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  •  And similarly, one cannot attempt to (0+ / 0-)

    rehabilitate religion, especially
    Christianity without coming to grips with its historical reality, right? Oh, wait ...

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 09:48:49 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Religion is a question of faith (0+ / 0-)

      Sometimes described as the "evidence of things unseen". It doesn't require require a factual basis for belief.

      Marxism, on the other hand, claims to be "scientific" and therefore, by definition, fact based. It cannot ignore the facts of its own history without negating its own essence as a materialist doctrine.

      This isn't true of religion, which is essentially a belief in the supernatural and miraculous.

      Apples and oranges.

      Nothing human is alien to me.

      by WB Reeves on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 10:56:13 AM PDT

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      •  It appears that you confuse soviet history (0+ / 0-)

        with Marxism and Marxist history, but don't see any link between religious history and religion - odd, that.

        That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

        by enhydra lutris on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 11:50:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It appears that you (0+ / 0-)

          don't understand the distinction between materialism and supernatural belief systems.

          If one's beliefs revolve around miracles and "mysteries", facts, historical or otherwise, have little significance.

          The suggestion that the historical connection between Marxism and the failed Soviet experiment is a matter of "confusion" on my part is humorous.

          Nothing human is alien to me.

          by WB Reeves on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 12:07:06 PM PDT

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          •  asdf (0+ / 0-)
            The suggestion that the historical connection between Marxism and the failed Soviet experiment is a matter of "confusion" on my part is humorous.
            I did not say that there was no connection. I said you confused the history of a nation state with an ideology. There is a definite connection, just like that between "democracy" and Lon Nol, Pinochet, Shah Reza Pahlavi, Mme Nhu, the DDR, etc. Also the connection between the Holy Roman Empire, Catholic Church and Inquisition with Christianity. They are all cases where a political organization and/or entity has abrogated for itself the name of an ideology and then not acted remotely in accordance therewith.
            ... don't understand the distinction between materialism and supernatural belief systems.

            If one's beliefs revolve around miracles and "mysteries", facts, historical or otherwise, have little significance.

            Just straight up wrong. Christianity is nowhere committed to totally ignoring reality or divorcing itself from realit, or history. In fact, one cannot even attempt to abide by its tenets without close observation of the surrounding world. One cannot assume that simply because faith controls as to certain aspects, that it controls as to all things, else one could not, for example, feed the hungry or comfort the afflicted.

            If one is to judge any and all ideas and ideologies by all political movements and entities that have used the name, one should really be uniform, else it looks suspiciously like one is simply targeting an ideology that one dislikes for other reasons.

            That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

            by enhydra lutris on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 02:00:54 PM PDT

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            •  You are ignoring the fact (0+ / 0-)

              that Marxism is explicitly committed to judging ideas and ideology by their material historical outcomes. Marxism cannot exempt itself from its own criteria without rendering itself meaningless.

              You make the typical error of assuming that criticism equates with ideological hostility.

              Your sweeping generalization about Christianity can't survive even the most cursory examination of its history and development, not to mention the wide disparity in the many varieties of its theology and practice. You are substituting a particular idea of Christianity for the conflicted and contradictory material reality of Christianity in human history.

              I'm not the one playing favorites here. I am simply insisting that Marxism must be subject to the same critical materialist analysis that it has applied to other ideologies. Refusing to do so indicates either a lack of confidence in Marxism as an analytical methodology or a failure to comprehend Marxism itself.  

              Nothing human is alien to me.

              by WB Reeves on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 02:26:02 PM PDT

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              •  asdf (0+ / 0-)
                Marxism is explicitly committed to judging ideas and ideology by their material historical outcomes.
                Which are unknown, neither Marxism nor democracy are in fact illustrated by, say, the DDR, for it followed the tenets of neither.

                That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

                by enhydra lutris on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 06:30:52 PM PDT

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                •  By this standard (0+ / 0-)

                  nothing material can be known about any set of ideas. Is that your position?

                  Nothing human is alien to me.

                  by WB Reeves on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 06:40:44 PM PDT

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                  •  No looks like a straw man, just like (0+ / 0-)

                    equating Marxism and Stalinism. I'm saying that nothing material can be determined I'm saying that you cannot learn anything "material" about a set of ideas by looking at the implementation of some entirely different set of ideas. You don't learn about the material impacts of racial equality by studying apartheid.

