annatar1914 wrote:Thanks @Wellsy , I'll try to address your points and discuss further along the lines you have presented here. You said;
True, very true. That's why I was pleased to read the articles in English of the ''Essence of Time'' Movement, and perhaps you can give me your impressions on it? Sergei Kurginyan touches on this very problem of ''ways of life radically thrown around'' by Capitalism, in the ''Essence of Time'' Manifesto;
And you might like this short pithy article;
http://eu.eot.su/2019/11/07/kurginyan-c ... e-freedom/
I’ll be honest I can’t give as great as a response as it deserves as I have been only able to read the article when I’m home from work and I generally just attend to my family and get ready for bed.
But I’ve tried to read the manifesto in pieces when I’m up in the night helping my wife with the baby, but it is a bit hard to remember specific points in it to respond to it now in my spare time at work.
I haven’t yet read the 2nd article. I am also rushing this and it’s going to be verbose as is my tendency but its always a stream of consciousness to just see what comes out and see how it sticks.
I’ve so far only gotten to chapter 13/14ish in regards to summary of Islamism as distinct from fundamentalism as distinct from Islam back in the day.
I’m not quite sure how to take the asserted desire to synthesize Marx and Webber. It concerns me in that I have a brief impression of Webber as making many interesting observations, but methodologically lapsing into a kind of idealism perhaps as he one sidedly emphasizes the social. Whereas I think Marxist analysis is theoretically open to approaching the interwoven nature of both the mode of production, the social relations that it gives rise to and the ideological forms it both inherits and shapes.
For example, Webber contradicts himself in his emphasis on the spirit of capitalism where he asserts its existence in conditions where capitalism as a mode of production doesn’t exist ie China/India back in the day. He says it doesn’t exist where capitalist production does exist ie the USA and can’t explain but only describe such features.
So I do wonder why there isn’t any sign of the major radical current in the USSR/Russia of Cultural Historical Activity Theory which isn’t crudely materialistic in emphasizing production but does relate such material relations to their social forms in explaining the objective basis of the ideal/ity.
Where it’s nature is articulated in Marx’s theory of the commodity form but is applicable to ideology of all sorts, that one reveals the objective basis for such a reflection. Crudely put, I worry that there isn’t a clear synthesis to be made methodologically between the likes of Webber and Marx and I suspect that Marx’s thought is a key to how to further develop a science rather than simply refract his work on capital into everything else. Such a point is made by Vygotsky in criticizing assertions of a Marxist Psychology which simply rely on quotations in an eclectic manner instead of actually studying Marx’s method in order to articulate an actual psychological science based on the real developments of psychology as a subject.
When he speaks of the brazen criminality of capitalists in Russia I wonder if in part that is a reflection of the time in which the USSR collapsed and was subject to such interventions.
That it was ripe to be plundered and didn’t pose a progressive role for Russia although it was clear that the leadership of the USSR had lost any real substance as communists.
From memory I enjoyed the point of how in breaking up traditional society and the ways of communal/collective life atomized people and increasingly subject them to the rule of law.
It is been of interest to me how morality as expressed by Deontology or Utilitarians makes morality out to be like a set of laws whereas Hegel criticizes Kant in such an approach as people’s morality is already based in their way of life.
Furthermore, Moralität involves an ought. It is morality that ought to be realized. This ought is also absent from Sittlichkeit. For it, morality is not something we merely ought to realize or ought to be. Morality exists—it is. It is already embedded in our customs, traditions, practices, character, attitudes, and feelings. The objective ethical order already exists in, is continuously practiced by, is actualized in, the citizen.
The distinction between morality and law quite evident in the deplorable approach where politicians and others don’t ask if something is right or wrong, but whether it’s illegal or not.
The ethics of capitalism is clearly the deplorable utilitarianism which it in a sense forces onto a population as it breaks up their ways of life to be amicable and smooth to the needs of markets and production. It seeks to create the actuality of the types of people who really are little more than consumers, he value things strictly in terms of their price, whose individual consumption is the highest good and that any sense of a common good is incommensurate with the illusion that consensus is required whilst it becomes an ideological strength of capitalism to assert that the incommensurate values of civil society mean that the status quo should be maintained, which of course is the defense of capitalist production and it’s corresponding value of money as the singular measure of all value.
See this in Benthams utilitarianism which reduces happiness to a single point even though there is simply no means to compare the value of a nice meal or a holiday overseas. The pleasures are simply different and this is reflected even in the conflation of use-value and exchange value in the subjective (non)theory of value.
