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Following from interaction found here: https://www.politicsforum.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=15033761#p15033761

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

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

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.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/pdfs/flourishing.pdf
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.
https://cris.brighton.ac.uk/ws/portalfiles/portal/388738/Alain+de+Benoist+working+paper.pdf
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.
http://www.nyu.edu/classes/jackson/future.of.gender/Readings/DownSoLong--WhyIsItSoHard.pdf
Consider another example showing how beliefs about sex differences cloud people's analytical vision. How often have we heard question like: will women who enter high-status jobs or political positions end up looking like men or will the result of their entry be a change in the way business and politics is conducted? Implicit in this question are a set of strong assumptions: men have essential personality characteristics and cultural orientations that have shaped the terrain of high status jobs and women have different essential personality characteristics and cultural orientations. The conclusion is that and women's entry into these positions unleashes a conflict between their feminine essence and the dominant masculine essence that has shaped the positions. Either the positions must change to adapt to women's distinctive characteristics or the women must become masculine. (It is perhaps telling that those who raise this issue usually seem concerned only with women entering high-status positions; it is unclear if women becoming factory workers are believed immune or unimportant.) The analytical flaw here i assuming that masculinity has shaped the character of jobs rather than that jobs have shaped masculinity. In her well-known book Men and Women of the Corporation, Rosabeth Kanter argued persuasively that the personality characteristics associated with male and female corporate employees really reflected the contours of their positions. The implication is simple and straightforward. Women who enter high-status positions will look about the same as men in those positions not because they are becoming masculine, but because they're adapting to the demands and opportunities of the position, just like men.

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.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/works/means-ends.htm
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.
https://www.marxists.org/archive/pilling/works/capital/pilling5.htm#Pill7
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.
https://research-repository.griffith.edu.au/bitstream/handle/10072/12641/33292_1.pdf?sequence=1
This is how one of the top 30 Australian directors describes the role of capital and the freedom of capitalists to invest where they like:

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


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.
https://www.marxists.org/glossary/terms/p/h.htm#philanthropy
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.
http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/10867/1/VWills_ETD_2011.pdf
What Marx describes when he addresses the way in which economic laws play a role in determining the actions of human beings, are tendencies of members of various social groups to act in circumstances shaped through those laws, and not iron-clad predictions for particular individuals. Howard Sherman, in his 1981 paper, “Marx and Determinism,” puts this point very nicely when he writes:

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

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.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/works/criterion-truth.htm
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.
https://www.marxists.org/history/etol/newspape/isj2/2002/isj2-095/zizek.htm
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.
https://www.lacan.com/zizrobes.htm
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. [11]

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." [12] 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 [13] 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.
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Part 2 of 3

Julian658 wrote:I agree in America people think Scandinavia is a socialist paradise. Bernie Sanders calls himself a socialist and tells the voters he wants the USA to be like Scandinavia. He is either lying (knowing quite well Scandinavian countries are capitalists) or is simply a fool. Then you have Venezuela a country ran by an ex bus driver that is in chaos and people are basically living on one meal a day (mostly plain carbohydrates). Chávez was voted in by the poor people of Venezuela and i don't blame them. If I was dirt poor in the gutter i would certainly have done the same as one has nothing to lose. You say "One can't have a socialist economy with the very tools that organize a capitalist economy". I agree, that is why socialism has to be by definition authoritarian. Otherwise, people would start to act as capitalists all over again.

Which is also a sign of how far to the right American politics is with the illusion of a two party system with the most charitable view of it being a center left party and a right wing party who are essentially defenders of capitalism despite and rhetoric for social progress or conservatism at odds with liberalism and capital.
Although Mr. Sanders is by far a pretty weak example of social democracy in comparison to those Nordic countries also, he is a social democratic of a lesser degree than what passes as normal in those other countries.
Indeed, Venezuela has gone to shit and despite the many people who clamored around Chavez, I don't see how he got much praise instead of the people that attempted to do something during his reign. He threw a bit of money around sure, and made a few big speeches appealing to the more impoverished, but he didn't intervene that, part of which was how much of his government were essentially the same as the previous. If one interpreted him most charitably in his intentions, then he was a fool in how he went about trying to implement his vision. He left way too much power to the capitalist class and those who supported them that fragmented the country more so, causing only conflict and not resolution in some winner.
A revolution is necessarily authoritarian, as it's not something one can have approved but simply does and takes at the opportune time.
Even in liberalism, they weren't so deluded as to try and peacefully gain a consensus for the power of the bourgeoisie, they had blood revolutions the world over. Political struggle is always illiberal despite the liberal attempt to restrict people by appeals to its modus vivendi.
It effectively tries to negate politics as such and make it a technical problem which in effect it denies can be resolved through consensus as there can't be consensus in a society that has essential oppositions in their interests.
And it has been proven with the example of the USSR, even though it simply confirmed Marx's and then Trotsky's predictions, that socialism, especially in a place in Russia couldn't be achieved in one country. They predicted its success was dependent on the cascade of successful workers revolutions through Germany and Europe, which failed.
It is an international problem as the economy is global in nature, no countries economy exists in isolation and those that do are subject to embargos.

I agree, but something is better than nothing (the so called utopia).

Indeed, something is better than nothing and hence many do still agitate for the now receding social reforms earned by past struggles.
The austerity of the west justified as for a necessary good.
But the state of things todays tends towards proving that the gradualist and reformist approach to socialism can only partially objectify its goals in terms of reforms within the limits of a capitalist economy.
Those who make appeal for more radical reforms necessarily end up utopian in requiring such global power as to change the global economy to equalize social reform for most countries.
It requires one basically ignore the essential nature of capitalist production to think we can eradicate the poverty that it necessarily entails and this has been shown as such with the efforts to do otherwise.
https://fpif.org/the_post-washington_dissensus/
The fundamental problem with all four successors to the Washington Consensus is their failure to root their analysis in the dynamics of capitalism as a mode of production. Thus they fail to see that neoliberal globalization is not a new stage of capitalism but a desperate and unsuccessful effort to overcome the crises of overaccumulation, overproduction, and stagnation that have overtaken the central capitalist economies since the mid-seventies. By breaking the social democratic capital-labor compromise of the post-World War II period and eliminating national barriers to trade and investment, neoliberal economic policies sought to reverse the long-term squeeze on growth and profitability. This “escape to the global” has taken place against the backdrop of a broader conflict-ridden process marked by renewed inter-imperialist competition among the central capitalist powers, the rise of new capitalist centers, environmental destabilization, heightened exploitation of the South – what David Harvey has called “accumulation by dispossession”- and rising resistance all around.

Globalization has failed to provide capital an escape route from its accumulating crises. With its failure, we are now seeing capitalist elites giving up on it and resorting to nationalist strategies of protection and state-backed competition for global markets and global resources, with the US capitalist class leading the way. This is the context that Jeffrey Sachs and other social democrats fail to appreciate when they advance their utopia: the creation of an “enlightened global capitalism” that would both promote and “humanize” globalization.

Late capitalism has an irreversibly destructive logic. Instead of engaging in the impossible task of humanizing a failed globalist project, the urgent task facing us is managing the retreat from globalization so that it does not provoke the proliferation of runaway conflicts and destabilizing developments such as those that marked the end of the first wave of globalization in 1914.

The problem today is still the destructive nature of capitalist crisis, we can't keep going the way we're going. The real utopianism is to think in our changed circumstance we can pretend to do the same thing. We must let old ways days for new or we will really die, not in some apocalyptic explosion but more likely a slow and shitty march to death.

Race identity politics has replaced class identity politics in most of the western world. It is an effective tool for politicians to get elected and the rhetoric sounds attractive for those that see themselves below the white standard of reference.

Indeed, such identity politics was rather the norm against the universalism of liberalism which is abstract in nature.
The original identarians were reactionaries emphasizing the differences between existing people as a point of their inability to be harmonized with one another.
And it is indeed the view point of intersectionalist fragmentation of people into a series of attributes, that class is seen as just another identity, attached to predicates in language rather than a view of the world itself.
Although I speak of modern political activism as being defined by alliance politics, short term shared alliances between different groups which go their own way at some point rather than being essentially unified to some ideal.

So far socialism has not worked. That is why the Swedes adopted their system.

Well by definition, if it had worked, then they wouldn't have their system. But the failure of workers revolutions after the Russian signed the death of such a possibility for the 20th century.
But now that it's done away with, the cold war over, there are new coordinates, new lessons from the past to situate struggles today.
I tend towards Andy Blunden's point of ethical politics as a means to avoid instrumental politics, populism, identity politics and has the potential to grow out of alliance politics. And perhaps best emphasizes the point of the working class which is to realize the ethical human life.
Where as for the bourgeoisie epistemology was the defining philosophical position in improving technology and production.

Despite the major flaws of capitalism and the fact that it favors some over others we have not come up with a better system.
Adam Smith Quotes. It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.


Capitalism is just a simple exchange of goods and services where each side perceives an advantage . And if the provider of goods of services does a great job (looks for his own interest) he provides a better service and gets rich. If the provider of services or goods is not looking for his own interest the services will be extremely mediocre, hence Venezuela is starving and Mao could could not feed the Chinese.

Indeed, exchange gets a lot done in the world. But it is simultaneously the basis for the denigration of a human life and the valuing only of things, as if the good life was our service to a system of capital/commodity expansion.
It's not merely exchange though, exchange predates capitalism but it takes on a specific characteristic within the capitalist mode of production. A point missed by political economists prior to Marx as they treated categories as universal and didn't mark the actual distinctions between things like labour in general and labour under capitalism. How the commodity exists prior to capitalist production, but from the commodity relation, one could explain the dominance of capital as the defining part of modern life and production.
And the wealth of a company isn't a essential proxy to the quality of a service, especially in regards to monopolies which don't just compete on the merit of their product but aggressively stomp out competition.
And theres a lot more going on in regards to Mao's stupid policies on the division of labour like the idea that everyone could do metallurgy in their back yard and in regards to the economy of Venezuela than what you've summarized which is the perspective of a single company in competition to other companies to potential consumers rather than the economy of a country.


I don't know her, but it sounds like a person against gentrification.

She was an opponent of urban/city planning. Basically someone coming in tearing apart of a community to put in something bigger and new thinking it improved the place when it thoroughly disrupted the communities it was put in.
In fact, the point of community fragmentation and displacement is something we're seeing discussed in relation to the modern opioid epidemic.
The social fabric is torn apart for the interest of capital and even worse, people are using a quantitative concept of social capital to theorize on how to repair the qualitative nature of the social fabrics woven through society.
They are part of the problem and do not know it, which is part of the discussion in the link from which I referned Jane Jacobs who emphasizes the subjectivity of a community in conditions of modern life.
Capitalism has been progressive in the same means that it has been destructive.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/works/method.htm
I regard as a central social issue of today, the destruction of the social fabric, in the sense in which it is understood in the literature on “social capital.” This literature is hopelessly positivistic and metaphysical, so it is necessary to supplant the notion of a ‘form of capital’ with the notion of “subjectivity” or “self-determination,” to appropriate the insights of these investigations.
...
The growth of the world market, the commodification of all social relations especially since the 1980s, the ubiquity of global communication, travel and migration and the normalisation of universal suffrage, have brought about a widespread, universalist consensus in favour of the equal moral worth of all human beings. This provides an unequivocal basis for modern conceptions of justice. At the same time, the entire social fabric is being destroyed.
...
The destruction of social fabric (the decline in social trust, break-down of the family, litigiousness, destruction of job security, etc.) makes any conception of the good life unattainable. The result is the ‘death of the subject’, or the reduction of subjectivity to, on the one hand, the consciousness of isolated, powerless individuals, and on the other immensely powerful corporate subjects lacking personality. The critique of objectifications corresponds to the practical reconstruction of social subjectivity.

The commodity relation is the foremost focus of our attention, as the root cause and essence of all our current difficulties. Forms of collaboration which can transcend the commodity relation are needed, to make a reality of the myth of the sovereign individual subject.

Our approach to the subject recognises that the modern subject differs from the ancient subject because individual, universal and particular have become differentiated from one another (and here I use the Hegelian concept of Subject), and that corresponding to this, the three registers of word meaning (i.e., the Peircean signs: icon, index and symbol) have also become differentiated from one another. Reconstruction of subjectivity, and the social fabric, therefore, cannot be achieved by efforts to bring these three registers back into identity, as this would correspond to nothing but an attempt to return to pre-modern times. The concept of the subject here is an on-going project.
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Identifying the main social problem of our time as destruction of the social fabric means that our attention is centred on the notion of “solidarity.” Solidarity is a relation in which one subject affirms and lends its active support to another subject, which is a “stranger” to it. I see solidarity (with strangers) as a third stage of social integration: (1) assimilation (“you are no different from me, but you fail to meet the standards of this society”) (2) accommodation (“you are different from me, I tolerate you, but I give you no support”) (3) solidarity (“I support what you do”). Most current thinking on difference concerns only ‘conversation’ and misses forms of social collaboration which are the basis for solidarity.

If a human life is to emerge out of this destructiveness, it will be through the efforts of people to make it a reality rather than to wait for it to come about from the very system that is essentially opposed to it.
That is a tough one. Humans exist in a natural competence hierarchy regardless of the political system.

Indeed, I don't think in communism this sort of hierarchy would be displaced, some people can simply do things others can't.
But the basis of class oppression is the essential thing to be resolved in opposing the dominance of commodities/exchange value over life.
But part of developing such an ethical means of life is a predicament found in progressive movements today, of how people can be independent subjects who meet one another as equals and work in collaboration to some end.
To which I see Andy Blunden arguing first for ethics of collective decision making.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/seminars/hegel-critique.htm
Let us suppose that we have an abstract Notion: collaborate while respecting the different norms and values of the others; arrive at joint decisions through consensus decision-making and keep our promises. I sum up this relation with the maxim: “What we do is decided by you and me.”

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

The point is, that this problem of the ethic of collaboration, which arises in concrete form in alliance politics, is universalisable to society at large.
...
Alliance politics today consists of a whole diversity of social movements and political parties. One can theoretically argue in each case that the specific ideal in question is capable of re-organising the world according to its own regulative ideal. It is a fact that the millions of individuals participate in the world market and organise their lives through a multiplicity of such ideals. And there is nothing wrong with this, provided only that people do not impose their ideal upon others who do not share it, or use their ideal in order to oppress or dominate others.

The problem we face today is how to live an ethical life today, where we exist as relative strangers with no bond/bind to one another except the minimum of not committing a crime upon you ie not interfere with your life.
The issue is how to have people realize their social nature more directly rather than to experience one another as alien, as those to be suspicious of, cynical of a world said to be filled only with the greedy, motivated only by their own self interest based on the view that there could be no basis for our shared rational self-interest. As there is nothing but property and exchange to mediate our relationship and thus nothing assertedly higher than individual desires that clash and hence the liberal strength of denying the common good as possible through consensus.
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/marx/#2.1
Liberal rights and ideas of justice are premised on the idea that each of us needs protection from other human beings who are a threat to our liberty and security. Therefore liberal rights are rights of separation, designed to protect us from such perceived threats. Freedom on such a view, is freedom from interference. What this view overlooks is the possibility — for Marx, the fact — that real freedom is to be found positively in our relations with other people. It is to be found in human community, not in isolation. Accordingly, insisting on a regime of rights encourages us to view each other in ways that undermine the possibility of the real freedom we may find in human emancipation.

Ours is a world that legislates that you don't introduce upon the space of another's desires.
#15034275
Wellsy wrote:Following from interaction found here: https://www.politicsforum.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=15033761#p15033761

Part 1 of 3


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.
https://epistemicepistles.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/a-wittgensteinian-critique-of-conceptual-confusion-in-psychological-research/

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.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/pdfs/flourishing.pdf

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.
https://cris.brighton.ac.uk/ws/portalfiles/portal/388738/Alain+de+Benoist+working+paper.pdf

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.
http://www.nyu.edu/classes/jackson/future.of.gender/Readings/DownSoLong--WhyIsItSoHard.pdf

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.



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.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/works/means-ends.htm

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 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.
https://www.marxists.org/archive/pilling/works/capital/pilling5.htm#Pill7


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.
https://research-repository.griffith.edu.au/bitstream/handle/10072/12641/33292_1.pdf?sequence=1


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.
https://www.marxists.org/glossary/terms/p/h.htm#philanthropy

It is a middle to upper class thing to emphasize charity whilst ignoring the conditions which prompt it.
In the words of Hellen Keller

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.
http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/10867/1/VWills_ETD_2011.pdf

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.
https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/spirkin/works/dialectical-materialism/ch04-s03.html

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.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/works/criterion-truth.htm

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.
https://www.marxists.org/history/etol/newspape/isj2/2002/isj2-095/zizek.htm

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.
https://www.lacan.com/zizrobes.htm


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.

Got, will reply later tonight!
#15034281
Part 3 of 3

Julian658 wrote:As I said above socialism or even consensus is easy in small groups, even easier if the group has common goals, and easiest if there is shared DNA. There are simply too many people on the planet and we must also deal with the issue of tribalism. As soon as things don't go well we will create sharp demarcations between groups and hostility and acrimonious behavior will be the order of the day. Those that see themselves low in the hierarchy will resent those above and we end up with revolution. Those on top know this and hence create a system of welfare and help for those below, This prevents revolution but does not solve the fact that humans are unequal. The same man that was a higher up in communist East Germany likely had the capacity to thrive in Capitalist capitalist West Germany.

And i'm guessing that capitalism doesn't somehow fall with this criticism of local cooperation because exchange as the mediating relationship makes a global economy possible.

But to be frank, I feel muddled here as it's really hard to see the criticism in an explicit form against socialism, it feels implicit to me.
Socialism can't work because = tribalism and hierarchy.
Where as I don't think socialism entails the eradication of all hierarchy unless one is an anarchist. I do think there would be more of an equalization of respect for each individual, but I don't see hierarchy as inherently oppressive except when its based in unjust means.
A father having rule over his children isn't inherently oppressive, just as there being authority granted to someone who has greater experience and expertise in a field.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/works/habermas-review.htm
It seems to me that the counterfactual element of everyone’s word having equal sway and the force of argument only carrying weight needs to be given some consideration. In real life, the word of people who have greater experience or a proven record in some domain counts for more. Is this inherently elitist? I don’t think so. For example, I have a right to make claims about activities with which I am intimately concerned over the word of others who have no such involvement.

Although as noted with Andy Blunden, he promotes an ethic that those who are effected and apart of some project do have some say.
Although the nature of what they say and it's weight isn't simply given without specifics to the guidelines of decision making.
And it is within collaboration in some project that people come to trust one another.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/works/atheists.htm
Trust arises from collaboration within a single system of activity with another person. Trust means you know someone’s track record and there’s a reliability about it because your interaction has not just been random, passing interactions, but has taken place within some definite project or institution or movement. Trust extends only as far as the self-consciousness of the relevant subjectivity. So for example, if I've worked with someone at work, I will trust them with work matters, but I won’t necessarily trust them to look after my kids or in personal relationships and so on. And vice versa. In any case, trust is the relationship you have with people that you have collaborated with within a subjectivity.

Which emphasizes more significant basis for this kind of 'tribalism' you vaguely refer to. In that we have bonds with those we actively work with as opposed to those whom we shared some contingent attribute.
So for example, in regards to racism, I don't necessarily share the views, values and aspirations of all other whites and don't value them and may other many who are white, they become opposition and enemies.
It's just within the US context, race has been institutionalized in so many laws and practices in everyday living, it becomes primary in their consciousness as opposed to class.
It took Malcolm X a journey to Africa where he met a white radical to realize that whiteness wasn't essential to those who oppose his ambitions and ideas as he would lose a friend and a radical otherwise.
Tribalism may well be found in ones activiy and thus identification with capitalism or socialism.
But what people identify with isn't given by their DNA, and in fact you'd be more accurate to speak of kinship, which tends to overlap with shared DNA and is more essential to the content of what governs many relations. But may have many exceptions to shared DNA in terms of mediating many modern groups/relationships.
Homelessness is increasing at a very fast pace in rich left wing cities such as San Francisco, Seattle, and Los Angeles. City governments go out of their way to care for the homeless but they rather live on the streets. There seem to be a lot of them because they migrate from all parts of the country to left wing cities that provides more. But, it seems the more they provide the worse it gets. San Francisco forbids the use of plastic straws in the city and yet give tons of free plastic syringes to the addicts. What a massive contradiction. Most homeless are addicts and this is nothing but the dystopia one sees when MAN has no purpose or meaning. And the more the city provides the less meaning the homeless have. There is plenty of money to house the homeless, but they simply want to hang out in the cities with nice weather and a sympathetic local government. Here socialism would obviously do a much better job by simply not tolerating homelessness and forcing people to carry their own weight on society. However, this cannot be done on a democracy with freedom for all.

Indeed, been shocked to hear in places like Phoenix AZ there is something of an entire suburb dedicated to the concentration of homeless and services provided to them, it is something quite different to just a slum somewhere. I wonder if they have a word for this sort of thing.
And homelessness is a complex problem of course beyond simply, provide a home, although it certainly helps.
https://www.vox.com/2014/5/30/5764096/homeless-shelter-housing-help-solutions
Being homeless is quite a rough and vulnerable existence in terms of stability, safety and such things undermine someone getting back on their feet.
But in many cases, the homeless can be extreme cases of addiction and other problems. Which is also points to the question of why are there so many homeless, and what is going on in the lives of so many that has it so difficult for them to establish stable lives. Which intersects with mental illness which is framed as a social problem to be solved chemically and then have addiction which is getting worse.
But in the phrase, worse it gets, I should note, that those cities providing services which aren't a solution but means to try and manage the issue in some limit, is that they don't cause the problem, so as terrible as it may be, it simply gives a blatant sore to the state of the country itself.

