fragmentos (opposing)

8th January 2016, 23:16

Orthodoxy — G.K. Chesterton

Originally Posted by Major K. View Post
Anyone ever read G.K. Chesterton's Orthodoxy?

I'm listening to it on Librivox right now, and he makes some rather convincing arguments pro Catholicism. I don't think he's going to turn me into a Catholic, but it has led me to appreciate what the Catholoic church has accomplished over the last few thousand years. At its core, it was a civilizing force. Also, Chesterton is such an amazing writer — I can't help but smile and laugh throughout the work. He's hilarious (though he does argue against materialism — quite well, I might add — in a not dissimilar vein that Marx argued against the materialism of his time).

Anyone ever read the book? Opinions?

I very much like Chesterton - as in, I like his style, his humour, his rhetorics. And I think he is one of the best representatives of what Marx has called "reactionary socialism". He is bright, and he is often able to put things under an unsuspected, even refreshing, perspective.

I wouldn't however take his content very seriously. He is good at destroying other people's delusions, and particularly the hypocritical aspects of those delusions, but he doesn't put up much of an alternative, and to the extent he does, it reminds me again of Marx deriding reactionary socialists: the coats of arms are still there, barely disguised, so it is impossible to not get the impression of an epic troll.

What his tirades are best for is to confound modern reactionaries who are more of far-right liberals than actual conservatives, in order to show that they don't understand their own political positions.

And of course, it is impossible not to like Father Brown and his bizarre mystery short stories.

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31st October 2015, 12:37
Marxism is Fascism Disguised As Something Else - Why I Gave Up Communism
Originally Posted by Alessandro View Post
I have great interest in psychology. Nothing interests me more, in fact.

You've jumped on a bunch of angry irrelevant tangents.

My 'opinion' is we should aspire to a social system where productive property is owned by the community and labour is organised for the common advantage of all its members.

Is that 'communism'? I don't know. That is what *I* mean by communism. And it wasn't a philosophy born of the French Revolution. If I am a philistine because I don't see everything through the Marxist historical narrative, so be it. To me you are an intellectual charlatan who can't think for himself.

Have a nice day fuck head.

Well.

There is no longer anything like a "community". Capitalism has systematically destroyed communities, and they do not seem likely to revive. So I suppose that by "community" you mean "society".

Yes, I would say that a "social system where productive property is owned by the community society and labour is organised for the common advantage of all its members" is communism.

But see, it is a philosophy born from the French Revolution. Without the French Revolution, without an industrial revolution, without the unbridled rule of capital, what need would there be for the "aspiration" for a social system as you describe? And even if your ideas stem directly from Plato, and you are proposing to organise society as prescribed in the Republic, what relevance would those ideas have, if they were not a form of direct opposition to the rule of capital? Because that's what whatever forms of "communism", never mind the delusions they have about their intellectual genealogy, are as of today: forms of direct opposition to the rule of capital. And as such they stem, not from ancient ideas of common property, but from the confrontation with capital and its rule. Which is something that is the subject of Marx's investigation, not of Plato's abstract theorising, Amaru's resistance to the proto-capitalist rule of the Conquistadores, or Luke's religious illumination.

In that way, even non-Marxist communism, even explicitly anti-Marxist communism, is only possible in the intellectual environment of capitalism and the critique thereof. And its non-Marxist or anti-Marxist appearance is consequently merely superficial; either they are somehow part of the proletarian struggle against capital (and therefore more "Marxist" than they would like to admit) or part of some bourgeois or petty-bourgeois delusion of building "communism" without destroying the capitalist order (as therefore less "communist" than they intend to be).

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31st October 2015, 12:14
Originally Posted by Alessandro View Post
In your opinion.

In your opinion.

You may, if you wish, call Plato's Republic "communism". But even then you need to recognise that Plato's "communism" is not the same thing as Marx's "communism".

Yes, we do use words in a confusing way.

I call a person like Paul Krugmann a "liberal", and I call a person like Friedrick Hayek a "liberal". I also call "liberal" people who "liberally" spend money, and people in polyamory relationships.

