September 16, 2020 at 11:00 pm #206618Bijou DrainsParticipant
“We cannot allow ‘specialist’ educators. Socialism is the self-education of the whole of society.”
So if we cannot learn from others, who or where can we learn from. You yourself repeatedly report that Marx says this or Marx says that, so you are using Marx in the expert role. You have set up Marx as the expert specialist educator, yet you reject specialist educators.September 17, 2020 at 6:04 am #206619alanjjohnstoneParticipant
Joseph Dietzgen said it for me
“If a worker wants to take part in the self-emancipation of his class, the basic requirement is that he should cease allowing others to teach him and should set about teaching himself.”September 17, 2020 at 7:53 am #206624
rodshaw wrote: “Indeed, the more you know, the more sceptical you can be about other’s views or the information they give you. But we’re never all going to know the same things. We’re not telepathic. We can’t absorb information by osmosis. There would have to be ways for people with more knowledge in a certain field to be able to make it available to others. Of course, it would then be up to the others to decide whether they accepted it or not. But why wouldn’t they? And how would they know any different?”
rod, this is a conversation I’ve been trying to have here for years.
At one time, I thought robbo203 was going to engage, but he kept seeing problems in ‘democracy’, and it’s hard, as a socialist, to have a serious conversation about political issues whilst ‘democracy’ is seen as a problematic issue. I’m afraid if socialism can’t be discussed in terms of ‘democracy’, it’s not my sort of socialism (nor Marx’s, I might add).
One thing I really like about your post is the emphasis on ‘we’ (rather than I’).
All the points you rightly make about difficulties, apply just as much to ‘specialists’ as to ‘generalists’ (to use SPGB terminology). There are no ‘educators’ who ‘know better’ than the ‘others’. This is a basic political principle of Marx and ‘Democratic Socialism’. If one wants to argue that there is an elite of ‘educators’ who ‘know better’ than the rest of us, then that’s fair enough, but one should be aware of the political implications of that ideological belief, and be open about it with others and oneself. ‘Materialists’ have this ideological belief, as Marx himself pointed out.
The key political point you rightly make is that “Of course, it would then be up to the others to decide whether they accepted it or not.” The ‘others’ (ie. non-specialists) must have the power to decide. This would be democratic science, and a suitable ‘scientific method’ for socialism.
As to ‘why would they’ override ‘specialists’ and ‘how would they know any different’ – simple answer: many/most/all (delete to preference) ‘specialists’ don’t actually understand the wider political/social/ideological/cultural/scientific implications of their arguments. ‘Eugenics’ is only one (minor?) example of this; perhaps ‘nuclear energy’ is even more important.
It’s a basic principle of democratic socialism that the many ‘know better’ than the few. The term ‘better’ is value-laden, and values can only be decided by society itself, not by an elite.
Why would we challenge Nobel prize winners? Because many write and talk nonsense – history constantly proves this. How would we know any different? Because we’d be products of a democratic education system that teaches critical thought, democratically controls academia, and produces social individuals with a healthy scepticism of ‘experts’.
Really, this conversation would have to expand to discuss ‘education’ within a socialist society, because so many assumptions by ‘materialists’ are made based upon the present education system. Our universities would be very different, in content, structure, and power, to today’s bourgeois, undemocratic, institutions.September 17, 2020 at 8:03 am #206625
Bijou Drains wrote: “So if we cannot learn from others, who or where can we learn from. You yourself repeatedly report that Marx says this or Marx says that, so you are using Marx in the expert role. You have set up Marx as the expert specialist educator, yet you reject specialist educators.”
This is completely untrue, BD, as I have written many times about Marx’s failings.
I could accuse you of trolling, but I’m prepared to put it down to simple forgetfulness on your part.
I’m tempted to argue that democratic socialists can criticise Marx, because they regard truth as a social product which changes, and so can point out Marx’s mistakes, whereas the ‘materialists’ cannot do this, because they must have ‘Truth’. For them, Marx’s ‘materialism’ can’t be challenged, for ‘Matter’ is their God.
For democratic socialists, who think Marx’s ‘idealism-materialism’ puts humanity in the driving seat, not ‘divine matter’, we can determine Marx’s status – and, indeed, change it. 😛
September 17, 2020 at 8:04 am #206626
- This reply was modified 1 week ago by LBird.
alanjjohnstone wrote: ”
Joseph Dietzgen said it for me
“If a worker wants to take part in the self-emancipation of his class, the basic requirement is that he should cease allowing others to teach him and should set about teaching himself.”
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.