                    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

                    by enhydra lutris on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 09:19:25 PM PDT

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                    •  Hardly a straw man (0+ / 0-)

                      and no one is equating Stalinism with Marxism unless it is yourself.

                      The fact is that the DDR would never have existed without the pre-existence of Marxism, just as there would be no such thing as Stalinism without Marxism anymore than there could have been Leninism or Trotskyism or Maoism without Marxism. You might as well claim that Judaism, Christianity and Islam have nothing to do with the Old Testament.

                      You can argue that the root ideas from which these various isms grew were distorted or mis-applied but that doesn't make them an "entirely different set of ideas" however much you may wish it were so.

                      Ideas do not fall from the sky. They do not exist independent of  material reality. Stalinism didn't simply appear one day in a puff of smoke. It developed directly from the material experience of the Bolshevik Party and the Russian Social Democratic Movement, as did Leninism and Trotskyism. You can no more divorce Stalinism from the historical experience of Marxism than you could Leninism or Trotskyism.

                      I'm saying that nothing material can be determined...
                      Assuming that this isn't a typo and that you intend it to be taken literally, I have to wonder why you've engaged in this debate. Clearly, you can't be an exponent of Marxism since the above assertion constitutes a repudiation of one of its fundamental principles: Dialectical Historical Materialism. It sounds very much as though you are expounding an Idealist perspective.

                      OTOH, if you are in fact interested in Marxism, I respectfully suggest that you need to achieve a better grasp of its fundamentals.

                         

                      Nothing human is alien to me.

                      by WB Reeves on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 02:14:47 AM PDT

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                      •  asdf (0+ / 0-)
                        The fact is that the DDR would never have existed without the pre-existence of Marxism, just as there would be no such thing as Stalinism without Marxism anymore than there could have been Leninism or Trotskyism or Maoism without Marxism
                        Nor could they have existed as they did without The French Revolution, The American Revolution, or "Il Principe", so I guess that they are all also the embodiment of those things as well.

                        Oh, btw, yes it was a type, a formulation of the beginning of a sentence that was replaced, but somehow didn't get overwritten. As to my knowledge and understanding of Marxism, I will leave that to your fantasy, possibly best determined by a close perusal of the rules of NASCAR or something similar.

                        That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

                        by enhydra lutris on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 09:19:31 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Is it your habit (0+ / 0-)

                          to react to disagreement with misrepresentation? Again the only one suggesting that anything is the "embodiment" of anything is yourself. I made no such claim.

                          Apparently, you are unaware that both Marx and the Bolsheviks considered themselves to be the political heirs of the French Revolution. If you disagree, your argument is with them, not with me.

                          If you ever decide to engage this topic seriously, my advice to you remains the same.

                          Nothing human is alien to me.

                          by WB Reeves on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 11:14:56 AM PDT

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                          •  Apparantly you are unaware that I listed (0+ / 0-)

                            3 things, not just one. Perhaps you'd like to try again or is it part of your expansive theory that they are all embodied in or subsumed by the French Revolution.

                            Apparently, you are unaware that both Marx and the Bolsheviks considered themselves to be the political heirs of the French Revolution.
                            BTW
                            If you ever decide to engage this topic seriously, my advice to you remains the same.
                            You need a new Tarot deck, you're way off the mark on that one.

                            That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

                            by enhydra lutris on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 12:08:44 PM PDT

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                          •  I'm not interested in ego driven tit for tat. (0+ / 0-)

                            When and if you have something substantive to say get back to me.

                            Nothing human is alien to me.

                            by WB Reeves on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 12:32:13 PM PDT

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                          •  Strange, since that is all that you have been (0+ / 0-)

                            doing ever since you were challenged on your dult of democracy marxism theory.

                            That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

                            by enhydra lutris on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 06:21:08 PM PDT

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                          •  You should try to write coherent sentences (0+ / 0-)

                            Nothing human is alien to me.

                            by WB Reeves on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 03:07:44 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Ah yes, typos, if you can't defend your thesis, (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            WB Reeves

                            look for typos.