This doesn't mean that Krugmann's "liberalism" is the same, or even similar, to Hayek's "liberalism". Perhaps I should call Hayek a conservative, instead of a liberal. But this would be quite confusing, for Hayek was certainly not a conservative in the same sence Churchill, or Chesterton, were (none of the people who call themselves "conservative" in the US really looks conservative in any meaningful sence, actually).

So, you can play with words, and say that Marx hasn't the copyright of "communism", and that Plato, or the Gracchi, or the Acts in the Bible, or the Incas, were "communist". But where are the political and social forces striving for the realisation of Plato's Republic, for a Gracchian land reform, for the reinstatement of the Incas, or for the reenactment of primitive Christianism?

You could perhaps argue the people in Liberation Theology are for the latter; but even then, they refer to Marx as often, if not more, than to Acts or the Gospel.

In fact, people who nowadays strive for communism are either Marxists or anarchists (who derive their ideas from equally post-Enlightment sources, such as Proudhon or Bakunin, at most from Babeuf of Flora Tristán or William Godwin, not from Plato, Tupac Amaru, Tiberius Gracchus, or Luke). Existing Platonists are active in either the academia or in the Catholic Church, were they defend the established order, and argue Plato's philosophical methods, not Plato's republic, much less "communism" of any kind; Amaru may be a reference for Latin American national liberation types, but he's a banner, not a source of actual ideas; Gracchus is all but forgotten, and Luke is certainly not the source of any important communist movement nowadays.

So no, Marx does not have the copyright of "communism", but the "communism" he refers to is a movement that only started, and was only actually possible, after the Enlightment and the industrial revolution. And which is the only "communism" still relevant in these days.

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16th September 2015, 20:20
Leftists referred to as 'SJWs' (social justice warriors)

Originally Posted by Redistribute the Rep View Post
I highly doubt the term "SJW" is intended to exclude revolutionaries

I have never seen reactionaries exclude revolutionaries from their sweeping generalisations about the left. I get regularly attacked for being a supporter of Kim Jong Il, socialised medicine, Hillary Clinton, high taxes, militarisation of society, abolition of the military, anarchism, Somalia, low gas prices, high gas prices, militant atheism and Pope Francis.

To these guys, there is no difference between an anarchist and a right-wing social democrat, nor between a left communist and a hippie. And if you try to explain that, you are just lying in accordance to some "cultural Marxist" secret plan to… conquer the world, Pinky.

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7th September 2015, 18:56
To NDP or not to NDP?

Originally Posted by RedWorker View Post
Elaborate on this terminology and the meaning behind it. If "workers" entirely consists of its members or support base being workers, then couldn't even conservative right-wing parties be called workers' parties?

Any mass party will be mostly composed by workers. But working class parties are parties of the class-process, not of the class-object. In other words, they are parties of workers organised for class struggle, not mere collections of individual workers.

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7th September 2015, 15:11

Originally Posted by Hatshepsut View Post
Besides that a "head-chopping Wahabbi" phrase, if applicable, betrays lack of knowledge of Islamic politics. Wahabbi believers are definitely not friends with ISIS even if the latter's religion has a basis in the former's.

While that is true, the Wahabbi State of the House of Saud does routinely behead people (one hundred in 2015 only, up to the end of June), a fact that isn't well publicised only because Saudi Arabia is a key ally of the United States.

So, it is indeed proper to call them "head-chopping Wahabbi". Though I am not sure it does any good, besides to one's liver, of course.

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7th September 2015, 15:07

What is the NDP, a bourgeois or petty-bourgeois party - or a reformist degenerate proletarian party?

If the former, we should keep ourselves out of it, and struggle for the creation of a working class party in Canada. If the latter, we should work within it, against the reformist tendencies inside it.

Supporting a few candidates from the outside seems to point to a mistaken "strategy", that considers the NDP a bourgeois/petty-bourgeois party, but disdains the building of a working class party.

Unless, of course, these few candidates are openly pointing towards the formation of an actual working class party. But somehow I doubt it is the case.

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30th August 2015, 15:25
No Spiritual Beliefs At All

Originally Posted by uncontent_soul View Post
So if I become a leftist, I can't have any spiritual beliefs. My beliefs are non oppressive, and I don't believe in organized religion. I just sort of have always believed these things and I keep them to myself. So as a socialist nobody should have religious beliefs because they are oppressive and unintelligent as offensive?

