Maoism on Foreign Affairs vs. Pseudo-Marxist Geopolitical Pragmatism

This is an old book review by MIM (Maoist Internationalist Movement) of a work by Ludo Martens entitled, The Collapse of the Soviet Union: Causes and Lessons: For the Revolutionary Revival of the International Communist Movement. I am not a Third-Worldist or a Maoist, but this review has a principled theoretical stance regarding the International CommunistContinue reading “Maoism on Foreign Affairs vs. Pseudo-Marxist Geopolitical Pragmatism”

Abolitionist Poetry

The 1807 abolition of slave relations of production within the British Empire may have been very progressive for its time, but one wonders if these same authors would have been so jovial if they could see the way leading capitalists have lined up to contrast the modern marvel of “free trade and labor” with slavery.Continue reading “Abolitionist Poetry”

Marxist Literary Criticism: Brief Guide

Along with psychoanalytical, feminist, and cultural criticism, Marxist literary criticism exemplifies what the French philosopher Paul Ricouer terms a “hermeneutics of suspicion.” These are approaches that concern themselves not with what the text says but what it hides. As Terry Eagleton, a leading Marxist critic, writes, the task of Marxist literary criticism “is to showContinue reading “Marxist Literary Criticism: Brief Guide”

Two Things About Harry Potter

For the most part, I stopped reading the Harry Potter series at the sixth book. I should’ve stopped at the fifth. The middle and the last part of the “Half-Blood Prince” was utter garbage (except the chapter where he takes the good luck potion) and the ending was just an excuse to kill off aContinue reading “Two Things About Harry Potter”

Ultra-Leftism & Right-Opportunism

The most common mistake among Marxists in our cultural review work is right-opportunism, which means that they fall into liberalism and subjectivism, tolerating artistic works which promote reactionary politics. Right-opportunism can be summed up as the liberal outlook of denying a particular judgement of a work due to relativism, such as the old line, “YouContinue reading “Ultra-Leftism & Right-Opportunism”

Slice-of-Life, “Self-Indulgence” & Reaction

Amateur chauvinist critics nowadays label entertainment without plot to be “self-indulgent.” What they are referring to here is the “slice of life” story, universally met with knee-jerk attacks from our young, impatient reviewers. It is hardly ever analyzed by these people whether or not the lack of plot is due to a lack of talentContinue reading “Slice-of-Life, “Self-Indulgence” & Reaction”

“Kubla Khan”

It is far too easy to dismiss S.T. Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan” as a simple opium-induced pipe dream, though it certainly was. He imagines a fairy tale world of rulers and pleasure-domes, which even then is haunted by shrieking maidens and ice caves where no man may tread. In it, the author explores his own alienationContinue reading ““Kubla Khan””

“Resolution and Independence”

“Resolution and Independence” is certainly one of Wordsworth’s stranger poems, one in which he sees an old leech-gathering man as an unlikely oracle. For a “gentleman” such as Wordsworth it must indeed be a rare thing to see a working class man reduced to such drudgery, but is his poem merely an aristocratic fantasy, aContinue reading ““Resolution and Independence””

The Quest for “Authenticity” in Art

“Authenticity” as preached by today’s critics is an idealist concept. The concept of “art” is an era of mechanical, industrial production frequently comes under fire by critics, who insist that the “passion” and “talent” of the art of old is all but lost on today’s youth culture, that Shakespeare is somehow more worthy of praiseContinue reading “The Quest for “Authenticity” in Art”

Modernism

The word “modernism” is intentionally ambiguous, and perhaps without realizing it is a fitting term for such a literary movement. In the most common usage it refers to the twentieth-century movement that began with the concept of the “modern” (obviously, since without this word how could one have modern-ism?) and ended up being a collectionContinue reading “Modernism”

Crisis & Capital In Wuthering Heights

The majority of Victorian literature is the product of the petty-bourgeois class, and Wuthering Heights is no different. The tumultuous ideological storms contained within demonstrate a crisis in the ideology of the 19th century Victorian petty-bourgeois class to which Emily Bronte was born. Frequently, novelists and intellectuals have a reflective role to play at aContinue reading “Crisis & Capital In Wuthering Heights”

Content is Chief, Form is Chaff?

The form of a poem or story (as opposed to its content) is not merely ornamental or window-dressing, nor is it merely “fleshing out” the content. It has its own life within the text, and forms as simple as the note arrangements of classical music or the rhyming pattern (or lack thereof) of a pieceContinue reading “Content is Chief, Form is Chaff?”

The Concept of the “Other” in Kim

Kipling seems to fancy himself as the first Eric Schlosser. In his story Kim, the presence of the concept of the “other” is scarce, even nonexistent, to the point of a noticeable, glaring omission. British, Indian and Tibetan cultures have minor contradictions with each other, but none is presented as particularly “domineering” over one anotherContinue reading “The Concept of the “Other” in Kim”

Scott’s Denied Bourgeois Mentality

Sir Walter Scott may have denied traditionalism and the ruling class culture of his time personally, but his novels provide no alternative to those bourgeois doctrines and rather in the values of that system find their own comfortable justifications for existence. To illuminate the question of class ideology and how it is reflected in SirContinue reading “Scott’s Denied Bourgeois Mentality”