The Amish Achieved Communism - Page 2 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#14959389
Wellsy wrote:And not so apparent what this conception of communism they’re said to have achieved.


The Amish have achieved what Marx's goal was ultimately meant to accomplish Wellsy. Shared ownership and possession of necessity and the fruits of labor not for profit but for the good of society.

From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

But while the Amish are segregated within the confounds of their own lands, they do need to exchange goods for commodities. So they will deal with money (but I am sure they would be just as happy to exchange commodities with one another). Why? Because where Marxism is a dream of a world without borders, the Amish don't see it that way. That is one difference between them and Communist but ultimately the systems that are place for their societies to function are the same. Which is why when people write about how Communism would look one of the first examples shown are the Amish.

@Deutschmania, Left and right wing doesn't actually mean anything. They are phases that determine what side of the house a party sits. What those party stand for is another matter all together. Communism would be a hybrid of Socialism. The Amish live in a socialist system. So they do not need to vote for a system they already have in place. They do however have very conservative religious views. So it stands to reason that if they do vote, it would be Republican. Especially as the Democrats don't advocate for Socialism either.
#14959529
@annatar1914 It may well be that the true ''revolution'' begins as a change in spiritual consciousness anyway, and that nothing can be built upon without this religious and spiritual dimension. I have always felt that this was what was lacking with the secular socialist/communist experience, that in my opinion doomed it.
Yes, precisely. This is why matter over mind is a flawed approach. Our thoughts impregnate matter. It's a feedback loop: We shape our tools, and thereafter our tools shape us. :) Noospheric emergence and media ecology!

@B0ycey That's right, the Amish live in practice, not theory.

Marxism, especially the philosophy of dialectical materialism, spreads capitalism by opposing it. In reality, the application of dia-ma has empowered the state and impoverished the people. The secularization of materiality fosters moral relativism and when combined with an acute obsession with efficient cause you get a DPRK, Soviet Union, Communist China, etc. 20th century ideological proxy wars have bolstered Capitalism, because you cannot outspend a capitalist nation. War is a racket.

The paradigm of dialectical conflict via communism/capitalism weaponized the workers of the world. The cold war left us with a hyper-inflationary arms race and a relentless quest for techno-social superiority. In truth, Marxism aided Capitalist expansion by participating in a grand geopolitical war-game and opposing Western imperialism. The West needed an excuse to occupy foreign countries. The war on terror has replaced the communist/capitalist dialectic, and it is expanding the security state. Today, we're collectively closer to Technocracy, a world where the workers of the world are obsolesced by technology whilst scientific totalitarianism rules humanity.

Technology is the driver (opium of the people) of real social change and that's why the Amish succeed where Marxism fails. By resisting planned obsolescence or techno-social progress, the Amish established a communal society. Whereas any "communist" state that wishes to oppose capitalism via force, will need to accept techno-social progress.

Why do you think the hippies were an existential threat to capitalism (hence poisoning the well and manufactured drug culture)? They didn't participate, they wanted to make love not war, and that's a big problem for any empire that depends on war. So you see, the Amish do the same thing. Marxism was and is a big ploy/con-game. If the workers of the world become pacifists, it would end capitalist hegemony. Lastly, I'll remind the reader that the definition of violence is not limited to the use of force. Violence is a quest for identity, and can include the way you see yourself in the world and the way you treat your neighbor. Violence begets violence. It's a feedback loop. :) Noospheric emergence and media ecology!
Last edited by RhetoricThug on 02 Nov 2018 22:53, edited 1 time in total.
#14959530
Interesting thought theory RT.

But I was actually very impressed with something else you actually stated which was the basis for your last post:

"Dialectical materialism will never lead to Communism, because it favors matter over mind. The Amish favor mind over matter..."

Perhaps I would have addressed this earlier if you removed the term 'Dialectical'. I would say I would agree with much of your ideas/points but not how you reach you conclusion nor for the requirement of Technocracy for any of your points to be valid. Although Technocracy does appear to be our future if no other major events take presidents. However to me, for Communism to ever work (and why I don't think it can) humanity would need to remove themselves from material greed. They would have to reset their own nature and accept mutual interests and focus on objects for their requirement rather than for possession. It is why the Amish are successful in their ideology. And it is why all forms of Communism fail and become dictatorships when power corrupts. I would say the Amish is as close to Communism we shall ever see and that is only because it is an ideology based on faith and values. Without either of those things, corruption always takes over due to human nature.
#14960029
B0ycey wrote:
Spoiler: show
The Amish have achieved what Marx's goal was ultimately meant to accomplish Wellsy. Shared ownership and possession of necessity and the fruits of labor not for profit but for the good of society.

From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

But while the Amish are segregated within the confounds of their own lands, they do need to exchange goods for commodities. So they will deal with money (but I am sure they would be just as happy to exchange commodities with one another). Why? Because where Marxism is a dream of a world without borders, the Amish don't see it that way. That is one difference between them and Communist but ultimately the systems that are place for their societies to function are the same. Which is why when people write about how Communism would look one of the first examples shown are the Amish.

Possibly, but I remain skeptical of the interpretation that sees it as more fully fulfilling Marx's sense of what communism was to entail and wonder if this interpretation is vulgar.
Where there is meant to be such abundance that each and every person can develop a rich individuality in the diversity of activities they engage in, instead of the specialization we see in the division of labor and the inevitability of labouring for basic necessities.
Spoiler: show
https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1845/german-ideology/ch01a.htm#a4
In communist society, where nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any branch he wishes, society regulates the general production and thus makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner, just as I have a mind, without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, herdsman or critic.

http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/10867/1/VWills_ETD_2011.pdf
the development of the rich individuality which is as all-sided in its production as in its consumption, and whose labour also therefore appears no longer as labour, but as the full development of activity itself, in which natural necessity in its direct form has disappeared; because a historically created need has taken the place of the natural one.

(I’d recommend checking out the section on Rich Individuality in the previous link)
http://web.msu.ac.zw/elearning/material/13134890001302087775Heritage%20%26%20Tourism%206.pdf
Nevertheless, the survey also revealed that the average visitor has no idea of the complexity of Amish life, the conflict of Amish lifestyle problems, and the fact that Amish products are not always made by a single individual by hand but that technology and occupational specialization are often involved (Smith et al, ~ pp 73- 80).

Though I don’t believe I have the background knowledge to argue it effectively, my knee jerk reaction was to wonder whether this emphasis on the Amish is twist on feudali socialism which appeals to christian language.
https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/communist-manifesto/ch03.htm
As the parson has ever gone hand in hand with the landlord, so has Clerical Socialism with Feudal Socialism.

Nothing is easier than to give Christian asceticism a Socialist tinge. Has not Christianity declaimed against private property, against marriage, against the State? Has it not preached in the place of these, charity and poverty, celibacy and mortification of the flesh, monastic life and Mother Church? Christian Socialism is but the holy water with which the priest consecrates the heart-burnings of the aristocrat.


As opposed to what seems a primacy of community over individuality, where it’s not self evident why the communal sharing is meant to be something more than what welfare/charity has ever been.


And my reason for citing the previous article on Amish and money was instead to emphasize what I see as a concern for such small communities is that the markets external to them necessarily intrude upon them to some degree and warp their intended functions.
And this influence has changed some of the communities significantly, that they're increasingly dependent on the existing markets that they have supposedly overcome.
Where they’re no longer able to subsist on their own farming and increasingly seek wealth outside.
Spoiler: show
https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/eb13/ec997913b3b187ce7d7b9d3d34efcca8da5d.pdf
Look again, and the Amish woman whose culture rejects technology swipes your credit card, products purchased in an Amish craft store bear the Crayola brand, and Lancaster County souvenirs are made in China. The Amish family whose fascinating values clash directly with those of consumerism garners a significant profit from selling its own culture to the very people it fascinates. These and other endless contradictions bubble to the surface, blaring yet somehow rendered irrelevant, not disrupting the reverie of the visit to a quaint Amish farm. This phenomenon, playing out in the heart of Amish Country, begins with a Google search for a tourist website.

http://sci-hub.tw/10.1016/S0743-0167(97)00018-1
The economic character of Amish communities shows signs of considerable change. The traditional farming base is increasingly unable to provide the jobs and income necessary for the growing Amish population. In response, there has been rapid growth of Amish-owned nonagricultural microenterprises. These new employment and incomeearning opportunities have allowed Amish communities to maintain a growing population. One purpose of this paper was to examine the nature of this phenomenon in the Lancaster Settlement in Pennsylvania, the largest Amish settlement in Pennsylvania, and the oldest and second largest in North America.

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.924.2478&rep=rep1&type=pdf
The basic contours of the Amish economic transformation over the past few decades have been well documented, including the demographic squeeze that pushed many Amish out of farming, their embrace of cottage industries and, to a lesser extent, factory labor, and the social and cultural dilemmas created by successful entrepreneurship. Yet the effects of increasing market entanglement on the distribution of income and assets in Amish communities are still poorly understood. In this exploratory study, we draw on publicly available data from the U.S. Census, the Ohio Amish Directory, and records from real estate transactions to map out the distribution of income and land wealth in one predominantly Amish-populated Census Tract in Holmes County, OH. Our findings illustrate economic differentiation within the Amish community, as well as the ways in which affiliation and church leadership are associated with land holdings. Our case study raises important questions about growing economic inequalities that merit further exploration.

Our study corroborates the findings of qualitative studies on transformations in Amish economic livelihoods. For example, our results confirm a trend that Kraybill and Nolt (2004) first pointed out in their study of Lancaster County Amish enterprises: new income and wealth has been introduced into Amish communities from the success of growth-oriented businesses. Kraybill and Nolt argue that the rise of burgeoning businesses “contain the seeds of a three-class society consisting of farmers, entrepreneurs, and day laborers” (221). Our findings suggest that these seeds have germinated, though it remains to be seen how they will grow over time.

http://amishamerica.com/do-the-amish-use-money/
When all Amish were farmers, with 8, 10 or more mouths to feed, most had similar income levels. Certainly few Amish would have been considered “rich”. Yet with rising land prices, and the shift from farming to running successful businesses, Amish have experienced previously unknown levels of wealth.

Some Amish fear the implications of this influx of wealth, seeing the development of a class system and status pressure in a previously classless society. Higher incomes have resulted in expensive vacations, more trips out, expensive hunting gear for men, and more of what previous generations of Amish would consider luxuries around the home.

It remains to be seen how well Amish society will retain core values in the face of financial success. The thoughtful Amish approach to modernity, resistance to change, and reliance on tradition all serve to hamper drastic changes in the values and composition of Amish society.

Regardless of how Amish will adapt to change in future, the fact remains that today’s Amish are largely plugged into the modern economy, and interact with that economy in fairly sophisticated ways.



I also never seen anyone exemplify the Amish as communist society except this very thread.
Alternatively to RT’s emphasis on opposing technology, there are another group of Anabaptists that are actually communal in their property unlike the Amish who do not shun technology.
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/987460/posts
Anabaptists have a sense of community that is truly breathtaking. You probably have seen how the Amish can build a barn in a day. Recently I read about an Amish farm home that burned down. These homes are huge because they have about nine kids per family. But about a hundred or so neighbors got together and rebuilt it in about three days. They are, apparently, not union workers. The Amish don't believe in health insurance but doctors love them because they always pay in cash. How do they do this when they have a family income of about $12,000? The neighbors are the insurance policy. If they can't scrape up enough cash from community donations they will sell their farm.

But this isn't communism. Each family owns its own home, property and farmland.

Hutterites, however, are a completely different story. Hutterites live in what can best be described as communes. They have large homes with several families per home. Each family has a separate bedroom but they share a common living area. The main meal of the day is in a communal dining hall where all members of the colony eat (about 50 to 150 people).

Hutterites are usually farmers but unlike the Amish, Hutterites do not shun modern technology. They use electricity and the latest John Deere farm equipment. The farms are large, up to about 10,000 acres and very productive. In South Dakota, Hutterite colonies produce about forty percent of that state's pork. This productivity often gets them in trouble with non-Hutterite competitors who resent it when find themselves failing in bad times as the Hutterites thrive. Hutterite buildings have been the victims of arson attacks.

Hutterites work for a salary of about six dollars a month. Everything else is provided by the colony and individuals have few personal possessions other than clothing. At the Oak Lane Colony in South Dakota, Robert Wipf is the assistant swine manager. Summing his lifestyle, he says, "I get paid nothing, but I get everything I need."

Like the Amish, they are intensely egalitarian and have strict rules about dress, grooming and behavior. Suspenders, no belt. Beards required, but no moustache allowed. They are very sensitive about personal property:

Though I wonder whether the idea of communism in the above article is more akin to Barrack Communism.
[url]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barracks_communism[url]
Barracks communism[1] (German: Kasernenkommunismus)[2] is the term coined by Karl Marx[3] to refer to a "crude", authoritarian, forced collectivism and communism, where all aspects of life are bureaucratically regimented and communal.

I also don’t see these communities as a germ to communism as it seems to me they like many communes aren’t in the position to overturn the dominance of exchange values when they’re surrounded.
Which might not be your concern but as far as I see it, communism must be global in nature as capitalism is.
https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1845/german-ideology/ch01a.htm#a4
This "alienation" [caused by private property] can, of course, only be abolished given two practical premises. For it to become an "intolerable" power, i.e. a power against which men make a revolution, it must necessarily have rendered the great mass of humanity "propertyless", and produced, at the same time, the contradiction of an existing world of wealth and culture, both of which conditions presuppose a great increase in productive power, a high degree of its development. And, on the other hand, this development of productive forces (which itself implies the actual empirical existence of men in their world-historical, instead of local, being) is an absolutely necessary practical premise because without it want is merely made general, and with destitution the struggle for necessities and all the old filthy business would necessarily be reproduced; and furthermore, because only with this universal development of productive forces is a universal intercourse between men established, which produces in all nations simultaneously the phenomenon of the "propertyless" mass (universal competition), makes each nation dependent on the revolutions of the others, and finally has put world-historical, empirically universal individuals in place of local ones.

Without this:

(1) communism could only exist as a local event;

(2) the forces of intercourse themselves could not have developed as universal, hence intolerable powers: they would have remained home-bred conditions surrounded by superstition; and

(3) each extension of intercourse would abolish local communism.

There isn’t the abundance for the Amish to have not resorted to opening themselves up to markets outside their communities to support themselves.
But even then, it’s not clear that what they have achieved resembles any conception of communism as vaguely described from what they do share.

