The idea for this topic came about from this post from PhoenixRu originally placed in the Socialism/Communism Discussion Thread:
Small continuation to previous post, another good (this time modern) book on the same topic:
Boris Kagarlitsky - Between Class and Discourse. How Left Intellectuals Serve Capitalism
I don't know was it translated to English or not. The main idea is not much different from Perry Anderson: left-wing intelectuals will eventually have to choose between calm and safe digging in "discourses" and rude dangerous struggle taking place in real world.
Another interesting opinion: author writes about Russia and modern Russian “communists” which are flirting with ideas of "spirituality" and "statehood". At first glance, it may seem the direct antipode to agenda of Western leftists. But, essentially, this is the same behavior: fear of real struggle, search for a safe niche, betrayal of themselves and the class that they supposedly represent.
What particularly caught my interest was the "flirting with ideas of 'spirituality'" clause, hence the theme of this thread.
In the past, I have discussed "spirituality" as a concept. It is a tricky concept, because for some it implies a belief in God. Certainly, when English speaking Christians speak of "spirituality" they usually have some sort of reference to a God that they believe exists. So spirituality means something like "being closer to God." Still, there is a sense of meaning of the word that has nothing to do with God, ghosts, angels, or any other such metaphysically dubious notions. That is to say a form of spirituality which, while highly subjective, has more to do with peace of mind or even "happiness".
In this latter meaning of the world, it is entirely possible to believe ardently in "scientific socialism" and also be concerned with "spirituality." Just as it is entirely possible to believe in "scientific socialism" but also be concerned with "morality".
All of this leaves open the question of whether such a concern with "spirituality" is a good thing or a bad thing. Certainly, an overly obsessive concern with one's personal happiness at the expense of not treating others with simple justice can have obvious negative social consequences. I would argue that a concern with "spirituality" can be socially beneficial in that many pursue the goal of spiritual achievement through acts of voluntaristic charity. Certainly, those acts of charity can postpone "the revolution" in that it can soften the harsher aspects of reality that is faced within a capitalistic system. Yet, a spiritual orientation is not "capitalistic" per say. On the contrary, it is the very foundation of communism (note the lower case "c" as opposed to the "Communism" of the Soviet era). In a very profound sort of way, Christ was a communist. Sadly, many modern day Christian followers are nothing if not highly hypocritical.
Enough said, for now.
Any comments, criticisms, questions, observations, agreements.disagreements, etc?