Dear Dr. Progressive

web posted December 4, 2000

Dear Dr. Progressive is a new column designed to give advice to confused and aspirant radicals in the post-communist era. If you have any questions for Dr. Progressive, write Jamie Glazov at

Dear Dr. Progressive,

There is no denying that Marxist policies and ideologies have failed so thoroughly, obviously, and miserably throughout history. Yet, again and again, Marxists repackage the same old tired dogma thinking that, somehow, the differences in packaging will make the foundational flaws of the philosophy more workable. Now they call themselves "Progressives." I'm curious whether Marxism has really secretly progressed, or if those who continue to adhere to its principles should, instead of being labeled "Progressives," be called "Conservatives" -- those who are glued to an old ideology or tradition because they lack creativity, fear change, and are too prideful to admit their philosophy sucks and that they've failed.

Labelly challenged,

Bruce Donaldson
El Segundo, CA

Dear Labelly Challenged,

One thing I don't appreciate is a smart-alec question from a cheeky right-winger. I bet you couldn't care less about the homeless, could you?

Are you aware that this column is meant to guide confused radicals and not for me to get into ridiculous arguments with elites who seek to arrogate power to themselves? Do me a favour, don't waste my time after this, ok?

In any case, where do you get off alleging that Marxism has failed??? All because Marxism doesn't work in practice doesn't mean that it has "failed". Nor does it mean that Marxism doesn't deserve another chance. How would you like it if someone didn't give you another chance after you did something wrong? This is typical of a capitalist to think about philosophy and politics in a completely egotistical and self-centred way.

The bottom line is that true Marxism hasn't been tried yet. In all of the experiments in the 20th century, there was far too much poisoning influence from human nature, which explains why some people were actually able to eat and some dissidents were able to survive under communism. The true and pure implementation of socialism would have made sure that not one dissenter remained breathing anywhere at anytime, since the tenet of subordinating the individual to Rousseau's "general will" would have been followed to the last letter. The unadulterated application of socialism would also have succeeded in starving everyone to death, since the nomenklatura, the elite communist bourgeoisie, would have been denied luxuries and, therefore, would have suffered the same consequences as everyone else. The complete disallowance of human incentive and the right to private property would have led to forced collectivization, economic bankruptcy and, ultimately, starvation for everyone.

The biggest problem with most of the Marxist experiments in the 20th century was that all of them were unable to suffocate a small existing underground private sector, which ended up feeding more people than the official command economy itself.

What I am getting to here is that when true socialism is finally implemented it will wipe out all human life as we know it. This is just a given, since the very notion of a classless and non-market society obviously necessitates state terror and, when perfectly implemented, ends up demonizing the entire human race. In the 20th century, Marxism-in-practise liquidated about 100 million people. In this century, if finally done right, Marxism will hopefully eliminate the entire world population. This is not such a bad thing, since with no humans inhabiting the planet, the chances of people being unequal will be very very small. What I am trying to say is that death is not such a big ordeal when it comes to curing the problem of social injustice. Look, think about what a beautiful idea socialism is. It is simple common sense that it is people that ruin it. So if socialism is a good idea and people ruin it, then guess what has to go? It doesn't take a mathematical genius to figure this out now does it?

Anyway, I have a little suggestion for you: you should strongly consider volunteering your time at public high schools to help fight homophobia among teenagers. Maybe this will lessen the time of you re-education and punishment when the Revolution comes around. And I assure you, it is just around the corner.

Dear Dr. Progressive,

I am a dedicated Marxist and, as far as I am concerned, every word of the Communist Manifesto is true. The problem is that I want to get married but Marx and Engels say that the nuclear family is a patriarchal institution. Not only that, but they say in the Communist Manifesto that the wife inside the marriage is nothing more than a prostitute, since she is simply being exploited by the capitalist system to reproduce labour. I really want to marry this girl, but I must stay dedicated to my political beliefs. What do I do?

New York

Dear Ian,

Wow! By no means are you the biggest loser yet that has written into my column. Don't ever think that you are OK? Real good question buddy. Such a real and pressing issue. You are really on top of the game. I really envy your upbringing. You must have really seen a lot in life; you know, had lots of friends, hung out with them all the time, drank lots of beer, played hockey and went out with chicks. I can't even picture you as a youngster sitting in a corner somewhere by yourself sulking while large groups of people were around you socializing and having fun. Honestly, I can't even picture this.

Anyway, every Marxist I have ever known has told me that marriage under capitalism is a system of prostitution – with the wife serving as the prostitute. I have asked everyone of them if they consider their own mothers a prostitute. These individuals, with the Communist Manifesto in hand, have never ever answered my question -- only meeting it with silence, and with a stare that remains difficult to characterize accurately, except to say it is the kind of stare that, for one reason or another, reminds one of the reason that the Gulag Archipelago was spawned in the 20th century.

I must say that I have always been far more interested not in these individuals' reluctance to say "yes" to my question, but in their incapacity to say "no." Marxism, obviously, means more to its disciples than anything else. So, as the good little Marxist that you are, I hope you are proud of your mom for being the good little prostitute that she is. I do suggest you get married, so that the other new prostitute in your life will produce more labour for capitalist exploitation.

And oh, by the way, way to go on dedicating your life to the Communist Manifesto. It is really really relevant for our times! You must be a great and exhilarating host at parties. I can see you captivating audiences from all walks of life with your vast knowledge and fun-loving personality. Can we get together sometime for coffee and have a fascinating conversation about how the surplus value that is produced by the proletariat is expropriated by capitalist masters? If we have time, maybe we can even touch on the sociological implications of the Marxist interpretation of social production and capitalist appropriation! Oh I am getting so excited! I haven't had this much fun in years! Let's get together OK? It simply doesn't get any better than this!

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