I am also suspect of RT’s point of mind over matter where I wonder how acquainted with Marx beyond the degenerated interpretations in the USSR that resembled more a positivism in it’s materialism.
As I take it the materialism of Marx is only to emphasize that the source of ideas have their origins in activity in the real world.
RT's position may not be even that far from Marx’s when I see his emphasis on reciprocity of mind and matter.
It's a feedback loop: We shape our tools, and thereafter our tools shape us.


https://etd.lib.metu.edu.tr/upload/12613281/index.pdf
Even in the German Ideology, Marx explicitly points out that “circumstances make men just as much as men make circumstance” (GI. 165), and this sentence obviously shows that the real concrete’s relation to law, morality, religion, consciousness etc. is not one-sidedly determined. Of course, intellectual wealth directly depends on material conditions (GI. 154, 163, 166, and 172), but human beings affect and even change the material conditions and the circumstances in so far as it is possible for them to do so within the boundaries of the restrictions set by these conditions. Material conditions and intellectual wealth affect each other: “The production of ideas, of conceptions, of consciousness; is at firstly directly interwoven with the material activity and the material intercourse of men” (GI. 154 italics mine)

It is actually in this that Marx see's human freedom to be indirect, to be mediated by changing the world and thus changing man.
http://critique-of-pure-interest.blogspot.com/2011/12/between-materialism-and-idealism-marx.html
That elusive middle is captured by Marx’s claim that the external object, on which humanity depends, is in turn dependent on the formative power of human activity. In other words: nature determines (causes, affects) man, who in turn determines (works upon) nature. Thus man is indirectly self-determining, mediated by nature. This reciprocal determination of man and nature is what Marx means by “praxis".

https://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/en/jordan2.htm
Feuerbach went back to Helvetius over the heads of the Young Hegelians, for he rejected their Hegelian substitution of self-consciousness for the ‘real man on the basis of nature’. Man is not a mere accident of the eternal substance. Marx contrasted Feuerbach’s position with that of the Young Hegelians and emphasised that for Feuerbach the real man lives and suffers in society, shares in its pains and pleasures, and is a manifestation of its life. [33] But Feuerbach failed to go beyond the point reached by Helvetius. He too conceived of man as a purely passive recipient of stimuli supplied by nature and as the product of education, circumstances, and influences of nature acting upon him; he forgot that ‘it is men that change circumstances and that the educator himself needs educating’.[34] Man changes not only in response to the influence of nature upon him, but also in reacting upon nature in his struggle for existence. Changing nature he changes the environment and changing the conditions of life, he changes himself.

To assume independence of mind from matter is the mistake made from those who correctly identify that mind is not matter, that they’re absolutely ontologically different, but who take this absolute to epistemology which instead has a relative subject-object relation to consider.
The error of idealism is that it relates abstractions to other abstractions and ends up creating a reality independent of the objective world itself.
[url]https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1845/german-ideology/ch03p.htm[/url[
One of the most difficult tasks confronting philosophers is to descend from the world of thought to the actual world. Language is the immediate actuality of thought. Just as philosophers have given thought an independent existence, so they were bound to make language into an independent realm. This is the secret of philosophical language, in which thoughts in the form of words have their own content. The problem of descending from the world of thoughts to the actual world is turned into the problem of descending from language to life.

We have shown that thoughts and ideas acquire an independent existence in consequence of the personal circumstances and relations of individuals acquiring independent existence. We have shown that exclusive, systematic occupation with these thoughts on the part of ideologists and philosophers, and hence the systematisation of these thoughts, is a consequence of division of labour, and that, in particular, German philosophy is a consequence of German petty-bourgeois conditions. The philosophers have only to dissolve their language into the ordinary language, from which it is abstracted, in order to recognise it, as the distorted language of the actual world, and to realise that neither thoughts nor language in themselves form a realm of their own, that they are only manifestations of actual life.



I also don't understand why RT's always seems to associate moral relativity and 'efficient cause' with dialectical materialism.

And where do you think material greed emerges for mankind?
#14960040
One Degree wrote:Great. Don’t give a bit of credit to local autonomy, just slide past it. :)
It only works as long as everyone can relate directly to their part in it. Limited size is a major factor.


There's been a recent resurgence of community-based "socialism" based on worker owned co-ops. I've made it a hobby digging up the history of local autonomous socialist communities in Texas. There's literally been hundreds of such experiments. They all failed, just as the current experiments will fail.

Why?

Because nothing else around them was local or autonomous. They fell easy prey to banks and commercial business. Moneyed interest controlled the legislature and the police.

For local autonomy to succeed it must be protected from big government. Conservatives can get this part. What they don't get is that transnational capital is now a more potent force than nationalism. Unless you have an effective plan to rein in capitalism, local autonomy is a dead letter.
#14960074
@Wellsy, I don't have time to fully critique your response. But the Amish do live by many Marxist aims. But ultimately they live by the teachings of God not Marx, so any links between them and Communism are never going to be absolute and can only be conditional to their beliefs.

But if we include RT's argument into this - which is Dialectical materialism will not lead to Communism but more Capitalism because under a free superstructure man will ultimately choose matter (materialism) over mind (eithics) leading to a materialist society (base), then to me the only way you can achieve any form of Communism is through a fixed superstructure of ethics. One way to do this is via religion. And as the Amish do live by the ethical teachings of Jesus, they have achieved something that is similar to Marxism, although not absolute to his aims.

Nonetheless ultimately I think Communism can only be achieved by a fixed superstructure and perhaps that is why Stalin allowed the return of the Russian orthodox church.
Last edited by B0ycey on 05 Nov 2018 13:15, edited 1 time in total.
#14960096
quetzalcoatl wrote:There's been a recent resurgence of community-based "socialism" based on worker owned co-ops. I've made it a hobby digging up the history of local autonomous socialist communities in Texas. There's literally been hundreds of such experiments. They all failed, just as the current experiments will fail.

Why?

Because nothing else around them was local or autonomous. They fell easy prey to banks and commercial business. Moneyed interest controlled the legislature and the police.

For local autonomy to succeed it must be protected from big government. Conservatives can get this part. What they don't get is that transnational capital is now a more potent force than nationalism. Unless you have an effective plan to rein in capitalism, local autonomy is a dead letter.


I totally agree. My plan is to abolish foreign ownership, then out of state ownership, then outside of the community. You can’t have autonomy and allow outside wealth to own your means of production and distribution.
#14961234
B0ycey wrote:@Wellsy, I don't have time to fully critique your response. But the Amish do live by many Marxist aims. But ultimately they live by the teachings of God not Marx, so any links between them and Communism are never going to be absolute and can only be conditional to their beliefs.

But if we include RT's argument into this - which is Dialectical materialism will not lead to Communism but more Capitalism because under a free superstructure man will ultimately choose matter (materialism) over mind (ethics) leading to a materialist society (base), then to me the only way you can achieve any form of Communism is through a fixed superstructure of ethics. One way to do this is via religion. And as the Amish do live by the ethical teachings of Jesus, they have achieved something that is similar to Marxism, although not absolute to his aims.

Nonetheless ultimately I think Communism can only be achieved by a fixed superstructure and perhaps that is why Stalin allowed the return of the Russian orthodox church.


I don’t expect them to be absolute as you’re on point that they’re not socialists but trying to actualize their sense of anabaptism. In reflection, I can see that there may be a similar aspiration in something like
From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs

with
Acts 4:32–35: 32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. 33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. 34 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, 35 And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.


Although each sees different means to achieve that end. Like how Marx admired the Utopian socialists like Robert Owen although found this efforts to be misguided. The ideals are worthy, such as the cooperative nature of people working not directly mediated by money/exchange, but the ideas of how to achieve communism were and are of intense theoretical/practical disagreement.


Still, what I see in the type of Christianity of the Amish/Hutterites isn’t an aspiration to communism, but to run away from capitalism in isolation. There have long existed societies who weren’t dominated by exchange value/markets: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Transformation_(book)
Perhaps they’re more closely associated with the concept of primitive communism where subsistence agricultural farming, although not sure whether it’s inclusive to the Amish as they seem to be amassing wealth rather than just surviving.
I worry that there isn’t much of a distinction to be made between earlier forms of society where markets were periphery and there was hardly any accumulation of wealth, compared to ideal of communism advocated by Marx based on solely on the dominance of exchange value. Which is perhaps significantly related to an emphasis on technology in relation to production which Marx praises as the revolutionary character of Capitalism that it constantly improves upon production. Whilst the thread is about a communism by avoiding it. Although I do wonder what RT makes of the Hutterites which are more communal in a strict way than even the Amish whilst still using modern technology for farming and such.

But I think there is something worthwhile in regards to considering what would be the embryonic to communism, particularly in regards to ethics which is of great significance. It seems to me that as a principle, the ethics that emerges from workers is one of solidarity in struggle and in their struggle is meant to emerge the new way of life that whilst a particular thing, is to develop into the universal, society in general. The way that liberal forms have followed capitalist production.
Although it seems to me that whatever the working class movement is to be today is going to be something quite different from how it’s been in the past.
I do see something as being presented as exemplar of worker’s ethics like solidarity in the struggle against the law of value and ideas like…
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/seminars/hegel-critique.htm
What We do is decided by you and me.

Let us suppose that we have an abstract Notion: collaborate while respecting the different norms and values of the others; arrive at joint decisions through consensus decision-making and keep our promises. I sum up this relation with the maxim: “What we do is decided by you and me.”

What do we do about the fact that millions of people do not share the common objective and some people, the most powerful, actively oppose the shared objective? The millions of people who are not political radicals, not professional agitators with strange pre-occupations remote from everyday life?

The point is, that this problem of the ethic of collaboration, which arises in concrete form in alliance politics, is universalisable to society at large.


And it seems to me that Marxists shouldn’t be and aren’t necessarily unconcerned with the spiritual side of humanity.
“Introduction to Dialectical Logic”, ‘12. Politics and Philosophy’, p. 22- Henri Wald
In the conditions of class struggle not even dialectical materialism could avoid a certain oscillation between opposite metaphysics. Having to fight idealism, subjectivism and liberalism, it was compelled to insist upon the materiality of the world, upon the objectivity of knowledge, upon man's social character and upon universal determinism. Today however, when the tremendous development of the means of production and communication hypertrophies man's external life at the expense of his inner one, and the object tends to absorb the subject, threatening the individual's' liberty of creation, materialist dialecticians are compelled to insist on the role of ideals, creative personalities, subjective aversions and aspirations in the development of society.


It does makes sense that Stalin resorted to religion, as it was hardly the case that the USSR came about via a majority of workers in a movement but instead amongst largely peasantry. This dynamic seems to still remain the case in Russia, where cities like Moscow are centers of wealth and development like most capitals around the world where everything else remains largely rural.

I don’t quite get DiaMat leading inevitably to capitalism, except that it seems to be associated with the historical circumstances that resulted in such a backwards nation seeking a workers revolution instead of a bourgeois one and how the USSR failed to achieve socialism.
Spoiler: show
http://burawoy.berkeley.edu/Marxism/Marxism%20As%20Science.pdf
Combined and Uneven Development of Capitalism
While German Marxism was struggling in theory and in practice with anomalies brought about by the extension of democracy and the continued expansion of the forces of production, the opposite situation confronted Russian Marxism. There absolutism based on a semifeudal economy was fettering the growth of capitalism and at the same time creating a powerful and radical working class. As we have seen, Luxemburg saw the 1905 revolution as the forerunner of a new series of proletarian revolutions in the West. "The most backward country of all, just because it has been so unpardonably late with its bourgeois revolution, shows ways and methods of further class struggle to the proletariat of Germany and the most advanced capitalist countries" (Waters 1970, p.203).

Developments in Russia appeared to refute the Marxian idea that revolution would first break out in the most advanced rather than the most backward capitalist countries. While Luxemburg intuited the solution to this anomaly, it was Trotsky who, as early as 1906 in Results and Prospects ([1906], 1969), developed his theories of the combined and uneven development of capitalism and of permanent revolution to explain and anticipate the October Revolution and its aftermath. The prophetic power of Results and Prospects is supported by the fact that Trotsky's celebrated History of the Russian Revolution written in 1930 (1977) was based on the same theory.

most advanced capitalist countries" (Waters 1970, p.203). Developments in Russia appeared to refute the Marxian idea that revolution would first break out in the most advanced rather than the most backward capitalist countries. While Luxemburg intuited the solution to this anomaly, it was Trotsky who, as early as 1906 in Results and Prospects ([1906], 1969), developed his theories of the combined and uneven development of capitalism and of permanent revolution to explain and anticipate the October Revolution and its aftermath. The prophetic power of Results and Prospects is supported by the fact that Trotsky's celebrated History of the Russian Revolution written in 1930 (1977) was based on the same theory.

But why was the working class the only possible agent of a bourgeois revolution? Capitalism in Russia developed very late under the sponsorship of the state and of foreign (particularly French) investment. Being weak and dependent, the Russian bourgeoisie was continually plundered by a Czarist regime that was threatened militarily by states built on much more advanced (capitalist) economic foundations. At the same time that absolutism stifled the growth of the forces of production, the establishment of the most (technically) advanced capitalism in the major Russian cities created a new and militant working class. The majority of Russian workers had been recently uprooted from their land. It did not embrace the conservative traditions of Western proletariats which had evolved with capitalism. So, when brought together in huge factories the Russian working class displayed all the features of a revolutionary class.

The novelty of Trotsky's theory of combined and uneven development lay in its treatment of the international character of capitalist development and its political implications. According to Trotsky, capitalism did not develop unilinearly in parallel fashion within each country as Marx had assumed, but rather jumped from one country to another. Uneven development led to the combination of the most advanced and the most backward forms of production, creating in countries of the "second rank" a weak bourgeoisie and an explosive working class. While the peasantry was crucial in destabilizing absolutism, it could not lead a revolution. That role would have to be adopted by the working class, which would not be able to stop at the overthrow of absolutism. Precisely because it was a working class and its interests were therefore at odds with capitalism, it would have to move forward to socialism. By spreading back from East to West the revolution would be permanent in the international arena after it had been made permanent within Russia.

That he was wrong in his diagnosis of the situation in the West does not detract from the fecundity of his theory of combined and uneven development of capitalism. Indeed, Lenin and Gramsci in different ways would develop that theory to explain the pacification of the Western working class just as others have used it to explain the radical character of the working class in Third World industrializing countries today, such as Brazil and South Africa (Seidman 1990).

Even Trotsky did not preclude the possibility of the defeat of the working class in the West. In Results and Prospects (1969) he wrote that failing a revolution in the West the Russian revolution would be aborted and would turn inward on itself. He anticipated the broad outlines of what actually happened after 1917. The tragedy of Trotsky's life was that he was destined to be the agent and the victim of his own accurate predictions -the involution of a Russian Revolution that was not followed by revolution in the West, the process he analyzed with great acuity in Revolution Betrayed ([I9361 1972).

https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/communist-manifesto/preface.htm#preface-1882
The Communist Manifesto had, as its object, the proclamation of the inevitable impending dissolution of modern bourgeois property. But in Russia we find, face-to-face with the rapidly flowering capitalist swindle and bourgeois property, just beginning to develop, more than half the land owned in common by the peasants. Now the question is: can the Russian obshchina, though greatly undermined, yet a form of primeval common ownership of land, pass directly to the higher form of Communist common ownership? Or, on the contrary, must it first pass through the same process of dissolution such as constitutes the historical evolution of the West?

