The Long Awaited Materialism thread

June 2024 Forums General discussion The Long Awaited Materialism thread

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  • #100290
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    There is a 'society' Robbo but it is part of the physical world. Such views of ideas were rejected long before the 60s. Are you also saying that we have created 'entities' that exist independent of our social and individual physical material existence?Capitalism is an 'entity' as you call it and we entered into relationships independent of our will and created it. And we can't control it. But it is physical. It exists inside your (our) head, the socialist revolution will prove that.

    #100291
    LBird
    Participant
    robbo203 wrote:
    Well I get what you are saying, L Bird, and to me it makes solid sense even if it doesnt to others.

    Thanks for the much needed words of support, robbo. You've lifted my spirits, a little.But I can't say that I'm not downhearted at my failure to explain to DJP and Vin (and others, it seems).Using the theories that they've adopted, one can't make sense of Capital or 'value', or Marx's ideas in the wider sense of history and society.I'm baffled as to why Communists would look to ideas from non-Communist philosophers, theoreticians and scientists to help them to try and understand this world of ours, both physical and social.Well, you know what they say about 'ruling class ideas', eh? Even for us.

    #100292
    Anonymous
    Inactive

     Please patronise me while I try and simplify it for us bourgeois laypeople and with our ruling class ideas. Materialists:There is only material existence, no heaven, no hell . Ideas are part of that material existence and they are part of the human brain and remain part of the human brain. Ideas do not leave the mind to exist in  some other dimension. Non materialists

    LBird wrote:
     Perhaps an example.I have five fingers on my hand. These are ‘physical’. There are five physical entities. But, if I clench my hand, I form a fist. To the physicalist/reductionist, this remains five entities. But to a Critical Realist, I’ve formed a sixth entity. 

    If this sixth entity exists in a realm of a non material world then we have a problem. If on the other hand you have simply created a 6th entity and it resides in your brain then I agree with you. Humans created capitalism after all. And value. I have noticed that a lot of posts are clogged up with apparent insults so for this example It is not a sufficient argument to refer to us laymen as  'reductionist' or 'bourgeois phylosophers' as we are laymen and need our arguments addressed. 

    #100293
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    http://socialistworker.org/2011/10/28/why-was-marx-a-materialist Conceptions like these  have  reduced Marx to a simple vulgar materialist philosopher, and a vulgar economist. This is just a rehearsal of the 18-19 Century philsopher, and coming back  to Feuerback, and a repetition of the same distortion propagated by Lenin and the Leninist

    #100294
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    mcolome1 wrote:
    http://socialistworker.org/2011/10/28/why-was-marx-a-materialist Conceptions like these  have  reduced Marx to a simple vulgar materialist philosopher, and a vulgar economist. This is just a rehearsal of the 18-19 Century philsopher, and coming back  to Feuerback, and a repetition of the same distortion propagated by Lenin and the Leninist

     Will I find  a criticism of this article by the SPGB anywhere? Would be interested. 

    #100295
    LBird
    Participant
    Vin Maratty wrote:
    I have noticed that a lot of posts are clogged up with apparent insults so for this example It is not a sufficient argument to refer to us laymen as 'reductionist' or 'bourgeois phylosophers' as we are laymen and need our arguments addressed.

    I'm not insulting you and DJP, Vin. I'm trying to expose your ideology, which you have but won't address or reveal.We're all 'laymen', here.As for 'addressing your arguements', I have, constantly, but you ignore the weaknesses in yours, which I point out, and refuse to consider mine, which I've tried to explain, using simple metaphors, which you don't seemingly understand.And my 'fist' is not 'in my brain', even if yours is!You still haven't explained how 'value' is in the brain. Your naive materialism means you can't understand Marx. He says 'value' is not 'material', but a relationship. I don't know how to simplify my arguments any further, because you ignore the 'meaning' and jump on the 'simplification'!

    #100296
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Well you avoided the  two insults I mentioned but you introduced a new one 'naive materialism' lolYou have still not explained to me where your  'entities' reside. If you were able to tell me I would probably agree with you. I am beginning to think it is the definition of  'material' that we differ on. I reject 'naive materialism' and agree with Marx in his criticism of Feuerbach "The materialist doctrine that men are products of circumstances and upbringing, and that therefore changed men are products of other circumsances and changed upbringing forgets that it is men who change circumstances….."Thesis on Feuerbach"Men make history"No naive materialismBut I dont see 'entities' as having any relevance to the human agent in hisory    

    #100297
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Vin Maratty wrote:
    mcolome1 wrote:
    http://socialistworker.org/2011/10/28/why-was-marx-a-materialist Conceptions like these  have  reduced Marx to a simple vulgar materialist philosopher, and a vulgar economist. This is just a rehearsal of the 18-19 Century philsopher, and coming back  to Feuerback, and a repetition of the same distortion propagated by Lenin and the Leninist

     Will I find  a criticism of this article by the SPGB anywhere? Would be interested. 

     You will not find a criticism of this article, but you will find several articles criticizing the rehearsal of the 18-19 Century philosophyhttp://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/1950s/1956/no-617-january-1956/book-review-illusion-epoch-pt1

    #100298
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Thanks for the link. I have looked at this before. It does not represent any position I have proposed above. Nor does it argue for example that ideas are independent of material conditions. Never mind, I am probably not presenting my argument properly 

    #100299
    LBird
    Participant
    Vin Maratty wrote:
    I am beginning to think it is the definition of 'material' that we differ on.