So I resonate greatly with what seems to be the critical side of what capitalism does to social life. Which also makes quite resonate the sense that capitalism is quite vacuous in reducing everything to money and its pursuit (cue communist manifesto) and that it requires traditional values in order to fuel its own legitimacy. But this is the very basis for the caricature of spirituality/religion we see in modern countries. It’s difficult for me to imagine one to be religious and not find capitalism abhorrent, the only means of compatibility is the sacrifice of religion to a dogmatic image twisted to the needs to legitimize capitalism. And this vacuum of human values is seen in how empty human life is when it has long run out of any real source of such traditions because it destroys them in its expansion.
The furnace goes cold as the manifesto says. In the sense which West Texan philosopher characterizes the 80’s and his worry for the future, there is the question of whether we’re even human any more.
Sure we’re biologically human but we’re so far from the sort of people that once were. That much resistance seems almost a hunger for the lost soul of people.
Many attempt to recreate in haphazard ways with new age stuff and other means a kind of meaning greater than money.
But that there is such a stagnation and obsession with our death (apocalypse as release from this shared turmoil as opposed to radical change) increasingly points to a crisis of capitalism which I imagine they express in the situation of Russia, that it simply cannot go on or it is tantamount to self-destruction.
I might be able to write at a later point in regards to the 2nd article. But I am kind of slowing down lately, baby got me pretty sleepy again.
It's not as if I do not have compassion even for the wealthy who live under the present system; it's inhuman to us all and warps all human relations. But some pain is perhaps inevitable as a new era in human civilization dawns. It may be a better time that is coming in some ways, maybe worse or about the same in others, but nonetheless anyone with a sense of justice is working towards it in their own ways, whether they realize it or not.
Of course, they are just as much mere cogs in capitalist production rather than those who strictly determine it as they feel the pressure to expand capital as an objective force in spite of any quality they have as a person. Indeed, attachment to what is slipping away is very painful, then there is the fear of change which is always difficult, the fear of the chaos that it creates, but hope must hold out for what must emerge from it and not characterize the entire future by the crisis but see the opportunity in difficult times.
Personally, my sense of Teleological purpose has only increased since I managed to square the circle (as some would have a person believe, that it's impossible to do) of perception regarding Socialism and Christianity.
I do sometimes wonder about the mixing of religion and socialism. James Connolly seemed to take a kind of modernist approach in which religion was simply the private matter of a person whilst socialism was the issue of the economics/production. But I do see some sort of humanism in variations of religion which seems compatible with at least the greatest ideals of the bourgeoisie, not in specific detail as liberalism is clearly antithetical to religion and hence why it is more a part of private life than necessarily public. But I do see in emphasizing God and such, a kind of necessary humility rather than necessary a shame, opposed to valorizing the individual man rather than all of humanity in striving to be better.
Human nature isn't going to change, even under Socialism. But I think it'll be important as with any other civilizational advance to have, to make lives better, much as more mundane things we take for granted like the toothbrush, running water, vaccines, and electricity. Socialism in my mind is a ''social technology'' that can and should be in use likewise, and should be as uncontroversial as those things i've mentioned. That it is controversial, and is resisted a great deal, is at least as interesting as the motivations for and against on either side of the debate, don't you think?
What is your take on human nature? Because I see it as having limits because of biological necessities, but also great malleability because of the social relations which we acculturate ourselves to.
That contrary to the eclecticism that asserts crudely 50/50 biological and social, the actual relationship between the two has a specific character with Soviet thinkers such as Vygotsky and Ilyenkov.
Where the precondition of our biology is a necessity for human beings and can set clear limits on our abilities, but the content of our consciousness is entirely developed socially.
As such, many things which are in a sense quite particular to man within certain social conditions as a dominant quality can often be universalized. Such that much that is deplorable in man is a significant consequence of the deplorable conditions in which one is raised.
This is why with Vygotsky and others there was this sense of a new man, and which is also where I see the point that in changing the world one changes man himself and this is necessary to realize the sort of spiritual ends which the Essence of Time movement seeks in socialism/communism with orthodox Christian values. It must objectify itself into institutions that are maintained through generations and displace the very relations which have rendered man an impoverished sort.
This doesn’t render a utopian dream in which man is perfect and without flaws, but that it is clear that one can have a better quality of people and community with the right day to day living and standards.
I keep in mind an ontological sense that man works on nature and thus indirectly man changes himself in changing nature and so is able to determine his own nature not directly but by changing the world. There is no metaphysical isolated individual or man independent nature, for man there is only a socialized/humanized nature rather than nature independent of any knowing person. Because such a nature is nothing to us, it has no relation to our needs. But we have developed socially such that even the stars have taken on significance for us in serving our needs.
I speculate that opposition to such things as necessities is part of the sort of self-devouring of capitalism where in the pursuit of profit, it can’t allow things to be rendered in such a way, the dominance of capital over rides the rationality of meeting human needs. In its early stages there was some basis for the overlap between human needs and capitalist production. But its untenable to equate the two as much need is left unmet precisely because there is a lack of effective demand or it simply isn’t profitable.
- Andy Blunden