Archdruid of Ideology

Back in April, I said “there’s no way John Michael Greer has read Karl Marx.”

That’s confirmed today, as the Archdruid writes this howler:

Marxism reached its high-water point in the 1950s and then receded, as the golden promises of Das Kapital gave way to gray bureaucratic inefficiency and, in time, total systemic failure.

ROFL.  What “golden promises” would those be?  Anybody who had actually read Capital would be well aware of the fact that it contains exactly zero promises of any kind.  Seriously.  Take a look.

In reality, of course, Karl Marx was hugely affected by the work of Justus von Liebig, the coiner of “Liebig’s Law,” which points out that ecosystems are only as strong as their weakest links.

The Archdruid of the Ancient Order of Druids, however, can’t be bothered to crack an actual book he doesn’t like for entirely a priori and conventional reasons, despite his claim to value rebellious thought and varied opinions and analyses.

The degree to which even the wildest forms of green thinking remain utterly  captive to conventional American dogma is truly astounding, and not a little scary.

2 Replies to “Archdruid of Ideology”

  1. yep.

    once again The Archdruid (gimme a break!) loses the plot.

    as Sut Jhally astutely observed:

    “If you want to understand capitalism, Marx is the starting point. If you want to understand communism, he’s not. Marx had nothing to say about communism. He had nothing to say about the horrible societies that would be constructed in his name. What Marx’s great contribution is, is as an analyst of capitalism and for understanding the logic that drives capitalism.”

    but The Archdruid never lets reality get in the way of his magical thinking or his penchant for censorship.

    SEE: Advertising & the Perfect Storm – Sut Jhally

    the aforementioned quote about Marx occurs around 10 minutes and 40 seconds into the presentation.

    postscript: i’m surprised you haven’t commented on Morris Berman’s breakdown of the nightmare of the amerikan dream:

    it’s all about The Hustle!

    i don’t want a job, a car and a house
    i don’t want to Occupy the past
    i want a Revolution
    a new way of being

  2. Yes, the Archdruid isn’t flexible enough to admit he has a big blind spot. He keeps dismissing Marx on the grounds that Marx made epic promises about the imminent arrival of a future paradise. Where was that? He certainly suggested the world could be made better, but I defy anybody to quote him on socialism as a paradise. It never happened.

    Ironically, of course, Marx’s main argument was that capitalism would dig its own grave, just as every other class society had done. Not of interest to the AD, despite the obvious relevance to his concern with industrialism. The AD has privileged white ex-Republicans to brainwash, so Marx remains a bogey. I suspect his true motive is to get his followers to grant him credit for thinking up the things he brings to them as news, much of which (see his latest meandering boilerplate observations about the course of empires) would be mere college normalcy for somebody who had ever studied reality instead of business methods, etc. (I do grant him important originality in the area of speculation about the likely course of future industrial societies.) He also loathes collective endeavors, for whatever reason.

    Meanwhile, I find Morris Berman much worse — hyperbolic and sociologically ham-fisted and little else. Ordinary Americans are certainly deeply confused and divided. The most benighted ones — witness our “down-home country” friend St. Sgt. Robert Bales, he of the phony investment scams and “give bullets to Hajji” fame — are certainly in line with what Berman describes. But those creeps are not the majority. People retain lots of decency in this society, as Dmitry Orlov notes. The problem is the society’s market totalitarianism, which permits little decency to find expression, at least in public life. Berman paves over all that.

    He also fancies himself a sociologist, but I see no use of any care in that area in what he publishes. It’s all empires and cultures moving as one unit. Where are the races, classes, and genders, the media, family, etc., not to mention the political conflicts and possibilities? Nowhere. I don’t even read him any more and don’t regret it. He’s far worse than the AD, IMHO. A whiner with nothing truly incisive to say.

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