Question about historical materialism

August 2022 Forums General discussion Question about historical materialism

Viewing 15 posts - 76 through 90 (of 182 total)
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  • #127832
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    [quote-LBird]Let’s keep it simple.So-called ‘Natural laws’ are products of the society that creates them.So, being our products, we can ‘abolish'’ them, and replace them with ‘natural laws’ suited to our needs, interests and purposes, as we create them through our social theory and practice.Simple Marxism, twc.  ‘Nature’, as we know it, is currently a class construct.   ‘Nature’, as we don’t know it, is, as Marx said, ‘nothing for us’.[/quote]So you disagree with Marx? Or perhaps Marx hasn't read any Marx or perhaps he changed his mind since his death. Have you any evidence that he became an idealist and a relativist after writing this?: "The question whether objective truth can be attributed to human thinking is not a question of theory but is a practical question." Marx, Theses On Feuerbach: Thesis 2 (1845)"One of the most difficult tasks confronting philosophers is to descend from the world of thought to the actual world."Marx, German Ideology, Chapter 3 (1846)"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." Marx, Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte (1852) You offer no textual evidence that  Marx was a relativist and an idealist.    

    #127836
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    LBird wrote:
    By 'material', Marx means 'human', as opposed to 'ideal', meaning 'divine'.So when Marx writes 'material', he means 'social', not 'matter'.

    "Prove"   "it".  If "you" can   

    #127833
    Bijou Drains
    Participant
    Tim Kilgallon wrote:
    LBird wrote:
    Tim Kilgallon wrote:
    LBird wrote:
    Hi Sympo, above is yet another example from a follower of Engels' 'materialism', who are unable to argue with Marxists, and so are forced to make false statements about Marxists.Apparently, 'water' and 'wine' talk to Tim, and so he doesn't need to explain to you how he knows 'water' or 'wine'.If you ask him, he won't mention the socio-historical production of knowledge, but will simply say 'he knows', as an 'individual', using his 'biological senses'. He won't mention Marx, society, workers or democracy – or, indeed, scientific method.And he seems to think that ignorance of these issues within his party will impress workers enough to join.The fruits of 'materialism'.

    Hi Sympo, sorry, that shoud have read the insane, narcissistic, love child of Mother Theresa and Paul Daniels. You'll like him, but not a lot.

    Hi Tim, still unable to engage in a philosophical debate, eh?Still, whilst your god 'matter' gets on with building for socialism, you can lie back and continue to denigrate Marxists, who insist upon workers' democracy, and wait for 'material conditions' to do what you should be doing.The fruits of 'materialism', personified. Well done, Tim!

    I'd happily engage in debate, but debate is a two way thing and unfortunately, as readers to this forum will know all too well, you never answer any questions about your contributions and then when you get forced into a corner, which you inevitably do because of your elitist and at times just plain daft ideas, you resort to insults which is then followed by prolonged silence.All I'm doing is saving a bit of time by cutting straight to the bit where you insult people and then hopefully your prolonged silence will come about much more quickly.

    I wish I was as good at predicting the lottery numbers!!!For my next trick, I will predict that he will leave a gap in his comments long enough so he can pretend that the awkward questions we have asked him don't exist and then he can bang on about his cockamamie ideas for a bit longer.

    #127834
    Bijou Drains
    Participant

    Just a thought and it might be slightly off topic, but would it be possible for one of the clever bods on the internet committee to produce an emoji of a tumbleweed.It might be something forum members could post to keep themselves amused while they're waiting for L Bird to reply to awkward questions that expose the stupidity of his contributions.As I say, just a thought I had whilst waiting patiently for L Bird to grace us with a reply.

    #127837
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    From the writtings of Raya Dunayeskaya Marx’s humanism was neither a rejection of idealism nor an acceptance of materialism, but the truth of both, and therefore a new unity. Marx’s “collectivism” has, as its very soul, the individualistic element. That is why the young Marx felt compelled to separate himself from the “quite vulgar and unthinking communism which completely negates the personality of man.” She also wrote on Marxism and Freedom that Marx was the most idealist of the materialist philosopher, and the most materialist of the idealist philosopher

