1st July 2015, 16:31
The nonsense regarding allegations of a 'stageist' conception of history amounted to what is essentially a misunderstanding that could only be one without Hegel. The Hegelian logic was that after something occurs, only then does it become inevitable - and that everything proceeding the present-day follows a "linear, rational" trajectory only with the reference point of present day conditions in place - i.e. if things did not occur the way they did, things would now be different, and so on.
The accusation that Marx and Engels ascribed to a "linear" model of historical development is so disgustingly blasphemous that it almost is not even worth addressing, for it was the philistine positivists who conceived a "linear" conception of not only historical development, but thought. Hegel's, and later Marx's conception of history was anything but linear, in fact quite the opposite was true, it went through spirals, zig-zags (as Lenin put it) and so on.
|For example, ancient Greeks and Romans most certainly possessed factories. They likewise paid (exploitative) wages. Armies that won enslaved the losers to work in mines to extract metals for weapons, and in fields depleted by males serving in the army of conquest. In this respect, i believe that it's far more informative to see how exploitation and capitalism (the comodification of labor) changes throughout the years.|
|To say that the stage-ism of Engels was perpetrated by the Soviet Bloc is to fundamentally agree with Koliakowski: without the appearance of the soviet state, both Engels and Marx would have been long-forgotten.|
‘Unilinear Evolution’ is pejorative, pure and simple. It was Boas’ term for the rather hopeless task of ‘describing the “evolution towards modern society”. For him, it also meant conjuring up a particular scheme of evolution towards the present and cherry-picking data for proof.
|“Well, old-time anthropology had its roots in historicism that was founded by a generic zeitgeist of evolution. We, today, simply know better”.|
|Now to a Marxoid, this might pass as a triviality--much as, say, stuffing little girls in a closet in Yekaterinburg and shooting them. But to an anthropologist, trotting out this nonsense discredits the trotter as a armchair speculator—much as a one who claimed to be a French historian would state that De Gaulle lost the Battle of Waterloo.|
|but far too little to construct an evolutionary scheme that would encompass all societies at all times.|
|Otherwise, marx was in error about ‘generalized commodity production’. If you convert England into one big factory, your raw materials and food will have to come from elsewhere-- from within a larger frame of reference. These probably won’t be produced by capitalism per se. Such is the modern insight of Negri & Hardt….capitalism has always existed.|
The Marxist version of ‘exploitation’ is hardly ‘scientific’. Rather, ontological-speculative. Otherwise, some really smart Marxist would have been able to covert labor values into prices, as LTV demands. This is the infamous ‘transformation problem’, btw.
On second thought, since really smart people would realize that the labor inputs have no quantitative values themselves, they wouldn’t be able to be transformed, after all. Then the really smart would say that Marxoid efforts to do so are similar to their efforts in conjuring up non-existent nut& berry foraging savages to support their version of unilinerar evolution…err…’evolution towards modern-day society’.
My version of ‘exploitation is the Ricardian of c+v+p=Cost. This gives an inverse relationship between ‘v and p, assuming you can do the algebra. All factory owners everywhere and at all times have used this, thereby causing an intellectual crisis within the ranks of the Marxo-paranoid.
|Fine roman brass was made in a roman factory by underpaid , ‘exploited’ workers. The copper, nickel and tin came from mines using slave labor. ‘Same old story.|
|To de-legitimize and discredit Marx as credible on the left, yes.|
|Translated into Red-diaperese, this means that Marx’s ‘assurance’ that Capitalism is a passing stage only endows history with a teleology that far more resembles god-is-coming mumbo-jumbo than naturalism.|
|I also understand that belief in such drivel supports Stalinism. This is because Marxism says that because capitalism can be overturned, any means justifies this end. In this regard, my so-called affiliation with Austrian skool economiks looks pretty good: they’re far less wrong than you people.|
|To transform capitalism into workable socialism, first you need to rid yourselves of these Marxo-people.|
|Re your citation from Marx: an economist can say that social relations are ‘eternal’, yet with or without harmony. Marx, OTH, is saying nothing more than if and only if social relations are understood as transient (not eternal) will my theory of the overthrow of capitalism hold true.|
|The fact, however, is that ‘eternal/natural’ and ‘transient/evolutionary’ capitalism are counterpoised hypotheses which must be proven true of false by the facts. But again, you and Marx present only feel-good wishes.|
|My point as an anthropologist is that your ‘anthropological’ evidence is false, because Morgan’s thesis is unsupported.|
|Lastly, were the ‘specific factors’ as alluded to by Marx really that specific? This, again, circles back into the same evolutionary vs fixed argument as before. Strange to tell, Marx presents no facts, merely blustering, self-assertive rhetoric.|
|That you think that these are ‘positivist’ afflictions is as interesting to me as your denial of the evil character of the USSR and the labeling of American intervention in WW2 as ‘imperialist.|
|all that can be done is to demonstrate the differences.|
|Rather, computational Physics uses it as a tool that obtains predictable results.|
|I suppose ‘marxist economics’ means anything marxists want it to mean at the time that they say it.|
|It’s sort of a world-view thing, such as calling the shooting of children at Yekaterinburg “murder” instead of ‘objective-social justice rendered to members of the oppressor class who, even as children, stand objectively guilty, in the concrete dialectical sense’.|
That the first humans were nuts 'n berries foragers is plainly stated in his book. Ditto that they practiced communal marriage. Not only is this speculative nonsense, but also neither ethnography nor paleontology show this. Quite the contrary.
Thus far Grote. And Marx adds:
“In the Greek gens, the savage (e.g. Iroquois) shows through unmistakably.” He becomes still more unmistakable when we investigate further.