The only answer to that possible today is this: If the Russian Revolution becomes the signal for a proletarian revolution in the West, so that both complement each other, the present Russian common ownership of land may serve as the starting point for a communist development.

It seems to be an orthodox position of Marxists that capitalism or at the very least capitalist production necessarily precedes socialism. Where perhaps the idea is, because communism doesn’t exist now and seems an impossibility that all attempts will only lead back to capitalism.
#14961242
I have dealt with many Amish, overwhelming nice people. They do use a lot of modern technology when it comes to earning income, in particular farming. Been screwed on plenty of business deals so they are not more honorable than other groups.
Many act differently when the arm of big brother Amish is not looking. They do know about the modern world they just choose to live and act simple like going to a renaissance fair.
#14961244
Wellsy wrote:
It does makes sense that Stalin resorted to religion, as it was hardly the case that the USSR came about via a majority of workers in a movement but instead amongst largely peasantry. This dynamic seems to still remain the case in Russia, where cities like Moscow are centers of wealth and development like most capitals around the world where everything else remains largely rural.

.


I may be biased, because I think that you cannot sustain a Socialist society without religion, but truly Stalin had no choice really, what with the Fascists at the gates of Moscow in 1941. He needed all the living forces of society fighting alongside him to destroy the Hitlerite menace. And given also his generally correct (in my opinion) ideas on Fascism and Social Democracy and the future of Capitalism, Stalin was correct even from a purely secular Marxist Leninist analysis of the situation.
#14961504
Fantastic analysis as always Wellsy. Just a few points I would like to address though.

Wellsy wrote:Still, what I see in the type of Christianity of the Amish/Hutterites isn’t an aspiration to communism, but to run away from capitalism in isolation.


As pointed out in the OP, the Amish was around before the Communists Manifesto. So whatever they have created for themselves, it is fair to say they did so without aspiration. But I don't believe they ran away from Capitalism. It just was part of their method to be in isolation so it happens to be a by product for them to not be heavily influenced by it. And perhaps that is how they have maintained their way of life without much change over the years. Also, and I am sure VS will no doubt disagree, but when you listen to the words of Jesus from the Bible, the ethical teachings of Christianity is essentially Communism in many areas. And this explains how the Amish have created what could be argued as Communism without any aspiration to do so.

But I think there is something worthwhile in regards to considering what would be the embryonic to communism, particularly in regards to ethics which is of great significance. It seems to me that as a principle, the ethics that emerges from workers is one of solidarity in struggle and in their struggle is meant to emerge the new way of life that whilst a particular thing, is to develop into the universal, society in general.


This is the thing. Until this thread I never once considered that dialectial materialism would hinder any possibility for Communism. But the evidence suggests so. Any attempt to create or change a culture to form a Communist state always turns into fascism or a dictatorship - where the power is no longer retained for the worker but instead focused on enhancing the state at the expense of the worker - as humans are by nature selfish. But even without any human intervention all we are seeing is more Capitalism not less. Why? Greed. So in order to create Communism you need an ethical code which everyone agrees to that is by definition Communism. Religion is one way to do this. If you fear the wrath of God you will adhere to anything. And if the Superstructure is fixed society cannot evolve into selfishness and fascism cannot form. And that is why the Amish was successful in their ideology and it continues be so and the Russian revolution changed from a Soviets revolt to a project to create a superstate at the expense of the people who revolted in the first place in a few years.

I don’t quite get DiaMat leading inevitably to capitalism, except that it seems to be associated with the historical circumstances that resulted in such a backwards nation seeking a workers revolution instead of a bourgeois one and how the USSR failed


In theory dialectical materialism can lead to anything. Even an ideology no one has even thought of. But regardless to what culture will lead society into next, changing human nature seems impossible without ethics. After all, there is nothing special about the Amish except for the fact they follow a code of ethics. Without a code of ethics, humanity will always choose materialism over values. And as Marxism is an atheist system, it seems to me it is impossible under free will to create what Marx was hoping for.

It seems to be an orthodox position of Marxists that capitalism or at the very least capitalist production necessarily precedes socialism. Where perhaps the idea is, because communism doesn’t exist now and seems an impossibility that all attempts will only lead back to capitalism.


All I will say on this is when Capitalism fails, it will never return to what it is now. It is after all a system that favours only a small percentage of people at the expense of the majority. But what follows is more likely going to be Anarchy rather than utopian purely on the fact humanity is greedy.
#14961789
B0ycey wrote:Fantastic analysis as always Wellsy. Just a few points I would like to address though.

Thank you, I did try to reflect on what you wrote for some days before trying to compose my thoughts in writing when I could find the time. Takes time for me to find the actual idea/point I want to make after sifting through reading material. I'm sorry I rushed this one so there's a lot of reading material I haven't sift through but some of it is just to give different perspective to same idea so don't really have to read all of it, it's there at your leisure to help with some of the ideas I'm making. This post was a lost faster than my last one so less editted, organized it last night and a little this morning. But perhaps if continue I'll be able to look back at the posts and clarify it more later.

As pointed out in the OP, the Amish was around before the Communists Manifesto. So whatever they have created for themselves, it is fair to say they did so without aspiration. But I don't believe they ran away from Capitalism. It just was part of their method to be in isolation so it happens to be a by product for them to not be heavily influenced by it. And perhaps that is how they have maintained their way of life without much change over the years. Also, and I am sure VS will no doubt disagree, but when you listen to the words of Jesus from the Bible, the ethical teachings of Christianity is essentially Communism in many areas. And this explains how the Amish have created what could be argued as Communism without any aspiration to do so.

Aspire was perhaps the wrong word, but my thought was that you’re saying that what they’re wanted to and did create is similar to communism based on their realization of anabaptist teachings. So they aspired to something similar to communism as a consequence.

My comment on running away from communism is in regards to the Marxist conception of communism being global and challenge global capitalism, presumably doing away with the dominance of exchange value. That they also avoided some technological advancements which are seen as part of the precondition for an abundance necessary for mankind's emancipation of certain necessities of labor as opposed to trying to retain the older methods.

But you’re right that it’s not so much they ran away as that they are isolationist in nature and just happened to exist away from typical expansionist influence of capital. Until now of course, with my previous examples of population growth forcing their hand into non-agricultural trades/businesses and opening up to wage labor and tourism (commodifying their cultural niche). That they have a division of labor that is increasingly specialized.


This is the thing. Until this thread I never once considered that dialectial materialism would hinder any possibility for Communism. But the evidence suggests so. Any attempt to create or change a culture to form a Communist state always turns into fascism or a dictatorship - where the power is no longer retained for the worker but instead focused on enhancing the state at the expense of the worker - as humans are by nature selfish. But even without any human intervention all we are seeing is more Capitalism not less. Why? Greed. So in order to create Communism you need an ethical code which everyone agrees to that is by definition Communism. Religion is one way to do this. If you fear the wrath of God you will adhere to anything. And if the Superstructure is fixed society cannot evolve into selfishness and fascism cannot form. And that is why the Amish was successful in their ideology and it continues be so and the Russian revolution changed from a Soviets revolt to a project to create a superstate at the expense of the people who revolted in the first place in a few years.

This quote reminds me of something TheImmortalGoon went on about lots in threads on here in regards to the DeLeon-Connolly debate about culture preceding an economic base. Where it seemed to me Connolly was focused on the economic conditions needing to change prior to the possibility of what a communist life would be life.
Spoiler: show
https://www.marxists.org/archive/connolly/1904/condel/conart.htm
Again, when touring this country in 1902, I met in Indianapolis an esteemed comrade who almost lost his temper with me because I expressed my belief in monogamic marriage, and because I said, as I still hold, that the tendency of civilisation is towards its perfection and completion, instead of towards its destruction. My comrade’s views, especially since the publication in The People of Bebel’s Women [4], are held by a very large number of members, but I hold, nevertheless, that they are wrong, and, furthermore, that such works and such publications are an excrescence upon the movement. The abolition of the capitalist system will, undoubtedly, solve the economic side of the Woman Question, but it will solve that alone. The question of marriage, of divorce, of paternity, of the equality of woman with man are physical and sexual questions, or questions of temperamental affiliation as in marriage, and were we living in a Socialist Republic would still be hotly contested as they are to-day. One great element of disagreement would be removed – the economic – but men and women would still be unfaithful to their vows, and questions of the intellectual equality of the sexes would still be as much in dispute as they are today, even although economic equality would be assured. To take a case in point: Suppose a man and woman married. The man after a few years ceases to love the woman, his wife, and loves another. But his wife's love for him has only increased with the passage of years, and she has borne him children. He wishes to leave her and consort with his new love. Will the fact that her economic future is secured be any solace to the deserted mother or to her children? Decidedly not! It is, a human and sexual problem, not an economic problem at all. Unjust economic conditions aggravate the evil, but do not create it.

The above in the context of sexual relations once socialism is achieved, some were theorizing what it’d be like prior to existing and I imagine from Connolly’s perspective considered utopianist in their fantasizing. Which is just a point that no one knows exactly what life would be like under communism specifically.

I’ve been trying to understand Marx’s supposed ethics and also wondering what ethics is likely to emerge from a working class movement and how.
In regards to Marx, his ethics is like Hegel’s apparently where there is an Aristotlean emphasis with a historical twist.
Spoiler: show
http://isj.org.uk/marxism-and-ethics/
Just as Aristotle sought to base his ethics on a model of human essence, Hegel insisted that ethics must start from a model of “what human beings are”. It is only when they are so grounded that it is possible to say “that some modes of life are suited to our nature, whereas others are not”.39 He followed Aristotle in assuming that the goal of life is self-realisation, but he broke with him by arguing that it is only by way of freedom that this is possible. Whereas Aristotle insisted that happiness is the end of life, Hegel believed with Kant that the end of life was freedom.40 But unlike Kant, who counterposed freedom to necessity, he insisted that to act freely was to act in accordance with necessity.41 He thus criticised “Kant for seeing dichotomies in the self between freedom and nature…where he ought to have seen freedom as actualising nature”.42 Moreover, he believed that moral laws, far from being universal in some transhistoric sense, are in fact only intelligible “in the context of a particular community”, and can be universalised only to the extent that “communities grow and consolidate into an international community”.43

Hegel thus provided a social content to the concept of freedom by relating it to the movement of “a living social whole”.44 In so doing, he simultaneously worked a dramatic change on Aristotle’s concept of happiness. For if human nature evolves with the cultural evolution of communities then so too does the meaning of self-realisation. His ethics is therefore best understood as a form of “dialectical or historicised naturalism”.45 It was this historical understanding of human nature that provided Marx with the basis from which he went beyond existing materialist (Hobbesian) and idealist (Kantian) models of agency.

http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/10867/1/VWills_ETD_2011.pdf
For Marx, ethics are derived in the first place from an understanding of what human beings are, but there is no reason to think that what human beings are is simply static or eternal. If that were the case, it would actually be very difficult to make sense of the charge of ahistoricism that Marx levels against other moral theories. In fact it is precisely because human social being is constantly changing and developing, that the fact of the matter about what is good or bad for human beings at various historical stages changes and develops as well. For Marx, morality is essentially historical. It is historical in (at least) two important senses. The first is that the validity of specific moral commands and specific moral theories depends, not on some set of eternal moral truths, but rather on human social development and the question of which things will promote human development at a particular point in human history.

Morality is also historical in the sense that morality is a social product that has arisen at a particular stage in human history and, Marx predicts, will also pass away when the gap between human existence as it is and human existence as it ought to be is closed. In a fully developed communist society, Marx argues, the social contradictions which create the basis for morality and for other ideological forms of thought such as politics will be abolished. Not only are particular moral precepts contingent and historical, but morality as such is a historical and transitory phenomenon that can pass out of existence.

Marx does not think that what is moral in a given society at a given historical stage is simply whatever counts as moral according to the dominant moral theory of the time. Rather, an action, principle, state of affairs, or other object of moral judgement is morally good if it contributes to further human development and to the greater conscious control of human beings over their own existence (and morally bad if it inhibits these). In this way, morality for Marx accommodates both the fact that human beings have an essential nature as social beings who produce their own existence through labor, and the fact that this essence is expressed in different ways in different circumstances. Therefore, the fact of the matter about what promotes human development, the expression of human essence, and the abolition of alienation, is different in different historical settings.

In the Grundrisse, we find the clearest description of what I have referred to previously in this study as “human flourishing,” which forms the basis of Marx's ethics. In keeping with the terminology Marx uses in the Grundrisse and Capital, we can now speak of this concept using the phrase, “rich individuality.”

In evaluating specific moral questions, Marx evaluates a whole host of concrete historical factors to reach a conclusion about whether a particular action, principle, movement, etc., is such as to promote or inhibit the realization of human nature and the development of what he calls “rich individuals,” human beings for whom the exercise, development, and expansion of their own capacities is their greatest need, and for whom labor has been transformed from drudgery into “life's prime want.” And so morality, according to Marx, is not mere abstract moralizing, but a scientific analysis of which things are most likely to promote the development of human beings. The morality he develops is thoroughly historical, and so the specific fact of the matter about whether an action or a state of affairs is moral or immoral can be different in different historical situations. However, on Marx's view it is possible to say with a very reasonable degree of accuracy which things are actually likely to promote the development of the “rich individuality” of human beings, and which things are not. This allows Marx to claim an objectivity for the moral judgements that he makes.

https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1877/anti-duhring/ch07.htm
We therefore reject every attempt to impose on us any moral dogma whatsoever as an eternal, ultimate and for ever immutable ethical law on the pretext that the moral world, too, has its permanent principles which stand above history and the differences between nations. We maintain on the contrary that all moral theories have been hitherto the product, in the last analysis, of the economic conditions of society obtaining at the time. And as society has hitherto moved in class antagonisms, morality has always been class morality; it has either justified the domination and the interests of the ruling class, or ever since the oppressed class became powerful enough, it has represented its indignation against this domination and the future interests of the oppressed. That in this process there has on the whole been progress in morality, as in all other branches of human knowledge, no one will doubt. But we have not yet passed beyond class morality. A really human morality which stands above class antagonisms and above any recollection of them becomes possible only at a stage of society which has not only overcome class antagonisms but has even forgotten them in practical life. And now one can gauge Herr Dühring’s presumption in advancing his claim, from the midst of the old class society and on the eve of a social revolution, to impose on the future classless society an eternal morality independent of time and changes in reality. Even assuming — what we do not know up to now — that he understands the structure of the society of the future at least in its main outlines.

This is where what movement of people harbors the general interest of humanity as a whole has a superior morality in opposing the fetters on human potential ie alienation of Capitalism and the poverty it reduces most people not just materially but in terms of human culture.