    #127838
    pgb
    Participant

    Sympo's original question as to what is "decisive" in the making of history (re Engels to Bloch, 1890) clearly places the meaning of "decisive" in the context of Marx's theory of history, and the bedrock of that theory is that the expansion and development of productive forces occur regardless of social form, ie. there is throughout history a perennial tendency to productive progress, exceptionally so in capitalism.  In this context, M&E saw economic factors as "decisive" when the productive forces are "fettered" by the social relations of production.  Because the social relations divide people into classes, class conflict is an expression of the conflict between forces and relations of production. Ultimately, in a period of class struggle and social revolution, the social relations are changed and "the entire immense superstructure is more or less rapidly transformed" (Marx, 1859).  The forces of production are "unfetttered" for a further round of development.Fairly clearly, the "history" of the MCH is epochal history, the history of modes of production and of social formations which may evolve over hundreds of years. So the problem I have is how to relate Marx's architecture of grand theory to major historical events, like say the Bolshevik revolution and the subsequent formation of the Soviet Union. I gather that twc regards economics as "decisive" in this case, because economic conditions in Russia at that time determined that any attempt to build socialism in Russia was bound to fail. But while there is some truth in this argument, it owes nothing to M&E's historical materialism IMO. Where is the evidence that Russia's productive forces had developed to the point where they came into conflict with the relations of production? Sure, economic conditions are an important factor in explaining the Bolshevik revolution.  We might even say that they were a necessary condition – impoverishment as a result of war, peasant revolt and the breakdown of the traditional agrarian commune etc. – but they were not sufficient conditions.  The decisive (because sufficient) condition was Lenin and his vanguard party without which there would never have been a Bolshevik revolution. So in this case I would say that it was politics that was "decisive", not economics, which is my answer to Sympo's question:"Why exactly weren't the Bolsheviks decisive in the making of history?"  They were.

    #127839
    twc
    Participant

    Of course the Bolsheviks made “history” — but only in the narrow insignificant sense.  In the broad significant sense, the Bolsheviks didn’t make socialism; they made capitalism instead. They were socialist “also rans”.Making socialism is what matters when we are talking about the Bolsheviks and history. That was the celebrated task they set themselves, and they failed miserably at their self-assigned task, lying through their teeth all the while about what they knew they actually doing, while significant history was inexorably unmaking them.In terms of the significant class relations of ownership and control of the means of life, the foundation of a mode of production, the situation after the Bolsheviks is identical to what it would have been had Kerensky prevailed instead of the Bolsheviks.  They simply shored up capitalist relationships of ownership and control in Russia.Such is the significant mode-of-production level of making history that they made against their own political propaganda.A child in nappies knows, at the insignificant level, that the Bolsheviks, like the local football team, made the other sort of “history”.

    #127840
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    I have no wish for the SPGB to be a philosopher's club which LBird seems intent upon making us into by his constant avoidance of constructive exchanges on actual practice, despite repeated imploring from myself. We are a political party that should be centred on political action, and that is, indeed, what is often lacking in our activity.Let's keep our eyes on the ball and not keep being distracted by esoteric debate. Marx "abandoned that to the gnawing criticism of mice". We should also abandon it to the hallowed halls of academia and obscurant intellectuals.  What we have recently painfully learned is that we do not possess any meaningful connection with our fellow-workers and we are communicating a message that is not resonating with them in any significant manner.We have to address that and we aren't. We have a two-fold problem. Our case is not being effectively heard because we have no audience and when we are listened to, it is being dismissed and rejected.And we have little clue to why that is. I little care about whether folk believes Pluto or planet or not.  I do care a lot that they should believe their future could be a better one if they choose to change this planet. 

    #127841
    LBird
    Participant
    Marcos wrote:
    From the writtings of Raya Dunayeskaya Marx’s humanism was neither a rejection of idealism nor an acceptance of materialism, but the truth of both, and therefore a new unity. Marx’s “collectivism” has, as its very soul, the individualistic element. That is why the young Marx felt compelled to separate himself from the “quite vulgar and unthinking communism which completely negates the personality of man.” She also wrote on Marxism and Freedom that Marx was the most idealist of the materialist philosopher, and the most materialist of the idealist philosopher

    Yes, Marcos, especially from p. 34-43 of Marxism and Freedom.She was on to something, when trying to challenge the dominance of Engels' 'materialism' within the socialist movement.But she left some serious gaps in her thought, especially regarding Marx's adherence to democracy, and, even given her insights about Marx's idealism-materialism, she fell back into 'materialist' explanations.

    #127842
    twc
    Participant

    Dunayeskaya might just as well have said Marx was the most religious of the atheists, and the most atheistic of the religious.  Such oracular pronouncements get us nowhere beyond confusion.On the other hand, read how mercilessly the young Marx ultimately rips into Hegel who, if we pursue Dunayeskaya’s vulgar game, is far and away the most materialistic of the idealists, for he really does ground the material world, and its development, in the development of the Idea, and so is forced to make the unfolding Idea take the material world extremely seriously.As for “unthinking communism that completely negates the personality of man” might that not be the variety of unthinking  communism under universal thought control, subject to a regimen of from each as universally ordered, to each as universally doled out?

