Re: Kolakowski's Main Currents of Marxism


  #22  
16th July 2015, 20:59

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Originally Posted by will franklin View Post
Kola attacks Marxism on several axis, hence the size of the tome. One main point, moreover, is to trace the history of European socialism from around 1800 and reveal that the Marxian trajectory is nothing but a trivial off -shoot.
Why end it there? Why can't socialism be a "trivial offshoot" of the enlightenment? Why can't the enlightenment be a "trivial offshoot" of Protestantism and (or) the Renaissance? Why can't both of these be "trivial offshoots" of western Catholicism? Why can't western catholicism be a "trivial offshoot" of Christianity, of which we might call a "trivial offshoot" of the culminative legacy of western thought? What you fail to understand is that this is an idiotic kind of logic - Marxism is anything but a "trivial" offshoot, it was a re-vitalizing offshoot, it is the theoretical, political and spiritual sophistication of the worker's movement. While Marxism is contingent upon the ideological force of Communism, without Marxism this becomes corrupted by the prerogatives of the petite bourgeoisie, through reactionary socialism and anti-semitism. In fact nothing could inherit the legacy of European socialism save for Marxism, and maybe anarchism.

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In brief, the moral imperative of making life better for everyone far outweighs clunkly economic explanations. For example, while the Ricardian posits a simple, inverse, variable-capital-labor to profit relationship, Marx hopelessly tried to find hidden, dead labor in material capital.
Except Marxism cannot be reducible to some abstract "moral imperative" which possesses no moral authority whatsoever than any other ideological platitude which seeks the same thing. For all the harking on about how Marxism is "dogmatic", you sure love to churn out thoroughly unscientific, vague and abstract GARBAGE. The reality is that judging from your previous posts, you haven't even come close to conceiving the wealth of the critique of political economy, and you expose yourself by regurgitating the same strawman, bullshit "transformation problem" which was exposed to be a misunderstanding decades ago, so much so to the point where it is arguable that the controversy can be considered over and done with all together. What is beyond idiotic is that you make it as though Ricardo was beyond the scope of evaluation for Marx, but the reality is that Ricardo's "simple" inverse relationship was demonstrated to be inconsistent and contradictory by Marx, hence hte POINT of his critique of political economy in general. You could at the very least have an iota of dignity by trying to give us a new, "creative" criticism of Marxism, but instead you desperately, and pathetically attempt to re-animate corpses long rotting in the dustbin of the history of economic theory. It's like how philistines PATHETICALLY attempt to "compare" Adam Smith to Marx as though they were competing contemporaries when the reality is that Marx superseded Adam Smith to the point where he was beyond the theoretical scope of the latter. This holds true just as much for Ricardo. And it's also hilarious that you regurgitated the so-called transformation problem when this is precisely what Ricardo failed miserably and demonstrating, the relationship between price and value. I cannot even fucking stand to believe someone - in 2015, is actually trying to give it a pass. It is not that Ricardo and Marx "disagreed", it is that Marx built a framework of criticism and evaluation that Ricardo's theoretical foundations SIMPLY COULD NOT ACCOUNT FOR OR ADDRESS without serious, critical revision (which of course, is arguably what Marx himself engaged in). The reason Marx rejected the Ricardian model, was precisely because it pre-supposed "laws" that simply did not correlate, practically, with reality and the dynamic process of capital on a day to day basis. But nevermind this - the ultimate, fatal criticsm leveled against him in Capital was an EPISTEMOLOGICAL criticism, namely, the reality that Ricardo's work, for all it was - was not scientific (i.e. systematizing a critical apprehension of knowledge). It relied upon a plethora of background assumptions about the capitalist economy that were simply pre-supposed to be a given.

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In this vein, Kola accuses the Marxists of wanting things to get worse in order to seize power.
Woe on him then, because this nothing short of a straw man. Tell me, why talk out of your ass like this? Why? Why, when Lenin EXPLICITLY rejected spontaneism and so-called 'organicism' as a strategic outlook, when Lenin stressed that the working classes will not organically develop class-consciousnesses and that their ills and grievances would always be inevitably be corrupted by those of the petite-bourgeoisie, i.e. anti-semitism. Again, it is nothing short of shocking that you actually post with an aura of confidence in what you say, when you should know very well that you're talking out of your ass.

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Originally Posted by will franklin View Post
No, actually both Aristotle and Plato were rather famous in their day. Both took consulting gigs; whereas Aristotle went to Macedonia, Plato went to Syracuse, etc.
"No, actually", the point is that while both of them might have been famous, they were only famous insofar as the hellenistic world went, which was quite small. Without Alexander's conquests, they would have never escaped the threshold of the particular historic circumstances of ancient Greece, they would have never entered into the stage of world-history and it is even possible that they would have been condemned to an idiosyncrasy of the past in the same way that Confucius or Laozi were.

But regardless, this is simply not true, and I demonstrated this in another thread: Marx's "popularity" is not owed to the emergence of the USSR, for this ignores critically why the USSR was able to emerge in the first place. It wasn't because Russians were "keenly" avid fans of Marx, because Marxism had already gained immense popularity all over Europe at this time. In fact, the reverse might actually be true: Marx is buried behind a bunch of muck and filth, cast off as irrelevant with bullshit touted today that he could have easily addressed, because of the failure and collapse of the USSR.

Notice something about ex-Marxists is either the gradualism of their corruption (Hitchens, the author in pertinence), or an outright, cowardly break (i.e. Horowitz, Levy, etc.). It is a gradual laziness that sets in which prevents them from using their "Marxo-paranoid" mechanisms to critically evaluate the influx of ideological drivel until they can do nothing but cave in. Such individuals are not worthy of the rich historic tradition that is Marxism.
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Originally Posted by will franklin View Post
Kola defines the general growth of socialism from the Enlightenment as successful and progressive; that which spawned the ideology of the USSR was a noxious weed.
Which is a thoroughly idealist narrative, in assuming that the USSR's existence, and constitution, was owed to "ideological" changes throughout the history of socialism. It is a thoroughly idiotic fucking logic, it is not difficult to see that the USSR, and similar states, hardly represented a smooth, inevitable outgrowth of the culmination of not only Marxism, but the "Leninism" of the October revolution. The reality is that the conditions existent in the USSR and Eastern Europe were beyond the control of individuals and "ideas", and in retrospect we can see that Bordiga was correct: The USSR represented a transitional bourgeois romantic revolution, and the Eastern bloc represented a similar social formation aimed at the elimination of both the Prussian Juncker class and the social vestiges of feudalism. The conditions in the Russian Empire disallowed mass-modernization to occur without a major, politically backed social transformation. But it is a wonder why you're bringing arguments into this discussion when we've already thoroughly gone over ALL Of this: You cannot conceive the history of socialism, or likewise Marxism, without evaluating the conditions which gave birth to their form - only the paranoid logic of right-wing conspiracy theory isolates this or that "noxious weed" and attempts to explain away that which is associated with it. The reality is that this "noxious weed" was wrought out into existence for a reason, a reason irreducible to ideology.

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So, in reality, the trajectory of socialism is for real, live workers to have rejected what you refer to as their 'spiritual sophistication'.
Perhaps you want to clarify exactly what you mean by here? if you're referring to an "organic" trajectory of socialism untainted by Marxism, there is no such thing. Utopian socialism was an arduous failure, and only anarchism could have inherited the legacy of "European socialism", or even worse, petite-bourgeois socialism, i.e. anti-semitism, ETC. - the reality is that you don't know what the fuck you're talking about, you make it as though ideas spontaneously come out of people's asses which "ruin" things when this can only refer to specific programs, strategies and tactics AT BEST, and this pre-supposes a common basis of action and struggle anyway. You build straw men after straw men, like for example: Was the East German state wrought out from a worker's revolution? No, it was not. To hold "Marxism" responsible for geopolitical formations which occurred after the second world war is just hopelessly fucking stupid. What's next, had this "noxious weed" not occurred, the treaty of Versailles wouldn't have existed? Here's a hint: If Marx died in 1840, then Marxism, or something almost identical to it, would have been wrought out eventually. The political, theoretical sophistication of the worker's movement, and a correct, consistent approximation of it ideologically was necessary for its survival. I mean, where does it end? Hegels death, to ensure that none of the other Young Hegelians could have assumed this role? This would also be contingent upon Kant's death, and the absence of German idealism all together, ETC. - you simply don't fucking know how history works. Was the October revolution GENUINELY a proletarian revolution? In every meaningful sense, it was.

This philistine, will, actually wants us to believe that class struggle was a product of ideas.

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Part of that time wasting would involve an active confrontation with the singular problem that Marx himself defined as the theme of capital and tried like hell to resolve: how labor as a commodity defines prices. That's more or less, on the average, only socially necessary labor,
Be honest, does your comprehension of capital extend beyond a fucking Wikipedia page? To conceive this as "the singular problem" is the first error, and the second error is assuming that Marx failed to resolve this. The 'transformation problem' was only a problem to those who were incapable of fathoming the entirely new and unique LOGIC brought forth by capital.

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Kola lived long enough to see his prediction come true: because Marxism's only use was that of an official ideology of a terrorist state, American and European Philosophy would cease in their curiosity once the USSR was gone.
Allow me to repeat myself:

The reason this is a rather desperate assertion, one that might flatter us Marxists, is the fact that Marx and Engels's popularity in the west had grown so large even before the Bolshevik revolution in such fields as sociology that Lenin himself spoke of how liberals were on to white-washing his vitality. Western Marxism took an entirely different course than did official Soviet doctrine, and it is patently obvious that if anything the existence of the former greatly hindered the ability for those in the west to correctly recall Marx and Engels. The idea that Marx and Engels were somehow forgettable, irrelevant thinkers that merely became the bizarre idiosyncrasy of the Soviet state is a special kind of bullshit that could only possibly be cooked up in the minds of those desperate bourgeois ideologues who try to discredit, de-legitimize and slander them in every way fathom possible.

I demonstrated this in another thread: Marx's "popularity" is not owed to the emergence of the USSR, for this ignores critically why the USSR was able to emerge in the first place. It wasn't because Russians were "keenly" avid fans of Marx, because Marxism had already gained immense popularity all over Europe at this time. In fact, the reverse might actually be true: Marx is buried behind a bunch of muck and filth, cast off as irrelevant with bullshit touted today that he could have easily addressed, because of the failure and collapse of the USSR.

You're not going to get off easy with this FUCKING bullshit, see. The reality is that the popularity of Marxism, or the "curiosity" of American and European "philosophers", took an entirely different trajectory path in the west, but if nto for this fact, Marxism's power was always contingent upon the IDEOLOGICAL POWER OF THE WORKERS' MOVEMENT. This is why the holistic academic assault on Marxism did not BEGIN in the 1990's, it began as the power of the working movement began to wane, it began following the rise of reformist currents a la Eurocommunism, ETC. Kola, Mises, Rand, Herr Popper, and all the other scum are just as 'correct' too, but the reality is that like the rest of the lot, the events of 1991 do not SPECIFICALLY or UNIQUELY "confirm" Kola's notion that Marx would have been "long forgotten" if not for the USSR or the reality that it was the "official ideology" of various states. To this day economists can't even fucking approach Marx, who has been dead for almost two hundred years and yet - whose critique of political economy remains impenetrable and as strong now as it was then. Even then, those few Marxist "economists" who adhere to the "transformation problem" recognize that a return to Ricardian dogma is simply not a fucking option as far as a consistent, and holistic understanding of the relationship between labor and commodities (i.e. and therefore prices go). Marx's criticisms of Ricardo remain as legitimate to this day, i.e. - if one is going to understand a "transformation problem", which itself is contingent upon static and narrow economic models, one sure as hell can't fucking make the case for Ricardo of all people!

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Whereas 40 years ago a robust coteri
The difference, of course, is that this seldom reflects solely with Marx, or "Marxism" but the LEFT IN GENERAL. It comes as no surprise that the widespread popularity and emergence of Maosim in the 1990's had absolutely fuck all to do with the endurance of the Chinese state, but the reality that Maosim was more consistent as a bourgeois-romantic doctrine for the rural-petite bourgeoisie fighting the onslaughts of globalization and the irk in their respective states. Because Marxism is contingent upon Communism AS AN IDEOLOGY, its popularity is also going to be correlated ot the ideological power of Communism. But an "ideology" cannot fucking be 'imported' from a state with zero applicability whatsoever. Something akin to the Soviet system would not have been possible in any of the advanced western nations, but this philistine shit, will - will have us believe that western Marxism was merely a marginal side-effect of the power and enduring existence of the USSR. This is beyond fucking stupid. The tragic reality is that by the time the Eastern bloc and the USSR fell apart, Communism was long dead in the west, and that the events of 1991 signified the victory of globalized neoliberalism and the failure of the worker's movement in the west - whose power, to an extent WAS owed to the fears of western leaders after WWII of the growth and extensive social welfare that existed in Communist states.

I mean, you're simply abjectly stupid at this point. There is nothing profound about this discussion whatsoever, nothing is more obnoxious than dealing with the - yes - creative shit-slinging of bourgeois ideologues who magically think they've found the ultimate solution in completely destroying Marxism. But the reality is that while Marxism might have fallen out of popularity (which, vis a vis the last 6 years is debatable at best), this has nothing to do with the enduring omnipotent nature of the tradition and legacy of MARXISM, which is irreducible to any one individual, or number of individuals. But, as it happens, you simply don't have a fucking clue about what you're talking about. It's really that simple.

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Re Ricardo: say something of content and I'll be happy to respond. ie what false assumptions?
The point is that these assumptions were not even able to enter the domain of critical evaluation because they were IDEOLOGICAL ones, namely, a fallacious understanding of capitalism and the nature of social relations in general. That is the fucking point - they weren't even "wrong" per se, because they did not exist in a way that was systematizable in thought. The whole point of Marx's criticism of Ricardo was transforming those unknown assumptions into their real implications, critically, via knowledge, and he did this triumphantly. One, minor example is Ricardo's understanding of class relations: he, like you, ideologically assumed these to be enduring, universal laws of nature, as a given - it was Marx's job to critically evaluate class relations and the basis of what can be conceived as "class interests". Then again, we're talking to someone whose been trying to fucking argue that capitalism existed in 50,000 B.C., which suggests you're not that far off from Ricardo himself in being nothing more than victim of eternal ridicule, or at least - permanent object of criticism. Aft least Ricardo offered a useful FRAMEWORK that which we could go off of - you however offer us nothing, you talk shit out of your ass and when you're called out, simply ignore the criticisms.

Ricardo offers us a formalized, static understanding of capitalist production that simply does not live up to historical events. It is literally that simple.

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Re Lenin: actually, yes, he fought f
But that ISN'T what you implied earlier, especially if we take it that the failure of Marxism was 'encapsulated' in leninism. But this is an error in itself, too:

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The Feuerbach Thesis vindicates his practical stupidity.
You never cease to amaze me. Marx and Engels were DISTINGUISHABLE from their contemporaries in their desire to, like Lenin, fight practical struggles- what the FUCK do you think the phrase that - Communism is the real movement which supersedes (aufheben, translated falsely as 'abolish') the present state of things, not an ideal to which reality will conform itself? Frankly, I have no fucking idea how the Theses on Feuerbach has anything to do with alleged evidence that Marx refused to engage in immediate struggles. If you're referring to Marx's critique of the Germans IN GENERAL, then practically the opposite was true: The "true socialists" either abstained, or ferociously attacked all the bourgeois reforms in order to emulate the French, which Marx correctly recognized was blunderous insofar as it ignored the reality that the radical socialist struggles in France already were able to presuppose the existence of modern bourgeois society, something that was lacking in Germany. He therefore criticized the Young Hegelian socialists as reactionaries, and rightfully so. There was no mass worker's movement in Germany in 1845, so really, I have no clue as to how this is supposed to be taken as evidence for Marx's reluctance to engage in the mass movement. But nevermind that, the practical reality is that Marx, and "his group" sought to preserve CLASS independence, from the onset toward the end of the First international. The essence of the argument boils down to the notion that Marxism has this idea of "stages" that one can passively watch, i.e. that "Communism" is just going to happen 'naturally'. This, AGAIN is a stupid fucking straw man. Communism represents historical self-consciousness, it is contingent upon the will, dedication and action of Communists, the point is that Communism is, for the first time in history - POSSIBLE, that historic-self consciousness has now entered the arena of the fight for power, for inheritance of the world spirit. This means, above all things, that Marxism itself is a part of this process, a process which is irreducible to any conscious "will of history" or "next stage", but to the conditions of NOW. This is why Marx claimed that the bourgeoisie were the first "true" class in history, because it is from their existence and their negation (proletariat) that a critical understanding of class becomes possible.
Now, frankly, let us be clear: There could be problems in Capital. The point is that Marx's critique of political economy IN GENERAL cannot even be approached if it is not presupposed. Like historical materialism, it represents a new threshold of understanding capitalist society that has no precedent. This is why those who spear-headed the debates vis a vis the "transformation problem" (which Ricardo, hilariously, did not resolve!) came from Marxian currents.
Except of course, Marx is not "like any other philosopher". To reduce him to the category of being a philosopher itself would be an error. Marx, of course, was not without error, but Marx fathers a scientific paradigm that goes far beyond himself, as the culmination of German idealism, French radicalism and English political economy. All meaningful critiques of Marx, must therefore presuppose his method (which is why, evidently, all profound criticisms of Marx come from Marxists (or Marxians), not philistines like Popper). The point being that Marxism represents a new threshold untouched by any previous modes of thought.

