robbo203

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  • in reply to: Hong Kong #222270
    robbo203
    Participant

    TrueScotsman,

    I haven’t got involved in this discussion thus far but I am truly astonished at your naivete. And you have no understanding of the SPGB’s position whatsoever. In your fervid imagination, to attack a blatantly undemocratic capitalist regime such as exists in China translates into support for the capitalist critics of that regime – other capitalist regimes such as the US etc. What utter rubbish!

    The SPGB’s position is crystal clear: a plague on all their houses! We are equally critical of western capitalist regimes as we are of other capitalist regimes. We do not take sides in inter-capitalist rivalries

    As a non-Marxist or non-socialist, you seem to have little or no understanding of what capitalism is. In broad Marxian terms, capitalism equates with a system of generalised wage labour. That is what demonstrably exists in China. Beijing now boasts more billionaires than any other city in the world including New York. Some “communist” country! (https://www.bbc.com/news/business-56671638).

    Yet incredibly, you wildly imagine that China is ruled by a “communist party” bent on establishing communism by 2121. This same sort of drivel was expounded by the pseudo-communist party of the Soviet Union in the early post war years. It too talked of establishing “full communism” in a few decades. Look what happened to the Soviet Union. The red bourgeoisie in their “revolution from above” abandoned the old and increasingly inefficient command economy Stalinist model of capitalist accumulation in favour of a more corporatist model.

    A large chunk of the modern oligarchs in Russia and Eastern Europe were former high ranking members of the pseudo communist parties who used their connections to enrich themselves spectacularly in the wake of the Soviet collapse. The same goes for modern-day China. All the talk there of “Marxism” is just window dressing. The CPC has no more intention of introducing full communism there, as you naively seem to imagine, than the so-called “National Socialists” in Germany in the 1930s intended to introduce socialism. No ruling class has ever voluntarily sought its own demise by taking steps to introduce a classless society.

    And then finally there is all the nonsense you talk about “imperialism”. Why is it that so many leftists witter on inanely about imperialism as if that was the problem and not capitalism? They mistake the form for the substance and are thus engaged in a continuous display of mere shadow boxing.

    Every country in the world is manifestly or latently imperialist if we take a strictly economic definition of imperialism as entailing the cross border flows of profit-seeking capital. It’s just that some countries are vastly more successful in realising their imperialist ambitions than others.

    China with its Belt and Road initiative etc is a major imperialist power in the world today with investments in scores of countries. Imperialism is an outgrowth of capitalism and its expansionist dynamic: capital accumulation. Since you have little or no understanding of what capitalism is about, you woefully fail to understand the imperialist nature of the appalling capitalist dictatorship you so avidly support

    in reply to: Human Nature article #217528
    robbo203
    Participant

    More feedback

    Pyotr Malatesta
    “Human nature” is a conceptually confused myth.
    There is no set of necessary and sufficient properties that are distinctively human.
    Until such a set of necessary and sufficient properties that are distinctively human can be identified, “human nature” as a concept has no definitive identity.
    If “human nature” has no definitive identity, the concept of “human nature” is undefined, vague and equivocal.
    The concept of “human nature” contains two concepts which contradict each other.
    The concept of “nature” or “natural” is a conceptual contrast with that which is “artificial”.
    “Nature” is that which is without human intervention, while that which is “artificial” is the result or product of human action.
    Therefore “human nature” is conceptually contradictory.
    If humans have a “nature” then everything which is “artificial” is also “natural” a product of “human nature”, which reduces “artificial” to an empty set.
    If there is a “human nature” then humans do not act, but merely behave as their “nature” dictates. If there is a “human nature” then humans may exhibit behavior, but to talk of “human action” would be merely pretense, as what appeared to be “purposeful action” would merely be instinctual behavior. If individual humans can act purposefully, then they could act purposefully against their “human nature” which would entail that either that they are no longer human, or that there is no “nature” that the individual human is compelled to obey. If this can be true for an individual human, then this could apply to nearly every human, implying there is no general “human nature” that any human must exhibit.
    If the concept of “artificial” is not an empty set, then “human nature” is conceptually confused
    If one can say that, “individual humans act purposefully” then “human nature” is conceptually confused.

    in reply to: Gnostic Marxist #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.

    in reply to: Gnostic Marxist #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?

    in reply to: Gnostic Marxist #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

    in reply to: Gnostic Marxist #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 5 months, 2 weeks ago by robbo203.
    in reply to: Gnostic Marxist #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

    in reply to: Gnostic Marxist #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 5 months, 2 weeks ago by robbo203.
    in reply to: Gnostic Marxist #216737
    robbo203
    Participant

    So LBird, when are you ever going to get round to dealing with this point

    “If there is no objective reality then there can be no other people as part of that objective reality. If there are no people as part of objective reality then there can be no such thing, according to you, as a society or a social mind. Consciousness can only ever be YOUR consciousness – your individual mind – and everything you experience and perceive in the world can only be a product of your individual mind”

    Are you going to repeatedly ignore this – just as you repeatedly ignored explaining why or how you propose to have the entire world population vote on in order to validate the “truth” of tens of thousands of scientific theories?