Something that has been catching my eye for a modern workers movement other than the concept of solidarity where one helps others on their terms rather than imposes one’s own sort of help (ie charity) has been based in the decision making process that makes a group of people a subject.
So when I cited
What We do is decided by you and me.

Let us suppose that we have an abstract Notion: collaborate while respecting the different norms and values of the others; arrive at joint decisions through consensus decision-making and keep our promises. I sum up this relation with the maxim: “What we do is decided by you and me.”

What do we do about the fact that millions of people do not share the common objective and some people, the most powerful, actively oppose the shared objective? The millions of people who are not political radicals, not professional agitators with strange pre-occupations remote from everyday life? The point is, that this problem of the ethic of collaboration, which arises in concrete form in alliance politics, is universalisable to society at large.

I think it has appeal in part based on this analysis of Greek states as independent subjects interacting with one another, with Amphictony as the exemplar of what is sustainable in getting people of such differences to maintain activity towards the same goal as the value is placed in a thing rather than an alliance of shared interest.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/works/amphictony.htm
The remarkable success of the amphictonies must cause us to reflect on their significance for our own times. The establishment of an amphictony recognises that the relevant subjects do not intend to make an alliance or union, but are prepared to deal with each other as moral equals and make common sacrifices in order to protect and maintain something of common value to them all, and are prepared to continue doing that even when at war with one another. Participation in an amphictony in no way sacrificed the sovereignty of the participating states, since maintenance and protection of the sacred site was the only responsibility of the amphictony, even though that duty could have profound repercussions for any state.

The inclusion in the scope of an amphictony of the inviolability of water sources gives us a clue as to what a modern amphictony would mean. It is the institutionalisation of the recognition by subjects, that there is something which transcends them and whatever may separate them. The nearest thing to a modern amphictony would be a league of independent sovereign subjects which accepted the responsibility to protect the environment or a particular feature of the environment relevant to them.

Amphictony provides for bonds with other subjects with whom we would not form an alliance or even make a peace, but which is in many senses stronger and more long-lasting than an alliance. An amphictony can be exceptionally long-lasting because the object to be protected defines its continuity, rather than the parties.

An amphictony differs from a hegemony because the controlling entity (on one hand the hegemon, on the other the sacred site) is outside, and it is not a subject. Amphicton, the mythical founder of the Great Amphictonic League was born of the soil of the sacred site. The maintenance of shared festivals (like May Day) and institutions (the unions) are possible examples, but above all of course, protection of the environment, create opportunities for the establishment of amphictonies.

At a deeper level, what the amphictony represents is the collaboration of mutually sovereign and independent subjects in a common project, itself a sovereign and independent project outside or above the life of each participating subject. The shared religious rituals and beliefs of the Greek people provided this opportunity, just as do shared religious beliefs and institutions today, though it is stewardship of the environment which is more paradigmatically modern.

This I see as the basis for modern movements where we see in anti-capitalist events since seattle 1999 have been disparate and without a guiding ideal to be subjects/self conscious movements.
And it is projects that actually allow possibly, a scientific approach to the relationship between an individual person and the whole (I’m suspecting it does away with the structure vs agency dichtomony).
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/pdfs/An_interdisciplinary_concept_of_activity.pdf
It is suggested that if Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) is to fulfil its potential as an approach to cultural and historical science in general, then an interdisciplinary concept of activity is needed. Such a concept of activity would provide a common foundation for all the human sciences, underpinning concepts of, for example, state and social movement equally as, for example, learning and personality. For this is needed a clear conception of the ‘unit of analysis’ of activity, i.e., of what constitutes ‘an activity’, and a clear distinction between the unit of analysis and the substance, i.e., ultimate reality underlying all the human sciences: artifactmediated joint activity.
It is claimed that the concept of ‘project collaboration’ – the interaction between two or more persons in pursuit of a common objective – forms such a unit of activity, the single ‘molecule’ in terms of which both sociological and psychological phenomena can be theorised. It is suggested that such a clarification of the notion of activity allows us to see how individual actions and societal activities mutually constitute one another and are each construed in the light of the other.

Ethics and Collaboration
Invariably any scientific project carries within it a commitment to certain ethical norms and concepts. Liberal economic theory bases itself on a conception of individual, rational agents which also forms the foundation of liberal ethics, for example, and discourse analysis must presume that participants ought to persuade one another with rational argument, even while knowing they don’t. A human science which does not make its ethical commitments explicit is only deceiving itself.

The notion of collaboration not only provides a starting point for science, but is also normative, in the sense that when subjects work together, then they ought to share control over the project and share in its rewards, and in general they expect to, even if they don’t. Collaboration thus provides a reference point for ethics. For example, if a group of people work together to complete a difficult journey, then each will expect to have a say on the chosen route and bear an equal share of privations, and so on. ...

So whilst can’t know exactly what the real existing movement that overturns capitalism may be, one can look to present conditions and see tendencies and limits, offer ideas of what gives a sensible route to what it could or even must look like to be embryonic of norms of future society. But part of that task is largely resolved in people’s negotiation of their problems with methods of organizing. The superstructure that is to develop is to be based in the organized movements although how fixed it is, will be negotiated just as the Amish are trying to negotiate the influence of Markets on them currently. One must adapt to the real world, not in an opportunist way but not to fetishize abstract principles and end up in a kind of dogmatism but something which can be rationally argue for.
https://www.marxists.org/archive/ilyenkov/works/articles/humanism-science.htm
In order to resolve the problem of uniting high moral standards with a maximum of the scientific spirit, the problem must first of all be viewed in all of the acuity and dialectical complexity which it has acquired in the difficult and tumultuous time we live in. A simple algebraic solution will not do. The problem of the relationship between morality and the scientific spirit has been resolved only in the most general fashion by Marxist philosophy. In concrete situations, on the other hand, it will occur again and again in the foreseeable future; each time it will have a new and unexpected twist. Therefore there can be no simple or ready-made solution for each individual occurrence of the conflict between the “mind” and the “conscience.”

There can be no simple prescription or mathematical formula capable of meeting every occasion. If you run into a conflict of this nature, do not assume that in each instance “science” is correct and “conscience” rubbish, or at best a fairy tale for children. The opposite is no closer to the truth, namely that “moral sentiment” is always correct, that science, if it runs into conflict with the former is the heartless and brutal “devil” of Ivan Karamazov, engendering types like Smerdyakov. Only through a concrete examination of the causes of the conflict itself may we find a dialectical resolution, that is to say, the wisest and the most humane solution. Only thus may we find, to phrase it in current jargon, the “optimal variant” of correspondence between the demands of the intellect and of the conscience.

To be sure finding a concrete, dialectical unity between the principles of mind and conscience in each instance is not an easy matter. Unfortunately there is no magic wand, there is no simple algorithm, either of a “scientific” or a “moral” nature.



In regards to selfishness, I take it that Marx is appealing as he seeks to give reason why people’s self interest is linked to that of humanity in general in overturning capitalism
Spoiler: show
http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/10867/1/VWills_ETD_2011.pdf
In capitalist society, the interests of individuals regularly conflict with one another and with society as a whole. Any attempt to pursue social goods within a capitalist society must therefore involve limitations on the capacity of individuals to pursue their self-interest. (The particulars of what limitations ought to be placed and how they ought to be enforced is the stuff that mainstream political philosophy is made of.)
Marx argues that this conflict and competition among individuals is an artifact of the specific features of class society, and not a necessary and ineliminable feature of human social interaction. His argument is not that the interests of individuals must be set aside while persons altruistically pursue “the common good,” but rather that for the vast majority of people, their material interests point to the need for an economic system in which society's productive capacity is organized and implemented for the benefit of human beings, and points away from the capitalist system that heads into ever-deepening crises, constantly plunging new layers of individual persons into dehumanizing poverty and despair. Capitalist society is so very far from valuing and meeting the needs of individual human beings that while “individualism” as a credo or buzzword holds great ideological sway, a mix of economic, political, and environmental crises present a very real ontic threat to the continued existence and development of concrete, empirical, individual human beings.

Marx distances himself from the issuance of moral injunctions as a way, in and of itself, to close the gap between what “is” and what “ought” to be. Because scientific communism is not opposed to the needs of individuals, but rather is theorized as a means of recognizing and satisfying those needs, and because it identifies as the revolutionary class the class that, because of its position in production, is already brought into conflict with the forces of capitalism through its struggle for its own continued existence, it does not share the same difficulties as “true” or utopian socialism when it comes to the question of rational motivation. This further informs Marx's hostility to calls for sacrifice. Calls for sacrifice become necessary for a political theory when the link between rational self-interest and the prescribed ends can no longer be demonstrated through reason.

A particularly important piece of evidence in their case against Kriege is Kriege's enthusiastic promotion of self-sacrifice as a value for communists (“Circular Against Kriege”, MECW 6:45). Instead of arguing for the coincidence of every person's self-interest with the interest of humanity, Kriege posits a moral sacrifice of setting one's own interests aside for the good of “others” who will benefit from a transition to socialism. This notion of sacrifice, of setting one's own interests aside, is totally at odds with Marxism, which argues that all human beings have an objective interest in the realization of a communist society. Kriege argues for communism not as an answer to the problems that are facing human beings, but rather as a moral imperative to be realized out of a sense of one's duty to humanity. It does precisely what, as we saw in the previous chapter, critics such as Max Stirner accused communism of doing—it posits “the common good,” or “humanity” as an abstraction that demands sacrifices from real, concrete, human individuals, and thereby only replicates alienation in a different form, rather than abolishing it.

Marx and Engels accuse Kriege of misrepresenting communism as “a religion of love” (“Circular Against Kriege”, MECW 6:46), rather than presenting it as a science of human progress and development, because to follow Kriege's reasoning would be essentially to take up a religious attitude towards humanity as a new god rendered into pseudo-materialist terms. We do not “belong to mankind,” to which we must constantly sacrifice our individual self-interest. One should be “worried about oneself”--it is in fact this concern with oneself and one's own circumstances that can be linked together with an argument for rational social control over society's resources. There is no need for a moral leap across some perceived gap between one's self-interest and the general interest of society.

Marx and Engels are quite clear in separating their own theory from Kriege's moralistic grandstanding. The point of communism is not for people to stop “worrying about themselves.” Although Marx does not refer to “alienation” here, his comments here on sacrifice relate directly to the problem of alienation. To sacrifice oneself, after all, is to alienate oneself from oneself, to give oneself over to a being that is separate, for the satisfaction of aims that are considered more important than one's own. Marx does not think human progress can be aided by human beings denying themselves, but rather, by human beings seeking their satisfaction and fulfillment. So what Kriege presents is not communist practice, but rather, as Marx and Engels call it, “a religion of love,” an irrational and emotionalist call to self-alienation. Without a material link between self-interest and the general interest, Kriege retreats to an irrational appeal to emotion to make individuals do what is necessary for “society,” an entity whose interests are imagined to be opposed to their own.

Sacrifice appears in Marx's work as an important theme as early as The Holy Family, and shows up again in his polemic against Max Stirner which makes up the bulk of The German Ideology. There, Marx responds to Stirner's charge that communism is a so-called “good cause,” requiring human beings to sacrifice for a “greater good”. Marx argues that far from requiring individuals to engage in sacrifice or altruism, his theory of communism is based on the needs and interests of people, and seeks to develop, confirm, and realize human individuals, not to promote sacrifice and self-renunciation.


I wonder what you think the concept of greed explains as I don’t think it suffices for a rational explanation of behaviour under capitalism. What appears as greed is itself often reflection of one’s relations to the world and how they feel they must navigate it.
I take issue with greed as it seems to much of an individual and psychological force. If abstracted as the cause of things as something innate in humanity with people not considered in regards to the real existing world, one does not end up with a sensible explanation of things.
Spoiler: show
https://kapitalism101.wordpress.com/2011/08/18/bukharin-on-the-subjectiveobjective-value-debate/
Because modern bourgeois theory traces a path of causality from the isolated individual to the social it finds all of the categories of modern capitalist society present in the individual. This is an abstract individual with no specific social context. Bohm-Bawerk’s examples are a man sitting by a stream of water, a traveler in the desert, a colonist alone in the primeval forest, etc. In order to deduce the laws of capital from such an absurdist starting point the laws of capital must already exist in the mentality and actions of these individuals. Thus any choice our desert traveler makes is a utility maximization which produces a subjective profit!

Bukharin rightly points out the absurdity of such a starting point since the isolated individual is the not a historical precursor to society and hence, any theoretical abstraction of the isolated individual will naturally just read modern categories into his/her mentality. In reality individual choices and actions always are conditioned by pre-existing conditions.

https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1845/german-ideology/ch01a.htm
The premises from which we begin are not arbitrary ones, not dogmas, but real premises from which abstraction can only be made in the imagination. They are the real individuals, their activity and the material conditions under which they live, both those which they find already existing and those produced by their activity. These premises can thus be verified in a purely empirical way.

http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/10867/1/VWills_ETD_2011.pdf
Marx's second argument against Kantian morality is that its focus on the free will belies the extent to which the will is itself determined by material conditions and material interests. The abstraction of the “free will” is illegitimate according to Marx because it attempts to prize apart the intellectual life of individuals from their economic, social, and historical context. A person with a will that is “wholly independent of foreign causes determining it,” to adopt Kant's phrase, simply does not exist in reality, and therefore such a subject makes a rather poor starting point for moral theory. (Later, in 1853, Marx writes, there critiquing Hegel, “Is it not a delusion to substitute for the individual with his real motives, with multifarious social circumstances pressing upon him, the abstraction of “free-will” — one among the many qualities of man for man himself”74!)

http://69.195.124.91/~brucieba/2014/04/13/ilyenkovs-dialectic-of-the-abstract-and-the-concrete-i/
It is a mistake to conceive thought as a separate entity from empirically presented facts in this view and it is the specific task of logic to move from the abstract contemplation of notions or concepts of the empirically presented facts to work out an abstraction that would express the essence of the presented facts given in our notions and concepts. The problem is in drawing out the generalised expression of the real nature of the object under investigation from the empirically obvious facts. This is far from straight forward and constitutes the real challenge in dialectical logic.

