Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Hygro, Feb 22, 2012.
Ah. That would be an interesting comparison.
now there's the real irony
Marxists do not intrinsically understand history better; that would be ridiculous. Simply put, during the period in which most current and practicing historians were educated, Marxian analysis was the 'in' thing, the fad of the decade. So much of the current historical establishment adheres to some sort of Marxist or quasi-Marxist ideology, or focuses on Marxian analysis, or studies Marxian-associated tropes. Since it generally takes a few (or several, as sometimes seems to be the case for history) decades for fads in any field to percolate into secondary and even undergraduate education, orthodox Marxian thinking dominates history teaching at those levels of learning.
One imagines that, in 2032 or 2042, AP students and undergraduate history students will be wondering why people who study transnational narratives or the role of contingency in history seem to have a 'superior grasp on history'.
Do you know many students?
Plenty of them have no grasp of history to speak of. Have you ever talked to a Maoist? (Don't talk to a Maoist.)
In a lot of areas, mind, the Marxian history is the standard one, which complicates things a bit. (There's a lot of work been put in (including by Marxists, [example]) in uprooting some of the less tenable aspects of the Orthodox historiography for just that reason.)
The French Revolution, for example, turns every undergrad into a rabid marxist.
Made all the more absurd by the fact that so much of the Marxist orthodoxy on the Revolution is recycled Jacobinism.
Jacobins could make it a paragraph without saying "Middle Class".
I was thinking more of the uncritical yammering about "feudalism" (which Marx was as guilty of as anyone), but, yeah, there's certainly a "worst of both worlds" thing going on there.
Marxism isn't a mainstream stance, so if you want to get "into it" you have to first educate yourself.
Contrast this with something more mainstream.. uhh.. I don't know, whatever. You can turn on the TV and hear talking heads talking about it and tell you what to think. There's no need to educate yourself there.
Have they stopped using The Anatomy of Revolution as the standard textbook yet?
Are there seriously people in 2012 still thinking the mainstream of anything would be "Marxist"?
Hygro went to Berkeley.
I rather meant you. The whole stuff about "a generation of Marxist scholars". A weird idea when all you actually hear are market ideologues...
I don't know. I managed to skip the French Revolution until I made it to the Grad Level.
I got a single lecture slide amounting to "this book is basically a load of bollocks", if that's any good to you.
Market ideologues? In scholarly history? Are you nuts?
More in the pseudo-science economics they created to have a refuge from being called out, indeed. But in history, the idea of "freedom" (since the 90s that means "free market") being an inevitable result of human history is a very common one, too.
They now again struggle with reality clearly disproving the idea, but they are still kicking strong.
Wait, so you think Marxian analysis is alive and well in mainstream economics, but that they've been chased out of scholarly history since the fall of the USSR? You do realize that it's the complete opposite in the real world, right?
I do not think Marxist anything is relevant to more than intellectual debate these days. Sadly, perhaps. Perhaps not.
I do however not get at all how - beyond sheer ideological blindness and paranoia - one could assume that the age we live in, which started in the early 90s, would be a Marxist one. Anywhere. Except for studies of, well, Marxism.
History actually shows that Communism fails, look at the fall of the Iron curtain, and look at how China is becoming successful as it shifts toward Capitalism.
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