Objectivism, conversely, is tautologically a pseudo-philosophy. What this means is that Rand, or her followers, mainly from extrapolations from her literature, attempt to construct a philosophic paradigm that is as pertinent to the philosophic field as Ron L. Hubbards' works. Really, what is the philosophical basis of Objectivism? A bunch of loosely associated ethical platitudes which are only unique insofar as they are an embarrassment for bourgeois ideologues, in how honest they are (encapsulating the ideology of the ruling classes). Objectivism encapsulates what the ruling classes are already predisposed to thinking, subconsciously, but rather than transforming ideology into knowledge, Objectivism makes contingent these ideological assumptions upon bizarre metaphysical narratives - making them impervious to challenge. The power of Marxism allows us to specifically evaluate the ideological substance of Objectivism, how it was wrought out, and a coherent explanation for its enduring popularity, but Objectivists can't bring themselves to muster up a criticism of Marxism that goes beyond empty moral assumptions and ethical platitudes like "collectivism" or a pretense to some kind of timeless truth. So in reality, there isn't even a dichotomy between Objectivism and Marxism, as while the latter was carefully forged and wrought out through the culmination of western thought, Objectiivsm simply makes Olympic leaps across western philosophic, scientific and political history only to arrive at the most juvenile filth.
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Originally Posted by Qbill Harris
Both movements center upon a particular group as the only real producers. For Marx, of course, it's the proletariat, or those who derive compensation from owners of the means of production.
You can fucking do this with practically anything, actually, but the reality is that no - this was not the essential basis of Marx's point. In fact, Marx explicitly stated that labor was not the source of all value, and that use value could just as easily be found in nature. Marx's assertion that "the only real producers" were the proletariat, unlike Rand, had no inherent moral connotations, in fact, it was mainly an extrapolation from your hero, Ricardo. As I've already explained:

Objectivism, conversely, is tautologically a pseudo-philosophy. What this means is that Rand, or her followers, mainly from extrapolations from her literature, attempt to construct a philosophic paradigm that is as pertinent to the philosophic field as Ron L. Hubbards' works. Really, what is the philosophical basis of Objectivism? A bunch of loosely associated ethical platitudes which are only unique insofar as they are an embarrassment for bourgeois ideologues, in how honest they are (encapsulating the ideology of the ruling classes). Objectivism encapsulates what the ruling classes are already predisposed to thinking, subconsciously, but rather than transforming ideology into knowledge, Objectivism makes contingent these ideological assumptions upon bizarre metaphysical narratives - making them impervious to challenge. The power of Marxism allows us to specifically evaluate the ideological substance of Objectivism, how it was wrought out, and a coherent explanation for its enduring popularity, but Objectivists can't bring themselves to muster up a criticism of Marxism that goes beyond empty moral assumptions and ethical platitudes like "collectivism" or a pretense to some kind of timeless truth. So in reality, there isn't even a dichotomy between Objectivism and Marxism, as while the latter was carefully forged and wrought out through the culmination of western thought, Objectiivsm simply makes Olympic leaps across western philosophic, scientific and political history only to arrive at the most juvenile filth.

Not only is it painfully fucking stupid to claim that Objectivism is "Marxism in reverse", there is not even any basis of comparison. I mean, you can work your way around with ANY of these narratives if you carefully over-step important details, which is why people love to find allegories with Marxism from Christianity to Fascism, it is a defense mechanism whereby the de-legitimize - because they have to. They realize Marxism represents an entirely new paradigm of thought untouched and incapable of being conquered by the poverty of bourgeois ideology, so they must find some basis of comparison that revokes it of all unique substance. As I claimed, only Marxists, and very few post-maxists will ever understand Marxism, the rest is ideological drivel that - not simply "misses" the essential experience of being a Marxist (for this is true universally - after all, who knows truly the essential experience of being a Fascist?) they simply cannot rationally approximate Marxism for what it is - not simply for what it claims to be - but patently, for what it is. It must constantly be refied and translated into the language of bourgeois obfuscation in order to be understood. The reality is that the project of Communism, and the point of Marxism HARDLY HAS ITS BASIS IN THE LOGIC OF COMPENSATION. Why is this? Because in Capital, Marx clearly shows that workers are hardly "uncompensated", workers are paid the exact value of their labor. The real basis of exploitation, IS NOT in workers being slighted, but by the process being one of exploitation - a concept, mind you, which remains a scientific one, not a moral one. No epistemological basis of comparison is to be found in Rand, however, for again, the entirety of her "philosophy" consists of confused moral and ethical platitudes already in the heads of bourgeois ideologues but so painfully stupid that they couldn't dream of actually admitting this is what they think. This is why she will always be an embarrassment for them.

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This group includes such heterogeneities as NBA starz, sweatshop slaves in China, oil rig workers at $1000/day, and pre-accident Niki Taylor at four contracts at 5 million each
Again, this is because IT IS SCIENTIFIC, it is inherently amoral. The practical implications, of course, are patently obvious: Yes some proletarians will never have any inclination to be a part of the movement of Communism, but this is clearly visible for the old parasitic bourgeoisie too: Many of the bourgeois had conformed and adapted to absolutism too and would not give way, in fact, during the English civil war, some of the big bourgeoisie was on the side of the Royalists, and why? Because the state had already adjusted itself to the growing capitalist accumulation centuries before. That doesn't mean shit as far as the actual class interests of the bourgeoisie went - and in conceiving the process of PRODUCTION, conceiving use-value must also take into account the effects this has in reproducing the conditions of production. Which means, the Jerseys, shoes, basketballs used by the NBA must also be conceived in terms of the process of accumulating profit in the entertainment industry as a whole. This is where our friend, Debord comes in. While NBA players may be "proletarians", they are not engaging in what Marx calls productive labor (while Oil rig workers might be doing this), because there is no way to actually quantify what "commodities" are wrought out by them. This holds true for all entertainers in general.

I know this is very hard for you to understand - but this dilemma here encapsulate the epistemological uniqueness of Marxism itself in opening up a new threshold of scientific inquiry. I'm sure theologians and astrologers tore their fucking hair out come Kepler and Galileo, but eppur si muove.

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as long as they stay the hell out of the philosophy department.
How very convenient for him in demanding this. My point was that Marx was IRREDUCIBLE to being a philosopher, not that Marxism has no philosophic substance. In fact, Marxism represents the culmination of German idealism in its consistent approximation with other domains in general, of course Marxism has philosophic explanations - but only the formalist philistines will conceive this in terms of regurgitating platitudes of "dialectical materialism' as a substitute for actual philosophic work. Marx's point was never that philosophy was dead, but that philosophers had divorced themselves from practice and in doing so - created self-closed loops that legitimize the existing conditions.

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because we have our own ‘paradigm, thankyou.
One that is not scientific, of course. Don't get me wrong, individual empirical claims, and "data" are all very well, but the background of presupposition from which you conceive their implications (i.e. for history itself), something which is sorely lacking in anthropology as far as directly produced articles goes, is still 100% ideological.

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That this can obviously be traced back to Marx is an ‘influence’, not a working paradigm. Ditto the issue as to whether those men in indigo are exploiting anyone.
Because it entails a specific, positive empirical claim. That is beyond the point: A scientific approximation of HISTORY or HISTORIC CHANGE is still lacking, and will always be lacking without the paradigm of Marxism.

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Marx gave the impoverished a sense of dignity and outrage by creating a counter-narrative of evolution in which they would abolish capitalism forever.
Again, a fucking straw man, which I had already decimated earlier. Marx never thought that this "evolution" was some passively observable inevitability, but something which was POSSIBLE and therefore "inevitable". The class war is, after all, inevitable, and the point was not that it was inevitable insofar as it was going to be wrought out from some kind of eternal process, but that capitalism could very well last 200,000 years, the difference being that the negation of the bourgeoisie is proletarian, and the negation of the proletariat is - classlessness and social-consciousnesses itself. This is even more true with the emerging categories like the precariat, demonstrating that now, long term wage labor relations are almost something of a privilege. But make no mistake, it was not Marx who made the impoverished "outraged". They had always been outraged, from the onset of capitalism, from Muntzer's rebellion to the very onset of modernity. Anarchism is ultimately proof of this - of the fact that class struggle was not "invented" by Marx.
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Originally Posted by Qbill Harris
But at least she understood that a totally naturalist account of human behavior was impossible—that in some way any system that describes human behavior must account for volition.
Then again, you repeat the same fucking fallacy - it has nothing to do with some crude reductionist account of human behavior being grounded in physiological processes, but the reality that all "volition" exists in approximation to the process of production. All choices are contingent upon existing conditions, which is why "human volition" is not going to explain blacks in the ghettos, it is not going to explain Chinese wage-slaves, and it is not going to explain various women being trafficked across the globe. Again, the point isn't just that it is "moral", but that it is not scientific - it is inevitably bound up with ethical platitudes that can claim no superiority to any other abstract moral framework.

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Not having the proper ‘class consciousness is ‘false consciousness’….as if this weren't real data.
Again, to repeat myself: It [Marxism] must constantly be refied and translated into the language of bourgeois obfuscation in order to be understood.

What you fail to FUCKING understand is that for Marx, "class struggle" is not synonymous with some kind of fucking ghost of history, it is - as he said - compromised of nothing more than men and women attempting to achieve their end. What that means is that class struggle IS NOT some abstract force, it is ABSOLUTELY reducible to the relationships between humans, constituting their relationships to the process of production, producing the foundations of everything in society. I already FUCKING explained this in a previous thread, however, months ago in my last encounter with you:

Clearly you're not concerned with human individual volition, but "human volition" in general, in other words, the ability for humans as societies to "choose". This infantile methodology has no regard whatsoever for "free will", as you're more than happy to attribute to human choices "cultural patterns" (an interesting wording, and by interesting I mean despicable). Very well, what are the choices of men in spite of? Marxism. You do not posit that humans have "volition" as such, but volition in spite of Marxist theory. Whether it's "cultural patterns" or space aliens compelling them you could care less, so long as humans don't conform to what Marxists claim they do. This is the crux of your hypocrisy: making a dichotomy between human volition and the historical materialist explanation for human behavior. This would require "human violation" to be self-sufficient unto itself, but no idiot would dare claim this seriously. Furthermore this is an ideological claim: what does it MEAN? If choices can't be subject to analysis and critical understanding, an explanation of why is necessary. If this explanation amounts to a pretense to the improbability of quantifying or qualifying something so vastly complex, then evidence for this improbable complexity is needed: what behaviors are simply beyond our understanding, and can solely be attributed to free choice? The example you provided, Islamic customs are rituals, is already demonstrated to not only be wrong, but completely contradicting your conclusions. Not to say that we can quantify all behavior yet, but all the behavior we can imagine as behavior, we can posit as either not being quantifiable, or up for critical analysis - we can. This gap between human behavior and the dogmas of us Marxists is a pathetic last retreat that is so impudent as to assume what is perceivable with common sense somehow escapes Marxists. Humans are "free" from critical comprehension by Marxist because of "other factors", so it goes, but these other factors (like culture or religion) owe their existence to what? The struggle for survival, for reproduction of those conditions of survival, and the relationships we have to the fundamental basis of our livelihood (how we live) is axiomatic. Surely this is common sense? The trouble comes when we have to accept the fact that yes, it is infinitely more complex than to be reducible to a few words, me typing on this computer telling you this is testament to that fact: but when complexity becomes a substitute for critical evaluation, and becomes a green light for pseudo-superstition and awe-inducing mystery, reason dies. The point is that this complexity is itself the complexity of our social being, it provides no open space for metaphysical spiritualism and other such filth.

The fact is that humans are constrained by a magnitude of possible choices, and this magnitude of choice is owed to their social being, to social relations. If human choice is up for critical conception, but not "all" of it, you again need to provide us an example - what is Marxism UNABLE to account for?

The question is, of course rhetorical. The point is that if Marxists haven't been able to account for social phenomena, and there are many examples, this has nothing to do with the impotence of Marxism but Marxists. Marxism provides us the means for understanding, it does not force us to utilize those means. It is very modest in its form: that the social, and history, is scientifically knowable. Whether the conclusions drawn by this or that Marxism are right or wrong is another matter, but this initial premise: that it is knowable, remains unchallenged.


What are the most bitter of opponents to the theoretical tradition of Marxism? What do they posit? That humans are "too complex" and other such cack, that humans cannot be subject to "whole science" because they possess "volition" or whatever you want or that some kind of mystical historic developments render a theory which might have been true once now invalid. For someone so keen on using religious analogies, this is akin to the Catholic church denouncing humanists for heresy, it is an insistence to ignorance. Now with regard to your point about whole science, this would otherwise be a rather innocent and banal propitiation - we don't know everything about human behavior, or its particularities, in order to subject them to whole science. But the fact that we can talk about this ignorance suggests that the possibility that we can is there. Furthermore, the implications drawn from this otherwise innocent assertion are undoubtedly nothing short of an insistence toward ignorance, a re-gurgitation of the same ideological drivel we should all be too familiar with by now - that this gap of mystery should be left untouched, or that it is somehow permanently, irrevocably constitutive of the existence of humanity. The point was that the scienticity of Marxism is whole with regard to the definite theoretical framework it concerns. Point being, the first instances of scientific astronomy (i.e. Kepler) and biology (Leuwenhoek or Swammerdem or whatever the fuck you want) posited the definite theoretical framework that, for example - with regard to the former, that astronomy could be understood desperately from astrology and so on. That was my point - and it is not I who devised it, it is present among even bourgeois qualifications for science like the Duhem-Quine thesis.

The idea that Marxism posits some kind of "force" which is a substitute for human "Free choice" is already a mistake, because Marxists do not recognize this dichotomy: Free choice is an abstraction, and humans do not make choices in a vacuum, out of their ass. Regarding the allegation that "false-consciousness" is just a cover up for the "unscientific" nature of class consciousness, what you fail to fucking understand yet is that false-consciousness IS NOT THE EXCEPTION, it is the RULE. There is nothing in Marxism which suggests that workers will spontaneously adopt class-consciousness: As Lenin noted, and as Marx and Engels knew, organizational direction is necessary, because workers will inevitably conjoin their interests with the petite-bourgeoisie in lacking any direction whatsoever. Class struggle IS inevitable, but class-consciousness IS NOT. What is organic and inevitable is what Lenin refers to as "trade-union consciousness". This constitutes acting AS a class, but not as a class FOR the class politically.

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I’m ‘objective’ and you aren’t”, etc. What’s missing are accurate predictions and testable hypotheses, which defines what science really is.
Again, we've been over this numerous times, and I have yet to get a rebuttal from you. You keep repeating the same FUCKING arguments, with absolutely no regard for the reality that you have argued this before, and I have adequately responded - logically, how an arguments works is that you RESPOND to my rebuttal, but you don't do this. You run in FUCKING circles and repeat the same arguments over, and over again. Again:

The fact of the matter is that no, this is not what was meant - in fact the CONTRARY is true - when I say that Marxism does not amount to hypotheses which have to be demonstrated as true, this only demonstrates the fluidity of Marxist theory. Marxism does not say "this is true" and we have to test this - FROM Marxism we can posit explanations for various phenomena and subject them to scientific criteria - but Marxism as a whole, the assertion that history amounts to the reproduction and production of living beings, the designation of social processes to science itself is not a hypothesis, but a negation of the last domain of spirituality and reactionary metaphysics, the logical conclusion of BOURGEOIS science, the spirit of the enlightenment that bourgeois ideology cannot sustain. That was my point with regard to biology - Darwin did not have to prove that the study of animals, or their various changes - the act of subjecting natural history to scientific qualifications was "true" or "false". The point being that the discoveries wrought out were a result of definite implicit theoretical qualifications set forth which simply could not be questioned. Think mathematics - how does one "prove" mathematics? You cannot. The question, inevitably leads us to whether or not we can be sure that such paradigms actually correspond to reality - but what this ignores is that they are precisely wrought out from attempting to understand reality, they cannot be false because knowing that reality is knowable is an axiom.

All "Accurate predictions" and "testable hypothesis" rely on a presupposed theoretical substrate of action. Astronomy was not "proved", it was a PRACTICAL truth, i.e. the truth of astronomy was wrought out by the practice of observing planets, actually ENGAGING in it. There is nothing inherent to it which is going to be "falsified" vis a vis theological doctrine which claims that telescopes are of the devil, or astrology, but it none the less remained an independent scientific field. This field, when applied to history, to the social dimension of reality, can only be wrought out by Marxism - because marxism is not burdened with reproducing EXISTING CONDITIONS OF PRODUCTION. Bourgeois ideologues like Krolia, conversely, are, which is why his attacks, like yours, are entirely built upon straw men. Marxism certainly can make accurate predictions, but not without presupposing Marxism, and this is hardly unique as far as scientific inquiry goes. But you aren't asking this. You are asking for accurate qualifications to science which is going to grant Marxism the same LEGITIMACY that bourgeois ideology does, i.e. ones that will "justify" Marxism HOLISTICALLY. But this cannot be done unless we presuppose the basic axiom that humans can be scientifically evaluated, which leads us to numerous other questions. All critiques of Marxism, one way or another, presuppose a holistic designation of history and the social field WITHOUT MAKING IT SYSTEMATICALLY KNOWABLE. That, ultimately, is the point. Science therefore has little to do with "accurate predictions" as it does the systematic process of making the conceivable knowable, of course it might entail predictions, but again, the "holistic" nature of a scientific designation cannot make any singular "prediction". Like, what predictions were not "accurate" vis a vis Marxists? Only philistines thought there would be a spontaneous proletarian revolution in the west- this failure is not owed to "history", but to the INCOMPETENCE and FAILURE of the leaders of the proletarian movements in those respective countries. Revolution was very, very possible though - it simply failed to win. How does this constitute an "inaccurate" prediction?

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presupposes not only that the contradictions that synthesize are real, but also that the teleology is understandably real, as well
So claim the formalists, but in any case, as it was with Hegel, dialectical materialism is first and foremost not a metaphysical doctrine - again, this was Engels getting carried away, not Marx. Secondly, dialectical materialism, which pertains to the domain of history as a new form of logic, is a RETROSPECTIVE doctrine, it is not concerned with making predictions, but what made it unique was the ability to conceive antagonisms present in capitalist society. The "contradictions" are obviously real, because they led to change - how this change occurred, must fundamentally rest upon contradictions, if you want to re-formulate this using mental gymnastics, the fundamental point remains. Contradiction is therefore important ONLY in pertinence to CHANGE, and it is change which makes this real. There is nothing "teological" about either dialectical materialism or Hegel's method, this again is the error of philistinism, for the logic of dialectics, is that ONLY AFTER something happens does it become inevitable (but that multiple outcomes are possible). This is rather consistent with the muddled logic of quantum physics today.