For Hegel the essence or content of objects of investigation cannot be known by examining them in isolation. The thing cannot be known in itself as its essence exists outside of itself and in relation to, or in its connectedness with, other objects or phenomena. As Ilyenkov explains:

“That is why a concept, according to Hegel, does not exist as a separate word, term, or symbol. It exists only in the process of unfolding in a proposition, in a syllogism expressing connectedness of separate definitions, and ultimately only in a system of propositions and syllogisms, only in an integral, well-developed theory. If a concept is pulled out of this connection, what remains of it is mere verbal integument, a linguistic symbol. The content of the concept, its meaning, remains outside it-in series of other definitions, for a word taken separately is only capable of designating an object, naming it, it is only capable of serving as a sign, symbol, marker, or symptom.”

https://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/en/jordan2.htm
In the opinion of Marx, it is an error to assume that the primary psychological constitution of the individual can be distinguished from his socially acquired characteristics and that the latter, being a product of social existence, are in a sense artificial and secondary, since they are derivable from the former. The differentiation between what man owes to society and to his primary, true, and unchanging nature, can be disregarded as a pseudo-problem or a mere figment of speculation. The ‘normal man’, ever the same in each historical epoch, who provided Jeremy Bentham with his yardstick of utility in the past, present, and future, existed only in Bentham’s own mind. With an incomparable naiveté, Bentham took the English shopkeeper for his model and regarded what was useful to this queer normal man and to his world as absolutely useful.[101] Engels may have praised Rousseau as a forerunner of dialectics, admiring his dialectical ingenuity which enabled him to show how man in the state of nature, free from any social bonds and inclinations, was constrained to enter into social life, and thus came to form society and to establish law and government. But Marx ignored Rousseau’s dialectics as spurious, firmly holding to the view that men have always lived in society and believing that the individual is ‘a social being’ or ‘an ensemble of the social relations’. Consequently, society is as real as the interacting individuals of which it is composed are real.[102] The social laws are not an artificial human product, established by convention or imposed by the will of a powerful lawgiver who can change or discard them as he thinks fit. ‘Marx considers social evolution to be a natural process governed by laws which do not depend upon the will, consciousness, or the intention of men,’ wrote the Russian reviewer of Capital, whom Marx praised for the accuracy of his evaluation in the preface to the second edition of this work. Marx’s own view on society is aptly reflected by Emile Durkheim’s observations made some fifty years later, that it is no easier to modify the type of society than the species of an animal. The more man emancipates himself from the original dependence on nature by social co-operation and becomes an individual by social action, the more he falls under the influence of his social environment and, more specifically, of the mode of existence of his society.[103]

It does not follow from the fact that ‘society is the product of men’s reciprocal action’ that society is governed by laws that are made arbitrarily or are deducible from unchangeable human nature and applicable to the behaviour of individual men, always and everywhere. Since social life results from, or is based upon, human interaction, the study of the behaviour of individual men taken separately of their motives and aspirations, hopes and expectations, is irrelevant to social investigations. Society is not an aggregate of individuals but a totality of interacting individuals. Therefore, society changes and develops according to its own laws which are not psychological but specifically social laws. They help towards understanding social phenomena and the social behaviour of individuals. As Marx put it, just as society is produced by men, so society itself produces man as man.[104]



This tendency has me concerned for a kind of presumed internal essence which in fact takes appearances for the true nature of things and results in a eternalized view of the status quo and change as impossible. Like what people assume in regards to the sexes, naturalizing certain results as the inevitability of biology.
Spoiler: show
http://www.nyu.edu/classes/jackson/future.of.gender/Readings/DownSoLong--WhyIsItSoHard.pdf
Consider another example showing how beliefs about sex differences cloud people's analytical vision. How often have we heard question like: will women who enter high-status jobs or political positions end up looking like men or will the result of their entry be a change in the way business and politics is conducted? Implicit in this question are a set of strong assumptions: men have essential personality characteristics and cultural orientations that have shaped the terrain of high status jobs and women have different essential personality characteristics and cultural orientations. The conclusion is that and women's entry into these positions unleashes a conflict between their feminine essence and the dominant masculine essence that has shaped the positions. Either the positions must change to adapt to women's distinctive characteristics or the women must become masculine. (It is perhaps telling that those who raise this issue usually seem concerned only with women entering high-status positions; it is unclear if women becoming factory workers are believed immune or unimportant.) The analytical flaw here i assuming that masculinity has shaped the character of jobs rather than that jobs have shaped masculinity. In her well-known book Men and Women of the Corporation, Rosabeth Kanter argued persuasively that the personality characteristics associated with male and female corporate employees really reflected the contours of their positions. The implication is simple and straightforward. Women who enter high-status positions will look about the same as men in those positions not because they are becoming masculine, but because they're adapting to the demands and opportunities of the position, just like men.

http://www.nyu.edu/classes/jackson/future.of.gender/Readings/DownSoLong--Persistence&Origins.pdf
Many authors have suggested that feminine personality characteristics (including a lack of drive) explain women's lack of success in climbing corporate ladders. Kantor has persuasively argued that these characteristics are really a direct result of structural conditions. Men placed in positions with no opportunities for advancement and with no effective power show the same personality and behavior characteristics as women in such positions. In the past, however, all women were condemned to occupy the positions without futures. Only men could realistically aspire to rise. Therefore we have good evidence that inequality produces differential motives to dominate weighed against no evidence of any inherent sexual difference in such motives.

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/francois-barre/#Fem
At the same time, it was an acknowledged fact that most women (and most men) in the seventeenth century were unable to read or write, and were inadequately trained for the exercise of public offices. It was a fallacy, however, to conclude that they were not capable of acquiring the relevant skills. Since ‘nature’ was a pseudo-explanation of women's lack of achievement, Poulain required some other explanation. He offered instead an historical hypothesis to explain how, over many generations, women were reduced to the inferior roles to which they had become accustomed. This history of subjection was compounded by women's exclusion from education, so that opponents of equality could then argue that women lacked the training or education required to exercise the same roles in society as men. And since women were generally unfit for those offices, the argument was made that they did not need access to an education if they were excluded from the offices for which education was a necessary condition.

The circularity of this was made explicit in the summary statement by ‘Sophia’, who had borrowed many of Poulain's arguments: ‘Why is learning useless to us? Because we have no share in public offices. And why have we no share in public offices? Because we have no learning’ [1739: 27]. In contrast, Poulain drew the conclusion that women should be allowed access to exactly the same educational opportunities as men and should then be allowed compete equally for all civil and ecclesiastical offices. The equality or otherwise of men and women could be tested only by implementing such a long-term social experiment.

https://digitalcommons.law.seattleu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=&httpsredir=1&article=1960&context=sulr
It goes beyond stereotyping, however, because in believing men are stronger, we both train them to be stronger, and we create a military designed around their abilities—in other words, we make the belief real. Epistemologist Sally Haslanger has termed this cognitive mechanism “assumed objectivity.”207 Members of a powerful group ascribe characteristics to a weak group in a way that makes the differences real, and in a vicious cycle, the ascribed characteristics help make the weak group weak.208 For example, slave owners might ascribe a lack of intelligence to slaves, claim that this characteristic is innate, use this professed belief to justify a lack of education, and in this way make real a difference that keeps the slave owners in power.209

https://epistemicepistles.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/a-wittgensteinian-critique-of-conceptual-confusion-in-psychological-research/
Referentialism
Referentialist views of language treat words as standing for, or referring to, objects. While Wittgenstein’s Tractatus[9] espoused such a view, he later came to think one of the Tractatus crucial failings was that it ignored the difference between alternate kinds of words and uses of language.[10] Consider the words ‘table’, ‘blue’ and ‘hot’, these do not all signify objects, and understanding the words does not in each case involve knowing what objects they stand for. Rather, according to Wittgenstein, it involves knowing how the words are used.[11] Consequently treating reference as central to meaning gives a one sided and inaccurate view of language.

However in psychology this referentialist doctrine seems alive: In the misplaced reification of concepts as ‘concrete’ tangible things. As Gould[12] argues, there is a strong tendency to believe that whatever received a name must be an entity or being, having an independent existence of its own. However on a Wittgensteinian take, we can reasonably be sure that no such ‘concept-entities’ can be found among the neurons in a person’s skull, they are concepts not concrete things. Confusing the two is equivalent to confusing a “map with a territory.” [13] Essentially it involves taking a pattern of behaviour, naming it, then taking this named thing to be a physical entity, then viewing someone’s behaviour as caused by having this entity inside them. Confusing psychological concepts with inner entities, like so, leads to postulating metaphysical explanations which actuality explain nothing. It is equivalent to saying a volcano erupts because it has ‘eruptability’ inside, or to say someone’s nervous behaviour is caused by an inner ‘neuroses’. This is merely to repeat the observation that they tend to behave in a nervous manner. The explanation merely repeats the description of the initial behaviour, yet the vacuousness of the explanation is concealed by pointing to a mystified inner entity; ‘neurosis’. This form of referentialism survives in psychology and leads to much conceptual confusion, distorting our notion of causality and providing only vacuous explanations[J1] .[14]

Simply put, there is a tendency to observe things and only consider them as originating within the individual which doesn’t end up explaining things beyond what is already apparent in describing things/observing them.
As such, what might be seen as human nature, is in fact the accurate reflection of how people are driven to behave out of necessity/limits of the present conditions.

Capitalists today can be crudely seen as motivated by the need to expand their capital (M-C-M cycle) because of the necessities of a capitalist economy. One can see the drive to profit reflected in their own perspectives as shaped by economic factors and their position in relation to it.
https://research-repository.griffith.edu.au/bitstream/handle/10072/12641/33292_1.pdf?sequence=1
This is how one of the top 30 Australian directors describes the role of capital and the freedom of capitalists to invest where they like:

Most governments that I have spoken to have no understanding of private capitalism. Now I have heard people say that you should feel privileged to be committed to invest in Australia. Really! The whole world is our oyster so what is so special about here? New Zealand is the same! Their attitude is we are permitting you to invest. So what! The whole world is on offer to us so what is so good about you? They think that they are the pearls in the oyster of the world. Australians in Canberra are remote from the real world. They don’t understand why you invest. It isn’t something that they have ever been involved in and they say, ‘We have improved the conditions — so now you do your bit’. What do they mean — my turn? We don’t have turns; we put our money out when we think that it’s good for us. That’s all we do. We don’t look for any other reason — it’s not a turn. Not when …Keating or Howard or other politicians say we have made all the conditions right, now it’s up to you to go and do it, unless we can see the market we are not going to invest.14

But one wouldn’t rationally explain this behaviour by appealing to their subjective motivations, but more in regards to their place in the world as it exists (in relation to capitalist markets). Because to understand the nature of something requires one examine it within existing relations, rather than something posited solely within the object itself. Scientific understanding cannot be based on subjective things, the subjective must be inferred indirectly by objective means.
https://ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/pdfs/determinism.pdf
Even though consciousness can only be directly experienced subjectively, subjective experience cannot be scientific. The science of consciousness, not unlike the sciences of history and geology, relies on surmising the subject matter from objective traces given to the researcher in the observation of behavior. But these traces are not themselves the subject matter of the science. The intelligible explanation of historical processes entails surmising what can never be observed, and first-person reports of historical events are no more than evidence which the historian places alongside other evidence. Nonetheless, historiography relies on the plausibility of intelligible explanations of great historical changes in terms of mundane conversations and concrete events and seeks evidence of such events wherever possible. Likewise, the psychologist places the reports of subjective experience (including their own) alongside other evidence which is objective and verifiable.


But this doesn’t require that Marx’s work is economically detereministic, except to vulgar interpretations.
http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/10867/1/VWills_ETD_2011.pdf
What Marx describes when he addresses the way in which economic laws play a role in determining the actions of human beings, are tendencies of members of various social groups to act in circumstances shaped through those laws, and not iron-clad predictions for particular individuals. Howard Sherman, in his 1981 paper, “Marx and Determinism,” puts this point very nicely when he writes:

Marx pointed out that one can find regularities of human behavior, that on the average we do behave in certain predictable ways. This behavior also changes in systematic ways, with predictable trends, in association with changes in our technological and social environments. At a simpler level, the regularities of human behavior are obvious in the fairly constant annual numbers of suicides and divorces (although these also show systematic trends). If humans did not, generally, behave in fairly predictable ways, not only social scientists but also insurance companies would have gone out of business long ago. Any particular individual may make any particular choice, but if we know the social composition of a group, we can predict, in general, what it will do. Thus, on the average, most large owners of stock will vote in favor of preferential tax rates for capital gains; most farmers will favor laws that they believe to be in the interest of farmers 109.

As a rule, a capitalist will tend to maximize his profit irrespective of the social repercussions. A bourgeois intellectual will tend to develop theoretical justifications for the continuation of capitalism, often in spite of the glaring social contradictions.




In theory dialectical materialism can lead to anything. Even an ideology no one has even thought of. But regardless to what culture will lead society into next, changing human nature seems impossible without ethics. After all, there is nothing special about the Amish except for the fact they follow a code of ethics. Without a code of ethics, humanity will always choose materialism over values. And as Marxism is an atheist system, it seems to me it is impossible under free will to create what Marx was hoping for.

I don’t quite get what this materialism over values except as some sort of hedonism, or obsession with consumption of commodities (money is the new god in actuality). But I see Marx’s perspective as being about realizing the sort of humanism some profess in religion.
Religion being the alienated consciousness of much that is good in humanity but not yet realized, an ideal not yet given existence. If the intensely alienating world of capitalism is abolished, the humanity of people may have existence.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/pdfs/Why%20Marx%20was%20not%20an%20Atheist.pdf
“The foundation of irreligious criticism is: Man makes religion, religion does not make man. Religion is indeed the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself or has already lost himself again. But man is no abstract being squatting outside the world. Man is the world of man, state, society. This state and this society produce religion, which is an inverted consciousness of the world, because they are an inverted world. Religion is the general theory of this world, ... its moral sanction, its solemn complement and its universal basis of consolation and justification. It is the fantastic realization of the human essence since the human essence has not acquired any true reality. The struggle against religion is therefore indirectly the struggle against that world whose spiritual aroma is religion.
“Religious suffering is at one and the same time the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.”

The above is the point that criticism of religion has already been achieved, the task is to resolve the basis of such human suffering.
To elaborate on this position I hope to one day study Feuerbach’s critique of Christianity to emphasize how God is a creation of man in his own image who is then posited as creator of man in his own image.
In fact, understanding Feuerbach is important to understanding Marx’s sense of commodity fetishism as the same process that has people believe in God applies in regards to consciousness and commodities today.
It’s been a long process, but mankind might yet come to know itself, to be self conscious.
Initially we saw our consciousness directly in concrete things but have separated our consciousness from objects to the point that some see subjects as independent of objects (idealism).
https://www.marxists.org/archive/ilyenkov/works/ideal/ideal.htm
It is quite true that the “real talers” are in no way different from the gods of the primitive religions, from the crude fetishes of the savage who worships (precisely as his “god”!) an absolutely real and actual piece of stone, a bronze idol or any other similar “external object”. The savage does not by any means regard the object of his worship as a symbol of “God”; for him this object in all its crude sensuously perceptible corporeality is God, God himself, and no mere “representation” of him.

The very essence of fetishism is that it attributes to the object in its immediately perceptible form properties that in fact do not belong to it and have nothing in common with its sensuously perceptible external appearance.

When such an object (stone or bronze idol, etc.) ceases to be regarded as “God himself” and acquires the meaning of an “external symbol” of this God, when it is perceived not as the immediate subject of the action ascribed to it, but merely as a “symbol” of something else outwardly in no way resembling the symbol, then man’s consciousness takes a step forward on the path to understanding the essence of things.

