What is 'Truth' for Marxists? - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15026974
I've been getting hints to it's nature but I'm wondering what insight others might bring to the subject.

Spoiler: show
https://www.marxists.org/glossary/terms/t/r.htm#truth
Truth is usually taken to mean correspondence of an idea to the world outside thought. However, following Hegel, Marxists take truth to be something that may be said of a social formation or social practice itself. The truth of a social practice is always relative, since, as Goethe said: “All that exists deserves to perish” – sooner or later, everything turns out to be false. See Engels' discussion of this in Ludwig Feuerbach, and the End of Classical German Philosophy.

Some philosophical currents believe that the truth of an idea can be established by logical deduction from “clear ideas.” In general, each current has its characteristic criterion of truth: for Rationalism it is Reason; for Empiricism it is Observation and Experiment; Pragmatism makes practice the criterion of truth, but like Empiricism, pragmatism knows only immediate, individual action and misses the cultural and historical content of social practice. If the claim that “practice is the criterion of truth” is to have any content more profound than “the truth of the pudding is in the eating,” then it depends on the notion of truth (as objectively inhering in the object itself) and practice (as social-historical practice, within the totality of a given culture.) If insisted upon too stridently, the claim that “practice is the criterion of truth” simply diminishes the value of philosophical reflection. If “practice is the criterion of truth” pure and simply, then the socialist revolutionary must wait for socialism to discover the truth of his practice, since socialism is the objective of his or her practice.

Ilyenkov shows that Hegel in fact, by insisting on the real, sensuously objective activity of man, solely as a criterion of truth, solely as the verifying authority for thought, betrayed his idealism. Indeed, for Marx, practice is far more than a criterion of truth, it is substance.

Lenin explained that while practice should be first and fundamental in the theory of knowledge, “the criterion of practice can never, in the nature of things, either confirm or refute any human idea completely.”

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/259742845_Reality_of_the_Ideal
"To know an object – and be unable to correlate this knowledge (knowledge of the object!) with the object?! In actual fact, this paradoxical situation arises where a person does not really know an object, but knows something else. What? Phrases about the object. Words, terms, formulas, signs, symbols, and stable combinations thereof deposited in science, mastered (memorized) in place of knowledge of the object – as a special object that exists above and outside reality, as a special world of ideal, abstract, phantom ‘objects’. It is here that an illusion of knowledge arises, followed by the insoluble task of relating this illusory knowledge to reality, to life."

Ilyenkov most probably bears in mind here the ‘third world’ by Popper, populated by ‘linguistic entities’.

The problem of the correlation of knowledge with a thing arises only if they are treated as two primordially different ‘worlds’. Reality (‘world’ number one) seems to be transcendent or ‘the beyond’ with respect to knowledge (‘world’ number three), while the individual consciousness (‘world’ number two) is allotted a part of a medium, correlating ideas with things. All the while truth is being sheltered between the ‘worlds’ like Epicurean gods. Little wonder, then, that Popper considered truth to be a purely relative concept and altogether rejected the existence of absolute truths. However, as Ilyenkov’s disciple S.N. Mareyev noticed, relative truth without the absolute truth is as the North Pole without the South – namely nonsense.

The very concept of truth is different in dialectics and formal logic. The latter demands to eliminate subjectivity – this ideal is clearly pronounced in the title of the report by Popper: ‘Epistemology without a knowing subject’. By contrast, in dialectics truth is understood as a process of transformation of the subjective into the objective, and vice versa. And the ideal is an objective form of a subject’s activity.

http://caute.ru/am/text/truth.htm
ABSTRACT. Marxist philosopher E.V. Ilyenkov argued that truth is the process of ascending to the concrete knowledge of thing by way of resolving objective contradictions, and attacked the formal, nominalistic conception of truth as correspondence of knowledge with its object.
...
The conformity of idea with object is called usually the “truth.” Spinoza, however, considered this conformity to be only denominatio extrinseca of truth [8, vol. 2, p. 447]. The habitual definition of truth as adaequatio intellectus et rei expresses the nature of truth as little as Plato’s “two-footed animal without feathers” expresses the nature of human being. “A true idea must agree with its object” is a mere axiom for Spinoza [8, vol. 1, p. 410]. This feature is certainly belongs to any true idea, but it is not the “agreement” that makes it true. And false ideas do agree with some real object as well.