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conflicts between humans occur in many dimensions, not just one. Therefore, the opening remarks of the Manifesto are patently false. Or as Kola taunted, ‘Go ask the Winged Hussars if the struggle against the Islamic hoards wasn’t real”.
Yes, but not conflicts that are constitute of historic (social) changes. The hussars fighting against the Islamic hordes, owed their existence and their propensity to fight to CLASS considerations, i.e. wars throughout history could not have happened without the pre-existing substrate of a mode of production whose productive demands conflict with those of another social formation. The point isn't that the conflict is real - for, as it happens, World war one was also a very real conflict, but measuring how this constitutes an ANTAGONISM, is not measured in the propensity of how impassioned, or bloody a conflict is, but its implications in the sphere of production. Christendom and the Islamic world did not constitute an antagonism, for this is a vague and broad generalization, an abstraction, which ignores critically the foundations of both Chirstendom and the islamic world. What made the Hussars hussars? What made the Islamic hordes, Islamic hordes? Are they sufficient unto-themselves? Where did they come from? What SUSTAINS them? ETC. - you could make the error of claiming that productive foundations are just as much sustained by wars, but war does not exist for-itself, while the process of production does. Wars, being expressive of political imperatives, ultimately reducible to relations to production. This is why class struggle constitutes true historic conflict, while fighting over the football game does not, because class struggle constitutes historic change, complete change of the productive foundations of life, while fights over the football game cannot.

That is also not to say that none of these conflicts are involved in historical processes, but that they do not take the role of primacy in them. What that means is that had the Muslims taken over Europe, the changes of significance would not be the conversion of European Muslims, but the integration of European production into the wider sphere, i.e. privileges among certain nobles might remain, but the newly emerging European feudal society would have become subordinate to an alter-historical trajectory path and mode of production. That's why This is why many former nobles and aristocrats were supporting the Muslims during their campaign against Charles Martel, because the latter constituted a new historic social formation, while the former would have not. Likewise, for the Polish Hussars, fighting against the "invading Muslim hordes" was not sufficient unto itself as far as a scientific explanation for it goes, because as it concerns the Ottoman conquests of southern Europe, the Ottomans were engaging in a process of transforming production to conform to the wider Ottoman totality of production - while certain social formations would remain intact, subjects would be subject to heavy taxes, political and administrative constrains on the power of individual nobles and landowners, ETC. - The problem couldn't have been JUST a religious one, becasue again 1) Collaboration by certain social elements with the Muslims is noted in European history, and 2) The ottomans generally did not engage in mas conversions, and allowed subjects to retain their religious beliefs.

All of these things are scientifically explicable by merit of the social processes which sustained them, while playing these games of trying to form a "reversal" for an explanation, again, enters the domain of superstition. If production does not exist for itself, if "ideas' sustain human history and existence, then there must be some kind of god, and ideas must somehow derive from some unknowable source. But we can easily explain where productive foundations derive - they derive from the necessity of reproduction the survival of communities and societies.

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an unsupported notion of a classless, communal society, somewhere in the future.
Because Marxists recognize that the basis of class society is not in magic, "nature" or divine will, we recognize that a proletarian revolution would necessary destroy the observable foundations of class and markets. Apart from this, no real further explanations as far as what this society would appear as are given, and cannot be given - Marx never dared to, because he knew very well that it would be nothing more than extrapolations of present imaginative thought. But dialectics is not some kind of crotchet for the process of Communism - Communism does not need some kind of external metaphysical doctrine to sustain it, for Communism is possible in the here and the now, derived from antagonisms observable and knowable in today's capitalism. the point is that in the process of being able to critically OPPOSE capitalism, and our present productive relations, one can think outside all of the drivel which exists SOLELY because it sustains it. I.e. scientific racism would have not existed had colonialism came into fruition, but people will still accuse Marxists of "perverting" the sciences for rejecting it.

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So does this ‘epistemology’ cohere? Well, obviously not. As the distractions of utopianism are obvious, we’re far better off without it. So here, the similarity with Rand's "Capitalism, the unknown ideal" is strikingly obvious.
Except the epistemology IS NOT reducible to "dialectical materialism", this is far from the point. As far as capitalism being an "unknown ideal", this is patently false - capitalism is a reality, and Communism, a process, is hardly an "ideal". Communism is that which binds various common individual struggles together, sufficient to themselves, by referencing the point of significance in relations of private property.
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Originally Posted by will franklin View Post
So again, to belabor the point a bit: Marxists are free to set up their own 'university in which, like Humpty-Dumpty, words means precisely what Marxists want them to mean at the time that they use them.
What this lazy method of criticism fails upon, is the reality that words are not conceived by Marxists arbitrarily. That is to say, while the Marxist notion of science might not hold up to philistine positivist scrutiny, there is a basis of consistency as far as what is conceived as 'science', and if this offends your sensitivities, this is hardly our problem. The idea that our employment of the word "science" exists solely to spicen up, or legitimize our ideas is absolutely fucking nonsensical, because contrary to our postmodern epoch, the ideology of "scientism" hardly had taken root in the 19th century in the sense that the mere usage of the term would radiate an aura of legitimacy: Indeed, science in the 19th century was not an ideological cult in the manner that it is today (i.e. "Science disagrees with you", "Is science and faith compatible?" ETC.), so it follows that no matter how many individual Marxists in the 21st century abuse the word in order to bestow upon themselves a seal of approval by the state apparatus, the scientiifc basis of Marxism remains impervious

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Going beyond Kola, my point is to inquire what, exactly does a marxist mean by 'science'? Standard bourgeois-positivist usage means 'quantifiable', 'offering predictive value', and 'subject-independent'--or 'objective'. Now since its obvious that marxist science is none of the above
When Marxists speak of science, they do so IN JUXTAPOSITION to ideology. Frankly, this notion of science as solely a matter of quantifiability is not a matter of preference: It has been time and time again shown to be demonstratively inconsistent with the history of scientific discovery, and by the way - this has been demonstrated thoroughly by philosophers of science who belong to the ANALYTIC school, as I'm sure you're now well acquainted with (via wikipedia, obviously) as of the previous thread. Science can neither solely refer to the reality of predictive value or solely quantifiable - as for 'objective', this is again muddied and dependent on the amount of known, or considered variables. But as I already demonstrated, Marxism DOES implicitly have a means of generating hypotheses with predictive value, the problem of course stems from the fact that we cannot "prove" this, outside of practice, vis a vis bourgeois ideology ANYMORE than Renaissance astronomers could "prove", with offering predictive value, the validity or truth of their methods over theological cosmology. If one divorces themselves from the framework of practicality and practice, then what really does truth become? Renaissance astronomers, therefore, had to ignore as best as they could the incompatibility of their science with theologians, because they were doing something which, on its own terms, was a matter of practice alone. This was true for natural sciences as a whole, but not for social sciences, where any and all conceptions of the social were subordinate to their malleability within the productive capacity of capitalist relations - humans are only "malleable" insofar as capitalism can make them, hence the fetishization of "culture" or "environments", malleable to the demands of capital.

Again, bourgeois-positivist epistemology has been demonstrated time and time again to be nothing more than cover for the sustenance of ideological presumptions vis a vis the social, hence, positiivsts will often times find their "faith" compatible with "science" because it is impossible for science to concern itself for such matters. But this grey area, this sacred cow, exists and is designated by scientists anyway - it is simply conceived as off-limits by scientific methodology. To further elaborate on the predictive value of Marxism, this has been time and time again shown in all instances of class struggle led by Marxists, and the reality that the programmic, strategic and tactical steps taken by them, wherever in the world, have been successfully consistent with their conception of social considerations. Conversely, the success of ISIS or Nazis is contingent upon touting conditional class-based rhetoric under the guise of some kind of cosmetic idiosyncrasy, and the fact that they are able to evolve into mass-movements is contingent upon the former, not the latter. Even I was surprised to see that, ISIS pamphlets intercepted by the US state department did not focus heavily on abstract religious questions, but the direct conditions of the Saudi impoverished population and the political oppression they fall victim too.

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marxoid daffynitions have absolutely no chance of altering standard bourgeois-positivist usage.
It is all contingent upon levels of class struggle. Bourgeois-positivist usage of the term would have been controversial during the cold war, certainly not impervious to attack and certainly not expressive of religious-like devotion previously. But you're right, we don't have any illusions that Marxist ideas are going to have any effect whatsoever on ruling ideology, because we Marxists know that all of these are contingent upon social considerations: Which has been proven time, and time again to be correct without exception. Hence, Communists do not "spread ideas", hence, "class consciousness" is not contingent upon burdening workers with studying Marxist "dogma", it comes to them as naturally as anything in the right conditions. Conversely, all other "ideologies", or "dogmas", only guise themselves on abstract notions of "race" or "ummah", or even "freedom" precisely because class realities cannot be openly spoken for. This is the point of Marxism as employing a scientific epistemology vis a vis the social field - class antagonism IS constitutive of the social field, not abstract ideas, and not "race". To play the agnostic here a la Weber is unscientific insofar as it designates an alternative explanation, it grounds it in some kind of trans-historic PRINCIPLE it can reduce it too.

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against the existentialists who believe that free-will is unconditional.
If "free will" is conditional, then there is nothing free about it. Or, in pertinence to this discussion, to prattle of the underestimation of "volition" as being constitutive of Marxism is simply a pathetic last resort and nothing more - what magnitude of choices do Marxists understimate? The point is not that humans do not have the capacity to make choices that are external from what is necessary from productive relations, the point is that if these choices are not constitutive of the social field, they take on an ahistorical character - the only real expression of "free choice", is therefore what is akin to mental disorder, but even this is conceivable in terms of the factors which lead to it. How, oh how can someone criticize Marxism on grounds of unscienticity, while at the same time prattle of "free choice" or human volition as something we should actually take seriously? This is ultimately the point we have been making all along - it is not that we Marxists "impose" some kind of framework that is uncorroborated, it is that this framework is CONSIDERED with or without us - all we are doing is making it knowable scientifically, up for critical evaluation which is precisely why there is not a single positive "dogma" that Marxists must adhere to - if, for example, it turns out we Marxists were wrong about the character of the Roman class struggle, the method - the form remains consistent: One would run to an alternative class-based explanation, not "nature" or "free will".

This holds true for any scientific paradigm. If scientists discover that in their positive content, they were wrong about X species existing at Y time, or being wrong about how related it is to another species (which occurs regularly), within scientific discourse it does not stand to reason to assume that the theory of evolution is itself to blame, for the theory of evolution is the ONLY scientific approach to natural history - how could it be otherwise? The alternatives, of course, are either ideological or contingent upon ideology. Darwin's theory, however, was not wrought out from "mere" data (that could have existed, and did exist for hundreds of years) but the approximation and collection of data in subordination to a paradigm which, already implicit - contains the basis for forming implicit value judgements about quantifiable data. Darwin's method bares the most epistemological similarity to that of Marxism. This much has been pointed out by various Marxists.

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Yes, by definition as to what (bourgeois-positivist science means.
Well, is this not a banality, then? Of course humans cannot be subject to "whole science" by the standards of a scientific discourse which cannot shake off the ideological necessity of reproducing the social relations to production which sustain it both materially and psychologically. Subjecting humans to "whole science" would mean that humans themselves can become malleable historically, but this cannot be for a mode of production whose existence is contingent upon a lack of consciousness of it. Of course, we know that the prospect of "changing" humans is very real within capitalism, but not a historic (spiritual) change - this is precisely why vulgar reductionist theories about humans, vulgar neuroscience, biological determinism, will NEVER stand on two feet, barbecue they will never answer the basic ontological question of: Can one fully assume the exact biological mechanisms which determine their existence, their choices and their being? If one is 100% aware of the hard-wired processes which define their existence, what happens? Neuroscientists and cognitivists have tried desperately to answer such questions with ideas ranging from "Humans can never be fully conscious of these" (obviously wrong by its own merits) to new age spirituality and Buddhism as supplements. What is obviously lacking is a scientific evaluation of the historical, and this is why we can contrast the disparity vis a vis "vulgar" Marxists and "vulgar" biodeterminists:

A biological determinist will write papers, books and conduct studies from the axiomatic standpoint that he is, while reducible to mechanical processes, a free individual engaging in the free and open use of reason. This is an inconsistency. A Marxist who, conversely, adheres to even the most crude economic determinism can fully assume the fact that they embody the will of the proletariat, that they are reducible to historic processes and there will be no disparity between sustaining his appearance, and his ideas.

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just as it's possible to be half-pregnant
What do you mean?

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Said 'fluidity' is the capacity to weasel out of doing real scie

Marxoids can subject 'them' to 'scientific criteria' based upon what marxists consider to be science. This is as interesting as saying astrology has set, 'criteria;, too.

What said 'social processes' are is indeed a matter of hypotheses.
We all know Popper's criticism. However, contrary to relying on "vague" ideas to generate an infinite amount of ad-hoc responses, you still miss the point entirely. The fact that you put emphasis on individual positive claims (which by in part, ,mostly stand up to all evidence to this day), is solely because you have no means of actually attributing use-value judgements upon Marxism, of conceiving its basis of legitimacy, ETC. without your already bourgeois epistemology. What this means is that you don't see Marxism for what it is, you see it as a "set" of ideas that has yet to enter into the domain of scienticity by merit of not abiding by proper qualifications, but again, this logic stands contrary to the logic of scientific discovery: The reality that you have no practical necessity for Marxism is the only reason why it does not stand to scrutiny vis a vis your notion of "science", but we Marxist don't have the responsibility of PROVING Marxism to you, to bourgeois ideologues, and that is the entire point all-together: Bourgeois scientists proved the validity of their work ON THEIR OWN TERMS, and this leads us to the final conclusion: What makes science, scientific? What "evidence" is there, that confirms that science is "true"? This basic epistemological question has sent bourgeois ideologues in circles since the dawn of bourgeois philosophy, but we Marxists have already answered it: PRACTICE. To claim that Marxism "could" be practical to bourgeois scientists "if only it were true/scientific" assumes that we live in a society that does not have to subordinate itself to ideological considerations vis a vis the social to reproduce itself, that there are no present antagonisms in capitalist society and that we're all on the same level insofar as we conceive capitalism as an irrelevant, unchanging background. It is not a coincidence that Marxism remained popular ONLY insofar as the proletariat had the upper hand in the class struggle, and it is not a surprise that following their defeat - even Marxists flocked to the enemy in huge numbers.

that isn't to say, of course, that the whole of natural science is "not true" because it is bourgeois, for capitalism opens up the space to freely manipulate and conceive natural science at will - in fact, it demands this, while continually revolutionizing the means of production. But social relations, and class antagonism are not malleable in capitalism, and the grand majority of the population must have an imaginary relationship to their real conditions of existence (ideology) in order to remain a part of capitalism. Take a small, trivial example: Over half of the American population sees themselves as future business owners while only 7% of the population effectively owns a business. The point is not that scientists are "biased", the point is that they cannot think outside the constrains of ruling ideology - and why would they? Finally, regarding what is constitutive of "social processes", this is absolutely no a hypothesis because upon observation, the social field clearly exists. It is not a point of controversy. But tell me, HOW ELSE could social processes be conceived, if not relations to the foundations of the production of all of life's goods and basis of subsistence? You fall into the same dilemma that Popper does: You cannot offer an explanation, for this would be unfalsifiable, and therefore unscientific. You can therefore play the game of the agnostic and hold the most anti-scientific ideas, but tacitly acknowledge - as Popper did with his "Principle of rationality", which he openly admitted was unscientific - but none the less claimed was 'useful'. You see how this game works, now.

Finally, astrology may have a set "criteria", but there is a background of non-knowability that this criteria is contingent upon, which is knowable with bourgeois natural science and astronomy. Again, you need to get your epistemology straight: Why end with astrology? Why not any religion, why not Scientology's methods or whatever? Of course everything has qualifications for "truth", the point is: how reliant upon unknown knowns is this?

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By its results. This includes offering a capacity to predict by 'calculation'.
Prove to me that these results are true. Prove it! By qualifications for proving truth I acknowledge, I am an ancient Greek mystic. Why should I care about these results? Why should I conceive them as meaningful? The only possible answer is practice. Practice makes them true and makes them meaningful. You cannot "prove" mathematics, you can only prove things that are contingent upon the axiomatic presumption that it is practically possible, or even desirable, to systematically quantify things. Without this presupposition, mathematics is meaningless, and you can't calculate SHIT in a way that can "prove" mathematics, because again: You're already presupposing qualifications for proof and calculation contingent upon Mathematics!

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Dialectics is such a 'new form' of logic that only Marxoids know how to use it. By 'retrospective; i suppose you mean to indicate 'no predictive value'.
Well, let's be absolutely clear: you cannot "predict" something you are a part of. So Marxists correctly approximate present processes as dialectical, i.e. present class antagonisms, by conceiving processes retrospectively. Dialectical materialism is not going to allow you to "predict" what Communism will look like, because as materialists we recognize that a new constitute material reality would be only imaginable as a re-organization of abstractions inherent to our society. THIS is the ideological aspect of Communism: It relies on the unknowable abyss of the future, but the reason it is "new" and impervious to bourgeois ideologues is because there is no way for them to make this unknown future knowable in thought. To not confuse you, when religious people try to "fill in gaps", it is not that these gaps cannot be knowable, it is that THEY ARE NOT knowable - i.e. that one day, we know we can probably answer such questions (and in consideration of the contingencies that sustain religion itself, and why people are drawn to this in the first place) eventually, and the implicit means by which we could are already present (natural science). Conversely, there would be no way for anyone to predict the details of a social formation following capitalism.

But why is it a point of controversy that "only Marxists" can employ or engage in such a logic? The point of a NEW logic is that, we don't have to juxtapose it with formal logic to CONVERT others to our side - there can't be an argument here. The truth of dialectical materialism is a practical truth: The fact that WE CAN conceive the world in this way constitutes itself a new logic - we have no interest in convincing philistines to use it too, however. Dialectical logic, which Hegel conceived as presupposing formal logic (i.e. subordinating the laws of formal logic to it already) as far as convincing formal logicians would be just as useful as convincing meideval theologians of the merits of natural science. Scientists didn't, and don't have an interest in doing this, except of course when on trial for heresy. The dialectic IS NOT a pretense to a positive empirical claim. Conceiving it as such is rather juvenile, "philosophically" speaking. Notice how no one was so stupid to make this the substantive point of criticism against Marx and Engels in teh 19th century, because such epistemological matters were on a much higher level of discussion, going all the way to Lenin's empirio-criticism. What a dumbing-down of philosophic standards that today, we have philistines attacking the dialectic because "ye cant prove it with laboratory equipment or numbers lul". Dialectics presupposes the reality of qualitative change. Formal logicians cannot conceive the idea of one thing changing into another. This reality puzzled, and continues to puzzle Quantum Physics in desperately trying to wrap their head around its reflection in the natural field.