                            It is quite simple, well more basic than Marxism or any other ism. If any rule, doctrine, theorem, proposition, etc. contained within any ideology or system of belief or knowledge is true, and if that theorem is not quite strictly and narrowly defined so as to be of extremely limited applicability, then it is generally applicable.

                            In the instant case, especially in light of your expansive (IMHO) interpretations, then all ideas, ideologies, philiosophies, systems of thought, knowledge, belief, etc. are subject to the same rule as Marxism. Hence  all ideas and ideologies, philosophies, religions, books, events and the like must be judged by their material historical consequences. Those, following your lead, would be the entirety of subsequent history, for just as the USSR couldn't have happened without marx, so too it couldn't have happened without the Holy Roman Empire and the works of Tom Paine.

                            You wind up, in effect, with each discrete fragment of relity being a sum over all known history of theall of the impacts of predecessor events and ideas (Holy Feynman, Batman). Each such event, state, idea or ideology then effects all those subsequent.

                            So, you take or leave it. If the idea is false,  then you can reject the entirety of the theory or ideology within which it is found, or take what is useful and/or correct from that theory and incorporate it into whatever ongoing model you are using or formulating.

                            If the idea is contextual, or only partly true, then you have to find and specify the constraints, but "It was part of this broader ideology, hence it must apply there, even if false everywhere else) is neither logical nor a viable approach to problem solving.

                            OK, if there are no typos above, Ill leave out an apostropher here for you to pounce upon.

                            Any attempt to rehabilitate Religion, Christianity, Democracy and the Renaissance as liberating forces in human affairs that doesn't come to grips with the material and historical reality that is the USSR, the DDR, Hitler and Idi Amin is doomed to failure, or not.

                            That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

                            by enhydra lutris on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 01:25:27 PM PDT

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                          •  Well this is certainly substantive (0+ / 0-)

                            but not particularly germane to my point which is far more circumscribed than you seem to imagine.

                            The topic was not what is the correct way of looking at the world but how to assess a particular school of thought, its significance historically and its potential utility for the future. In this instance: Marxism.

                            Whatever the merits of the model you present, it has little bearing on this question. Unless your point is to discredit Marxism.

                            My point was limited to observing that one cannot rehabilitate Marxism while at the same time refusing to apply it in a consistent fashion. If you want to cherry pick some of its ideas while rejecting others you're free to do so. However, unless such judgements are determined by the methods of Marxist analysis, what you are left with is in no way describable as Marxism.

                            The construct you present above is both consistent and logical but it is, from a Marxist perspective, Idealist in character, in that it treats ideas as being completely unmoored from historical and material reality.

                            In the instant case, especially in light of your expansive (IMHO) interpretations, then all ideas, ideologies, philiosophies, systems of thought, knowledge, belief, etc. are subject to the same rule as Marxism. Hence  all ideas and ideologies, philosophies, religions, books, events and the like must be judged by their material historical consequences. Those, following your lead, would be the entirety of subsequent history, for just as the USSR couldn't have happened without marx, so too it couldn't have happened without the Holy Roman Empire and the works of Tom Paine.
                            That's essentially the Marxist view, except that Marx would require a rigorous analytical demonstration of such material relationships, something easily done when speaking of Marxism and the USSR or DDR. Something not so easily done when discussing the German Catholic Holy Roman Empire and Orthodox Tsarist Russia.

                            As for Tom Paine, I'm not competent to assess the degree of his influence but I can assure you that both Marx and Marxists generally were well aware of his significance as a revolutionary thinker.

                            Yes this is an expansive view but then Marx was an expansive thinker.

                            You wind up, in effect, with each discrete fragment of relity being a sum over all known history of theall of the impacts of predecessor events and ideas (Holy Feynman, Batman). Each such event, state, idea or ideology then effects all those subsequent.
                            Except that Leninism, Stalinism, Trotskyism, Maoism, et al and their material outcomes are not discreet fragments of reality in the context of Marxism. Each is a school of thought drawn directly from Marxism and defines itself as such. If Marxist methods of analysis cannot be applied to them, then they can hardly be applied at all and Marxism is a dead letter.

                            It appears that we have not been addressing the same topic.

                            Nothing human is alien to me.

                            by WB Reeves on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 04:36:08 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

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