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David Thompson
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September 11, 2012

Comments

rjmadden

They're critical thinkers, David. Honouring debts is a bourgeois vice.

sackcloth and ashes

'I wonder what the correlation is between having only buttons of Che Guevara and Leon Trotsky on your personal effects and the likelihood of you being a complete and utter arsehole?'

A variation on this theme.

Stuck-Record

'I wonder what the correlation is between having only buttons of Che Guevara and Leon Trotsky on your personal effects and the likelihood of you being the kind of person who they would have shot in the back of the head, before going home for an excellent dinner, a fine cigar and an evening of untroubled sleep?'

Dr Cromarty

Student Grant

David

Conceivably, you could draw up a graded chart of supposedly decorative things - from communist paraphernalia to facial tattoos - that strongly hint at a person’s likelihood of employment and later happiness. It reminded me of this unhappy chap from Occupy Oakland. Will there come a point in his life when he realises that playing Angry Marxist™ isn’t a promising road to fulfilment and personal happiness?

Dom

Stuck record makes a good point. Have you ever noticed that professors who seem to support Mao do not realize that they would have been victims of the Cultural Revolution, forced to wear mocking garb, marched through the streets, then shipped off to a farm so they could "learn" how to work.

mojo

Better than 90%, at a guess - but you never know, the Urban Hipster demographic is not noted for it's consistency. Or it's intelligence, for that matter.

simplius

Well this is how it goes with today's leftist hipsters: Trotsky and Lynch are viewed as leftist martyrs. So far so good.

But, and this is important, they are not old worn unfashionable hat, as Lenin, Stalin, Mao, or Fidel. No. They failed miserably because they were banned/betrayed by their before mentioned comrades. Therefore. Leo's and Chegue's way to communism or any other kind of today's fashionable leftist utopia was rightful.

Hope this helps.

David

It’s strange how the incredibly edgy and daring people who wear “Che” and Trotsky badges don’t seem keen to publicise the edgier views of their heroes. I’ve yet to see one of these tossers wearing a T-shirt quoting Trotsky’s self-declared enthusiasm for concentration camps, terrorism and guillotines - and the promise of beheading those who didn’t wish to be communists.

If they want to play at Angry Marxist™ they might at least be honest about it.

simplius

Hipsters? Honest? Being honest is so uncool. It always was. Being impostor is the way to go. Otherwise they wouldn't be hipsters.

AMB

A person I follow on Twitter today was bragging about not paying back "big corporations". Took pride in the fact that he had collections agencies after him. But apparently it's cool because "he always paid back his friends."

Quote @roastydog: "There’s a lot of debt over the years I’ve just said “fuck it” and not paid back. Don’t feel the slightest bit guilty about it (hi T-mobile!)"

If there's a morality there, it's one that I simply cannot relate to.

rabbit

Life would be easier if everyone had their IQ tattooed on their forehead. Consider this a reasonable substitute.

David

AMB,

“If there’s a morality there, it’s one that I simply cannot relate to.”

Yes, it’s curious just how often ‘radical’ morality is non-reciprocal and self-serving. His mother must be proud.


simplius,

“Otherwise they wouldn’t be hipsters.”

It’s a very odd way to announce how hip you are. What’s the cool message being sent? “I’m wearing these badges because of peer pressure and my peers are all idiots who don’t know much history”? Or, “I’m so non-conformist I want a world in which everyone is made to conform”? Or, “I strongly identify with totalitarian sadists who dreamt of beheading random strangers and who shot children in the head just because they could”?

I mean, it’s making those saggy, half-mast jeans look almost sensible.

Ronald

It's their fashion statement. Me neither, I don't know the connection of Che Guevara and Leon Trotsky. But, I do think that it's a co-incidence.

Bart

"What’s the cool message being sent?"

Presumably 'I'm so clueless that I'm oblivious to how dumb it looks putting Trotsky's face right next to that of an avid Stalinist.'

David

It reminds me of this grinning young woman. “It is time for a Cultural Revolution,” she tells us. So is she joking? Does she even know what that term meant for millions of people? Or does she actually believe that genocidal totalitarianism is a really hip and happening thing?

