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Leggoland and the far left

Now and then I seek intellectual entertainments and will ferret around for a profound thought. And what could be more profound than a thought about thought.Take it away , Lev:
Thoughhttp://c4.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images02/57/m_cd8b3f013c834984ba1f3e3929fb26bf.jpgt is born through words. . . Consciousness is reflected in a word as the sun in a drop of water. A word relates to consciousness as a living cell relates to a whole organism, as an atom relates to the universe. A word is a microcosm of human consciousness." Lev Vygotsky (from Thought and Language)
In part this penchant we humans have to deploy words as tools to think with may explain some of the inability of the far lefts to relate to one another.

Perhaps you are thinking that surely all the far lefts speak the same language -- the language of Marxism?

Yes...and no.

In my experience each  left tendency has its own cant and its own patented world view that is sustained by using language as a sort  of Leggo. Before you can build the next floor, the next level of the thinking construction (often referred to as "the program"), you have to presume that another rests below it and that for all intents and purposes we are all speaking the same language sitting on the shoulders of the "words" -- especially buzz words -- that have gone before.

The complication being that inasmuch as you are isolated from the main business of society you tend to enclose and turn inwards as much with your outlook as your language.In part this explains some of the inability to win an argument on the far left because to concede one point here and there may bring down the whole house of cards.Rather than allow that to happen , many groups will establish shibboleths in order to defend their conceptual identity from all comers. These act as struts to hold the Leggoland in place being so sacred that they become identifiers akin to architectural styles. I guess you could call them 'kit' homes.

This may all seem a bit of a wank. And I guess I have to plead guilty .

But a recent post on Splintered Sunrise -- and Ireland based blog -- tackles this habit -- I guess it's  a habit -- with a telling critique of language deployed by the British Socialist Workers Party. Currently experiencing a bit of an internal faction fight, the SWP disputation is so rhetorically strong  that Splintered Sunrise has a field day  pulling out the threads and unraveling them.

It may all seem a bit esoteric as you may not have one iota of interest in a barney in a party at some distance to your self, over matters you have no familiarity with. Granted that that is a drawback. Nonetheless what Splintered Sunrise does is approach the challenge posed by the dispute with such a sharp eye for contradictory use of language and the mismanagement of fact  that I think we can all learn from the approach.
I find reading SWP Pre-Conference Bulletins something of an enervating experience, requiring you to work yourself up into that willing suspension of disbelief that dramatists aim for. There used to be an awful lot of ringing declarations of the party’s infallibility; statements so sweeping you would hope (usually in vain) that the more bumptious element wouldn’t take them literally; and libertyvalanced versions of events that you were sure didn’t happen like that. The factional situation this time round at least means there are two sides doing the libertyvalancing, and the claims of infallibility has been replaced by an acknowledgement that yes, some minor mistakes were made, but it was all the other lot’s fault. If you remember the polemics between Taaffeites and Grantites when Militant split, it’s a bit like that. There are also some good (and one or two quite strange) contributions from further down the hierarchy, which unfortunately will probably get lost in the mix.
Essentially what Splintered Sunrise is seeking is a return to materialism. This is why SS prefaces his comments with, what seems,a digression on György Lukács.

 That may seem tenuous except that I think SS has a strong point: to make  that this left which insists  that  it is loyal to the materialism of Karl Marx is infected  limb and branch with a gratuitous idealism. and  it is blithely unaware of how much its assessments of   and its   interventions in everyday reality are ruled and formatted by a the aspirations embedded in  ideas rather than the  actual occurrences. It's a  sort of doublethink.  Templated first in a mindset and imposed on reality via so many schemata that it is now so very difficult to grasp the living real world because there is so much cant in the way.

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