Gnostic Marxist

June 2022 Forums Socialist Standard Feedback Gnostic Marxist

Viewing 15 posts - 271 through 285 (of 447 total)
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  • #215891
    LBird
    Participant

    Wez wrote: “The Idealist Manifesto right there – Marx would have laughed at such absurdity.

    It’s Marx that ALB quoted, Wez.

    Marx specifically argues against idealism, so it can’t be an ‘Idealist Manifesto’.

    Same with your ‘Materialist Manifesto’.

    Marxs argues for social production (an ‘Idealist-Materialist Manifesto’). Read his words. ALB is helping you.

    #215896
    ALB
    Keymaster

    I think you are right, Wez. The absurdity of our feathered friend’s conclusion (that, in Hegelian terms, Nature has no independent existence but is a manifestation of Man’s essence) means that he has got something seriously wrong somewhere.

    He is clearly out of his philosophical depth though I must confess that I am not too confident myself in interpreting (or even a fan of) Hegelian philosophy and its terminology. So put me right if I go wrong.

    In that passage Marx is arguing against the view that Man and Nature are the creation of God and so are expressions of its essence; which would make them “unreal” in the sense of “inessential” (not being their own “essence”).

    To refute this view, he argues that sense-experience shows that Man and Nature have no need of an alien (outside, external) “essence” to explain them. The sense-perceived existence of Man shows the existence of Nature and the sense-perceived existence of Nature shows the existence of Man. Both are therefore “essential”, ie “real”. Equally real.

    Hence Marx’s conclusion that socialism (as a theory, a doctrine)

    “starts from the practical and theoretical sense-perception of man and nature as the true reality” (McLelland translation).

    Or, in the Marx Engels Collected Works translation, which sticks more closely to the Hegelian terminology, socialism

    “proceeds from the practically and theoretically sensuous consciousness of man and nature as the essence.”

    Both Man and Nature, together, are “real”. They are the “ultimate reality”. Not God. Thus Marx refutes Creationism (philosophically).

    Our feathered friend is making Marx say that only Man is real in this sense, with Nature as a manifestation of Man’s essence.

    This is a possible philosophical position but an odd one (a sort of collective human solipsism – collective Man thinking that everything they experience is what they have created just as an individual might think that only he or she exists). But it wasn’t Marx’s. He was a materialist in the sense that he thought that (the rest of) Nature was just as real as Man.

    #215897
    Matthew Culbert
    Keymaster

    For him the mutual interdependence of man and nature was what was essential and anything else seemed unreal.

    The part I emphasised is crucial,in my view.

    #215898
    LBird
    Participant

    ALB wrote: “He was a materialist in the sense that he thought that (the rest of) Nature was just as real as Man

    No, ALB, it clearly says ‘nature for man’, not ‘the rest of nature (without man)’

    You’ll know that an ‘object’ only has ‘existence’ for a subject.

    And elsewhere, Marx makes this clear with his concept of Entausserung, which is ‘externalisation’.

    Man’s externalisation is ‘nature for man’.

    Humanity is the creator of any ‘nature’ that they ‘know’. If they can’t know it (ie. the rest of nature not known), Marx says it’s ‘nothing for us’.

    #215899
    LBird
    Participant

    Matthew Culbert wrote: “For him the mutual interdependence of man and nature was what was essential and anything else seemed unreal.

    The part I emphasised is crucial,in my view.

    Unfortunately for you, that wasn’t Marx, but McClellan. And he was wrong.

    #215900
    Matthew Culbert
    Keymaster

    Unfortunately for you, that wasn’t Marx, but McClellan. And he was wrong

    No I disagree he was wrong.

    You still do not answer the question.

    Answer Robbo’s very simple straight forward question and point.

    Now deal with the arguments that demolish your crackpot non-Marxian idea about the need for scientific theories to be democratically voted upon by the global population.

    #215907
    robbo203
    Participant

    The active, conscious subject creates its object for itself. There is no ‘nature’ outside of human conscious activity, outside of humanity’s social production.

    But social production entails other people and we cannot access directly what is going on in the minds of other people. Therefore, according to this argument, humanity’s social production must bear the same relation to human conscious activity as “nature” inasmuch as both are objects that the conscious subject creates for itself. So how then can it be the case that social production ‘creates’ nature when society (which consists of other people who are objective to us) is not something that “thinks” or possesses consciousness and therefore is logically incapable of utilising or deploying human conscious activity to create nature as an object for itself.

    So it turns out that LBird is basically an extreme individualist since it is only the individual – not groups – that is capable of experiencing consciousness which then creates “nature” – meaning of course the concept of nature – as well as the concept of “social production”

    The fact that science. a social product, has been able to date the extinction of the dinosaurs to 66 millions year ago – long before there were any human beings around (which self evidently demonstrates that their existence was not dependent on human consciousness) – is of no concern to our ultra individualist, LBird, who thinks there is is no ‘nature’ outside of human conscious activity which only the individual is capable of engaging it by virtue of possessing that organ called a brain

    But then presumably there is no ‘brain’ outside of human conscious activity either according to lBird’s way of thinking…..

    #215913
    LBird
    Participant

    Well, I think that we’ve learned two things from this discussion, with reference to Marx’s own words:
    1. Regarding politics, Marx was a democrat;
    2. Regarding philosophy, Marx was a social productionist.
    It’s hard to argue with either of these, because if one argues that Marx wasn’t a democrat, one has to explain what were his politics; further, if one argues that Marx wasn’t a social productionist, one has to explain why he continuously and exclusively wrote about the ‘social’ and ‘production’ (it’s impossible to understand Marx without reference to the ‘social’ and ‘production’, as all his concepts depend on these fundamentals).

