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View Diary: Ryan, Rand, and the Political Cult of the Right (76 comments)

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  •  Marx was overinflated? (5+ / 0-)

    I've only read a little of what he had to say and most of it was fairly rigorous. The totalitarians who alleged that they were Marxist were not.

    The GOP is the party of mammon. They mock what Jesus taught.

    by freelunch on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 05:06:30 PM PDT

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    •  Not to (3+ / 0-)

      mention his entire premise has yet to be implemented by anybody.  Every example of "Marxism" since his writings has only been an approximation of what he envisioned.  No country or society has actually been able to follow his theory or ideology.  BTW I agree wholeheartedly that he did not have an "over inflated ego"  He was a truly gifted intellectual.  

      I take political action every day. I teach.

      by jbfunk on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 04:28:03 AM PDT

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      •  maybe because he was only partly correct? (0+ / 0-)

        and also because nobody can entirely agree on what constitutes complete or correct implementation of the ideology.

        And groups of purists have intervened over the years since with their own interpretation and attempted and even succeeded gaining power in an attempt to impose their view of it. And ultimately failed or evolved in the opposite direction.

        Some might say it is simply because the world has not gone through the "stages" in the right order... that each must have the time to play out properly so that the world can evolve into what Marx/history ordains must eventually happen.

        or is it that there is just too much mixed in that describes and attempts to understand and predict but that is incomplete due to the problem of people being unable to predict what will come because they cannot entirely separate the times they live in from wider truths and fundamentals? Futurists for instance have always had a very spotty record predicting things much further than a few years into the future. Is Marx a more reality based prophet than say Nostradamus? Both studied the past in order to predict the future... one by using Astrology as a tool to predict recurring events and the other his own analysis of human economics and social structures throughout history to discern a set of trends and patterns and deeper truths.

        Perhaps Marx is more like Freud... revered by some, a giant that marked a change in human understanding but soon outdated in many ways so that in time are quietly moved on from in important ways by even those who invoke their body of work... both imperfect, and both with a fair amount of their insights and discoveries discredited or amended so thoroughly as to set aside some if not most of the original tenets or foundations.
        Many giants of science are now almost quaint. Indispensable to the evolution of human understanding but most of whose world view and concepts are long since antiquated and superseded. Aristotle, Plato, Galileo, Newton and on up more recent scientists from then to now who are still relevant and true in key  fundamental ways and yet trapped in their time to the point that we are unaware of malarkey that they also believed.

        Economics is a relatively new "science" and Marxism is a multi-faceted exploration that goes beyond a purely economic analysis attempting to describe in great detail how society works and like many who push boundaries they will have valid insights as well as hokum or outright misreadings of people and motivations. And the world has had many unexpected forces and surprises since his lifetime. So it would be expected that his work is dated at least to a degree and even fervent Marxists are more Neo-Marxist and not quite a scriptural cult... or are they? Marx had a lot to say about the contradictions inherent in Capitalism but the contradictions in Marxism are not understood by anti-Marxists (who reject it entirely without really learning much about it) and Marxists alike.

        But all that said there are not a few young fans of Marxism and revolution who are looking for a comprehensive cure all... do they understand it properly or just want a magic solution to the world's problems? So it could be said that they are not truly Marxists and their motivations and understanding are really very similar to the people who find Randism or Evangelical Christianity (or Scientology or any other cult or Religion) the true solution to everybody's problems...

        But of course the follower or fan, new convert or born into it believer do not in of themselves discredit the belief system they are in. They may not understand it properly... perhaps if they all were more open minded and could separate their personal emotional needs or habits from their intellectual understanding and were free from authority figures in the groups that are their connection to the beliefs most of them would be walk-aways from most of these creeds or schools of thought.

        But like all belief systems or systems of thought even Marxism requires people to understand and or accept that it describes reality better than others. And there will always be those who "understand" the theology or intellectual basis for it... the scripture or writings better than those who buy into the bullet point version on a more superficial level. And the more a philosophy depends on larger numbers to succeed and expand it will devolve into more of a cult with a hierarchy and more numerous superficial fans to help institute and grow the brand.

        And the whole miserable decay into variations on top down will happen as a result of that... Leninism in the case of Marxism... and through history... powerful chiefs or kings or priest kings corrupt whatever nice or useful movements or group understandings preceded them. The missing ingredient is balance... checks and balances... which even in a capitalist, representative democracy will be eroded by the most motivated with the most money. And detours to things like Levelers, Anabaptists, Early Christian communalism, Paris communes or various shades of anarchism and syndicalism never last long as solutions either.

        So why and when is Marxism wrong and why and when is it right? And the same question can be asked of every other set of beliefs or understandings or organizations... and each will find defenders who will not admit that they only get things right part of the time and will not amend or adjust to find better solutions...  

        And in the end if no country or party has ever truly followed Marxism maybe it is not their fault... maybe nobody truly can. And that could be because it is an incomplete and contradictory solution that is not a complete recipe to follow or use as a sole guide to set up one.  It should be studied and understood more and not demonized and maybe leaving room for apparently opposing schools of though will lead to a more usable synthesis. Or to throw a bone to inevitable history playing out... humanity is not ready yet or something...

        Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

        by IreGyre on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 08:43:20 AM PDT

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        •  I would call the Israeli Kibbutzim successful (0+ / 0-)

          There are reasons the members cashed in, but they were successful for a fairly long time. Remember that Marx was strongly anti-nationalist, strongly anti-centralization because he did not think they would work.

          The GOP is the party of mammon. They mock what Jesus taught.

          by freelunch on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 04:39:51 PM PDT

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          •  so we wait until Technology and people's awareness (1+ / 0-)
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            of themselves and how to live matures to a "Star Trek" cashless society... that is a very subversive TV show... humanity transcends greed?....

            The Kibbutz thing underscores the truth that some form of Quasi Marxism always exists and succeeds in small groups. Native Americans like our common ancestors were much more communal and had little or no formal hierarchies as we understand them etc...

            How to combine local communalism with a larger organization that takes the place of nation states without destroying local cooperative structures is the sticky question...  not a few people see our interconnected world groping blindly in that direction... more direct participation, more public knowledge of what matters, cutting out the middle man without it leading to a monopoly of power in fewer hands... we might just end up there almost by accident. Who watches the watchers... will the arms race of monitoring and surveillance have the public keep up with govt and industry so that there is no hiding of secret leverages and sunlight keeps everyone honest...

            I used to think that it could be possible for the heirs of right and left would both be able to claim victory someday by arriving at the same "place" by different routes... free enterprise becomes "people's capitalism" and Socialism and "communism" becomes a democratic cooperative corporation... Nobody too big for their britches, with opportunity and freedom etc... a utilitarian, greatest good for the greatest number and it is the best of both strands of human thinking without the negatives of either... who can tell... people can be surprising... for good or evil.

            Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

            by IreGyre on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 02:18:12 AM PDT

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