    Well, I'm not a 'materialist', and neither is Marx.I think that by 'materialism', you mean 'physicalism'. But many entities are not 'physical', but are nevertheless 'real'. Like 'value', for example. 'Real' doesn't mean 'tangible'. Many real things are intangible.I think Marx was a Critical Realist, as we would call it now, but in the terms you'll understand, he's an 'idealist-materialist'. So, for Marx, he's dealing with the 'ideal-material', not simply the 'material'.The unity of 'theory and practice' requires the unity of the 'ideal-material'. So, 'value' is 'ideal-material': it's 'ideal' as a social relationship, but 'material' as a commodity (tin of beans, for example).Perhaps my examples are not working, but I'm trying. Marx makes this 'duality' clear from the start of Capital, where he talks about the two factors of the commodity.If you don't agree with my fumbling explanation, how do you account for these two factors, from a 'physicalist/materialist' perspective? Especially as Marx makes it plain that 'value' does not contain 'matter'.

    #100300
    robbo203
    Participant
    Vin Maratty wrote:
    There is a 'society' Robbo but it is part of the physical world. Such views of ideas were rejected long before the 60s. Are you also saying that we have created 'entities' that exist independent of our social and individual physical material existence?Capitalism is an 'entity' as you call it and we entered into relationships independent of our will and created it. And we can't control it. But it is physical. It exists inside your (our) head, the socialist revolution will prove that.

     How is society "physical" , Vin?  Yes, it "depends" on physical entities – human beings  – and physical organs called brains which reside in these entities.  But  saying something depends on something else does NOT mean it takes on the quality of the latter. Saying capitalism is physical just seem ridiculous to me. Pierre Bourdieu once made the point that every society seeks  the "naturalisation of its own arbitrariness". You are talking that to the point of literal truth in the case of capitalism. How is capitalism "physical" (and how could you get rid of it if it was)? Can you taste  it, smell it , hear it , see it etc  Seems to me you are using the word physical in a manner that is actually pretty meaningless.  If everything was coloured red then red would be a pretty meaningless concept too. And how would you distinguish between capitalism and the individuals that make up capitalist society.  Individuals and their brains are indeed physical entities but the relationships between individuals?  I know capitalism stinks but it would be pushing matters to contend that this denotes a physical quality apprehensible through our sense of smell. If you can't touch , see smell taste or hear capitalism then it seems by your logic capitalism doesnt exist and we are back to Mrs Thatchers aphorism .  Which begs the question – how is it that something that does not exist – society – can have such an obvious effect on those rather strange physical entities we call human beings?

    #100301
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    If you don't think society is physical then meaningful conversation is impossible. Moreover,  you are completely twisting what I am saying. I could equally say that it is you  agreeing with Thatcher by saying society doesn't exist. because it is not physical!! What other things in the world  does not have a physical existence?If I smell anything it is a rat. 

    #100302
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    robbo203 wrote:
     .  Which begs the question – how is it that something that does not exist – society – can have such an obvious effect on those rather strange physical entities we call human beings?

    This is more than twisting my words. I said society exists!! And is physical!! This critisism should be levelled at yourself. lol

    #100303
    LBird
    Participant
    robbo203 wrote:
    If you can't touch , see smell taste or hear capitalism then it seems by your logic capitalism doesnt exist and we are back to Mrs Thatchers aphorism.

    Yeah, anytime anyone talked of 'society' and pointed to a group of people, Thatcher just said, 'that is just a group of individuals!'.We say 'football team', she says 'eleven individuals'; we say 'workforce', she says '1,000 individuals'.The problem with this way of looking at things, is that the structural relationships are lost.A 'football team' isn't just any old 'eleven individuals'; it's a single goalkeeper, four defenders, four midfielders and two attackers. They have different roles, powers and needs within the structure: fast sprinting is not needed of the keeper, as it is of the wingers; the goalkeeper can touch the ball with their hands, but the other ten can't; etc.The physical presence of components (eleven individuals) does not necessarily make a 'team'. Anyone who knows about football understands this. The selecting, blending and training of the individuals shapes 'the team'.Again, to take my earlier 'fist' example. If I make a fist, the reductionist can pooh-pooh this and say, 'it's just five fingers', and ask me to touch the 'fist'. Of course, anytime I touch the 'fist' I am also touching a finger, and so the reductionist can say, 'Ah-hah, that's just a finger you're touching!'. Of course, they are correct.But what they are missing is that the relationships between the fingers is crucial. Holding the fingers spread out is not a 'fist'; but to the reductionist there is no difference because, like Thatcher, they don't recognise 'structures'.Five fingers are five entities; but a fist is six entities (five fingers and a fist). But there is nothing more 'physical' present than there is with five entities. Using the notion of the 'physical', it seems strange that five entities can become six, without any added 'physicality'. And conversely, six can become five, without any loss of 'physicality'. So 'physicality' alone is not enough to understand structures: something else is important.That 'something else' is relationships. And Marx was keen on relationships, and argued that 'value' was a relationship.

    #100304
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    The question is: Does a worker need all these argumentation in order to push for a new society ? All these argumentation sound like the intellectual arguments of the Marxist-Humanists, News and Letter, Raya Dunayeskaya,  and the Hegelian. What we really need is socialist theory which will motivate all of us to overthrow capitalism, and establish a new society.

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