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No, antagonisms were understood as existing within a society at least as far back as the ancient Greek politician, Solon. What Marxism is supposed to do is offer a solution.
Qbill, how can you be this dull? Really, "antagonisms" are now going to be conceived as some abstract, vague appreciation of the reality that there is imbalance in society? This is not what is meant by antagonisms for Marxists. Moreover, so much for your appreciation of "science" that you're trying to spin the idea that "humanity has got problems for so long, marxism was suposed 2 solve dem lul guess not". Social antagonisms were never properly understood before Marxism, even if their effects vis a vis appearances might have been "respected". Then again, we're speaking to someone who thinks capitalist accumulation existed 50,000 B.C.

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The military science behind the formation of the hussars was to form a unit that was capable of slaughtering turko-islamic armies because Poles want to be Polish and Catholic.
And this military science will never bring itself to be able to ask the question of: Why oh why would Poles want to be "Polish and Catholic"? What did it mean for Poles really to be Polish and Catholic? Were these vague abstractions enough to send thousands to their deaths? The answer that you'll give us is: "Well, humans don't like to be bossed around/ they like to cling to their identities, *shrugs*, it's nature, man".

So you're starting to see my basic point: Only Marxism can scientifically answer such questions, for bourgeois ideologues can only ascribe complex phenomena abstract trans-historic, metaphysical ideas which have no basis in science whatsoever. The "scientific" basis for such a claim would be "Throughout history, people like 2 fight for der identities" which is basically meaningless. You conveninetly dodge the response which actually followed:

Yes, but not conflicts that are constitute of historic (social) changes. The hussars fighting against the Islamic hordes, owed their existence and their propensity to fight to CLASS considerations, i.e. wars throughout history could not have happened without the pre-existing substrate of a mode of production whose productive demands conflict with those of another social formation. The point isn't that the conflict is real - for, as it happens, World war one was also a very real conflict, but measuring how this constitutes an ANTAGONISM, is not measured in the propensity of how impassioned, or bloody a conflict is, but its implications in the sphere of production. Christendom and the Islamic world did not constitute an antagonism, for this is a vague and broad generalization, an abstraction, which ignores critically the foundations of both Chirstendom and the islamic world. What made the Hussars hussars? What made the Islamic hordes, Islamic hordes? Are they sufficient unto-themselves? Where did they come from? What SUSTAINS them? ETC. - you could make the error of claiming that productive foundations are just as much sustained by wars, but war does not exist for-itself, while the process of production does. Wars, being expressive of political imperatives, ultimately reducible to relations to production. This is why class struggle constitutes true historic conflict, while fighting over the football game does not, because class struggle constitutes historic change, complete change of the productive foundations of life, while fights over the football game cannot.

That is also not to say that none of these conflicts are involved in historical processes, but that they do not take the role of primacy in them. What that means is that had the Muslims taken over Europe, the changes of significance would not be the conversion of European Muslims, but the integration of European production into the wider sphere, i.e. privileges among certain nobles might remain, but the newly emerging European feudal society would have become subordinate to an alter-historical trajectory path and mode of production. That's why This is why many former nobles and aristocrats were supporting the Muslims during their campaign against Charles Martel, because the latter constituted a new historic social formation, while the former would have not. Likewise, for the Polish Hussars, fighting against the "invading Muslim hordes" was not sufficient unto itself as far as a scientific explanation for it goes, because as it concerns the Ottoman conquests of southern Europe, the Ottomans were engaging in a process of transforming production to conform to the wider Ottoman totality of production - while certain social formations would remain intact, subjects would be subject to heavy taxes, political and administrative constrains on the power of individual nobles and landowners, ETC. - The problem couldn't have been JUST a religious one, becasue again 1) Collaboration by certain social elements with the Muslims is noted in European history, and 2) The ottomans generally did not engage in mas conversions, and allowed subjects to retain their religious beliefs.


Saying "Poles wanted to remain Polish and Catholic" ignores the significance of Catholicism, what sustained it in Poland, and finally, what factors led to the constitution and reproduction of the Polish nation.

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Bold face aside, what do marxoids mean by 'epistemology if not DM?
Have you actually read my posts? Dialectical materialism is not an epistemology, it is a kind of logic. Dialectical materialism might be part of a wider epistemology, but epistemology simply refers to how Marxists qualify knowledge. And it is, as shown, not a matter of arbitrarily believing things because they conform to a dogma (which, just like the polish Hussars we might guess, exists for its own sake in your mind).
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Originally Posted by will franklin View Post
People have justifiably revolted against exploitative circumstances for at least the last 3000 years. To a great extent, we write history both by the success of revolts and their failures.

We also observe that people organize themselves by nationality in order to fight an invader; to a great extent, this common bonding, when successful, results in the formation of a national ideology.
Again, rather than providing a critical insight into the casual basis of nations, or what sustains national ideology, you assume these ideologically and instead give us a basic tautological point: Do people organize themselves "by nationality" in order to fight an invader? Do people "revolt" against what can be deemed as exploitative circumstances? Yes, but this gives us very little insight as to what constitutes their actual basis of existence. You make it as though "nationality" constitutes an essentially random conglomeration of national categories and then - when push comes to shove, "for some reason" people organize themselves by nationality. But this is not the case, the basis of all nationalities, and effectively even the most elementary understanding of the formation of nationhood leads one to the conclusion that these are wrought out from the association of individuals in the form of the constitution of a social order and definite existing relations to production. Of course the productive needs, or the prerogatives of each according ruling class are going to come into conflict with societies of a different social formation, of course societies with their own historic trajectory paths will resist subordination to subordination to wider social totalities which conflict with the interests of their ruling classes. This has been true for the history of ALL conflicts on national lines, from ancient Greece to the various wars in East Asia. There is absolutely nothing about this which undermines the reality that class conflict is the basis of history, and that social antagonism alone is constitutive of the social field - that is because there is no dichotomy between the foundations of a society's reproduction and the mechanisms which - yes - effectively reproduce it. It is not a question of "how much" class is relevant in juxtaposition to nationality, because nationality has no basis of existence that is outside of the social field. What nation, mind you, formed arbitrarily from a random conglomeration of individuals who thought they had common essential characteristics that was divorced from class? Of course, you might try and give us crude reductionist, racist explanations, but this simply contradicts historical facts.

You see, you construct what is basically an abstraction, PRECISELY as I had demonstrated - "People tend to organize themselves alongside their nationality and fight an invader". That might work as far as a hollywood archetype, but as far as a critical explanation for the basis of historical development, it is a meaningless and vague abstraction. Why do people "tend to do this" in various circumstances and what you incessantly fail to correctly understand is that this "abstraction" has no magical basis of independent existence. People in different historic epochs fight off invaders for reasons that are explicable only by the logic of their according societies and conditions, there is no force called "Organizing along nationality and fighting invaders" which utilizes men and women to fulfill itself, the basis of this "tendency" can be wrought out scientifically. For precisely that reason, I suspect you are already aware that such a stupid abstraction couldn't tell us anything, not even from a bourgeois standpoint, about the Polish-Ottoman wars that would make them unique in juxtaposition to the Greco-Persian wars. Likewise, regarding "people justifiably revolting against exploitative circumstances", you again mistaken this "tendency" with some kind of metaphysical historic force, a ABSTRACTION. The reality is that people do not do this for no reason, they do this for reasons very basic and constitutive of their respective social totalities. This is why you must use abstractions - nowhere in history was the character of a revolt self-consciously conceived in terms of exploitation, in fact the only way anyone could conceive it as such is by projecting bland philistine abstractions. "Well, Roman slaves were technically exploited, well, farm laborers in China were technically exploited" and so on. This fails in conceiving the logic of each event by its own terms and by its own merit.

But even more pathetic is the reality is that this abstraction hardly even applies to the constitution of the Polish nation in the 17th century. The "common bonding" formed when fighting off an invader that you're implying is absolutely unique to modernity and the nation-state, I mean - don't get me wrong, I am sure the ancient Greeks were very proud to fight off the Persians, but being an entirely different context with an entirely different basis, it is not the same. So ardently you attempt to discredit Marxism on grounds of its lack of scienticity, and yet, we see clearly EXACTLY why ONLY Marxism can be scientific vis a vis history: All you can do is construct essential abstractions, a trans-historic "human nature", tendencies that are common to all societies, and see how in each and every society there is a general conformation to it. This is not scientific, this is PURELY ideological, for it is contingent upon the same mystical approximation of capitalist society - only projected onto previous historic epochs.

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Josef Polaki, small landowner near Krakow, in 1638, sent his son to join the Winged Hussars to kill Turks. These foreigners, he reasoned, would be far more oppressive than the local parasites in Krakow that, at least, spoke his language and worshipped the same god.
This is not even a good example. I mean, there are plenty of good possible examples you could use to convey this "point", but this is not even a particularly good one. Even practically, from an economic, utilitarian standpoint - no, a small landowner would absolutely not benefit from the Ottoman conquest of Poland, for - as it was in the Balkans in general, the Ottomans would take on a parasitic, role that would burden native landowners with heavy taxes, obligations, and would obfuscate relations of power, in addition to hindering and retarding social development. You could argue that a mere "conversion" would settle all of this, but again - class does not express itself in terms of "cold, calculating" economic considerations, but specific relations to production. It then follows that conversion to Islam would constitute acceptance of this new social totality (and this would be AFTER conquest, mind you!). The Ottomans were not capable of engaging in mass social transformations, instead the social formations which existed in the European countries they occupied were merely subordinate to the wider Ottoman totality, and this is precisely why "nationalism" would later become possible in the balkans. But let us grant you this point, for you would not have to use the example of a small landowner, you could - presumably, use a serf - who we could imagine wouldn't have much to lose. You could have even pointed to how the European peasantry in general was rather "autonomous" in its religiosity and mass participation in crusades, anti-semitism, etc. What you fail to understand is that they were none the less still a part of feudal society, contra to being some kind of precarious social body like newly captured Roman slaves, they were subsumed into it (and most of the great peasant revolts occurred in periods where social antagonisms heightened as a result of growing capitalist accumulation, i.e. "late feudalism"). But even if they were this absolutely antagonistic social body, one asks the basic question: Why was this small landowner a Catholic and a Pole, rather than something else? Is this due to any kind of essential physiological characteristics, as some philistines would have us think, or is it owed to the reality that Catholicism and Polishness are absolutely contingent upon an imaginary relationship to the real foundations of life and production? It is moreover an especially stupid point when one asks the basic question: How would an ignorant, illiterate peasant know rationally know the practical historic effects of an Ottoman invasion? Their source of information, and of life in general, did not extend beyond their land and what ruling ideology was propagating - the idea that class interests amount to some magical ability to have historically predictive power is painfully stupid.

The reality is very simple: It does not stand to reason that workers fought and died in European trenches in the early 20th century because "nationalism", for nationalism existed for very observable and identifiable reasons. That classes otherwise antagonistic to the ruling classes would join holistically in conflicts against external forces, is absolutely meaningless as far as demonstrating the point that 'religion and nationality take primacy over class considerations', because the basis of the Polish resistance to the Ottomans went much deeper than "national bonding" or "religion" - one cannot mistake an appearance for its actual function. What is so important about a shared language, and a shared religion that it assumes ones allegiance? Why does this inspire devotion? What does this mean? Again, you will give us more anti-scientific platitudes about how "well, dis how humans r in general, tis the cosmic law" and so on. The reality is that there is more to imposing foreign languages or customs than these themselves - they have amply considerable social considerations. For that reason, certain social elements in Europe were known to collaborate with invading Muslim forces, and for that reason, Orthodox Christians would sometimes take the side of the Ottoman Muslims against their otherwise more related European and "Christian" brothers.

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That they normally involve conflict between economic classes is rather obvious.
If we play this stupid Weberian game, EVERYTHING "involves" conflict between economic classes. We Marxists are not so modest. The point is that civil wars are entirely OWED to conflicts between economic classes, all other explanations are contingent upon presumptions that are not even translated into scientifically approachable languages, even the ones that play stupid agnostic games a la Popper. Again, class antagonism is absolutely constitutive of the social field, it is not a "secondary" side effect as the philistine toadies of capital would have us believe, conveniently because the "apparent" effects of class struggle are visible and openly acknowledged within the discourse of capitalism precisely because they can be "rationally" conceived by the capitalist (or the state) as far as finding an explanation for their origin and weighing in the trade offs of appeasing the angry masses for production. How can civil war be anything but an expression of class conflict? It's like saying the Southerners revolted because of "state's rights". I'm sure many sorry bastards went into fighting thinking it was for liberty or state's rights, but if not for its contingency upon the interests of the planter class, there would be no way for this language to be pertinent or meaningful to anyone's lives. I am sure the Planter class was not entirely composed of self-conscious cynics either, fighting on consciously for reasons that are divorced from the reality of them (ideology). You could try to argue that this then shows that the Planter class was subordinate to ideological considerations too, abstractions as "freedom", but again - why? Where did such abstractions come from? People's heads? The "national" identity, which put people into association for un-approachable reasons?

The error of philistines is assuming that historic circumstance, and peoples' relation to them are entirely different categories. Hence people "adapt" to situations, hence things form "because" of its convenience, completely ignoring that people themselves constitute their historic circumstances (but not at will, of course).

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“So why can’t this ‘marxism’, which calls itself a ‘science’, predict the outcome of our struggle against the fascists? In light of the fact that they’ve got superior weapons, that sure would be nice to know”.
I mean, what a stupid question! The reason Marxists cannot ever predict the "outcome" of ANY struggle they engage in is because the fact that they are engaging in struggle in the first place is testament to their acknowledgement that its outcome is contingent upon the propensity of their engagement in it. Otherwise, why even fucking fight in the first place? This is truly the epitome of ridiculousness, Qbill - how COULD Marxists predict the outcome of the struggle, even if you play the devil's advocate here and accept that our predictive power vis a vis the social field is legitimate. It is a pathetic, inherently FALSE question in the first place which owes itself to nothing more than the incessant desire to de-legitimize Marxism in every which way, or at least, try to hold Marxism to inherently unscientific standards for qualifications to "science" (i.e. "Derr! marxists arent gods, i aint gotta listen to them). The basic error you commit, Qbill, is that you think we're trying to recruit you. No one cares about whether you practically are attracted to Marxism, no one can "prove" it to you vis a vis bourgeois ideology in the same vein that no one wants to convince the bourgeoisie to lay down their arms and join us because we are "right". Onto the point at hand, Marxists certainly were able to correctly approximate the dynamics of the Spanish reaction, the Falange and its basis among the urban petite-bourgeoisie, the monarchists with the aristocracy, Franco's ability to embody the conjoining and subordination all of these interests to Spanish capital, and their common opposition to the bourgeois-liberals, Spanish workers and peasants. That Marxists recognized these, and thereby could have a predictive model (i.e. How X faction would respond to X social development) does not give any indication whatsoever as to which belligerents will prevail in the end, because war is not a game of holistic predictions, it is a war, with each combative (depending on circumstance, of course) possessing respect for the enemy's capacity to put up a fight.

This holds true for the class struggle in general. When Marx and Engels claimed the victory of the proletariat, what they meant was very specific: Even if the proletariat keeps losing, even if the revolution is suppressed (which we can never predict! How COULD we do this?), the negation of proletariat remains Communism, while the negation of the bourgeoisie amounts to the proletarian. Capitalists can keep winning victories, but it will only prolong their eventual defeat. In short, the Marxist answer to this fucking idiot would be very simple:

"We can't predict the outcome, because the outcome is contingent upon US, our dedication, our efficiency, and our tactical prowess, both politically and militarily." Nothing guarantees we will have this by default. All we can do, when we make mistakes, is learn from them in the future. This is the point of the class struggle: The Marxist fully assumes that he is fighting with social considerations in mind, is unbound by reproducing the existing order via ruling ideology by merit of his Communist opposition to it, but the point of HISTORY as being created by men and women is the self-conscious appropriation of its processes: HISTORY cannot be "predicted", but it can be assumed. To reiterate:

Well, let's be absolutely clear: you cannot "predict" something you are a part of. So Marxists correctly approximate present processes as dialectical, i.e. present class antagonisms, by conceiving processes retrospectively. Dialectical materialism is not going to allow you to "predict" what Communism will look like, because as materialists we recognize that a new constitute material reality would be only imaginable as a re-organization of abstractions inherent to our society. THIS is the ideological aspect of Communism: It relies on the unknowable abyss of the future, but the reason it is "new" and impervious to bourgeois ideologues is because there is no way for them to make this unknown future knowable in thought. To not confuse you, when religious people try to "fill in gaps", it is not that these gaps cannot be knowable, it is that THEY ARE NOT knowable - i.e. that one day, we know we can probably answer such questions (and in consideration of the contingencies that sustain religion itself, and why people are drawn to this in the first place) eventually, and the implicit means by which we could are already present (natural science). Conversely, there would be no way for anyone to predict the details of a social formation following capitalism.

Likewise, no one could have really predicted the outcome of the war until it was done and over with. That is why it was an actual conflict. There are two possibilities: Either everyone could have inferred its outcome, or no one could have. Nothing about Marxists is going to magically give them the ability to have inferred it, and nothing would have "blinded" them to seeing it. You could make some stupid Trotskyist point that you could have - but this again would have been contingent upon a Marxist assessment of the situation. The point you're arguing is contingent upon broken positivist myths, one can only be socially, historically conscious, you cannot divorce yourself from social processes you are a part of and "predict" what will happen. This would require one to take a "step back" from it all. A sheer impossibility.

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On the other hand, real-world, cosmopolitan German intellectual life was laying the mathematical groundwork for what we call modern science: Gauss, Riemann, et al….
Marxism's scienticity did not even wholly derive from its German usage, however. You're about three decades late, Qbill, for it was Darwin which sparked the epistemological revolution in Marx and Engels' thought, which laid the groundwork for Capital. No one cares how much this had to do with the minor pre-requisites to the formation of the cult of "science" today (Or should I say, cult of pop-science) which bestows knowledge as legitimate or not, not based on a consistent systematized qualification of that knowledge in scientific terms, but how well it conforms to the ideology of the state apparatus. Your argument bitterly falls to pieces upon the realization that Marx and Engels never even grounded their epistemology or theoretical foundations in German rural life, because as it happens, a break from it is EXACTLY what characterized their break from the Young Hegelians, their attacks on the "true socialists" who resisted modernization under the guise of French radical rhetoric (incidentally, a polemic which was a part of this attack you linked as an example of Marx's "stupidity"), ETC. This might have held up temporarily as an argument in order to attack Hegel's usage of the word "science" (but not even), but this hardly qualifies for Marx and Engels. We begin to see how all non-Marxist opposition to Marx and Engels is nothing more than a muddied, inconsistent shit-pile of garbage, you literally talk out of your fucking ass and levy every and any possible means to discredit them when it is painfully obvious that this is not possible by honest means.

