The kerfuffle over Academy Award nominations is Christmas Day for the professional outragetariat.
Looked at objectively: this is a matter of multi-millionaires — of various ethnic and national backgrounds — in verbal combat over nominations for a piece of statuary. A golden sex toy for the beautiful people (as per Gervais). The ego trip of the 1% (as per the Occupyistas).
Re political kerfuffle across the pond, viewed from afar:
Not all Marxists are/were Communists. Not all Marxists and Communists are/were Stalinists. There’s a world of difference between the Marxist Orthodoxy, the so-called Scientific Socialism which runs from Kautsky to Althusser, and Western Marxism (sometimes called Cultural Marxism), exemplified by Gramsci, Korsch, and the Frankfurt School. The former remained Stalinist long after the strongman’s death. The latter rejected Stalinism when the man of steel was at the height of his power.
When Mr Corbyn (or was it Mr Milne) embarked on his string of slow-moving purges, I commented: “The assumption of the infallibility of Mr Corbyn and his grassroots cadres is the end of democratic politics and the beginning of organised religion.” The course that Labour has taken during Mr Corbyn’s reign is a return to catechistic Marxism of the Orthodox variety. There can be no compromise with the catechism, even if reality contradicts it. Mssrs Corbyn, McDonnell, and Milne would do well to remember Marx’s reflections on the events in France between 1848-1851 which put the thesis of the Communist Manifesto into doubt.
Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past. The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living.
The dead weight of Stalin and Trotsky is the nightmare on the brains of the Corbynard cadres and haunts Mr Corbyn’s philosophical outlook. It is time for both to wake up from the bad dream and face reality squarely as it is, not as it is supposed to be (as per the catechism of the Marxist Orthodoxy).
Coney Island’s former glory was always seedy and proleish. The effort to transform it into Disneyland is ludicrous.
Mesut Özil is the Footballer of the Year.
A book of Mr Putin’s speeches will be published. Unfortunately, they will never be as influential as Mr Stalin’s book on linguistics.
Meanwhile, in merry old England: Mssrs Corbyn, McDonnell, and Milne should be aware that history’s great purgers have often found themselves purged in the end, Robespierre, Yagoda, and Yezhov among them.
Why is a grown man quoting Mao?
Under Mr Corbyn, Labour has become the Party of cheap stunts, the narcissistic ones of Mr Corbyn (national anthem-gate, poppy-gate, refusal to kneel-gate) and the frankly puzzling ones like the recitation of Mao by Mr McDonnell. Besides providing infinitely usable b-roll for Tory anti-Labour ads, it was politically tone daft: China’s Party Capitalists of today have more in common with Sir Walter Raleigh (piracy) than Mao.
The worst part was the selection of the kindergarten communism of the Little Red Book. Mr McDonnell could at least have read from Bukharin’s “ABC” book.
As I recall, Maoism fell out of favour in the West after Sartre ended his brief dalliance with it.