Gnostic Marxist

April 2021 Forums Socialist Standard Feedback Gnostic Marxist

Viewing 12 posts - 436 through 447 (of 447 total)
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  • #216742
    robbo203
    Participant

    You’re not a ‘socialist party’. ‘Socialism’ can only be ‘democratic socialism’ (see 1.), and can only be produced by the self-emancipation of the proletariat, not by an ‘elite’ or by ‘biological individuals’.

    But you don’t actually believe there is such a thing as a proletariat do you?

    According to you, nothing has a real existence outside of your mind

    The rest of what you write is just the usual drivel. The SPGB emphatically does believe that socialism can only be produced by the self-emancipation of the proletariat, not by an ‘elite’ or by ‘biological individuals. As usual, you are confusing the self-emancipation of workers with the process of scientific discovery

    You have already admitted there are bound to be specialists in any society who know more about the particular field in which they specialise than the lay population

    I know pretty little about astrophysics so how can I be expected to contribute to astrophysics as much as a trained astrophysicist? I don’t see any problem with this at all not least because I don’t have any particular interest in the subject. An astrophysicist will have no power over me in a society of free access and volunteer labour despite his or her greater knowledge of astrophysics

    • This reply was modified 2 days, 20 hours ago by robbo203.
    #216744
    robbo203
    Participant

    robbo203 wrote: “Actually, Marx’s explanation was quite wrong…”

    So, why bother with Marx and Capital?

    Oh, sorry, you don’t.

    LOL your desperation is beginning to show now! I was specifically referring to Marx’s invocation of the theory of spontaneous generation – not, for example, his labour theory of value as outlined in Capital.

    It is quite possible for individuals to hold some ideas that are wrong and other ideas that are right, you know

    #216745
    robbo203
    Participant

    robbo, you must try and read my answers. It’s pointless to keep asking the same question.

    ‘Objects’ are socially created. That’s the answer.

    The fact that you disagree, and want ‘objects’ to be ‘independent of human conscious activity’, is an ideological position.

    But in order for objects to be SOCIALLY created you have to have other people. OTHER PEOPLE have to exist independently of, or external to, your own conscious mind. Yet you have explicitly denied that this is possible. It follows that you believe that nothing exists outside your own conscious mind. You are a philosophical idealist through and through.

    It is only by positing the objective reality of other individuals outside of ourselves, that the very possibility of social interaction arises in the first place and hence the idea of a social mind. No one is saying that we develop our ideas independently of others – if that is what you are implying. But in order for others to influence our thinking or us to influence theirs, you have to assume other individuals exist objectively and that their existence is not dependent on us or our minds

    If you don’t assume that then the whole argument that ideas are the social product of human interaction between multiple and objectively existing human beings becomes utterly meaningless. Ideas can only be the product of your own mind, your own individual consciousness

    This is precisely what you believe and why you are a philosophical idealist. You have poohed-poohed the idea that other people have a real existence external to you and now when faced with the logical inference that this means you reject the whole idea of “social production” (meaning production by multiple agents), you are flailing around, desperately seeking a way out of the dilemma you have created for yourself

    • This reply was modified 2 days, 18 hours ago by robbo203.
    #216746
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    My questions were as you rightly quoted

    “…can you suggest any political party, contemporary or historical, that has been more democratic than ourselves? Likewise, can you provide an example of a socialist party exemplifying socialism more than we do?”

    Your answers did not address them, LBird.

    #216756
    LBird
    Participant

    alanjjohnstone wrote: “My questions were as you rightly quoted

    “…can you suggest any political party, contemporary or historical, that has been more democratic than ourselves? Likewise, can you provide an example of a socialist party exemplifying socialism more than we do?”

    Your answers did not address them, LBird.

    Right, alan, I’ll try again.

    It seems that, as Marx suspected, the political ideology/movement/party known as ‘Marxism’ was nothing to do with his ideas. Again, as Marx pointed out, any ideology/movement/party rooted in the notions of ‘materialism’ would bolster class society.

    So, if you are asking me if “any political party, contemporary or historical… has been more democratic than ourselves”, then I can only judge your question based upon Marx’s democratic social productionism.

    The answer thus is, to the best of my knowledge (and I’m open to further enlightenment on the issue), there is not and never has been a ‘democratic’ party, ‘contemporary or historical’, that meets this political test.

    So, the SPGB is not democratic, nor does it ‘exemplify socialism’. And it appears that all ‘contemporary and historical’ parties who’ve called themselves ‘socialist’ or ‘Marxist’ have really been ‘materialist’, and so have nothing to do with Marx’s democratic social productionism.

