2 comments on “A century’s early midnight?

  1. As you admit, a bit early for midnight of the century. This is just some darkness at noon, the real inky blackness of midnight is still a ways off even if we can the cold and darkness growing from where we now stand. Seriously yes we are knee deep in a tide of reaction, but the real nadir of the moment is of the left not of civilization. That is what needs to be figured out before things get any blacker. The left has no positive program worth speaking of, its most public commentators are full of mendacity, cynicism, despair and conspiratorial delusion in alternating measures. Its organizations are decrepit and decayed. It has lost much of its institutional rootedness in the class (much of htis admitedly due to the crisis of said class). Its analysis is too often stuck in the last century, mechanically reproducing the mistakes of the past rather than seriously and honestly confronting those mistakes and striving for an analysis capable of living up to our moment. Yet as you once said, the left or a left is necessary. It is hard to imagine building any sort of worthwhile future without one. Currently though we are at its 200 year nadir. If nothing else maybe that can help give us some clarity.

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  2. I wouldn’t try to assess this thought-provoking piece overall. But I’d like to suggest one focus for further discussion. Years ago you told me that the movement against the war in Vietnam marked my generation the way the fall of the Soviet Union will mark yours. That’s sobering enough in itself. Further, I’d say that the question of what is the most prominent military opponent of imperialism has great significance for the “World Street”, so to speak, regardless of whether the “World Street” is good or bad at evaluating things. That currently imperialism’s most prominent military opponent is what they describe as Islamic Fundamentalism is quite a shift from its being the Soviet Union. Whether or not either of these is a “real” opponent does not alter the shift in consciousness I’m referring to. In any event, I’m too old to despair!


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