Part 1 of 3
Julian658 wrote:I am glad you agree. Yes, Sapolsly is always careful to say the environment modulates the biological tendencies. However, the amygdala is always ready to fire up whenever a human encounters a member of another tribe. We evolved in tribes and this mechanism is there for survival. Nevertheless this behavior can be modulated by the frontal lobe, particularly after age 26. BTW it is easy to sing Kun-Baya with members of the other tribe when resources are plentiful. When resources are scarce tribalism appears once again.
And from where does the content of this emotional response arise. Because I fear you tend to metaphysics to simply attribute the response to the individual humans' biological nature something which may be observed but to observe such a fact doesn't explain it. And left unexplained, you seem to be implying it's innateness without having established as much that for what ever reason I should have a reaction to some tribal outsider.
Referentialist views of language treat words as standing for, or referring to, objects. While Wittgenstein’s Tractatus 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. 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. 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 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.”  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] .
This tendency to universalize the characteristics of people as they exist ideally under capitalism is to preclude serious investigation into how people actually are and rely on a one sided abstraction that presumes capitalist relations but leaves them implicit and thus framed as an immutable fact of human nature.
So for example in the early descriptions of economics, man was inhernetly selfish and as a rational economic actor out to best realize his individual self-interest. It's not entirely untrue, but it is also in part a reflection of an ideal that is sought to be fostered in people also, to the extent people don't behave as such, such models fail.
When Economics builds its science on the assumption of an independent, individual economic agent who makes decisions to maximise their own utility they take as given a society in which the norms of Utilitarianism are universal. In the event that the subjects of a community do not act as individuals maximising their own utility, then the science fails. But perhaps more importantly, governments and firms which make policy on the basis of economic science, and therefore Utilitarian ethics, are acting so as to foster this ethos in the community, with all the consequences in terms of inequality and social disintegration.
Indeed, there is conflict when resources are low, which is why anti-immigrant fervor amps up when economically stuff is problematic in one's country.
But in this case, the other 'tribe' are those who we see with a foreign way of life who haven't been integrated to the whole. Or when they have been through generations, they still get othered because concrete features are easy for simpletons to scapegoat. These are the types that individualize the economic problems which they most certainly feel but often have no understanding of.
The German political theorist Michael Heinrich (2012) draws directly from Marxian categories to put the focus of analysis on the notion of ‘greed’ that plays a central role in neofascist thinking. Antisemitic characterisation of Jews paint them as a social group, uprooted and errant, and as hostile to honest, physical and decent work. Instead, the image of the merchant appears as dominant in portraying Jews as nomadic and symptomatic for markets and greed. Such existence of such attributions also goes some way to explain how other groups that today have taken some of these characteristic – Roma or immigrants for example – become scapegoats for economic crises. Heinrich contends that in Das Kapital Marx did not have in mind the blaming and scapegoating of individual capitalists, speculators or entrepreneurs for abstract economic processes. Marx wrote that his work dealt with individuals “only in so far as they are the personifications of economic categories” and accordingly one would be mistaken to “make the individual responsible for relations whose creature he socially remains, however much he may subjectively raise himself above them” (cited in Heinrich 2012: 185).
Those who individualize social relations are fooled in mistaking the essence of things as isolated to individual things.
They miss the forest for the trees and this is typical to modern thinking to see an essential nature of an individual thing abstracted from social relations.
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.
It is thinking that can't see how things even change, because the status quo is naturalized, assumed a universal essential nature of things.
I could just as easily emphasize the solidarity as I could the worst in human beings, but one doesn't identify the nature of human beings in one sidedly emphasizing the good or the bad in human beings but needs to identify the basis of our nature that can explain both. As such, I tend to react against the nihilistic and worst thinking of humans as inevitable when the opposite is just as true. Although I would push back against an optimist who thinks it an easy task that people just get along. See this rhetoric with some abstract individualism of liberals who think foreigners are largely the same liberal subjects as themselves, having not actually met real existing persons with different ways of life and values they might not agree with.
Men are more violent than women, but this is more prevalent in the 18-24 age bracket. The frontal lobe is the last part of the brain that reaches maturity and for many this is age 26. The frontal lobe is very successful in controlling the limbic system and very important regarding the control of violent behavior. I suspect the level of testosterone is not that different between young Asian men and poor young black men in the inner city. We know violence and crime is lower in Asian men. In America the rate of incarceration of Asian men is incredibly low. SO the violence and propensity to crime among blacks is likely a combination of many factors that include the absence of a normal family at home.