Spinoza seeks a criterion of truth inside thought itself. The genuine truth needs not to be collated with a thing, it verifies itself: veritas sui sit norma. If some architect makes an idea of building in due order, his thought is true regardless of the fact, whether the building be raised or not. On the other hand, if someone states, for example, that Peter exists, and nevertheless does not know that Peter exists, that thought is not true, even though Peter really exists [8, p. 31]. Hence, there is something real inside thought itself that differs true ideas from the false ones. That “objective essence” of idea Spinoza calls “certainty”. 2

https://etd.lib.metu.edu.tr/upload/12613281/index.pdf
It should also be noted from the outset that Marx’s epistemology cannot be handled in traditional epistemological terms. In their article “Marxist Epistemology: The Critique of Economic Determinism”, Stephen A. Resnick and Richard D. Wolff indicate that traditional epistemology operates as if there are two separate realms: “independent subjects seeking knowledge of independent objects” (Resnick and Wolf, 45). In contrast to traditional epistemology, Marx does not see theory and reality as belonging to two distinct spheres. Rather there is a “circular process” in the production of theory where “theory begins and ends with concretes […] the concrete which determines theory is conceptualized as the ‘concrete real’ [the real concrete] and the concrete produced by thought is the ‘thought-concrete’ [concrete for thought]”( Resnick and Wolf, 43).
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https://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/en/jordan2.htm
For the understanding of Marx a different point is, however, important. The Marxian conception of nature, of man, and man’s relation to nature disposes of many traditional epistemological problems. Marx neither needs to prove existence of the external world, nor disprove its existence. From his point of view both these endeavours are prompted by false assumptions concerning the relation of man to nature, by considering man as a detached observer, setting him against the world or placing him, as it were, on a totally different level. For man, who is part of nature, to doubt the existence of the external world or to consider it as in need of proof is to doubt his own existence, and even Descartes and Berkeley refused to go to such a length.

This conclusion is of considerable significance for the interpretation of Marxian philosophy. As Marx refused to dissociate nature from man and man from nature and conceived man not only as part of nature but also nature in a certain sense as a product of man’s activity and, thus, part of man, Marx’s naturalism has no need of metaphysical foundation. Moreover, since man knows only socially mediated nature, ‘man’, and not natural reality, ‘is the immediate object of natural science’. To use Marx’s terminology, the natural science of man is logically prior to all other knowledge.[59] What Feuerbach said about his anthropological materialism applies even more fittingly to Marx’s naturalism. ‘The new philosophy’, wrote Feuerbach, ‘makes man, including nature as the basis of man, the sole, universal and highest object of philosophy, makes, therefore, of anthropology, including physiology, the universal science.’ [60]

https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/works/story-concept.htm
Although Nature is always the starting point, Hegel has shifted the focus from relations between human individuals and the material world outside of thought and human life, to the relations between human beings, each other and their own culture. Cultural products are constructed from Nature which remains the ultimate source of human needs, but the understanding of human life means making that life the centre of attention. People living as individuals in Nature is an impossible myth and cannot function as the presupposition for philosophy. Our relation to Nature is mediated by a division of labour within the community and means of production. In Hegel’s terminology, what mediates between the individual person and Nature is Geist (Spirit) or in the terminology of this very early work, the Idea, made up of collaborative forms of activity, a constellation of artefacts and human beings themselves.

Epistemology was posed initially in terms of the relation between the consciousness of an individual and Nature outside of and independently of human activity, and presented intractable problems. When posed in terms of the relation of individuals to their own culture, the situation is transformed. Of course people understand how their own culture works. How could they not, for ‘understanding’ is nothing other than formulating an idea in the terms of one’s own culture? The point then becomes the deeper understanding of the dynamics of culture and the relation of individuals to their own culture and that of others.
#15027080
Wellsy wrote:I've been getting hints to it's nature but I'm wondering what insight others might bring to the subject.



The analysis of capitalism by Marx is brilliant, on the money, and very compelling for young people (who never experienced it) in every generation. The problems is not the analysis of capitalism: The problem is the solutions-----they do not work.
#15042278
If truth is about a social formation and concepts in the Hegelian-Marxist tradition are the basis of some collaborative project/activity whcih motivates a series of people's actions towards some end, then the issue of truth has to be determined by figuring out what is the underlying notion of an activity and how is it not an absolute truth.

Absolute truth is found when we properly delineate certain facts within the limits in which they are valid/true, this tends to be at odds with the typical idea, but a thing is absolutely true not when merely generalized upon everything but when it's limits are correctly discerned. Such that we find the kernel of absolute truth and develop upon it as we subject projects to criticism and reveal the inessential/inadequate parts of an idea.

