My Big Character Poster: Occupy the Marxist Academy!
On August 5, 1966, Mao Zedong wrote his Big-Character Poster, “Bombard The Headquarters!” setting off the Cultural Revolution in China. He exposed the Communist Party itself as enemies of working people. In that spirit, today I am beginning my own virtual Occupy the Marxist Academy to expose the hypocrisy and incompetence of Marxist academics over their handling of critical theoretical issues. I will virtually Occupy the Marxist Academy on Twitter until they clean up their act. I will be calling out by name Marxist academics who continue to offer no support to the working class movement, but who spend their time debating how many Marxist angels can dance on the head of a pin.
My hashtag for this Occupy will be “#OtMA“.
One feature of their isolation from the working class movement is the creation of Marxist scholarly Intellectual Property. Marxist academics are publishing their work to closed journals and other proprietary forms — and this is not right. Their work is a social product and should be available to all who want to learn, especially those in the working class movements. Instead, academics are building their careers, padding out their scholastic resumes, and profiting off their books. They are turning Marxism into a private property and gouging their students.
The hypocrisy of this is compounded by the creation of petty sects, and clubs, like the Network for Circulation of Theoretical Struggles. The egregious nature of this attempt to turn Marxism into private property of a few is all the more given academic Marxism’s almost complete silence on the social workday and the possibility already present to replace wage labor with association.
Marx hated sects and fought against them his entire life. But, sects have become the lifeblood of Marxism. You academics have no right to turn Marxism into your private property or isolate yourselves in clubs outside the worker’s movement. You need to clean up your act right now.