I live in an extremely diverse area, but our migrants are incredibly well educated and blend quite well. I suspect economic success causes different groups to get along with no problems. Nevertheless, I still see self segregation among some groups. Honestly, i don't know if the Amish are socialists or not. They are probably just good neighbors to each other.
Indeed, and I work with inmates whose self control is retarded by drugs and childhoods that didn't cultivate such a mental 'brake' for their behaviour. They're incredibly emotional and easy to agitate to extremes over small things.
Indeed, human violence can't be explained in such direct causal models such as increase testosterone and humans will do this, although such a correlation is pretty strong in other animals. Which is because our behaviour is mediated by our consciousness that unless we grow up in a deprived environment, we tend to develop a modicum of self control and direction.
It is the case that one probably has a lot more in common with someone of the same class and strata within that class than people within ones own country. Indeed ethnic ghettos and self-segregation is understandable in early stages of some groups. They speak similar languages, they are both new to the place, they become stronger in supporting one another by the necessity of their vulnerability. But then those same outsiders, although their community might still exist in some way, for example still strong polish community in Chicago to welcome newly immigrated Polish people, their language is still alive. Guess it might not have been attacked in its otherness like saying speaking Spanish here in New Mexico. That although a large hispanic population, it was suppressed in education. But the change is that such groups become more integrated although initially exist externally.
But Hegel describes in more detail a number of stages of development of the Subject-Object relation in terms of different configurations of means and ends, in which the means is to be understood as existing forms of practice and the ends is to be understood as the self-consciousness of one form of practice trying to objectify itself. The relation of means and ends is fundamentally symmetrical. Existing forms of practice are also trying to objectify themselves in the new form of practice, to domesticate it within their own sphere of activity. So we can look at these relations as interactions between projects or as relations between concepts within a discourse.
The first stage Hegel calls Mechanism. Here the various subjects (forms of practice, social movements, theories, ...) relate to each other only externally; they resist the effects of others on themselves and endeavour to maintain themselves as self-sufficient forms of activity. A multicultural society at this stage appears as an ‘ethnic mosaic’, with ghettoes trying so far as possible to maintain and reproduce themselves as self-sufficient cultural communities, resisting integration into the mainstream. The subjects do not see the foreign subjects as being potentially means to their own ends, but simply as alien.
The higher stage of Mechanism Hegel likens to the Solar system; the subject sees the various other subjects as able to meet their needs in this or that respect and develop particular relations with each of the other subjects. As this relation becomes generalised a network of relations of mutual instrumentality develops. Each still sees the other from a purely self-centred point of view, but nonetheless, they are no longer simply foreigners to one another.
The second stage Hegel calls Chemism. Here the various subjects establish mutual affinities allowing them to make common cause with one another. This inevitably leads to changes in the subject to the extent that they find other subjects pursuing common ends, and each is a means to the other’s ends. This situation resembles a multicultural society in the form of an ‘ethnic melting pot’.
Only in the third stage, which Hegel calls Teleology or Organism, does the means end dialectic reach the fully developed form. The modern scientific idea which best captures Hegel’s idea here is ‘ecosystem’ – the idea of a creature which has evolved to occupy an ecological niche, which at the same time has been shaped by the activity of the creature and its reciprocal relations with all the other creatures living in the larger ecosystem. Thus the means are not just some method which is to be seen as a subordinate part of the activity of a subject, but rather the totality of other subjects which together make realization of the subject’s End a reality. This eventually requires a total transformation of both subject and object.
It's a bit like how being Italian in Australia or the USA, was once much more of an outsider thing than it is today as they are just Australians and Americans now as they grow up within these cultures. Although an interesting thing is how people who immigrate more strongly hold onto their culture such that the culture of those who immigrate may outlast the changes in their home country. So the old ways die out but are more firmly protected in some ways overseas.
I have good news for you: The world will be entirely communist in less than 500 years. This will be the culmination of capitalism. There will come a time when capitalism has created so much wealth that wealth will be redundant. I fully understand that for many socialist an extra dollar in my pocket is already a sin and redundant wealth that I should give away. However, that is not how it works. MAN evolved with greed in a system that favored the fittest. Many rich men are still driven to make more and more money because that is all they know. Nevertheless we are now seen rich men (Such as Bill Gates) that have recognized they simply made too much money and now they plan to give it all away. One could say Bill Gates is the greatest socialist that ever lived. Yes, he is even greater than Karl Marx who never created any wealth and lived off his friend Engels. BTW, Engels owned factories and exploited workers. With the profit of the factories he gave Marx money which he gladly accepted. But, do not misunderstand me. I think the analysis of capitalism by Marx was absolutely brilliant and on the money. The problem with Marx was not the diagnosis; the problem with Marx was the cure: IT DID NOT WORK.
