Drive your cart and your plough over the bones of the dead

Drive your cart and your plough over the bones of the dead
Autor: John Holloway[1]

“Drive your cart and your plough over the bones of the dead.”[2]

That is my response to those[3] who criticise my book[4] for being anti-historical. This article is not a defence of the book: I can think of nothing more boring. We need to drive the argument forwards, not backwards. Books, like revolutions, cannot be defended: they go forward or they die.

I Drive your Cart

Spit on history. History is the history of oppression told by the oppressors, a history from which oppression conveniently disappears, a history of Heroes, of Great Men.

Spit on history. History, even our history, is a history in which the struggle against oppression is invaded by the categories of the oppressors, so that it too becomes the history of Heroes, of Great Men, of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Mao.

Spit on history, because it is the great alibi of the Left, the great excuse for not thinking. Make any theoretical or political argument about revolution and the response of the Revolutionary Left is to bring you back to 1902, to 1905, to 1917, to 1921. History becomes a whirlpool, sucking you into the details of lives long dead. Present political differences become translated into disputes about the details of what happened in Kronstadt over eighty years ago. Anything to avoid thinking about the present, anything to avoid assuming the terrible responsibility that the future of the world depends on us and not on Lenin or Trotsky.

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