Anti-received knowledge

June 2022 Forums General discussion Anti-received knowledge

Viewing 13 posts - 76 through 88 (of 88 total)
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  • #189399
    Matthew Culbert
    Keymaster

    Well comrade, I want to get some closure on it, so Lbird can join with us and collectively get behind the propagation of an advanced post-capitalist, commonly owned, production for use, free access society.

    He already agrees I think, that only a commonly owned, production for use society of true social equals to the means of production and distribution is ever socialism.

    He seems to have a problem accepting, just because it is a classless, commonly owned society, that there are no elite interests will form over the people.

    Rather that the people themselves will administer over resources in administration of things.

    This will, be a democratic process, locally, regionally and globally using instantly re callable delegation where specialization is required to prevent the formation of elites developing , whether scientific, technocratic or bureaucratic,so that it will be an interaction rather than an elite-downward process, where control has been surrendered to specialist bodies.

     

    #189400
    Wez
    Participant

    ‘Wez, Speaking specifically of the new society, class will not feature. So class conflict won’t remain.’

    That’s why I said ‘historical change’ – it will always be true that the class struggle generated change up until socialism. I agree with Marquito that LBird’s hypothesis is redundant and thoroughly repudiated here but a debate about the nature of truth will continue as long as there are people to think – the lies of our masters and the belief in them by the majority is the main reason that ‘The world is falling apart’.

    #189402
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    In similar topics like this one, we have said it  thousands of times that the Proletarian class, or the proletariat will not exist in a socialist-communist society. I used the expression ‘The world is falling apart” because we can not be mono-thematic   when  there are thousand of social and economic issues taking place in our world

    #189403
    Wez
    Participant

    ‘ we can not be mono-thematic’

    Yep, we can, because all roads lead to capitalism – i.e. all of the main troubles in the world are caused by capitalism.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 10 months ago by Wez.
    #189413
    LBird
    Participant

    Matthew Culbert earlier wrote: “Your fear of technocratic, scientific or bureaucratic specialists forming into ‘elites’ is way off the mark, as specialists will be themselves part of society, not some privileged section,but also subject to recallable delegation, in such cases say, where they move from local into regional bodies.

    Matthew Culbert later wrote: “He seems to have a problem accepting, just because it is a <b>classless, commonly owned</b> society, that there are <b>no elite</b> interests will form <b>over</b> the people.

    Perhaps it’s better for me to clarify what I regard as the problem, because I think Matthew is missing my political point.

    Both of your statements are focused on a socialist society that’s come into existence, and as far as that goes, I agree, rather than disagree (as you seem to be suggesting) with the points you’re making.

    My criticism involves the social process of building that socialist society – that is, the process of production (by us now) rather than the product as an ideal.

    Because I agree with Marx’s method of ‘theory and practice’, I think that if we have a theory, which we put into practice, then the product will be shaped by the theory which is put into practice.

    To get to my key political point, if the theory that we espouse, now, in our efforts to build for a democratic socialism (of the sort embodied in your statements above), does not contain the theoretical seeds of democratic socialism, then we are going to find it impossible to build a democratic socialism. The society we build will reflect the theory we base our efforts upon.

    It’s my political, philosophical and ideological opinion that ‘materialism’ (of the sort put forward by Engels, and taken forward by Kautsky, Plekhanov and Lenin) does not contain the seeds of your socialism outlined in your quotes, above.

    As an example, your political characterisation of ‘specialists’ as ‘recallable delegates’ (which I agree with politically) would mean that the ‘specialists’ would do as they are told by their democratic delegators (which I would charaterise as the SPGB’s notion of ‘generalists’). That is, it’s the generalists who would be giving the specialists the aims, purposes, interests, theories, concepts, and methods of the generalists. There would not be (and could not be) specialists who themselves tell the rest of us what aims, purposes, interests, theories, concepts and methods are suitable for building our ‘better world’.

    This political power, though, goes against everything that the bourgeois have said about their ‘science’ for 300 years, and their ideological argument that ‘The World’, ‘The Universe’, ‘Real Reality’, etc. already exists, and so can’t be changed. The prizefighters of the bourgeoisie (economists, physicists, mathematicians, etc.) insist that they are all simply dealing with ‘reality’, which ‘exists’ and can’t be changed, and simply ‘discovering’ ‘what exists’, already. And they claim to have a politically-neutral ‘scientific’ method, which, if it does exist, can clearly be employed by ‘specialists’, an elite, outside of the social control of the masses, the ‘generalists’.

