return of his occassional series, "Marxists versus Moonbats", In the series (1, 2 and 3), as he puts it, he records "the latest debate between the Moonbats (a.k.a. the nouveau Loony Left) and the Marxists (a.k.a. the Dinosaur Left)". I took the liberty of adding a contribution to the series while 'Sphere took time off. Any leftist not shamed by the antics of Yvonne Ridley and James Petras and their ilk is seriously deficient.
I have a somewhat different conception of Marxism than Judeosphere, however. For me, it is a central article of my faith (and I admit that there is a sense of religious faith about this) that Marx's ideas are an absolutely necessary element in understanding our world today, a world in which the relentless destructive creativity of capitalism is depleting the earth's resources at a breakneck pace, a world in which the vast majority of humans live unliveable lives, a world in which wars continue without end, a world shaped for the profits of the few and not the happiness of the many. Marx's analysis is, for me, confirmed and not refuted by the changes we have seen since his death, such as the entry of lands like China into the capitalist system and the immense misery resulting from that (without any accompanying development of the liberal freedoms capitalism's defenders claim is the system's inevitable accompaniment).
On the other hand, if Marxism is necessary, it is not sufficient. It is not sufficient, for example, for understanding and confronting the human capacity for cruelty exemplified by events like the Holocaust which have only an indirect relationship to capitalism. Marxism is not sufficient either, for example, for understanding the enormous qualititive difference between capitalist liberal democracies and their genuiune and worth fighting for freedoms, on the one hand, and equally capitalist but far more monstrous totalitarian states. Marxists who are not also defenders of freedom and democracy are not on my side.
With this in mind, I strrongly urge you to read Terry Glavin's post here, which approaches this issue from a number of angles. I also urge you to read, if you haven't already, Peter Ryley's pair of posts about the false analogies some folks draw between fascism and Stalinism and fascism and liberalism. And I strongly urge you to read the two fine talks on the history of antisemitism by two important left-wing members of my trade union, at least one of whom remains a Marxist: Robert Fine and Phillip Spencer. Finally, I urge you to read this interview with Moishe Postone, one of the most important Marxist theorists alive today, on Zionism, antisemitism and the left.
Not of quite the same calibre as those pieces of writing, this seems like a good place, too, to flag the issue I've been interested in recently and wrote a short post about at Contested Terrain: the failure of some sections of the Marxist left to understand the moral difference between fascism and ordinary capitalism, and where that failure leads. And I also recommend this, via CT, 'The Anti-Imperialism of Fools’: A Cautionary Story on the Revolutionary Socialist Vanguard of England’s Post-9/11 Anti-War Movement (pdf) by the AWL's Camila Bassi.
Related posts: Iran, drawing clear lines; Iran and the left, continued; Between Burke and Paine in the twenty-first century; The left's old neighbourhood; The conservatism of the anti-war "radicals"; The trad left; A lexicon for our times.