Dumbing down.

December 2021 Forums General discussion Dumbing down.

Viewing 15 posts - 91 through 105 (of 126 total)
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  • #216120
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Agree. But by previous statements here about the unimportance of grammar, the dismissing of classical literature as bourgeois and dispensable, the idolisation of googling over book-reading, the consigning of pens and pencils to history’s dustbin, etc., it seemed your hopes are being placed on the lumpenproletariat rather than the proletariat. (Likewise your use of “aesthete” in a derogatory sense, as if beautiful books and beautiful things, artistic temperament etc., are not essential for a socialist. Morris would be repelled. And there are also digital/internet-idolatry snobs who see no value in the crafts, in the printed book, in the beauty and the necessity of the tangible, and who worship the virtual … and they know who they are. )

    I fail to see why the cultural shoddiness of dying capitalism’s “virtual” craze should carry on into socialism. It would be logical for people in socialism to expect the best and the aesthetically pleasing and tangibly fulfilling, surely? Real rather than virtual.

    #216130
    Matthew Culbert
    Keymaster

    > Agree. But by previous statements here about the unimportance of grammar,

    No one has said this. Only in reference to understanding about socialism.

    the dismissing of classical literature as bourgeois and dispensable,

    Again not a necessity to gain an understanding about socialism.

    the idolisation of googling over book-reading,

    Not so. You are distorting what was said, by someone whose bookshelves are collapsing with such literature, in support of the more accessible world wide web, denying your absurd ‘dumb’ classification of workers.

    the consigning of pens and pencils to history’s dustbin, etc.,

    Another distortion.

    it seemed your hopes are being placed on the lumpenproletariat rather than the proletariat.

    Disgraceful.Our reading of such terms is much more nuanced and respectful of individuals trying to survive.

    Marx’s opinion of the ‘lumpenproletariat’ contrasted starkly with Bakunin’s. Living largely outside of the constraints of formal wage labour and subject to the vagaries of desperate poverty, the lumpenproletariat, by virtue of its very life situation, was more likely to become a ‘bribed tool of reactionary intrigue’ rather than a force for revolution. This was a reference to elements of the lumpenproletariat being employed by the French state within its armed forces for the purposes of maintaining order during the social upheavals of the mid-nineteenth century – the bribe in question being a soldier’s wage rather than something received in addition to this wage (The Class Struggles in France 1848-1850).

    Marx’s reference to the lumpenproletariat being ‘bribed’ is ironic, given Lenin’s insistence that it was labour aristocracy, instead, that was the beneficiary of capitalist bribery.

    However, this may be a case of over-theorising on both sides. One’s own circumstances – be one a lumpenproletarian or labour aristocrat – need not be particularly decisive as far as one’s receptivity to socialist ideas are concerned. Indeed, Marx and Engels themselves in the Communist Manifesto speculated on the possibility of even some capitalists (Engels himself, being a prime example), cutting themselves adrift from their class and seeking common cause with the workers.

    Nevertheless, the weight of historical evidence suggests that the more militant elements within the working class (particularly those who have embraced revolutionary socialism) have, indeed, tended to be drawn from the ranks of semi-skilled and skilled workers. IMPERIALISM PART 2: SUPER-PROFITS AND THE LABOUR ARISTOCRACY

    (Emphasis in bold type is mine. M.C.)

    > (Likewise your use of “aesthete” in a derogatory sense, as if beautiful books and beautiful things, artistic temperament etc., are not essential for a socialist.

    They are not essential for understanding about socialism.

    > Morris would be repelled. And there are also digital/internet-idolatry snobs who see no value in the crafts, in the printed book, in the beauty and the necessity of the tangible, and who worship the virtual … and they know who they are. )

    No they do not exist, for Morris to be repelled, nor have any such individuals commented, on this Forum.

    You really seem to have your head stuck up your prejudiced ass.

    #216133
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    So what will happen to books then, in your socialism? All transferred to digital and then burned, eh?