That contradiction does sound like the tension between some appeal to environmental sustainability, but also that the evidence based practice of providing clean needles and such in order to reduce another problem of prevalence of disease such as hepatitis B. I do tend to emphasize the meaninglessness in regards to addiction, of which drug addiction is the worst of many forms of addiction, a emotional hollowness.
But this would point to not only break down of the social fabric but of a meaningful life which is instead replaced by a materialistic consumerism and a work life that is merely a means to satisfy other ends, for which in America does seem to be disproportionately a consumerist end even for the well adjusted.
Indeed, democracy isn't simply the freedom to do what ever one individually desires, especially with those whose desires have become so base as to be reduced to animals in seek of relief from their pain in their addiction.
But its hard to not look to society itself for its corresponding hypocrisy when we see how a lot of opioid addicts have originated part of the pharmaceutical campaigns to pitch things like Oxycontin and stuff. The criminal underbelly of the world isn't independent of these markets and ways of life but exist along with it in the same reality. Not that it caused addiction itself, but has been part of the problem.

I see a similar tendency for those in jail who do not aspire for much more than it because their existence is so bleak that prison can be a kind of comfort to their chaotic lives driven by immediate desires.
Such a person is not making a choice to do things, they get a modicum of choice when their addiction can be relatively subsided. When the cravings aren't at their extreme. Then they get to a spot where the have the opportunity to make decisions but then what is the means to help such people. Which isn't simply about the option in the abstract, often there is case management to connect people to services and their options.
Even in cases of say prostitution on the streets, it takes people several tries to stabilized into a new lifestyle.

But heres the piece I wanted to recommend in regards to the issue of welfare which I think we might be agreeable on in terms of it not being the solution and hence my dislike of philanthropy as opposed to solidarity.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/pdfs/welfare-dependency.pdf
He emphasizes poverty as more than just financial lacking, but as a political problem, he criticized the typical view of dependency.
The opposite of ‘dependency’ is self-determination, subjectivity, which, for an individual, means participating in a social subject. In modern conditions, this cannot mean subsumption within a society-wide hierarchy headed by the King, since modernity is characterised by a multiplicity of subjectivities. Nevertheless, to be second fiddle in the orchestra or a rank-and-file member of the union is hardly experienced as ‘subordination’. In such a social subject, the individual sees in the agency of the social subject, an expression of their own will. Conversely, a social subject sees to the sustenance of their individual members and struggles for recognition on the political and economic arena.

The shattering of various forms of social subjectivity by commodification, and the suppression of ways of life inconsistent with capital accumulation, has reduced millions of people to the status of objects. The answer to poverty and exclusion lies not in economics, but in politics.


There is no question that capitalism can create massive wealth. And I predict at some point the wealth will be redundant and it will flow to the lower class. We already see this: For example in America the poor have a problem with obesity and the addiction for brand name clothing and the use of drugs. They get free housing, food stamps, and cash for the government. All of this clearly destroys the human condition. Getting something for free leads to the dystopia we see in LA, San Francisco, and Seattle. This is a problem, showering the lower class with money will not necessarily solve the problem. Perhaps currency can disappear once capitalism achieves redundant wealth. BTW, with redundant wealth we will also have INCREDIBLY sophisticated technology that will improve the life of all. Most poor people in the USA have smart phones. In any event I suspect classes will remain divided even if currency disappears.
There already exists such abundent wealth that I wonder what point you think it'll begin trickling down and how much would trickle down.
Indeed, I think you will agree with the article above as it's similar that welfare isn't the means to uplift people in itself as it's not just an economic problem.
If currency disappears, then one would wonder how capitalism could be said to exist and the very nature of capital is its own expansion.
I mean how much wealth does Bill Gates have that it can be said to be redundant and is breaking up the system for the benefit of all. His philanthropy isn't anything more radical than attempts to alleviate poverty through the 'social capital' means and welfare.
We already have immensely great technology which is fettered by profit. We could have the cure or vaccine for things and never provide to many who have need of it.
And if anything, technology only introduces the tendency for the rate of profit to fall.
https://sites.google.com/site/radicalperspectivesonthecrisis/finance-crisis/on-the-origins-of-the-crisis-beyond-finance/carchedireturnfromthegrave
When an industry industrializations via machines, mass of people are expelled and are expected to just adjust by market forces to labor elsewhere, although of course people losing work and adjusting is quite a chaotic displacement. Seen this with NAFTA with the industrialization of agriculture in Mexico, putting 200,000 people out of work.
Machines aren't going to solve everything although they are part of the equation in that they push back subsistance and necessity of production needing fewer and fewer people to satisfy human needs. But can't we already see this today where many people don't even work in areas that provide for such fundamental needs. No doubt lots of ranchers, farmers and such but not entire countries.
Indeed, a lot of poor people have access to all sorts of things, yet they're still in poverty.
Lotta poor people in the US have refrigerators and all sorts of shit, yet here we are in one of the wealthiest nations on the planet with an incredibly command over the global economy and we have practically third world poverty.
I live in New Mexico, one of the poorest states and I've seen slums, places where there is no plumbing/running water.
Shit blows my mind. Although back in Australia there are places just the same.
And yet, you can believe there is an entire floor of suits who have world class chefs serving them in their boardroom whilst they talk to another one on a massive TV whose on holiday.
The severe lacking of so many does stand in contrast to the opulence of so many and American epitomizes it perfectly. But it's not unique to US, but something inherent to capitalism, such poverty and deprivation. Back in Hegel's day his best solution was to ship the rabble to the colonies, and well we're the colonies and we're with the same problem.



I think at this point you're going to have to elaborate your view of human nature because its unclear what content you give tribalism. I'm wondering how you view the modern person who is biologically the same, but is significantly different to primitive homosapeins.
I always think of this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_nativism#Criticism

I prefer to see the development and origins of a thing rather than a speculative claim of something's basis and then the state observable result.

I know of the big five and I think it is interesting although it among the many are inadequate theories of personality.


I would also think that much of paid work doesn't satisfy that meaning sufficiently either.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/pdfs/Something_worth_dying_for.pdf

The middle classes themselves have a prolific ennui despite the idea that they have a good life materially.

Not at all, he doesn't require that we return to agricultural, this would negate much of his work.
His point is that we're forced to work for longer than we would for the sake of profit rather than satisfaction of human needs.
In fact, a lot of paid work is useless and not 'efficient' unless one means an efficient waste of time. Which is an aspect of redundancy in that many people are paid to do things that they don't really need to.
The point being that there is such abundance to push back natural necessity that people can live a well rounded life, rather than an appendage to a specialized task whether it being in their intellectual labor, as an office worker or as the factory worker which largely resides outside of the western world today.
Indeed, the appeal for the UBI does speak to the redundancies found in terms of turning a profit but this in itself won't destroy capital as much as it will necessarily just destroy the 'waste' of labour, ie humans who become unemployable or end up in causal employment barely getting by.



And in conditions of kinship are all sorts of relations which don't reflect the sort of private property contractual relationship which essential governs the modern family today.
Social justice isn't as binding as religion, and in conditions of modernity there thus far seems little ability for such a global hegemonic belief system.
Which is why Andy Blunden's focus on alliance politics isn't about how to consolidate the interests of the vanguard party but of how to form new movements and a new ethics of decision making within conditions of modernity.
The world is much more fragmented than your summary provides and that is the pressing problem for today.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/works/SP-talk.htm

I mean the universalism that we see in liberalism which gave way to the view of the equality of human beings originated in the view of the inherent equality of the soul in Christianity. Now we have the actual basis of the market and the struggles for recognition in universal suffrage to mark equality.
The stage is now getting set that people realize universal suffrage isn't substantive, it is very narrow in what it can offer when the majority of life is still dictated by a class who is dictated to by an anarchistic mode of production.
Which at this point they have given up hope on understanding in any predictive model except the naive as the task isn't to predict it anymore than what Marx could've back in his day but to resolve it.
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Wellsy wrote:

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.


I will take hard science over soft science every day of the week. We are animals and we still have behaviors that are driven by the limbic system. I will admit that some high IQ people do a good job at holding back the amygdala. But at the same time in some, particularly in the extreme left and right the tribalism is VERY obvious. Our facies betray us on a regular basis, no different than in other animals.


https://epistemicepistles.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/a-wittgensteinian-critique-of-conceptual-confusion-in-psychological-research/

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.


This is a good point. I believe that whether you are a capitalist or a socialist is very much due to personality type. Those open to experience are left and those that are naturally conscientious are conservative. I will admit that the environment also plays a role.


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.


Most humans do not understand why they behave the way they do. It is evolution, we are animals and we are pre-programmed . BTW, there is no such thing as free will. This xenophobia was alive and well in communist Russia.

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.

I tend to focus on the individual because i believe biology plays a very big role. Within a social context the order of things is also likely driven by biology. That is why you see a hierarchy of competence in most groups of humans. There is no such thing as a blank slate human. Some humans are born with advantages.


It is thinking that can't see how things even change, because the status quo is naturalized, assumed a universal essential nature of things.

That is the essence of the conscientious personality. They want to keep what worked in the past. Familiarity is everything. The open to experience types always want CHANGE.

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.

We are not equal. Equality is a goal that will never be achieved. Hence we will always have a hierarchy. The same guy that rose thru the ranks in East Germany will rise in West Germany.

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.


Ignorance is more prevalent on the right, I give you that. The left is open to sing Kumbaya with anyone.

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.


They have prison MEMES. The only way to fix that is to give them a new set of parents and a new neighborhood.

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.


I am disheartened in that after 300 years blacks have not integrated more into America. Some give up and self segregate. CUlture also plays a huge role, this is more than just skin color.

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.


Six generations later you can see how an Italian acts different from a German in the USA. That would be MEMEs.


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.


Capitalism is better at producing wealth than socialism. That is not up for debate. Redistribution of wealth may improve the lot of the poor but they may become more nihilistic. And when wealth becomes redundant poor people will have a lot of wealth. But, they will still be poor in spirit and will become more dystopic. It almost makes me yearn for socialism where everybody has to carry his or her weight or else.

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.


Adam Smith analogy of the butcher and baker explains basic capitalism. Other forms of capitalism may very well be crony capitalism which in essence is not real capitalism.



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.


Howeevr, if we had many many more Bill gates money would reach the hands of the poor very quickly.

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.


In San Francisco, LA, and Seattle the homelessness has gotten worse as the American left provides more and more free services. We are creating a dystopia.

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.

They are social justice warriors that are very open to experience.

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.


Yeah, but Marx accepted the free money earned by the sweat of factory workers. I supposed he had to eat.

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.

Agreed

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.


I have no doubt the world will be socialist, but it will happen in a totally different manner. It will be due to technology and redundant wealth. And once currency is abolished humans will find other criteria to maintain hierarchies. Why? Because hierarchies are natural.

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.


I agree, but today the game is not the same. In the old days the hurdles were clar and quite visible. Slavery, Jim Crow, school segregation, whites only bathrooms, etc, etc. Today the hurdles are subtle and hence not that easy to define. For example people have come up with terms such as White Privilege to explain to themselves what they perceive as racism. They also look at statistics to assume there must be racism. If a =city has a 30% population they expect every single profession in that city must include 30% black. This makes it very difficult to fight racism.
#15034394
Wellsy wrote:Part 2 of 3


Which is also a sign of how far to the right American politics is with the illusion of a two party system with the most charitable view of it being a center left party and a right wing party who are essentially defenders of capitalism despite and rhetoric for social progress or conservatism at odds with liberalism and capital.
Although Mr. Sanders is by far a pretty weak example of social democracy in comparison to those Nordic countries also, he is a social democratic of a lesser degree than what passes as normal in those other countries.
Indeed, Venezuela has gone to shit and despite the many people who clamored around Chavez, I don't see how he got much praise instead of the people that attempted to do something during his reign. He threw a bit of money around sure, and made a few big speeches appealing to the more impoverished, but he didn't intervene that, part of which was how much of his government were essentially the same as the previous. If one interpreted him most charitably in his intentions, then he was a fool in how he went about trying to implement his vision. He left way too much power to the capitalist class and those who supported them that fragmented the country more so, causing only conflict and not resolution in some winner.


Socialism can only function in an authoritarian system. This is something that many left wingers do not understand or want to hear. Under such a system we would not have the dystopia of homelessness due to drug abuse. Somehow SJWs are wired differently. They are like a person obsessed with rescuing stray cats or dogs.

A revolution is necessarily authoritarian, as it's not something one can have approved but simply does and takes at the opportune time.

Agreed


Even in liberalism, they weren't so deluded as to try and peacefully gain a consensus for the power of the bourgeoisie, they had blood revolutions the world over. Political struggle is always illiberal despite the liberal attempt to restrict people by appeals to its modus vivendi.
It effectively tries to negate politics as such and make it a technical problem which in effect it denies can be resolved through consensus as there can't be consensus in a society that has essential oppositions in their interests.


I know I sound like a broken record but absolute socialism is not in agreement with the biology of humans. Therefore, it will be incredibly difficult to implement.

And it has been proven with the example of the USSR, even though it simply confirmed Marx's and then Trotsky's predictions, that socialism, especially in a place in Russia couldn't be achieved in one country. They predicted its success was dependent on the cascade of successful workers revolutions through Germany and Europe, which failed.
It is an international problem as the economy is global in nature, no countries economy exists in isolation and those that do are subject to embargos.


A tall order indeed. As I said the story of communism is always compelling and attractive for the young of every generation, but we are barbarians that still seek to do the best we can to pass DNA and this creates greed and selfishness.

It requires one basically ignore the essential nature of capitalist production to think we can eradicate the poverty that it necessarily entails and this has been shown as such with the efforts to do otherwise.


Actually world poverty has been steadily declining thanks to technology and global capitalism.


The problem today is still the destructive nature of capitalist crisis, we can't keep going the way we're going. The real utopianism is to think in our changed circumstance we can pretend to do the same thing. We must let old ways days for new or we will really die, not in some apocalyptic explosion but more likely a slow and shitty march to death.


You need to read Seven Pinker Enlightenment. The world today is a much better place than a 100 years ago.


Indeed, such identity politics was rather the norm against the universalism of liberalism which is abstract in nature.
The original identarians were reactionaries emphasizing the differences between existing people as a point of their inability to be harmonized with one another.
And it is indeed the view point of intersectionalist fragmentation of people into a series of attributes, that class is seen as just another identity, attached to predicates in language rather than a view of the world itself.


Paradoxically, the left has a fetish with identity politics. This has motivated the right wingers to also do identity politics which is white nationalism.

Although I speak of modern political activism as being defined by alliance politics, short term shared alliances between different groups which go their own way at some point rather than being essentially unified to some ideal.


Agree 100%.



Well by definition, if it had worked, then they wouldn't have their system. But the failure of workers revolutions after the Russian signed the death of such a possibility for the 20th century.
But now that it's done away with, the cold war over, there are new coordinates, new lessons from the past to situate struggles today.
I tend towards Andy Blunden's point of ethical politics as a means to avoid instrumental politics, populism, identity politics and has the potential to grow out of alliance politics. And perhaps best emphasizes the point of the working class which is to realize the ethical human life.
Where as for the bourgeoisie epistemology was the defining philosophical position in improving technology and production.


Race identity politics has replaced the bourgeoisie and proletariat.
Most people function on an emotional basis. That is why emotional arguments work so well for politicians.

Indeed, exchange gets a lot done in the world. But it is simultaneously the basis for the denigration of a human life and the valuing only of things, as if the good life was our service to a system of capital/commodity expansion.


Crony capitalism is evil and equals corruption. But, do not be naive; capitalists and communists have the same propensity to corruption.


It's not merely exchange though, exchange predates capitalism but it takes on a specific characteristic within the capitalist mode of production. A point missed by political economists prior to Marx as they treated categories as universal and didn't mark the actual distinctions between things like labour in general and labour under capitalism. How the commodity exists prior to capitalist production, but from the commodity relation, one could explain the dominance of capital as the defining part of modern life and production.


Capitalism produces excess goods. On a theoretical basis once the excess becomes very cheap it opens the door for wealth redistribution. This is a HUGE obstacle for socialism.


And the wealth of a company isn't a essential proxy to the quality of a service, especially in regards to monopolies which don't just compete on the merit of their product but aggressively stomp out competition.


There are many flaws in the capitalist system. For example the owners of Walmart are billionaires and could easily pay very high salaries to the workers, but they can't because Walmart is in the stock exchange and the idea is to keep the price of stocks as high as possible for stock owners. Hence the system pays the lowest salaries possible for the sake of the stock owners. This sort of thing could be fixed with COOPs where workers are given part ownership.




Capitalism has been progressive in the same means that it has been destructive.

Sure, as animals we soil the environment.

If a human life is to emerge out of this destructiveness, it will be through the efforts of people to make it a reality rather than to wait for it to come about from the very system that is essentially opposed to it.

AS Marx said: It is a thesis antithesis issue.

Indeed, I don't think in communism this sort of hierarchy would be displaced, some people can simply do things others can't.
But the basis of class oppression is the essential thing to be resolved in opposing the dominance of commodities/exchange value over life.


I agree, see above.
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Wellsy wrote:Part 3 of 3


And i'm guessing that capitalism doesn't somehow fall with this criticism of local cooperation because exchange as the mediating relationship makes a global economy possible.


The free exchange of goods or services where each side perceives the exchange to be convenient or helpful is the basis of capitalism. If a provider of services or goods creates a high demands he or she can become quite rich by wealth creation. I say wealth creation because the buyers also gained something in return.

But to be frank, I feel muddled here as it's really hard to see the criticism in an explicit form against socialism, it feels implicit to me.
Socialism can't work because = tribalism and hierarchy.
Where as I don't think socialism entails the eradication of all hierarchy unless one is an anarchist. I do think there would be more of an equalization of respect for each individual, but I don't see hierarchy as inherently oppressive except when its based in unjust means.
A father having rule over his children isn't inherently oppressive, just as there being authority granted to someone who has greater experience and expertise in a field.


I am gratified that you do not see the competence hierarchy as oppressive. Many humans do not thrive in socialism and this creates lack of productivity and ingenuity. West Germans built BMWs whereas East Germans built the Trabant, the worst auto in the world.

Which emphasizes more significant basis for this kind of 'tribalism' you vaguely refer to. In that we have bonds with those we actively work with as opposed to those whom we shared some contingent attribute.
So for example, in regards to racism, I don't necessarily share the views, values and aspirations of all other whites and don't value them and may other many who are white, they become opposition and enemies.
It's just within the US context, race has been institutionalized in so many laws and practices in everyday living, it becomes primary in their consciousness as opposed to class.
It took Malcolm X a journey to Africa where he met a white radical to realize that whiteness wasn't essential to those who oppose his ambitions and ideas as he would lose a friend and a radical otherwise.
Tribalism may well be found in ones activiy and thus identification with capitalism or socialism.
But what people identify with isn't given by their DNA, and in fact you'd be more accurate to speak of kinship, which tends to overlap with shared DNA and is more essential to the content of what governs many relations. But may have many exceptions to shared DNA in terms of mediating many modern groups/relationships.


Culturally speaking the USA is obsessed with racial classification. The USA census has more racial categories than the old South Africa. Sadly, blacks embrace the cataloguing of humans according to phenotype. What is really sad about this is that there is just a single human race.

Indeed, been shocked to hear in places like Phoenix AZ there is something of an entire suburb dedicated to the concentration of homeless and services provided to them, it is something quite different to just a slum somewhere. I wonder if they have a word for this sort of thing.
And homelessness is a complex problem of course beyond simply, provide a home, although it certainly helps.
https://www.vox.com/2014/5/30/5764096/homeless-shelter-housing-help-solutions
Being homeless is quite a rough and vulnerable existence in terms of stability, safety and such things undermine someone getting back on their feet.
But in many cases, the homeless can be extreme cases of addiction and other problems. Which is also points to the question of why are there so many homeless, and what is going on in the lives of so many that has it so difficult for them to establish stable lives. Which intersects with mental illness which is framed as a social problem to be solved chemically and then have addiction which is getting worse.
But in the phrase, worse it gets, I should note, that those cities providing services which aren't a solution but means to try and manage the issue in some limit, is that they don't cause the problem, so as terrible as it may be, it simply gives a blatant sore to the state of the country itself.


In a perverse manner the American left needs the homeless and the poor to be a viable movement in the USA. The existence of the poor classes benefits the left to a much greater extent than the right.
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Response 1 of 3 , part 1 of 2
Julian658 wrote:I will take hard science over soft science every day of the week. We are animals and we still have behaviors that are driven by the limbic system. I will admit that some high IQ people do a good job at holding back the amygdala. But at the same time in some, particularly in the extreme left and right the tribalism is VERY obvious. Our facies betray us on a regular basis, no different than in other animals.

This is a good point. I believe that whether you are a capitalist or a socialist is very much due to personality type. Those open to experience are left and those that are naturally conscientious are conservative. I will admit that the environment also plays a role.

Most humans do not understand why they behave the way they do. It is evolution, we are animals and we are pre-programmed . BTW, there is no such thing as free will. This xenophobia was alive and well in communist Russia.

I tend to focus on the individual because i believe biology plays a very big role. Within a social context the order of things is also likely driven by biology. That is why you see a hierarchy of competence in most groups of humans. There is no such thing as a blank slate human. Some humans are born with advantages.

That is the essence of the conscientious personality. They want to keep what worked in the past. Familiarity is everything. The open to experience types always want CHANGE.

We are not equal. Equality is a goal that will never be achieved. Hence we will always have a hierarchy. The same guy that rose thru the ranks in East Germany will rise in West Germany.

Ignorance is more prevalent on the right, I give you that. The left is open to sing Kumbaya with anyone.

They have prison MEMES. The only way to fix that is to give them a new set of parents and a new neighborhood.

I am disheartened in that after 300 years blacks have not integrated more into America. Some give up and self segregate. CUlture also plays a huge role, this is more than just skin color.

Six generations later you can see how an Italian acts different from a German in the USA. That would be MEMEs.

Capitalism is better at producing wealth than socialism. That is not up for debate. Redistribution of wealth may improve the lot of the poor but they may become more nihilistic. And when wealth becomes redundant poor people will have a lot of wealth. But, they will still be poor in spirit and will become more dystopic. It almost makes me yearn for socialism where everybody has to carry his or her weight or else.

Adam Smith analogy of the butcher and baker explains basic capitalism. Other forms of capitalism may very well be crony capitalism which in essence is not real capitalism.

