Educated and middle-class Marxists—a class of people who find professional employment as post-secondary Arts or Humanities professors or not at all—are sophisticated and philosophical thinkers with a command over logic far too advanced to fall for religious voodoo of any sort. Marxists, for instance, do not wait for the physical return of a deity, or the son of a deity, named Jesus Christ. A 3,000ish-year-old bearded Jewish dude physically preserved in both outer space and miniaturized in each believer’s deep Rick Moranis inner-space rocketing back to earth in a beautifully preserved body garbed in period-perfect Galilean chic in order to punish millions of non-believers by transporting them to a secret intergalactic ball of fire, or by post-mortem dunking them headfirst forever into a metaphysical river of liquid fire which (wetly?) sears your flesh, I guess? I mean, come on! At least, give Marxist professors the professional respect they deserve: they are too smart to fall for primitive fables of morality.
They are waiting for the revolution. A completely sensible thing to do.
Obviously, it’s sensible because they read it in a book. Not a sacred text, nothing so illogical as that. Just a uniquely important and priceless book written long ago by a German named Karl and happening to contain a secret sauce, sure-fire recipe for regime-toppling revolution that absolutely cannot miss. Swearing allegiance to the eternal veracity of inspired Teutonic scrolls is the proof of your rationality: refusing to do so is proof of your irrationality which, ultimately, is confirmation of your unsuitability to the life intellectual. It does not matter that a revolution is neither imminent nor within the realm of the possible just so long as you keep proclaiming that you believe that it is. Even though you don’t.
I personally think that what post-secondary Marxists need to really tilt things in favour of the bloody and vindictive new world order they crave is to create their own resurrection myth. If Christians—their intellectual inferiors in all respects—have been able to persuade billions upon generational billions that JC: rolled his badly punctured torso out of a tomb, shot himself to heaven, and is going to cannonball himself back down to earth when the time is right, I see no reason why a group of academia’s finest Marxist thinkers couldn’t invent a tall tale of their own and really start winning the rubes back over to the right side. Which is, actually, the left side. At least it used to be. But what’s in a label these days? All of the Marxists I know enjoy lifestyles of affluence bordering on opulence. Whereas all of the regular working people I know—business owners, managers, and workers alike—are busting their asses to (barely) stay afloat, and still they get derided as capitalist scum, wage slaves, or worse for the part they play in perpetuating a toxic economic system.
The descendant of rabbis, young Karl was probably always already destined to slip in a little sneaky Messianism into his new, not-religion religion. What, after all, is a Marxist if not an impatient utopian? Marxists’ belief in both the necessity and possibility of a new and better world echoes all of sorts of Christianities—from Calvinism to premillennial dispensationalism—so it would be fitting, pre-ordained some might say, if Marx himself could be brought back to life, Golem-style, by a select set of secular high-caste professors, all of whom are highly skilled at inventing things out of thin air. Honestly, it would not be hard. The obfuscation available in Marx and all of his many derivatives and spin-offs is enough to create an entire universe of metaphysical possibilities that no one, educated or otherwise, could ever conclusively disprove. Karl is coming back, ok?
Karl is coming back and I for one am already preparing for his return with gleeful anticipation.
The Russian Revolution got so many things wrong that sometimes it’s difficult to remember that it actually got some things right. For instance: they didn’t kill all the lords and landowners. Some of them got it even worse—they were sentenced to live in the quarters of their servants for the remainder of their days. I don’t know, actually, if that story is true or apocryphal. What I do know is that it’s what I will be recommending to Karl next time I bump into his resurrected and reanimated corpse.
Take all of the Marxist professors who are tenured, teaching Marxism from a textbook costing more than seventy-five dollars to working class students while taking home salaries more than twice the local average, and sentence them to live out the rest of their days in student housing, two to a room in single beds. On campuses without housing, condemn them to live like poor students all over Canada do, stuffed into stinky basement suites with insufficient insulation from the weather or the wealthier-than-thou people upstairs.
They’ll be able to take it: they’re hardened Marxists, who hate money and eschew consumer comforts. Just like megachurch evangelical pastors do. Disgusting, all the filthy lucre that desperate people stuff into passing plates or pay at the registrar’s office. Root of all evil. What I would not pay to watch a Christian pastor wearing a Rolex do caged battle with a Cultural Studies professor wearing Blundstones purchased on Zappo’s over whose messiah, that neither of them really believes in, hates unchecked greed the most.