SO how does capitalism culminates in communism? It has already started if you look around. My daughter worked as a food server in a homeless shelter and noted most homeless people had cell phones. Only capitalism can do that. I will expend on this later when I get to the rest of your post.
I don't see the inevitability of communism from changes in the capitalist economy although we're already seeing the 'useless' in the global economy in terms of that which doesn't make a profit and excess of labor.
And extra cash in one's pocket isn't anything of a sin in the tradition, this still sounds too much framed within the idea of social democracy than socialism. The issue isn't about a redistribution of wealth, the problem as identified stems from the mode of production and the corresponding way of life it determines as impoverishing the majority of humanity. Not just in some physical lacking, but that it reduces many people to a one sided and stupid existence.
One can be well off in terms of a middle class lifestyle and still feel ennui for how alienated and inhuman daily life can be in a world for commodities than people.
And it sounds like you're generalizing the mentality of the capitalist as derived from the mode of production to expand his capital as a universal feature of humanity. But this is to make an essential feature of human nature something that in our current existence is the result of the mode of production.
Unless you want to make a more concrete and elaborate analysis on the nature of greed, which pre-exists capitalism but most certainly isn't valorized in the way it is by necessity of production. Greed can be in this circumstance, unless clarified, just a psychologizing of the capitalist expansion.
It is important in this respect to stress that for Marx capital is not merely expanding value, but self-expanding value. The constant drive to expand value (‘Accumulate, accumulate! That is Moses and the prophets!) arises not from something ‘external’ to capital, such as the ‘disposition’ or motives of the capitalist. It arises from something intrinsic to the very nature of capital itself. From the point of view of the owner of capital he is driven along by competition. But this is only the appearance of things, albeit a necessary one. For in capital are revealed in outward form the immanent laws of capital (‘competition makes the immanent laws of capitalist production to be felt by each individual capitalist, as external and coercive laws’, as Marx at one point says). It is for this reason that throughout his work Marx sees the capitalist as the personification of capital.
He is a capitalist, and remains so, only in so far as his behaviour is subordinated to the objective, independently existing laws of capital. And this subordination never arises from conscious plan or desire - it is a force which imposes itself upon the capitalist through laws which operate necessarily behind his back. Of course the capitalist always starts out with ‘aims’, but these aims are determined entirely by the objective nature of capital. The capitalist ‘starts’ with a sum of money, M. Naturally, as a ‘practical’ man he never examines this starting point. He never examines the historical and social conditions which alone enable him to turn this money into capital. But notwithstanding this, he remains a prisoner of these conditions. He remains a capitalist only to the extent that his aims are in accordance with the needs of definite social relations.
They are driven by money not just as a lacking of character, even as well rounded persons they as capitalists would be compelled to expand their capital or not be capitalists.
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
Indeed Bill Gates has such immense wealth he can be immenseley charitable but charity isn't something to look upon starry eyed.
Especially in cases where it's in fact used to open new markets and such and as a side effect the social status of being oh so kind.
An aspect of advanced capitalist (imperialist) culture, where both the wealthy capitalist and the wealthy worker practices. Giving away money for the benefit of others is based firstly on having money, which for the capitalist is primarily extracted from labor in the form of surplus value. A small portion of what the capitalist has exploited from his laborers, is in turn given back as a sign of good faith. For the wealthy worker, she may give to charity a small portion of her wealth that is not needed to maintain her and her families' sustenance.
Philanthropy can be advantageous for certain capitalists and profiteers (petty-bourgeois). In much of Africa at the end of the 20th-century, massive philanthropist organizations – employing thousands of workers, administrators, owning a great deal of office space, equipment and goods – exist to funnel money from imperialist nations into the exploited nations, and to exchange that money for things like food or farm equipment (thus creating a profitable market for some industries where there would not otherwise be a market). Further however, with the population subsistent on foreign charity of food and equipment, multinational corporations and local bourgeois who own most of Africa's fertile land, instead of selling the food grown at a very cheap price on the local market, can export the "exotic" African foods to European and American markets for a much higher price. At the same time, Africa continues to starve because its food is being exported for great profit, which continues to bring in charity money to ensure that the cycle continues.
