Marxists, however, are pretty much the only thinkers who accept no responsibility whatsoever for real-world approximations of their ideas. Third-Way advocates may have despaired over Blair,
Hayekians can – and do – rant all day about Thatcher’s shortcomings, and ordoliberals have written scathing condemnations of Konrad Adenauer. But ask them whether they think those respective governments did more good than harm on balance; ask them whether they think those governments were preferable to the next likely alternatives – and you will get an unambiguous and unqualified “Yes!” as an answer.
In contrast, hardly any contemporary Marxist would accept that whatever ‘real’ socialism is – surely, East Germany was at least closer to it than West Germany, North Korea is at least closer to it than South Korea, Venezuela is at least closer to it than Peru, Maoist China was at least closer to it than Taiwan, etc.
And why would they? It works for them. Every other idea is judged by its necessarily crude, incomplete and imperfect real-world approximations, warts and all. Only Marxism has the luxury of being judged purely as a set of ideas, which something as mundane as real-world experience could never blemish.
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