For this reason Kant himself and Hegel, who is completely in agreement with him on this point, consider the Protestant version of Christianity to be a higher stage in the development of the religious consciousness than the archaic Catholicism, which had, indeed, not progressed very far from the primitive fetishism of the idol-worshippers. The very thing that distinguishes the Catholic from the Protestant is that the Catholic tends to take everything depicted in religious paintings and Bible stories literally, as an exact representation of events that occurred in “the external world” (God as a benevolent old man with a beard and a shining halo round his head, the birth of Eve as the actual conversion of Adam’s rib into a human being, etc., etc.). The Protestant, on the other hand, seeing “idolatry” in this interpretation, regards such events as allegories that have an “internal”, purely ideal, moral meaning.


All I will say on this is when Capitalism fails, it will never return to what it is now. It is after all a system that favours only a small percentage of people at the expense of the majority. But what follows is more likely going to be Anarchy rather than utopian purely on the fact humanity is greedy.

Cue Socialism or barbarism ;)
Greed brought by capitalist conditions may well be our end as a solution isn’t guaranteed.
#14961827
Wellsy wrote:Thank you, I did try to reflect on what you wrote for some days before trying to compose my thoughts in writing when I could find the time. Takes time for me to find the actual idea/point I want to make after sifting through reading material. I'm sorry I rushed this one so there's a lot of reading material I haven't sift through but some of it is just to give different perspective to same idea so don't really have to read all of it, it's there at your leisure to help with some of the ideas I'm making. This post was a lost faster than my last one so less editted, organized it last night and a little this morning. But perhaps if continue I'll be able to look back at the posts and clarify it more later.


No apologies needed Wellsy. You are responding to someone who thinks most of philosophy is a pile of shit. I had some interest in Marx and Nietzsche in my teengage years and perhaps Locke also (and Hegel recently from your influence) but the rest I consider mostly wrong and not even worth contemplating as for what we know today seems to outweigh their views - which I suppose would have been groundbreaking through the enlightment I guess. But I am very interested in Marx because he is right on pretty much everything he writes and consider Das Kapital the best form of literature in understanding todays flaws in capitalism - and as such consider him an economist rather than a philosopher. So I would say you know more about what constitutes actual Communism than me - even when you are rushing. Don't be hard on yourself.

So they aspired to something similar to communism as a consequence.


This is my understanding to. To me the values of the Bible are that of Communism in many aspects of it - and as such anabaptism will have similar values to Marx. That is not to say they the same thing. But similar enough you could argue they share the same humane values and social functions. Although there are some major contradictions in terms of religion, insolation - and as you pointed out a desire to accumulate wealth for the good of their community, to also argue they definately do not share the same values as Marxists at the same time.

My comment on running away from communism is in regards to the Marxist conception of communism being global and challenge global capitalism, presumably doing away with the dominance of exchange value. That they also avoided some technological advancements which are seen as part of the precondition for an abundance necessary for mankind's emancipation of certain necessities of labor as opposed to trying to retain the older methods.


This is a fair assessment. And perhaps ultimately be what defines them today as something other than Communists to most free thinkers.

This quote reminds me of something TheImmortalGoon went on about lots in threads on here in regards to the DeLeon-Connolly debate about culture preceding an economic base. Where it seemed to me Connolly was focused on the economic conditions needing to change prior to the possibility of what a communist life would be life.

The above in the context of sexual relations once socialism is achieved, some were theorizing what it’d be like prior to existing and I imagine from Connolly’s perspective considered utopianist in their fantasizing. Which is just a point that no one knows exactly what life would be like under communism specifically.


The Immortal Goon was no doubt the best Marxist thinker to grace PoFo since I joined. He always knew the exact quote to back his claim and unlike other Marist thinkers was never wrong in understanding what Marx was suppose to have meant.

As for knowing what Communism will be like, I concur it is impossible to know. As I have said, I have read papers which wanted to show that the principles that the Amish apply to themselves can also be used to also show how Communism could function. Although today it appears Marxist thinkers are targeting Technocracy to fulfil their aims and as such will not look like anything you will see in Pennsylvania. Also, it was clear from reading the Communist manifesto Marx didn't envision a reality outcome but rather a concept of how it could function and how it would happen. And the function is arguably achieved by the Amish today.

I’ve been trying to understand Marx’s supposed ethics and also wondering what ethics is likely to emerge from a working class movement and how.
In regards to Marx, his ethics is like Hegel’s apparently where there is an Aristotlean emphasis with a historical twist.

This is where what movement of people harbors the general interest of humanity as a whole has a superior morality in opposing the fetters on human potential ie alienation of Capitalism and the poverty it reduces most people not just materially but in terms of human culture.


A fair assessment and I concur. Although I suspect Marx had some personal morals he wanted to exploit in his movement as I am sure that is the real reason he wanted a world without borders.

Something that has been catching my eye for a modern workers movement other than the concept of solidarity where one helps others on their terms rather than imposes one’s own sort of help (ie charity) has been based in the decision making process that makes a group of people a subject.
So when I cited

I think it has appeal in part based on this analysis of Greek states as independent subjects interacting with one another, with Amphictony as the exemplar of what is sustainable in getting people of such differences to maintain activity towards the same goal as the value is placed in a thing rather than an alliance of shared interest.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/works/amphictony.htm

This I see as the basis for modern movements where we see in anti-capitalist events since seattle 1999 have been disparate and without a guiding ideal to be subjects/self conscious movements.
And it is projects that actually allow possibly, a scientific approach to the relationship between an individual person and the whole (I’m suspecting it does away with the structure vs agency dichtomony).
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/pdfs/An_interdisciplinary_concept_of_activity.pdf

So whilst can’t know exactly what the real existing movement that overturns capitalism may be, one can look to present conditions and see tendencies and limits, offer ideas of what gives a sensible route to what it could or even must look like to be embryonic of norms of future society. But part of that task is largely resolved in people’s negotiation of their problems with methods of organizing. The superstructure that is to develop is to be based in the organized movements although how fixed it is, will be negotiated just as the Amish are trying to negotiate the influence of Markets on them currently. One must adapt to the real world, not in an opportunist way but not to fetishize abstract principles and end up in a kind of dogmatism but something which can be rationally argue for.
https://www.marxists.org/archive/ilyenkov/works/articles/humanism-science.htm


This is a great analysis and at least gives the possibility of Dialectical Materialism resulting in Communism. If you can somehow change humanity to take an ethical approach and consider the collective rather than individualism then it is possible that the culture will result in a society of that of the collective such as Communism. But although I think an social ethical code is what is needed to create Communism, I believe biological factors and attitudes will ultimately make this unrealistic. Nonetheless this is where the Amish are a great example. If they can fulfil an ethical society based on the collective rather than the individual then it isn't inconceivable for a global society to do this also.

In regards to selfishness, I take it that Marx is appealing as he seeks to give reason why people’s self interest is linked to that of humanity in general in overturning capitalism


I wonder what you think the concept of greed explains as I don’t think it suffices for a rational explanation of behaviour under capitalism. What appears as greed is itself often reflection of one’s relations to the world and how they feel they must navigate it.
I take issue with greed as it seems to much of an individual and psychological force. If abstracted as the cause of things as something innate in humanity with people not considered in regards to the real existing world, one does not end up with a sensible explanation of things.



This tendency has me concerned for a kind of presumed internal essence which in fact takes appearances for the true nature of things and results in a eternalized view of the status quo and change as impossible. Like what people assume in regards to the sexes, naturalizing certain results as the inevitability of biology.

Simply put, there is a tendency to observe things and only consider them as originating within the individual which doesn’t end up explaining things beyond what is already apparent in describing things/observing them.
As such, what might be seen as human nature, is in fact the accurate reflection of how people are driven to behave out of necessity/limits of the present conditions.

Capitalists today can be crudely seen as motivated by the need to expand their capital (M-C-M cycle) because of the necessities of a capitalist economy. One can see the drive to profit reflected in their own perspectives as shaped by economic factors and their position in relation to it.
https://research-repository.griffith.edu.au/bitstream/handle/10072/12641/33292_1.pdf?sequence=1

But one wouldn’t rationally explain this behaviour by appealing to their subjective motivations, but more in regards to their place in the world as it exists (in relation to capitalist markets). Because to understand the nature of something requires one examine it within existing relations, rather than something posited solely within the object itself. Scientific understanding cannot be based on subjective things, the subjective must be inferred indirectly by objective means.
https://ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/pdfs/determinism.pdf


But this doesn’t require that Marx’s work is economically detereministic, except to vulgar interpretations.
http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/10867/1/VWills_ETD_2011.pdf


Again this is a great analysis. However on human nature and greed I cannot concur. You seem to say here that Capitalism influences human nature to be greedy and if we didn't have capitalism society could be more moral. I would argue it is human nature that creates Capitalism as we are naturally greedy. Why? Because all social systems from civilised societies whether Barbaric, Egyptian, Roman, Feudial, Victorian, whatever, they are all based on a hierarchical and functioned by a class divide. They are based an individualism and social improvement at the expense of the worker and their surplus labor doesn't remain to their advantage but to the land owner/ruler. If we look back into history I cannot see any evidence that there isn't an elitist attitude in humanity and as such I can not see anything but an elitist society in the future. But we will see. As culture does seems to be more liberal today than it was in the past, then it isn't inconceivable that this factor in society would mean Communism is our future.

I don’t quite get what this materialism over values except as some sort of hedonism, or obsession with consumption of commodities (money is the new god in actuality). But I see Marx’s perspective as being about realizing the sort of humanism some profess in religion.
Religion being the alienated consciousness of much that is good in humanity but not yet realized, an ideal not yet given existence. If the intensely alienating world of capitalism is abolished, the humanity of people may have existence.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/pdfs/Why%20Marx%20was%20not%20an%20Atheist.pdf


This is a fair assessment. As money is required in today's society, it gives way more importance to what is all but worthless - as it isn't required for humans to survive. Money is the new God and we all aspire to gain as much of it as we can. And this tunes into our human nature. Perhaps until money has no value, we will continue to have an individual attitude and a crash in the financial institution will force humanity to look at the interest of the collective instead. Maybe another route for Dialectical Materialism to form Communism.

The above is the point that criticism of religion has already been achieved, the task is to resolve the basis of such human suffering.
To elaborate on this position I hope to one day study Feuerbach’s critique of Christianity to emphasize how God is a creation of man in his own image who is then posited as creator of man in his own image.
In fact, understanding Feuerbach is important to understanding Marx’s sense of commodity fetishism as the same process that has people believe in God applies in regards to consciousness and commodities today.
It’s been a long process, but mankind might yet come to know itself, to be self conscious.
Initially we saw our consciousness directly in concrete things but have separated our consciousness from objects to the point that some see subjects as independent of objects (idealism).
https://www.marxists.org/archive/ilyenkov/works/ideal/ideal.htm


You should do that for your own enlightment Wellsy. It is always assumed by Marxist that Religion has no place in it. It maybe required. This is a topic to discuss with annatar as I believe he is a Communist Christian.

Cue Socialism or barbarism ;)
Greed brought by capitalist conditions may well be our end as a solution isn’t guaranteed.


Ha, a great sentence that has a concensus on here. One thing the Communists and the Ancaps agree on is we either reach Anarchy or Communism. There is no other final destination for humanity.
#14962280
B0ycey wrote:No apologies needed Wellsy. You are responding to someone who thinks most of philosophy is a pile of shit. I had some interest in Marx and Nietzsche in my teengage years and perhaps Locke also (and Hegel recently from your influence) but the rest I consider mostly wrong and not even worth contemplating as for what we know today seems to outweigh their views - which I suppose would have been groundbreaking through the enlightment I guess. But I am very interested in Marx because he is right on pretty much everything he writes and consider Das Kapital the best form of literature in understanding todays flaws in capitalism - and as such consider him an economist rather than a philosopher. So I would say you know more about what constitutes actual Communism than me - even when you are rushing. Don't be hard on yourself.

I do find that interesting as I had initially thought philosophy rather distant from concrete things, but I take it that’s because of the state of a lot of academic philosophy today that doesn’t seem to be about answering questions in one’s life.
But even the simplest of problems can have radical philosophical implications.
As an illustration:
Spoiler: show
https://www.marxists.org/archive/ilyenkov/works/articles/universal.htm
Let us take this situation – the one of the dialectical inter-relationship between the universal and particular and the individual. Here the “universal” cannot be identified in principle within the composition of particular individuals by means of a formal abstraction by revealing the common, the identical in them. This can be shown most demonstrably in the case of the theoretical difficulties associated with the concept of “man,” the definition of “man’s essence” and the search for his “specific generic definition.”

Such difficulties were described with a superb wit in the well-known satirical novel Les animaux de natures, by Vercors. In the thickets of a tropical forest a community of strange creatures was discovered. On the basis of some criteria current in modern physical anthropology, they are apes or other primeval people. Apparently, this is a peculiar, hitherto unobserved, transient form that has developed from the animal, or purely biological world to the social, human world. The question is, whether or not the Tropi (the name the author gives his invented herd-tribe) have passed the hardly discernible, but all-important border-line between man and animal.

At first glance, the question is of purely academic significance and may be of concern, it seems, only to a particular biologist or anthropologist. However, before long it transpires that it is inter-twined with the fundamental problems of our age in legal, ethical and political aspects, as well as with philosophical problems. The novel’s hero deliberately, with a premeditated intention, murders one of the creatures. This act labels him a murderer, provided the Tropi are human beings. If they are animals the corpus delicti is non-existent. The old priest torments himself with the same question. If the Tropi are human beings he is bound to save their souls and subject them to the rite of baptism. If the Tropi are animals, he runs the risk of repeating the sinful deed of St. Mahel who made the mistake of baptizing penguins and caused a lot of trouble to the heavens. Yet another factor enters in due to a selfish manufacturing interest which at once identifies the Tropi as ideal labor power. Indeed, an animal easy to tame, and unable to grow into the awareness of either trade-unions, or the class struggle, or any requirements except physiological ones – is not this a businessman’s dream?

The argument about the nature of the Tropi involves hundreds of people, dozens of doctrines and theories; it broadens, becomes confused and grows into a debate about entirely different things and values. The characters have to ponder over the criterion whereby a categorical and unambiguous answer could be given. This turns out to be far from simple.

Sometimes it’s the language of philosophers who don’t give concrete examples to exemplify the significance of their work.
The raw data developed by the work of scientists are a necessary and useful part of understanding things, but today they’re often not great synthesizers of facts.
https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/spirkin/works/dialectical-materialism/ch01-s04.html
What is more, narrow specialisation, deprived of any breadth of vision, inevitably leads to a creeping empiricism, to the endless description of particulars.

