||An Enfant Terrible of Communist Internationalism
Sean McMeekin, The Red Millionaire: A Political Biography of Willi Münzenberg, Moscow’s Secret Propaganda Tsar in the West. Yale University Press, New Haven. 2003. Pp. 397.
What, in this globalised and informatised capitalist world order, are we to make of Willi Münzenberg, who lived and died fighting in and against a national and industrial capitalist world order?
Sean McMeekin, in an otherwise overwhelmingly scholarly work, ends up by presenting Münzenberg as a brilliant but corrupt and vicious propagandist exploiting anti-capitalism, anti-imperialism and anti-fascism to threaten the pluralistic West. He even suggests he was a forerunner of the ‘Islamic terrorists (who) exploit the very openness of our society to move money, men and munitions across borders, and use our own technology to kill us’ (307). Well-a-well. One would have thought his title and subtitle sufficient to have Münzenberg hung, drawn and displayed - as a frightener - to the rest of ‘us’.