    Every time anyone presents an inconvenient question to you, you run away and hide or deftly change the subject….

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by robbo203.
    in reply to: Gnostic Marxist #216733
    robbo203
    Participant

    Yeah, ALB, ‘Generatio aequivoca’ means ‘self-emancipation’.

    Every quote you make from Marx, or even the Socialist Standard, undermines your anti-democratic Leninist Materialism.

    LOL more hilarious rubbish from LBird, the same person who accuses others of lying and then lies about his opponents who have made crystal clear their opposition to Lenin’s mechanical one-way brand of “materialism”

    “Generatio aequivoca” does not mean “self emancipation” (a political construct). Rather the idea which goes back to Aristotle refers to the process of spontaneous generation by which new life forms supposedly emerge in the physical world (the real existence of which is something that LBird as an idealist, denies)

    Actually, Marx’s explanation was quite wrong and theories of spontaneous generation were increasingly discarded from the mid 19th century onward after the experimental discoveries of scientists like Pasteur. Nevertheless, Marx was quite correct in locating the process by which new life forms in the external physical world rather than in the conscious mind which is LBird’s view

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by robbo203.
    in reply to: Gnostic Marxist #216728
    robbo203
    Participant

    LBird

    Instead of accusing your opponents of lying – which is rich coming from you since you have constantly lied throughout this thread (for instance, equating the views of this Party with mechanical materialism) – and patronisingly urging them to “study philosophy” as if they know nothing about the subject, why don’t you ever deal with the crux of the argument that shows you to be a philosophical idealist from start to finish?

    You have explicitly denied the existence of an objective reality external to our minds. As explained to you the fact that we only apprehend that reality through our minds is no proof against the existence of such a reality and this is a huge problem for you. It actually destroys everything you have been arguing for hitherto

    If there is no objective reality then there can be no other people as part of that objective reality. If there are no people as part of objective reality then there can be no such thing, according to you, as a society or a social mind. Consciousness can only ever be YOUR consciousness – your individual mind – and everything you experience and perceive in the world can only be a product of your individual mind

    So it turns out your philosophy is precisely the philosophy of the bourgeois philosophers you pretend to criticise. Though you may vehemently protest against this conclusion, you reject the idea of society and social production in favour of pure individualism and this all stems from the fact that you are a philosophical idealist. Nothing (including other people) has a real existence outside of the conscious mind which can only ever be YOUR own individual conscious mind.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by robbo203.
    in reply to: Gnostic Marxist #216709
    robbo203
    Participant

    Either ‘mind’ is ‘social’, as Marx and the Socialist Standard argue, or ‘mind’ is ‘individual’, which is what the bourgeoisie argue.

    Once again, LBird, if the mind is social that necessarily implies that there must be an objective reality even if we can only apprehend this reality through our own conscious minds. It is our conscious minds that act to persuade us that such an objective reality exists.

    “Social” implies the existence of other people apart from ourselves who therefore constitute part of this objective reality. Yet you have consistently argued from your philosophical idealist standpoint that there is no such thing as an objective reality and that “Nothing can have a ‘real existence independent of humanity because humans couldn’t know it.” So dinosaurs couldn’t have really existed, according to you, even though the fossil record shows that they did exist and became extinct long before human beings came into existence.

    But equally, according to you, there is no reason to believe that other people exist in an objective sense given that you deny that there is such a thing as objective reality. That being the case, I still want to know from you then how you can possibly argue from your point of view that there is such a thing as a social mind? That is not a problem for me to explain since I do hold other people exist in an objective sense and it is through our social interactions with these other people that our consciousness takes shape

    You, on the other hand, have no way of explaining how the social mind arises. If the social mind implies the objective existence of other people, and if you dispute that other people exist in this objective sense, then the very concept of a social mind becomes meaningless in your terms.

