Liar! Liar! Chris Trotter's pants are on fire!
Chris Trotter's politics have finally arrived at the point that they perfectly mirror the politics of the party that he continues to support. Trotter is opportunistic, unprincipled, dishonest and reactionary. He is, in every way, a Labour Party man.
His journalism is a conveyor belt for old and discredited ideas that get repeated over and over and over again. To call him reactionary is probably to praise him - he's just boring. He's a born-again conformist with an obvious disorder in political arrogance.
There is no punchline to Trotter's work, just a perfunctory calling up of 500 words for his newspaper column. There are no tensions within his writing, nothing that qualifies it as going against the grain of establishment orthodoxy. He drifts from his computer to radio to television and back again. He is everywhere and nowhere. The world turns. Trotter has a beer.
He is a low rent intellectual who can't look at himself in the mirror and admit that he has turned into Mathew Hooton with a moustache. While socialists talk about 'they're parliament', Trotter embraces it as his own. He is incapable of presenting a socialist viewpoint but likes to bastardise the work of the socialist greats in order to boost his own reactionary views.
Trotter has a dirty little habit. He resorts to denigrating, distorting and outright lying about some of the great figures of the socialist tradition.
He did that last year, in an argument with me. He lied about the political views of Rosa Luxemburg in order to prove he was right and that she was wrong. Unable to refute Luxemburg's arguments in her powerful essay Reform or Revolution he resorted to lying about Luxemburg herself. It was shameful and I called him out on it. He had no more to say at that point. Trotter likes to throw sticks and stones but, when challenged, he runs for the hills.
This week he twisted the views of Antonio Gramsci, the great Italian revolutionary socialist.
Trotter bastardised the views of Gramsci in order to suggest that he would of agreed with his defence of the failed social democratic project.
Fortunately someone called him out on it. Giovanni Tiso wrote:
I must vehemently protest you drawing Gramsci into this. Firstly, the sentence you quote means the exact opposite of how you’re presenting it. ‘Sono pessimista per l’intelligenza, ottimista per la volontà’ comes from one of the prison letters. As he explains it, it means that he has taken to be utterly pessimistic and bleak in his analysis of any given situation, in order to muster the strongest possible will to change it. And by change Gramsci always meant radical change. He hated reformists. To suggest otherwise is deeply offensive to his memory, seeing as his refusal to compromise and soften his stance is what lead directly to his imprisonment and ultimately to his death.
There is very little doubt in my mind – as there could be in anyone who had read his work – that Gramsci would have nothing but contempt for the contemporary New Zealand political class. To suggest otherwise is frankly bizarre.
Not surprisingly, Trotter has not responded to Tiso's legitimate criticisms. It's a fair bet he won't.
When Lenin said “Eagles may at times fly lower than hens, but hens can never rise to the height of eagles,” he could of been talking about Chris Trotter.