It is a middle to upper class thing to emphasize charity whilst ignoring the conditions which prompt it.
In the words of Hellen Keller
Many young women full of devotion and goodwill have been engaged in superficial charities. They have tried to feed the hungry without knowing the causes of poverty. They have tried to minister to the sick without understanding the cause of disease. They have tried to raise up fallen sisters without knowing the brutal arm of necessity that struck them down. We give relief to a mother here and there, and still women are worn out at their daily tasks. We attempt social reforms where we need social transformations. We mend small things and leave the great things untouched. We strive after order and comfort in a few households, regardless of the world where distress prevails and loveliness is trodden in the dust.
And in fact, this colonizing of subjectivity, of things being on the terms of the giver is something I feel is implicit in your criticism of welfare to the homeless.
Because it doesn't solve the problem and only denigrates their self worth. Which I'll expand on later.
And his charity in no ways provides some self-evident reflection of an adherence or desire for socialism.
Charity isn't socialism, and socialists don't ask for charity, the working class doesn't want to beg for the kindness of the ruling class.
Indeed, Engels was a capitalist but he was ideologically a socialist and played a prominent part with Marx in agitating the workers of the world.
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 farmers109.
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.
Within what Marx would call a bourgeois standpoint, that is to say, even while continuing to support the bourgeoisie as the class most suited to lead humanity economically, politically, and otherwise, it is possible for certain members of this class to develop a keen understanding of the social contradictions produced by class society and in some cases, even a real commitment to human development or to the eradication of such ills as global poverty or unfolding ecological destruction. Marx recognizes this phenomenon. For instance, in Capital, Marx notes that the capitalist “Robert Owen, soon after 1810, not only maintained the necessity of a limitation of the working-day in theory, but actually introduced the 10 hours’ day into his factory at New Lanark,” even though “this was laughed at as a communistic Utopia” (Capital, MECW 35:304 Note 222).
Marx even goes on to credit Owen with developing an approach to education that could serve as an early model for education in a communist society:
From the Factory system budded, as Robert Owen has shown us in detail, the germ of the education of the future, an education that will, in the case of every child over a given age, combine productive labour with instruction and gymnastics, not only as one of the methods of adding to the efficiency of production, but as the only method of producing fully developed human beings. (Capital, MECW 35:486)
According to Marx, the progressive aspects of Owen's thought were, in the end, limited by his failure to recognize the proletariat as the class best suited to lead humanity out of the contradictions produced by class society. However, while a bourgeois class position and standpoint tend to limit the range of actions and opinions we are likely to see even from a reformer such as Owen, it would be wrong to ignore that within that position and perspective there remains a wide array of open choices for individual actors and they may formulate insights and opinions that, inasmuch as they strive to faithfully reflect reality and even to progressively transform it, point beyond that bourgeois perspective.
As such, you imply hypocrisy in Engels and Marx where it leaves the position as to how they're hypocritical out of view by a hidden idea of what it entailed for them to be consistent communists. If one asks why Marx was in such poverty, we necessarily see it was the radical nature of his work and activism that he often was exiled by countries and have to move.
And lucky someone like Engels was willing to support him in his work to not only analyze the movement of the rising working class but to give voice to it and try to put them on scientific ground rather than Utopian appeals.
And in regards to saying that socialism/communism hasn't worked as a point that it can't work, what you leave out here is how we determine the truth of whether it can or can't work. The proof of things is most certainly the product of practice, but to determine the truth of some ideas takes a long time to realize, not in terms of a single experiment, but generations.
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.
And proving something which is taken true today as false takes a lot of effort.
Practice cannot yield a simple true or false, but it is the necessary means of determine truth.
6. A number of Marxists have pointed out that while “practice is criterion of truth” has value, practice can never completely determine the truth of a claim. This relates to the concept of verifiability. If you stick dogmatically to the claim that “practice is criterion of truth” then all of Marx’s life was wasted. Socialism has not been achieved and no-one observed his “perihelion of Mercury.” This is a complex question. How do we know “truth"? Is it really just a question of the eating? What if by the nature of the question, we don’t have the opportunity to taste the pudding? How do we evaluate the practice, what theory do we use to evaluate practice? What is it about practice that constitutes a “proof”? In fact, it must lead to an infinite regress if you separate theory and practice and make one the criterion of the other.
It is indeed the case socialism hasn't yet been proven true, but the possibility for it to be yet proven is of course a matter of efforts to try and realize its efforts.