Howeevr, if we had many many more Bill gates money would reach the hands of the poor very quickly.

In San Francisco, LA, and Seattle the homelessness has gotten worse as the American left provides more and more free services. We are creating a dystopia.

They are social justice warriors that are very open to experience.

Yeah, but Marx accepted the free money earned by the sweat of factory workers. I supposed he had to eat.

Agreed

I have no doubt the world will be socialist, but it will happen in a totally different manner. It will be due to technology and redundant wealth. And once currency is abolished humans will find other criteria to maintain hierarchies. Why? Because hierarchies are natural.

I agree, but today the game is not the same. In the old days the hurdles were clar and quite visible. Slavery, Jim Crow, school segregation, whites only bathrooms, etc, etc. Today the hurdles are subtle and hence not that easy to define. For example people have come up with terms such as White Privilege to explain to themselves what they perceive as racism. They also look at statistics to assume there must be racism. If a =city has a 30% population they expect every single profession in that city must include 30% black. This makes it very difficult to fight racism.

Except in relying strictly on biology, one ends up only speculatively attempting to explain the social and effectively not explaining anything other than what is already observed and claiming biology is the basis. It's the same with those who simply assert the social without any specific process as to why it beckons this way or the other.
So for example, you speak of DNA relationships, when really what you're actually describing is kinship relationships of which DNA is at best a proxy, not an equivalent.
The idea of natural differences runs into difficulties on several fronts. Sociobiological explanations of human kinship, for instance, foundered when the predictions from genetics failed to match the realities of kinship systems actually documented by anthropologists (Sahlins 1977). It seems that social logic works independently of genetic logic. The explanation of gender hierarchy by a hormonal "aggression advantage' founders when it is discovered that higher testosterone levels follow from social dominance as much as they precede it (Kemper 1990)

Geary's argument, being recent and sophisticated, is particularly worth attention. Geary's account of sexual selection is based on individuals making choices that maximize their genetic payoff, very like firms in a free market maximizing their utilities in neo-classical ecnomic models. Geary can't really 'see' society as a reality, so his arguments don't have any place for institutionalized gender arrangements. For instance, in discussing the higher levels of violence among men than among women, all he can see is male vs male competition for reproductive resources; he cannot see military institutions, collective struggles, gendered interests and cultural definitions of manhood and womanhood. it is characteristic of this literature that Geary speaks constantly of 'males' and 'females', not 'men' and 'women'.

Lacking any account of social process, Geary constnatly falls back on evolutionary speculation to explain the facts of social life. it comes as a slight shock, after reading this 400-page monograph calling on the name of science and published by so august an institution as the American Psychological Association, to realize that the entire argument is speculation. Not one sex difference in psychological characteristics has actually been shown to result from evolutionary mechanisms.

Theordore Kemper (1990) argues that we need to replace the idea of natural difference with a more complex chain of social-biological-social causation. Body-machine models of gender assume that the machine runs by itself: that biological causation is independent of society. But there have been no human (or even hominid) bodies outside society for a very long time. Social processes cna be traced for 2.5 million years, give or take a few weeks. (This is the approximate age of the earlist hand-tool cultures so far discovered by archaeologists (Semaw 2000). The discoery of such industries proves the social transmission of specific techniques for making stone tools, over this length of time.)

It is in fact the crude materialism inherent in a lot of modern scientist methods and outlooks they actually end up with idealist explanation of history as they posit man independent of nature. And whilst man does have a kind of universal biology, we are all essentially homosapien, emphasis of this fact is insufficient in itself to explain the diversity of human behaviour through history. Man is not simply his biological nature, this would effectively ignore the significance of consciousness as one could speak of a programme inherent to our activity, but how we come to do so much becomes unfathomable due to the universal nature of our activity. It'd be ridiculous to see people riding bikes and driving cars and say it was a product of adaptionism that we have such an ability. Simply observing what is common in people has no logical necessity to explain itself, it simply observes the simple fact that something is common and from this one can only speculate.
https://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/en/jordan2.htm
But Feuerbach failed to go beyond the point reached by Helvetius. He too conceived of man as a purely passive recipient of stimuli supplied by nature and as the product of education, circumstances, and influences of nature acting upon him; he forgot that ‘it is men that change circumstances and that the educator himself needs educating’.[34] Man changes not only in response to the influence of nature upon him, but also in reacting upon nature in his struggle for existence. Changing nature he changes the environment and changing the conditions of life, he changes himself.
...
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]
...
In the opinion of Marx, it is an error to assume that the primary psychological constitution of the individual can be distinguished from his socially acquired characteristics and that the latter, being a product of social existence, are in a sense artificial and secondary, since they are derivable from the former. The differentiation between what man owes to society and to his primary, true, and unchanging nature, can be disregarded as a pseudo-problem or a mere figment of speculation. The ‘normal man’, ever the same in each historical epoch, who provided Jeremy Bentham with his yardstick of utility in the past, present, and future, existed only in Bentham’s own mind. With an incomparable naiveté, Bentham took the English shopkeeper for his model and regarded what was useful to this queer normal man and to his world as absolutely useful.[101]

And Marx is most certainly not dismissive of biology as universal, it's just inadequate by itself, one hasn't a biosocial view of human beings, only a biological one, an animal that is somehow just more complex than more primitive ones in their programming.
https://www.marxists.org/archive/fromm/works/1961/man/ch04.htm
Marx did not believe, as do many contemporary sociologists and psychologists, that there is no such thing as the nature of man; that man at birth is like a blank sheet of paper, on which the culture writes its text. Quite in contrast to this sociological relativism, Marx started out with the idea that man qua man is a recognizable and ascertainable entity; that man can be defined as man not only biologically, anatomically and physiologically, but also psychologically.

Of course, Marx was never tempted to assume that "human nature" was identical with that particular expression of human nature prevalent in his own society. In arguing against Bentham, Marx said: "To know what is useful for a dog, one must study dog nature. This nature itself is not to be deduced from the principle of utility. Applying this to man, he that would criticize all human acts, movements, relations, etc., by the principle of utility, must first deal with human nature in general, and then with human nature as modified in each historical epoch." [22] It must be noted that this concept of human nature is not, for Marx -- as it was not either for Hegel -an abstraction. It is the essence of man -- in contrast to the various forms of his historical existence -- and, as Marx said, "the essence of man is no abstraction inherent in each separate individual." [23] It must also be stated that this sentence from Capital, written by the "old Marx," shows the continuity of the concept of man's essence ( Wesen) which the young Marx wrote about in the Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts. He no longer used the term "essence" later on, as being abstract and unhistorical, but he clearly retained the notion of this essence in a more historical version, in the differentiation between "human nature in general" and "human nature as modified" with each historical period.

In line with this distinction between a general human nature and the specific expression of human nature in each culture, Marx distinguishes, as we have already mentioned above, two types of human drives and appetites: the constant or fixed ones, such as hunger and the sexual urge, which are an integral part of human nature, and which can be changed only in their form and the direction they take in various cultures, and the "relative" appetites, which are not an integral part of human nature but which "owe their origin to certain social structures and certain conditions of production and communication." [24] Marx gives as an example the needs produced by the capitalistic structure of society. "The need for money," he wrote in the Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts, "is therefore the real need created by the modern economy, and the only need which it creates.... This is shown subjectively, partly in the fact that the expansion of production and of needs becomes an ingenious and always calculating subservience to inhuman, depraved, unnatural, and imaginary appetites." [25]

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

This speculation from biology would be the equivalent of one failing to do psychology by actually only describing sociology, something which many orthodox Marxists did in the past, failing to actually investigate and establish new knowledge and dogmatically professing Marx's quotations, where a Marxist adopts the method, not idolize the man as absolute.

The fetishism of the hard sciences is what has distorted the actual ability of psychology to be a science I would say. And the results from evolutionary psychology has only been a boon to understanding the brain/mind relationship on the basis of it's inadequacy. Its the tendency to transpose concepts derived from one field of activity/study and haphazardly prescribe it to other areas. This blinds one to the nature of the object being considered as it ends up straitjacketed to the concepts.
This would be forgivable if there was a lacking in science such that one had to stretch pre-existing concepts to fit the newly discovered thing, but at this point in time, it is simply the sloppy thinking of biologists prescribing the methods of their field beyond its limits and into a world view of how things work.

In their [Evo. Psychologists] sole emphasis for adaptionism, they posit that there are specific modules in the brain for the observable behaviour.
But evidence suggests that no such thing in fact exists, the brain instead is more general rather than specific, which reflects the error of their analiytical presumption of the mind.
A point of why they fail to adequately explain psychology is that they simply look for what is universal across cultures and presume it as evidence in support of biology because of it's universal character.
This was understood as far back as Spinoza, that one couldn't understand human thinking by analysis only of our bodies, because we don't have a species program like that of many animals which is what allows us the universal character of our activity.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/pdfs/Synopsis%20of%20Ilyenkov.pdf
• Spinoza solved the puzzle that we perceive the form of external bodies themselves, and not the impression they make on our sense organs, stating that the capacity of human beings which made thinking possible was: “The capacity of a thinking body to mould its own action actively to the shape of any other body, to coordinate the shape of its movement in space with the shape and distribution of all other bodies.” From this it followed that:
• It was this capacity to mould its actions to the form of any other body which needed to be investigated, “to elucidate and discover in the thinking thing those very structural features that enable it to perform its specific function.”
...
• It is in the activity of the human body in the shape of another external body that Spinoza saw the key to the solution of the whole problem. “Within the skull you will not find anything to which a functional definition of thought could be applied, because thinking is a function of external, objective activity. And you must therefore investigate not the anatomy and physiology of the brain but … the ‘anatomy and physiology’ of the world of his culture, the world of the ‘things’ that he produces and reproduces by his activity.”

https://www.marxists.org/archive/mikhailov/works/riddle/riddle3b.htm
If one assumes that one of the branches of the evolving order of primates several million years ago found itself in a prolonged ecological situation (change of climate, development of steppe and forest steppe territories, etc.) requiring constant use of auxiliary “instruments” of action, one faces the paradoxical situation in which the “tool-using”, “instrumental” means of the interrelation with nature, vital though it was in sustaining life, could not be fixed hereditarily and could not yield a new population adapted to the given conditions. And biological evolution had not produced any other forms of inheriting the modes of life-activity. On the other hand, the biological instability of the vitally important “tool-using” actions keeps such a species on the brink of extinction. It is possible that the sad fate of the Australopithecus, the giant pithecus, the Zinjanthropus and pre-Zinjanthropus is due to this, and this is why I spoke earlier of adaptation as a closed, rather than open-ended line of development. The point is that all animals without exception inherit the “programme” of their activity biologically. The process of the origin of their species is recorded in the morpho-physiological organisation of each individual of the given population. The animal’s bodily activity “demands” certain vital conditions and substances of nature and the animal seeks them actively and finds itself an environment, a habitat, peculiar to its species. The organism of the individual is the “instrument” of the adaptation of the species. But in so doing the animal inherits and “finds” in itself not only the programme of its life-activity but also the main, essential (and often sufficient) means of realising this programme: its own organs and the ready-made mode of using them.

In man, on the other hand, we encounter a diametrically opposite mode of inheritance. Man inherits part of the “species programme” of life-activity, but the greater part (and precisely the specifically human part) is geared into the “mechanisms” of his life by his mastering the objectified means of culture in intercourse with other people. He even develops his bodily needs and abilities in the process of mastering the historical ways and means of activity and intercourse, such as the need for communication, for prepared food, for “instruments” to consume it with, for objects that provide for the human functioning of his organs, creating the conditions for normal sleep, rest, labour, and so on. And, particularly important, the infinitely diverse and infinitely developing means of realising the inherited “programmes” of life-activity are acquired only in the form of the socially significant instruments of activity and intercourse created by the labour of previous generations.

Academician N. P. Dubinin writes: “The possibilities of human cultural growth are endless. This growth is not imprinted in the genes. It is quite obvious that if the children of contemporary parents were deprived from birth of the conditions of contemporary culture, they would remain at the level of our most remote ancestors who lived tens of thousands of years ago. Whereas the children of such “primitive people” placed in the conditions of contemporary culture would rise to the heights of contemporary man.” [2]

As such, I recommend looking at Merlin Donald's assessment for the origins of consciousness within a social whole, to delinate both our continuity and discontinuity with our animal ancestors.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/works/phylogeny.htm
Which is complimentary although isn't informed by, the Marxist school of thought in which artefactsare integral to the social development and continuation of human activity.
https://www.marxists.org/glossary/terms/p/r.htm#pragmatism
Further, Pragmatism, as an American doctrine, is tied to individual experience, and it is here that it parts company most decisively with Marxism, which understands practice above all as socially mediated activity. Even individual practice mobilises the entire available culture in even the simplest practical act, using the available tools, to ends provided by the culture, understood with language provded by the culture with senses trained by a life within society. No practice therefore is genuinely individual. The individualist character of Pragmatism leads to an unduly dismissive attitude to social constructs (ideas, ethics, language, productive forces), and supports a somewhat short-sighted and unprincipled rationale for practice: thus the meaning associated with Pragmatism in day-to-day language.
...
This is where Vygotsky’s Marxist (Cultural-Historical) Psychology and Alexei Leontyev’s Activity Theory depart form Pragmatism. The central thesis of Marxist psychology is that all activity is mediated, generally by artefacts such as words, money, tools, other people or organisations, etc.

But the mere common occurrence of something doesn't in itself show necessity of it being some biological module of humans. Bowls are found around the world, is this about something innate to human biology or that gravity is in effect everywhere and it is a useful form of a tool in such conditions.
Spoiler: show
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/evolutionary-psychology/
In brief, evolutionary psychologists maintain that there is an analogy between organs and psychological mechanisms or modules. Organs perform specific functions well and are products of natural selection. There are no general purpose organs, hearts pump blood and livers detoxify the body. The same goes for psychological mechanisms; they arise as responses to specific contingencies in the environment and are selected for to the extent that they contribute to the survival and reproduction of the organism. Just as there are no general purpose organs, there are no general purpose psychological mechanisms.
...
There are numerous examples of the kinds of mechanisms that are hypothesized to underlie our behavior on the basis of research guided by these theoretical tenets: the cheat detection module; the waist/hip ratio detection module; the snake fear module and so on. A closer look at the waist/hip ratio detection module illustrates the above theoretical tenets at work. Devendra Singh (Singh 1993; Singh and Luis 1995) presents the waist/hip ratio detection module as one of the suite of modules that underlies mate selection in humans. This one is a specifically male psychological mechanism. Men detect variations in waist/hip ratio in women. Men's preferences are for women with waist/hip ratios closer to .7. Singh claims that the detection and preference suite are adaptations for choosing fertile mates. So our mate selection behavior is explained in part by the underlying psychological mechanism for waist/hip ratio preference that was selected for in earlier human environments.

What is important to note about the research guided by these theoretical tenets above is that all behavior is best explained in terms of underlying psychological mechanisms that are adaptations for solving a particular set of problems that humans faced at one time in our ancestry. Also, evolutionary psychologists stress that the mechanisms they focus on are universally distributed in humans and are not susceptible to much, if any, variation. They maintain that the mechanisms are a product of adaptation but are no longer under selection (Tooby and Cosmides 2005, 39–40).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modularity_of_mind
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/modularity-mind/#FodMod
Domain specificity. A system is domain specific to the extent that it has a restricted subject matter, that is, the class of objects and properties that it processes information about is circumscribed in a relatively narrow way. As Fodor (1983) puts it, “domain specificity has to do with the range of questions for which a device provides answers (the range of inputs for which it computes analyses)” (p. 103): the narrower the range of inputs a system can compute, the narrower the range of problems the system can solve—and the narrower the range of such problems, the more domain specific the device. Alternatively, the degree of a system's domain specificity can be understood as a function of the range of inputs that turn the system on, where the size of that range determines the informational reach of the system (Carruthers, 2006; Samuels, 2006).

from Evo. Psych. Link)
(2) Such systems, when complex, need to have massively modular organization.
...
he second type of argument is one side of a perennial debate in the philosophy of cognitive science. Fodor (2000, 68) takes this argument to rest on the unwarranted assumption that there is no domain-independent criterion of cognitive success, which he thinks requires an argument that evolutionary psychologists do not provide. Samuels (see esp. Samuels 1998) responds to evolutionary psychologists that arguments of this type do not sufficiently discriminate between a conclusion about domain specific processing mechanisms and domain specific knowledge or information.Samuels articulates what he calls the “library model of cognition” in which there is domain specific information or knowledge but domain general processing. The library model of cognition is not massively modular in the relevant sense but type two arguments support it. According to Samuels, evolutionary psychologists need something more than this type of argument to warrant their specific kind of conclusion about massive modularity. Buller (2005) introduces further worries for this type of argument by tackling the assumption that there can be no such thing as a domain general problem solving mechanism. Buller worries that in their attempt to support this claim, evolutionary psychologists fail to adequately characterize a domain general problem solver. For example, they fail to distinguish between a domain general problem solver and a domain specific problem solver that is over generalized. He offers the example of social learning as a domain general mechanism that would produce domain specific solutions to problems. He uses a nice biological analogy to drive this point home: the immune system is a domain general system in that it allows the body to respond to a wide variety of pathogens. While it is true that the immune system produces domain specific responses to pathogens in the form of specific antibodies, the antibodies are produced by one domain general system. These and many other respondents conclude that type two arguments do not adequately support the massive modularity thesis.


https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/works/phylogeny.htm
Neuroscience already knows that the numerous components of a scenario are processed by distinct neuronal structures which transform various kinds of material interactions and experiences into neuronal form, and has posed for itself the various ‘binding problems’ of how these diverse components of a scenario are ‘put back together’ in a single perception. And yet perception of the whole ‘gestalt’ is evolutionarily prior to the perception of the individual ‘components’ (such as colour, movement, shape, spatial distribution, etc.). In fact, perception of ‘gestalts’ precedes self-consciousness in evolution; animals perceive episodes without those perceptions being ‘brought together’ and presented to any kind of self-consciousness. So even though the posing of the problem as one of binding is intuitively compelling to us self-conscious individuals, it would appear that it is more a problem of differentiation, of how the brain is able to differentiate the various aspects of a scenario from the whole. And of course the explanation for the various processes of differentiation is well-known: the brain has a known variety of specialised structures which make these differentiations possible.

It is in fact an ideological error that has one simply pre-suppose the nature of one's theory as derived from present conditions and projects it into the past.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/works/phylogeny.htm
The puerility of the procedure has not prevented it being emulated countless times since, with recent decades giving us Konrad Lorentz’s “On Aggression,” Robert Ardrey’s “Territorial Imperative,” Richard Dawkins’ “Selfish Gene” and now “Evolutionary Psychology,” all aimed at legitimising a social theory by positing its pre-existence in the animal kingdom and therefore, in human society. These currents of pseudoscience have to be shown to be poor theories of the animal order, and independently to be poor theories of human nature.

Which I think applies just as much as your adherence to Dawkin's memes, as an explanation of culture. My point of referentialism still applies, they explain nothing, they observe something stable across many places and simply presuppose it's biological innateness.
And to 'explain' it, they create a fiction which has no real existence as far as one can tell as it doesn't explain as it means what one can already see with one's own eyes.
As an example of another fiction used to explain human behaviour, we have that of mirror neurons which are contested in that they describe what is observed but haven't been really established in themselves. And the issue is that we see humans as little more than biological determinist in nature, then one reduces the social to chemical processes which necesasrily posit chemical solutions to social problems.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/works/dammassio.htm
Dammassio cleverly plays with the idea that all the phenomena of culture and human society are somehow less real than the facts of biology, self-aggrandizing illusions of animals who kid themselves that they have become something more. Thus consciousness and mind are “what we call mind and consciousness,” (p. 207; this phrase ‘what we call’ is used several times). Dammassio is clever enough not, like say Desmond Morris, to be explicit in this ploy, he just suggests to the reader without spelling it out.

And these ‘mirror neurons’, introduced to explain empathy, are complete fiction. This is not a claim that needs to be argued, the idea is pure fantasy and the claim to have found the location where they to be found is outrageous. No-one in the field believes it. ‘Mirror neurons’ are a disturbing step from biological explanation of biological phenomena to biological explanations of social phenomena, and with that, the incipient justification for medical intervention and social engineering as the cure for social problems.

All this could be harmless enough. If the object is to improve understanding of the working of the nervous system for the purpose of curing psychiatric illness or brain injury, it is a very worthwhile exercise. But the ‘mirror neurons’ alert us to the inevitable wider agenda.

For example, he claims:

“The endeavour to live in a shared, peaceful agreement with others is an extension of the endeavour to preserve oneself. Social and political contracts are extensions of the personal biological mandate.” [p. 172-3]

For Dammassio, all social institutions are “mechanisms for exerting homeostasis at the level of the social group” (p. 166), and in fact all social, political and ethical phenomena are “extensions” of these processes within the organism, and have their “forerunners” in the social behaviour of wolves, birds and so on. In other words, puerile social Darwinism of the worst order.

https://ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/works/les-treilles-talk.htm
5. Further, as I have said already, epistemology also arrives at a certain limit. Any given kind of knowledge arises out of and informs a certain kind of activity; at a certain point we must ask ourselves how we should live; how we should live determines the type of knowledge we seek and consequently, the kind of things that our world is composed of. If we choose to live in a world of surgical and pharmacological solutions to social problems, then we live in a world governed by neurons, drugs and policemen; if we live in an ethical, cooperative world, then we live in a world composed of subjects.