Implicit in many forms of activity is an underlying concept which motivates the actions of the individuals collaborating within that activity. When we criticize such a concept, it may be represented in the form of arguments in language, but the real criticism is actualized in attempts to change activity.
The concept of sexism as a sign for a problem facing women doesn't just exist in the mind but becomes a universal which people, primarily women, have organized their actions around in institutionalizing anti-sexual harassment and discriminatory law and practices.
The critique is to change the way of life and contest the absoluteness of concepts implicit in a project such as patriarchy.

The universal which guides the activity isn't identical with the particular institutions which mediate the universal to the individuals whose actions instantiate a particular organization based on that universal concept. As such there can be a sort of revival of the concept which guides an activity. So for example the institution of science and the practice of it can be corrupted by external influences such as the interest of pharmaceutical companies or some powerful actor that disrupts the idea of impartial scientific practice. The criticism then can be about the means to restore the practice closer to the concept which the activity aims to realize, even though it cannot be perfectly identical to.


Spoiler: show
[url]https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/works/determinism.htm][/url]
The basic categories for explaining and describing human behavior are action and activity. ‘Behavior’, ‘motives’ and ‘consciousness’ are abstractions from activity which is the fundamental concept. The basic units of consciousness are concepts; concepts exist objectively in forms of human activity oriented around a shared motive; concepts exist in consciousness as systems of meaning united by a single motive. ‘Concepts’ form the link between psychology and social science.

The Subject Matter of the Logic
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/pdfs/Article_on_Teleology.pdf
To understand how a social practice, made up of millions of individual actions, can be ‘self-conscious’ entails the distinction Hegel makes between the general and the universal. In general, not all the individual actions in a social practice are motivated by the exact same purpose or intention, not every action implies exactly the same object.

For example, the aim of a capitalist firm is to expand its capital, but to do so it pursues various subsidiary aims (services) and provides wages to its employees. Thus there will be a variety of concepts of what, say, James Hardy Ltd., is aiming at, but an analysis will show that it is neither the provision of building material nor the welfare of its employees, but the accumulation of capital which is its aim, its intention. (Hegel distinguishes between ‘purposes’ such as asbestos production or wage-earning) and ‘intentions’ which provides the motivation for the diverse purposes (Hegel 1821, §§ 114-128).

So, a ‘collective subject’ is not a group of people but a social practice. An entire community is seen then as an aggregate of social practices. A social practices is an aggregate of purposive actions, united by their sharing of a common intention or motivation. From this standpoint, it is self-evident that social practices are autonomous, self-conscious and teleological.
...
Any given social arrangement has an inherent ‘logic’ which constrain the actions of all the particular actors; no-one ‘forces’ any actor to act in a certain way (indeed they would not be actors at all if they were forced), but the social arrangements constrain them in what can be called ‘logical necessity’: “You don’t have to do X, but look at your options. You’d be well advised to do X.” But it does not stop there; people endeavor to change arrangements which do not suit them. Responses to institutional arrangements are a kind of practical critique of the concept on which the institution was based. Institutional arrangements will be changed in response to such critique and the changes decided upon by rational deliberations, however imperfect, will respond to the practical critique explicitly in the form of thinking and argument. Institutional change in modern societies is not like crowd behavior, but takes place according to what is found to be necessary in the circumstances. Institutions try to do what they have to do according to their concept, rather than simply striving to maintain a status quo.

https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/pdfs/flourishing.pdf
More significant however is the project which has successfully completed its social movement phase, merged itself with the community at large and transformed itself into an institution, whether this is a finite institution such as the Education Department, or a ubiquitous institution such as the patriarchy. In general, the rules and norms of an institution are the special or particular principles of the ideal which the institution serves. But on the other hand, being institutionalised means that the project becomes itself a special or particular principle of the self-concept of the community as a whole. Consequently, an institution is able to muster the resources to maintain its activity by external rewards such as the wages upon which its employees rely for a living, lucrative salaries and high social status and privileges for the top dogs. The phenomena which manifest themselves in small sects are then not only normalised, but greatly expanded in scale.
#15042284
The truth is whatever Trotsky, snippets from marxists.org and some absolute joke philosopher who's best mates with Jordan Peterson tells me, creating a big think

(But the stoicism debate linked off of that was kind of interesting..)

Nonetheless, most people don't even know what the truth is at all, or how to tell it as purely as possible, and many others are allergic to anything that causes them any amount of mental discomfort and just shy away from things that conflict with their preset beliefs, or ideas.

What kind of Marxist society do you think worked best and would you follow their prescribed method of 'telling the truth'?
#15042299
Presvias wrote:The truth is whatever Trotsky, snippets from marxists.org and some absolute joke philosopher who's best mates with Jordan Peterson tells me, creating a big think

(But the stoicism debate linked off of that was kind of interesting..)

