Western Marxists ignore the necessity of the process. They expect socialism, as a qualitatively new stage of human history, to exist immediately in the pure form they conceived of in their minds. They expect a child to act like a grown up and find themselves angered when the child is unable to recite Shakespeare and solve algebraic equations. They forget to contextualize whatever deficiencies they might observe within the embryonic stage the global movement towards socialism is in. They forget the world is still dominated by capitalist imperialism and expect the pockets of socialist resistance to be purely cleansed from the corrupting influence of the old world. They forget, as Marx noted in his Critique of the Gotha Program, that socialist society exists “as it emerges from capitalist society which is thus in every respect, economically, morally and intellectually, still stamped with the birth marks of the old society from whose womb it emerges”.
Where is Hegel, in concrete analysis, for these Western Marxists? The answer is simple, he is dead. But Hegel does not die without a revenge, they too are dead in the eyes of Hegel. Their anti-dialectical lens of interpreting the material world in general, and the struggle for socialism in specific, leaves them in the lifeless position Hegel called Dogmatism. For Hegel,
Dogmatism as a way of thinking, whether in ordinary knowing or in the study of philosophy, is nothing else but the opinion that the True consists in a proposition which is a fixed result, or which is immediately known.
Western Marxist dogmatist fetishize binaries, the immediate (either intuitive or empirical), and the pure. To them, something is either socialism (if it is pure) or not-socialism (if it is impure). They cannot grapple, in practice at least, with the concept of becoming, that is, with the reality of the construction of socialism. Socialism must be constructed, it is an active enterprise emersed necessarily in a world riddled by imperialist pressures, contradictions, and violence – both active and passive. Western Marxist will write splendid critiques of positivism’s fetish of the ‘fact’, but in their own practical analysis of socialist construction in the world they too castrate facts from the factors that allowed them to exist.
Hence Žižek, the most prominent Hegelian Marxists today, couches his anti-dialectical bourgeois critiques of socialism in Cuba (as well as China and pretty much every other socialist experiment) within a reified analysis that strips the Cuban reality from its context. It ignores the historical pressures of being a small island 90 miles away from the world’s largest empire; an empire which has spent the last 60+ years using a plethora of techniques – from internationally condemned blockades, to chemical attacks, terrorist fundings, and 600+ CIA led attempts on Fidel’s life – to overthrow the Cuban revolution. Only in ignoring this context and how it emerges can Žižek come to the purist and anti-dialectical conclusion that the revolution failed and that the daily life of Cubans is reducible to “inertia, misery, escapism in drugs, in sex, [and] pleasures”. ...
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