MANY YEARS AGO, back in the late 60's, there was a tired store front on the south side of College St., just east of Spadina. It was the office of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist). A dreary, worn, gray edifice, with a tired display of irrelevance in the window. Walking by, I noticed that there was a collection of some 30+ books, all beautifully leather-bound, on sale: the collected writings of Josef Stalin. I think they wanted $50 for the whole set, now probably a fundamental, objective part of a Toronto land-fill.
Ah, the turgid, insightful dialectic of Marxist philosophy! The cure for insomnia, tovarich.
What brought that to mind was that I stumbled on this site earlier this week: it proclaims itself to be The Axis of Logic. It is a delightful dinosaur, a repository of the "true blue" old-school socialist mind-set.
Anyway, the site has an article titled, "Neoliberalism and the Dynamics of Capitalist Development in Latin America". Here's the preamble:
"Those who think they understand the future of the left on the continent may be surprised by what is happening in countries ranging from right wing governments such as Colombia to leftist states like Venezuela after reading this document. Time and energy given to building socialism and combatting the Global Corporate Empire everywhere in the world will be informed by neo-capitalist movements across Latin America. This analysis deserves careful study."
"Global Corporate Empire", "neo-capitalist", "Neoliberalism", oh my! To the barricades, comrade!
The jargon they use keeps them from clearly appreciating what is really going on. Their fixation on pejorative definition, like "neoliberalism" indicates their continuing tunnel-vision. Same as it ever was. You can see why dogmatic socialists were never very big with stand-up comedy, unlike the Groucho-Marxists.
Check out a 1991-95 10-part series, Russia's War: Blood on the Snow. Doesn't tell you anything you don't already know, but it starts with the death of Lenin, and follows Uncle Joe's rise to absolute power, with some interesting film and comments, especially from Gulag survivors. Saw it listed as a DVD at Rotten Tomatoes.