To Kill a Revolution
The Great Adventures of Hegel and Lenin
To preface this, I would like to say I wrote this awhile back and thought I’d publish it now because why not. The writing is poor, and I used a bit more ad hominems than I’d like but life’s too short to sort all this shit out. This was supposed to be heavily worked out, expanded and combined with another essay but I decided — given I am writing on Medium where no one could care less for anything you write — I thought I’d just start publishing shorter pieces, however, I will endeavor in creating more complicated pieces in the future.
The Poverty of Lenin
Already found within Lenin is a radically Hegelian notion, “First of all, I reply to this, your unsuccessful experiment, you have to try, not 2–3 times, but 20–30 times repeat your attempts, start over again” (3). Precisely in this sense that Zizek is a proponent of, in that we need “To repeat Lenin … repeat not what Lenin did, but what he failed to do, his missed opportunities” (XV). The most radically Leninist thing we can do is not only to repeat Lenin, but to rethink him as well; and in doing so we must apply this famous proverb from Marx, this “ruthless criticism of all that exists”, allowing for as much debate over all philosophical topics as possible.
The Dialectic and Its Discontents
Many supposed ‘supporters/followers’ of Lenin today in mass culture refer to themselves as ‘Marxist-Leninists’, an absolute cope for the failures of the Soviet Union is to look back at the Soviets (reminiscing and so on), however, this engages in nothing but a creation of passivity, this enjoyment of aesthetics becomes itself an anesthetic! I repudiate these so-called ‘Marxists’ who in the face of criticism refer to nothing but so-called ‘morals’ that capitalism maims, and ‘injustice’ capitalism catalyzes, oh if only Lenin were still alive — if only Trotsky were to be that which came forth, they in this face of the falling of their oh so great countries only refer to Lenin’s last testament “Stalin is too rude and this defect, although quite tolerable in our midst and in dealing among Communists, becomes intolerable in a secretary general” (116).
To begin these morals which they speak so fondly of are pathetic and a retrusion of true Marxian and Leninist maxims. Lenin himself speaks of these loathsome ‘dialecticians’, proclaiming the greatness of Bukharin with a large but “his theoretical views can be classified as fully Marxist only with great reserve, for there is something scholastic about him (he has never made a study of the dialectics, and, I think, never fully understood it)” (115), these claims of which explain Bukharin’s launch of this famous Marxian myth of the ‘inevitability of communism’, something not found within the works of a man who very well understands the function of the dialectic; for, only retroactively do things become contingent — ‘a letter which always arrives at its destination’ (this addresses my earlier comment on whether Stalin or Trotsky taking up the role would’ve been better, in regards to Lenin’s last testament).
I digress, returning back to this analysis of these moral ‘problems’, when we analyze Spirit , we find these lugubrious claims of exploitation (in the moral sense) to be but full of nothing, no substance. The ever-changing nature of Spirit (i.e. morals in this case) negates any thought of such, the Platonic and/or Aristotelian structure of political government is irrelevant, we have long crossed these boundaries of thought. Morals will be ever-changing with the times, jumping from particular to universal, universal to particular, and so on. Hegel knew this, in the Philosophy of Right he expresses how what you think does not matter, neither he nor I care in the slightest; all that matters is how that information is taken up immanently within society. It seems even Marx knew this, Karl Vörlander wrote that “The moment anyone started to talk to Marx about morality, he would roar with laughter.”
Revolution and Taboo
Has anyone noticed how literally every year someone writes something like “the ideas of Marx have never been more relevant”, “the contradictions have never been more prevalent in society”, all it reminds me of is Deleuze and Guattari, “capitalism confronts its own limits and simultaneously displaces them.” However, it’s always parallel with these contradictions supposedly being at its peak, that we constantly hear “no, we can’t have a revolution yet! The material conditions needed are not yet met”, Zizek disposes of such idiocies as such (although to a much larger extent than the small quote provided),
“With Lenin, as with Lacan, the revolution ne s’autorise que d’elle-même: we must assume the revolutionary act as not being covered by the big Other — the fear of taking power ‘prematurely’, the search for the guarantee, is the fear of the abyss of the act. Therein lies the ultimate dimension of what Lenin incessantly denounces as ‘opportunism’, and his wager is that ‘opportunism’ is a position which is inherently false, masking the fear of accomplishing the act with a protective screen of ‘objective’ facts, laws or norms (XXII).
- This explanation was grabbed from my Love as Being and the Law of Preservation article, this of which you can find on my medium, “Referring to how Kain puts it, ‘[Idea is] aims, aspirations, values, role, significance, and meaning to itself’ (Hegel and Right, 2). As for Spirit, through [Idea’s] activity in the world, [Idea will be embodied in] laws, practices, customs, institutions, ethical life, art, culture, philosophy, religion, and so forth. In this way the Idea becomes objectified, concretized, institutionalized. It is no longer a mere idea, but a reality. Spirit is this very reality. As this concretized idea is recognized by its people, it will animate their will, passion, activity, and drive (Hegel and Right, 2). Spirit is self-containing. Nothing is higher. The Absolute is nothing but the dialectical unfolding of Spirit, to produce a greater Right (Hegel and Right, 3).”
Lenin, Vladimir Ilʹich, et al. The Day after the Revolution. Verso, 2018. — referenced as the plain (page number).