Monday, May 18, 2009

Lukacs on Marx

"We must not kick a man when he's down. Marx was an unattractive man but--at least intellectually--he was taking the side of the downtrodden and poor, especially of the industrial workers (but not the peasants). Moreover, most of his critics miss the vital points, the inherent weaknesses of the Marxist body of dogma. The accepted intellectual or politological view is still that Marx was a utopian, that his ideas could hardly be put into practice, and when some leaders tried to do that, the result was an economic and humanitarian disaster. . . . Marx and Marxism failed well before 1989--not in 1956 and not in 1919 but in 1914. For it was then that internationalism and class consciousness melted away in the heat of nationalist emotions and beliefs. . . . The First World War marked the defeat of International Socialism; it led, instead, to the rise of National Socialism." (42-43, Democracy and Populism).