It was Feb 13, 2018. Yet another day of exhaustion and desperation. But later in the evening the "Young Marx" was being streamed in the SPARTAK. It's been a solace.
A play by Richard Bean and Clive Coleman directed by Nicholar Hytner and set in the newly-opened London Bridge theatre tells us a story of young Marx and Engels (Engels and Marx!). Or rather a story of young and ambitious pennyless outlaw genious hiding out in London from debts, his wife's relatives, and the consequences of 1848. Listen to Bean and Coleman to learn about the play: - What's it about? - How much is true?
The play's quite modern setting. It's very rapid and vigorous. The music rocks! I would say that it's shot as good as the Hamlet (the one featuring Cumberbatch). It's a damn Masterpiece!
I've been thinking for two days now and couldn't figure out the part that scratched my mind. Was is the same theme as with JCS --- the theme of a saviour who shall sacrifice himself for the sake of the greater good? Or was it about the motivation Marx had? Well, not just that. In the end I've found Rory Kinnear who played Karl had put it into words for me:
"What do you do that is practical when your whole life is about the theoretical?"
I really appreciated the "brutalized" scene. It's the one where Karl complains to Fridrich about growing brutalized and dehumanized because of his hard work, because of emotinal burnout, and his unfortunes (debts and family problems) and his guilt for the people he had "killed when those have read the Manifesto". Fridrich replies with much anger that it is Manchester where truly brutalized people live: they lead an existence so dehumanized that their children have to play in human shite their yards are covered with, and the adults working all-day at manufactories don't ever go to their homes to see their children. He tells Marx that these poor people need his work on capitalism to be finished --- the work that Marx is yet to begin.
I appreciated it for several reasons. First of all it's of course relatable to the aforementioned problem of dealing with the material world while working on abstracta. Did you just think "procrastination"? The second but no less important reason is that this scene should remind a believer about the problems Marx wanted to solve. Yes, I'm talking about the socialists and communists of this day taking the works of Marx as dogmata. I'm talking about them worshiping and defending the Soviet Union. These are the most terrible mistake you could make, comrades.
First of all, the Soviet Union was all about dehumanized existence. Every single "great achievement" of the Soviet World was associated with thousands and millions dead of exhaustion. The discipline was only built on uttermost fear. On executions with no prosecution. On humiliation. These were never a goal and now we know almost for sure these are no means. It's an empirical knowledge. And it's obvious that Marx would reproach all these things.
Secondly... Well I could rant on the Union being built and run by greedy ignorant morons with sadistic inclinations who have never in their lives read Marx. I could rant about the unscalable state-run economy --- the Plan. About the centralization. About the national problem. I could write it, but we all know about these things. Well, most of us. I'll write a post for the zealots later. The thing I'm saying is that we ought to learn from mistakes. And we know Soviet Union was all about mistakes. And God I'm sure, Marx'd learn. Admit and learn.
Our agenda shall be as follows:
The Soviet Union had nothing to do with socialism, nor communism, nor Marx, nor Engels, nor even Lenin though it'd be a surprise to some unaware people. The model and the problem Marx stated are still relevant are to be thoroughly studied in the context of the new world, the new communication and computation capabilities, and the context of the Great Soviet Failure.
I've been repeating the same thing for the last two years probably: we must take the class struggle model and go through the entire derivation once more and then again! We need to state clearly what the problem is and what the possible solutions are. And screaming "capitalism kills people" is no help.