This is in part why I'm aggressive against what I see as empty speculation and a reductive view of human beings to the point that it would be unethical when its not consciously understood as a science within specific limits. It bothers me in the same way that one might refer to psychology to explain sociological phenomenon. There are ways to integrate these fields such that they complement one another and make sense.
But as they stand in the current division of intellectual labor, they can be quite independent and as such can't be haphazardly slapped together.
Which probably also works in reducing psychology to innate biological processes, as we certainly see politics attempted to be explained as biological ie Jonathan Haidt - moral roots of liberals and conservatives.
Things must be described in their own terms, concepts must best reflect the content of the object in consideration.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/works/determinism.htm
Nonetheless, in describing and explaining social processes or psychological processes, one cannot avoid the language of concepts. Likewise, one cannot avoid the language of actors using artifacts, people anticipating events, thinking about their reactions, forming concepts of their objects and having feelings. None of these forms of expression contradict the causal substance of human activity. But for example, an impending event cannot cause me to prepare for it, the sight of a juicy steak cannot cause me to steal it: consciousness always mediates between stimulus and response. And consciousness needs to be described and explained in its own terms.


This is when one needs to note the difference between form and content, what does something actually refer to, what is its meaning.
Because many concepts are illusions for meaning something at all, they're contentless, they are just a gap in our current knowledge and can be a hindrance if we're self-satisfied with these bandaids rather than being aware of them as just labels covering what we don't know, like the God of the Gaps.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/pdfs/Article_on_Teleology.pdf
‘Emergence’
‘Emergence’ is the idea used by atheists to fill the gaps which religion fills with God – “I don’t know how this property of some complex organism is produced, it emerged naturally.” Emergence is a category of processes which includes a wide variety of intelligible processes which have little in common with each other, other than not being explicable solely in terms of causality. It is generally associated with processes which only occur when the number of individual components, causal iterations or level of complexity passes a critical level. It is then often falsely concluded that this complexity functions as the cause of the phenomenon concerned, being an efficient explanation for its occurrence under the relevant conditions. It should be noted that causality is not synonymous with intelligibility. In this sense, part of the role of ‘emergence’ is to restore ‘causality’ to its hegemonic role in positivist science. Another motivation is the problem in Analytical Philosophy as to how a collection of objects can exhibit a property which is not present in any one of the component objects individually, or in the precursor collections. For example, evolution proceeds for millions of years without any organism exhibiting consciousness, and suddenly homo sapiens ‘emerges’. Did God inject consciousness into Man, or did it ‘emerge’ naturally? Obviously the latter. However, to say that consciousness emerged at a certain point in evolution no more explains consciousness than does Divine intervention.

‘Emergence’ is also intended to counter the reductionist refusal to grant relative independence to sciences which rest on ‘emergent’ forms of motion. ‘Emergence’ means that ‘mental phenomena’ can be described and explained without any reference to ‘physical phenomena’ or explanation of the phenomena in physical terms. It is here that the concept of emergence acts specifically as a barrier to science because it functions to sanction the idea that there is no intelligible explanation for the ‘emergence’ since ‘emergence’ itself functions as such an explanation.

Darwin would hardly be remembered as a founder of modern biology if The Origin of Species had simply proclaimed that new species ‘emerged’ because biological processes were ‘complex’. He is remembered because he observed that off-spring resemble their parents, and formulated the idea of natural selection of variations in inherited characteristics. Even though it is evidently ‘directional’ in that it tends to produce more and more elaborate organisms, evolution is not teleological, because it does not act through consciousness. But nor is evolution causal, in that it relies on the random nature of variations and the accidental impact on survival of each mutation. For example, as many mutations made the necks of okapis shorter as made their neck longer, but on average, only those whose necks got longer were ‘selected’ in the competition for treetop foliage and led to the evolution of giraffes.
This arbitrariness of the mutations is essential to the efficacy of natural selection. Evolution by natural selection is a specific form of movement, which is distinctly different from causality because each incremental change in the phenotype is not the effect of an external being, but is internal to the life form in itself. Emergent processes are therefore generally ‘spontaneous’ and ‘autonomous’ or ‘autopoietic’, but again, like ‘emergent’, these concepts are not explanatory, but merely descriptive.
The business cycle could be described as an emergent process of market relations, but in this case the randomness of response is not the key to the phenomenon, though the independence of responses is essential. On the other hand, the emergence of trade unions and cartels is precisely not reliant on the independence of responses. Each ‘emergent’ process demands a unique explanation if it is to be intelligible.

The potential for evolutionary psychology as a field still exists, its just that many who work within it, propose inadequate methods/means of determining its facts. Because it doesn't at this point show the means of reflecting that what they witness today isn't necessarily universal across human history and as such they tend to simply transpose what is observable today to humans innate nature with just so stories for how it was an adaption.

In fact, I have been looking into the idea of how much of human consciousness is developed in relation to society/humanized nature. And Evald Ilyenkov does take the radical position that human beings consciousness isn't to be considered simply as a split of nature nurture, this presupposes their independence too much.
Man is biologically universal, but his biology is altered as it develops into higher mental functions, it becomes acculturated and its' not something one can find in one's biology as primitive and modern man are physically the same.
http://www.kafu-academic-journal.info/journal/6/164/
The historical materialism of Marx, as Ilyenkov stated, differs from other forms of materialism by the idea that all abilities of an individual, including the five main senses, are understood as a product of history, not as a gift from Mother Nature. Thus human eyesight and hearing differ from the eyesight and hearing of animals, and they do so because they are formed on the basis of communication with things made by a man for a man.

But a man differs from an animal above all by the presence of spiritual senses to which artistic taste and moral sense (conscience), the sense of the sublime, pride and love in its human spiritual meaning pertain. On the other hand, from the point of view of historical materialism, the highest spiritual senses do not presuppose additional physical organs, but rather transform and instill the highest ideal meaning into the activity of the natural senses, all the vital functions of a human organism.

As such, I do not share this view that we're little different from animals, to miss the discontinuity in which one determines what constitutes what humans are, is to have no concept of human nature. One simply generalizes arbitrarily the qualities shared between man and animal, which is useful in arguing against those that try and make our origins a metaphysical speculation than of a natural and scientific endeavor.
But looking for what is common isn't going to delineate a human consciousness.
https://ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/works/les-treilles-talk.htm
But it remains to be proven that a cockroach has ‘awareness’ in the sense we humans know it. According to Katherine Nelson, even new-born infants appear to have awareness only fleetingly[1]. Human beings are capable of performing quite complex operations without any awareness of what they are doing, and I see no reason to doubt that animals can perform the most impressive feats without awareness as we know it. Merlin Donald posits several distinct strata of consciousness that separate us from primates, who in turn enjoy a kind of consciousness distinct from that of other mammals. The only awareness we know about and can objectively demonstrate and distinguish from biological reflexes, is that connected with human subjectivity, or something very much like it; all the rest is speculation. When John Searle remarked jokingly: “Anyone who doubts that dogs are conscious should talk to my dog Gilbert,” [2] I am not convinced. Either we abandon all claims to science and ascribe thoughts to animals, or we ascribe to them awareness without thoughts, something a Buddhist master takes a lifetime to achieve (Kyabgon 2003, 55), something which surely cannot be assumed in the absence of experimental evidence. I agree with Steven Rose when he says that it is impossible to separate consciousness from its content: “There can be no consciousness without content; indeed it is constituted by its content ... it exists in sets of relationships, between the person and the surrounding world, irreducible to a mere neural mechanism ...” (Rose 2005, 167)

Educational psychology and the study of child development and human evolution allow us to study the emergence of consciousness as we know it, but unless we begin by recognising consciousness as something that comes into being, we have no possibility of studying it, by the methods of neuroscience or any other method.


And when it comes to personality, the development of such is in relation to structural challenges one confronts within one's society.
Lev Vygotsky was pivotal in this point with his notion of the Zone of Proximal Development and perezhivanie. Emphasizing the ontological nature of experience which is the unity of both subject and object. Because it's not the whole of the environment and it's the special significance of parts of the environment in relation to the development of the child.
So for example three children of different ages experience the abuse of their alcoholic mother.
The reactions of the children differ because of their different means of dealing with it.
The youngest barely registers what happens as they were too young to remember (although we do know kids who experience abuse can still endure severe outcomes with no memory of the abuse), the middle child developed an intense anxiety unable to deal with it, and the oldest was parentified who stepped up to care for the siblings in pity of the mothers inability to do so.
The development of any child isn't something that simply comes along across time, such that they become a functioning adult simply given enough time, rather its the pivotal experiences in their life that help develop their enduring personality.
And we might speak of the basic biological dispositions and tendencies in which the child might seek out more stimulation than another, but this in itself only gives direction in preferences but not their specific nature especially when significance experiences can severely alter the child.
One doesn't forget the biological existence of the child, but one doesn't describe one's psychology by describing the chemical process alone, we discuss the conceptual development of the child in relation to the world it is experiencing.
Part of the issue with saying that openess constitutes an explanation is that its an observable result, let me emphasize that, result. There is no notion of the process and development between one's personality and the content of their beliefs.

I disagree about there being no free will, not that I think its outright proven but there is a modicum of self direction that is comprehensible within the Marxist tradition. Because the metaphysical free will is of course is bullshit.
http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/10867/1/VWills_ETD_2011.pdf
Marx's second argument against Kantian morality is that its focus on the free will belies the extent to which the will is itself determined by material conditions and material interests. The abstraction of the “free will” is illegitimate according to Marx because it attempts to prize apart the intellectual life of individuals from their economic, social, and historical context. A person with a will that is “wholly independent of foreign causes determining it,” to adopt Kant's phrase, simply does not exist in reality, and therefore such a subject makes a rather poor starting point for moral theory. (Later, in 1853, Marx writes, there critiquing Hegel, “Is it not a delusion to substitute for the individual with his real motives, with multifarious social circumstances pressing upon him, the abstraction of “free-will” — one among the many qualities of man for man himself”74!)

But I suspect you still operate in a cartesian duality where there is the soul or in this case the consciousness, but reduced to a crude materialism determined mechanically by nature.
But this requires considering consciousness in a broader view than a innate program of biological processes/tendencies.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/pdfs/The%20Psychology%20of%20Concepts.pdf
The idea of cognitive psychology is that the human mind can be modelled as an information processing machine: the mind acts as if it were executing an information processing function. In itself this is an undeniably powerful approach to understanding the psyche. However, it is the baggage which comes with the model which undermines the potential benefits of this approach. Machines do not exercise free will, lust after others, experience loyalty, guilt, hatred or fear, have intentional dispositions or friends or understand what they are doing. So in order to model some human function as a machine function it is first necessary to construe the given function as something which a machine could do. Human functions which cannot be modelled by machines, such as free will, may even be deemed to be illusions to legitimate the approach. Consequently, what is modelled is never a human function, but rather an outwardly humanlike machine function.


But Marx resolved traditional materialism and idealism in his criticism of Feuerbach in his theses on him.
Where materialism knows only man passively determined by the world, whilst idealism had to take up human activity but still as only as percieving, both losing sight of human activity. Man isn't just determined by nature but determines it, shapes it to his needs, and thus changes himself and humanizes nature such that we create a space to mediate our own will.
http://critique-of-pure-interest.blogspot.com/2011/12/between-materialism-and-idealism-marx.html
That elusive middle is captured by Marx’s claim that the external object, on which humanity depends, is in turn dependent on the formative power of human activity. In other words: nature determines (causes, affects) man, who in turn determines (works upon) nature. Thus man is indirectly self-determining, mediated by nature. This reciprocal determination of man and nature is what Marx means by “praxis".
...
Because traditional materialism stresses one-sidedly the passivity of man with respect to nature, it can understand qualia only as secondary, ie as mere effects in consciousness caused by external objects. And because idealism, in contrast, stresses one-sidedly the (mental) activity of the human subject, it cannot understand qualia as coming from external objects. The result is that materialism and idealism, precisely because of their opposing positions (passivity vs. activity), come to a surprisingly unanimous opinion about the ontological status of sensory qualities: they are merely subjective and not objective. Thus the traditional contrast in philosophy between materialism and idealism has led to a systematic disregard of the true in-between status of sensory qualities. Marx was in a sense the first to rehabilitate that true status of the sensory by taking up a position between materialism and idealism. That seems to be one of the main reasons why Marx in the first Thesis on Feuerbach focuses specifically on sensation, that is, on “reality, sensuousness” which in traditional materialism “is conceived only in the form of the object or of intuition, but not as sensuous human activity, practice, not subjectively”. Marx’s point is therefore not that man as part of nature is a sensuous being, rather his point is that reality as such is sensuous, i.e. praxis, the reciprocal determination of subject and object that takes place in sensation. For Marx, the sensuous is the medium (ie the middle, the “between”) in which subject and object – man and nature – meet and determine each other.

You stand at a crude materialist position, man is passive in nature, determined only externally. There is no sense in which man can become the cause of himself.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/works/determinism.htm
These artificial stimuli which the subject uses to train and control their response to stimuli are provided by their social and cultural surroundings. Adults purposely direct the actions of infants in their care and in doing so introduce these stimuli. Later, children appropriate these same stimuli to “command” themselves. By school age, a child is able to exercise what must be recognized as free will and a significant level of control of their own behavior, while remaining culturally and socially dependent on the conditions of their existence, beyond their control. “Freedom of will is not freedom from motives.” Yes, though the ability to educate one’s own motives is crucial to the attainment of a genuinely free will, something which may or may not be attained to some degree in the course of an adult life. The nervous system is an elaborate system of stimulus-response reactions, a system which to a certain degree is ‘self-constructed’ under conditions not of the subject’s choosing.

https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/pdfs/searle.pdf
But let us make a slight revision to Searle’s assumptions. Let us assume that thinking is not something going on exclusively between the ears, but on the contrary, that other parts of our body and things and people outside of us participate, in however small a way does not matter, in consciousness. Let us assume that the brain is not a closed system. Let us suppose for example that the presence of something in my field of vision (for example my address book), participates in my consciousness (for example, remembering my friend’s phone number). That is, that the change from one state of consciousness to another depends in some measure on something which is not between my ears, and is therefore not subject solely to the biology of the brain.

If then, my own actions manifest human freedom (which is just what is to be proved), then the things I have in my field of vision at any given time, not to mention my economic situation, the friends and family I have, the books and computers I have at my disposal, my state of health, etc., etc., are manifestations of my own free activity. If we allow that these things, manifestations in part of my own free activity, participate in determining my thinking at any given moment, then nothing more is necessary to establish that my consciousness is in part the result of my own freedom, and is not determined by physics alone. The physical environment in which I live, inclusive of the internal constitution of my body, is the manifestation of both lawful physical activity and wilful human activity, including my own previous interactions with other people and things. If my consciousness is constituted, even in part, by states of this extended system, then my consciousness is not subject solely to the laws of physics – wholly but not solely.

This pushes the logician’s puzzle back one degree. If I ever had free will, then that free will is embedded in the environment in which I now live. There would still have to have been (for the logician) an original act of free will. So our logician still has a problem: in order for me to manifest free will in the use of something outside the brain in the determination of my consciousness, then I must have acted as a free person at some time in the past. This leads to an infinite regression: in order to be free I must already be free.

This is the same problem to which Johann Fichte addressed himself in 1799. His solution was this: it is necessary for some other person to recognise me as a free person, to call upon me to exercise my freedom. Free will therefore does not derive from the internal constitution of the human organism, but rather from the demands of other people. Free will is not an innate property of the human body, but a social product ‒ the creation of social formations in which people were required to act as free agents.
...
The point (for me) is that we gain this freedom to control our own bodies only mediately via other people and the products of the culture around us. The question is: are we exercising genuinely free self-determination, or are we simply acting in a way that is determined by the means that the culture places at our disposal. And that is a question which is not so easily answered. Perhaps Nature will trump Culture in the end, but it is not a trivial question.

This is complimented by Merlin Donald's emphasis on culture and activity, which allows an emphasis of aretfacts as mediating human activity.
The view of the extended mind where only individuals have consciousness, but its content isn't wholly subjective but in relation to an external world made by man.
A really good piece on a materialist free will I think is this summary of Vygotsky's appreciation of Spinoza.
http://lchc.ucsd.edu/mca/Mail/xmcamail.2015-06.dir/pdf9UQ7dqv45X.pdf
And the extended mind thing isn't entirely novel, as we see something comparable in the west with David Chalmers and co.

And in this viewpoint, there is no denial of different competencies, Marxists aren't anarchists and don't deny hiearchies but do oppose the most prominent one, class, which when dissolved will dissolve politics as its currently understood.
https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1872/10/authority.htm
https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1875/gotha/ch01.htm
But one man is superior to another physically, or mentally, and supplies more labor in the same time, or can labor for a longer time; and labor, to serve as a measure, must be defined by its duration or intensity, otherwise it ceases to be a standard of measurement. This equal right is an unequal right for unequal labor. It recognizes no class differences, because everyone is only a worker like everyone else; but it tacitly recognizes unequal individual endowment, and thus productive capacity, as a natural privilege. It is, therefore, a right of inequality, in its content, like every right. Right, by its very nature, can consist only in the application of an equal standard; but unequal individuals (and they would not be different individuals if they were not unequal) are measurable only by an equal standard insofar as they are brought under an equal point of view, are taken from one definite side only – for instance, in the present case, are regarded only as workers and nothing more is seen in them, everything else being ignored. Further, one worker is married, another is not; one has more children than another, and so on and so forth. Thus, with an equal performance of labor, and hence an equal in the social consumption fund, one will in fact receive more than another, one will be richer than another, and so on. To avoid all these defects, right, instead of being equal, would have to be unequal.

But these defects are inevitable in the first phase of communist society as it is when it has just emerged after prolonged birth pangs from capitalist society. Right can never be higher than the economic structure of society and its cultural development conditioned thereby.

In the above even see part of doing away with abstract labor, is that instead of the socially necessary labor time across the board, such that no more value is produced if one works longer than what is necessary, people will not be considered so abstractly but more concretely to their labor.

When it comes to the term equality, one should think equality of what. Because Marxists aren't for equality in the liberal sense necessarily, which relies on an abstract universal view of human nature, like Kant's transcendent subject ie everyone has universal reason and everything else is a contingency.
We have largely achieved abstract equality of law in race and gender, this is what feminism and the civil rights movement largely achieved.
Although this still has a defect as noted early on, that both rich and poor alike are banned from sleeping under bridges.
The point being that despite the form, the content of it only actually applies to particular people as no wealthy person is going to sleep on the street. This is where policies in the US that are racially prejudicial in motive have been allowed because they posses no form of being racially discriminatory although they may in effect predominately effect an ethnic minority.
And it is in fact a criticism that many seek to reify the relations of their demographics along such lines, rather than dissolve the conditions which make socially significant something which should be irrelevant in many contexts (ie ones sex or race). This is why the most radical conclusion of a liberal is redistribution, they have no sense to change the essential conditions of modern life, only to move the chairs on the ship deck.
http://www.unityandstruggle.org/2013/09/i-am-a-woman-and-a-human-a-marxist-feminist-critique-of-intersectionality-theory/
For several pages, Fanon argues that black people must embrace blackness, and struggle on the basis of being black, in order to negate white supremacists social relations. But to stop there reproduces our one-sided existence and the forms of appearance of capitalism. Identity politics argues, “I am a black man,” or “I am a woman,” without filling out the other side of the contradiction “…and I am a human.” If the starting and ending point is one-sided, there is no possibility for abolishing racialized and gendered social relations. For supporters of identity politics (despite claiming otherwise), womanhood, a form of appearance within society, is reduced to a natural, static “identity.” Social relations such as “womanhood,” or simply gender, become static objects, or “institutions.” Society is therefore organized into individuals, or sociological groups with natural characteristics. Therefore, the only possibility for struggle under identity politics is based on equal distribution or individualism (I will discuss this further below). This is a bourgeois ideology in that it replicates the alienated individual invented and defended by bourgeois theorists and scientists (and materially enforced) since capitalism’s birth.
...
On the one hand, abstract “sociological” groups or individuals struggle for an equal voice, equal “representation,” or equal resources. Many have experienced this in organizing spaces where someone argues that there are not enough women of color, disabled individuals, transfolks, etc., present for a campaign to move forward. A contemporary example of this is the critique of Slut Walk for being too white and therefore a white supremacist or socially invalid movement. Another example is groups and individuals who argue that all movements should be completely subordinate to queer people of color leadership, regardless of how reactionary their politics are. Again, while intersectionality theorists have rightly identified an objective problem, these divisions and antagonisms within the class must be address materially through struggle. Simply reducing this struggle to mere quantity, equality of distribution, or “representation,” reinforces identity as a static, naturalized category.

To speak nothing of the content of what equality refers to leads to a confusion in discussion where the same term means different things for people.
In fact, you might enjoy Engels passage on equality, where it opens up with a criticism of the ideologues approach to assert an a priori schema and then fill it with the content that exists in one's present society unknowingly but present it as eternal.
https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1877/anti-duhring/ch08.htm
A shorter summary of what he says
https://www.marxists.org/archive/pilling/works/capital/geoff2.htm
Engels characterises this method – this starting with so-called ‘principles’ or ‘laws’ which are tested against ‘the facts’ as ideological – as a method which inverts the true process by which knowledge develops.

The general results of the investigation of the world are obtained at the end of this investigation, hence are not principles, points of departure, but results, conclusions. To construct the latter in one’s head is ideology, an ideology which tainted every species of materialism hitherto existing. (Engels, Anti-Duhring)

And Engels immediately points out the roots of this ideology: it rested on a lack of understanding of the origin of thought in definite historical-social conditions. ‘While in nature the relationship of thinking to being was certainly to some extent clear to materialism in history it was not, nor did materialism realise the dependence of all thought upon the historical material conditions obtaining at the particular time.’

This method of starting from principles (instead of abstracting them in the course of theoretical work) was essentially the same as starting from abstract definitions, into which the facts are then ‘fitted’.

But in your emphasis on biology as the sole determinant which might be only slightly altered by environmental experiences, it does make change difficult to see but this tendency of the natural should be opposed by all as an illusion. It may be argued for both the status quo and change, but is false in describing the state of things, rhetoric more than science.
https://www.marxists.org/archive/ilyenkov/works/articles/biological-social.pdf
This line of thought, which becomes tempting under certain conditions and for certain types of people, is observed constantly in the history of theoretical culture and long ago crystallized into an entire worldview. It may be called the naturalistic view of man and his life activity.

