Who Says Marxism is Dead?

Not Bhaskar Sunkara, the 23-year-old founder of Jacobin magazine. He’s marshaled allies from within the university to convince the American people otherwise.

The New York Times recently featured a flattering profile of Sunkara, an alumnus of George Washington University who founded his magazine while on medical leave in his sophomore year. The piece, which notes that Jacobin is “raising fundamental questions that had been off the table since the collapse of the Soviet Union,” does not seem to acknowledge the politicized university’s role in making Sunkara’s project possible. Indeed, all of the prominent contributors the piece mentions are already or training to become college faculty. There’s editor Seth Ackerman, PhD student in history at Cornell, whose piece “Burn the Constitution” argued that the America’s founding document is an irredeemable “charter for plutocracy.” Contributing editor Corey Robin is an associate professor of political science at Brooklyn College; his notable contributions to Jacobin include comparing  military life to imprisonment in concentration camps and cheering President Obama’s victory over “the most retrograde versions of homophobia, sexism, racism, and anti-intellectualism.” Their rhetoric should sound familiar to our readers, who are well aware of the dogma that dominates our colleges. However, the editors of Jacobin are going one step further than their instructors, who mostly confine themselves to the confines of academe. They hope to make the universities’ poisonous discourse mainstream.

Such are the fruits are American higher education: a proudly Marxist publication devoted to the ideas once thought to have joined the ash-heap of history. Parents, you might want to look at your children’s curricula more closely.


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