HELEN RAZER'S TOTAL PROPAGANDA!
EIGHT rich, old, white dudes control more wealth than the poorest 50% of people on planet Earth.
That’s a depressingly slight percentage of the vaunted 1% which benefited from the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) and birthed the Occupy movement.
As global inequality has intensified in the decade since the GFC, the shock of the decline of Capitalism has given rise to Trumpism, Brexit and the re-emergence of fascist politics.
Helen Razer’s Total Propaganda: Basic Marxist Brainwashing for the Angry and the Young poses the question: surely a better, more equitable alternative exists?
Razer – a Gen X figurehead whose punk ethos defined Triple J radio for a generation of ‘90s kids – is today an author, Crikey columnist and cranky public intellectual.
She’s also a proud, self-described Marxist.
Karl Marx, the revolutionary German political theorist and economist, was a nineteenth century critic of Capitalism and the father of Communism.
Taking a cue from her Millennial readers’ online intrigue, Razer has producedTotal Propaganda, a handy primer on Karl Marx’ ideas intended to inspire activism in a new generation of workers.
With a professorial zeal for clear explanation of dense economic, philosophical and cultural concepts, Total Propaganda zips succinctly from industrial revolution to GFC and beyond.
Razer unpacks automation, neoliberalism, the offshoring of manufacturing and the exploitation of the global south using a curt turn of phrase and direct language. The author also nods to the popularity of Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders – two woolly headed old white dudes espousing Marxist ideas – with Millennial voters.
Total Propaganda: Basic Marxist Brainwashing for the Angry and the Young is brisk, often hilarious, and most importantly educational read for anyone intimidated by the language of class, political theory and economics.
Razer’s book is an excellent jumping off point for further reading in the field, and includes a comprehensive further reading section including links to all of Marx’ writings, which now live in the public domain and are available online.
Total Propaganda: Basic Marxist Brainwashing for the Angry and the Young is out now.
This review originally appeared Crosslight.