But this self-described moral teacher and disciple of Socrates and Christ has nothing to say about the collusion of progressives in the worst episode of mass murder and human oppression in recorded history. Instead, West is the proud co-chair of the “Democratic Socialists of America,” an organization that defines its position on the left as “anti-anti-Communist” — that is, opposed to those who opposed Communism and supported America’s Cold War against the Soviet gulag. West is also an enthusiastic member of the academic movement to resurrect the ideas that inspired Communism, burnishing the escutcheons of such Stalinist intellectuals as Gyorgy Lukacs, Antonio Gramsci, Louis Althusser, and Eric Hobsbawm, all heroes of the current university establishment. West himself is the author of books devoted to this resurrection project, including Black Theology and Marxist Thought and The Ethical Dimensions of Marxist Thought, his first book.
West is a cheerleader not only for corrupt but intellectually worthy Marxists but also for Maoist charlatans such as Bob Avakian, the American founder of the Revolutionary Communist Party, a violent fringe cult. Calling himself “Chairman” as an homage to his hero, Avakian is the author of such inane titles as Mao Tse-Tung’s Immortal Contribution and Radical Ruptures: or Yes, Mao More Than Ever, along with an autobiography, From Ike to Mao and Beyond. Its preface, written by a member of the cult, credits Cornel West with inspiring the book: “A short time back, Cornel West, speaking to the important role Bob Avakian has played in the fight against white supremacy and in relation to the quest for a radically different world, suggested to Bob that he think about a memoir of his life so far.” When the book was completed, West provided his comrade with this blurb: “Bob Avakian is a long distance runner in the freedom struggle against imperialism, racism and capitalism. His voice and witness are indispensable in our efforts to enhance the wretched of the earth. And his powerful story of commitment is timely.”
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