A textbook example—we find it amusing, but it was by no means amusing in its time—is provided by the thesis of Aristotle according to which some individuals are slaves and others their masters by nature. And the most interesting thing here is that this thesis arose precisely at a time when the classical ancient society was starting to enter the phase of its decline and dissolution. This thesis arose precisely as a theoretical justification for the defense and protection of the collapsing social organization, as a counter-thesis to the demands for some other means of organizing life that were already taking vague shape in many heads.

But naturalistic explanations of certain social phenomena may be not only defensive but also destructive in character and effect. In 1789, for example, the French bourgeoisie rose up in revolution in the name of the so-called nature of man, declaring the order of feudal estates “unnatural,” contrary to “nature,” to the natural organization of human life. Conversely, the right to private property and freedom of private property were declared natural.

Thus, the naturalistic illusion may conceal either a conservative and reactionary conception or a conception that is objectively progressive or even revolutionary. Nevertheless, in both cases this illusion remains an illusion, to which even very progressively minded people may be susceptible.

Materialist philosophy, being a principled adversary of all illusions, makes no exception for this one, which has a tendency to revive in the most unexpected forms.
...
All that is human in man—that is, all that specifically distinguishes man from the animals—is 100 percent (not 90 percent or even 99 percent) the result of the social development of human society, and any ability of the individual is an individually exercised function of the social and not of the natural organism, although, of course, it is always exercised by the natural, biologically innate organs of the human body—in particular, the brain

This position seems to many people somewhat extreme, accentuated in an exaggerated fashion. Some comrades are afraid that such a theoretical position may lead in practice to underestimation of the special biological-genetic innate characteristics of individuals, or even to leveling and standardization. These fears, it seems to me, are groundless. It seems to me that, on the contrary, any concession—even the smallest—to the naturalistic illusion in explaining the human mind and human life activity will sooner or later lead the theorist who makes this concession to the surrender of all materialist positions, to complete capitulation to theories of the Koestlerian type. Here it is a question of: “Remove the claws and the whole bird perishes.” For initial arguments concerning the genetic (i.e., natural) origin of individual variations in one or another human ability always lead to the conclusion that these abilities are themselves natural and innate, and indirectly—through naturalistic explanation of these abilities—to the perpetuation (at first in the imagination, but later also in practice) of the existing, historically shaped and inherited mode of the division of human labor

I'm not sure I would speak of what constitutes the left in a lot of western countries as necessarily more enlightened than the right wing, although one could make the case that reactionaries in trying to defend the status quo or a return to an old way necessarily mystify established understanding to manipulate people in their confusion and ignorance. But a lot of asserted left wingers aren't necessarily all that bright despite any appeals to science. The modern scientists can in fact be quite the inferior to scientists of yester year who were properly educated in more than only their specialization.
They were thinkers beyond their own field of research.

Although the social is pivotal, there is a lot going on with addicts and inmates that merely being within a particular social environment isn't sufficient although it can help which is a point of the deprivation within the prison system that it acts on a crude punishment system primarily rather than as a supplement to more social means of fostering desired behaviour.
#15034789
Response 1 of 3 , part 2 of 2

Well when you say self-segregate, i do wonder how much you include the history of discrimination and the intertia of it which hasn't actually been radically challenged.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/pdfs/welfare-dependency.pdf
In Australia, old age pensions were introduced in the wake of the depression of the 1890s, and further benefits for the deserving poor flowed over the next 60 years. In the US, it was the New Deal in the wake of the 1930s Depression which introduced these ‘respectable’ benefits. Old age, sickness, unemployment benefits and so on, aggravated the stigma attached to ‘welfare dependency’ in direct proportion to the way they made other benefits ‘respectable.’ By setting up accounting fictions to create the appearance that people who received old age, widows’, veterans’ or unemployment benefits were only getting back what they had put in, they created the two-track benefit system. Those who were deemed not to have ‘contributed’ were paid out of general revenue, and subject to means tests, moral supervision and all kinds stigmatising humiliations on top of a miserly level of benefit; workers suffering temporary periods of unemployment, veterans and old age pensioners were deemed not to be receiving ‘public assistance’, but simply receiving their ‘just deserts.’

US Blacks and women were deliberately excluded from these ‘first-track’ schemes, just as in Australia indigenous people were excluded, while today’s ‘self-funded retirees’ live off the profits extracted by capital from those still in work, and yet enjoy the honourable status of being deemed to be ‘independent’. For selected groups, however, the stigma of ‘welfare dependence’ is added with correspondingly greater intensity to the insult of poverty.

And in the present, economic segregation as a continuation of a history of denying the same benefits to blacks, redlining and predatory economic practices do not exist independently the present state of things.
It's not only a matter of choice in being around those that seem like oneself and feeling alien elsewhere, there remains the same practices that inhibit integration.
https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/07/why-the-us-must-tackle-economic-segregation/
It wasn't the case that a few gains were made politically/legally and it was a racial utopia in the US and race is still one of the most prominent things in American consciousness than class and other things as it was a way of delinating groups status and hiding the class relations that were more explicit in the old world that emerged more directly from feudalism and retains many of its features still.
And indeed, it's not just skin color, because skin color isn't just skin color in America, it has all sorts of historical connotations and significance which we still see today with tensions of blacklivesmatter and this sort of thing.

Indeed, an Italian American has a different subculture than a German American that have still largely retain some of their cultural traditions from their country of origins. But as I touch on slightly in the above, I don't find the reference to MEMEs, convincing as little more than simply a term which describes what is observed instead of explaining it.

Indeed, because charity doesn't solve poverty and the issue of recognition and voice of a marginalized peoples.
And indeed capitalism has been great are revolutionizing production to amass great deals of wealth.
But this talk of redundant wealth makes little to no sense to me, how does one make it redundant?
Because if one is referring to charity,t hat shit is still liek capital investment to open markets and expand one's capital than it is out of some kindness of governments or corporations. The welfare state besides originally being a concession to undermine socialist ideology then become the partial objectification of those who thought that by objectifying/institutionalized supports as part of the state things would be better.
But it is alienating as people don't experience the state as 'their' state because it is alien to them, they have practically no meaningful say in it as the every four year vote isn't the significant determination of politics.

The whole notion of crony capitalism is crony itself, its for people to make out essential and problematic characteristics of capitalism aren't essential and its because their conception of capitalism is arbitrary, rather than essential and as such they pick and choose which parts they like.
https://www.marxists.org/history/etol/writers/heijen/works/capitalist.htm
The Formulas of the Improvisers Among the improvisers who seek to deny the capitalist nature of German economy, a few have hastily read Marx in order to cull from his works some definition of capitalism which is no longer applicable to the Third Reich. In the main their procedure comes down to defining capitalist economy as a “market economy.” Then they conclude: Since prices in Germany are determined not by the automatic laws of the market but by state decrees, therefore the economy is no longer capitalist. To be sure, the intervention of the state into the sphere of circulation affords certain supplementary channels for the manipulation of prices. But there is essentially nothing new in this. For almost half a century monopolies and cartels have precisely set themselves the task of converting free trade into its opposite. Are monopolies then “non-capitalist” enterprises? The formula of the improvisers is false because they attempt to define capitalism by seeking its essential characteristics in the sphere of circulation.

Marxism teaches us that a correct definition of capitalism can be established only by seeking out the essential relations in the sphere of production, which, in turn, determines those in the sphere of circulation.

It is as empty a term as 'real existing socialism'
https://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/ot/zizek.htm
urthermore, as many a critic pointed out, the very term “Really Existing Socialism,” although it was coined in order to assert Socialism’s success, is in itself a proof of Socialism’s utter failure, i.e. of the failure of the attempt to legitimize Socialist regimes — the term “Really Existing Socialism” popped up at the historical moment when the only legitimizing reason for Socialism was a mere fact that it exists . . . “

Monopolies and capitalist class ruthless crushing anything before it can become competitive and throwing money to suit their interests isn't inessential to capitalism based on some ideal world where they haven't ruthlessly pursued the expansion of capital.
Monopolies only seem an oddity if one's conception of capitalism is such an idealization description that it can't make sense of this reality because it was this idylic free trade between equals, which is the equality found narrowly within trade itself but isn't generalizable to capitalism in general.
Which is also shown in how attempts to explain money and such in the modern economy for some simply generalize from bartering between two individuals which as has been consistently found fails to explain the particularity of money as distinct within capitalist economy and also the failure to explain macro economics on individualist foundations of atomistic rational economic agents. Which isn't just an idealization, it is based on an inessential view of human economic behaviour that doesn't capture the essential characteristics necessary to understand economic actors.

Bill Gates epitomizes philanthropocapitalism in pushing his economic interests under the guise of charity.
https://cagj.org/2018/06/philanthrocapitalism-the-gates-foundations-african-programmes-are-not-charity/
The world is not better for Bill Gates throwing around his money in places like Africa.
He isn't simply giving money to the poor, but trying to develop new markets within the purview of his organizations.
And the poverty found within capitalist relations which is most of the world today, isn't an oddity but an essential part of capitalism.
It has been with it since its advent, where amidst great wealth was the rabble of which Hegel had his day sought to propose a solution but only could get as far as transporting the masses to the colonies. Which of course didn't solve anything as we both come from colony founded nations which continue the same problem.

The dystopia is the whole of the US, it's not isolated to some welfare among the major cities.
Many with even paid work experience the same ennui although they may, hopefully, have a greater position for a level of self respect in their own work.

I don't think I would consider SJWs as open to experience, in fact they're characteristically dogmatic as their critics present them.
In the demand for respect of different ways of life they attempt to force as much.
https://newhumanist.org.uk/articles/523/against-multiculturalism
Not only is the demand for 'recognition' the product of political pessimism, it is also a means of implementing deeply authoritarian policies. Consider, for instance, Tariq Madood's distinction between what he calls the "equality of individualism" and the "equality encompassing public ethnicity: equality as not having to hide or apologise for one's origins, family or community, but requiring others to show respect for them, and adapt public attitudes and arrangements so that the heritage they represent is encouraged rather than contemptuously expect them to wither away."

Why should I, as an atheist, be expected to show respect for Christian, Islamic or Jewish cultures whose views and arguments I often find reactionary and often despicable? Why should public arrangements be adapted to fit in with the backward, misogynistic homophobic claims that religions make? What is wrong with me wishing such cultures to "wither away"? And how, given that I do view these and many other cultures with contempt, am I supposed to provide them with respect, without disrespecting my own views? Only, the philosopher Brian Barry suggests "with a great deal of encouragement from the Politically Correct Thought Police".

They represent the modern liberal subject although we think that the ideal liberal is open minded and such.
https://www.lacan.com/freedom.htm
The obvious reproach that imposes itself here is, of course: is the basic characteristic of today's "postmodern" subject not the exact opposite of the free subject who experienced himself as ultimately responsible for his fate, namely the subject who grounds the authority of his speech on his status as a victim of circumstances beyond his control? Every contact with another human being is experienced as a potential threat - if the other smokes, if he casts a covetous glance at me, he already hurts me; this logic of victimization is today universalized, reaching well beyond the standard cases of sexual or racist harassment - recall the growing financial industry of paying damage claims, from the tobacco industry deal in the USA and the financial claims of the holocaust victims and forced laborers in Nazi Germany, up to the idea that the USA should pay the African-Americans hundreds of billions of dollars for all they were deprived of due to their past slavery... This notion of the subject as an irresponsible victim involves the extreme Narcissistic perspective from which every encounter with the Other appears as a potential threat to the subject's precarious imaginary balance; as such, it is not the opposite, but, rather, the inherent supplement of the liberal free subject: in today's predominant form of individuality, the self-centered assertion of the psychological subject paradoxically overlaps with the perception of oneself as a victim of circumstances.


Indeed, he accepted many a financial gift from Engels in supporting himself and his family when his journalism and exile had left him largely destitute.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/legacies/work/england/manchester/article_4.shtml
Engels returned to Manchester in November 1850. Again he came to work for the family firm. There were several reasons for this. One of which was to avoid possible arrest for his involvement in the uprisings in Germany during 1848 and 1849. Another though was in order to finance the work of Marx.

It was felt that Marx needed to devote all his time to researching and writing Das Kapital. Therefore someone would have to support him financially if he was to achieve this. Engels decided that he would have to do so. He did not do this purely out of friendship, although the bond between the two men was now very strong. He believed that Marx had the superior analytical mind and was therefore better suited to task of writing and researching what was to become Das Kapital.

To which I take it you're trying to make a point of hypocrisy or something, but nothing about this fact in itself is inconsistent for Marxists I believe. The best I can speculate is that its some sort implicit ultra-leftist view about achieving a kind of moral purity and that only by belonging to the working class can one consistently agitate for it and thus be a radical or something.
But both Marx and Engels were quite aware of their class backgrounds yet were still progressive in that belonging to a specific class doesn't strictly determine the content of one's beliefs. Which is my point in emphasizing that one could be a capitalist and yet still ideologically and active in supporting the working class. The existence and continuation of capitalist conditions doesn't somehow negate this work.
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/how-friedrich-engels-radical-lover-helped-him-father-socialism-21415560/
What made Engels different from the mill owners with whom he mixed was how he spent his wealth (and the contents of Peter Ermen’s petty-cash box, which was regularly pilfered). Much of the money, and almost all of Engels’ spare time, was devoted to radical activities. The young German fought briefly in the revolutions of 1848-9, and for decades pursued an intensive program of reading, writing and research that resulted in a breakdown as early as 1857 but eventually yielded a dozen major works. He also offered financial support to a number of less-well-off revolutionaries—most important, Karl Marx, whom he had met while traveling to Manchester in 1842. Even before he became relatively wealthy, Engels frequently sent Marx as much as £50 a year—equivalent to around $7,500 now, and about a third of the annual allowance he received from his parents.

If you could make explicit your point, it seems irrelevant except your own personal view of Marx's character perhaps for accepting his friends charity.
I would've thought it worse for him to refuse his friends help when he had a family to support.
One might argue that he should've given up his revolutionary activities and obsession with developing a scientific socialist outlook against his contemporaries.
The time of such poverty for Marx is when he does move to Manchester, England after struggling to work as a jouranlist due to much censorship.
He tried to make some money for some New York Tribune, even learnt English so he could write articles to a bigger audience for the papers he was contracted with. But this of course is a pittance to support his family really.
In those days, I tend to think of Engel's as being like a capitalist who invests in research, him supporting Marx who was the greater intellectual for the task for their shared interest in Socialism/communism. Where as Engel's followed his father in participating in their textile firm due to troubles in Germany and kept his head low as he lead a double life as part owner of the company but on the side an activist.

The word natural is meaningless to me because it like emergence is so vague as to mean nothing, one requires specificity to show that they have something substantial in mind when they use the word. But I have no doubt there will be hierarchies of another sort even if socialism and communism are realized.
But they'll have resolved a fundamental basis of hierarchy in human history of class exploitation.
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.

Many social problems will remain to be resolved in their own way.

And it seems true to your determinist view, that you think technology will save us. But technology can only be a pre-requisite condition, and not a cause. In the same way having a healthy brain is a necessary condition for human consciousness, but in itself is insufficient to have a consciousness (John Searle notes that we can only change the state of the brain and its neurons, we don't know how consciousness is introduced to it).
As such, the issue of moving from a possibility to actuality is an issue which technology isn't itself will be necessary but it will not in itself enact a revolutionary change. The change in production to capitalism itself was dependent on technology but it required the struggle of the capitalist class to be realized, of which there were many long struggles.
I like to distinguish somewhat the communist view from those that fetishize technology and think all matters will be resolved by a series of experts directing the world.

Indeed, we could only wish for something as simple and crude as the Berlin wall today. Below is a little bit dated with statements like the Russians and such think we have a democracy, when at present, the pessimism is that democracy doesn't exist. This is a talk from the mid to late 80s i believe
http://rickroderick.org/108-philosophy-and-post-modern-culture-1990/
In Eastern Europe they’ll believe we have got a democracy. They will love to have a VCR, and with each step forward they will become more entrapped in the same totalitarian system that is much more subtle than the crude and simple one that many of them have overthrown. What a joy to overthrow a crude and simple totalitarian system. I mean all of us enjoyed that, right? Dancing on the wall was fun, because that system was so crude, and not postmodern enough. They didn’t understand that there are walls that you can build that cannot be seen between people.

Those are harder walls to overthrow, the walls they build between different races and classes and sexes in our society. Those walls are much more difficult to overthrow than crude and stupid walls like The Great Wall of China, which doesn’t wall anybody out, it just walls you in. But the stupid forms of totalitarianism build these walls in a way that people can storm them. The global system that I am talking about, not is already here, perhaps, but is on its way. Perhaps. About the present and future you can just guess. I mean, you know, that’s what scientists do too, make their best guess. You can just guess. But about this system, the walls will be much harder to storm, because they won’t be the kind that will be available for storming. Hard to storm the walls on TV, in fact you’ll already – like in Total Recall – have the feeling you have already stormed them. You’ve already… I mean, you know, the guy in Total Recall, well, he has already won the revolution, it’s cool. He did it in ten minutes sitting in a chair injected with the same emotions.


Indeed, the intersectionalist view point is an analytical product that can't properly conceive of society and it's relations. It still conceives of subjects passively based on their attributes and so you're position is defined by being white/black, gay/straight, disabled/abled and so on.
The categories just a sum to be added up and whilst it registers something somewhat true in terms of acknowledging that discrimination and institutionalized barriers don't just effect you based on one thing alone, it is inadequate in thinking of how to change society to overcome these things.
It has yet to identify concrete unviersals instead of abstract ones.
Because being black, doesn't in itself reflect a real unity, but an abstract general as in reality not all black people have a real world connection and bond with one another.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/works/butler.htm
Hegel knew long ago that a collection of elements gathered together, externally, according to some attribute they have in common, cannot as such constitute a concept or subject. “Something in common” can only be a “thing-in-itself,” not yet a concept.

‘When one understands by the universal, that which is common to several individuals, one is starting from the indifferent subsistence of these individuals and confounding the immediacy of being with the determination of the Notion. The lowest possible conception of the universal in its connection with the individual is this external relation of it as merely a common element.’ [Science of Logic §1345]

The process of exclusion belongs, for Hegel, to those very first determinations of Being (thing-in-itself), not to self-consciousness (thing-for-itself).
...
A community is not formed by people having “something in common.” On the contrary, community is formed by division of labour. Fundamentally, then, the process of differentiation, is not a process of exclusion and inclusion, but an unfolding into mutually supporting subjects, differentiating itself into self-conscious systems of activity, which nevertheless, opens the door to the subordination of one subject by the other, but is not founded on such an abjection.

From the abstract general point of view, the realisation of subjectivity pre-supposes the atomisation, or “rifting,” of subjectivity, of a withdrawal of solidarity. But abstract generality is no basis for the formation of subjectivity or solidarity, and what results is the process which Judith Butler finds mysterious: “the death of the subject.”
...
Any collectivity of sameness is open to unanticipated difference and contradiction. But the mere existence of unacknowledged difference does not constitute an injustice, nor its invisibility an “erasure.” Injustice presupposes some claim by some subject, and some principled basis for the recognition of an injustice, which can substantiate a claim. There can be no “etc.”

Social subjects are required to have a heard voice on injustices.
Indeed, concepts are rather poor if they're simply based on statistics, thats but an early stage in the development of a concept, the raw material on which to develop an idea about a thing.
On the other side, we can also see those who deny the significance of statistics and don't explain by reference to choice for example, naturalizing the state of things without seeing how choices existing within structural limitations.
So for example, there are structural conditions that push women to be stay at home mums and depreciate their career, which isn't necessarily an injustice in itself but is also a sign that things aren't simply natural by the result of society where women more directly experience the home work tension than men.
https://aifs.gov.au/publications/family-matters/issue-86/persistent-work-family-strain-among-australian-mothers
In conclusion, Australian mothers in recent decades have greatly increased their participation in the labour market. Fathers, however, have not increased their participation in unpaid household work to a matching degree. But, without equal sharing of the dual roles of earner and carer between mothers and fathers, mothers will inevitably feel the work-family tension more keenly. Furthermore, institutional and structural changes supporting mothers' increased workforce participation are few and slow coming. Consequently, working mothers faced with the challenge of reconciling family and work commitments are often forced to find individual solutions. However, work and family life balance is not a problem specific to individual families. Rather, it is a universal problem shared by many families, and as such it requires institutional and structural changes supported by society as a whole.

Basically, it is impossible to have a child that needs intense care and work full time of which women are simply expected to forgo their careers. Which is understandable in that children are important but this does have a significant effect on the careers of women and is in part tied to how so many older women are in fact prevalent in poverty today, having lacked savings/retirement and such for themselves and not enough existing in partners who often pass away before them.
https://everydaygeopoliticshouston.wordpress.com/2015/05/03/feminist-discussion-post-2-the-wage-gap-intersectionality-and-the-white-privilege-of-liberal-feminism/
2. The role of choice in shaping the gender wage gap.

So, in thinking about our definition of the wage gap, there are multiple approaches to understanding and explaining it. Many talk about the wage gap using theories of human capital. These people examine the wage gap as a function of characteristics of the worker: unequal education, training, skills, personal choice of occupation, or personality. This is the camp you seem to fall into, since you argue, “men are paid more than women because of their choices.” It’s important to note that this human capital approach is not a denial of the existence of the wage gap however; rather they are just explaining it in a particular way.

In fact, feminist (and non-feminist) interventions into the wage gap often deal with addressing the structural ways that gender norms (not just overt gender discrimination) help produce these outcomes. For example, they discuss how gender ideologies work to route women towards particular jobs, and how occupational sorting impacts the pay gap (Penner 2008). They discuss how women’s uneven childcare responsibilities impact their choice of occupation and ability to advance their career, a pattern that has been dubbed the “motherhood penalty” (Budig and England 2001)—in contrast to evidence that men actually earn a wage premium for fatherhood (Glauber 2008). They also demonstrate how the norms of acceptable gender behavior influence confidence and negotiation stills (Nyhus and Pons 2012; Palomino and Peyrache 2010). As Misra and Murray-Close (2014) argue, the argument that the wage gap is solely a matter of choice and thus no policies are needed to address it is representative of “widespread confusion about the sources of the gender pay gap and a failure to appreciate the extent to which contextual factors, including policy supports for pay equity, condition the impacts of men’s and women’s choices on their earning.” Further, as the AAUW (2015) describes, even though women are more likely to go into disciplines like teaching that are paid less, we still should be asking questions about whether lower wages in female-dominated fields are fair. In this regard, perhaps it’s also worth considering how the gender composition of certain labor fields has also contributed the way that the labor is valued, as fields like teaching are often treated as reproductive labor akin to childrearing (going back to my previous discussion about productive/reproductive labor).

