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View Diary: Kossacks: Why U No Love Marx? (78 comments)

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  •  You don't need a weatherman to know which (0+ / 0-)

    way the wind blows. Whatever the merits or lack thereof, whatever monsters claimed to follow him, he's dead and tired.

    Humanly Decent or Pathologically Selfish. There's all of politics right there. Think outside the 19th C coffin.

    Actual Democrats is the surest, quickest. route to More Democrats

    by Jim P on Wed May 01, 2013 at 09:46:35 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  wow (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Spencer Troxell, TheOrchid

      over my 65 years, i've known dozens of real marxists and am still meeting them.

      they are all around you, don'tcha know?

      marxist theory is at the root of some of the best and most influential scholarship of the late 20th/early 21st century.

      i'm about to go have a meeting with one of them right now.

      •  They talk to each other, and it's great everyone (0+ / 0-)

        should have a decent social life and share attention and interchanges with each other. This is part of a healthy life.

        As to Marxism's relevance to US politics 2013; to influence mass thought... not so much.

        The 19th Century is not only dead, its very limited methods of approaching, and assessing, reality are still killing us.

        Actual Democrats is the surest, quickest. route to More Democrats

        by Jim P on Wed May 01, 2013 at 01:56:41 PM PDT

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        •  wtf a decent social life (0+ / 0-)

          are you reading a martian translation of what i wrote?

          centuries can't die, or didn't you know?

          depending on whom you are addressing in the 19th, one might not want to have a talk at all.  

          But Marx?  Hell, yes.  

          Calling Marx limited because he hasn't witnessed Lenin is like calling Freud limited because he didn't know about DNA.

          if your argument about Marx is that he is stuck in the 19th century, i would have to say that you do not even begin to approach the kind of respect for scholarship and invention you should have.  

    •  Jim "humanly decent or pathologically selfish" is (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BlueDragon, TheOrchid

      a paradigm far older than that of Marx's which you disparage. It's basically a restatement of the Christian ethic which was, ostensibly, the ruling paradigm of Europe at the time Marx was writing.

      While I don't think that Marx has the solution to all our problems, I doubt that a relapse into vague moral idealism has much promise either.

      Nothing human is alien to me.

      by WB Reeves on Wed May 01, 2013 at 01:26:41 PM PDT

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      •  What's vague about it? (0+ / 0-)

        Totalitarians and monsters have operated under all the intellectually-stated ideologies, the language and theories as precise as you could ever want.

        A thing is shit or it isn't, don't matter what words people put on it. And if people's heads aren't cloudy with abstractions, it's pretty easy to tell what's humanly decent and what's the opposite.

        Actual Democrats is the surest, quickest. route to More Democrats

        by Jim P on Wed May 01, 2013 at 01:51:02 PM PDT

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        •  It may be "easy" for you (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          but as you yourself point out, that's hardly been the case throughout history. If it were so "easy" how is it that "totalitarians and monsters" have been the rule rather than the exception? None of these accomplished their crimes unaided. All were aided and abetted by vast numbers of supposedly ordinary, decent people who, evidently, were incapable of making the "easy" distinction you describe.

          Nothing human is alien to me.

          by WB Reeves on Wed May 01, 2013 at 02:00:38 PM PDT

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          •  Easy to rule by Ideologies in the last 150 years. (0+ / 0-)

            Fill people's head up with shit and you find innocent people confessing to "wrecking the state and coup plots" that's what the Party requires, and it'll be good in the long term for everyone.

            If you've gone to political meetings, or church meetings, or damn near any kind including organizing bake-sale meetings you've seen someone throw out some kind of talk which plays upon abstract definitions of good and bad. And then people going against their gut, and heart, either being not sure of what's right, or having bought the bull.

            That's how con artists work, is with words. That's how politicians work. That's how psychopaths work. Throw out words, play with rationales, confuse people.

            You have to remember that we're mammals, herd animals, and if someone positions themselves as being especially knowledgeable about things, most people will go along. Unless they know to always be checking what their real feelings are.

            You never had it happen that someone was working a con on you, you saw the appeal, even the logic, of what they were saying, and then you said to yourself "hmm, can't put my finger on it, but somethings not right. Count me out."

            Anyone can do that.

            Add in the fact that every state runs ultimately on coercion, and that people more or less just go-along to get-along, caring only about their daily life and relations and you have what we have.

            There's no way to force people to closely examine things. That always has been, and always will be, a strictly volunteer effort.

            But the ideologies and abstractions we've inherited from the 19th Century. They're just dead and deadening. The political frames are purely to the 1%'s advantage in divide-and-rule.

            I've known fabulously wealthy people who are saints, who work tons of person-to-person charity in secret and you only find out what they were up to when everyone's memorializing them. And rich shits, too. Same for the poor and just ordinary folks. Ain't no ideology going to cover that. Humanly decent or pathologically selfish does.


            Actual Democrats is the surest, quickest. route to More Democrats

            by Jim P on Wed May 01, 2013 at 02:26:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I agree that ideology disconnected from (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Jim P

              material outcomes is no solution.

              Where we disagree is that I consider the paradigm of "humanly decent" vs "pathologically selfish", absent any concrete material expression, to be simply another hollow, ideological construct.

              Nothing human is alien to me.

              by WB Reeves on Wed May 01, 2013 at 02:46:11 PM PDT

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              •  I'm in favor of intellectual analysis, but (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                WB Reeves

                people of today have to realize that Marxism is more or less a hobby, not at all able to influence politics. Decades of Soviet and PRC insanity has discredited Marx, whether he deserves it or not.

                Plus, it's dead. The issue today isn't controlling the means of production. It's that the production is killing all of us. If the workers can control the coal plant so there's energy to use the toasters... that's later in the hierarchy of urgencies.

                And I find it hard to believe that you don't hear a proposition, or meet someone, and can't tell in a minute of "just feeling/looking/hearing" whether they're giving up a load of bull or not. It's not abstract at all, it's what's in your heart and mind and body. Don't see how you can possibly get more concrete than that, actually.

                You might find value in this line:

                A thing of inestimably more value in today's world than any theory of long ago.


                Actual Democrats is the surest, quickest. route to More Democrats

                by Jim P on Wed May 01, 2013 at 11:16:48 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm afraid I don't share your confidence (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Jim P

                  in the ability to read the hearts and minds of others. Even if I did, sincerity is no guarantee of anything.

                  You seem to believe that the evils of the world are the product of conscious malice. That is neither my experience or my perception.

                  The most egregious crimes, more often than not, are committed by those with complete confidence in their own virtue.

                  Nothing human is alien to me.

                  by WB Reeves on Thu May 02, 2013 at 12:12:21 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

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