Anti-received knowledge

August 2022 Forums General discussion Anti-received knowledge

Viewing 15 posts - 46 through 60 (of 88 total)
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  • #189328
    LBird
    Participant

    alanjjohnstone wrote: “The material conditions and situation will eventually determine the actual practice of any idea or theory.

    This is where we all came in, mate! 😛

    You still can’t explain how ‘material conditions’ determine human ideas or theories.

    Because you can’t explain this (and it is not possible to, because it’s not true), so your belief is based upon faith, not any current ‘science’.

    Two things, really:

    1. Bourgeois ‘science’ has moved on since the 18th century heyday of ‘matter determining humans’, which meant that humans were clockwork.
    2. Marx clearly believed that ‘social production’ was at the heart of what determines any human ‘idea and theory’, not ‘matter’. If ‘matter determines’, we couldn’t change whatever matter determined, and Marx put ‘change’ at the heart of his philosophy.

    No-one who examines these issues any more, looks to ‘materialism’ – even the bourgeoisie have replaced that dead ideology. The supposed ‘socialists’ who adhere to Engels’ ‘materialism’ are dying out, because it’s been thoroughly discredited in the eyes of anyone who takes an interest in these issues. Of course, those who either don’t or can’t (allegedly) take an interest in philosophy, will be left to live out their lives, left behind by the developments of the 20th century (never mind the 21st!).

    Don’t you think that your party’s inability to engage with me in a political and philosophical discussion tells you something about why your party is dying out? I, for one, take no pleasure in saying this – the SPGB’s emphasis on ‘democratic’ methods, as opposed to Leninist Central Committee diktats, should be a breath of fresh air, to new, young, workers trying to find out about socialism. Unfortunately, as I’ve discovered, your ‘democracy’ doesn’t extend any further than that of Lenin’s Materialism and Empirio-Criticism of 1908, because you’d agree with every word of that completely anti-democratic, elite philosophy. And any worker who wants democracy to be at the heart of any politics that they get involved in, will be repulsed by ‘materialism’, not least because the present education system is more critical than ‘materialists’ can handle, and workers having been educated since 1900 have access to books.

    And don’t forget, I’m not opposed to you and the SPGB on principle – I’m a Democratic Communist and influenced by Marx, but the ‘Marx’ I read clearly isn’t the one that SPGB supporters read (if they do even read Marx and Engels, which sometimes, I very much doubt).

    Whilst you’re waiting for ‘material conditions’ to ‘determine’ humanity’s ‘idea or theory’, the world will pass you by. As for your novel concept of ‘actual practice’… that must be opposed to ‘human practice’, because, as Marx argued, humans employ ‘theory and practice’ – that is, ‘actual theory and practice’, to use your bizarre formulation.

    How did Marx’s ideas, about ‘active humanity’ socially producing its own ‘better world’, deteriorate into ‘matter determining’ a passive humanity faced by an unchangeable ‘real world in itself’?

    I’ll let you guess just who started that bandwagon rolling – one clue: he had no idea what Marx’s unified ‘idealist-materialist’ philosophical views were, and his name begins with an ‘E’.

    Well… a second – his method was ‘practice and theory’, which is yours too, alan. Apparently.

    #189329
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    “The material conditions and situation will eventually determine the actual practice of any idea or theory.”
    “You still can’t explain how ‘material conditions’ determine human ideas or theories.”

    I think I placed my comment, LBird, in a context and not as a stand alone declaration or definition

    Regardless of whatever ideology is held, as Burns said:
    “facts are chiels that winna ding.”

    What we consider as facts determine ideas and theories. But facts do change.

    I specifically gave the example of that a doctor who disregards his or her belief system when practice and experience shows it does not accord with reality of curing patients.

    The belief system may well not be religious…it could be a treatment or procedure that was previously approved and recommended but new facts changed the situation. And often that comes with new and better technology allowing for more efficient diagnosis.

    Our thoughts are always in motion and our understanding of things is never static but also fluid and flowing.

    I suppose some one more versed in philosophy will refer to the hypothesis that one never stands in the same river. But for you and me , simple souls that we are, all we know is our feet always gets wet.

     

    #189330
    Bijou Drains
    Participant

    Ironic thing is that L Bird proposes this system where the whole would vote on what is truth, and yet the truth is that he’s the only person in the whole world that would vote for such a system. (He’ll probably blame old Fred for that, as well)

    #189332
    ALB
    Keymaster

    “to treat Lenin’s Materialism and Empirio-Criticism as a serious contribution to the philosophy of science, as Richey does, is ridiculous. As anyone who has tried to read it knows, it is just a rant against some of Lenin’s opponents within the Bolshevik Party in 1908 who he accuses, quite unjustly (but quite typically), of harbouring or condoning religious views just because they rejected his crude and untenable view that the mind merely reflects and photographs (as opposed to mentally reconstructs) the external world. ”

    — extract from a review of Anton Pannekoek’s Lenin As Philosophy, in the July 2003 Socialist Standard.

    #189334
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Even more, the Marxist-humanists who are Leninists like  have considered  Lenin’s Empirio Criticism as Marx philosophical distortion.

    #189337
    LBird
    Participant

    Bijou Drains wrote: “Ironic thing is that L Bird proposes this system where the whole would vote on what is truth…

    The real irony is that Bijou considers himself to be democrat, but won’t tell us which elite would produce truth, and how they would do it within socialism, without the participation of the democratic producers.

    No-one in the SPGB seems prepared to answer this question. Again, ironic, for a party with a reputation for democracy.