Nonetheless, most people don't even know what the truth is at all, or how to tell it as purely as possible, and many others are allergic to anything that causes them any amount of mental discomfort and just shy away from things that conflict with their preset beliefs, or ideas.

What kind of Marxist society do you think worked best and would you follow their prescribed method of 'telling the truth'?

Indeed, one can be subject to phrases in a dogmatic manner, such as how the Soviet's approach science in a manner of assuming that Marx's work would be explanatory of psychology and a overall hostility to anything seen as associated with 'bourgeoisie' societies.

The examples of 'really existing socialism' of the 20th century were ultimately failures and, tended to as summarized above, make Marxism a formalistic dogma. The ideas get so watered down and distanced from their original content that only one who doesn't know otherwise could mistake the mere form of terms associated with Marxism as equivalent to ideas associated with Marx.
To which he is to be considered charitably yet critically as with any thinker rather than deified.

And how truth develops and is determined isn't one that I think can be simply prescribed in some dogmatic fashion. For which Hegel's Logic is a very abstract description to which many tend to a conservative position when they attach themselves to Hegel's systematic structure rather than using his method.
See 'System and Method' section.
But it is a point that one cannot come to know the method independent of it's structure as the form of things aren't truly independent of the content.
But to be guided by the content of one's subject can adhere to the method of dialectics found in Hegel without strait jacketing reality into his concepts a priori.
https://www.marxists.org/archive/vygotsky/works/comment/vygotsk1.htm
In addressing the genesis of thought and language in human individuals, it would have been very tempting for an admirer of dialectics to seek a solution in some kind of reworking of Hegel’s genesis of the Notion in his Logic. But heeding Engels’ advice, Vygotsky utilised the dialectical method, and did so consistently materialistically. Whereas Hegel provided many insights in his analysis of the history of philosophy on the basis of the system of Logic, and his system continues to provide a valuable approach to the critique of philosophical method, the result of Vygotsky’s application of the dialectical method to the genesis of thought and language in the development of the individual human being is a series of concepts quite incommensurate with the stages of the Logical Idea which populate the pages of the Logic.

And so it should be! Hegel advises that: “... this progress in knowing is not something provisional, or problematical and hypothetical; it must be determined by the nature of the subject matter itself and its content”.
#15042300
Got a suggestion, labels are largely meaningless here.

The problem in Russia, then and now, and here, is income inequality.

IOW, whatever structure you want to use, it needs to actually work. That means institutions that discourage massive concentrations of power, and the parasitic behavior that plagues so much of the world, including the United States.

If you look at successful countries, they have schools that educate, some way to provide medical services to everyone, laws that can maintain order.
#15042320
late wrote:Got a suggestion, labels are largely meaningless here.

The problem in Russia, then and now, and here, is income inequality.

IOW, whatever structure you want to use, it needs to actually work. That means institutions that discourage massive concentrations of power, and the parasitic behavior that plagues so much of the world, including the United States.

If you look at successful countries, they have schools that educate, some way to provide medical services to everyone, laws that can maintain order.

My impression is that income inequality is more the symptom of capitalist production than it is the essential problem as the usual solution proposed to this symptom (as distinct from the cause of such inequality) is progressive taxation.
As seen on this forum even: https://www.politicsforum.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=177258

And the solution to the coalescing of power to a minority atop of a hierarchy of some kind seems yet to be resolved. Not that I think it would necessarily be resolved entirely if one did dissolve the law of value, but I do think that a significant issue in it is based in class power where one subjugates the other to it's ends. Although it's a truism that abuse of power can be found in any project, that it is ones collaborates that do us the most harm.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/pdfs/flourishing.pdf
In all the above cases, the general rule is that it is only your collaborator who can really hurt you. One way or another, the norms of collaboration can be violated by utilising the mystique offered by playing a senior role in a project so as to exploit junior collaborators. Ancient projects like the patriarchy, which are deeply embedded in communities, have sedimented themselves in the form of concepts which normalise that which, when seen from a distance, is obviously exploitative and abusive

As such, it won't be heaven on earth, but a prime basis of many problems that stem from economic power of one class over another would dissipate when the economic basis of such power is properly resolved.
https://www.marxists.org/archive/connolly/1904/condel/conart.htm
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.

https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1884/origin-family/ch02d.htm
What we can now conjecture about the way in which sexual relations will be ordered after the impending overthrow of capitalist production is mainly of a negative character, limited for the most part to what will disappear. But what will there be new? That will be answered when a new generation has grown up: a generation of men who never in their lives have known what it is to buy a woman’s surrender with money or any other social instrument of power; a generation of women who have never known what it is to give themselves to a man from any other considerations than real love or to refuse to give themselves to their lover from fear of the economic consequences. When these people are in the world, they will care precious little what anybody today thinks they ought to do; they will make their own practice and their corresponding public opinion about the practice of each individual–and that will be the end of it.


