Hello, I’m Carl Beijer. Or that’s my pen name, at least. But it’s how everyone knows me now, so I’m sticking with it.
This is a blog about politics from a Marxist perspective. Not just from a leftist or progressive perspective, but from someone who generally agrees with the analysis of capitalism laid out by Karl Marx, and who takes the intellectual tradition that emerged from his writing quite seriously. This places me at odds with Marx’s critics on the left and right — and it can also place me at odds with today’s popular reinterpretations of Marx, which are often either superficial or opportunistic.
Why should I read you?
People usually read me because they’re interested in what orthodox Marxism has to say about various issues. I have a scholarly background in Marx, I’ve been a socialist for a very long time, and I don’t have a career in media, academia, or professional activism to protect; this makes me, I think, a pretty informed and reliable source. Few writers meet all three of those criteria.
They also read me because I make ambitious arguments. I think that the entire world should be governed by a single state. I think that we should abolish private property — including what many socialists call “personal” property. I think that both media discourse and collective activism have very little impact on the course of capitalism. All of these claims should have massive consequences for our politics if we accept them, and I try to argue for them as rigorously as possible, grounding my analysis in Marxism as it has been understood all around the world for nearly a century and a half.
I think I am also worth reading if you are interested in so-called left “theory” but have a low tolerance for bullshit and unreadable jargon. In my view there just aren’t many things worth saying in politics and philosophy that cannot be said clearly and simply. This is my conclusion from years of reading about both, and I try to honor this conclusion in my own writing. My goal is to write articles that anyone can read and understand — not just academics, and not just Marxists or leftists.
And who are you?
I’m just a blogger. I’ve been doing this for a very long time now, and until recently it was just for an audience of one. I write because it helps me articulate and clear my thoughts, and because often I just have an irresistible compulsion to get something out.
It was only recently that I gained a modest audience, which I am enormously grateful for. My writing is occasionally reprinted in Jacobin; elsewhere, I’ve done stuff for In These Times and People’s Policy Project, among places. I haven’t kept track of everywhere I’ve done guest appearances, but they include stuff like The Katie Halper Show, Chapo Trap House, and The Majority Report. You can also find me on Twitter as @carlbeijer.
Outside of blogging, I live in rural Virginia in an old quiet house with two dogs. I’ve also lived in DC, Stockholm, Kyiv, and Moscow. I have two degrees in English that began with a focus on Russian literature in undergrad and ended, in grad school, with a thesis on linguistics and Marx. I’ve taught everything from college lit courses in the US to ESL classes for children in Ukraine. In my free time I like to read and game.