As others have already pointed, you can believe in what you wish. If you talk about what you believe, however, people will probably criticise you, and such criticism may be harsh or sound undeserved. This is however unavoidable; the left relies on criticism, has always relied on it, and it isn't likely to change - and this applies not only to supernatural beliefs, but to any kind of thing we may believe or think we know. If you peruse this sight, you will see all kinds of disagreement, sometimes nasty disagreement, over non-spiritual things such as the rate of surplus value, the petty bourgeoisie, the Soviet Union, the French Revolution, or the role of political parties.

Yes, if you are a leftist, you will need to take easy on criticism. Including criticism of supernatural beliefs. If you can't take such kind of criticism easy, then you still can avoid it by not mentioning supernatural beliefs. Most religious leftists I know do exactly this; they go to the church, or whatever they feel they need to appease or nurture their spirituality, on Sundays, and when they meet with other leftists during the week they talk about the issues at hand, avoiding include supernatural explanations or solutions in their public speeches. If however you try to mix things, as in demanding spiritual rituals to be performed during leftist meetings, or giving supernatural explanations on the material problems that afflict the left, conflict will immediately ensue.

As Xhar-Xhar Binks notes, you can be religious and leftist; but among "religious", "leftist", and "coherent", you can only chose two. So what? Coherence is probably overrated, and the contradictions in your thoughts and beliefs tend to evolve and settle by themselves, without the need of someone else telling you that you should be coherent, or urging you to give up spiritual beliefs, or threatening you with the leftist equivalents of excommunication.

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28th July 2015, 19:23
Anti-Marxist argument in science fiction novel

Heinlein can be awful when he uses Mary Sues. When his personal opinions are idiotic, he makes his avatars characters sound idiotic too. He does better when his characters disagree with him.

The argument, of course, is laughable. Marx talks about average amounts of labour, not about individual products by individual labourers.

There is more labour involved in a great chef cooking an outstanding candy than an average cook cooking a common place sweet, even if both take the same time in producing the candy: the "making" of a great chef takes time and labour - of study, of reading, of understanding the processes involved in cooking and in appreciation, etc.

Also, a mudpie is not a commodity because it has no use-value. No amount of labour can transform what has no use value into exchange value. Indeed, the effort eventually put in things like mudpies doesn't even count as labour. Making mudpies counts as fun, hobby, waste of time, etc., but not as "labour".

And "cooks" who ruin the ingredients will be out of job very soon: like a mudpie, his or her labour power has no use value, and is not actually a commodity. Evidently, there are going to be eventual mistakes, since even experienced cooks will occasionally miscook something. As per above, it is a matter of averages: if the average cook ruins one dish in each 10,000 he cooks, then the actual labour time for cooking each dish should be divided 9,999 and multiplied by 10,000. The owner of the restaurant will make sure that this kind of "cost" is represented in her/his cost spreadsheets. And so the price of the dishes will reflected this increased value, not the diminished use-value.

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2nd July 2015, 18:31
Poll: USA Elections [The Revleft Vote]

Originally Posted by mushroompizza View Post
I would say Bernie, because he is a little to left for the two party system.

So if his party choses Hillary Clinton, he will run as a third party candidate?

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2nd July 2015, 16:33

What candidate has the biggest possibility of putting an end to the two-party system?

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1st July 2015, 18:52

Originally Posted by Pavel Nedved View Post
Is there life outside of the USA? The more you know.

Well it depends on what you consider "life" of course.

There are some algae in Waziristan it seems. And naturally Ebolavirus in Africanistan or whatever they call it.

Quote:
Jeb Bush, ofc.
You reformist, you.

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27th June 2015, 01:32
Leftist Role-Models?

Originally Posted by mushroompizza View Post
Rosa Luxembourg deserves some recognition.

She does, but what do you understand of her?

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27th June 2015, 01:30
Leftist Role-Models?

My dad, and a few school teachers.

What? They are (or were) leftists, and they certainly were role models for me.

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