The search for an ultimate embodiment of the universal geist – from the class to the party to the apparatchik to the autocrat – is not only sadly familiar but is at the root of some of the most authoritarian developments in the modern age. No doubt Kagarlitsky would claim that his type of leadership would be benign because, in miraculously uniting the particular with universal, it is based on Truth. Kagarlitsky’s authoritarian convictions are quite explicit. In a sub-Gramscian move Kagarlitsky insists upon the need for a pre-given agent of political hegemony (2000: page 72). He can’t be doing with all those namby pamby postmodernists and (even worse) postmarxists concerned with ‘convergence and compromise’ (72) and the painstaking hegemonic construction of a democratised popular movement. By contrast what is required is a healthy dose of vanguardism that is capable of ‘uniting and leading’ (72). And if we need to be persuaded of his philanthropic intent Kagarlitsky reassures us that feminists, environmentalists and ‘identitarians’ generally will be fully accommodated under the conditions of socialist emancipation.
- Marxism, Postmarxism