I've been dipping into the world of radical left theorists again recently (which I used to know quite well, sometimes from the inside) - and the most dismaying thing I found was that they have learned absolutely nothing. The names of the 'master theorists' being referenced change and rotate; but they are still talking about capitalism!
It is almost quaint to realise that there are thousands of such theorists earnestly discussing capitalism, every hour of every day; in meetings, in magazines and academic journals, in books and blogs... they are still organising/ supporting/ memorialising campaigns, boycotts, marches, strikes, sit-ins, protests and publicity... and they all still blame 'capitalism'.
What is so weird is that they are completely unaware they they themselves are a significant driver of exactly those cultural phenomena (especially the system of total bureaucracy) whose workings-out they expend such energy in exposing and analysing.
They diagnose many of the same things which I also regard as the baddest things in modern society; but they put it all down to Big Business, to 'neoliberalism', to profit-seeking, to 'free markets', competition etc. etc.
It is incredible! In other words, the whole thing is blamed on something which barely exists, and has - like everything else - been crushed almost to death by the totalitarian linked-bureaucracy-media System in which radical leftist theorists personally (as well as collectively) play such an important part.
Indeed, the successful leftist-theorists always become absorbed into exactly this System, and get senior managerial and advisory positions in the bureaucracy, and a harvest of cultural and official accolades.
They see this everywhere, again and again; and yet they have learned nothing! The decades roll past, and they learn nothing.
It is this kind of thing that makes me realise there is something very important missing from the very centre of our culture - so many, many people go for so so very, very long (their whole lives) - reading, discussing, travelling - and they learn absolutely Zero from the experience...
Unless getting more and more cynical, disillusioned, nihilistic and despairing counts as learning.