    No place for those of us who prefer them.

    Your digital snobs exist; i’m talking with one.
    If I called you a prejudiced ass, you’d present me with the forum rules list.

    #216135
    Matthew Culbert
    Keymaster

    So what will happen to books then, in your socialism? All transferred to digital and then burned, eh?

    No place for those of us who prefer them.

    You are losing your mind if you take that from anything any comrade has said on here.

    Behave yourself.

    #216137
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I asked a question following your comment about digital media being better than books. You still haven’t answered with regard to books in socialism. So you need to behave.

    You speak down to me all the time.
    You have no monopoly of socialist understanding over me. I am not your inferior.

    #216140
    Matthew Culbert
    Keymaster

    I have never stated that digital media is better than books. You have inferred this and much else from what no comrade has said.

    I do not regard anyone as my inferior.

    I do say you are behaving like an asshole and I am calling you out for that.

    #216142
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    “..whose bookshelves are collapsing with such literature, in support of the more accessible world wide web, “

    #216143
    Matthew Culbert
    Keymaster

    Not so. You are distorting what was said, by someone whose bookshelves are collapsing with such literature, in support of the more accessible world wide web, denying your absurd ‘dumb’ classification of workers.

    Those are my own bookshelves I refer to. I broke my damn toe on a box of books when I moved in here years ago.

    #216144
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    You are lucky to have them. I hope you won’t be throwing them away. We bibliophiles rely on books being redistributed and we don’t appreciate them being chucked in dumpsters.

    #216145
    ALB
    Keymaster

    I don’t object to the word “aesthete” as such. Apparently there is even a Marxist theory of aesthetics (not sure what it is, though). But anyone who describes themself as one runs the risk of being considered an intellectual snob. There may also be some confusion with the word “effete”.

    Incidentally yesterday evening’s talk on Discord about changes in the printing industry did lead to a discussion on printing books in socialism. There will no need for all books to be printed digitally (though it will make sense to print up textbooks and manuals in this way) and plenty of scope for artisanal printing of books à la William Morris. The question of the dangers involved in pre-digital printing of having to use solvents to clean the ink off the plates did come up. Nobody suggested abolishing printing books in favour of ebooks.

    #216146
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Glad to hear it.
    It is the capitalists with profits linked mostly to digital media who exult in the demise of the pre-digital … whilst making sure their own offspring get a hands-on, traditional, education in exclusive expensive schools.

    #216147
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    #216148
    ALB
    Keymaster

    You should listen to the talk and discussion when it eventually appears on the site here. Pre-digital printing did involve a lot of skills which have now disappeared but it seems that, for mass printing, digital printing is better in that it avoids the use of solvents and heavy manual work. Of course, as you say, it was developed to make more profits and involved smashing the print unions first.

    I think we can be sure that in socialism there will be artisanal printing. In fact even under capitalism these has been an expansion of this, to cater for a niche market made up, dare I say it, of aesthetes.

    If you were able to take part in these discussions (as I think you can since, despite your digitalophobia, you seem to have a smartphone) you might alter you view that other members have been dumbed down or are in favour of this.

    #216149
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Thanks.

    My phone is the cheaper option for me because I would prefer a landline, but that involves substantial bills. On this I only pay £10 a month.
    I don’t want a tablet, a PC, nor an e-reader. Most people have the lot.
    This phone already is addictive and can be exasperating. I wouldn’t want to try and read a literary work on it.
    I want to sit back, open a real book, and take my time: ponder, dream, contemplate, think and imagine – really getting into the story if a novel, reflect if a work of philosophy. I can pause, leave the hero dangling, make a sandwich, consult the notes, look at the cover picture, hold the book whilst listening to some appropriate music – all at leisure, and not be plugged in to anything. Heaven on Earth!

    #216150
    Matthew Culbert
    Keymaster

    “There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which can not fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance-that principle is contempt prior to investigation.”

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