Marx, and the myth of his ‘Materialism’

May 2024 Forums General discussion Marx, and the myth of his ‘Materialism’

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    LBird wrote:
    I think that you severely underestimate the support for my criticism, alan, based on two factors:1. the continued statements of all the members/supporters of the SPGB who post here (including you, even though you still seem to be unaware of it, even given your openly stated lack of knowledge), and all those who read and fail to post against, that they will not have workers' democracy in the means of production; and

     Here we go again. More misinformation from LBird.  "Workers democracy in the means of production" is one thing; workers democratically voting to determine the "truth" of scientific theories is a totally different thing.No one on this forum that I am aware of has posted anything remotely suggesting that there will not be democratic control over the means of production in a socialist society.  What has been attacked is LBird's absolutely balmy idea about the global population voting on thousand upon thousands of scientific (and other ) theories.  There is absolutely no point in that and it is totally impractical anywaySo not only has our resident elitist snob, LBird, deigned not to answer our humdrum practical questions concerning the feasability of what he proposes –  he prefers not to dirty his hands with such lowly matters to and to keep to the rarifed air of philosophical abstractions –  but now he resorts to lying through his teeth to shore up what credibility  he has left which is rapidly draining away through through the many, and by now pretty much gaping,  holes in his argument.Its quite pathetic really…

    PS. this debate puts into perspective the support for 'parliament' amongst the SPGB members, who don't seem to think that parliament will self-disband in the face of workers' councils. The SPGB seems to think the electoral and organisational structures of parliament will survive the blossoming of workers' power.

    Again i would like this backed up with evidence and citationThere has been an acknowledgement that certain state ministeries/organisations may well remain. not intact but adapted…health, agriculture, statistics…Some members have said that local administration we inherit from capitalism, parish councils, local councils, and again certain departments can be adapted …housing, social services, food standards…Similarly with industry, workers councils will take over the infrastructure of capitalism. I know Dave Douglass praises the health and safety laws in mining in the UK compared with other countries, and i am sure rail workers won't be calling for the dismantling of their safety rules. Airspace over the UK and the USA will still operate under the same worldwide administration of  IATA and it will be those involved in air travel who will have the authority of determining the rules. The Law of the Sea has had centuries to develop. Are you suggesting we throw that all away?  Overall,  all industry, many of the international trade organisations and professional associations have existing by-laws and structures that will be integrated within any workers councils system. We do not need to re-invent the wheel. We don't start from nothing. We take what is there and we adapt and adjust and make fitter for purpose, shedding its capitalist features and strengthening the co-operative ones. We do not hand over ownership of the means of production and distribution to a section of the community as syndicalism and pro-co-operatives argue. Workers councils administer the work-places, they do not control them. Society as a whole has common ownership and democratic control over the "economy" and these range from various levels through a mix of direct decision making and accountable delegates. What will apply in a factory complex, is one shop-floor having say about things but not total say over other units and departments, there will be various committees set up and a system of co-ordination created.  Not every decision requires a full factory assembly. One local production unit in an industry does not determine the whole manufacturing process. Workers councils will reflect in general how all society will function. Community and work-place democracy will be mirrors of one another.  

    Bijou Drains

    L Bird wrote:"what I read here scares the shit out of me."You must scare really easily". If reading the views of a few Socialists on a web page scares the shit out of you, you should come with me to a few of the bars in the East End of Newcastle, you'd die of fright!I have to say I have rarely read such a lot of self praising, narcissistic nonsense in my life.The only way you support any argument is through self assertion. Your approach to debate appears to be that if you say it and keep repeating it, then regardless of how stupid it is, eventually people will get sick and then humour you saying "yes you were right all along". I've got to say, this approach to logic is usually tackled with children when they are 2-3 years old. It is sometimes described as "narcissistic wounding".Can I suggest a simple and practical way of examining just how much you really are a "materialist-idealist"?I propose that as an example of workers' democracy the workers who use this forum have a vote on the following scientific theory "The number 47 bus is made out of marshmallow". If all of the workers on this forum voted democratically in favour of this scientific theory, would you be prepared, backing up the process of workers democratic control of science, to then go out into the middle of the road, stand in front of said number 47 bus, travelling at 40 mph and allow it to hit you. (don't worry it's made out of marshmallow)


    Bijou Drains and/or Bird:

    Some many years later now — I just looked up to see if Vygotsky had ever been mentioned on this forum (yes, 12 times), a question: what value do you find in him?

    Me, I only know that Bruce Lerro (self-identifying ‘council-communist’ who thinks that Russia was [authoritarian] socialism! ) thinks the world of him — .

    And Andy Blunden (the fellow) thinks the world of him as well: . (Not that I’ve read any of these.)

    By the way, does anyone know of anyone/writings (absurdly or otherwise) advancing some sort of Marxism making use of Jung in a way analogous to the Frankfurters/Reich/Fenichel with Freud or Ruehle with Adler, or of a positive view from a Marxist standpoint of this-or-that aspect of Jungianism?


    ZJW wrote: “Bijou Drains and/or Bird:

    Some many years later now — I just looked up to see if Vygotsky had ever been mentioned on this forum (yes, 12 times), a question: what value do you find in him?

    I’m interested in establishing to what extent Vygotsky was following Marx’s views. I’ve tried to interest Bijou Drains in discussion about this (because I think BD probably knows more about Vygotsky than I do), but, perhaps because I think Marx’s views have to be established first, we haven’t been able to take this forward.

    Perhaps if you start a new thread on ‘Marx and Vygotsky’, we might be able to establish how ‘valuable’ Vygotsky would be for us now.

    Bijou Drains

    Sorry I haven’t had a chance to contribute, I have been up to my eyes with some work related stuff. I will try and make a contribution at some point next week.

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