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Marx was simply not bright enough to do the real stuff
That's cute, but I assume qualifications for the 'real stuff' would be work that bourgeois ideologues simply could not oppose. In that case, I guess Marx was not "bright enough" to destroy capitalism and all the ideological mechanisms which sustain it with theoretical work, in which case, I wonder who actually would be "bright enough" to do this and where I could find them. Sadly, as predicted, we could expect that you already know this to be a reality, and that in fact - one's ability to conform to bourgeois ideological presumptions is precisely a necessary qualification for doing "real stuff" in your mind.

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As for volition, or ‘agency’, I’m afraid you’re totally confused. What is means in terms of real (ie bourgeois-positivist) Philosophy is subject-dependency. To this end, science is said to be meaningfully doable to the extent that volition does not exist in the particular case at hand.

Otherwise, people would revolt at a given, measurable ‘level of oppression’ with predictable regularity—because that’s how science works. Any real scientist who was a contemporary of Marx could have informed him of that, although it’s clearly doubtful if he would have listened.
You know, I can't actually fucking believe what I'm reading here. Your arguments degrade in quality the more and more you give us a post, it's almost as if your attempts to Marx have actually driven down your arguments to levels of ridiculousness not even predictable by your opponents. So this is not even bourgeois-positivist uniquely, it is an inherently postmodern idea. The idea that individual humans are too "complex" to be subjugated to holistic designations is just plainly a stupid fucking ideological platitude and nothing more -a LIBERAL platitude. Btu the truth is, Qbill, you simply don't know shit about what you're talking about, PLAINLY, and it's obvious even from how you word things. I mean, what the FUCK am I reading? Tell me, point to me where in Marxism is a vague abstraction like a "level of oppression" given explanatory power for people's propensity to revolt? Again, the error is assuming that because we cannot "predict" what people will "passively" do in X situation, this is testament to their individual, unknowable "volition". Nonsense! The reality is that Marxists do not assume a passive role, the reality is that class struggle - or "revolts" in the sense that is pertinent, IS dependent upon the will of conscious Communists, the point is that this will is first, hardly 'free". And honestly Qbill, you can go fuck yourself with all the muddied, dishonest and cretinous pretenses to "real" this or that - what the FUCK is this if not a bunch of baseless dick waving? "Subject-dependency" is meaningless if one cannot correctly approximate the basis of subjectivity, which in this case, refers to the practical relation between the subject and the world around him - and NOTHING more. "Subject dependency" refers to the propensity of world-historical change, i.e. the ability to reduce processes to the will of individual subjects, but this presupposes that capitalism is somehow a "natural" background, a random conglomeration of individuals in rational association.

You would dare claim I'm confused and yet actually make the argument that because Marxism cannot offer a clear, cookie cutter predictive model that probably isn't even complex enough to account for primate behavior, derived from scientific experience in the natural field - FOR THE SOCIAL FIELD OF WHICH WE ARE ALL CONSTITUTIVE OF? Now this is the EPITOME of ridiculousness. "Because that's how science works"... Listen to how this motherfucker talks! no, this is NOT how science works, this is how science works when it is practically subordinate to the lense of the rational, decision-making capitalist as I pointed out above, who desires to see masses of people in such predictable terms, but as it happens, are 'too complex'. You are mistaking the complex of history itself, the summation of social relations to production, with 'individual volition' as an explanatory basis for the inability to use such crude predicative models, but the reality is that history can ONLY be conceived retrospectively, because history is not a crystalized artifact of the past, but in fact a process which we all constitute a part of. Nevermind even this, however. Do you ACTUALLY mean to tell us that historical events occur when they do arbitrarily as a result of the "power" of individual human volition? "And that's how science works"... prattles this shit-talking philistine, not even having the decency of resorting to a kind of agnosticism but actually putting forward a positive empirical claim, "human volition" which refuses to be critically approached, evaluated or scientifically conceived. Lo and behold, evolution will never be able to predict what future species will exist 1 million years from now, but if we were to observe this, you are going to tell us that in the absence of "predictive power", a critical understanding of how this species was wrought out would be impossible? You could say that under controlled circumstances, we COULD have the power to consciously emulate this successfully, but the truth of evolution is not contingent upon this. Marxists "could" have the power to do this too, given the right circumstances. Even Stalinists, for all the muddled categories a la "kulak", were correct in identifying different classes in their respective countries and their levels of propensity to resistance or counter-revolution.

Volition is a meaningless term in this regards, which might be understandable in the same way a god of the gaps might. To claim that it is untouchable by science, is in fact proof of the scientific nature of Marxism in juxtaposition to the ideological mystifications of bourgeois ideologues. What does this mean? It means, of course I can't "prove" to you that ours is superior to "volition", because you have no practical use for our theory. But we, again, will keep at it, being that there are no variables you scum have identified that we have not accounted for, because practically we CAN scientifically conceive historic processes. You see, "the way science works" is that to be aware of limitations is to be beyond them. The fact that something can be consciously deemed unknowable means that it is possible to make it knowable, and that is all there is to it. But go ahead, tell me that the reality that the power of "human agency" in the modern epoch was 100% the same as it was 50,000 B.C. and that the propensity to making choices was identical, and that the fact that these choices were not made in previous historic epochs is merely owed to chance. This is what you ACTUALLY believe. If you do not, then you cannot speak of "human volition" vis a vis a criticism of Marxism, because as it happens, human will is only conceived as subordinate to social processes... Where it actually has social and historic pertinence to begin with!

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Again, he basically lacked the smarts. Being math-deficient (as clearly evinced by his bungling of his own 'Transformation problem')
You mean the transformation problem which was conceived as a pathetic mis-reading of Marx, which as a matter was settled some three decades ago with, at best, a pending response to its proponents? To reiterate:

you haven't even come close to conceiving the wealth of the critique of political economy, and you expose yourself by regurgitating the same strawman, bullshit "transformation problem" which was exposed to be a misunderstanding decades ago, so much so to the point where it is arguable that the controversy can be considered over and done with all together. What is beyond idiotic is that you make it as though Ricardo was beyond the scope of evaluation for Marx, but the reality is that Ricardo's "simple" inverse relationship was demonstrated to be inconsistent and contradictory by Marx, hence hte POINT of his critique of political economy in general. You could at the very least have an iota of dignity by trying to give us a new, "creative" criticism of Marxism, but instead you desperately, and pathetically attempt to re-animate corpses long rotting in the dustbin of the history of economic theory. It's like how philistines PATHETICALLY attempt to "compare" Adam Smith to Marx as though they were competing contemporaries when the reality is that Marx superseded Adam Smith to the point where he was beyond the theoretical scope of the latter. This holds true just as much for Ricardo. And it's also hilarious that you regurgitated the so-called transformation problem when this is precisely what Ricardo failed miserably and demonstrating, the relationship between price and value. I cannot even fucking stand to believe someone - in 2015, is actually trying to give it a pass. It is not that Ricardo and Marx "disagreed", it is that Marx built a framework of criticism and evaluation that Ricardo's theoretical foundations SIMPLY COULD NOT ACCOUNT FOR OR ADDRESS without serious, critical revision (which of course, is arguably what Marx himself engaged in). The reason Marx rejected the Ricardian model, was precisely because it pre-supposed "laws" that simply did not correlate, practically, with reality and the dynamic process of capital on a day to day basis. But nevermind this - the ultimate, fatal criticsm leveled against him in Capital was an EPISTEMOLOGICAL criticism, namely, the reality that Ricardo's work, for all it was - was not scientific (i.e. systematizing a critical apprehension of knowledge). It relied upon a plethora of background assumptions about the capitalist economy that were simply pre-supposed to be a given.

For the record, if one presupposes the transformation problem as real, one must also presuppose that Marx recognized it was true but simply died too early to properly solve it. This has been the consensus of all the proponents of the so-called transformation problem. Of course, it stems from the misunderstanding, but none the less what is also fucking stupid is that prices have EMPIRICALLY been shown to correlate with value, so even if the math didn't work (and it does, mind you) - the correlation is there. Now for a philistine who only likes to see "measured results" independent of controlled variables, this should suffice, but this would assume that you're at least consistent. You are not. So while it might be enough for the fact that "Dur, ppl always want 2 fight for their nations", it apparently wouldn't be enough to approach the reality that prices and value correlate empirically. Keep FUCKING reiterating garbage that I've already knocked down, it's all you're good for at this point - I mean, where do you think this discussion is going to go? I'm not going anywhere, Qbill, failure to approach my arguments will result in re-quoting myself. As you should expect, this will not be the least bit difficult for me.

Moreover, for someone whose knowledge of Hegel probably does not go beyond a fucking wikipedia article, it is a rather brazen claim to dismiss it - then again, absolutely no Hegelian would dare give a fuck about the reality that the philistines so easily dismiss it, for its philosophic wealth exists regardless, we say eppur si muove to you scum upon scum, you will not translate or reduce Hegel to the vulgar, philistine reductionist language of convenient ideological platitudes for us, you will not shove down our fucking throats your absoultely worthles, righteously ignorant value-judgements about Hegel or Marx for that matter. Amply go fuck yourself.

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InFind me one concept of Marx that's scientifically valid in a testable, measurable, quantifiable sort of way.
Of course this would require a presupposition of Marxism, and also the analytic presupposition that everything which constitutes testability must be directly "quantifiable" (reducible to numbers). This epistemological presumption, frankly, might work to appease ignorant swaths of people intimidated at the mere sight of "da science", but for Marxists whose motto is to question everything, who dogmatically adhere to the doctrine of ruthless criticism, it's not going to FUCKING cut it. The reality, however, is that to play with numbers already presupposes a framework of qualification, one that is absolutely irreducible to quantification. The real question is simple: What pretense to an empirical claim in Marx that is testable, measurable and quantifiable, is replaced with a mystical and "unscientific" explanation? The idea that Marx did not work with numbers, and did not regard empirical, "testable" data in his work, is patently fucking false - but how he approximated this holistically of course couldn't be contingent upon making it "testable" in such a crude, simplistic quantifiable manner. The idea that because you cannot replicate historic events in a laboratory makes it "unscientific" PRECISELY reveals the bourgeois character of "science", which concerns itself ONLY with practicality within the context of our EXISTING social order. Marx's claims were CONTINGENT upon testable hypotheses, but none of them were REDUCIBLE to any of them, THAT is the point at hand. But the process of the scientific method is simply IMPLICIT epistemologically in Marxism itself, the background presuppositions is merely the act of making the unknowable knowable in some way, it does not rely on any sort of "empirical" claim. What Marx concerns himself with are not alien empirical facts, but things we all know are true, which we displace into the realm of mysticism and unknowability. To conceive such processes scientifically, and knowability, relies on acknowledging the foundations of what constitutes a society, and history itself. THIS, qbill, is how science truly works. I can't "convince" you that it is true, vis a vis the PRACTICAL necessity of AVOIDING subjecting historic processes to scientific evaluation.

Moreover, Qbill, the fact that you are so amply capable of flip-flopping solely as the result of the course of this discussion between you and I regarding your conception of Marx is nothing short of pathetic, and reveals that Ad-hoc character of your responses. As it happens, you previously claimed that: So in both cases, we have competing hypotheses that demand a means of testing on a level playing field. Screaming obscenities at the referee only gets you penalized (vis a vis Marxist generated hypotheses).

In any case, it is well established that you previously claimed there are testable (albeit, in your mind - 'wrong') concepts in Marx. You have now flip-flopped as a result of the poverty of your argumentation. The fact that you BUILD OFF of our encounters might be flattering, but as far as a well-established, consistent position on Marx goes (beyond slandering him), you fail utterly.

So, how's that for you? Try again.
To add, if Marxists couldn't know when people would "revolt" (which, contra to your prejudices pulled out of a 9th grade highschool textbook, is not measured by "levels of oppression), why did the Bolsheviks call for insurrection in 1917 and not 1907? What REALLY are you saying? People do not spontaneously revolt, and when they do the petty bourgeoisie takes charge. My god - such smug philistinism indeed!

I guess, however, that the fact we cannot convert all of this purely into numbers, demonstrates doesn't qualify as "da science". I suppose we ought to construe Scientific racism a la Lynn and Jenson scientific, as well as the measurement of "intelligence" in general. I wonder if it, indeed, will eventually become a scientific discipline: the regular quantification and measurement of the amount of blood each smug philistine will have to spill in accordance to the degree of filth they espouse. Come the revolution, Lynn, Jensen, etc. Might pay this price. Thankfully for them, as we are not biological determinists, their children and relatives would remain innocent.
There is no basis of consistency to any of your arguments besides how profoundly wrong they are. Really, it is - quite literally - SHOCKING, and I question whether you're actually trolling. Are you playing the devil's advocate? Like, do you ACTUALLY believe the cack you're saying? It would appear that still, you have no notion of how an argument works. If you say X, and I say Y in turn, you do not repeat X - for you need to address Y. So, rather than my frustration deriving from you "accepting" my arguments, it derives from the fact that you have been ignoring them all together, rehashing arguments from previous encounters that you still haven't even finished backing up. You want to keep running in circles indefinitely, by all means, be my guest, because I sure as hell am not going anywhere.

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Originally Posted by will franklin View Post
The word 'abstraction' is just a fancy term for 'generalization'. The best example of this is the use of math, which quantifies entities assumed to have the same quality. To this end, Marxists are as entitled as everyone else to claim that a given abstracted quantity is epistemologically false; establishing that real similarities exist between the aggregated entities is what epistemology does.
No, because you miss the point of the basis of argumentation all together - the point is not JUST that the qualities you ascribe to previous historic epochs are abstractions, the point is where these qualifications are abstracted from. In any case, the essential characteristics of a society, the casual basis of its existence, is concluded solely by abstracting - yes - generalizations in order to sustain unknowable ideological presumptions, namely, the abstracting of human behavior from the various circumstances which are the result of nothing more than the summation of the relations between these humans, in order to mystify history as the field wherein various structural archetypes inherent to present-day capitalist society are mystically "manifested" somehow throughout history. One would expect that the means by which these abstractions are "manifested" is explained by anything from new age drivel to evolutionary psychology. Likewise, the reason we call this unscientific is again because ideals are abstracted to which various societies are then conformed to, with absolutely no regard for a critical, systemic evaluation of the logic of the societies themselves, the processes which sustained and reproduced them, and so on. A generalization is a generalization, but generalizations used to convey points about essential, particular characteristics about "entities" that are being subsumed is much more than that - it constitutes an ideological abstraction, and it is absolutely unscientific. To prevent more strawmen being churned out, let's take the very specific example of the nation-state: To speak of "nations" would be an accurate generalization vis a vis our present capitalist epoch, but to frame an assessment of history in terms of "well, people tend to form common bonding on national lines" is to abstract phenomena particular only to modernity and derive marginal or unessential qualities of previous societies as a means to conform them to it, i.e. "See! The Greeks more or less do this too" and so on. This is wrong for obvious reasons: The concept of the "nation" in its relevant pertinence only entered the minds of men and women as a result of modernity and the formation of nation-states, which despite any abstract "similarities", were wrought out for entirely different reasons than different "nations" thousands of years ago. In addition, such "similarities" were contingent upon entirely different historical processes, rather than superstitiously deducing that it constitutes an abstract "tendency" in history that "manifests" itself in men and women, Marxists recognize the reality of qualitative changes throughout history. It conveniently dodges, and places barriers to forming continents of knowledge, from asking very basic and simple questions: How do nations form? What sustains them? What brings vast swaths of people into association, makes them related by language and blood? These are questions that only Marxists can properly answer, or at the very least - people borrowing Marxian methods of analysis. Of course not even the most ardent historicist can avoid conceiving the past through the lense of present-day society, but the lesson of Hegel is that each historic epoch can be conceived by its own logic, and its own merits, through critical scientific methods derived from present-day society. That is to say, only now can a philosophy of history, or self-consciousness of historic processes be conceived - and we learn later from Marx that this possibility is wholly contingent upon the force of Communism.

You can't even, however, properly engage the argument for what it is. The point of mentioning epistemology is not to convey this or that as "epistemologically false", the point is to demonstrate that the means by which such conclusions are derived in the first place, are contingent upon an inherently unscientific epistemology. That means that "establishing" similarities between different things might be integral to any process of conceiving real knowledge consistently, but how one conceives the basis of similarity, the qualifications of similarity and in which regard is not going to be the same across the fucking board. Case in point, you can find similarities between any two societies, but the conclusions drawn from a relation to an understanding into the nature of those similarities - whether imaginary abstractions or correctly approximated coordinates in two totalities, is not going to cut it across the board. To say, for example that capitalism has existed in 50,000 B.C., or that people have "always" fought for nationhood

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Likewise, can they demonstrate how their own criteria of realness make any sense?
We don't have a criteria of "realness". Why? because "realness" for you, as is for all philistines, merely denotes legitimacy, contingent upon relations of power. We Marxists loathe the epistemological superstition of the philistines, we spit upon the sceptors that convey prostration, and rather than kiss the hand of his majesty - have you ever heard of human gloves? "Realness" is ultimately meaningless because it denotes a qualification for belief or at the very least respect that is qualified based on value-judgements that ascribe power to ruling ideology. What does this means? It means that for Marxists, "realness" refers to nothing more than the practical relation between man and the world around him, and the systemized means by which he conceives it. This means that the "scientific method", rather than being some kind of sacred SIGNIFIER of truth, is nothing more than the practical means by which the world is understood. Truth, said Marx and Engels in all their brilliance, is nothing more than a practical question, and attempts to play mental gymnastics against this fact became nothing more than the philosophic crotchets of those who obscufated science, perverted it to subordinate itself to ruling ideology.The means by which our "criteria" of realness is qualified, is not in juxtaposition with "other" pretenses to truth, for this comparison will ALWAYS be ideological, rather, the methods through which knowledge is qualified as "true", is already implicit theoretically in the process. In other words, it is already implicit in the scientific method itself, and only ideological obscufations can get in the way of this, whether in the natural or the social field. As it happens, Marxists - being unbound by the necessity of ideologically reproducing existing society, and thereby unbound by the subordination of an understanding of the social field to ideological mystificaitons, are the only "tribe" capable of scientifically conceiving history and social process. Not only historical materialism, but the masterpiece that was Capital was wrought out from this freedom.