Ultimately, choice is far more complicated than you are acknowledging. One of the problems with this type of faith in a meritocracy (the idea that anyone can be successful if they make good choices and work hard) is that it can lead you to turn a blind eye to the systemic conditions that help produce certain outcomes. In this case, it is leading you to ignore how gendered social systems help produce gendered outcomes in wages, and the ways these outcomes distinctly impact people of color and other marginalized groups (as I discuss in a minute). I’m not saying these systemic conditions wholly determine futures, but dismissing them only allows us to see half of the story. Moreover, it allows us to unproblematically blame people (in this case, women) for their position, rather than critically and compassionately examining the systemic factors that might lead people down certain paths or to make certain choices.

This is common in liberal thought where people are thought to be offered a plethora of choices, when the real issue to be criticized isn't whether someone made a choice, but the agency they have within certain conditions such that they would've made that same choice given greater opportunity.
As we can see on the social scale how individual choice isn't something so unique, as there are identifiable trends which we then wonder how we might explain them. And finding the essential limits imposed on what people can do can help us identify why people choose something.

For example, someone might in fact choose to have sex/rape with a man rather than be beaten up.
In another case a woman might choose to have sex with a man in order to avoid being yelled at and insulted.
Whether one or the other is a crime is based on how we determine the woman's ability to freely consensus and actually choose something, whether it can be said her own choice rather than the result of external conditions (the modicum of free will adults have).
In some conditions, the influences acting on a person we can say corrupted their ability to meaningfully choose something because it was interfered with by too strong an external force such as intimidation/coercion and force. Where as we might not consider the latter example a crime because it constitutes too little interference to be more than just ethically problematic but not criminal.
So to do we consider the justness of people's ability to meaningfully choose the direction of their own lives, to be free.
Of which many things are tolerated more in the interest of capital than it is of people's freedom.
Such that the exploitation of many people around the world is entirely legal even though it is a structural scarcity that forces people to constantly work in order to survive rather than necessarily a scarcity of resources that has them work their entire lives. Because what mediates their relationship to resources is money which is a universal representation of value and when we understand and explain value we can better understand the nature of capitalist relations as historically specific rather than universal/natural and merely a technical/neutral allocation of resources and consumption/production.
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Response 2 of 3
Julian658 wrote:Socialism can only function in an authoritarian system. This is something that many left wingers do not understand or want to hear. Under such a system we would not have the dystopia of homelessness due to drug abuse. Somehow SJWs are wired differently. They are like a person obsessed with rescuing stray cats or dogs.

Agreed

I know I sound like a broken record but absolute socialism is not in agreement with the biology of humans. Therefore, it will be incredibly difficult to implement.

A tall order indeed. As I said the story of communism is always compelling and attractive for the young of every generation, but we are barbarians that still seek to do the best we can to pass DNA and this creates greed and selfishness.

Actually world poverty has been steadily declining thanks to technology and global capitalism.

You need to read Seven Pinker Enlightenment. The world today is a much better place than a 100 years ago.

Paradoxically, the left has a fetish with identity politics. This has motivated the right wingers to also do identity politics which is white nationalism.

Agree 100%.

Race identity politics has replaced the bourgeoisie and proletariat.
Most people function on an emotional basis. That is why emotional arguments work so well for politicians.

Crony capitalism is evil and equals corruption. But, do not be naive; capitalists and communists have the same propensity to corruption.

Capitalism produces excess goods. On a theoretical basis once the excess becomes very cheap it opens the door for wealth redistribution. This is a HUGE obstacle for socialism.

There are many flaws in the capitalist system. For example the owners of Walmart are billionaires and could easily pay very high salaries to the workers, but they can't because Walmart is in the stock exchange and the idea is to keep the price of stocks as high as possible for stock owners. Hence the system pays the lowest salaries possible for the sake of the stock owners. This sort of thing could be fixed with COOPs where workers are given part ownership.

Sure, as animals we soil the environment.

AS Marx said: It is a thesis antithesis issue.

I agree, see above.

I don't think socialism has to be essential authortarian any more than any system needs to be, even liberalism within a capitalist economy which professes a universal tolerance but is forced to show its hand at any attempt to essentially change it.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/pdfs/macintyre2.pdf
“The overriding good of liberalism is no more and no less than the continued sustenance of the liberal social and political order”. (p. 345)

In each of the historical settings that MacIntyre investigates, he is able to show that the type of justice and the type of rationality which appears to the philosophical spokespeople of the community to be necessary and universal, turns out to be a description of the type of citizens of the community in question. Accordingly, the justice of liberalism and the rationality of liberalism is simply that justice and that rationality of the “citizens of nowhere” (p. 388), the “outsiders,” people lacking in any social obligation or any reason for acting other than to satisfy their desires and to defend the conditions under which they are able to continue satisfying their desires. Their rationality is therefore that of the objects of their desire.

https://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/ot/zizek.htm
This is what the distinction between “formal” and “actual” freedom ultimately amounts to: “formal” freedom is the freedom of choice WITHIN the coordinates of the existing power relations, while “actual” freedom designates the site of an intervention which undermines these very coordinates.

We get freedom of choice within the coordinates set within capitalism, but choices that choose to change those limits are to be opposed.
http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/10867/1/VWills_ETD_2011.pdf
The implementation of such a genuine, substantive freedom of course would require “despotic inroads117 on the rights of property, and on the conditions of bourgeois production,” something Marx already wrote earlier, in The Communist Manifesto (Manifesto of the Communist Party, MECW 6:504). It would neither be a realization of bourgeois freedom nor would it even be commensurate with, or justifiable on the basis of, bourgeois freedom and equality, even as it is bourgeois production which makes this substantive freedom first possible.
...
In Capital, as in the Grundrisse, we see that the worker's freedom to enter into a contract and to dispose of his labor-power as he wills is only an illusory freedom, and that he was never in this transaction a totally “free agent” at all because he is not simply free to sell his labor-power or not, but rather is compelled to sell it if he wishes to live. That compulsion makes the worker susceptible to the most brutal working conditions. Thus, the first step in bringing about substantive freedom from oppressive working conditions and exploitative relations of production is for workers to combine together and push for laws that actually curtail the abstract freedom granted to them in bourgeois society. These measures on the part of workers are vehemently opposed by the bourgeoisie:

The same bourgeois mind which praises division of labour in the workshop, life-long annexation of the labourer to a partial operation, and his complete subjection to capital, as being an organisation of labour that increases its productiveness, that same bourgeois mind denounces with equal vigour every conscious attempt to socially control and regulate the process of production, as an inroad upon such sacred things as the rights of property, freedom and unrestricted play for the bent of the individual capitalist. (Capital, MECW 35:361)

As an illustration, Marx describes how in the French Revolution, the rights which could aid workers, such as the right of association, were subordinated in practice to the right of bourgeois property:

During the very first storms of the revolution, the French bourgeoisie dared to take away from the workers the right of association but just acquired. By a decree of June 14, 1791, they declared all coalition of the workers as “an attempt against liberty and the declaration of the rights of man,” punishable by a fine of 500 livres, together with deprivation of the rights of an active citizen for one year. This law which, by means of State compulsion, confined the struggle between capital and labour within limits comfortable for capital, has outlived revolutions and changes of dynasties. Even the Reign of Terror left it untouched. It was but quite recently struck out of the Penal Code.
Nothing is more characteristic than the pretext for this bourgeois coup d’état. “Granting,” says Chapelier, the reporter of the Select Committee on this law, “that wages ought to be a little higher than they are, ... that they ought to be high enough for him that receives them, to be free from that state of absolute dependence due to the want of the necessaries of life, and which is almost that of slavery,” yet the workers must not be allowed to come to any understanding about their own interests, nor to act in common and thereby lessen their “absolute dependence, which is almost that of slavery;” because, forsooth, in doing this they injure “the freedom of their cidevant masters, the present entrepreneurs,” and because a coalition against the despotism of the quondam masters of the corporations is – guess what! – is a restoration of the corporations abolished by the French constitution. (Capital, MECW 35:730-731)

Bourgeois opposition to the attempts of workers to exert social control on production further reveals the practical contradiction between formal bourgeois freedom and the real freedom workers struggle for within capitalism, in struggles that necessarily point beyond capitalism for just this reason. While the capitalist defends “sacred” bourgeois freedom, he is at the same time also perfectly willing to defend the real unfreedom of the worker, the “complete subjection” of the laborer to capital.

In this, it's not that every way of life is to be tolerate when one chooses a very determinate and different way of life which can't be done simply independently of the existing society but must come from it.
There can be no consensus between the essential opposition of workers and capitalists.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/pdfs/rawls.pdf
It would appear that it is reasonable for you to ask me to accept private ownership but unreasonable for me to ask you to accept common ownership. The interests of rich and poor can be mediated in the liberal manner; the poor remain poor and the rich rich of course, but rich and poor can treat each other and free and equal persons and can reach a modus vivendi. Social safety nets, public health and education can all moderate the extremes of capitalism and so long as the liberals can hold sway in the capitalist camp all these things are possible to the extent that those who suffer are prepared to engage in the very illiberal struggle against the ills of capitalism.

You idea about the nature of humans seems dubious to me as it seems based in a crude materialism that hasn't advanced beyond the British empiricists despite the rich philosophical development that followed it not just up to Kant, but in German Idealism and it's critics.
But we'll just let this point of socialism being congruent with human nature as a disagreement as I made my case for the alternative outlook somewhat in previous response above.

I don't think such greed and selfishness is explained solely within evolutionary theory, and we just go back to people trying to argue which is more natural, our vices or a virtues, as the typical response is Kroptkins emphasis on cooperation and altruism.
But there is a tendency to oppose such selfishness in many settings, do not universalize the conditions of capitalism to human nature, one must properly distinguish what is common across human history from what is common in this state of humanity.
There are tendencies that do not emerge from merely an idea, but the self-organization of peoples to oppose the primacy of one against the many.
https://www.unl.edu/rhames/courses/current/readings/boehm.pdf
In fact, although the capitalist class destroys its own revolutionary tools and condemns them as socialist, it is the case that democracy as we know it today was a product of the capitalist class finding solidarity in opposing feudalism.
https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1852/18th-brumaire/ch04.htm
Flat as a riddle whose answer is known in advance. Whether it was a question of the right of petition or the tax on wine, freedom of the press or free trade, the clubs or the municipal charter, protection of personal liberty or regulation of the state budget, the watchword constantly recurs, the theme remains always the same, the verdict is ever ready and invariably reads: "Socialism!" Even bourgeois liberalism is declared socialistic, bourgeois enlightenment socialistic, bourgeois financial reform socialistic. It was socialistic to build a railway where a canal already existed, and it was socialistic to defend oneself with a cane when one was attacked with a rapier.

This was not merely a figure of speech, fashion, or party tactics. The bourgeoisie had a true insight into the fact that all the weapons it had forged against feudalism turned their points against itself, that all the means of education it had produced rebelled against its own civilization, that all the gods it had created had fallen away from it. It understood that all the so-called bourgeois liberties and organs of progress attacked and menaced its class rule at its social foundation and its political summit simultaneously, and had therefore become "socialistic." In this menace and this attack it rightly discerned the secret of socialism, whose import and tendency it judges more correctly than so-called socialism knows how to judge itself; the latter can, accordingly, not comprehend why the bourgeoisie callously hardens its heart against it, whether it sentimentally bewails the sufferings of mankind, or in Christian spirit prophesies the millennium and universal brotherly love, or in humanistic style twaddles about mind, education, and freedom, or in doctrinaire fashion invents a system for the conciliation and welfare of all classes. What the bourgeoisie did not grasp, however, was the logical conclusion that its own parliamentary regime, its political rule in general, was now also bound to meet with the general verdict of condemnation as being socialistic.

...Thus by now stigmatizing as "socialistic" what it had previously extolled as "liberal," the bourgeoisie confesses that its own interests dictate that it should be delivered from the danger of its own rule; that to restore tranquillity in the country its bourgeois parliament must, first of all, be given its quietus; that to preserve its social power intact its political power must be broken; that the individual bourgeois can continue to exploit the other classes and to enjoy undisturbed property, family, religion, and order only on condition that their class be condemned along with the other classes to like political nullity; that in order to save its purse it must forfeit the crown, and the sword that is to safeguard it must at the same time be hung over its own head as a sword of Damocles.

https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/works/note.htm
Ad. 1 When I wrote this book I was unaware that there was any academic literature on the topic of the origins of collective decision making, only hearsay among anarchist writers. Subsequently, I learnt that there is an academic literature on Majority voting but I had never come across it because it never went to the places that I explored.

Academic treatment of Majority decision making goes as follows: a description of practices in ancient Greece and the commentary of Plato, Aristotle, etc., skip a couple of centuries to ancient Rome, a quote or two from Pliny or whoever, skip a millennium to decisions of the medieval Vatican, then skip half a millennium to eighteenth century France and the science proper begins with Rousseau, Condorcet, Pufendorf, etc., as well as Englishmen like Hobbes and Locke.

The material about the ancient world is interesting in itself, but I never went there because my real topic was collective decision making practices in the contemporary world and there was no thread of practical collaboration connecting the political practices of the classical world to our own. As is well known, the line of transmission of classical culture to early modern Europe passed through the Islamic world and the sole vehicle was text, not practice, and political practices are not acquired by masses of people reading manuscripts.

But at the time Pufendorf and Condorcet discussed voting, they are reflecting on an established practice, and they have neither the knowledge of nor an interest in the origins of that practice which ordinary people had been engaged in (it turns out) for about 800 years. As a result of adopting these Enlightenment philosophers as the founders of the theory of voting, a belief grew up that voting was invented by philosophers and passed down from the top by governments. Others who believed that the British House of Commons had invented voting arrived at similar conclusions.

But this idea that voting is a gift handed down from the top to the people fundamentally distorts the nature of Majority decision making, which was invented by merchants, artisans and others excluded from the protection of the state under feudal law governed by blood and soil. That is to say, voting was invented by the excluded, at the very bottom and pressed upward until universal suffrage was achieved in the twentieth century.

I could say this is some sort of natural tendency, but I think I rather say its simply a rational tendency for people to find strength in unity. To which the class struggles has the capitalist class not just in pursuit of capital fragment the social fabric but is also hostile to workers organizing themselves, of which there have been concessions granted but the struggle today is in a different political landscape than of the past.

Ah yes, let me guess you have such an outlook thanks to the likes of Steven Pinker. He is part of an interesting trend that proposes an optimistic view of things.
https://static1.squarespace.com/static/59cc176b80bd5ed9e273f245/t/5a528d99e4966ba79a166f29/1515359652241/baker.jpg
The headlines are pretty bleak these days, with regular talk of nuclear Armageddon, catastrophic climate change, mass shootings, and intense political dysfunction. But a group of libertarian-leaning social scientists and popular writers -- Steven Pinker, Michael Shermer, Matt Ridley, and others -- have, in recent years, promulgated a far sunnier version. Thanks to the spread of free markets, evolutionary programmed instincts towards altruism, and the inevitable process of enlightenment, that Pinker calls the "escalator of reason," they argue that there has never been a better time to be alive, and that we can comfortably expect the foreseeable future to be even better -- with or without collective politic action to address issues of public concern. In this paper, I contend that these "neo-optimists," and their predecessors over the last several decades, represent a significant departure from past traditions of futurism; and I trace the institutional and financial networks in which this development emerged since 1980. Older generations of science-minded socialists and command-and-control Cold Warriors alike had emphasized planning and looked to future-oriented social science as a tool for the rational design of political, economic, and social structures. But working in venues such as teh Cato, Institute, the Hudson institute, the Independence institute, and the Santa Fe Institute, a new group of scholars and writers instead claimed that planning was rendered otiose at best and disastrously counterproductive at worst by the ingenuity and beneficence of a spontaneously coordinated "independent sector" of entrepreneurs, industrial capitalists, and philanthropists.

I wonder how much the bolded resonates with you.
I am skeptical of the likes of Steven Pinker and its because the content of our views is one of a deeply ideological struggle, Pinker isn't naive to this as his characterizes his critics in such a manner.
https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2019/2/12/18215534/bill-gates-global-poverty-chart
But Hickel and Pinker, too, aren’t interested merely in the granular disputes detailed above. They’re fighting about a narrative. Hickel views Pinker and Gates as defenders of a neoliberal capitalist world order, where countries are urged to disinvest from important safety net programs and adopt deregulatory policies that could devastate their citizens. Worse, by citing data going back to 1820, he sees them as whitewashing the violence of colonialism, casting recent world history as a narrative of nonstop progress.

Pinker, for his part, described Hickel as “a Marxist ideologue enabled by the Guardian,” adding, “The political agenda of Hickel and other far leftists is obvious: it’s humiliating to their world view that the data show massive improvements due to markets and globalization rather than an overthrow of capitalism and global redistribution.” To which Hickel, of course, retorts that the biggest gains were seen in China, hardly anyone’s idea of a pure capitalist society.
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And its the same story that has already failed, that by opening up the world market to neoliberalism, we could reduce poverty. Many have argued that it was just the prying open of untapped markets for more powerful economies like America, where countries ended up in debt to the IMF and were forced to make structural adjustment if they couldn't pay back the loans which were amicable to capitalist interests.
And here's the likes of Pinker and Gates, trying to keep the narrative alive that capitalistm overlaps with the interest of humanity in reducing poverty.
In which it is even debatable how poverty should be conceived, as many think of it in purely quantiative terms, of which Amartya Sen is an amazing example of someone who did an insiders critique of the traditional views of economics based on utility and over poverty over many decades and eventually through his criticisms of the limitations of traditional measures arrived at the concept of a critical voice as necessary measure of poverty.
Which sounds weird for its a long way from the idea of economic measures, which don't really signify the quality of life in which people have.
For example, the US has aggressively forced prices of products down in South American agriculture and protects its own agriculture from the same free market which is says is beneficial to South America. Countries who economies are heavily reliant on the agricultural sector, they would be benefited if they were paid more for their products but they're purposely kept low for the interest of stronger economies such as the US so its population has extremely cheap commodities for consumption.
Instead of Pinker's debates, I tend to refer to Thomas Pogge in regards to considering global economy and it's relationship to poverty who similarity relies heavily on statistics and such but in a critical way that shows that the effort is quite dim.
https://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/poverty/expert/docs/Thomas_Pogge_Summary.pdf
But I should note in keeping extremely narrow conceptions of poverty, can one try to gloss over the rich content avaliable for assessing the quality of life people have.
I for one do not look rosy eyed at the global economic restructuring through international institutions like the IMF and World bank which have largely been means of forcing the interests of the worlds most powerful economies.
One sees advocacy for free markets when forcing it open for ones self and protectionism to avoid being subject to the whims of the global market. The ideological principle that free markets are better isn't even reflected in the economic practice of many countries as they protect certain industries from being dominated by foreign capital. Those who can't defend themselves have become subjected to the interests of the more powerful.
There is great potential for the reduction of poverty and development, but the manner in which it is done shouldn't be seen as some gift as can see especially with Bill Gates that it is hardly a benign pursuit.

The optimism of the enlightenment is obsolete today, cynicism/pessmissm and suspicion is more characteristic of people in the west today. And it's not just a distortion of the media, people feel the problems of their societies even if they falsely diagnose them.
In fact, I find those who try to appeal to the enlightenment are misguided in their felt position in relation to it as they lose sight that liberalism was revolutionary centuries back and more recently for countries which were late to have their own revolutions due to the uneven economic development and expansion of capitalism.
But they remind of me of the new atheists who criticize religious dogma which was essential for the capitalist class in its struggle against fuedalism but today religion isn't the dominant power that govern's peoples lifes and so it repeats old narratives as if they're as valid and the same as they were today.
https://jacobinmag.com/2018/10/steven-pinker-enlightenment-now-review
The Enlightenment is shorn of its most egalitarian and democratic elements — it no longer resembles the intellectual ferment of the French Revolution. Instead, Pinker’s “Enlightenment” mimics the hierarchy, conservatism, and authoritarianism of the ancien régime — that historical enemy of Radical Enlightenment.

If this is the figure that one finds a like mind, then we can see why we perhaps stand far apart in our view of the world at present.

And identity politics was in its origins right wing, as it was oppositional to the enlightenments view of the subject as universal reason.
Not that emphasizing the concrete nature of human subjects is reactionary, but that it was used to reactionary ends.
https://kenanmalik.com/2017/07/23/not-all-politics-is-identity-politics/
To understand the characteristics of contemporary identity politics, we need first to go back to the origins of modern politics, at the end of the eighteenth-century. This was when the distinction was first established between the left and right as we understand them. It was also when the distinction between identity politics and its critics first emerged. Of course, identity politics was not then called identity politics. Nor was it associated with the left or with struggles against oppression.

In fact, the very opposite. The origins of identity politics in the late eighteenth century lie with the reactionary right. The original politics of identity was racism and nationalism, and it developed out of the counter-Enlightenment. These early critics of the Enlightenment opposed the idea of universal human values by stressing particularist values embodied in group identities. ‘There is no such thing as Man’, wrote the French arch-reactionary Joseph de Maistre in his polemic against the concept of the Rights of Man. ‘I have seen Frenchmen, Italians and Russians… As for Man, I have never come across him anywhere.’

Where reactionaries adopted a particularist outlook, radicals challenging inequality and oppression did so in the name of universal rights. They insisted that equal rights belonged to all and that there existed a set of values and institutions, under which all humans best flourished. It was a universalism that fuelled the great radical movements that have shaped the modern world – from the almost-forgotten but hugely important Haitian Revolution of 1791, to the anti-colonial and anti-imperialist struggles of the twentieth century to the movement for women’s suffrage to the battles for gay rights.