    Our political problem is that ‘materialism’ is precisely an ideology required to maintain these political beliefs in a disinterested, non-ideological, politically-neutral body of ‘specialists’, who themselves determine their aims, purposes, …etc, and it argues that to do otherwise (ie, what you and I are suggesting, ‘recallable delegates’ in all academic fields) would be to destroy the very foundations of science.

    I can sum all of this up by saying that, unless our ‘theory’ is from the start conducive to our hoped-for practice and product, then the outcome, socialism, will not be of the sort that is outlined in your political statements, which I agree with.

    ‘Materialism’ is not that ‘theory’. Our ‘theory’ must be democratic from the outset.

    #189425
    Matthew Culbert
    Keymaster

    Matthew Culbert earlier wrote: “Your fear of technocratic, scientific or bureaucratic specialists forming into ‘elites’ is way off the mark, as specialists will be themselves part of society, not some privileged section,but also subject to recallable delegation, in such cases say, where they move from local into regional bodies.”

    Matthew Culbert later wrote: “He seems to have a problem accepting, just because it is a <b>classless, commonly owned</b> society, that there are <b>no elite</b> interests will form <b>over</b> the people.”

    Perhaps it’s better for me to clarify what I regard as the problem, because I think Matthew is missing my political point.

    Both of your statements are focused on a socialist society that’s come into existence, and as far as that goes, I agree, rather than disagree (as you seem to be suggesting) with the points you’re making.

    ___________________________________
    Well that is that then. Join us.

    My criticism involves the social process of building that socialist society – that is, the process of production (by us now) rather than the product as an ideal.

    Because I agree with Marx’s method of ‘theory and practice’, I think that if we have a theory, which we put into practice, then the product will be shaped by the theory which is put into practice.

    _________________________________________

    But is not us but the workers who will do it.
    __________________________________________

    To get to my key political point, if the theory that we espouse, now, in our efforts to build for a democratic socialism (of the sort embodied in your statements above), does not contain the theoretical seeds of democratic socialism, then we are going to find it impossible to build a democratic socialism. The society we build will reflect the theory we base our efforts upon.

    But it already does so. We don’t have leaders or do we advocate leaderism.

    ____________________________________

    It’s my political, philosophical and ideological opinion that ‘materialism’ (of the sort put forward by Engels, and taken forward by Kautsky, Plekhanov and Lenin) does not contain the seeds of your socialism outlined in your quotes, above.

    ____________________________________

    Definitely Lenin. Engels shifted back and forth at times. So what?
    ______________________________________________________-

    As an example, your political characterisation of ‘specialists’ as ‘recallable delegates’ (which I agree with politically) would mean that the ‘specialists’ would do as they are told by their democratic delegators (which I would charaterise as the SPGB’s notion of ‘generalists’). That is, it’s the generalists who would be giving the specialists the aims, purposes, interests, theories, concepts, and methods of the generalists. There would not be (and could not be) specialists who themselves tell the rest of us what aims, purposes, interests, theories, concepts and methods are suitable for building our ‘better world’.

    __________________________

    It is absolutely crazy to suggest I would need to be telling an atomic scientist or a physicist what his theoretical conclusions should be, or areas, aims or purposes should be, however as they would be a part of the zeitgeist of the prevailing age.

    They would be specialising and feeding back. Certainly science and all of that in the service of capitalism is bound to be a different beast from science in the service of socialism.  Scientists in general do try to give politically neutral scientific advice, but their preferred solutions are constrained by the capitalist system, but even so many of them find themselves ditched for straying too far from acceptable norms.

    I would suggest that research will through up potentially fruitful areas for further investigation and this would be fed back for decisions as resource commitments would be locally, regionally or globally as required.

    It is not possible at this juncture for a few hundred socialists to say otherwise.
    ___________________________________________

    This political power, though, goes against everything that the bourgeois have said about their ‘science’ for 300 years, and their ideological argument that ‘The World’, ‘The Universe’, ‘Real Reality’, etc. already exists, and so can’t be changed. The prizefighters of the bourgeoisie (economists, physicists, mathematicians, etc.) insist that they are all simply dealing with ‘reality’, which ‘exists’ and can’t be changed, and simply ‘discovering’ ‘what exists’, already. And they claim to have a politically-neutral ‘scientific’ method, which, if it does exist, can clearly be employed by ‘specialists’, an elite, outside of the social control of the masses, the ‘generalists’.