For the Greek gens has also the following characteristics:
7. Descent in the male line.
8. Prohibition of marriage within the gens except in the case of heiresses. This exception, and its formulation as an ordinance, prove the old rule to be valid. This is further substantiated by the universally accepted principle that at her marriage the woman renounced the religious rites of her gens and went over to those of her husband, being also inscribed in his phratry. This custom and a famous passage in Diccarchus both show that marriage outside the gens was the rule, and Becker in Charicles directly assumes that nobody might marry within his own gens.
9. The right of adoption into the gens. This was exercised through adoption into the family, but required public formalities and was exceptional.
10. The right to elect chieftains and to depose them. We know that every gens had its archon; but it is nowhere stated that the office was hereditary in certain families. Until the end of barbarism the probability is always against strict heredity, which is quite incompatible with conditions in which rich and poor had completely equal rights within the gens.
|More to the point, the Boasian Revolution that overturned 19th century evolutionary schemes (again, which he pejoratively called 'unilineal') emphasized that present day 'primitives' were in their own way as evolutionary as Western industrial societies. Studying those deemed less 'advanced' in the present world gives no insight into prehistory.|
|This, in turn, is positively cross-referenced against a now-huge template of both ethnography and archaeology from America. Then of course, we have astounding, 20,000 year old sequences in places such as an-Natuf, in present-day Lebanon. Warlike strata vs peaceful, masculine vs feminine. 'Evolution' seems to mean nothing more than winning wars and taking slaves...|
Originally Posted by WFWhat sticky, to say the least, is that Marx and Engels, following Hegel, envisioned an inner logic of sorts which would make these constant episodes of genocide and ethnocide follow the dictates of progress. This, they erroneously coded into a metaphysic of dialectical materialism.
|all societies, regardless of their assessed ‘level’, have equally undergone change.|
Originally Posted by will franklinAt the heart of the problem (the Quinean web, so to speak) is the false assumption that there really was a stage called 'primitive communism'.
The observation of so-called 'primitive societies does not support such a claim in the sense as they would serve as a model as to how societies back then (time undetermined) were structured.
|In my own field of anthropology, examples are to diverse to cite them all: Mead's Samoans were friendly and sharing (communal?): thirty years later they were observed to have all the dignity of a bunch of drunks at a white-trash North Georgia Confederate bar.|
|His seminal work, Primitive Society was entitled with a strong sense of irony; so-called 'primitives' weren't. In terms of local adaption, they were as evolved--or more so--than anyone else.|
|This thematic point of Lowie comes from Boas who, in turn, wrote (as a good socialist!) that only a Darwinian, naturally selective version of evolution was acceptable for any natural science.|
|Now as you recall, the Hegelian motor of evolution was a geist: learning experiences of a progressively less-oppressive life were passed on. Marx, in turn, linked the dialectic to increasingly productive forces.|
|In short, lots of what anthros do now is to study the effects of new and better instruments on cultural elements such as kinship, etc. But again, the Darwinian adaptivity is specific to any particular culture, and not always successful. Part of the anthroplogical discourse is to show failure--for example, The Easter islanders.|
|So the whole essence of Hegelian/Marxian resided within its stages which are supposed to resemble, in form, the evolution of hominids. It's this--not the general, common-sense notion of accumulation via diffusion--that's nonsense. But without this formal scheme, there's no 'Marxism' as such. Rather, again the same old shared, common sense notions that 'explain' why New Guinea tribes that practice cannibalism carry aps and have email addresses.|
|And of course, said evolutionary scheme had to have had a beginning form, lost in the conjectural mists of history. Otherwise, the scheme doesn't work! So that takes us back to communal marriage and nut's n berry picking, yes?|
|Many societies grant both personal usufruct and define basic property limits within an extended family, or clan. looking outside the clan--yet within what the observer would still see as a 'culture' of linked clans, there are frequent inter-clan wars over entitlements. In other words, there is 'communism' only within what's defined as a 'family, whether extended or nuclear.|
|** The data itself doesn't even support the 'theory'.|
|What we also find is that hunting existed prior to the full emergence of h sapiens. This, in and of itself destroys any speculation based upon foraging.|
|No communal property, no communal marriage, no foraging. So what do you propose? To take all of the anthropologists to Yekaterinburg, stuff them into a closet and shoot them, too?|
Otherwise, your evolutionary comparison of different animals (wolves. mice) to the development within one particular (h sapiens) begs the obvious question: biological adaptivity of all three indicate that present speciation follows natural selection.
Biologically speaking, to say that wolves are more 'evolved' than mice is nonsense. To comare putative levels of human development to mice/wolves distinctions is daffy, even for a marxoid.
|Last, Hegel was ambiguous, to say the least, on the question of volition. the master/slave dialectic somehow gets buried in the subconscious, leaving us consciously aware of only the 'cunning of history' that appears on the surface to be nothing but a slaughterhouse. Only the Hegelians can reveal to us the deeper truth. This is not interesting.|
|So where, here, is 'private property' if you aren't permitted to pay your workers what you want? Even the randoids are more formally correct than the marxiods in saying that taxation is nothing more than wealth transfer that mitigates against true private property.|
|Consequently, goods were gradually taken out of the communal pot of redistribution, to be sold. Likewise, those without title to land found life much better as an exploited worker in the pottery and bronzework factories rather than given his/her 'metadosis' back on the farm.|
|Saying that it's a constant, ongoing struggle to keep humans from exploiting each other for the sake of their own power is hardly apologetic.|
Real Marxists know this, and accept the rules:devise a testable research strategy that's based upon the general concept that a material, economic infrastructure predicts a particular infrastructural feature. A Marxist is what he/she is because of hypothesizing the direction of the causal arrow in any particular case.