In content, the liberal revolutions was only the equality of the capitalist class and required much struggle for the workers of different demographics to get a right to vote, white men, black men, white women, black women etc. In fact, there is a sense in which the liberal revolutions were a regression in gender rights as women in the aristocracy previously had some authority and power which was pulled back.
And even wealthy women during capitalism couldn't do much with their wealth as they have barriers into entering into the social relationships that helped foster business.

And the political landscape isn't identity politics, for some they still might adhere to this approach, but to identify everything as such might be forcing the concept and missing the differences today perhaps. In the same way some old leftists think some of the modern movements are a return of the opportunity for a vanguard party.
Today it is alliance politics.
Alliance politics is the left political terrain characterised by the coming-together of disparate interest groups to pursue a common cause, while retaining their own independence. Alliances have been around a long time (Thomas Paine first used the term in 1782 to describe the relations between the States of America), but as the dominant feature of left politics it is quite new. Alliance politics began to replace identity politics on one side, and left sectarian politics on the other side beginning in the early 1990s.
...
The current “Anti-Capitalist Movement” is an example of Alliance Politics, with a very wide range of political and social groups coming together to protest against the big, supranational institutions of capitalism, hated alike by farmers, small business people, trade unionists, the religious, socialists, communists, and environmentalists. It should be self-evident however, that until this movement has an alternative to a world run by transnational capitalist organisations it cannot constitute any fundamental threat; but as soon as the movement agrees on an alternative vision, it is no longer alliance politics.

identity politics already showed itself too easily commodified in the 90s.
https://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/us/klein.htm
In the outside world. the politics of race, gender and sexuality remained tied to more concrete, pressing issues, like pay equity, same-sex spousal rights and police violence, and these serious movements were — and continue to be — a genuine threat to the economic and social order. But somehow, they didn’t seem terribly glamorous to students on many university campuses, for whom identity politics had evolved by the late eighties into something quite different. Many of the battles we fought were over issues of “representation” — a loosely defined set of grievances mostly lodged against the media, the curriculum and the English language. From campus feminists arguing over “representation” of women on the reading lists to gays wanting better “representation” on television, to rap stars bragging about “representing” the ghettos, to the question that ends in a riot in Spike Lee’s 1989 film Do the Right Thing — “Why are there no brothers on the wall?” — ours was a politics of mirrors and metaphors.

These issues have always been on the political agendas of both the civil-rights and the women’s movements and later, of the fight against AIDS. It was accepted from the start that part of what held back women and ethnic minorities was the absence of visible role models occupying powerful social positions, and that media-perpetuated stereotypes — embedded in the very fabric of the language — served to not so subtly reinforce the supremacy of white men. For real progress to take place, imaginations on both sides had to be decolonized.
...
The backlash that identity politics inspired did a pretty good job of masking for us the fact that many of our demands for better representation were quickly accommodated by marketers, media makers and pop-culture producers alike — though perhaps not for the reasons we had hoped. If I had to name a precise moment for this shift in attitude, I would say August of 1992: the thick of the “brand crisis” that peaked with Marlboro Friday. That’s when we found out that our sworn enemies in the “mainstream” — to us a giant monolithic blob outside of our known university-affiliated enclaves — didn’t fear and loathe us but actually thought we were sort of interesting. Once we'd embarked on a search for new wells of cutting-edge imagery, our insistence on extreme sexual and racial identities made for great brand-content and niche-marketing strategies. If diversity was what we wanted, the brands seemed to be saying, then diversity was exactly what we would get. And with that, the marketers and media makers swooped down, air-brushes in hand, to touch up the colors and images in our culture.

The five years that followed were an orgy of red ribbons, Malcolm X baseball hats and Silence = Death T-Shirts. By 1993, the stories of academic Armageddon were replaced with new ones about the sexy wave of “Do-Me Feminism” in Esquire and “Lesbian Chic” in New York and Newsweek. The shift in attitude was not the result of a mass political conversion but of some hard economic calculations. According to Rocking the Ages, a book produced in 1997 by leading U.S. consumer researchers Yankelovich Partners, “Diversity” was the “defining idea” for Gen-Xers, as opposed to “Individuality” for boomers and “Duty” for their parents.

And might note how it was emphasized on representation in language and media, the struggle moving to thought rather than the material conditions which inform thought, this is the nature of political correctness to sanitize the representation of things and everything is all good because the oppression people people face is primarily being called a racial slur rather than the material forces of their oppression that gives meaning to it.
https://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/us/ebert.htm
Ludic feminism therefore needs to 'invent" a form of materialism that gestures to a world not directly present to the consciousness of the subject (as classic post-structuralism has done), but not entirely "constructed" in the medium of knowing (language) either.' It has simply become "unethical to think of such social oppressions as "sexism," "racism," and "homophobia" as purely "matters" of language and discourse. Ludic feminism is beginning to learn, in spite of itself, the lesson of Engels' Anti-Duhring: the fact that we understand reality through language does not mean that reality is made by language.

The dilemma of ludic feminism in theorising "materialism" is a familiar one. In his interrogation of Berkeley, Lenin points to this dilemma that runs through all forms of idealism: the epistemological unwillingness to make distinctions between 'ideas" and "things" (Materialism 130-300), which is, of course, brought about by class politics. Ludic feminism, like all forms of upper-middle class (idealist) philosophy, must hold on to "ideas" since it is by the agency of ideas that this class (as privileged mental workers) acquires it social privileges. Although posed as an epistemological question, the dilemma is finally a class question: how not to deny the world outside the consciousness of the subject but not to make that world the material cause of social practices either. Ludic feminism, like Berkelian idealism, cannot afford to explain things by the relations of production and labour. This then is the dilemma of ludic feminism: the denial of "materialism" leads Iodic feminism to a form of idealism that discredits any claims it might have to the struggle for social change; accepting materialism, on the other hand, implicates its own ludic practices in the practices of patriarchal-capitalism — the practices that have produced gender inequalities as differences that can be deployed to increase the rate of profit. This dilemma has lead feminism to an intolerable political crisis: a crisis that is, in fact, so acute it has raised questions about the viability of feminism as a theory and practice itself.


Racial stuff is where the class content of things can emerge, that while it has the form of struggle for a demographic it is a struggle of class a lot of the time.
Because the consciousness of Americans isn't based in class a lot of the time, although a great deal of them most certainly know it in their experience. But because racial disparities can be a proxy of class relations a in many peoples experience, it becomes primary, more essential. Even though they may well find that not all black people are on their side, not all white people are against them and that the basis of their oppression is material.
See this in criticisms of the case for reparations for example emphasizing the history of black oppression but the point being that the struggle is to be based in the here and now which is informed by the past but is not the past and the demands should be sensitive to the conditions which are present.
https://jacobinmag.com/2016/03/cedric-johnson-brian-jones-ta-nehisi-coates-reparations
Jones is right to argue that the Left should continue its war of position against racism and underclass mythology and lay bare the historical and contemporary processes of dispossession and exploitation. But how is this debate over historical injustice more dangerous to the ruling class than the actual power of a broad, multiracial alliance with the capacity to contest the demands that capital makes on living labor and the planet in our own times?

I appreciate the moral power of the reparations claim, but time and again, the demand has proven to be a political dead letter, incapable of ever addressing institutional power in any effective way.

I suspect that, at least for some socialists, reparations offers a means of demonstrating antiracist commitment. But it’s important to recognize that the claim is not grounded in the expressed concerns and immediate needs of black people. Nor is the reparations claim the only means of confronting racism or the most effective way to build broad, popular support for a socialist political vision.

The fundamental basis of political alliance, after all, is not shared identity nor even a shared perspective on historic injustice, but rather, common interest.

Life is short, and time is precious. We need to decide which fights we want to prioritize and be honest about which ones we can win. We should strive for a critical view of history and its role in shaping our own conditions. But our political task is to change this world, and the first necessary step is to find common cause — not in past grievances, but in shared predicament.

Monopolies and such aren't corruption, it's just business. One might like them to play by different rules, but the capitalist class is largely above a lot of rules as they strongly influence their determination.

Indeed emotions are powerful in rhetoric, but it its potency in keeping people ignorant. There isn't an effort to illuminate but to make appeals like a character in a movie because given no other rational means of determining who to vote for, people are guided by a sense of character.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/pdfs/On%20Political%20Representation.pdf
Politically engaged people often lament the fact that less engaged voters tend to decide their vote on the basis of the personality of the candidate (or Party leader) rather than the policy. This is in fact a perfectly rational stance for someone who is less than well qualified to make judgments about economic policy, geopolitics, social and cultural change, and so on. And aren’t we all? And yet everyone has to be able to make judgments about personalities. Familiarity with the course of debates on the relevant controversial issues is the best substitute for real expertise in the subject matter, and it is a matter of regret that everyone does not have that familiarity. But given that most voters most of the time are relatively ill-equipped to make political judgments, judgments based on assessments of a candidate’s personality are probably the most reliable!

Selecting representatives on the basis of their personality is not irrational. If only people were better judgers of personality, that’s all.

Indeed, but the point is that what corrupts isn't something inherent to people but the positions. The most virutious of persons who becomes a capitalist would have to be as ruthless as any other capitalist by necessity to exist as a capitalist. There can be softening and concessions but their behaviour isn't about judging their character and the improvement of capitalism isn't about getting the nice people in power.
It's about changing the conditions which inform our behaviour and their limitations, the activites which are reproduced every day without even conscious awareness of people as they can do before they know. People can spend money without understanding how it has value.
The point is to change the activites that organize human life such that even if someone had a tendency to be corrupt, they would have less of a means of actualizing it and continuing it with impunity.
At present, money is a means to do what one likes against the wishes of anyone in the community, it has power over peoples lives as it is what governs their agency.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/works/property.htm
So, there is a concept of property which exists in our relations both at work and outside work, which is to do with this: once you have established, with your co-workers, the right to work in a certain way, to work in a certain job or draw on the services of others in a given way and to a certain extent, then we believe that we have a right to demand that that activity should only be terminated or transformed with our agreement. We don’t need to bring things into that.

Money violates this right. Via money, people forcibly separate other people from their life and livelihood. Money grants to scoundrels the right to debauch themselves. But money is a carrier of the consent of the community, despite itself.
...
f I leave a flat, I have no “right of succession” to nominate who will move into my former room — that is for the others living in the flat to choose their new neighbour; and if I resign my job, I cannot “leave it” to a friend, my replacement is appointed by my former co-workers; if I don’t want a thing any more, then why and how do I have a right to decide who should after me take possession of it? If I die, why should my off-spring benefit from my death, rather than others?

If I have a contract, then it is only with those with whom I collaborate, not with my successor; with my present not my past. Such an arrangement leads to the most narrow, selfish, bourgeois, “you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours” mentality.

Its because exchange, the value not of people but of things, that many problematic things reign as not just tolerable but even valorized by many as ideal. But of course not by all as there are always the critics for such a standard as the good life, that pursuit of individuals desires is the only good.

Well I don't see much of the redistribution of a lot of the resources avaliable in a country. Hence you witness in one of the wealthiest countries in the world extreme poverty, not absolute but still quite severe.
Coops don't essentially change the law of value governing production, there could be benefits to a coop although many simply degenerate into businesses when there aren't allies to help maintain it's continuation or they're exceptions in rural places. Like the coop in my small town that runs the electric and gas.
But it'll still be capitalist production, because when Marx emphasizes the ownership of production, it isn't thought of in so crude a manner.

I would note that the thesis antithesis thing is just a formulaic description given to Hegel's dialectics and then Marx. But it doesn't really explain the nature of dialectics as dialectics is destroyed the moment it becomes formalized schemas and such.
But there is a since in which humanity debases itself under capitalism in order to create the potential for its best realization without need of the alienation of religion and such.




Response 3 of 3
Julian658 wrote:The free exchange of goods or services where each side perceives the exchange to be convenient or helpful is the basis of capitalism. If a provider of services or goods creates a high demands he or she can become quite rich by wealth creation. I say wealth creation because the buyers also gained something in return.

I am gratified that you do not see the competence hierarchy as oppressive. Many humans do not thrive in socialism and this creates lack of productivity and ingenuity. West Germans built BMWs whereas East Germans built the Trabant, the worst auto in the world.

Culturally speaking the USA is obsessed with racial classification. The USA census has more racial categories than the old South Africa. Sadly, blacks embrace the cataloguing of humans according to phenotype. What is really sad about this is that there is just a single human race.

In a perverse manner the American left needs the homeless and the poor to be a viable movement in the USA. The existence of the poor classes benefits the left to a much greater extent than the right.

Trade predates capitalism and whilst necessary, is not the essential characteristic of it otherwise one hasn't identified capitalism one has only a concept of market exchange. This was a problem of the political economists Marx criticized, that they didn't recognize the historical specificity and nature of things within capitalism. Commodites pre-exist capitalist production within markets, but the commodity takes on a different character within capitalism.
Markets and commodites were inessential to society, but become the focal point of capitalism.
And Marx also identified that because the equality of value in any exchange, one can't explain the expansion of capital because no matter how often one trades, one never gets more value than what one has traded.
Which is why he distinguished labor in general which has existed for all of human history, from labour power, the commodity which creates value and is purchased. Which is an important part in Marx's work for explaining how it is the working class that expands value.
But his idea of value is a very specific and nuanced one which I haven't made the study into, where it's a social relationship and labor takes ona real world existent category in directing relations of production but it is abstract and so on.
I have to study Ricardo before I wish to tango with Marx proper.

Really existing socialism as seen in eastern europe is the product of a failure of socialist revolutions. It made important gains and gave important lessons for the workers movement, but that is not what socialism is.
In fact, the USSR even openly admitted it hadn't done away with the law of value (necessary for socialism) but was rationally managing it, the idea being state control of production, which is where the whole state interference is socialism and distorts free markets rational function and all this who hah, its cold war shit.
https://kapitalism101.wordpress.com/2014/07/02/indirectly-social-labor/
The distinction between this humanist reading and the circulationist reading still may seem trivial. After all, SNLT only exists because we produce for exchange. Exchange plays a vital role in the process of regulating labor in a capitalist economy where private labors happen in relative isolation from each other. However the distinction becomes more crucial once we consider the nature of labor in the state-planned economies of the USSR. Soviet economists claimed to operate under the law of value, to produce commodities, similarly to capitalism. However they also claimed that they were doing so consciously, using the law of value to their advantage, as a conscious tool of state planning. This meant, according to Soviet economists, that while other categories of capitalist production may have been at play, labor was directly social. It was directly social because it was planned by people, not blind economic forces. This was meant to prove the socialist nature of their state-planning.10

But if we understand indirectly social labor to be the result of socially necessary labor time then it does not matter whether this labor’s social nature is realized by a market or by a plan. What gives it its indirectly social nature is the fact that one hour of my work is not worth as much as another’s. Labors are not treated equally. Instead a process of social averaging takes place which rewards some labors and punishes others. The mechanism which realizes or reinforces this does not alter matters. This argument has been used to argue that the USSR was actually a state-capitalist society, not a communist society. Such a claim requires an empirical analysis of the organization of the USSR, something outside the topic of this book. [cite mh and ticktin] What is important for our purposes here is to show the relevance and importance of the category of indirectly social labor. It is clearly a central concept to grapple with if we are to know how not to repeat the mistakes of the USSR as well as know how to build a real communist society in the future.


Indeed, but noting that humans are in a sense unitied under the same category, doesn't negate the social signifcance given to being black. There are all sorts of practices that still make blackness a reality, it has been effectively insignificant and irrelevant in all manner of life as it would be if the history of racism hasn't still got roots in modern societies because of their historical trajectory. They don't disappear without changing them and they don't change unless people successfully objectify their ideal change.
Movement? I feel like people don't know what movements are in that they speak so abstractly that there doesn't seem to be any collective subject they refer to. I can for example refer to the particular social movement blacklivesmatter, but terms like left and right are to be particularized with various instititions.
And in the US, the democrats are seen as left even though both parties are essentially defenders of capitalists in their essence that they barely register as two poles opposing one another. The conservatism of the republican party itself is a farce in its defense of capitalism, as the very values and views it says it espouses is undermined by capitalist production, its revolutionary character helps create the circumstances ripe for people to change things.
And people being in poverty doesn't magically make them class conscious.
Its in the interests of the poor to not be racists but that doesn't make it a reality.
http://eprints.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/555/7/Blackledge%20on%20MacIntyre%20for%20ACPQ%20Submitted%20Version.pdf
For instance, to say that workers have an objective interest in challenging racism even in the absence of an anti-racist movement does not imply imposing the idea of anti-racism onto the working class. Rather, it functions as a generalisation about objective interests made on the basis of previous moments of struggle. This way of thinking about politics opens the door to an interventionist conception of political leadership that escapes the emotivist substitutionism of self-appointed vanguards without liquidating the left into a (retreating) movement.
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[quote="Wellsy"]Response 1 of 3 , part 1 of 2

Oops I messed up the reply!



Sure, kinship goes beyond DNA. At the onset MAN lived a nomadic life in very small groups where everybody was likely related. Once agriculture was discovered MAN formed villages and unity came about from DNA and from a common belief system. That is why MAN evolved to be susceptible to religion. The belief in the supernatural was the glue that made groups larger and this was not a DNA event. So : DNA; common belief system: culture.



MAN is diverse, byt at the same time there is a lot of common ground. The hegemony of men in most cultures is an example.



MAN is a very special animal and it can ride a bike, I agree. However, some tribes discovered the wheel much sooner than other tribes. Evolutionary forces drove MAN to cannibalism in New Guinea due to very little protein in the diet.

My wife once became friends with three Muslim women that came to America to study. The husbands were also studying. The Muslim women seem very serious and conservative and invited my wife to a women only party. That is how they partied: men alone and women alone in different dates. When my wife arrived at the party the Muslim women were dressed in avery provocative manner. They did privately to let go of steam. Two confess to my wife they had been unfaithful more than once. My wife was shocked. SOmetimes biology wins over cultural values.



I disagree. In fact, we don't even have free will. Our brain is just a computer and the software dictates how we act.



Agreed




You may have a point. I am no expert on the subject, but I cannot leave behind the idea that we are animals. But, our talent is so vast that we may end up in a society where there is no work and everybody has everything.



I really don't know, but i favor biology and thes some manipulation by the environment. I say this because i have children and they are vastly different despite a similar upbringing. Anyone that parented more than one child can tell you this.

To be continued
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@Julian658
I was going to hold off as you were going to continue but I see that my posts are pretty lengthy to read and I have some idea of how I wish to respond to this post.

I think unless you specify why DNA relation is significant to the social relations that govern a people's way of life, you're referencing a fact that may not be essential to explaining a people's way of life and it's origins. Which I think would require probably some more scientific research than might be readily on hand for us layman perhaps.
But in regards to a belief system, or as understood today, ideology, is an integral part in considering a people's activity.
It was Hegelwho developed a logic to consider:
To recap, what constitutes a Gestalt is:

- a way of thinking or ideology (with the meaning it attaches to forms of activity and artefacts such as words and symbols),
- a way of life, or social formation (forms of practical activity, including the institutions and forms of practical activity in production, communication, family life, government and so on), and
- a constellation of material culture (including the language, art, literature, technology, land and so on).

Which got clarified in materialist terms for Marxin The German ideology as:
One more thing to clarify the conception of activity with which Marx grounded his theoretical work. The first section of The German Ideology which is formally directed at Feuerbach, but which is quite transparently a work of self-clarification, includes the following passage:

“The premises from which we begin are not arbitrary ones, not dogmas, but real premises from which abstraction can only be made in the imagination. They are the real individuals, their activity and the material conditions under which they live, both those which they find already existing and those produced by their activity. These premises can thus be verified in a purely empirical way.” (Marx 1975c, my emphasis)

This formulation constitutes a further development of the claim made for activity in the Theses; Marx added ‘the real individuals’ and ‘the material condition under which they live’. This could be taken simply as a clarification of the term ‘activity’ - after all you can’t have activity without real individuals and material conditions. But it is not just that. I take this as the a materialistic transformation of Hegel’s claim that the subject is the unity of Individual, Particular and Universal. In fact, this was always implicit in Hegel’s philosophy, but it was mystified and idealistically distorted. ‘The real individuals, their activity and the material conditions under which they live’ is not only exhaustive, but absolutely precise in specifying a foundation for a social theory in terms of well-defined mutually constituting concepts. It plays the equivalent role to that which in natural science is played by the philosophical concepts of matter, movement and natural law. We see that nothing like these conceptions is posited by Marx when he says that his premises are real individuals, their activity and the material conditions. Note also that these conception are at a more fundamental level than concepts like ‘forces of production’, ‘economic structure’ or ‘ideological forms’ and so on, which Marx uses later on.


For Marx, the belief system grows out of the conditions in which people live and isn't merely a product of the mind, even the ideologies of the past which we now describe as myth were just as real in their existence as ideologies of today are. They lose their reality with the corresponding way of life that underpin them.

So, I don't follow that man's susceptibility to religion is explain by reference to the origins of shared belief among a people. As that just describes a characteristic not even limited to religion of course, that of being shared by people. Which as we see today with ideologies also isn't something that requires any reference to people's DNA as kinship relations do not essentially govern ideology of modern life.

My own speculation is that the same basis that made people susceptible to religion is similar to the fetishism in which we still operate in terms of money having value. The Gods of primitive man were just as real as the value of money today, because it isn't a mere construction of subjectivity but arises out of the objective conditions of people's way of life and their material culture, one doesn't dispel religion by simply criticizing it, one doesn't displace value by asserting it's subjectivity. They constitute real phenomenon not just subjective illusion, not that I say the God were real, but they were functionally real for the primitive people, their way of life made it quite real. We just have developed in the abstraction of consciousness and thus of our fetishist delusions.
https://www.marxists.org/archive/ilyenkov/works/ideal/ideal.htm
It is quite true that the “real talers” are in no way different from the gods of the primitive religions, from the crude fetishes of the savage who worships (precisely as his “god”!) an absolutely real and actual piece of stone, a bronze idol or any other similar “external object”. The savage does not by any means regard the object of his worship as a symbol of “God”; for him this object in all its crude sensuously perceptible corporeality is God, God himself, and no mere “representation” of him.