We know truth not by passive observation, but in changing the world and having it critically reflected in our theories/concepts.
I worry you frame the development of socialism in an evolutioanry way such that it absolves itself of the task of intervention to create such conditions, as if history was the unfolding of nature instead of also the intervening action of humanity.
In the words of Dr. MLK Jr.,
"Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle."
And as I cited earlier in regards to a summary of Lenin, this is basically the point of avoiding the issue, telling person's to wait forever because it's inevitable.
We have here two models, two incompatible logics, of the revolution: those who wait for the ripe teleological moment of the final crisis when revolution will explode ‘at its own proper time’ by the necessity of historical evolution; and those who are aware that revolution has no ‘proper time’, those who perceive the revolutionary chance as something that emerges and has to be seized in the very detours of ‘normal’ historical development. Lenin is not a voluntarist ‘subjectivist’ – what he insists on is that the exception (the extraordinary set of circumstances, like those in Russia in 1917) offers a way to undermine the norm itself. And is this line of argument, this fundamental stance, not more actual today than ever? Do we not also live in an era when the state and its apparatus, inclusive of its political agents, are simply less and less able to articulate the key issues (ecology, degrading healthcare, poverty, the role of multinational companies, etc.)? The only logical conclusion is that a new form of politicisation is urgent, which will directly ‘socialise’ these crucial issues. The illusion of 1917 that the pressing problems which faced Russia (peace, land distribution, etc.) could have been solved through ‘legal’ parliamentary means is the same as today’s illusion that, say, the ecological threat could be avoided by way of expanding the market logic to ecology (making the polluters pay the price for the damage they cause).
MLK warns of us, in his case, the white moderate, the person who says they're on your side but to wait. What this essentially boils down to is a gradulism that wants revolution without the revolution, wants reward without struggle and the costs and consequences that come from it.
This is a moderate position that inevitabily defends a status quo and that's fine, but it needs to be shown as such as the real radicals are radical because they seek to realize the abstract principles in reality and do not wait for another's authority to grant them right. Consider John Brown, the last straw that broke the camels break preceding the civil war in the US.
To break the yoke of habits means: if all men are equal, than all men are to be effectively treated as equal; if blacks are also human, they should be immediately treated as such. Recall the early stages of the struggle against slavery in the US, which, even prior to the Civil War, culminated in the armed conflict between the gradualism of compassionate liberals and the unique figure of John Brown:
African Americans were caricatures of people, they were characterized as buffoons and minstrels, they were the butt-end of jokes in American society. And even the abolitionists, as antislavery as they were, the majority of them did not see African Americans as equals. The majority of them, and this was something that African Americans complained about all the time, were willing to work for the end of slavery in the South but they were not willing to work to end discrimination in the North. /.../ John Brown wasn't like that. For him, practicing egalitarianism was a first step toward ending slavery. And African Americans who came in contact with him knew this immediately. He made it very clear that he saw no difference, and he didn't make this clear by saying it, he made it clear by what he did. 
For this reason, John Brown is the KEY political figure in the history of US: in his fervently Christian "radical abolitionism," he came closest to introducing the Jacobin logic into the US political landscape: "John Brown considered himself a complete egalitarian. And it was very important for him to practice egalitarianism on every level. /.../ He made it very clear that he saw no difference, and he didn't make this clear by saying it, he made it clear by what he did."  Today even, long after slavery was abolished, Brown is the dividing figure in American collective memory; those whites who support Brown are all the more precious - among them, surprisingly, Henry David Thoreau, the great opponent of violence: against the standard dismissal of Brown as blood-thirsty, foolish and insane, Thoreau  painted a portrait of a peerless man whose embracement of a cause was unparalleled; he even goes as far as to liken Brown's execution (he states that he regards Brown as dead before his actual death) to Christ. Thoreau vents at the scores of those who have voiced their displeasure and scorn for John Brown: the same people can't relate to Brown because of their concrete stances and "dead" existences; they are truly not living, only a handful of men have lived.
Indeed, a lot of homeless in our countries have needs that don't fit with the intuition of absolute poverty although they are certainly in poverty.
And Marx gives high praise to the revolutionary change in production in capitalist development, the communist manifesto is one of the highest praises of Capitalism from it's most prominent critic.
Because in capitalism, Marx sees through our debasement and dominion to things, the potential for the realization of the earthly human community not based on class divisions. There will be problems, but there won't stand one class essentially dominating another based on their relation to the means of production.