And remember, these are students, our brightest and best.

watcher

No words on those things. But then the backpack owner probably can't read: he will have merely been told what an enlightened, peaceful and thoughtful pair they were. Hey, no one ever lies to a leftie because they only deal in truth, correct?

simplius

David,

The hipster's point is that Trotsky and Che were frustrated to develop their ideas by their totalitarian comrades who remained in power. Trotsky was murdered by Stalin, and Che is seen as betrayed by Fidel and Soviets. So, Lenin's and Fidel's societies developed into cul-de-sac, uncool, gray and heavily bureaucratised. If Trotsky and Che had their way, it would be the bohemian utopia the hipsters dream of.

I'm just trying to explain why aren't badges of Lenin, Stalin, Fidel or Mao seen as cool. Their red terror turned into gray stagnation. But the red terror of Trotsky and Che is seen as something that would lead into multicoloured, psychedelic utopia, only if they had their chance. So it is just a what-if false nostalgia applied to modern times and problems.

Ever seen "Marx Reloaded"?

David

simplius,

“Ever seen ‘Marx Reloaded’?”

Oh dear, yes. (“Slavoj Žižek and Nina Powertogether at last!”)

I remember the director saying something about wanting to avoid “the usual totalitarian moralising,” as if the monstrous horror of it all were some obscure and incidental detail, as if it weren’t an inherent and defining feature of all Marxoid fantasies and the boneyards they create.

sackcloth and ashes

'Have you ever noticed that professors who seem to support Mao do not realize that they would have been victims of the Cultural Revolution, forced to wear mocking garb, marched through the streets, then shipped off to a farm so they could "learn" how to work'.

I see no evidence that these people draw any connection between their ideologies and their real-world implications.

@ simplius

I take your points, and of course both Trotsky and Che have had an airbrush applied to their personalities, notably their shared bloodlust and their common commitment to killing anyone who opposes them. Richard Pipes points out that Trotsky was the architect of the system of state terror which destroyed him, which would be amusingly ironic had it not been for the millions of other (and innocent) victims.

The best way to make a Che groupie queazy is to talk about his Congolese experiences in 1964-1965, not only in terms of the abject failure of his guerrilla campaign, but also his racist attitudes towards black Africans (including the one where he describes Congolese guerrillas as being too stupid and lazy to use machine guns properly).

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-gonzalez/el-che-the-crass-marketin_b_1199252.html
http://reason.com/archives/2002/06/01/ches-secret-diary

It's also part of the far-leftists' rationale that in order to justify their continued adherence to a failed doctrine they've got to pretend that the only reason why Communism hasn't worked is because it hasn't been applied properly. The excuse is basically 'Yes we know it didn't work in the USSR/Mongolia/East Germany/Poland/Czechoslovakia/Bulgaria/Hungary/Romania/Yugoslavia/Albania/China/North Korea/Vietnam/Laos/Cambodia/Angola/Mozambique/Ethiopia ... but we'll get it right next time'.

pst314

Stuck-Record "I wonder what the correlation is between having only buttons of Che Guevara and Leon Trotsky on your personal effects and the likelihood of you being the kind of person who they would have shot in the back of the head, before going home for an excellent dinner, a fine cigar and an evening of untroubled sleep?"

I'd get more enjoyment out of seeing them suffering in a gulag. Hilarious.

Joseph Shmeau

Good commenters you've got here. Impressed how many knew that Trotsky was himself big on state terror and gulags. Can only add that Guevara's main contribution in Cuba was as an executioner and that Castro probably sent him to Africa and Bolivia to get him out of the way. Hey, maybe that's the other Leon/Che connection -- the Latin American thing.

Rich Rostrom

The answer is "none". American student loans cannot be discharged in bankruptcy; no matter how broke you are or for how long, the debt is still on the books and any income you ever have in the future will be garnished.

There's a reason for this: education cannot be repossessed, and it was too easy for people to run up massive debts while obtaining lucrative professional degrees, then go through bankruptcy before starting practice.

It also means that useless revolutionary wannabes get harassed for the rest of their lives by debt collectors - unless Mommy and Daddy bail them out.

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