Friday, August 14, 2015

What is a "trained Marxist"?

This is going to hurt me more than it will hurt you. I feel your pain. In fact, I feel your pain more than you do, you anaesthetized leftist zombies. So sit down, shut up and listen.

Patrisse Cullors, Black Lives Matters co-founder, in an interview with Jared Ball of the Real News Network said:
The first thing, I think, is that we actually do have an ideological frame. Myself and Alicia in particular are trained organizers. We are trained Marxists. We are super-versed on, sort of, ideological theories. And I think that what we really tried to do is build a movement that could be utilized by many, many black folk. We don't necessarily want to be the vanguard of this movement. I think we've tried to put out a political frame that's about centering who we think are the most vulnerable amongst the black community, to really fight for all of our lives. 
And I do think that we have some clear direction around where we want to take this movement. I don't believe it's going to fizzle out. It just gets stronger, and we see it, right. We've seen after Sandra Bland. We're seeing it now with the interruption of the Netroots Nation presidential forum. 
What I do think, though, is folks -- especially folks who have been trained in a particular way want to hear certain things from us, that we're not sort of framing it in the same ways that maybe another generation have, has. But I think it's important that people know that we are, the Black Lives Matter movement doesn't just live online, although there's many people who utilize it online. We're in a different set of circumstances, a different generation that -- social media may feel like it's diluting the larger ideological frame. But I argue that it's not.
This certainly throws a new light on Alicia Garza's comment that "no candidate who is really about this werk would break a sweat in response to a question in the form of 'Do Black Lives Matter?' The simple answer should be 'Yes' not some weirdo populist economic determinism." Those untrained populist weirdos must be made to bow down to the ideologically super-versed Marxist vanguard! What Adolph Reed Jr. described as "visceral and vitriolic anti-Marxism" could conceivably be visceral and vitriolic "trained Marxist" sectarianism.

In all fairness, the comrades "don't necessarily want to be the vanguard of this movement." Indeed, humility and reluctance are admirable qualities in self-appointed leaders. But seeing as how they "actually do have an ideological frame" and "some clear direction around where we want to take this movement," they really have no choice but to accept the mantle of leadership, do they?

"We are not reasonable!"
There's one thing that puzzles me though. Is it customary for trained Marxist cadre to publically announce that they are trained Marxists?