And I would agree in terms of 'successful' countries, in terms of those that best serve their people are those that have an adequate education system, well funded media, access to healthcare.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/works/what-is-poverty.htm
What people need to overcome poverty and exclusion, Sen concluded, is “critical voice.” I will go one step further, for it is said that many poor people have a voice, but that voice is not listened to in the quarters where their lives are decided. So my claim is that it is “self-determination” which people need; it is the lack of self-determination which constitutes deprivation.

I think it is clear enough the kind of things people need to attain self-determination, a real, critical say in their own lives; it means education, it means decent public media, it means public health and education, it means a democratic political system which allows for participatory democracy in little things as much as big things. It means having organisations and public figures with whom people can identify, organisations to speak for them and fight for them.

Just to avoid any misunderstanding, here is the definition of self-determination (or sovereignty) from a book called Framework for International Law:

A subject is sovereign if it ‘answers only to its own [internal] order and is not accountable to a larger ... community, save only to the extent it has consented to do so.’

This kind of self-determination cannot be achieved by individuals in a fragmented society, but only by means of a variety of social ties, forms of social cohesion, identity and participatory community. So knowing who you are and having a way of expressing that socially is vital.

Having money does give people a kind of self-determination, so does the capacity to produce things that other people need. You can’t get away from that. And if people are denied a means of earning a living, then they have to get access to the negotiating table by other means. So economics is important, too; the alternative is political struggle or often violence.

Supporting people to develop their subjectivity such that they're in strong enough position to assert their voice and interests when they are largely excluded from many of the already respected and established means is an important part in having a society that properly recognizes it's own citizens, not merely a rabble but as people.
#15042345
Wellsy wrote:
My impression is that income inequality is more the symptom of capitalist production than it is the essential problem as the usual solution proposed to this symptom (as distinct from the cause of such inequality) is progressive taxation.
As seen on this forum even: https://www.politicsforum.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=177258

And the solution to the coalescing of power to a minority atop of a hierarchy of some kind seems yet to be resolved. Not that I think it would necessarily be resolved entirely if one did dissolve the law of value, but I do think that a significant issue in it is based in class power where one subjugates the other to it's ends. Although it's a truism that abuse of power can be found in any project, that it is ones collaborates that do us the most harm.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/pdfs/flourishing.pdf

As such, it won't be heaven on earth, but a prime basis of many problems that stem from economic power of one class over another would dissipate when the economic basis of such power is properly resolved.
https://www.marxists.org/archive/connolly/1904/condel/conart.htm

https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1884/origin-family/ch02d.htm


And I would agree in terms of 'successful' countries, in terms of those that best serve their people are those that have an adequate education system, well funded media, access to healthcare.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/works/what-is-poverty.htm

Supporting people to develop their subjectivity such that they're in strong enough position to assert their voice and interests when they are largely excluded from many of the already respected and established means is an important part in having a society that properly recognizes it's own citizens, not merely a rabble but as people.



Umm, no.

There was plenty of income inequality in Soviet Russia.

The language you use, for the lack of a better term, is antique.

There are economic studies that track inequality, as I mentioned, successful economies take care of their people. When I say successful, I don't mean simply along economic lines.

Not that I think, as so many do, that capitalism is magic or something. Capitalism replaced mercantilism because it was better. We will need to develop something better this time to avoid the extinction of the species. Assuming we aren't too stupid, of course.

Looking at past performance, that's not what you would want to call a good bet.
#15042474
late wrote:Umm, no.

There was plenty of income inequality in Soviet Russia.

The language you use, for the lack of a better term, is antique.

There are economic studies that track inequality, as I mentioned, successful economies take care of their people. When I say successful, I don't mean simply along economic lines.

Not that I think, as so many do, that capitalism is magic or something. Capitalism replaced mercantilism because it was better. We will need to develop something better this time to avoid the extinction of the species. Assuming we aren't too stupid, of course.

Looking at past performance, that's not what you would want to call a good bet.

I get the impression that you think that I see the USSR as an ideal to recreate.
As I don't follow why you're talking about income inequality in the USSR.