What are we to do about assembling integral knowledge? Such an assembly can nevertheless be built by the integrative power of philosophy, which is the highest form of generalisation of all human knowledge and life experience, the sum-total of the development of world history. By means of philosophy the human reason synthesises the results of human knowledge of nature, society, man and his self-awareness, which gives people a sense of freedom, an open-ended view of the world, an understanding of what is to be found beyond the limits of his usual occupation and narrow professional interests. If we take not the hacks of science but scientists on the big scale, with a truly creative cast of mind, who honestly, wisely and responsibly consider what their hands and minds are doing, we find that they do ultimately realise that to get their bearings in their own field they must take into consideration the results and methods of other fields of knowledge; such scientists range as widely as possible over the history and theory of cognition, building a scientific picture of the world, and absorb philosophical culture through its historically formed system of categories by consciously mastering all the subtleties of logical thought. Max Born, one of the creators of quantum mechanics, provides us with a vivid example of this process. Born had a profound grasp of physical thought illumined by philosophical understanding of his subject. He was the author of many philosophical works and he himself admitted that the philosophical implications of science had always interested him more than narrow specialised results. After Einstein he was one of the first of the world's leading scientists to realise the futility of positivism's attempts to act as a basis for understanding the external world and science and to deny this role to philosophy.

The philosophical approach enables us to overcome the one-sidedness in research which has a negative effect in modern highly specialised scientific work. For example, natural science today is strongly influenced by integrative trends. It is seeking new generalising theories, such as a unitary field theory, a general theory of elementary particles, a general theory of systems, a general theory of control, information, and so on. Generalisations at such a high level presuppose a high degree of general scientific, natural-humanitarian and also philosophical culture. It is philosophy that safeguards the unity and interconnection of all aspects of knowledge of the vast and diversified world whose substance is matter. As Werner Heisenberg once observed, for our senses the world consists of an infinite variety of things and events, colours and sounds. But in order to understand it we have to introduce some kind of order, and order means to recognise what is equal, it means some sort of unity. From this springs the belief that there is one fundamental principle, and at the same time the difficulty to derive from it the infinite variety of things. The natural point of departure is that there exists a material prime cause of things since the world consists of matter.

Instead many areas still tend to reflect the division of intellectual labor.
To be honest, I haven’t glanced through a lot of Marx’s work directly out of an apprehension on how to interpret his work. I still have an underdeveloped view of communism and Marx but tried to get a sense of some of the necessary aspects. At present I do see it being about abolishing exchange value whilst retaining the productive power of capitalism.

This is my understanding to. To me the values of the Bible are that of Communism in many aspects of it - and as such anabaptism will have similar values to Marx. That is not to say they the same thing. But similar enough you could argue they share the same humane values and social functions. Although there are some major contradictions in terms of religion, insolation - and as you pointed out a desire to accumulate wealth for the good of their community, to also argue they definately do not share the same values as Marxists at the same time.

In this respect I can wholly agree as I do think the sentiments expressed by some Christian do lend themselves to opposition to capitalism and could then go down the path of communism.

This is a fair assessment. And perhaps ultimately be what defines them today as something other than Communists to most free thinkers.

It’s the only thing that comes to mind for me on how despite not having exchange values dominant in their mode of production, it doesn’t express itself as a path forward and through capitalism which resides though most of the globe.


The Immortal Goon was no doubt the best Marxist thinker to grace PoFo since I joined. He always knew the exact quote to back his claim and unlike other Marist thinkers was never wrong in understanding what Marx was suppose to have meant.

As for knowing what Communism will be like, I concur it is impossible to know. As I have said, I have read papers which wanted to show that the principles that the Amish apply to themselves can also be used to also show how Communism could function. Although today it appears Marxist thinkers are targeting Technocracy to fulfil their aims and as such will not look like anything you will see in Pennsylvania. Also, it was clear from reading the Communist manifesto Marx didn't envision a reality outcome but rather a concept of how it could function and how it would happen. And the function is arguably achieved by the Amish today.

I take it that it was true to his profession as a historian to be on point with quotes and context. It was he who got me curious about James Connolly and the Easter Rising.

I would like to note that whilst technology developing production and thus pushing back natural necessity is important, it is seen as a necessary precondition rather than the inevitable means towards communism.
“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.”

[QUOTE[A fair assessment and I concur. Although I suspect Marx had some personal morals he wanted to exploit in his movement as I am sure that is the real reason he wanted a world without borders.[/QUOTE]
I’m not sure I follow what possible personal morals are related to a borderless world. But it seems to me that capitalism itself undermines the significance of borders.
See its insignificance when it comes to the flow of capital and quite so with the flow of labor.
http://www.panarchy.org/engels/freetrade.html
To sum up, what is free trade, what is free trade under the present condition of society? It is freedom of capital. When you have overthrown the few national barriers which still restrict the progress of capital, you will merely have given it complete freedom of action. So long as you let the relation of wage labor to capital exist, it does not matter how favorable the conditions under which the exchange of commodities takes place, there will always be a class which will exploit and a class which will be exploited. It is really difficult to understand the claim of the free-traders who imagine that the more advantageous application of capital will abolish the antagonism between industrial capitalists and wage workers. On the contrary, the only result will be that the antagonism of these two classes will stand out still more clearly.

http://legacy.iza.org/en/webcontent/publications/reports/report_pdfs/iza_report_49.pdf
Free labor mobility within the European Union provides for an increased allocative efficiency of human capital and labor across EU labor markets. The expansion of the free movement of workers to 12 new EU member states in the 2000s has indeed resulted in significant additional migration flows in the European Union. Although this has increased overall labor mobility in the European Union, it still remains below what is observed in the United States or even the Russian Federation.

Though it is of course not exactly free in the same way that capitalists are bent to the whims of markets, so to is labor and the working population is managed more strictly.
https://www.guernicamag.com/john_berger_7_15_11/
The best way to understand the world is not as a metaphorical prison but a literal one.


This is a great analysis and at least gives the possibility of Dialectical Materialism resulting in Communism. If you can somehow change humanity to take an ethical approach and consider the collective rather than individualism then it is possible that the culture will result in a society of that of the collective such as Communism. But although I think an social ethical code is what is needed to create Communism, I believe biological factors and attitudes will ultimately make this unrealistic. Nonetheless this is where the Amish are a great example. If they can fulfil an ethical society based on the collective rather than the individual then it isn't inconceivable for a global society to do this also.
Again this is a great analysis. However on human nature and greed I cannot concur. You seem to say here that Capitalism influences human nature to be greedy and if we didn't have capitalism society could be more moral. I would argue it is human nature that creates Capitalism as we are naturally greedy. Why? Because all social systems from civilised societies whether Barbaric, Egyptian, Roman, Feudial, Victorian, whatever, they are all based on a hierarchical and functioned by a class divide. They are based an individualism and social improvement at the expense of the worker and their surplus labor doesn't remain to their advantage but to the land owner/ruler. If we look back into history I cannot see any evidence that there isn't an elitist attitude in humanity and as such I can not see anything but an elitist society in the future. But we will see. As culture does seems to be more liberal today than it was in the past, then it isn't inconceivable that this factor in society would mean Communism is our future.

I am suspicious of the vagueness in which people refer to human nature as it lacks specificity.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_nativism#Criticism
Paul Griffiths, in "What is Innateness?", argues that innateness is too confusing a concept to be fruitfully employed as it confuses "empirically dissociated" concepts. In a previous paper, Griffiths argued that innateness specifically confuses these three distinct biological concepts: developmental fixity, species nature, and intended outcome. Developmental fixity refers to how insensitive a trait is to environmental input, species nature reflects what it is to be an organism of a certain kind, and intended outcome is how an organism is meant to develop.[23]

Full paper: http://joelvelasco.net/teaching/2890/griffiths%2002%20-%20what%20is%20innateness.pdf
One can just as easily posit opposing examples as human nature because they’re prevalent in some form.
https://www.unl.edu/rhames/courses/current/readings/boehm.pdf
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutual_Aid:_A_Factor_of_Evolution

But I see that your point for greed being part of human nature is based in the history of humanity divided by classes. Where once there is a surplus, the basis of class divide emerges.
I would still emphasize that it’s more comprehensible with humans in relation to the organization of their society than to appeal to greed.
And presuming communism is possible, it should be the abolition of classes such that it would eliminate the social forces that compel certain kinds of behaviour.

Look at this passage which doesn’t talk about greed itself, which seems implied to be behind the societies with class division, rather than a reflection of how societies developed materially and were determinate of people’s behaviour within such social relations.
I think it does well to emphasize such dominance as being social in nature.
http://www.nyu.edu/classes/jackson/future.of.gender/Readings/DownSoLong--Persistence&Origins.pdf
SEEKING POWER
The motive to dominate forms the second major axis of theory building about the origins of sex inequality. The issue is rarely addressed directly, but assumptions about the motives to dominate have considerable influence over the shape of a theory about inequality. Theories about gender inequality that implicitly assume sex differences are crucial but also avoid a direct assessment of the differences that matter tend to seem more likely to imply that a difference in motives--a male predisposition toward control that seems almost a moral difference--had a critical causal impact.

This concern is somewhat of a theoretical peculiarity. Research offers little direct support for assumption that men have possessed a greater inherent drive toward power than did women. Probably every system of social inequality has an inherent tendency to create the impression that members of the dominant strata have a stronger orientation toward domination because only they get to dominate. Yet, if we consider some of these patterns, they rarely lead to the inference of an integral difference in motivation as occurs in the writings on gender. Few would argue that people in slave owning classes have a greater inherent motive to dominate than do people in slave classes or that capitalists enjoy power more than workers could.

Rosabeth Kantor has effectively assessed this misperception in her work Men and Women of the Corporation. Many authors have suggested that feminine personality characteristics (including a lack of drive) explain women's lack of success in climbing corporate ladders. Kantor has persuasively argued that these characteristics are really a direct result of structural conditions. Men placed in positions with no opportunities for advancement and with no effective power show the same personality and behavior characteristics as women in such positions. In the past, however, all women were condemned to occupy the positions without futures. Only men could realistically aspire to rise. Therefore we have good evidence that inequality produces differential motives to dominate weighed against no evidence of any inherent sexual difference in such motives.

Thus, while dominance may frequently give people skills and expectations that help to preserve and ease their dominance, it appears unlikely that biology or any condition other than inequality itself produces differences between groups in the desire to dominate. If men appear more oriented toward domination than women as a result of social conditions in some societies, it remains more likely that the motives reflect rather than cause gender inequality.9

DIRECT OR MEDIATED CAUSES
Male domination has always been inherently social: it has not depended on individual characteristics. All men have had status, rights, and opportunities unavailable to all women. Gender status has been ascribed. People acquired the advantages or disadvantages of their gender regardless of physical capacity, reproductive functioning, or aggressiveness. Gender status could not be earned or lost. Invariably, gender inequality, like all systematic inequality, has been socially organized.

Thus, biological differences could not readily cause patterns of inequality through their effects on the direct individual relations between women and men. On the face of it, this is hardly surprising. Consider strength. If their strength had empowered men, because they could individually intimidate and punish women, then why wouldn't the same principle have held more generally? Why didn't the physically strong men in society rise regularly to positions of power over the weak? Because we do have not lived in Hobbesian societies where each man fended solely for himself. Everywhere, organized violence has overwhelmed individual violence.10


So it’s not that greed didn’t exist prior to capitalism but that capitalism fosters it by asserting that pursuit of wealth and self interest overlap with the overall good of society. Although I believe many have since dropped this argument.
I also don’t think it the case that communism would entirely eradicate greed, but I think it would undermine its effectiveness or even lose it’s social basis for certain kinds.
But I take it that you’re perhaps worried of a repeat of the USSR where the bureaucracy of the state took over.


Not entirely satisfied with my response but couldn’t really think of how I wanted to approach greed as human nature that seems to be based in most of human history with class divided societies. I think I worry about it being framed as biological drive or something which was causal to make up societies. Thinking there might be a methodological issue where I initially was going to lay out a discussion on the biosocial nature of man where the two are integrated instead of ending up one sided like much of materialism vs idealism.
See it with many treating consciousness as superfluous and wanting to reduce the mind to material processes or to be so insignificant in itself that man is conceived on terms of most animals to be an object of control. But not sure how fruitful it would’ve been or interesting to you.
This is a fair assessment. As money is required in today's society, it gives way more importance to what is all but worthless - as it isn't required for humans to survive. Money is the new God and we all aspire to gain as much of it as we can. And this tunes into our human nature. Perhaps until money has no value, we will continue to have an individual attitude and a crash in the financial institution will force humanity to look at the interest of the collective instead. Maybe another route for Dialectical Materialism to form Communism.

Well money became a new need on the basis of development of societies, it tunes into human nature as much as we are born into a society and learn it’s ways and that money is the mediated means to many of our needs and wants that it has become a need itself.
https://www.marxists.org/archive/fromm/works/1961/man/ch04.htm
In line with this distinction between a general human nature and the specific expression of human nature in each culture, Marx distinguishes, as we have already mentioned above, two types of human drives and appetites: the constant or fixed ones, such as hunger and the sexual urge, which are an integral part of human nature, and which can be changed only in their form and the direction they take in various cultures, and the "relative" appetites, which are not an integral part of human nature but which "owe their origin to certain social structures and certain conditions of production and communication." [24] Marx gives as an example the needs produced by the capitalistic structure of society. "The need for money," he wrote in the Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts, "is therefore the real need created by the modern economy, and the only need which it creates.... This is shown subjectively, partly in the fact that the expansion of production and of needs becomes an ingenious and always calculating subservience to inhuman, depraved, unnatural, and imaginary appetites." [25]

Man's potential, for Marx, is a given potential; man is, as it were, the human raw material which, as such, cannot be changed, just as the brain structure has remained the same since the dawn of history. Yet, man does change in the course of history; he develops himself; he transforms himself, he is the product of history; since he makes his history, he is his own product. History is the history of man's self-realization; it is nothing but the self-creation of man through the process of his work and his production: "the whole of what is called world history is nothing but the creation of man by human labor, and the emergence of nature for man; he therefore has the evident and irrefutable proof of his self-creation, of his own origins." [26]

Man isn’t just his biological needs, but constantly recreates himself as society changes. Through our activity we indirectly determine ourselves.
https://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/en/jordan2.htm
But Feuerbach failed to go beyond the point reached by Helvetius. He too conceived of man as a purely passive recipient of stimuli supplied by nature and as the product of education, circumstances, and influences of nature acting upon him; he forgot that ‘it is men that change circumstances and that the educator himself needs educating’.[34] Man changes not only in response to the influence of nature upon him, but also in reacting upon nature in his struggle for existence. Changing nature he changes the environment and changing the conditions of life, he changes himself.

http://www.marxistsfr.org/reference/archive/smith-cyril/works/millenni/smith3.htm
We can be conscious of our own humanity only because, and to the extent that, we act humanly, and that means creating ourselves. We are not some kind of machine, nor are we passive victims of evolutionary history, governed by ‘instincts’ which can never be understood or controlled, subroutines in a universal computer program. What distinguishes humanity from the rest of nature is the conscious, active relationship we have with everything else, with each other and with ourselves.

