Sunday, December 7, 2014
Cornelius Castoriadis - The Pulverization of Marxism-Leninism
The monstrous history of Marxism-Leninism shows what a movement for emancipation cannot and should not be. It in no way allows us to conclude that the capitalism and liberal oligarchy under which we now live embody the finally resolved secret of human history. The project of total mastery (which Marxism-Leninism took from capitalism and which, in both cases, was turned into its contrary) is a piece of delirium. It does not follow that we should suffer our history as a fatality... The term “equality” has served as a cover for a regime in which real inequalities were in fact worse than those of capitalism. We cannot for all that forget that there is no political freedom without political equality and that the latter is impossible when enormous inequalities of economic power, which translate directly into political power, not only exist but are growing. Marx’s idea that one could eliminate the market and money is an incoherent utopia. To understand that does not lead one to swallow the almightiness of money, or to believe in the “rationality” of an economy which has nothing to do with a genuine market and which is more and more coming to resemble a planetary casino...
Originally published as “L’Effondrement du marxisme-leninisme” in Le Monde, April 23–24, 1990