But as I've already pointed out, incessantly I might add - we have no means by which we can "convert" bourgeois ideologues. In other words, unlike the natural sciences, where there can seldom be any epistemological dispute - where everyone shares the same collective space of reason (or logic), there is no way to "force" those who ascribe to bourgeois science or its pathetic last ditch - positivism, to accept the premise that history can be conceived scientifically. It all goes back to the "paradox" of science: You can't prove the scientific method is true, for this is contingent upon methods that are ultimately contingent upon the scientific method. The scientific method, is therefore a practical instrument, one that we cannot force anyone to accept - not creationists, and not philistine critics of Marx. If it were anything otherwise, than social transformation would be possible if only we were able to convince those in power that we are "correct", bourgeois ideology would owe its power to a mere misunderstanding of reality, and it would be the end of capitalism. As materialists, however, we recognize that the ideological power which sustains capitalism is far from a misunderstanding, but a necessary function for the reproduction of the existing order and existing relationships to production, for capitalism could never be a socially self-conscious society and still function, and the practical expression of this in "real life" is the reality that every American thinks they're a millionaire in the making.

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First, we have the incorrect use of the word ‘abstract’. For example, the beliefs and ideologies of a group are not ‘abstracted’ from their particular economic infrastructure. Rather, according to the Marxist theory which says that thought-superstructures are caused by material realities, the correct term is ‘alienation’.
No, rather, Marxists might refer to these abstractions as "alienated" from their material reality. Marx used "abstractions" all the time, most especially in capital, but these were true abstractions insofar as they correctly approximated reality in a controlled theoretical space in order to convey this or that point. Everyone engages in 'abstractions', one way or another, the point is where we derive these abstractions from, and how we apply them. The beliefs of a group cannot be 'abstracted' from their economic infrastructure, for their beliefs are a necessary FUNCTION of that infrastructure, constituting a part of its reproduction. To say that their beliefs are "abstracted" ignores the nature of those beliefs - which is why you're so terribly confused: again, the basis of my criticism against you has nothing to do with the fact that you're using abstractions "in principle", but how your'e using them. Claiming that "everything is the same" or that the essential characteristics of capitalist society have always existed only works by identifying features in other societies that are only meaningful in their varying degrees of resemblance to our society, rather than their relevance in their own according historic epoch. This is why I call these features abstractions - they disregard the concreteness of the societies they are projected on. This seldom constitutes an assertion that abstractions from present-day society are not derived and projected upon history as a whole, a sin which you yourself will later prove to shamelessly commit right after:

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But then again, in terms of content, Marx is telling us nothing new. For the last 5000 years or so, we’ve always assumed that ideas could possibly be more or less related to either material interests or means of subsistence: ‘The golden rule means that he who’s got the gold, makes the rules’.
Again, is anybody else READING this fucking shit? The idea that some platitude which basically amounts to the banality that "da powerful are in charge" is somehow a substitution for a complex, critical assessment of the relationship between ideas and the relations to the production of the foundations of life, IN ITS ENTIRETY, which of course goes far beyond 'subsistence': Welcome to post-Neolithic civilization, is so stupid it is actually disgusting. No, we haven't "always" assumed this, because no one before Marx and Engels was ever able to ground what actually constitutes the means of subsistence, it certainly isn't fucking "gold", ETC. For the same reason, no one before Kepler even came close to engaging in a scientific understanding of the cosmos. Will, are you actually serious? Tell me now, because I would feel bad for you if this was all some terrible joke, and I merely have a bad sense of humor. Ladies and gentlemen, do you see what great lengths these philistines will go to, to destroy and discredit our legacy? They will openly make themselves look like clowns, shamelessly - for a semblance of hope that among all the shit they're throwing against the wall, some of it will stick. You still cannot wrap your head around an attack on your garbage epistemology, yet you will OPENLY evaluate the content of historical materialism ONLY insofar as it conforms to some STUPID fucking platitude that we always had to know since 3000 B.C., because again, you can't conceive the idea that there is something qualitatively new, everything must merely be a re-organization of that which has always existed, qualitatively. In which case, we better do a way with taxamony and evolutionary history all together and start calling every animal every other animal. Then again, the reality that animals can change and evolve poses absolutely no ideological threat to you - while the assertion that societies and their essential, fundamental characteristics can does. "In terms of content", it would appear that you know fuck all about historical materialism beyond what is nothing more than a truism. "He who makes the gold, makes the rules" refers not to the basic "rules" of life, but to actual, openly conceived rules. From this, Qbill will assert that every society was fundamentally socially self-conscious, and that the reality that ideas are subordinate to processes of production is nothing more than an extension of Reagan-era cynicism. This is not even vulgar, it is fucking STUPID. As if Confucius was actually hinting towards some kind of implicit recognition of the "truism" that is historical materialism (which of course, was such a truism that he didn't actually have to fucking elaborate as to what he meant - that "idiot" Marx did this because "derr he was not smart lul he was dumb").

You know, nothing makes us Marxists more secure in our devotion to his legacy. So powerful is Marx, that the most blatantly irrational conclusions must be drawn to dismiss him. So all-encompassing is his method that ideologues must hide behind clownish garbage which by any standard would not qualify as rational. For those reading, remember that this is the same sort of drive Engels, Lenin and Marxists afterwards tirelessly struck down. The incessant drive to discredit Marx will always take an obsessive, pathological character that will always reduce itself to the most crude ridiculousness. How's that for a fucking golden rule?

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Moreover, in doing so, he’s left the absurd impression that those who talk post-Hegelian jibberish possess the predictive/quantitative insight that science affords.
I guess I'll just requote myself. What makes you think I'm going to let this FUCKING bullshit slide? Who the FUCK are you to actually ignore the arguments at hand... like a broken fucking record:

Again, the error is assuming that because we cannot "predict" what people will "passively" do in X situation, this is testament to their individual, unknowable "volition". Nonsense! The reality is that Marxists do not assume a passive role, the reality is that class struggle - or "revolts" in the sense that is pertinent, IS dependent upon the will of conscious Communists, the point is that this will is first, hardly 'free". And honestly Qbill, you can go fuck yourself with all the muddied, dishonest and cretinous pretenses to "real" this or that - what the FUCK is this if not a bunch of baseless dick waving? "Subject-dependency" is meaningless if one cannot correctly approximate the basis of subjectivity, which in this case, refers to the practical relation between the subject and the world around him - and NOTHING more. "Subject dependency" refers to the propensity of world-historical change, i.e. the ability to reduce processes to the will of individual subjects, but this presupposes that capitalism is somehow a "natural" background, a random conglomeration of individuals in rational association.

You would dare claim I'm confused and yet actually make the argument that because Marxism cannot offer a clear, cookie cutter predictive model that probably isn't even complex enough to account for primate behavior, derived from scientific experience in the natural field - FOR THE SOCIAL FIELD OF WHICH WE ARE ALL CONSTITUTIVE OF? Now this is the EPITOME of ridiculousness. "Because that's how science works"... Listen to how this motherfucker talks! no, this is NOT how science works, this is how science works when it is practically subordinate to the lense of the rational, decision-making capitalist as I pointed out above, who desires to see masses of people in such predictable terms, but as it happens, are 'too complex'. You are mistaking the complex of history itself, the summation of social relations to production, with 'individual volition' as an explanatory basis for the inability to use such crude predicative models, but the reality is that history can ONLY be conceived retrospectively, because history is not a crystalized artifact of the past, but in fact a process which we all constitute a part of. Nevermind even this, however. Do you ACTUALLY mean to tell us that historical events occur when they do arbitrarily as a result of the "power" of individual human volition? "And that's how science works"... prattles this shit-talking philistine, not even having the decency of resorting to a kind of agnosticism but actually putting forward a positive empirical claim, "human volition" which refuses to be critically approached, evaluated or scientifically conceived. Lo and behold, evolution will never be able to predict what future species will exist 1 million years from now, but if we were to observe this, you are going to tell us that in the absence of "predictive power", a critical understanding of how this species was wrought out would be impossible? You could say that under controlled circumstances, we COULD have the power to consciously emulate this successfully, but the truth of evolution is not contingent upon this. Marxists "could" have the power to do this too, given the right circumstances. Even Stalinists, for all the muddled categories a la "kulak", were correct in identifying different classes in their respective countries and their levels of propensity to resistance or counter-revolution.

Volition is a meaningless term in this regards, which might be understandable in the same way a god of the gaps might. To claim that it is untouchable by science, is in fact proof of the scientific nature of Marxism in juxtaposition to the ideological mystifications of bourgeois ideologues. What does this mean? It means, of course I can't "prove" to you that ours is superior to "volition", because you have no practical use for our theory. But we, again, will keep at it, being that there are no variables you scum have identified that we have not accounted for, because practically we CAN scientifically conceive historic processes. You see, "the way science works" is that to be aware of limitations is to be beyond them. The fact that something can be consciously deemed unknowable means that it is possible to make it knowable, and that is all there is to it. But go ahead, tell me that the reality that the power of "human agency" in the modern epoch was 100% the same as it was 50,000 B.C. and that the propensity to making choices was identical, and that the fact that these choices were not made in previous historic epochs is merely owed to chance. This is what you ACTUALLY believe. If you do not, then you cannot speak of "human volition" vis a vis a criticism of Marxism, because as it happens, human will is only conceived as subordinate to social processes... Where it actually has social and historic pertinence to begin with!


The reality is that your "science" does not even come close to touching upon the points of concern of Hegelianism, it is not a matter of competing explanations or theories, for the analytical scum will never be on the same level. What substantial, groundbreaking criticism of Hegel has been incurred by those of the analytical school? Popper? Popper, who so bravely took the step to "try and read Hegel" only to come to the conclusion that "Hegel created da totalitarianizum cuz he said history iz an inevitable force". Pure stupidity and philistinism: Quite put, the anglo-philistines do not even know where to begin vis a vis Hegel, and when they actually muster up the bravery to engage us, they so confidently tout the worst cack - and when they're called out on it, they "learn" from their mistake of engaging us and crawl back into their fucking holes. The substantive "scientific" criticism of Hegel, by the Anglo-school, amounts to dismissing Hegel as incomprehensible and meaningless. For those of us "insane" enough to actually find real meaning in Hegel, we don't care one bit that scum are so intellectually meek, for we do understand him. We could imagine the typical response from the smug, straight-talking American philistine: "Well, we're only concerned with things that we can work with, clearly. Hegel doesn't offer that to us. Given his track record, I don't think we need to have anything to with Hegel's ideas."

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This, they’ve been doing since the Latinish days of the Late Middle Ages
Ladies and gentlemen, as if it could not get any more ridiculous, now Qbill asserts that something akin to not only a qualitative equivalent, but an ACTUAL "manifestation" of the Young Hegelians existed in the middle ages. Moreover, it becomes PAINFULLY fucking stupid when we realize that part of the substantive break with the Young Hegelians by Marx and Engels amounted to PRECISELY an attack what they conceived as useless "philosophic" mystifications that had taken on a meaningless role. My fucking god.

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When transcribed into the reality-driven language of the real world, such buffoonery is called 'pretense'.
Well, we might assume that you refer not "simply" to the Young Hegelians now, but to anything outside of anglo-philistine discourse all together. In which case, we say: Fuck your reality, fuck your language, and finally fuck your world. That philistines cannot understand Hegel, does not intimate us to the least bit - not a single gray hair is to be found among any of us because of it. We do not seek approval from you lot, in fact, if any of you actually bothered reading Hegel and his wealth, you would probably make due with perverting it in the same matter that the British Hegelians did. So we thank you, we thank you ESSENTIAL barbarians from staying as far as fuck away from Hegel and his "pretentious" language as possible, keep at it with your "real world" science, go on - let the adults carry on with our "pretentious" disputes.

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Spencer was the father of the concept of evolution, as admittedly taken from Darwin himself. Here it’s important to note, however, that while Spencer’s social evolution had a definite teleology—“Survival of the fittest’—Darwin’s ‘Natural selection emphatically denies this.

In other words, Marx simply refused to admit that his ‘system’ consisted of nothing more than standing Spencerian teleology on its head; the evolutionarily ‘fittest’ are now the proles, rather than the capitalists.

This is of crucial importance because Darwin’s entire theme is ‘lack of teleology’ within nature on the largest scale. Marx simply wasn’t smart enough to understand this.
No, you miss the point all together. The reason I mention Darwin is for the reason reason a certain Louis Althusser points to Marx's epistemological break PRECISELY around the time of the Origin of Species: but good job, it takes real creativity to ACTUALLY make the Olympic leap that because of your misinterpretation of Marx's conception of history, which I have THOROUGHLY AND AMPLY DESTROYED in previous encounters, AGAIN and AGAIN, we know draw the conclusion that Marx "misinterpreted" Darwin and that it was Spencer whom he would have truly considered his equal, had he bothered with him. Really, where the FUCK does the BLATANT ridiculousness end? Marx's epistemology is precisely similar to Darwin's insofar as it discarded any pretense to teleological or metaphysical notions inevitably bound up with ethical, or ideological presumptions. It would seem that both Darwin and Marx's vulgarian bastards misconstrued their work in equally abominable ways - by ascribing metaphysical, ethical values to their work, in the matter of the naturalistic fallacy, or the intensive formalization of Marxism in Stalinist countries (because the state in permanent chaos, of course demands the idea of different, inevitable "stages" of human development, when the reality is that what we find in Marx is that history is much more chaotic - whole modes of production can fail, or permanently halt any predispositions to historic development by merit of this or that social anomaly, as was the case in Marx's understanding of the Asiatic mode of production, which incidentally received the most scrutiny by Stalinists).

This is not even all-together unique to Marx. For the HEGELIAN METHOD ITSELF leaves no room for linear teleology, the lesson of Hegel is that only AFTER something occurs is it inevitable, in the same vein that a conception of natural history for Darwin must ALWAYS be linear insofar as it is a critical understanding of the processes that lead to the present condition of nature. That does not mean it "had" to be so, it means that it had to be so insofar as it constitutes the present-day reality which allows me to conceive it in the first place. A rejection of a "linearity" in history has always been rejected by Marxists, from Marx to Lenin, THOROUGHLY. The intellectually dishonest coward that you are, however, you aren't all-together unfamiliar with this assertion, for I continually stressed it in a previous thread, TO YOU. Even if you reject it, you have yet to present a basis of criticism - the basic etiquette of argumentation is to acknowledge the basic possible points that your opponent could make, and address them. I could forgive the inability to do this, but you ACTUALLY fail to even address points I HAVE ALREADY made! The point is that there are no "inevitable" stages of history, just ones that lead up to, and shape present day society that are observable as the stages that necessarily had to form the modern-day society that which we operate from. Nevermind this, however. The idea that Marx "used" the reality that the proletariat are the only class capable of superseding capitalism as some kind of last-ditch attempt to morally supplement socialism with "teleological" notions is beyond fucking stupid. Social Darwinism claims that things "ought" to be this way, or that things "are" this way because of "natural" (and therefore 'good') processes. Marxists, conversely, recognize that the proletariat is only the "fittest" insofar as it is the only class capable of destroying capitalism. What that means is that there are no "fit" classes, as far as we're concerned, the only fit class was the bourgeoisie which emerged victorious among the various different contending classes during feudal society. The only thing we're left with is the assertion that the analogy "could" be made that the proletariat "could" be the fittest class, as far as constituting a new mode of production goes, a socially self-conscious society, ETC. Of course this is not "inevitable". What the FUCK does socialism or barbarism mean, if not a recognition of this fact? There you go talking out of your fucking ass again with "Marx wasn't smart enough to see this" when it was PRECISELY this observation of Darwin which led him to praise him so, the 'lack of teleology'. This is what was meant by his epistemological revolution: This is fundamentally THE POINT of HISTORICAL MATERIALISM for fuck's sake! You literally make grand assumptions - FROM NOTHING! Any IDIOT who has read Marx can see he fully appreciated this fact, but rather than deducing conclusions from a critical evaluation of Marx, you make STUPID fucking assertions that derive SOLELY from infantile extrapolations of the DISCUSSION BETWEEN YOU AND I. Shows how much regard you actually have for facts, shows how much regard you actually have for understanding Marx.

This is the smug philistinism which BOILS blood, this is the absolutely GARBAGE which demands profanity, you piece of shit - you LITERALLY, CASUALLY and ARROGANTLY say shit you know very well isn't true, it's like - are you actually trolling? I literally want to think you have some kind of mental illness. How can someone be so stupid? It's like, what's going on in your head is "Well, this sounds kind of sensible, so it might be true - better assert it as if it's some kind of indisputable fact". Grow the fuck up before you come back to me with more garbage.

Even in social-Darwinist terms, the capitalists are only more "fit" as individuals, not as a class. An understanding of class struggle or social antagonism is simply not present, instead, a justification for the constitution of different classes is given via "natural" differences between individuals, which obviously "naturally" expresses itself through complex historic formations like capitalism - which is assumed to be merely a "natural" background that is unchangeable, like a fucking jungle. In that sense, you have infinitely more in common with that irk than we Marxists ever could.

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Of course, this is a major blunder on his part—on par or equal to both his idiotic ‘four modes of production’
Again talking out of your ass, borderline trolling ignoring all of the arguments presented here. Any idiot who has read Marx, knows that the "four modes of production" is an invention of those who formalized Marx long after his death. Marx was not so generous, in fact, what's so painfully ironic - to my DISGUST (that you ignore it) IS THAT MARX INCESSANTLY AND SPECIFICALLY SPENT TIME OUTLINING AND ATTACKING THOSE WHO CLAIMED THAT SOCIETIES WHO HAD A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT TRAJECTORY PATH OF HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT were "feudal", i.e. as in the case of India, with Marx stressing that despite apparent "similarities", with the absence of serfdom it would be erroneous to call it feudal. The "four modes of production" theory only fails in trying to make it some kind of universal model of human develompent in all geographic regions, the reason this is conflated with abstract teleology is because - as Hegel asserted, Europe is absolutely the end of history, meaning, all modes of production would eventually become subsumed into capitalism and thereby inherent the world-historical processes which led to its formation AS THEIR OWN. Otherwise, Europe ABSOLUTELY DID follow a path of "four stages" (or five, or whatever you want), there was nothing incorrect about deferentially qualifying slave societies from feudal ones, or feudal ones from our present-day society.

Which is why ultimately, even if we play the devil's advocate, a "four stages theory" is still INFINITELY more correct, and less FUCKING idiotic than a "one-stage theory" of history, which is the implicitly held dogma of every piece of shit philistine, which leads "sensible" men to the conclusion that capitalism existed in 50,000 B.C. - Oh wait, I forgot to add, "in some form".

