Gnostic Marxist

Viewing 14 posts - 46 through 59 (of 59 total)
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  • #214097
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Keep it up,comrades, you’ve got him on the run. The very idea that Marx held such a crackpot position.

    #214099
    LBird
    Participant

    alanjjohnstone wrote: “Don’t the ruling class hold the purse strings to what is studied? As such, don’t they ultimately determine the outcomes of scientific research?

    A parallel would be that reforms must be compatible with capitalism or the reforms simply don’t transpire. If science or technology is not in line with the capitalist wishes, they won’t get funding and won’t become a reality.

    It is a dichotomy that exists between those who seek to study “pure abstract science” and the need for it to have applications for the capitalists to benefit.

    Scientists are as BD suggests, servants of the ruling class.

    Yes, agree with all your points, alan.

    Perhaps a simple way to put it is – ‘the science within capitalism is a capitalist science’.

    Implicit in what you’ve written, is that ‘science’ within a democratic socialist mode of production would based upon very different ‘purse strings’, ‘outcomes’, ‘compatible with socialism’, ‘democratic wishes’, ‘funding’ and ‘reality’, and an end to the ‘dichotomy’ between ‘pure abstract’ and human ‘need’. And indeed, our ‘scientists’ would become ‘servants’, not of a ruling class, but of humanity.

    #214105
    Bijou Drains
    Participant

    “Implicit in what you’ve written, is that ‘science’ within a democratic socialist mode of production would based upon very different ‘purse strings’, ‘outcomes’, ‘compatible with socialism’, ‘democratic wishes’, ‘funding’ and ‘reality’, and an end to the ‘dichotomy’ between ‘pure abstract’ and human ‘need’. And indeed, our ‘scientists’ would become ‘servants’, not of a ruling class, but of humanity.”

    Wouldn’t disagree with most of that, however not sure about “purse strings” and “funding”, but assume you mean that in terms of allocation of resources, as opposed to money??????

    • This reply was modified 5 days, 3 hours ago by Bijou Drains.
    #214107
    Matthew Culbert
    Keymaster

    ..and is this not what we have been saying to him all the damn time?

    #214112
    LBird
    Participant

    Bijou Drains wrote: “Wouldn’t disagree with most of that, however not sure about “purse strings” and “funding”, but assume you mean that in terms of allocation of resources, as opposed to money??????

    Yeah, BD, I was simply replying using the same terms that alan had already used.

    All scientific ‘resources’ have to be allocated according to our democratically-expressed wishes. And, to be clear, by ‘resources’ I also mean ‘academic’ or ‘intellectual’ or ‘conscious’ or ‘theoretical’ (take your pick) resources – not just ‘things’ we can touch, like buildings, test tubes, CERN, etc.

    ALL the resources that society produces, ALL to be democratically-allocated.

    #214113
    Bijou Drains
    Participant

    Matt – eventually he will admit how much he loves us. Come on Birdy, let it all out!!!!!

    #214114
    LBird
    Participant

    Matthew Culbert wrote: “..and is this not what we have been saying to him all the damn time?“.

    No, none of you have been saying this, Matthew. Not one.

    Otherwise, you’d all have agreed with Marx’s democratic method, rather than Lenin’s elitist ‘materialism’.

    Marx is concerned with how we externalise our nature (Entausserung); Lenin, like all bourgeois elitists, is concerned with contemplating the ‘material’, or a ‘Nature’ which supposedly pre-exists our production of it.

    If we are the ‘externalisers’, we can change what we create; if we passively contemplate ‘What Already Exists’, we can’t change it.

    That’s why Marx’s revolutionary science requires an active humanity, organised democratically.

    • This reply was modified 5 days ago by LBird.
    • This reply was modified 5 days ago by LBird.
    #214117
    LBird
    Participant

    Bijou Drains wrote: “Matt – eventually he will admit how much he loves us. Come on Birdy, let it all out!!!!!

    Well, I’m happy with our relationship, BD!

    In the last five-ish years, I’ve literally bought and read hundreds of books, which is why all the arguments built up by socialists and scientists throughout the 20th century are at hand, when we debate.

