a spectre is haunting the left: the spectre of marx, or "authoritarian socialism". the dude is more difficult to kill than the hardy murderers of oklahoma. somehow marxism seems modern, but we live 160 years after its advent, while that event is 60 years after the u.s. constitution (i'm rounding). in other words, the boy is three times closer to george washington than he is to us. between george and karl, everyone stopped wearing powdered wigs, which is key to our sense of historical periodization. marxism addresses the conditions of europe in the mid- 19th century, though even then the solutions were worse than the problems, which is saying something. lord knows it just keeps coming at you in waves, like christianity or something.
figures like pikkety or zizek are welcomed as geniuses: no, son, geniuses in modernity create ideas; they don't spend their careers in apologetics. they are as distorted by marxism as, say, aquinas was by christianity, twisted around an arbitrary faith like bonsais on a rock. at any given moment since marx you look at european intellectuals and it is really pitiful; whole generations of reasonably high-iq dudes who could have been excellent - or at least ok - writers etc just expended willy-nilly, as the scent continues to rise from the mass graves. gramsci, you know, adorno, althusser, sartre, badiou: goodesque minds broken on the wheel.