimmer's arguments could spot the contradiction here. But, as I said, the point of the piece is not to make a rational argument, but to stiffen the defenders resolve.

3 comments:

  1. I call it floundering. Their response is so panicked and so desperate that they resemble fish flapping about on land to get back into water.

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  2. Excellent post.

    A lot of Marxists on the internet (correctly) argue that it is important to look at the intentions of the other side, not just take their arguments at face value.

    The same applies to them, unfortunately.

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  3. A third grader could figure out that this means that "free speech" is a right Marxists have and others don't, and that "all can decide matters of public concern" means "Marxists can decide matters of public concern."

    Right, Gene, I agree with you on this. But wouldn't that same third grader read your previous blog posts and say, "Mr. Callahan's use of the word 'ideology' means 'people who disagree with me,' and Callahan's statement 'arguments among two followers of the dharma' means 'arguments among two people who have Callahan's worldview.'"

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