There are all sorts of terms which are old but retain their relevance, there isn't necessarily an expiration date on many words/concepts unless they have been erased as part of ways of life. Since capitalism still exists, the language isn't self evidently antiquated.

Regardless, I follow a line of thought that we need to understand how independent subjects can collaborate as a pre-requisite to socialism as the ethic of solidarity found in the working class is destroyed if one tries to subject another to their own wishes rather than enhance theirs.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/pdfs/Urpraxis.pdf
However, what is posed by the adoption of collaborative project as a unit of analysis are two interrelated studies, which alas are hardly even embryonic in their development: the study of the internal dynamics of collaborative projects, and the study of the collaboration between projects, both conflictual and cooperative. It is upon this problem, the relations between projects, that I believe the future of socialism rests.
...
The relevance of collaborative project as a unit for social change today, at this juncture, reflects the developments in the productive forces themselves. Just as parties have become ineffectual in bringing about fundamental social change, capitalist firms have changed their form in ways reflective of the changing demands of our times. The Left itself now already looks like so many independent projects. That’s life! The communist party which was able to coordinate the activity of millions of members is gone long, long ago, along with the great capitalist firm which directly employed all the people who worked for it. Projects have become the real unit of social formation, not in theory, but in social reality.

A project is a collaboration. I call projects ‘collaborative’ because in projects numbers of autonomous individuals collaborate towards universal, though ever changing, ends. But the more important aspect of collaboration is that between projects. Collaboration as such means projects fusing together in a common endeavour and sharing a common identity. Collaboration between projects in which the separate identity is maintained include: colonisation (or philanthropy), exchange (or bargaining) and solidarity. (Note that solidarity here is nothing to do with Durkheim or Weber).

I don't seek to recreate exactly the form found in the Russian Revolution although there is much to be learnt in both success and failures historically.
#15042477
Wellsy wrote:
I get the impression that you think that I see the USSR as an ideal to recreate.
As I don't follow why you're talking about income inequality in the USSR.



The more power is concentrated into the hands of a few people, the worse off everyone else is.

I learned that in 1973, when I went to Franco's Spain, and Soviet dominated Hungary.

Income inequality is just an easy metric to illustrate that.
#15042728
That truth/truthfulness is a value is clear by those that do not value it and readily lie just as sincerity and accuracy can be considered virtues against vices such as a willful insincerity and inaccuracy. So there is an ethical axiom to valuing knowledge in itself, to value truth which isn't something given by epistemology.
https://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/fr/monod.htm
nimism, we said earlier, neither wants nor for that matter is able to set up an absolute discrimination between value judgments and statements based upon knowledge; for having once assumed that there is an intention, however carefully disguised, present in the universe, what would be the sense of such a distinction? In an objective system the very opposite holds: any confusion of knowledge with values is unlawful, forbidden. But - and this is the crucial point - the logical link which radically binds knowledge and values - this ban, this 'first commandment' which ensures the foundation of objective knowledge, itself is not, and cannot be, objective. It is a moral rule, a discipline. True knowledge is ignorant of values, but it has to be grounded on a value judgment, or rather on an axiomatic value. It is obvious that the positing of the principle of objectivity as the condition of true knowledge constitutes an ethical choice and not a judgment reached from knowledge, since, according to the postulate's own terms, there cannot have been any 'true' knowledge prior to this arbitral choice. In order to establish the norm for knowledge the objectivity principle defines a value: that value is objective knowledge itself. To assent to the principle of objectivity is, thus, to state the basic proposition of an ethical system: the ethic of knowledge.

https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/spirkin/works/dialectical-materialism/ch04-s03.html
The concept of truth is linked with the moral concepts of honesty and sincerity. Truth is the aim of science and honesty is the ideal of moral motivation. Fruitful studies in science and philosophy are impossible where fear of the consequences of thinking is stronger than the love of truth. Truth is authenticated knowledge and knowledge is strength, the greatest strength of all. It cannot be destroyed by prisons, penal servitude, the gallows, the guillotine, or the stake. The burning bush of truth will never burn out. Giordano Bruno died at the stake in the Campo dei Fiori in Rome as a martyr to scientific truth. His body perished in the flames but truth remained, it was indestructible. Although the great majority, misled by all kinds of false arguments, may be against it, truth is bound sooner or later to win through. An ardent and selfless love of truth is often to be found in individuals who are richly endowed morally as well as intellectually.