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and his inability to resolve his own proposed ’transformation’ of labor values in to prices by means of simple arithmetic.
The idea that the transformation problem, and those who originally conceived it, was a problem of "basic arithmetic" is literally PAINFULLY stupid. Qbill, be honest - are some kind of provacetor sent here to degrade everyone's standard of reason? This is what I now suspect, for it is the only rational conclusion which could explain... how PAINFULLY fucking wrong someone can be about virtually EVERYTHING they speak of. To repeat myself, inevitably:

Except Marxism cannot be reducible to some abstract "moral imperative" which possesses no moral authority whatsoever than any other ideological platitude which seeks the same thing. For all the harking on about how Marxism is "dogmatic", you sure love to churn out thoroughly unscientific, vague and abstract GARBAGE. The reality is that judging from your previous posts, you haven't even come close to conceiving the wealth of the critique of political economy, and you expose yourself by regurgitating the same strawman, bullshit "transformation problem" which was exposed to be a misunderstanding decades ago, so much so to the point where it is arguable that the controversy can be considered over and done with all together. What is beyond idiotic is that you make it as though Ricardo was beyond the scope of evaluation for Marx, but the reality is that Ricardo's "simple" inverse relationship was demonstrated to be inconsistent and contradictory by Marx, hence hte POINT of his critique of political economy in general. You could at the very least have an iota of dignity by trying to give us a new, "creative" criticism of Marxism, but instead you desperately, and pathetically attempt to re-animate corpses long rotting in the dustbin of the history of economic theory. It's like how philistines PATHETICALLY attempt to "compare" Adam Smith to Marx as though they were competing contemporaries when the reality is that Marx superseded Adam Smith to the point where he was beyond the theoretical scope of the latter. This holds true just as much for Ricardo. And it's also hilarious that you regurgitated the so-called transformation problem when this is precisely what Ricardo failed miserably and demonstrating, the relationship between price and value. I cannot even fucking stand to believe someone - in 2015, is actually trying to give it a pass. It is not that Ricardo and Marx "disagreed", it is that Marx built a framework of criticism and evaluation that Ricardo's theoretical foundations SIMPLY COULD NOT ACCOUNT FOR OR ADDRESS without serious, critical revision (which of course, is arguably what Marx himself engaged in). The reason Marx rejected the Ricardian model, was precisely because it pre-supposed "laws" that simply did not correlate, practically, with reality and the dynamic process of capital on a day to day basis. But nevermind this - the ultimate, fatal criticsm leveled against him in Capital was an EPISTEMOLOGICAL criticism, namely, the reality that Ricardo's work, for all it was - was not scientific (i.e. systematizing a critical apprehension of knowledge). It relied upon a plethora of background assumptions about the capitalist economy that were simply pre-supposed to be a given.

Be honest, does your comprehension of capital extend beyond a fucking Wikipedia page? To conceive this as "the singular problem" is the first error, and the second error is assuming that Marx failed to resolve this. The 'transformation problem' was only a problem to those who were incapable of fathoming the entirely new and unique LOGIC brought forth by capital.

Now, frankly, let us be clear: There could be problems in Capital. The point is that Marx's critique of political economy IN GENERAL cannot even be approached if it is not presupposed. Like historical materialism, it represents a new threshold of understanding capitalist society that has no precedent. This is why those who spear-headed the debates vis a vis the "transformation problem" (which Ricardo, hilariously, did not resolve!) came from Marxian currents.

For the record, if one presupposes the transformation problem as real, one must also presuppose that Marx recognized it was true but simply died too early to properly solve it. This has been the consensus of all the proponents of the so-called transformation problem. Of course, it stems from the misunderstanding, but none the less what is also fucking stupid is that prices have EMPIRICALLY been shown to correlate with value, so even if the math didn't work (and it does, mind you) - the correlation is there. Now for a philistine who only likes to see "measured results" independent of controlled variables, this should suffice, but this would assume that you're at least consistent. You are not. So while it might be enough for the fact that "Dur, ppl always want 2 fight for their nations", it apparently wouldn't be enough to approach the reality that prices and value correlate empirically. Keep FUCKING reiterating garbage that I've already knocked down, it's all you're good for at this point - I mean, where do you think this discussion is going to go? I'm not going anywhere, Qbill, failure to approach my arguments will result in re-quoting myself. As you should expect, this will not be the least bit difficult for me.

Response pending (?), or do you want to STILL fucking regurgitate the same garbage? And for the record, your claim that the transformation problem rests from the inability to "quantify" value is a load of fucking shit - again not a surprise given your previous claims - the transformation problem resided with an ALLEGED mathematical inconsistency when one attempts to transform labor value, which the adherents of the transformation problem PRESUPPOSE ALREADY HAS A QUANTIFIABLE BASIS, being "Marxian" economists themselves, into prices. Statistically, it has been EMPIRICALLY proven that the relationship between labor value and prices is consistent with Marxist economics, but being that Marxists are concerned with actual science, the math has to make fucking sense if we can see this as anything more than a correlation. But as it turns out, this only becomes a "mathematical inconsistency" when one attempts to read capital as describing a crystallized, steady state process of capital accumulation, but this is inconsistent with the LOGIC of capital or Marx's economic theories. The "transformation" problem only works if we presuppose simultanism and ignorance of the fact that prices and values are formed interdependently, in constitution of a real, moving process.
Before we continue, Qbill, let me make absolutely clear the fact that the Kolakowski whose skirt you keep hiding behind is not even worth talking about as far as a substantial criticism of Marxism is concerned. As it happens, to be a Marxist is to struggle, and Kolakowski - as well as you - distinguish yourselves only slightly from every other vulgar philistine who attempts to discredit Marx only insofar as you attempt to remain within orbit of Marxist discourse from what little remnants of what flirtations you had with it in the past. That is to say, the sad truth is that like a feeble atheist who inevitably returns to his gods once he realizes that such matters take quite a bit more thinking and struggling than he thought, the criticisms of Marxism presented here are nothing more than a testament to the weak-mindedness of both you and, let's call them, the Kolakowski archetype. Disillusioned with gods they were never even properly acquainted with, they will claim they've made some grand revelation that we stubborn Marxists were just too "stupid" or engaged in our "religion" to have stumbled upon ourselves. But a close examination to the likes of Kolakowski, or you for that matter, reveals that there is not a trace, not a hint of originality as far as the criticisms of Marxism go. Rather, a rather schizophrenic and inconsistent conglomeration of desperate arguments are plagiarized into a single attack, an armada of straw men, fasces of dried fecal remains, is what is passed off as a "critical" dissertation or, better yet for some philistines - "deconstruction" of Marxism. What they will never admit, and what they know in the back of their heads however is that this assumption to condescension, to remove yourself as a reasonable subject from the "dogma" of Marxism is self-ironically tautological, absolutely no different than the opportunistic means by which right-wingers will pervert Leftist language anywhere from Nazis hijacking the aesthetic of Socialist discourse, to more recent examples of degeneracy a la "reverse" racism or "reverse" sexism. Interestingly enough, it is precisely this fully engaged, self-ironic "critical", and wholly opportunistic attitude which is present in your own posts. Anywhere ranging from the assertion that historical materialism was a known truism since Confucius to the notion that capitalism was well and alive in antiquity, these are not bare, raw assertions that can stand on two feet, rather, they are tautological points engulfed permanently in a closed loop. What does this mean? It means that they only sustain themselves by contrasting themselves with real, substantive points, and via abstractions and other obfuscations, they attempt to find a common basis of existence. Case in point, they are not real points which one would spontaneously come to the conclusion of: No idiot would come to the conclusion that "cracker" denotes racism if not for drawing a false comparison with the word with "nigger", likewise, no idiot would come to the conclusion to openly claim that capitalism constituted the material foundation of the Roman empire if not for the wealth of anti-capitalist theoretical discourse wrought out from the late 19th and 20th century. In that sense, willy, you present us as being nothing more than the faux-cynical jester of neoliberalism, a clown who any experienced Marxist has come across before in their lives.

The reason your posts inspire the necessity to use profanity and the irk, is solely because rather than what a good 13 year old would do, you express your ignorance by making pretenses to claims which are easily disputable, even dismissable, as some kind of profound revelation which none of us could have thought over before. A 13 year old, conversley, would be humble enough to confine himself to the learning forum and ask those who clearly posses a higher level of theoretical sophistication to help him in his struggle to understand the topics at hand. The reason I assumed you were a troll is because I found it hard to believe that someone as old as you are, who claims to have sophisticated academic experience vis a vis the matters at hand, could actually tout the drivel that you do. Of course this isn't because you simply "oppose" Marxism. The reason you are unique in your qualifications for scrutiny, Qbill, is because you tout arguments which anyone FAMILIAR with how Marxists conduct themselves are not even difficult to address or render obsolete on their two feet. If you were serious about your little crusade to discredit Marx on the left, you would have been able to make implicit in your arguments the sufficient theoretical mechanisms to make them air-tight against what could be a predictable response. And when we do respond - we don't even get a real rebuttal from you, we get a repeat of the same thing AT BEST! I won't lie, however: I intend to see you banned from this website. You're a sockpuppet of an already banned member, and you've degraded the quality of every single fucking thread you've participated it. For however longer that you do remain on this site, what I can politely afford you as advice is quite simple: Confine yourself to the learning forum and accept that you know fuck all about what you're talking about, because this much has been made very clear to everyone else just from what cack you've presented. Your claims are so RIDICULOUSNESS fucking simplistic, like how you, in another thread - claimed that Hegel's problems derive solely from a "misreading" of Spinoza (Ah, yes, a "return" to Spinoza, much like how we ought to "return" to Ricardo - it is fucking blasphemy if anything!). Listen, Qbill, you need to FLESH OUT YOUR FUCKING ARGUMENTS 1) No one gives a fuck about what you personally think, 2) No one is "in on the joke" with you.

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Originally Posted by will franklin View Post
Marx is an albatross hanging on the neck of the left.
You see, will, if were a troll, then you would be spared far less scrutiny and embarrassment - perhaps you might even pass as a very good, skilled troll. If you ground your basis of motivation in discrediting Marx, then you have, without question, failed utterly. This is not even a point of controversy here, because as it happens, none of the criticisms you level against Marx are unique, not one of them is wrought out from anything pure ignorance, not one of them takes on the character of anything more than a deduced extrapolation of the various anti-Marxist strawmen which remain in circulation in substitution for the actual aroma of Marxist discourse.

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Marx, in short, was so bad that it could only serve as the ideology of a terrorist state.
You claimed this in post #8 of this thread, I responded:

The reason this is a rather desperate assertion, one that might flatter us Marxists, is the fact that Marx and Engels's popularity in the west had grown so large even before the Bolshevik revolution in such fields as sociology that Lenin himself spoke of how liberals were on to white-washing his vitality. Western Marxism took an entirely different course than did official Soviet doctrine, and it is patently obvious that if anything the existence of the former greatly hindered the ability for those in the west to correctly recall Marx and Engels. The idea that Marx and Engels were somehow forgettable, irrelevant thinkers that merely became the bizarre idiosyncrasy of the Soviet state is a special kind of bullshit that could only possibly be cooked up in the minds of those desperate bourgeois ideologues who try to discredit, de-legitimize and slander them in every way fathom possible.

I demonstrated this in another thread: Marx's "popularity" is not owed to the emergence of the USSR, for this ignores critically why the USSR was able to emerge in the first place. It wasn't because Russians were "keenly" avid fans of Marx, because Marxism had already gained immense popularity all over Europe at this time. In fact, the reverse might actually be true: Marx is buried behind a bunch of muck and filth, cast off as irrelevant with bullshit touted today that he could have easily addressed, because of the failure and collapse of the USSR.

You're not going to get off easy with this FUCKING bullshit, see. The reality is that the popularity of Marxism, or the "curiosity" of American and European "philosophers", took an entirely different trajectory path in the west, but if nto for this fact, Marxism's power was always contingent upon the IDEOLOGICAL POWER OF THE WORKERS' MOVEMENT. This is why the holistic academic assault on Marxism did not BEGIN in the 1990's, it began as the power of the working movement began to wane, it began following the rise of reformist currents a la Eurocommunism, ETC. Kola, Mises, Rand, Herr Popper, and all the other scum are just as 'correct' too, but the reality is that like the rest of the lot, the events of 1991 do not SPECIFICALLY or UNIQUELY "confirm" Kola's notion that Marx would have been "long forgotten" if not for the USSR or the reality that it was the "official ideology" of various states. To this day economists can't even fucking approach Marx, who has been dead for almost two hundred years and yet - whose critique of political economy remains impenetrable and as strong now as it was then.


But I'm glad that you're actually being completely honest in assuming what a fucking idiot you are at this point - OPENLY claiming such simplistic platitudes as "Derr, Marx was bad cuz he was da popular thinkr of a bad state". Again, what this ignores is very simple: How did Marx "serve" as the ideology of a terrorist state? The fact of the matter is that it was only Marxism that allowed the Bolsheviks to seize state power, only Marxism that strengthened the workers movement to the point where it forced the western bourgeoisie first to retreat to Fascism, and then to inspire the formation of the welfare state. Now, of course for a bourgeois ideologue, PRACTICAL results (not practicality in general) are going to be the measurement of the legitimacy of Marxism. What does this mean? If Marx was used "practically" to mass produce iphones, or do something whose "value" is directly measurable in (Get this, folks) "the real world", then in Qbill's mind, Marx would be worth something after all. This is how philistines think: rather than CRITICALLY EVALUATING the theoretical content of Marxism, they will make prior value-judgments about it based on where it ranks in the hierarchy of legitimized truth of the state apparatus. Bourgeois ideologues are incapable of properly qualifying knowledge, because knowledge is going to always inevitably take the character of its "practical" expression in bourgeois society: Conveying relationships of power. Hence, the spontaneous impulse of the positivists is to evaluate content based on where it derives, rather than what it is actually composed of. The fact that Marx is all but "useless" to bourgeois ideologues, even scientists, is supposed to present itself as some kind of valuable point of criticism, but these opportunists will flip-flop back and forth largely based on how legitimate Marxism is conceived at any given time. It is a well-established fact that the popularity, and power of Marxism, is related to the state of class struggle. It is not a coincidence that Marxism fell out of favor in academic discourse precisely when the bourgeoisie made a massive political and economic offensive, coupled with a capitalist cultural revolution: Neoliberalism and the appropriation of the counter-culture. You see, that is how individuals properly place ideas in their respective context. Qbill, on the other hand, gives us deep and profound insights regarding Marxism in the spirit of "Marx was just too stupid" or "Marx was so bad that he was used by a terrorist state". Well, Qbill, has it ever concerned to you that as Communists, we do not share your moral coordinates? In fact, our hearts were with the Bolsheviks the most when what would become the Soviet Union actually was a terrorist state. Nevermind even this, however: Only a barbarian, only someone inflicted with the most crude intellectual weakness would so lazily jump to the conclusion that there is an iota of significance in the abstract idea that "Durr, dese states were da only ones mentioning dis Marx guy, thats all hes worth then". So openly honest about the fact that the power of ideas is recognized as being bound up with relations of power and their conferred legitimacy that the power of Marxism ends with its relevance for 20th century Communist states. But how, oh how does Qbill expect us to respond? You have already previously asserted that your intention is to discredit Marxism. Is this how you plan on going about it? Because this is an absolutely STUPID fucking argument. What is especially hilarious at this point is how you openly admit that your "re-evaluation" of Marxism amounted to nothing more than an ideological parallax shift. The material did not change, but the ideological presumptions which allow you to conceive it did. This basic fluctuation of ideological shift is what Marxists continually struggle with in periods where class struggle is in an all-time low - but cowards, weak-minded philistines and those whose hearts are made of sand will conflate the struggle for approximating truth with some grand revelation. This can either lead them to revisionism, or outright rejection of Marxism itself. It leads to the complete deterioration of themselves as intellectuals: Name me one former Marxist who was worth a shit. There are none. Instead we have individuals like Levy, Horowitz, and the high-ranking Eurozone political technocrats. As Marxists, for example, we can correctly ground the degeneracy of the Soviet Union not in some kind of trajectory path of the "proliferation of ideas" (Oh, little philistine, don't worry, we'll get to that very soon) but in the material and conditional developments which occurred. What alternative was there for the Soviet Union amidst the failure of the Western European revolution? Likewise, for Kola's own Poland, following WWII the geopolitical developments. I touched on this a bit earlier:

You build straw men after straw men, like for example: Was the East German state wrought out from a worker's revolution? No, it was not. To hold "Marxism" responsible for geopolitical formations which occurred after the second world war is just hopelessly fucking stupid.

You fail to understand is that implicit in these realities is hardly some kind of major blow to Marxism theoretically, because as Marxists, we already recognize that reality is not owed to "ideas" and how they express themselves, but rather to material developments. That means, for all we care, Mrs. Merkel can profess herself to be a Marxist all she wants, it is however painfully fucking stupid to hold "Marxism" responsible for her direct political policies. Of course one can't ignore the fact that Marxism was used to "justify" the existence of these states, but a disparity already arises in the basic point of criticism: We do not oppose these states because we conceive them as "terroristic", for there is amply NO moral authority western countries held over them "in this regard", NONE at all! You should know that this hypocritical discourse is NOT GOING TO FUCKING CUT IT for us. Onto the wider point, that "Marxism" was used to justify the existence of these states hardly demonstrates a cookie cutter trajectory path that places the evolution of thought from Marx to Stalinism. This is the tough Hegelian point: Yes the evolution was "linear", but only in approximation to real material developments. Say, had the revolution spread to the advanced western countries, the same "Marxism" that would later "evolve" into Stalinism would take a different trajectory path. Interestingly enough, we should note Qbill's hypocrisy: In a previous thread, he attacked his Marxist straw-man on the basis of a "four stages" theory, and the idea that there is a "universal", inevitable kind of development. But apparently, vis a vis Marxism, it could have ONLY cut it one way. Kola makes the very banal observation that "given the conditions", Marxism would have INEVITABLY changed the way it did. This has been the observation of all bourgeois ideologues. But this makes the assumption that the conditions themselves were inevitable, a crude kind of infantile idealism that does not even stand to basic, observable facts even by positivist standards.

