Sunday, July 06, 2008

Where is the Workers' Country? Samurai Japan?

I have confirming evidence that the only coherent anti-capitalist stand in our Fukuyamist/Grantian age is conservative or reactionary.

I just finished reading the latest from Slavoj Zizek, the too-cool-for-school intellectual leader of academic communism. Zizek's proclaimed goal is to somehow "repeat" Lenin, while acknowledging reality. He rehabilitates Robspierre, Stalin and Mao through the use of the apologist paradox perfected by Chesterton.

Zizek's too smart not to see that it is capitalism that is the genuinely revolutionary force in the world, and that the genuinely mass-based hostility to it arises precisely from this fact. But he doesn't want to do anything as uncool as oppose, say, genetic manipulation of the human germ line. So he retreats into an overtly reactionary fantasy (not that there is anything wrong with that):

In the early seventeenth century, after the establishment of the shogun regime, Japan made a unique collective decision to isolate itself from foreign culture and to pursue its own path of a contained life of balanced reproduction, focused on cultural refinement, avoiding any tendencies towards wild expansion. Was the ensuing period which lasted till the middle of the nineteenth century really just an isolationist dream from which Japan was cruelly awakened by Commodore Perry on the American warship? What is the dream is that we can go on indefinitely in our expansionism? What if we all need to repeat, mutatis mutandis, the Japanese decision, and collectively decide to intervene in our pseudo-natural development, to change its direction?

In other words, the historic task of the left is to stand athwart history, yelling Stop.

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