But what is interesting in the distinction between science and values is that such science is yet to develop to the point in which it properly considers humans place within it. Because it's philosophically based on natural science with motion and matter as underpinning it's world view.
But if activity is one's substance, and we emphasize how knowledge isn't simply a property of the world itself but is actively made in relation to human subjects working together, we can also introduce a naturalism in which values aren't synonymous with facts but neither are they entirely independent of one another leaving ethics as a mere superstition of a people.
Ethics and knowledge are inevitably linked in and through action. Action brings knowledge and values simultaneously into play, or into question. All action signifies an ethic, serves or disserves certain values; constitutes a choice of values, or pretends to. On the other hand, knowledge is necessarily implied in all action, while reciprocally, action is one of the two necessary sources of knowledge.

https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/pdfs/flourishing.pdf
Activity Theory is above all a theory of human flourishing. ‘Human flourishing’ is the usual English translation of the Greek word eudemonia, the central concept of Aristotle’s ethics. As a current of scientific thinking, Activity Theory has the great merit that its central concept – ‘collaborative project’, also often referred to as ‘an activity’ – is equally a descriptive, explanatory and normative concept.

‘Human flourishing’ refers to the enjoyment of a good life, something which bears little relation to the consumption of material goods, is little concerned with rights, but rather with the expansion of a person’s capacity for enjoyment. As Aristotle showed, human flourishing is meaningful only in terms of the collaborative creation of a good life for all human beings.

So activity theory is a scientific theory which is simultaneously an ethical theory. We not only see the world as made up of collaborative projects, and use collaborative projects to promote human flourishing, but we also advocate collaboration as the norm for secular life. The way all people ought to deal with one another is to collaborate with each other in projects.


Man is not simply the causal necessity of nature but as an agent in history, also adheres to social and logical necessity of their circumstance.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/pdfs/Article_on_Teleology.pdf
Causality is fundamentally different from teleology. Causality means that something does not exist for itself but is the effect of another; that other also is the effect of yet another. The concept of causality thus leads to an infinite regress in which nothing exists in and for itself, but is the effect of something else. Causality is thus an extremely limited mode of understanding the world, but nonetheless has a relative truth. All material processes contain causality as moments within itself, but causality cannot attain the level of a social practice. Causality must pass through the stage of ‘reciprocity’ in which the chain of cause and effect ‘bends back on to itself’ so that the entire process becomes equally both cause and effect, and through this it may become a causa sui, a cause of itself, a self-sustaining process, though not necessarily a teleological process.

But human purposive activity can never be deemed simply an effect of a cause.

For example, the defence counsel may plead that their client’s crime was a result of their disturbed childhood, and consequently the client is not responsible for the crime. A politician witnessing the case may agree and take action to protect children and reduce poverty, but were the judge to excuse the defendant on this basis it would amount to treating them as less than human, as not responsible for their actions, which are consequently always the effect of some external cause. Lack of knowledge of relevant conditions may limit responsibility, and the question as to whether a teleological or causal explanation of the defendant’s behavior is appropriate may be a complex problem for the court.

The distinction between teleology and causality in each case is not cut and dry, but the principle is clear enough: insofar as a response to a situation passes through a thinking consciousness, it is teleological not causal. Nothing forces a person to make any particular response to their situation; they simply have certain options. Hegel takes the whole of the Philosophy of Right to elaborate how the will can become genuinely and fully free, and it entails not just the powers of an individual but a social transformation. Nonetheless, insofar as a person weighs their options and has insight into their own desires and the conditions of their action, then only an account of their will formation can make their action intelligible. An enquiry into the conditions in which they acted can make their action intelligible only to the extent of showing what would be rational response. But the person must still decide and their response may not be rational.

We're determinant beings whose actions are constrained but not one of causal necessity.

So truth of social formations isn't somehow just a matter of shared opinion/consensus and thus confined to the subjective, but it isn't simply the property of the world itself independent of human beings. Rather we confirm the truth of things via our activities in the world. And we struggle for the truth of our opposing positions quite forcefully, the world doesn't realize it for us, we must prove the truth of our beliefs in actualizing it in every day life.
https://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/help/foucaul1.htm
So when, for example, my male chauvinism confronts your feminism, it is not true that both are equally true, nor that the truth of each are incommensurable, or that the truth of each is in my life and your life, or yours is true for middle-class Western women and mine for backward males, nor surely that "truth" is meaningless, or something trivial that interests only dogmatists!? Nor that I make a better, more convincing, politically-correct defence of my position which is published in a reputable journal, or vice versa, or that I get more votes than you. But nor can I make the claim that my idea reflects what objectively exists, independently of human experience and yours not - what an absurdity! Perhaps we can say that yours is liberatory and mine repressive, and although neither is true, one is good and the other is bad, and that is all that matters? Perhaps we could settle the matter by arm-wrestling?

