Modern communists are limp-wristed sissies.
That is one way to interpret the photograph of a gathering of young Swedish communists making the rounds on Twitter currently.
But it is not the lack of muscle which is most striking about this truly depressing image. They raise their fists—a sign of rebellion, resistance, and loyalty to the Sacred Cause of Revolutionary Communism—but most of them can barely muster the energy to raise it above their heads, let alone clench their fists properly.
None of these people look prepared to pull the trigger on a capitalist exploiter or sacrifice their lives for the Revolution. Most of them look like they struggle to get out of bed in the morning—so how are they going to overthrow the government?
The Modern Revolutionary as Bourgeois Eccentric
The listless raising of the fist mirrors the listless and non-committal relationship modern communists in the West have to the revolutionary cause. Sure, many of them have no doubt read Marx and Engels. Some of them probably even believe in Communism, at least on an intellectual level. But none of them truly care about the Revolution or the Proletariat. For them, Communism is merely a vehicle for self-expression—a way to show everyone how unique they are.
The Death of Ideological Conviction
Political ideology, in the modern world, functions like a luxury commodity. You wear it on your sleeve to gain social status or win the respect of your peers. Some even use it as a tool to build a personal brand and create a career for themselves (see: Mike Cernovich, Ariana Rowlands, et al).
And how can one have conviction as a Communist, anyway? Marx's predictions were proved incorrect; the only remaining Communist nation is North Korea (which, thanks to diplomatic sanctions and poor leadership, is being starved to death), and worse than that, it has nothing to say about the real world as it is experienced by normal people anymore. Neoliberal Capitalism has pacified the working-class with bread and circuses. Few people truly care that their corporate overlords are receiving multi-million dollar bonuses every year—certainly not to the degree that they want to shoot anyone, anyway. What people do care about, however, are the all too real, and often very brutal, effects of the rising tide of "diversity" on their communities, their own material well-being, and the life prospects of their children. Communism is impotent to address these issues in a convincing way, which is why the White working-classes of Europe and the United States have rejected its promises of self-ownership and instead now turn to Nationalism for help.
Liberalism, too, is far past its expiration date. The narrative on which it depends for legitimacy ceased to be believable a long time ago. The masses of the West already live under "freedom." There are no longer any mediæval despots, Christendom is an empty husk, women have the right to vote (and to fuck whoever they want), it has been nearly three decades since the fall of the Soviet Union. The only people left to liberate are those poor souls in the Middle East and Africa, but even this final, desperate plea to the White Man's burden is losing its appeal, not even to speak of its plausibility.
This spells trouble for the Ideologues clinging to ideas of the past, but what we are witnessing in the developed world is a return to normalcy. The political fault-lines of the past have never been ideological, but tribal and religious. Recent developments prove that we, in fact, have not evolved past this, but are just as tribal as ever. As our friends on the Left so often point out, both Brexit and most recently Trump's victory were expressions of tribalism in the 21st century. All over Europe, Nationalist parties are surging in the polls. Poland just made Jesus Christ their Sovereign Monarch. Disgruntled young Muslims are traveling to Syria to wage Holy War. The fault-lines of yesteryear are making a comeback, big time.
Authentic Radicalism in the 21st Century
No more than a century ago, anarchists spread terror across the Western world. Today, it is unimaginable that an Anarchist or a Communist sacrifice their life for the Cause. They may be sincere in their intellectual beliefs, but they do not Believe. Their radicalism is an affectation. And how could it possibly be something more?
In our age, only two things are powerful enough to motivate authentic Belief: Religion and Nationalism. This will be the political paradigm of the 21st century. As the affectation of irony is being replaced with a new sincerity, so too will the ideologies of yesterday be replaced with a politics of identity.