    It seemed clear to many socialists (not just me), throughout the 20th century and into this, that Marx’s physics were based upon his politics and philosophy. This can only be argued against (ie, that Marx’s physics were not based upon democratic social production), by positing a ‘physics’ that is not socio-historical, has no cultural or ethical content, and can only be done by an elite of ‘clever’ people.

    It’s a form of ‘physics’ that has nothing to do with democratic socialism, and if adopted, will prevent the self-emancipation of the proletariat.

    On the other hand, Marx’s democratic social productionism is clearly fitted for our physics, a ‘physics for us’.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by LBird.
    #215917
    Matthew Culbert
    Keymaster

    There will be no elites with power in socialism.

    The phsysicians and specialists are and will be part of the masses.

    So, certainly not so. As previously indicated several times.
    The people who make the revolution, will set the determinations.

    An advanced , post-capitalist society, run by us all, locally, regionally, globally, in democratic administration over resources and not a government over people.

    Answer Robbo’s very simple straight forward question and point.

    Now deal with the arguments that demolish your crackpot non-Marxian idea about the need for scientific theories to be democratically voted upon by the global population.

    #215918
    LBird
    Participant

    Matthew, you haven’t mentioned Marx, or his politics, philosophy and physics.
    Please do so, because that’s what the thread is about.
    If you have a question about Marx’s democratic social productionism in science, please ask it.

    #215920
    Matthew Culbert
    Keymaster

    It was all dealt with at the start.

    https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/forum/topic/gnostic-marxist/page/2/#post-214014

    Now answer Robbo’s very simple straight forward question and point.

    Now deal with the arguments that demolish your crackpot non-Marxian idea about the need for scientific theories to be democratically voted upon by the global population.

    #215922
    twc
    Participant

    A practical refutation of everything that lBird pontificates, to his captive forum audience, about the natural and mathematical sciences in the name of Karl Marx!

    • That natural science adopts an ‘elite’ scientific method that none of its cultist practitioners can explain to the majority of us.
    • That mathematics is a pseudo language for a cabal of ‘elite’ scientists, adopted by physicists to obfuscate their esoteric mysteries and keep the majority of us in blind ignorance, as did the priests with medieval Latin.
    • That open questions in physical and mathematical sciences can be decided by the majority of us using general scientific knowledge alone through a world-wide mechanism of ‘electing the Truth’.

    (It is physically sickening for me to draw up this lBirdian catalogue of natural and mathematical scientific claims!)

    Here is the video … Newton changed the game — the discovery that changed π. π by the founder of physics

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by twc.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by twc.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by twc.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by twc.
    #215927
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Before I cast my vote I need to hear the case for voting No.

    I believe Marx had a go at this sort of thing:

    https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1881/mathematical-manuscripts/

    It’s beyond me but, twc, is there a footnote somewhere saying he thought he was elaborating a democratic proletarian calculus or that he proposed that it should be put to the vote?

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by ALB.
    #215932
    twc
    Participant

    ALB: is there a footnote somewhere [in Marx’s mathematical manuscripts] saying he thought he was elaborating a democratic proletarian calculus or that he proposed that it should be put to the vote?

    No.

    Marx understood that he was working in the tradition of those mathematicians he refers to in his correspondence to Engels of 22/11/1882 (given in your marxists.org link) namely, Newton, Leibnitz, d’Alembert, Euler and Lagrange.

    The closest among them came to being a democrat must be Denis Diderot’s encyclopedia companion, Jean le Rond d’Alembert.

    No.

    Marx did not broadcast his manuscript to the world’s proletariat for universal ‘election of its Truth’.

    Rather he sent a copy of his mathematical manuscript ‘On the Concept of the Derived Function’ to

    1. Frederick Engels, whose reply of 21/11/1882 shows that Engels understood and appreciated Marx’s method — and that appreciation informed his eulogy at Marx’s graveside: that Marx made original discoveries even in mathematics.
    2. Sam Moore who, from the substance of Marx’s letter of 22/11/1882, dismissed Marx’s work or, as Marx says, rather Moore ‘pushed it aside’ [= ignored it]
    3. .

    * * *

    In passing, Marx’s first letter (in the marxists.org link) of 20/4/1865 flatly contradicts lBird’s ignorant hostility to Robert Owen.

    The occasion of this letter was Marx’s writing of Value, Price and Profit for the First International in reply to a “good old fellow, an old Owenist” Citizen Weston.

    The development of Marx’s political views was heavily influenced by Robert Owen, with his practical ‘materialist’ emphasis on providing kindergartens, crèches, education and upbringing for his workers — paternal, yes, but in capitalist terms a century ahead of his time — which is why Marx’s Thesis IV with its reference to “upbringing” (== “education” in German) is oblique critique and homage to Owen, a reference that Engels felt needed to be made explicit in the changed circumstances 40 years later.

    No.

    Sorry, Adam.

    I just can’t find any reference to ‘electing the Truth’.

    #215933
    LBird
    Participant

    Matthew Culbert wrote: “It was all dealt with at the start.

    So, do you agree with Marx’s democratic social productionism in science?

    Simple Yes or No will do.

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