We must not get this question confused with the right of an individual to hold a view. This is of course a basic bourgeois right. But that is not the point; I do not thank you for allowing me the right to walk across a mine-field. I am interested in whether my idea of the best way home is objectively correct or not.

The structuralists were right when they identified the location of truth in the social practice of a culture, but limited by the conception of culture in anthropological static isolation (dynamic, static or partial "equilibrium"). The truth and error of my view and your view (continuing the metaphor from above) is a really-existing patriarchal society of which we are both a living part and which is undergoing transformation under the impact of the socialisation of women's labour and your struggle for the value of your labour. That is the source of the concepts (of "feminism", "male-chauvinism", "sexist language", etc.), that is the criterion of truth and that is what is changed by the material struggle of our ideas, that is the meaning.

To which it may take quite some time to prove the truth of a thing, because the conditions aren't ripe for it or the efforts for it's actualization were set back. But if it is to be true, then it must be necessarily realized by the weight of our reality moving towards it, old ideas necessarily die as they become increasingly a fetter on what is possible.
https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/spirkin/works/dialectical-materialism/ch04-s03.html
Some theoretical propositions may be directly confirmed and put into practice (for example, the geologists' assumption that there is uranium ore in a certain place at a certain depth). Others have to be practically confirmed by extremely circuitous ways, involving long or short intermediate links, through other sciences, through the applied fields of know ledge, through the revolutionary action of the masses, whose effect may show only years later. This is how certain mathematical ideas, the propositions of theoretical physics, biology, psychology, sociology, philosophy, history, aesthetic theory, and so on, take effect. Everything that is truly scientific must inevitably, directly or indirectly, sooner or later, be realised in life.


A hint how a social formation can be true can also be seen in how it is false, subject to criticism, inadequate and must adapt.
In trying to make it's concept absolute, it must inevitably find it's limits such that the principle is shown to not be absolute and thus people learn from such mistakes in overstepping their bounds and testing such ideas.
Thus they must return to more qualified truths which are absolutely true to the extent that they're properly situated within the limits in which they are valid/true.
#15042757
late wrote:The more power is concentrated into the hands of a few people, the worse off everyone else is.

I learned that in 1973, when I went to Franco's Spain, and Soviet dominated Hungary.

Income inequality is just an easy metric to illustrate that.


Of course, despite both your truthful and excellent posts, wells feels the need to overlook the points, or simply ignore them and talk down to you and imply that you're dishonest. A weak aegument but all too common on this "black is white" forum. I notice your avatar got deleted too ;) the black is white thing is just too apt lol..
#15042773
Presvias wrote:Of course, despite both your truthful and excellent posts, wells feels the need to overlook the points, or simply ignore them and talk down to you and imply that you're dishonest. A weak aegument but all too common on this "black is white" forum. I notice your avatar got deleted too ;) the black is white thing is just too apt lol..

Because it seems quite tangential to the thread topic as can see the difference from the content of what I write in the OP compared to my initial response to late.
And the idea that I talked down to them and was dishonest isn't self evident.
The most one could draw from my post was confusion for the direction which they approach the thread.

It turned more into a discussion about their focus on income inequality then on the means of establishing truth, the mere assertion of something as true doesn't point to the method/means of determining it.
And in fact, if I wanted to discuss the issue of income inequality more significantly, I would refer to the work of Amartya Sen that shows that such a metric is inadequate to determining the state of one's society.
It tries to deal with a qualitative issue but is reduced to a quantitative metric. Which is in fact even more so inappropriate to the USSR which has a very peculiar economy.

For my last post having ignored their more recent post is the result of finding many of the responses entirely irrelevant to the thread. Instead it seems like I am pressed to discuss issues of nations during the cold war.
But rather than wanting to debate Russia and economics specifically because of the pet interests of commentators, the pet interest which defines the thread topic is the one that I have chosen having created the purpose of the thread. Which may drift from the initial intention and form, but there has hardly been much of an effort to engage the subject matter and so it is rightfully ignored.
The issue of power, its abuse and the inequality of income will not bring us one iota closer to the Marxist conception and method of truth.
#15043188
Presvias wrote:
Of course, despite both your truthful and excellent posts, wells feels the need to overlook the points, or simply ignore them and talk down to you and imply that you're dishonest. A weak argument but all too common on this "black is white" forum. I notice your avatar got deleted too ;) the black is white thing is just too apt lol..



Was that what he was doing?

Had my fill with word salads.

Wonder why the heck my avatar got deleted. I really like that one.

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