    Of course, there have been thousands of individuals, over the years and across the world, who’ve pointed this out, that ‘socialism/communism’ must mean ‘democratic social production’ if it is to be worth building. But, again to the best of my knowledge, no party has emerged from these dissenters against ‘materialism’. I might be wrong on this, and would be pleased if you know differently and can point one out.

    I must admit, my experience of the SPGB and its ‘materialist’ ideology (which is so obviously at odds with ‘democracy’) leaves me feeling as if I’m unlikely to find a ‘democratic socialist’ party in my lifetime. Youse were a bit of a ‘last chance saloon’. I actually think that there’s a danger that Marx’s ideas will be completely forgotten, because it seems that the ‘materialist’ parties, like the Trotskyists and the SPGB, are doomed in the 21st century because they base themselves on a completely discredited 18th century ideology, and there is no other ‘institutional’ memory of what Marx argued. I’d like to think that a party based upon Marx’s views would emerge, and I’d join, but I’m not hopeful.

    I hope that this answers your question, now, alan.

    #216757
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    If it is as you say, then i see no point in you wasting your time or an longer sharing your insight with unappreciative members of the SPGB.

    After all these years and perhaps thousands of posts it has been a failed venture for yourself so shouldn’t you be cutting your losses and seeking out a more receptive audience, and continue your search for that ever elusive ‘democratic socialist party’ which you have so far not succeeded in tracking down.

    All i can say, is that Marx in his lifetime actively joined in organisations which did not fully accord with all his ideas and expectations. We can only assume that he valued their contributions to the emancipation of the working class more than he did the philosophical views from his youth. It appears you take a very difference position from Marx.

    #216758
    LBird
    Participant

    alanjjohnstone wrote: “All i can say, is that Marx in his lifetime actively joined in organisations which did not fully accord with all his ideas and expectations. We can only assume that he valued their contributions to the emancipation of the working class more than he did the philosophical views from his youth. It appears you take a very difference position from Marx.

    Again, as a materialist, you’re twisting the truth.

    Marx never joined an organisation that argued against the self-emancipation of the proletariat – which is what ‘materialists’, as we’ve seen here, do. Marx’s philosophical notion of ‘self-change’ has been deemed wrong by both ALB and robbo.

    Marx might have thought that the organisations that he did join were not ‘materialist’, but we’d probably disagree now, given later developments, and Marx’s own words about not being a ‘Marxist’.

    And given his support for the supposedly ‘idealist’ ‘Narodniks’ in Russia at the end of his life, when he opposed the supposed ‘materialist’ ‘Marxists’, like Plekhanov (who made up the category of ‘Narodnik’ and damned his creation as ‘idealist’, in an echo of Engels’ great battle), we’ve good reason to think he wasn’t any sort of ‘materialist’, like you are.

    Your ideological view of ‘Marx’ is not one I share, alan.

    But, since you don’t consider your view to be ‘ideological’, we can’t even discuss the problem. To you, there is no problem.

    Putting your heads in the sand is not a good political strategy. Nor is shooting the messenger.

    #216759
    robbo203
    Participant

    Marx’s philosophical notion of ‘self-change’ has been deemed wrong by both ALB and robbo.

    More lies from LBird

    The reference was to the notion of spontaneous generation of life forms developed by Aristotle, a version of which was held by Marx. This has indeed been proved scientifically mistaken by the likes of Pasteur in the mid 19th century

    #216760
    robbo203
    Participant

    So, the SPGB is not democratic, nor does it ‘exemplify socialism’. And it appears that all ‘contemporary and historical’ parties who’ve called themselves ‘socialist’ or ‘Marxist’ have really been ‘materialist’, and so have nothing to do with Marx’s democratic social productionism.

    More lies from LBird

    The SPGB is in theory and practice, as a political organisation, democratic and explicitly calls for the democratic control of the means of production in socialism.

    Just because neither we nor Marx for that matter, support LBird’s insanely unhinged suggestion that tens of thousands of scientific theories should be voted on by the global population does not mean we are not democratic in our outlook and in our perception of socialism

    LBird’s philosophical idealism has nothing to do with Marx’s outlook or ours. Marx would have scoffed at the silly notion that there is no such thing as an objective reality. LBird in effect opposes Marx’s idea of social production since he denies the existence of other human beings as part of that objective reality. It is not possible to talk of “society” if other people don’t exist without being dependent on our own consciousness

    In truth, LBird is in ideological terms closer to Margeret Thatcher than Karl Marx. Didn’t Thatcher say there was no such thing as society?

