Author: C.K. Ryan

What My Days as a Marxist Taught Me About Modern Political Cults

There was a time when Das Kapital was my bible. It sits on one of the bookshelves that line my living room, alongside other artifacts from my youthful foray into Marxism. The front cover is worn, the pages slightly frayed. For years, I returned to those words, chewing slow on arguments unspooled in archaic prose about labour-power and the appropriation of surplus-value. I was certain I’d found the key to understanding the modern world; a truth so pure it would end the oppression of man by man. I’ve thought often about that sense of certainty in the years since. I turn the memories over in my mind, amazed at my erstwhile fervency. The sense that I, a teenager and later a young man, had found the answer to what ails the world in a text of political economy published in 1867….That hubris, in retrospect, is shocking. Although I would have protested the idea then, it’s become clear to me that my former sense of conviction was a secularized form of faith. My pretense to holding …