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

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

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

The Hegelians did, in fact, reproach Kant for playing into the hands of Catholic idolatry with his example of the talers, for arguing against his own Protestant sympathies and attitudes because the “external talers” (the talers in his pocket) were only symbols in the “general or rather common imagination of man”, were only representatives (forms of external expression, embodiment) of the “spirit”, just as religious paintings, despite their sensuously perceptible reality, were only images produced by human social self-consciousness, by the human spirit. In their essence they were entirely ideal, although in their existence they were substantial, material and were located, of course, outside the human head, outside the consciousness of the individual, outside individual mental activity with its transcendental mechanisms.

“Gods” and “talers” are phenomena of the same order, Hegel and the Hegelians declared, and by this comparison the problem of the “ideal” and its relationship to the “real”, to the materially substantial world was posited in a way quite different from that of Kant. It was associated with the problem of “alienation”, with the question of “reification” and “de-reification”, of man’s “re-assimilation” of objects created by himself, objects that through the action of some mysterious processes had been transformed into a world not only of “external” objective formations but formations that were also hostile to man.

Hence comes the following interpretation of Kant’s problem: “The proofs of the existence of God are either mere hollow tautologies. Take for instance the ontological proof. This only means: ‘that which I conceive for myself in a real way (realiter) is a real concept for me’, something that works on me. In this sense all gods, the pagan as well as the Christian ones, have possessed a real existence. Did not the ancient Moloch reign? Was not the Delphic Apollo a real power in the life of the Greeks? Kant’s critique means nothing in this respect. If somebody imagines that he has a hundred talers, if this concept is not for him an arbitrary, subjective one, if he believes in it, then these hundred imagined talers have for him the same value as a hundred real ones. For instance, he will incur debts on the strength of his imagination, his imagination will work, in the same way as all humanity has incurred debts on its gods.


But such culture isn't inherent in our DNA as I suspect is what is partly attempted in evolutionary psychology as it's currently conceived, rather the consciousness of man is to be found in relation to his activity to satisfy his needs. Man hasn't radically changed socially through biological evolution as we both agree we're still homosapiens and have been for quite a few years now.
As the apparent materialist science that posits as much seems just as abstract as any idealism, it simply projects the content into the thing, but it is entirely unaware of the nature of consciousness limits, nature and determinations. Still fooled into attributing properties to objects which aren't inherent the objects themselves and thus are no more self-conscious about their thinking than primitive man.
We see this tendency most pronounced in attempts to find the gay gene, the positing to he selfish gene and all this talk.
These are abstractions that don't actually refer to anything but merely assert the origins of something observable to the unknown workings of human biology.
Which is like the point about kinships in which the emphasis solely on evolution often ends up little more than a speculative assertion of observable social outcomes and behaviours originating in biology. But many a asserted biological fact has been over turned by radical transformations in social relations because its an error in simply universalizing the appearance of things in the present.

This is common to modern thought (in reference to the commonality of man), the idea of a concept based on what is common, abstract universals simply do not correspond to actuality.
But to explain their limitation I would have to explain to you the notion of a concrete universal which is defined not by what is common but as a unity of opposites. The opposites considered not in terms of language which struggles with contradiction, but between things in reality.
This is the difference between people who equate strata within a class, with class itself as defined by Marx.
Where what defines the worker against the capitalist isn't to be understood by what is common to them, but by their essential difference.
The simplest introduction to this concept is here: https://www.marxists.org/archive/ilyenkov/works/articles/universal.htm
Although there are other useful clarifications on why abstract universals result only in tautologies of A = A, Man is Man, but can't develop a new concept to solve a problem. It is also why Marx identifies labor in general as the essence of human nature whilst others would correctly note when deploying an abstract universal, that not everyone performs labor in the specific sense of reproducing the necessities of life. Although such necessities have changed some what in the modern day.
But the difference is that one identifies the essence of a thing or one arbitrarily selects properties of a thing.
Which is why there was the problem for the predictive certainty of universal statements in science such as all swans are white and then the discovery of black swans in Australia.
The feature identified was clearly inessential to the concept/nature of what a swan is. When one identifies the essential nature of a thing, the definition cannot be outright negated because one would necessarily destroy the very concept of a thing to deny that which is essential.
I generally would go further in explaining this, although the link should suffice in at least replicating Wittgensteins critique of essentialism (as an abstract universal) failing to reproduce anything other than a fiction rather than something that actually existed or exists.

Yes, the difficulty in discovering the wheel not being its shape but to use it in conjunction with things like an axle, such that it was useful.
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-it-took-so-long-to-inv/
And no doubt the necessities of our biology propel things such as the taboo of cannibalism in a palce like Papua New Gunea. Here I am not proposing the erasure of the biological/material existence of man, but one should be clear in distinctions where things apply as the attempt to reconcile man as both biological and social has attempts to simply supervene speculatively onto the other without having an actual conception of man as a whole.
Which leads to some who emphasize the biological behave just the same as crude materialists against idealists because their conceptions are both lacking thus necessarily presuppose one another, co-existing as partial truths.
https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/spirkin/works/dialectical-materialism/ch05-s02.html
When discussing biological factors, one should not reduce them to the genetic. More attention should be given to the physiological and ontogenetic aspects of development, and particularly to those that evoke a pathological effect, for it is these that modify the biology of the human being, who is also beginning to perceive even social factors in quite a different way. Dialectics does not simply put the social and the biological factors on an equal footing and attribute the human essence to the formula of biotropic-sociotropic determination favoured by some scientists. It stresses the dominant role of the social factors. Nor does dialectics accept the principles of vulgar sociologism, which ignores the significance of the biological principle in man.

https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/works/the-individual.htm
I have mentioned in passing that the human body is a cultural product, an “artefact” in a sense broadened appropriately. A word or two of clarification may be in order. Of course I do not mean that the human body is from beginning to end solely a product of human culture with no remainder which can be ascribed to Nature. All artefacts are fashioned by use in social activity out of the material provided by Nature. A hammer is a cultural product, but the hardness of steel is possible only because of the properties of iron and the other materials of which a hammer is fashioned. Artefacts are cultural products in multiple ways: they serve a socially-produced purpose with socially produced components and materials to be used in conjunction with other cultural products. But they are also natural objects, materially connected with all other natural objects.

The human body is a cultural product in more than one sense. As will be suggested in Chapter 14 below, the biological genotype of homo sapiens sapiens is the outcome of culture accumulated by hominid activity over a period of 4 million years, beginning with the genetic material inherited from our simian forebears. As demonstrated by Pierre Bourdieu, the size, shape, disposition and capabilities of the human body are formed within a habitus associated with one of the various class fractions eking out a living in some niche in the social division of labour. The social expectations imposed on women and men, youths and elderly people, people of the various nationalities and ethnicities within a given society, are known to strongly determine the shape, size, disposition and capabilities of the human body.

So the proposition that the human body is a cultural product is strongly substantiated in the positive sense of this claim. But the human body is also a biological entity existing only by means of an intricate system of biological processes which are universal and inseparable from Nature as a whole.

The age-old question of division of labour between nature and nurture cannot be solved by philosophy or social theory, whether deconstructionist or humanist: only empirical, scientific investigation can resolve this question.



This would sound peculiar from the standpoint which can only push against the social by tying the biological speculatively to the social but not having integrated such that one sees the extent and influence of biology as the basis of man.
Which is why I in earlier post emphasized Merlin Donald's speculations about the origins of consciousness based in both phylogenesis and later ethnogenesis in regards to human beings making tools.
But phylogeny which is necessary to understanding ourselves today, isn't the dominant ones for our development today, modern man isn't radically different from primitive man biologically, man has evolved socially and the basis of that social evolution has been aptly found in the social theoretical foundations outlined by Marx above as a continuation of Hegel's recognition of culture and man's place within it.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/works/ontogenesis.htm
It is now firmly established that the ethnogenesis and phylogenesis of human beings went hand-in-hand for millions of years before the emergence of homo sapiens sapiens. So both ethnogenesis and phylogenesis are essentially processes stretching over millions of years. We can distinguish a period of about 10,000 years of recent history where ethnogenesis has dominated phylogenesis, with human beings today genotypically identical to human beings who lived 10,000 years ago, but with lives which are utterly different. We see significant ethnogenesis unfolding through qualitatively new forms of activity now decade by decade, whereas such innovation took hundreds of thousands of years at the dawn of our species. Ontogenesis completes its development in under 100 years, and social situations come and go second by second, with changes in social position taking a year or a decade or more to be accomplished. So it is clear enough that these 4 processes can be associated with three different time scales: phylogenesis takes millions of years, ethnogenesis takes decades and centuries, sociogenesis takes seconds and decades, ontogenesis (that is, formation of stable social positions and identities), takes days, years and decades. But the mutual constitution of these processes, i.e., the way one process achieves its changes thanks to another process, means that time-scale cannot separate these processes of development. What distinguishes phylogenesis, ethnogenesis, sociogenesis and ontogenesis is what is developing.

- in phylogenesis, the genotype develops by natural selection;
- in ethnogenesis, institutionalised forms of activity and material culture develop;
- in ontogenesis, individual human organisms and minds develop.
- in sociogenesis, social positions and social situations develop.



Free will is an illusion of you deny the significance of consciousness and simply assert it as pre-determined by a program of the brain.
But this is no greater a development than behaviouraism which being so thoroughly attached to the objective, the appearance of things has little to say about human consciousness and thus is of limited interest and explanation for what we do observe with human beings.

Which also explains why you also seem to reduce consciousness to the product of human activity rather than considering in it's own right, a common trend for those who mistake the limits/nature of activity for the essential limits of the thing under study. Sort of like the joke in Chernobyl TV series, think on HBO, where after the nuclear reactor explosion, they report that radiation levels only reached 3.6 R/h. The joke being that this was the limit at which many of the tools of measuring radiation could reach, rather than an accurate reflection.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/pdfs/Psychology_and_the_Zeitgeist.pdf
A fine series of treatments of the role of tools in the formation of psychology as a science begins with a history of psychological instruments by Horst Grundlach, showing how much the formation and recognition of psychology as a discipline owes to psychological instruments, as objectifications of psychological practices. Giergerenzer and Sturm take this idea further. With an historical investigation, firstly of the use of statistics, and then of computers, as tools in psychology, the authors show how familiarity with a tool in the psychologists’ work leads to the adoption of the tool as a metaphor for the human mind. One of the benefits which flows from this observation is to open up lines of critique of current theories by looking at the limitations of the tool and at the differing strengths and weaknesses as compared to real minds.

https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/pdfs/The%20Psychology%20of%20Concepts.pdf
The idea of cognitive psychology is that the human mind can be modelled as an information processing machine: the mind acts as if it were executing an information processing function. In itself this is an undeniably powerful approach to understanding the psyche. However, it is the baggage which comes with the model which undermines the potential benefits of this approach. Machines do not exercise free will, lust after others, experience loyalty, guilt, hatred or fear, have intentional dispositions or friends or understand what they are doing. So in order to model some human function as a machine function it is first necessary to construe the given function as something which a machine could do. Human functions which cannot be modelled by machines, such as free will, may even be deemed to be illusions to legitimate the approach. Consequently, what is modelled is never a human function, but rather an outwardly human like machine function.


If consciousness is human, then you end up with all sorts of denials that are nonsense, basically erasing any basis of moral agency and such which some defend as simply the hard truth except they deny the intuitive reality for the sake of hiding their own limitations to properly comprehend the nature of humans.
If concepts are a tools of conceptualizing reality, then it is the limitations of concepts which you have appropriated from natural science have also set the limits at which you apprehend consciousness.
https://ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/works/les-treilles-talk.htm
believe that we must approach consciousness as an aspect or part of subjectivity, of being a subject, rather than as the state of a brain or even of a whole organism. This is necessary because consciousness cannot be meaningfully understood as a thing-in-itself, but only as an aspect of a subject. The subject must therefore be our basic unit of analysis.

It is necessary to make our start with the activity of which consciousness is a part, rather than beginning from mind-body conundrums along the lines of the Cartesian subject. It turns out that beginning from the subject is both the only scientific approach, as well as the only ethical way to understand consciousness.

This approach rules out taking as ‘consciousness’ something which human beings have in common with the entire animal kingdom, and therefore discounts the possibility of reliance on animal experimentation, though such experimentation contributes to our understanding of the biology. Behavioural psychology for decades tried to build a theory of human consciousness on the basis of experimentation on mice and experiments on human beings which essentially treated human beings as if they were mice; but the whole science of consciousness as it is practiced today is based on a rejection of this methodology. The science of consciousness assumes that consciousness exists and that it is a legitimate object of scientific study, whereas behaviourism was presaged on the thesis that subjectivity was accessible only to introspection and was therefore not a legitimate object for science.
...
Let me first explain what I mean by ‘subject’. A subject is the coincidence of three entities: cogito, agency and identity. [3] By cogito, I mean consciousness, that which knows and perceives (Descartes 1637); by agency I mean that which does things and bears moral responsibility for its actions, rather than just being the carrier of effects (Kant 1996); and by identity I mean self-consciousness, the answer given to the question ‘who am I?’ (Hegel 1910).

A moment’s reflection will show that any form of life which lacks one of these components is not a true subject. An organism passively reflecting its environment does not qualify and nor does a bundle of conditioned reflexes. A subject has to be human (or something similar to human), and a sane and conscious human being at that. A person cannot be morally responsible for their actions if they don’t know what they’re doing; an entity cannot be said to have consciousness if there is in principle nothing it can do in respect to its perception (temporary paralysis is a different question); and consciousness cannot arise in something which cannot recognise itself in its actions. A computer, for example, contains knowledge but it is not a morally responsible agent, and there is no sense in talking of a computer having consciousness; animals and small children cannot be said to be morally responsible for their actions, and therefore cannot be regarded as subjects either.
...
The effort to provide a normative definition of consciousness has led to the minimal definition discussed above, because the only qualitative distinction that the normative approach allows is some or none; the threshold is pushed down towards the ‘irritability’ which animals share with molluscs and carnivorous plants.

I quote the above in such detail to emphasize that the conception of consciousness needs to be essentially human to actually investigate human consciousness not just in extremely narrow qualities which are then generalized to it as a whole.
We are organisms, who aren't somehow independent of animals and their nature, but as human beings, we are essentially different.
And if man is only a smarter ape, then one hasn't identified anything essentially human and struggles to appropriate what the essentials are as they are vaguely seen as a continuation of the ape.
Which is necessary against say those that deny natural selection and our common ancestor with apes.
But this doesn't go far enough and also exemplifies a limited view of humans.

Indeed, the ontogenesis of children does tend towards people's point of emphasizing the biological as they undergo significant development prior to their arrival into our lives after birth.
To which I would concede that many of the dispositions we see in a child are strongly determined by their development during pregnancy such that they show early distinctions of a personality.
As one can see in the primitiveness of what qualities are identified in such young children, seeking out pleasure, avoiding pain and such. It would be difficult to assert the earliest stages as significantly social in origins.
https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/6d30/69890e986686aa4ff4ce5b4fcf404831cb2b.pdf
). Current models of temperament in infancy and toddlerhood typically include the following six traits: activity level; positive emotions/pleasure; irritable distress/anger/frustration; fearful distress/withdrawal from new situations (including social situations); soothability; and attention span/persistence (Lemery et al. 1999, Rothbart & Bates 1998).

The above also complimenting the modern descriptive measure of personality, The Factor Five/Big Five personality typing.
https://www.marxists.org/archive/vygotsky/works/1934/problem-age.htm
We remove the embryonal development of the child from the scheme for the simple reason that it cannot be considered at the same level as extra-uterine development of the child as a social being. The embryonal development is a completely special type of development subject to patterns other than development of the personality that begins at the moment of birth. Embryonal development is studied by an independent science, embryology, which cannot be considered a chapter of psychology. Psychology must take into account the laws of embryonal development of the child since the features of this period affect the course of subsequent development, but psychology does not include embryology in any way because of this. In precisely the same way, it is necessary to consider the laws and data of genetics, that is, the science of heredity, without turning genetics into one of the chapters of psychology. Psychology does not study either heredity or uterine development as such, but only the influence of heredity and uterine development of the child on the process of his social development.



But in examining our development, we no longer have to subscribe to the early works of piaget in which development is seen primarily as an evolutionary one (Piaget being Kantian presumed things internal to human nature which are the product of culture).
And what is essentially human is the result of human culture, which doesn't render us purely biologically determined beings as we develop our consciousness in regards to activity within a culture, mediated by carriers of that culture such as parents.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/works/the-individual.htm
Lev Vygotsky’s key idea about the construction of consciousness is based on how we learn; learning takes place through the collaboration of the novice with an adult member of the culture using some artefact to allow the novice to complete some operation they need to become a competent member of the society. That artefact may be a sign or any other kind of useful thing provided by society for the achievement of social ends, or a role-model (a symbol, index or icon, in Peirce’s categorisation of signs). The child learns to coordinate their own activity using the artefact, and then gradually internalises that activity so that the use of a objective thing, spoken word, etc., may no longer be necessary, but is taken over by internal functions within their own body.

The essential components of this learning action are the individual child, the artefact and the ‘representative’ of society, who sets tasks for the child and assists them in achieving the tasks using the artefact. As the learning proceeds, the material thing, the artefact, is transformed into a kind of node within the psyche, a ‘psychological tool’. At this point, the learner has acquired the competency of an adult member of the society (skipping over here the long drawn out series of transformations that takes place during the process of internalisation or appropriation) so that the distinction between the material and mental aspects of the element of culture is secondary and relative; the artefact is an ‘ideal’ or ‘universal’. The outcome is not the insertion of the ideal into some kind of mental substance, but rather the restructuring of the nervous system with the individual coordinating their activity by means of the ideal, which remains an element of material culture. When we talk of activity then, we are talking of the coordination of the purposive activity of two or more individuals in some kind of social practice by means of socially constructed signs. This includes the coordination by the individual of their own body so as to act in relation to the entire society and its culture, irrespective of the immediate presence of any other person. In the limiting case of such activity then, the person acts in relation to their own body as a cultural product.

The unit of analysis for a subject as conceived of by Vygotsky is therefore an individual person (in particular their psyche), an element of culture (whether an internal sign-stimulus or a sign in the form of a material thing outside the body) and a social practice. In the process of development, these elements which begin as distinct components of psychic activity, become internalised and identified in the subject, as a single unit of behaviour. Vygotsky’s conception of subjectivity is consonant with the idea proposed here as a conception of subjectivity.


And I don't doubt the significance of the development of the child in pregnancy situating the direction in which their personality develops.
But it would be a mistake to consider it strictly developed by genetic predisposition.
At present, research into genetics predicting things is the move away from specific genes to a focus on how one can best predict personality based on a set combinations of genes that are activated. Where the causal relationship isn't a 1:1, which is similar to what has been found in evolutionary psychology's conception of the relationship between brain and mind. Where they posit the brain has having specific adaptionist modules, it has been shown the brain isn't so specific and in fact would probably result in a much stupider human if our brains were as such.
But in this method, the predictive power of genes for something like sensation-seeking is about 6.6% which radically differs from say assumptions of genetic irritability based on similarity in twins.
My understanding is that some research has shifted to trying to identify how genes are activiated such that they are reflected at the cellular level so that they could be influence personality.
Which will be complimentary but won't suffice as a field of psychology of personality. Where one might not see much reference to such biological facts although they must be presupposed, just as there are all sorts of qualifiers one might add explicitly which could be implicit.

But if personality is going to studied in it's essence, it won't be simply a series of descriptions of the biological processes of man in development, it will necessarily entail concepts within psychology related to the social whole.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/works/determinism.htm
Nonetheless, in describing and explaining social processes or psychological processes, one cannot avoid the language of concepts. Likewise, one cannot avoid the language of actors using artifacts, people anticipating events, thinking about their reactions, forming concepts of their objects and having feelings. None of these forms of expression contradict the causal substance of human activity. But for example, an impending event cannot cause me to prepare for it, the sight of a juicy steak cannot cause me to steal it: consciousness always mediates between stimulus and response. And consciousness needs to be described and explained in its own terms.

In describing as much, mans biological existence still counts towards ones nature, but it can't be illustrated in those terms at this point without synthesizing the distinct fields of study. Not that they then lose distinction but that one could rationally delineate between the influence of biology as impacted by social experiences and how one changes and grows through significant experiences which entails consideration of the subjective significance of some objective environmental situation.

I retain a distinction between the fields of biology and social, which I don't think are counterposed in man but that parts of man's biological features become changed by social experiences. The content of consciousness itself not being simply the result of a brain, which is only a precondition for consciousness, rather it is informed by examining man's activity in regards to the existing world.
Such that through consciousness, what was once just a sensation of the body can become a stimuli with some significance for the person.
Hell, even in regards to emotions which one might assert our essential irrationalism, we can not directly control them but through our thoughts/intellect we actually mediate and manage our emotions as our emotions can be the sensations/reaction from a thought or experience.
A point that whilst we don't have some perfect control of ourselves, as we can see those whose emotions drive them more than reason, its not the case that we can't mediate our own responses as an example of a modicum of self-control where we are simply guided by how we feel, but can choose how we think. Where our actions can meaningfully be our own when they're not arbitrary and done from reason and with purpose.

Something like a woman's infidelity isn't biology trumping over culture, as the significance of such an act isn't wholly biological or social.
The act of sex having very natural properties to it, but sex isn't without social significance and consequences across and time and place.
Where the sexuality in a primitive society might be quite shocking to some modern sensibilities due to entirely different notions about sex.
The need to drink water is universal, but how one does it, the social form it takes is what is significant.
Man's existence has come a long way from being primarily directed by our own biology or from nature, as we have shaped nature to our needs and thus have become shaped by the society that we have changed.
And so we are indirectly self-determining as a species, and even on the individual level, cultural artifacts mediate all of our communication and actions with one another. Where even ones body has social significance, in gestures, in dress, in how one walks and so on.
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