15 July 2009

The genius of the proletariat

I think that statusful agents of the collective should want to visit the least fortunate members of society to hear how they experience the difficulties of their position. But I know that this is an old-fashioned idea which seems natural to me because I remember pre-Marxist society, and it has no applicability within the current quasi-Marxist society in which everyone, even those old enough and middle-class enough to remember society before the revolution, has converted to the new religion and regards themselves as agents of it.

The idea that innate ability is to be done down and suppressed has always been intrinsic to communist ideology. This is a quotation from a book about Marxism which shows that Trotsky had this idea.

The proletariat, [Trotsky] argued, could not produce any culture at the present time because it was not educated, and, as for the future, socialist society would not create a class culture of any sort but would raise the whole of human culture to new levels. The dictatorship of the proletariat was only a short, transient phase after which the glorious classless society would set in – a society of supermen, any one of whom could become the intellectual equal of Aristotle, Goethe, or Marx. *

What such ideas mean in practice, in Britain today and for at least the last 60 years, is that those who have shown any signs of the sort of ability that makes them potential geniuses (i.e. who might do something noticeable if not prevented from doing so) are thrown down and out, and kept down and out.

* L. Kolakowski, Main Currents of Marxism, Vol. 3, Oxford University Press, 1978, p 52.