Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
But aside from the point about ponies, none of those elements made Marxism interesting or 'sticky.' For me the important points are:

  1. The struggle is archetypal and mythological.

  2. It will create heaven on earth.

  3. If you are one of the workers, you are one of the blessed. If you are one of the bosses, you are one of the damned.

  4. You belong to the struggle. The struggle belongs to you. You are part of the struggle. The struggle is part of you.

  5. Therefore the struggle is worth almost any personal sacrifice.

It turns out that capitalists and aristocrats have their own mirror version, which goes something like this:

  1. Your desires and needs are archetypal and mythological.

  2. Creating heaven for yourself is a sacred duty.

  3. If you are one of the chosen, you are blessed. If you are not, you are cursed, invisible, despicable and disposable.

  4. Everything around you belongs to you.

  5. Your desires demand everyone else's sacrifice.

These are not particularly rational frames, but I think it's impossible to understand the lasting influence of Marxism or Capitalism without them.

What's absolutely key is that both frames are something you live, rather than something you think.

(Should I leave the equivalent frame for European social democracy as an exercise for the reader?)

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Aug 27th, 2009 at 05:00:18 PM EST
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