    #216761
    twc
    Participant

    Capital, Vol 1, Afterword to the Second German Edition (1873)

    * * *

    1. Meine dialektische Methode [= dialectical method] ist der Grundlage [foundation, base] nach von der Hegelschen nicht nur verschieden [different] sondern ihr direktes Gegenteil [opposite]
    2. My [= Marx’s] dialectical method is fundamentally not just different from Hegel’s — it is its diametrical opposite.

    Conclusion. Hegel’s dialectic is Idealist. My dialectic is Materialist.

    * * *

    1. Für Hegel ist der Denkprozeß [thought process] den er sogar unter dem Namen Idee in ein selbständiges [standalone] Subjekt verwandelt [transforms], der Demiurg des wirklichen [the real], das nur seine äußere [outer] Erscheinung [appearance] bildet [forms].
    2. For Hegel, the process of thinking, which under the name of “the Idea” he even transforms into an independent subject, is the demiurge [= creator of the universe] of reality, which is merely its [= the Idea’s] phenomenal form of appearance.

    Conclusion. For Hegel: The Ideal is subject. The phenomenal world is the form of Appearance of the Ideal as Essence.

    * * *

    1. Bei mir ist umgekehrt [vice versa] das Ideelle nichts andres als das im Menschenkopf [human head] umgesetzte [realised, apprehended] und übersetzte [translated, interpreted] Materielle.
    2. With me, on the contrary, the Ideal [mind] is nothing other than the material [phenomenal world] grasped by the human mind, and translated into forms of thought.

    Conclusion. For me: The Ideal is nothing more than how we grasp the material world as process.

    • This reply was modified 1 day, 19 hours ago by twc.
    • This reply was modified 1 day, 19 hours ago by twc.
    #216762
    Matthew Culbert
    Keymaster

    While consistently advocating just such arrangements,

    (The author of this book recognises this idea’s pedigree in stating that the ‘vision of post-scarcity was what “socialism” and “communism” had come to mean before later identification with Stalinist central planning and breakneck industrialisation’, and, in his final chapter, entitled ‘Necessity and Freedom’, he describes it variously as, ‘the abolition of private property and monetary exchange in favor of planned cooperation’, ‘a world of fully capacitated individuals … in which every single person could look forward to developing their interests and abilities with full social support’, ‘a world in which democratic associations of women and men replaced the rule of the market with competitive production – and taking advantage of capitalist technologies – reduced the common labors of necessity to expand a realm of individual freedom’, ‘a new form of life that does not organize itself around wage work and monetary exchange’, a society in which ‘everyone can go to the social storehouses and service centers to get what they need’, and finally ‘for most people (…) the first time in their lives that they could enter truly voluntary agreements – without the gun to their heads of a pervasive material insecurity’. In such a society ‘dis-alienating community life – by taking that life under democratic control and collective care – becomes the way to ensure that individual freedom is shared by all’.)

    The Socialist Party has never sought to put forward detailed plans of how the new society of free access will be organised, since we would not seek to dictate now to the majority of socialist-minded workers at the time how to put into practice the plans they will have previously worked out about how to organise production and distribution cooperatively and democratically.

    https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/2020s/2021/no-1398-february-2021/capitalism-and-automation-progress-perverted/

    Your search on Marxists.org- "democratic social productionism" site:www.marxists.org/archive/marx/ – did not match any documents.
    However ,”democratic social production” returned these

    On SPGB “democratic social productionism”
    Sorry, but nothing matched your search terms. Please try again with some different keywords.

    On SPGB, “democratic social production”, 223 results.
    https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/?=Democratic+social+production

    On SPGB Forum Search,
    https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/forum/search/democratic+social+productionism/

    Masses of stuff,

    Marx did not use your terms ‘democratic social productionism in science’.

    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.

    ___________________

    ” 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 )

    #216768
    robbo203
    Participant

    As opposed to the idealist, LBird, who denies the existence of an objectivity reality (even if we can only apprehend, and interact with, that reality through our consciousness) Marx argues thus:

    “Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past. The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living.” (The 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte)

    LBird’s one-sided focus on human subjectivity reminds me of those right-wing exponents of the so-called “subjective theory of value”. Any Marxist talk of economic laws operating independently of human will or volition is anathema to him since nothing has a real existence independent of human consciousness and so must be subsumed or subordinated to human consciousness

    His denial of objective reality and by extension the objective existence of other human beings which makes society possible in the first place is, in effect, a denial of the very existence of society itself – a view he shares with Margeret Thatcher.

    Everything boils down to human consciousness or subjectivity and since the only person who has access to LBird’s conscious mind is LBird himself, LBird’s entire world revolves around himself and the rest is just word games – such as pretending to be a “Marxist” – which he plays with imaginary others for his own amusement, it would seem.

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