Of course we have a given biological make-up, resulting from the evolutionary history of our species. This conditions but does not fix what we do, either collectively or individually. What makes us human is our conscious, social, purposively directed activity, and this produces the content of our biological form. Our relationships with nature and with each other are defined by our productive activity: we are what we do.

https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/spirkin/works/dialectical-materialism/ch05-s02.html
When discussing biological factors, one should not reduce them to the genetic. More attention should be given to the physiological and ontogenetic aspects of development, and particularly to those that evoke a pathological effect, for it is these that modify the biology of the human being, who is also beginning to perceive even social factors in quite a different way. Dialectics does not simply put the social and the biological factors on an equal footing and attribute the human essence to the formula of biotropic-sociotropic determination favoured by some scientists. It stresses the dominant role of the social factors. Nor does dialectics accept the principles of vulgar sociologism, which ignores the significance of the biological principle in man.

As the highest intelligent being, man is the focal point of all forms of the motion of matter. They are represented in him hierarchically, and the highest ultimately guiding and regulative factor is the social, to which all other forms are subordinate. In other words a human being embodies and sums up, as it were, the whole development of the universe.



It is the case that money has real value because of the relations of production which exist give it value independent of anyone’s subjective evaluation of things. One has to change relations of production to disrupt the value of money.


[QUOTE[You should do that for your own enlightenment Wellsy. It is always assumed by Marxist that Religion has no place in it. It maybe required. This is a topic to discuss with annatar as I believe he is a Communist Christian.[/QUOTE]
Well James Connolly is interesting in this regard as he considers one’s religion as a personal matter that is distinct from the ‘science’ of socialism in the way that Galileo argued the separation of science from religious scripture.
https://www.marxists.org/archive/connolly/1901/evangel/socrel.htm
Socialism, as a party, bases itself upon its knowledge of facts, of economic truths, and leaves the building up of religious ideals or faiths to the outside public, or to its individual members if they so will. It is neither Freethinker nor Christian, Turk nor Jew, Buddhist nor Idolator, Mahommedan nor Parsee – it is only human.

In this sense I don’t really have an issue with religion except in it’s political content. In that I think something like Christianity for example can be given a revolutionary content that is amicable to communists.
http://loydo38.blogspot.com/2011/05/christianitys-perversion-zizek-and.html
Against liberation theology’s perspective of the cross as signifying the life of Jesus, is the one depicted in The Passion. Like Gibson’s other movie, we are again treated (entertained?) by a depiction of the protagonist—Jesus, this time played by Jim Caviezel—being mocked, beaten, whipped, choked, nailed, pierced, and dying from exhaustion on a cross before a Roman and Jewish crowd. However, unlike Braveheart, where Wallace’s torture and death comprises of only a short scene at end of the extended portrayal of his life, Jesus’s torture and death is the content of the entire film—leaving one critic to call it “a two-hour-and-six-minute snuff movie—The Jesus Chainsaw Massacre.”[19] In fact, beyond a few short flashbacks depicting brief scenes of Jesus’s life, such as him playfully interacting with his mother, forgiving the prostitute, and teaching his disciples at the Last Supper, nothing is shown concerning Jesus’s life to give the viewer any understanding as to why the Roman and Jewish elites would want to inflict such violence on him.

To be fair to Gibson, his depiction of Jesus’s death seems to be exemplary of many Christians’ perspective of the cross—where Jesus, as a happy, hippie-like dispenser of kindness and transcendent aphorisms, is beaten and killed for just being too kind. Reflecting on the perplexing notion of the Roman Empire and Jewish elites’ concern and effort to kill such a hippie-Jesus, Ellacuría’s friend, Jon Sobrino, writes,

“Persons who preach an exclusively transcendent Reign [Kingdom] of God do not get themselves murdered. People who preach a Reign that is only a new relationship with God, or only “love,” or only “reconciliation,” or only “trust in God,” are not murdered. All these things may be legitimately regarded as elements accompanying the message of the Reign of God, but they alone do not explain Jesus’ death, and therefore they alone cannot be the central element of the Reign. The Reign of God must have had some bearing on the historico-social, not only the transcendent.[20]”

According to Ellacuría and Sobrino, God as Jesus did not come to earth simply to be hung on the cross to absolve persons of some sort of transcendent or metaphysical sin with a transcendent or metaphysical grace. Rather than coming to earth to die, God came to earth to live a life that both confronted sin and taught his followers to do the same. By this, the cross is not a symbol of violent sacrificial death for the sake of sacrifice. Instead, to them the cross is signified in the question “why did they kill him?” It is when we ask this question that we come to realize that Jesus was not capitally punished for simply teaching of love and transcendence, but he was rather murdered for confronting oppressive systems and trying to liberate the oppressed from their suffering. The value of the cross is that it symbolizes, points to, and embodies the life that Jesus of Nazareth lived. Thus, Jesus was not only the transcendent God made immanent, but in his imminence, he did that which either the transcendent God could not—or would not—do.

Opening his book, Zizek ask, “What if eternity is a sterile, impotent lifeless domain of pure potentialities, which, in order fully to actualize itself, has to pass through temporal existence? What if God’s descent to man, far from being an act of grace toward humanity, is the only way for God to gain full actuality, and to liberate Himself from the suffocating constraints of Eternity?”[21] In other words, if to truly be free is to be able to affect material reality (as all humans can do), and if to be truly transcendent is to be wholly apart from material existence (and thus unable to touch and affect the material world), then in order for God to truly be free he had to dispose of his transcendence. Thus, Zizek writes, “true love is precisely the . . . forsaking of eternity for an imperfect individual.”[22]

For Ellacuría, the type of life that led to Christ’s death was a life of what he calls “historic soteriology.” This is a life that “seeks human promotion or human rights from the side of the oppressed, on their behalf, and in struggle against the side of the oppressors. In other words, his action is historical and concrete and goes to the roots of the oppression.”[23] Like Wallace, who was fighting with the oppressed Scots to gain their freedom from their oppressors, Ellacuría’s Jesus is foremost concerned with the historical and tangible suffering of the oppressed. It is they who are in direct and urgent need of salvation from their pains. Just as Yahweh in the Hebrew Bible was concerned with the historical and concrete enslavement and imprisonment of the Israelites, so too is Jesus foremost concerned with the historical oppression of others. To attempt to spiritualize their historical nature is to strip them of their importance.

The above shows how radical Jesus is with merely asking the question of why did they kill him.
This is where there is a kind of religious sense of the divine in certain acts of notable persons (matyrs).
https://nothingtobegainedhere.wordpress.com/2011/09/12/albizu-and-connolly-lives-of-sacrifice-and-valor/
Courage is the only thing which permits a man to pass firmly and serenely over the shadows of death and when man passes serenely over the shadows of death, he enters into immortality.

Though only certain people are able to become martyrs, not just anyone: https://ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/pdfs/Semiotics_of_Martyrdom.pdf



But if Marx is right in his view of human consciousness, then it may well be the case that religion simply loses it’s real world basis. It is even the case that religion simply isn’t what it used to be where God had more of a foundation in people’s day to day life. But God is dead because money/commodity is the new fetish. Religion either disappears as seen with increase in atheists or it becomes twisted as in the manner see with some in the US whose religion for many is a veneer but without a Christian spirit. Like those of the USSR in it’s later generations who used the language of communists/marxism whilst not believing in it or understanding it.

Really I’m culturally illiterate to religion because I was raised without it really touching my life except in early years.
Ha, a great sentence that has a concensus on here. One thing the Communists and the Ancaps agree on is we either reach Anarchy or Communism. There is no other final destination for humanity.

Indeed, I see it in terms that we either change and let our old ways/selves die figuratively or we die literally. The problems that face humanity today can’t go on the way they are for too much longer.
https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/spirkin/works/dialectical-materialism/ch05-s03.html
The man-nature relation, the crisis of the ecological situation is a global problem. Its solution lies in the plane of rational and humane, that is to say, wise organisation, both of production itself and care for mother nature, not just by individuals, enterprises or countries, but by all humanity, linked with a clear awareness of our planetary responsibility for the ecological consequences of a civilisation that has reached a state of crisis. One of the ways to deal with the crisis situation in the "man-nature" system is to use such resources as solar energy, the power of winds, the riches of the seas and oceans and other, as yet unknown natural forces of the universe. At one time in his evolution man was a gatherer. He used the ready-made gifts of nature. This was how human existence began. Perhaps even today it would be wise to resort to this method, but on a quite different level, of course. The human being cannot restrict himself to gathering, any more than he could in primitive times. But such a shift in attitude could at least abate the destructive and polluting principle in civilisation.
...
But to return to our theme, the bitter truth is that those human actions which violate the laws of nature, the harmony of the biosphere, threaten to bring disaster and this disaster may turn out to be universal. How apt then are the words of ancient Oriental wisdom: live closer to nature, my friends, and its eternal laws will protect you!
#14962351
Christianity displays for us the example of a material God, a God who came down from His transcendent, heavenly throne to share in humanity's material, physical pleasures and sufferings, while still simultaneously retaining all His transcendence. In this sense, Jesus became the world's first dialectical materialist, two millennia before such a concept had even been conceived. "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us." (John 1:14)
#14962361
Ah, a thread where I can enjoy the thinking of others and not really have much to add. It seems basically if you leave a group of people alone long enough they will find similar or superior answers to the great thinkers naturally.
#14962375
Wellsy wrote:I do find that interesting as I had initially thought philosophy rather distant from concrete things, but I take it that’s because of the state of a lot of academic philosophy today that doesn’t seem to be about answering questions in one’s life.


Yes and no. Philosophy to me is still about asking difficult questions and trying to find a logical conclusion to these questions. But the advancement of science is the new philosophy. Not the enlightened Western Philosophers. So if you want to find answers to any philosophical question you are better researching the present rather than the past. Although as I say Marx is different. Everything he said the Capitalists will do to maintain their system they are doing. Although I do believe he does underestimate the reset values of Capitalism to reform itself and start a fresh.

It’s the only thing that comes to mind for me on how despite not having exchange values dominant in their mode of production, it doesn’t express itself as a path forward and through capitalism which resides though most of the globe.


This is a great statement about the Amish. But I would like to add to this if I may. Capitalism enhances progress due to the desire for profit - and we have progressed far since Victorian times. The lack of progress from the Amish in terms of technological advancement could be argued to be due to their values not their capital gain. What Communism needs is the desire to progress while at the same time maintaining social conditions of Capitalism and the end of private property. And that is not easy unless you have a political establishment whose state is high in commodity and production that is also willing to enact economic change.

I’m not sure I follow what possible personal morals are related to a borderless world. But it seems to me that capitalism itself undermines the significance of borders.
See its insignificance when it comes to the flow of capital and quite so with the flow of labor.


The flow of labor is what is flawed in Marx’s borderless world. When labor is high the bourgeois have the advantage. But he was expelled from all of Europe for his radical views so wanted to maintain that belief (in my opinion) so reinvented it to have a meaning. He believed the world's workers should unite and what should come after is withering of states. But there is no advantage in my opinion of the proletariat in doing this.

And presuming communism is possible, it should be the abolition of classes such that it would eliminate the social forces that compel certain kinds of behaviour.


This is an important statement actually. And we will find out if humans are inherently greedy/elitist when Capitalism ends. Because if they are, I cannot see a future for Communism. Just failed attempts.

So it’s not that greed didn’t exist prior to capitalism but that capitalism fosters it by asserting that pursuit of wealth and self interest overlap with the overall good of society. Although I believe many have since dropped this argument.
I also don’t think it the case that communism would entirely eradicate greed, but I think it would undermine its effectiveness or even lose it’s social basis for certain kinds.
But I take it that you’re perhaps worried of a repeat of the USSR where the bureaucracy of the state took over.


I concur with all of this. A very strong statement. Although to have a social basis you have to eliminate the desire for material possession. And that isn't easy if humans are naturally greedy.

Thinking there might be a methodological issue where I initially was going to lay out a discussion on the biosocial nature of man where the two are integrated instead of ending up one sided like much of materialism vs idealism.


There maybe a methodological issue with greed. Evolution. But I believe to find the solution to create Communism you need to understanding how to make us Idealists and not materialists. Religion is one way to do this. So perhaps going down this road is the right course of action for you if you are looking for answers.

See it with many treating consciousness as superfluous and wanting to reduce the mind to material processes or to be so insignificant in itself that man is conceived on terms of most animals to be an object of control. But not sure how fruitful it would’ve been or interesting to you.


Consciousness does interest me Wellsy. But I don't link material processes with consciousness but evolution and our desire and needs to survive. If you can think of how consciousness is important to production I am all for listening.

It is the case that money has real value because of the relations of production which exist give it value independent of anyone’s subjective evaluation of things. One has to change relations of production to disrupt the value of money.


This. Exactly. Money only has value because we believe it has value. Change the system of production and you lose the value of money.

Really I’m culturally illiterate to religion because I was raised without it really touching my life except in early years.


Like you I have a limited influence to religion. I will have to research more on Marx and class consciousness/struggle to see why he eliminates the need for religion to create Communism. But in my opinion for Communism to work you need a code of ethics. And religion can do that for you.
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Potemkin wrote:Christianity displays for us the example of a material God, a God who came down from His transcendent, heavenly throne to share in humanity's material, physical pleasures and sufferings, while still simultaneously retaining all His transcendence. In this sense, Jesus became the world's first dialectical materialist, two millennia before such a concept had even been conceived. "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us." (John 1:14)

No he was very far from the first. Euhemerisation was common in the Ancient world.
#14962391
Rich wrote:No he was very far from the first. Euhemerisation was common in the Ancient world.

Euhemerisation involves a man becoming a god; Christianity involves the one God incarnating as a man. The difference is significant. Jesus, according to orthodox Christian theology, was always-already God and always-already a man.
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Potemkin wrote:Euhemerisation involves a man becoming a god; Christianity involves the one God incarnating as a man. The difference is significant. Jesus, according to orthodox Christian theology, was always-already God and always-already a man.

The key point is that Jesus didn't always have an earthly biography. Paul and the proto Christians that preceded him knew nothing of the earthly biographies described in the Gospels. Jesus' acts in the lower heavens were "revealed" to the proto Christians, through the reinterpretation of scripture. (Canonical and non Canonical). Once theologically revealed through the use of pesher techniques, he started to make appearances. Note the earliest Christian writers never talk about Jesus' return.

Only later was Jesus's cosmic sacrifice reimagined on earth. The Epistle to Hebrews is the closest we have to left to a smoking gun, that Jesus had never been on earth. For heavenly beings to descend, incarnate, eat, drink and even copulate was common place across numerous mythologies.

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