    All thoughts, all consciousness, begins and ends in your own mind by your own reasoning since it is only your own mind that you have access to, not the minds of other people whose objective existence you deny. In other words, you argue for the very thing that you say the bourgeois argue for – the individual mind

    You appear to have a ‘correspondence theory’ of ‘truth’, which argues that the ‘idea’ reflects the ‘referent’.

    That’s rubbish. I have explicitly argued against that position in my advocacy of emergence theory. To reiterate, emergence theory holds that higher levels of reality are dependent or supervene on lower levels of reality but are not reducible to the latter. Consciousness does not simply reflect objective reality but actively interprets it

    There is no such thing as a unicorn, for example. But the features that make up this mythological creature are drawn from objective reality and imaginatively reassembled in a particular configuration that is our imaginary unicorn

    As I have constantly pointed out, there is a two-way interaction between objective reality and subjective consciousness. By denying the very possibility of an objective reality, you deny also the possibility of any such interaction. The very concept of social production which you go on about at length is incompatible with your own philosophical idealism.

    For something to be a product of something else implies the latter is external to the former but it is this precisely externality that you have called into question in the first place

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by robbo203.
    • This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by robbo203.
    in reply to: Gnostic Marxist #216669
    robbo203
    Participant

    Thus, for Marx, both ‘value’ and ‘matter’ are social products, which have a history, and can be changed by their creator, us, humanity.

    Not according to you, LBird. Because according to your idealist philosophy, humanity – other people – doesn’t exist objectively outside of your mind. Therefore according to you, we have no way of knowing whether ‘value’ and ‘matter’ were created by them

    in reply to: Gnostic Marxist #216668
    robbo203
    Participant

    And your mind, as the Socialist Standard article says, is socially produced.

    Yes and according to your idealist philosophy, other people (and therefore society) are a product of your mind and, like dinosaurs, do not have a real existence independent of your mind. So how can the mind be a product of society by that logic if society is nothing more than a product of the mind???

    It’s not me that has a problem with recognising that minds are socially produced – but you! Your idealist philosophy rules out the possibility of any kind of dialectic between mind and objectivity reality. It is indeed the mind that allows us to see that such an objective reality exists – to know that “The “idea” of a dinosaur is different from the object to which the idea refers – the referent.”

    But being a pure idealist you have no way of explaining where that idea comes from since according to you it cannot originate outside of the mind. It cannot be socially produced, following your logic, because society – other people – don’t exist outside your mind in the same way that you believe dinosaurs never existed objectively. They are entirely a figment of your imagination as is this entire thread

    in reply to: Gnostic Marxist #216642
    robbo203
    Participant

    robbo, you’ll have to explain how you know what a dinosaur is, without using your mind. And if you’re using your mind, as the Socialist Standard says, it’s a product of society.

    LOL LBird of course you have to use your mind to explain what a dinosaur is. But that’s not the issue is it? The “idea” of a dinosaur is different from the object to which the idea refers – the referent. The fact that we cannot apprehend what we call a dinosaur without using our minds does not mean the existence of dinosaurs is dependent on our minds

    The argument you are putting forward is precisely the same one as that advanced by that famous idealist Bishop Berkeley (1685—1753) who like you contended that the “opinion strangely prevailing amongst men, that houses, mountains, rivers, and in a world all sensible objects have an existence natural or real, distinct from being perceived” is “a manifest contradiction” As a philosophical idealist, you don’t believe there is such a thing as an objective reality. Everything is in the mind for you – even when the mind demonstrates to itself that the object it refers must logically have a real existence independent of the mind even if we cannot apprehend this existence apart from, or outside, of our minds.

    So in the case of dinosaurs, our own minds inform us when we look at the fossil record that dinosaurs must have had a real existence independent of humanity since they predate humanity and human minds themselves. Since human beings weren’t around when dinosaurs were around how can the existence of the latter be dependent on the former??? The extinction of dinosaurs sixty-odd million years ago happened all the same, even when we were still ignorant of the past existence of these creatures – or do you really want to deny this?

    As for your claim that if “you’re using your mind, as the Socialist Standard says, it’s a product of society” well now you have well and truly destroyed your own argument! You have just shot yourself in the foot big time

    See, the problem for you as a philosophical idealist is that you have no way of knowing whether there is such a thing as “society”. Insofar as society consists of other people how do you know these other people exist? Why should they exist but not dinosaurs, independent of your own mind, huh? You are not me and I am not you so how do you know I exist? If dinosaurs don’t exist outside your mind why is that not also true of society as well? In which case how does your mind come to be a product of society when society does not exist outside of your mind????

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by robbo203.
    • This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by robbo203.
    • This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by robbo203.
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