    _________________

    I don’t think you can lump the ‘dismal’ economists into the field of science.

    Scientists would be a part of the social process and could not reside outside it. You appear also to have prejudicial prior assumptions about scientists and mathematicians, (prize fighters of the bourgeoisie) while like everyone else, they will be influenced by the prevailing ideology, while perceived as politically neutral.

    ________________________

    Our political problem is that ‘materialism’ is precisely an ideology required to maintain these political beliefs in a disinterested, non-ideological, politically-neutral body of ‘specialists’, who themselves determine their aims, purposes, …etc, and it argues that to do otherwise (ie, what you and I are suggesting, ‘recallable delegates’ in all academic fields) would be to destroy the very foundations of science.

    _________________________

    I don’t give a damn for philosophical materialism. It is historical materialism is our big thing.

    So the foundations of science can be a fact in the service of the classless society.
    _________________________________________

    I can sum all of this up by saying that, unless our ‘theory’ is from the start conducive to our hoped-for practice and product, then the outcome, socialism, will not be of the sort that is outlined in your political statements, which I agree with.

    _____________________

    I say as far as we can this is so. We don’t not do the blueprints for the future that would be arrogant in my view.

    ‘Materialism’ is not that ‘theory’. Our ‘theory’ must be democratic from the outset.

    But you are into philosophical materialism. I am into historical materialism. This type of conversation will be like a fart in the revolutionary bathtub.


    ” The emancipation of the working classes must be conquered by the working classes themselves. We cannot, therefore, co-operate with people who openly state that the workers are too uneducated to emancipate themselves and must be freed from above by philanthropic big bourgeois and petty bourgeois.”(1879 Marx and Engels )

     

    #189437
    ALB
    Keymaster

    “a fart in the revolutionary bathtub.” Isn’t it against the rules to call someone that?

    #189441
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Of course, scientists and professors under capitalism lead sheltered, privileged lives. We can admire geologists, natural historians and astronomers we see on TV and whose books we read, but they don’t have to rub shoulders every day with the lumpenproletariat, being ridiculed and abused for being knowledgeable. They can’t conceive of it, even.

    #189446
    Wez
    Participant

    John Oswald makes a very important point here – the universities and academe have become ghettos of the intellectual elite. But it is also important to be aware of the anti-intellectualism that pervades our culture and even some Socialist Party members lapse into philistinism occasionally.

    #189448
    Matthew Culbert
    Keymaster

    “a fart in the revolutionary bathtub.” Isn’t it against the rules to call someone that?

    Of course it would and I am not doing so. I would not be so disrespectful of an individual who believes he has genuine concerns.

    However the immense majority which make the revolution, will loosen any philosophical Gordian knots, will have no difficulty feeding into, as well as deliberating over, specialist scientific discussions and dealing with discerning any ‘notions of upperosity’ (O’Casey) and bad attacks of ‘wankers doom’ (Vanni), when the time comes to do so.

    In my personal opinion only.

    #189450
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Which brings us back to the new anti-intellectual movement of the unread today, who have never known books and are instead addicted to online videos of (mis)information that promote the notion that all history and science, all astronomy and geology, is a conspiracy and hence false. Thus all received knowledge is rejected and charlatanry flourishes.
    I see similarities here with the Christian assault on the ancient libraries (see the film, AGORA), where hatred of the Graeco-Roman elite led to the destruction of the archives of learning and received knowledge which that elite kept as its own preserve. Thus we now see the educationally disenfranchised attacking learning and preferring online dupery which is seen as more democratic. Unfortunately, this is not leading to a confident, educated populace of the kind that would establish socialism, but instead to mass idiocy.

    #189451
    Matthew Culbert
    Keymaster

    But here is a counter tendency to that, which is presently going out on the streets and advocating action on diverse issues such as climate change and actively supporting the scientific consensus in respect of it.

     

    #190655
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    The free will myth goes hand in hand with conspiracy theories. Both fail to comprehend the materialist conception of history. Both see “great people” or “evil people” behind social processes.

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