15 July 2020

Via Flood Media’s regular link roundup, Ed Rooksby on the renewed right-wing obsession with an imaginary communist threat: “[W]e should remember that the famous imagery of the ‘spectre’ … refers not so much to any (as yet) real, material forces of communism but precisely to a phantom — a largely imaginary fear that the old powers project onto the figure of what they take to be ‘communism’. … So, back to the post-2008 context and a system beset by permanent and constantly deepening economic and political dysfunction, lurching from one crisis to another. Perhaps we can see current obsession with ‘communism’ on the part of the political representatives of the bourgeoisie as intensified expression of these long-running nightmare-desires. Indeed, might we see the increasingly grotesque and buffoonish guises of its chief political representatives — utterly absurd smirking clowns like Trump and Johnson — as a sort of disguised cry for help? The clown show at the White House and in Downing Street expresses a deep self-loathing and a kind of pleading to be put out of its misery. The ruling class no longer has any respect for itself. It wants to be relieved of the terrible burden of its authority. It sees ‘communism’ everywhere because it wants to see it everywhere because it secretly longs for an end to capitalism and its own abolition as a class. The great trajedy, of course, is that the left is in no position to grant them their desire.”