    #127843
    LBird
    Participant
    alanjjohnstone wrote:
    I have no wish for the SPGB to be a philosopher's club which LBird seems intent upon making us into by his constant avoidance of constructive exchanges on actual practice, despite repeated imploring from myself. We are a political party that should be centred on political action, and that is, indeed, what is often lacking in our activity.

    You still don't get it, alan.'Theory' precedes 'practice'.There is no 'actual practice', without a preceding 'theory'. Those, like you, who think that there is, are simply lying to workers – or, at best, are completely ignorant of Marx. I think that you are in the latter category.So, despite my repeated implorings, you refuse to tell workers what 'theory' you espouse.And the 'theory' that your party does espouse, 'materialism' (or, 'practice and theory'), says that workers can't change their world (and by 'world', Marx means their physical universe).And you're a party that 'lacks in conscious theory', and so any 'activity' will be of no use to revolutionary workers. Indeed, your members, and you, never mention workers' democracy in creating 'our-sun'. You claim to 'know The Sun', as an ahistoric, asocial, 'reality', by using your 'individual biological senses'.It's political and philosophical nonsense, alan.

    #127844
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    LBird wrote:
    Marcos wrote:
    From the writtings of Raya Dunayeskaya Marx’s humanism was neither a rejection of idealism nor an acceptance of materialism, but the truth of both, and therefore a new unity. Marx’s “collectivism” has, as its very soul, the individualistic element. That is why the young Marx felt compelled to separate himself from the “quite vulgar and unthinking communism which completely negates the personality of man.” She also wrote on Marxism and Freedom that Marx was the most idealist of the materialist philosopher, and the most materialist of the idealist philosopher

    Yes, Marcos, especially from p. 34-43 of Marxism and Freedom.She was on to something, when trying to challenge the dominance of Engels' 'materialism' within the socialist movement.But she left some serious gaps in her thought, especially regarding Marx's adherence to democracy, and, even given her insights about Marx's idealism-materialism, she fell back into 'materialist' explanations.

    I know Raya works pretty well, and I knew her, and I was a member of her organization for several years, but like you, she wanted to unify idealism with materialism, and she also tried to blame everything on Engels like you, so what is the difference between you and her ?  The only major difference is that she rejected the vanguard party to lead, but she was always a Leninists, and she indicated that Engels was a post Marxist. What movement ? There is not any socilaist movement, and we have not had a socialist movement yet. She was part of the world reformist trend. How can she fall into materialist explanation when she rejected Lenin bourgoise materialism ? 

    #127835
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    #127845
    LBird
    Participant
    Marcos wrote:
    LBird wrote:
    Yes, Marcos, especially from p. 34-43 of Marxism and Freedom.She was on to something, when trying to challenge the dominance of Engels' 'materialism' within the socialist movement.But she left some serious gaps in her thought, especially regarding Marx's adherence to democracy, and, even given her insights about Marx's idealism-materialism, she fell back into 'materialist' explanations.

    I know Raya works pretty well, and I knew her, and I was a member of her organization for several years, but like you, she wanted to unify idealism with materialism, and she also tried to blame everything on Engels like you, so what is the difference between you and her ?  The only major difference is that she rejected the vanguard party to lead, but she was always a Leninists, and she indicated that Engels was a post Marxist. What movement ? There is not any socilaist movement, and we have not had a socialist movement yet. She was part of the world reformist trend. How can she fall into materialist explanation when she rejected Lenin bourgoise materialism ?

    [my bold]You've answered your own question, here, Marcos.The difference is, like Marx, I'm a consistent 'idealist-materialist'.No matter what she wrote about this (which I agree with), she then fell back into 'materialism' – hence, back into Leninism. She was an inconsistent idealist-materialist. She managed to identify the theoretical (and thus, political) problem with 'materialism' (it philosophically supports elistism, not democracy), but couldn't jettison 19th century science (ie. materialism), just as Engels couldn't.But we live in the 21st century, Marcos, where Marx's notions of 'humanity creating its object' fits nicely with the advances of physics, where they are starting to recognise that Marx was correct – 'our object' is not only 'the material' or 'the physical', but time and space, too.Humans create their universe. Marx is still relevant.

    #127846
    Bijou Drains
    Participant

    As predicted L Bird has ignored all of the difficult questions and tried to pretend they didn't happen. I'll ask again. Is it your opinion that we are all materialist Leninists because we think that ideas are nothing more than the material world reflected by the human mind, and translated into forms of thought?

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