    I can only thank you all (including ALB, who introduced me to Bogdanov) – it’s just a pity the educational process wasn’t a social one, shared by all contributors, even though this is what I set out to do. I’d probably have been a party member for years by now. Still, I haven’t lost out, but it could have been better.

    • This reply was modified 5 days ago by LBird.
    #214119
    LBird
    Participant

    If I were to put it in Marx’s terms, ‘matter’ is a fetish, a social product endowed by its producers, with attributes which really belong to its producers themselves. Much the same as sexual fetish by men gives ‘objects’ (eg. high heels) the subjective sexuality of women. So, ‘matter’ supposedly produces ‘mind’, whereas we know that ‘mind’ is social, and is produced and reproduced by humans.

    ‘Materialists’ fetishise what even Engels described as “Matter as such is a pure creation of thought and an abstraction” (CW 25, p. 533).

    What humanity socially creates, humanity can change.

    • This reply was modified 4 days, 23 hours ago by LBird.
    #214121
    Bijou Drains
    Participant

    Hi L Bird,

    Many thanks for your words (genuinely). I agree with you that social engagement (perhaps enhanced with a few jars) would have been an excellent addition to the on line discussion. Hopefully that will come in the not too distant future.

    Having spent my politically formative years around, but not joining the Leninist/Trotskyist sects I remember finding the democratic, open, straightforward approach of the SPGB and the comrades I met at that time an absolute revelation. No behind the scenes caucuses, no party within a party, no elitist groups. Hopefully you will find the same atmosphere, plenty of bickering, some falling outs, the occasional row, but all done in an honest, open and principled way!

    #214122
    ALB
    Keymaster

    No, none of you have been saying this, Matthew. Not one.
    Otherwise, you’d all have agreed with Marx’s democratic method, rather than Lenin’s elitist ‘materialism’.

    He has just done it again — accused us of agreeing with Lenin. This despite have been introduced not only to Bogdanov but also to Dietzgen, Pannekoek, critical reviews of Lenin’s book on materialism, etc. None of this made any difference. He continued to denounce us as natural-science materialists and even dismissed Pannekoek as one.

    It is true that nobody here (or any other human being, past and present; not one and certainly not Marx) has supported the view that questions of astronomy, physics, etc should be decided by referendum.

    It is true, however, that there have been others who have claimed that a tree doesn’t exist when we are not looking at it.

    #214157
    LBird
    Participant

    Yeah, BD, I’m sure beer would ‘oil the wheels’ of debate to a great extent!
    On my side, after about 10 years of being a hanger-on, I joined the SWP. Of course, at the time I believed all the Leninist guff about ‘materialism’, and the evils of the dastardly ‘idealists’!
    But mention “workers’ democracy”, and the smiles dropped. No, this wasn’t needed, because ‘material conditions’ were going to change workers’ consciousness, and the party had a special consciousness which meant that the ‘material conditions’ didn’t apply to them! Now, it seems laughable that anyone fell for it, but we did, and have done for generations. Hopefully, Marxists in the 21st century will begin to read Marx, and try to get to the bottom of his ideas.
    Whether the SPGB will be at the forefront, or even that Marx’s ideas will survive, I’m not sure. One thing I am sure of is that ‘materialism’ is dead, and those parties that make a fetish of ‘matter’ are doomed.
    Thanks, BD.

    #214206
    LBird
    Participant

    I’ve just come across these two answers to the question “What are the differences and similarities between German idealism and Marx’s philosophy?“:

    https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-differences-and-similarities-between-German-idealism-and-Marx-s-philosophy

    The first answer, by Peter Stillman, is one I would recognise.

    The second, by Shayn McCallum, is one ‘materialists’ would recognise.

    • This reply was modified 3 days, 5 hours ago by LBird.
    #214420
    LBird
    Participant

    Another recommendation for reading, concerning the nature of Marx’s ‘new materialism’.

    Peter Osbourne How To Read Marx (2005) Granta

    Esp. chapters 2 and 3 ‘A New Materialism (1): Practice‘ and ‘A New Materialism (2): History

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