    And, it’s a answer that would differentiate the SPGB from the Leninists – if it were different to Lenin’s, that is.

    • This reply was modified 3 years ago by LBird.
    #189340
    Bijou Drains
    Participant

    “but won’t tell us which elite would produce truth”

    That’s the problem, matey, there is no truth, only perception.

    #189341
    Wez
    Participant

    ‘That’s the problem, matey, there is no truth, only perception.’

    If that were ‘true’ then there could be no lies either – and we all know that to be ‘untrue’, don’t we Bijou?

    • This reply was modified 3 years ago by Wez.
    #189345
    Brian
    Participant

    “The real irony is that Bijou considers himself to be democrat, but won’t tell us which elite would produce truth, and how they would do it within socialism, without the participation of the democratic producers.”

    In actual fact the real irony is that LBird is projecting his truth that a scientific elite would also be in existence in socialism because he’s concluded the specialists by definition constitute an elite.

    #189357
    LBird
    Participant

    Brian wrote: “…he’s concluded the specialists by definition constitute an elite.

    Well, in political terms, Brian, ‘an elite’ is precisely what ‘specialists’ are.

    Unless you are prepared to state that the decisions of the ‘specialists’ will be subject to the democratic control of ‘generalists’ – that is, that ‘generalists’ as a political force know better about any ‘specialism’ than do the ‘specialists’. This means that the assumptions, aims, theories, methods and practices of the ‘specialists’ will be dictated by the ‘generalists’.

    If you disagree with this democratic belief in the power of the ‘generalists’, all well and good – but then announce that clearly, that there will be an elite within your version of ‘socialism’ that will be outside of our democratic control.

    It’s odd that the SPGB has come out in force to defend, not ‘democracy’, not ‘socialism’, not ‘producers’, but… ‘Science’, and its elite.

    I suspect that it’s the ‘Science’ in the non-Marxist term ‘Scientific Socialism’ that attracts the sort of thinkers who join the SPGB. If there’s a clash between ‘socialism’ and ‘science’, it’s the ‘science’ that takes precedence.

    It’s clear from any attempt to argue for Marx’s ‘democratic socialism’ (because in any contest between a supposedly ahistoric, asocial ‘science’ and ‘democracy’, Marx’s ideas favour the ‘democracy’) that it is always met by Engelsist ‘materialists’ who regard this ‘social productionism’ as ‘post-modernism’.

    The SPGB is defending elite bourgeois science, not democratic socialism.

    This should give the membership pause for thought… that you’re not defending ‘democracy’… but it seems that your ideology is preventing you from seeing the political problems that you cannot answer, never mind solve.

    #189358
    ALB
    Keymaster

    There is an amusing story in the christian part of the bible. Jesus is brought before the Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate, and tells him “I am the truth”. Pilate replies “What is the truth?” and asks the crowd outside to vote on it. They decide that the truth is that Jesus is not the truth. Which actually happened to be true, though not because they voted that it was.

     

    #189359
    LBird
    Participant

    ALB wrote: “There is an amusing story in the christian part of the bible. Jesus is brought before the Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate, and tells him “I am the truth”. Pilate replies “What is the truth?” and asks the crowd outside to vote on it. They decide that the truth is that Jesus is not the truth. Which actually happened to be true, though not because they voted that it was.”

    So the SPGB is quoting the bible, in response to political questions about democracy within socialism?

    This just gets better! 😛

    #189362
    Bijou Drains
    Participant

    “‘That’s the problem, matey, there is no truth, only perception.’

    If that were ‘true’ then there could be no lies either – and we all know that to be ‘untrue’, don’t we Bijou?”

    I think you’ll find that that’s your perception of the truth.

    This leads to the question can a lie exist without its opposite the truth, can black exist if there is no white?

    Before you know it we’ll be discussing the interpenetration of opposites, and you know where that leads…………….. insanity (or perhaps sanity).

    #189363
    LBird
    Participant

    Bijou Drains wrote: “I think you’ll find that that’s your perception of the truth.

    No, mate, it’s not ‘my’ anything.

    I’m asking a political question about ‘truth’. This is what I keep trying to explain (and I’ve said this dozens of times), but for some reason I’m failing to persuade youse to engage in a political discussion about ‘power’ and who determines what is ‘truth’, and how.

    Why a political discussion on the site of a political party (and one that claims to be interested in socialism) turns to considerations of ‘individual perception’, rather than about ‘politics’ (social power and social ideologies), mystifies me. Well, it did originally, but I’ve come to realise that ‘individualism’ seems to be dominant here.

    These are ontological and epistemological questions, about ‘who determines’ what ‘truth’ means (and thus, who will determine this within  any democratic socialist society of the future). There must be a better ‘official’ party answer, than blaming ‘individuals’, or even turning to the bible for succour. There are a number of theories of truth, and as a democratic I’m interested whether the SPGB espouses a ‘democratic theory of truth production’ – apparently not.

    I can’t make any of youse give a political answer to these political questions, but it makes one wonder what’s the point of the party having a site online, but not engaging in critical political discussion.

    What’s more, your last quip, I entirely agree with – ‘dialectics’ is simple ‘bullshit baffles brains’ – an old army saying! 😛

    #189364
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    “…I can’t make any of youse give a political answer to these political questions…”

    And we will continue to let you ask and pose those questions and to say we have never engaged…just how many members and how many times have we answered…you may disregard what we say, but don’t say we have never engaged with you in discussion.

     

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