At any rate, Marxism, and its formalization under Stalinism are clearly distinct. There is ntohing theoretically implicit in Marxism which made its formailzation inevitable. "New discoveries" did not force Marxists to, with ad hoc, do this - rather the necessity of an official state ideology did. It is not difficult to see the reality that Stalinists were nothing more than romantic-bourgeios ideologues, Jacobins if you will, and that Marxism underwent an intensive process of formalization, not along the lines of "dogmatism" a la Mao, but quite literally the rooting out of any and all dialectical logic and the subordination of dialectical logic to formal logic. Marxism's amoral theoretical foundations were now given a teleological twist with inherent ethical presumptions bound up in it, it lost all creative power (that was still conceivable in the 1920's in the SU) and was crystalized as mere rhetoric. In Stalinist countries, one could not assume the role of a Marxist, one could take the role of an external observer of it, and merely "agree" with it. This is the fundamental difference.

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Kola’s book demonstrates that within his particular world of give-and-take polemic—which we call ‘philosophy’—Marx doesn’t even pass the laugh test. Ditto for his ‘economics’.
Qbill, have you actually read section vis a vis Kola's criticism? If we are to use the absolute fucking GARBAGE you've given us as a standard for how Kola "demonstrated" this, we can easily say he failed miserably at doing this. But moreover, it would be an error to reduce Marxism to the level of a philosophy. We've been over this - Marxism is a scientific paradigm, which is why your irk have such trouble approaching it in whichever way. But as far as we're concerned, so far, the philosophic criticism's presented are bankrupt and at best attempts at trolling, while the 'economic' criticisms (all 1 of them) have been thoroughly discredited. So what's left, willy? Fucking shit-talker is what you are, my god - what CONFIDENCE you have. Literally, be honest - are you a fucking troll? You've taken it this far, It's simply a matter of curiosity at this point. How can an honest person make such sweeping generalizations which, appaerntly, afford no real further elaborations and still take themselves fucking seriously? This is what Qbill has to answer for himself (try not to gag):

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we all know that he wrote that there’s a causal relationship between the superstructure of ideas and the infrastructure of …whatever he designated it to mean at any particular moment.
Now, ladies and gentlemen, this piece of shit has this to show for as far as demonstrating the "laughability" and illegitimacy of Marxism: A blatant MISREADING. Philistinism, philistinism, philistinism! That is ALL this amounts to! What else can be said, Qbill? You're simply fucking IGNORANT with regard to the matters at hand, and yes - it is almost rather tiring (but have no fear, this isn't going to end so long as you continue posting, this I guarantee to you) having to actually lower one's standards to respond to this. Really? I mean, really? What the FUCK am I reading? You know, it gets to a point where there's SO MUCH FUCKING BULLSHIT IN CLAIM one's head is about to FUCKING explode. Let me divide the bulk of this criticism, therefore, in two parts. Part a) will consist of addressing the attack on historical materialism, part b) will consist of ironing out the BLATANT misinterpretation of the usage of the word "abstraction".

First and foremost, one should expect what is again such an OBVIOUS fucking, albeit popular straw man, as derivative out of the mouth of a high school humanities teacher. But for someone who claims to be an avowed critique of Marxism, of which we assume he is well acquainted with, this is nothing short of absurd! For example, you should now that the relationship between the base and the superstructure does not concern two static entities, not some kind of pretense to an empirical fact which the observer "steps out" of in order to observe, but a relationship between the social foundations of life, and the mechanisms that are necessary to reproduce them. To that end, all it refers to are the mechanisms which derive from the "base" of production which are necessary to reproduce it, but the point of significance is properly understanding what CONSTITUTES the base of production. In this sense, Marx and Engels are both making a profound claim, and one that is, upon secondary observation, not profound at all. It is merely the logical elaboration of any attempt to actually subordinate a study of history to scientific discipline, and we know this because - we might even remember that Foucault made the claim that in a letter to Engels, Marx said "You know very well where we derived our notion of class warfare - it was from studying the French historians and their ideas of warfare between nations". Obviously, this idea, upon "digging deeper" no longer stands to scrutiny. The point of asserting that ideas derive from real foundations of production and life, is nothing more than a logical elaboration of one's ability to shake off superstition and bourgeois metaphysics from their discourse or domain of analysis: That is to say, "ideas" do not come from god, they derive from one's relationship to reality. One's relationship to reality, practically, is subsumed by the process of reproducing the society and means of life that defines him, his character, and his expression as a living being. The point of recognizing that ideas derive from the material foundations of life is NOT something you can "prove", and to this end, Popper was correct (in a twisted kind of way): One cannot extend, by merit of empirical fact, the observation that ideas derive from relations to production to the discourse of universally accepted scientific discipline in general, because this claim is not a pretense to the empirical in the same vein that economic determinism is. What does this mean? It means that this is the ONLY conclusion one can draw from any attempt at a scientific inquiry of history, and for Marx and Engels this stems from the long tradition of German idealism and even before, Descartes - basic ontological questions themselves which extend into other domains. One cannot "empirically prove" that one must seek out a scientific inquiry of historical processes. I suppose that forcing acceptance by gunpoint is exactly what your irk are looking for. But moreover, how do we know this? For precisely the same reason that Marx directly claimed Darwin offered a basis in natural history a substantiation of historical materialism: The wealth of history does not have its basis physiologically in the human brain, and therefore ideas, "culture", etc. develop out of the necessity of reproducing the social sphere. All that is historically pertinent at all is contingent upon the foundations of the material, and even spiritual production in life. Whether this takes the form of "ideas", "real" politics, warfare or sexuality. For that reason, practically all Marxists of the western (and even stalinist!) tradition have rejected accusations of economic determinism. The bourgeoisie conceives the "economic" in an entirely different way that Marxists have: for the bourgeoisie, the economic is something they can have breathing space against, it is crudely what describes what is putting money in their pockets, and in the 21st century, fluctuations in finance. Real foundations to production, conversely, have a spiritual dimension to them: The constitution of the individual itself, his DEFINITION by merit of his relation to the basis of life itself, labor, ETC.

So rather than Marx whimsically defining what constitutes the "infrastructure", or base, this stems solely from the dissonance you probably incur from contrasting claims ABOUT Marx with Marx's work himself. The reality is that what Marxists mean about the economic base is very clear: It refers solely to the social relationships humans have to the process of material production. What is the "practical" point of this, however? After all, you could employ the Weberian argument that if "ideas' are just as necessary to reproduce relations to production, who decides which has primacy over the other? But again, this is the significance of materialism: that ideas are only sustained insofar as they relate to the process of production of the basis of survival and life, that ideas do not derive from men's asses but from an assessment of their material reality. The practical point was that any desirable change is impossible without the pre-requisite of material change, this was ultimately the lesson of Marx and Engels vis a vis the Young Hegelians: Ideas are subordinate to their material basis, the latter proceeds the former, and in the last instance (this MUST be stressed!), it determines it. The beauty of Marxism is that this epistemological revolution consumed Marx and Engels as it would the self-conscious proletarian all the same. It came first with the reality that the idea that the proletariat must be "used" to realize ideas, was a perversion, and that one's ideas most certainly derived from the intricacies of the social sphere itself and the possibility of it contingent upon the material possibility of it intrinsic to the antagonisms of capitalism itself. Qbill gives us the idea that "we are against exploitation", or some other stupid extrapolation, as if this is the axiom of Communism, and thereby Marxism. But nothing is farther from the truth: The social antagonism is absolutely implicit in the process of capital accumulation itself, Communism is nothing more than its sophistication in the long term. That is to say, amidst the regular victories and failures of short-term labor struggles, Communism unites, ultimately, the long-term demands of the proletarian: To abolish himself. Consciousness of social processes opened up the possibility of establishing a socially self conscious society, without class. This consciousness, however, is absolutely derivative of social relations to production, the possibility wrought out from the antagonism between proletarian and capitalist. Hence the point of materialism.

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Kola’s point was that within the confines of said terrorist state apparatus, the marxoid posit of base/superstructure causality was declared ‘true’ at the point of a gun.
Which is why that Kola was actually lined up and shot after he wrote Main currents of Marxism. Wait a second, he merely lost his job! But you know what? Right on them for firing him, for he was a worthless individual and a shitty intellectual. What the FUCK was Kola good for? Nothing! Needless to say, it's nothing short of an exaggeration that "This was declared true at the point of a gun". Was such an idea sustained by the power of the state apparatus? Indeed it was, but this holds just as true in the west as it did in Stalinist countries. One would find a hard time getting a job in western universities having ideas that do not conform to the needs of ruling ideology, or better yet even capital: In fact Marxism's popularity in western universities was bound up with the heightened worker's power, nothing more. So sorry that it hurts your sensitivities that a state-apparatus with repressive mechanisms to sustain itself gave legitimacy to ideas that were not legitimate in the west. Boo fucking hoo. What is pertinent about this? What is SIGNIFICANT about this, Qbill? In the "pluralistic" west, you see, there is even less freedom in this regard because at least the state affords you with the dignity of thinking there might be some "truth" in your opposition. In the west, to question ruling ideology is merely an impossibility for the overwhelming majority of intellectuals. At least ruling ideology in Poland was open and on the table. Ruling ideology in the west was not construed as official ideology but what people are 'naturally' inclined to. So boo fucking hoo.

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For example, while Bloc attempted to demonstrate the economic roots of the French Revolution, Furet countered with an explanation rooted in the proliferation of ideas.
This is a particularly stupid example because as it happens, even from a vulgar Marxist standpoint, the French revolution was absolutely and unquestionably a bourgeois revolution. But moreover, does everyone see how these fucking philistines think? There is now a dichotomy between "economic roots" and "the proliferation of ideas", as though the latter explanation is sufficient unto-itself as a real, fully fleshed competing hypothesis. This is how these fucking idiots approach historical materialism. The reality is that to ask the basic question of: What was the basis of the proliferation of ideas, why did it happen, what sustained the popularity of these ideas (because we know that not just ANY idea is going to "proliferate" merely by existing), is merely beyond the scope of imagination for the bourgeois ideologues. Yet, they ideologically designate the answer itself: That is to say, there CAN be no answer because certain "ideas" proliferate as the culmination of the evolution of thought, or even worse, because "similar events have been recorded in history: It's just a human thing, that sometimes ideas proliferate that lead to revolution, it's in our DNA - soon geneticists will show you". And still you remain absolutely fucking dumbfounded at the pretense Marxists have to scienticity, when in fact the "proliferation of ideas" is given as the casual basis of the French revolution. Is that really where it fucking ends? In reality, of course, the French revolution occurred solely because French absolutism had become a hindrance to the development of French capitalism, it was spear-headed by the bourgeoisie, who constituted their direct, raw, "economic" interests in the Girodins, and the Jacobins: Bourgeois ideologues whose material basis of DIRECT SUPPORT was in the doomed class, the Sans-cullotes. The obvious mistake is assuming that the character of a revolution amounts to the "direct support" of individual members of a class, but this is besides the point. There were many classes before the French revolution. Afterwards, policies were pursued which benefited only the bourgeoisie, and the bourgeoisie was the ONLY class to come out of the French revolution victorious. The ideas which led to actual laws and a newly-found basis of statehood "coincidentally" dethroned the power of the former aristocracy in its entirety, and destroyed all barriers to capitalist accumulation by abolishing serfdom and creating universal civic rights. This should be enough to end the story, but to play the devil's advocate, let's take it much further: the basic error is the inability to conceive the fact that bourgeois revolutions can occur without the support of a bourgeoisie. This was true for the Soviet Union and China during their industrialization and the latter's cultural revolution, which Bordiga correctly identified as having its basis in a bourgeoisie which existed "in the intricacies" of social development in both countries, struggling to express itself. During the French revolution, the direct interests of the bourgeoisie, mediated through the Girodins, was not enough to lay the political foundations for capitalist development. This role was taken by the Jacobins, who were bourgeois ideologues. Now this begs the basic question: What implicit predispositions to capitalist development are there, if not for the direct interests of individual capitalists? In ideology of course, not a directly "capitalist" one in content, but in the bourgeois ideology of the revolution (sustained by their existence itself). This is why the Jacobins were doomed to failure, in not having a huge basis of support among the whole bourgeoisie directly, they could only ever "take things too far" in defending the revolution. The whole error rests upon properly conceiving what constitutes "class interests", in which case it is vulgar to reduce it to the individual interests of members of a class. Rather, one understands this by evaluating the processes which sustained the class, and therefore what in the long-term the class seeks. That is why individuals who did not belong to the bourgeoisie could have none the less carried out their interests where the individual bourgeoisie could not: Because classes assume a structural role irreducible to individuals. Furet, most of all, does not even "counter" the materialist analysis, he merely claims that it would be "better" (more practical, we should guess) to examine the French revolution solely with regard to the evolution of ideas. This, however, is not an alternate explanation - it is a pretense to ignorance. I can squarely place the French revolution in a crisis of fashion and aesthetics as well, rather than "ideas", and while I can read this narrative, it will not offer anything close to a causal explanation.

You see, it would be absolutely ridiculous for historical materialists to attempt to "prove" it is true, much like how it would be absolutely ridiculous for naturalists to "prove" Darwins' evolution is true. Of course the hypothesis that "Animals could have been hand-made by ghosts and it's only a coincidence that changes happen when they do" cannot be disproven, but it is not scientific. We can imagine this is why Popper (but why not Kola) called evolutionary biology a "metaphysical research program". The go-to question of historical materialists IS NOT "did the base determine the superstructure here? Was the French revolution class based?" but "which processes made the French revolution possible" or "what WAS the class character of it". Kola and Popper are 100% right that historical materialism is unfalsifiable, for the same reason science itself is unfalsifiable - it does not refer to any kind of "new" claim that must be proven, it becomes the axiom the minute one wants to engage in any scientific assessment of the social. This might seem like a longshot, but it merely stems from the basic observation that: "Ok, ideas, 'evolve' in our collective space, but what processes underlie our collective space? What brings me into social association with everyone else from which I can even form such ideas"? And furthermore , "We can observe the productive foundations of life, but since these aren't rooted in "nature" and cannot exist by themselves, how are they reproduced? Certainly it cannot simply be humans idly accepting their circumstances, for their conditions of acceptance cannot amount to "human nature" in the right situation, because we need to know how this situation was wrought out". Failure to conceive this basic fact leads to the philistines drawing more stupid conclusions during their messianic period of grand revelation, the late 70's and the 80's, a la "Marxists were wrong about the English civil war" because direct class differences weren't so clear cut. Even though the fuckers never even read Marx and Engels' works on it, which clearly and explicitly mentioned that various small landowners engaged on the anti-monarchist side, too, and that some of the bourgeoisie sided with the monarchy as a result of their comfortable relation wrought out from absolutism. Of course, philistines love to point that in their "cultural" and political pursuits, much of the nobility was on par with the bourgoeisie, but what htey conveniently ignore is very simple: Did they do this AS the nobility, or as a new aspiring bourgeoisie? The French revolution abolished feudal obligations and the political power of the Nobility while at the same time legalizing their right to own land, but on lines of capitalist accumulation. If this was "equally" a revolution of the nobility, then what would follow would be a political sophistication of their rights, but what we saw was the opposite. What makes this a bourgeois revolution is very clear upon close examination: The prerogatives of the rebels were clearly aimed at the formation of a state which would foster and allow for an extension of capitalist relations. In Qbill's eyes, all of this is mere meaningless drivel because capitalism = feudalism and everything which sets historic epochs apart are the random proliferation of "ideas". They come from men's asses, apparently.

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Therefore, to discuss superstructure that’s de-contextualized from its causal referent of ‘infrastructure’’ is called ‘alienation’, at least in the Hegelian sense.

So yet again (!), ‘abstraction’ only designates ‘generality’, whether correct or not. Therefore, for a Marxist to say, “The superstructure is abstracted from its infrastructural base” is to speak nonsense: well, of course it is, because that’s what the word ‘abstract means.
And yet, still failing to actually understand the basis of my criticism, it had little to do with some kind of conflation of the primacy of the base with the superstructure, but rather, an erroneous characterization of the "superstructure" itself by resorting to abstractions. That is to say, one is not even JUST referring to any "casual" relationship when they criticize you here, the point is that in claiming that "People tend to bond on national lines" is a false generalization of the "entities" which it attempts to subsume or attribute essential characteristics. But this is not the least of it. I've ALREADY FUCKING addressed this:

No, rather, Marxists might refer to these abstractions as "alienated" from their material reality. Marx used "abstractions" all the time, most especially in capital, but these were true abstractions insofar as they correctly approximated reality in a controlled theoretical space in order to convey this or that point. Everyone engages in 'abstractions', one way or another, the point is where we derive these abstractions from, and how we apply them. The beliefs of a group cannot be 'abstracted' from their economic infrastructure, for their beliefs are a necessary FUNCTION of that infrastructure, constituting a part of its reproduction. To say that their beliefs are "abstracted" ignores the nature of those beliefs - which is why you're so terribly confused: again, the basis of my criticism against you has nothing to do with the fact that you're using abstractions "in principle", but how your'e using them. Claiming that "everything is the same" or that the essential characteristics of capitalist society have always existed only works by identifying features in other societies that are only meaningful in their varying degrees of resemblance to our society, rather than their relevance in their own according historic epoch. This is why I call these features abstractions - they disregard the concreteness of the societies they are projected on. This seldom constitutes an assertion that abstractions from present-day society are not derived and projected upon history as a whole, a sin which you yourself will later prove to shamelessly commit right after:

So again, what is shamelessly pathetic here is that after incessantly explaining to you what I meant, you still fail to base the actual point of criticism in not only a "de-contextualization" of the "economic" base, but in the historic de-contextualizaiton of the processes all together. This is an error which Hegel was not guilty of, most of all - and yet Hegel was certainly not a historical materialist. So, "yet again", there is nothing you've fucking given to us which was not already addressed previously, because abstraction DOES NOT simply refer to "generality", it refers to essential characteristics removed from their particular expression, and then ascribed generally as essential characteristics, and therefore as of the given particularities of different historic epochs. If you actually READ my fucking post:

No, because you miss the point of the basis of argumentation all together - the point is not JUST that the qualities you ascribe to previous historic epochs are abstractions, the point is where these qualifications are abstracted from. In any case, the essential characteristics of a society, the casual basis of its existence, is concluded solely by abstracting - yes - generalizations in order to sustain unknowable ideological presumptions, namely, the abstracting of human behavior from the various circumstances which are the result of nothing more than the summation of the relations between these humans, in order to mystify history as the field wherein various structural archetypes inherent to present-day capitalist society are mystically "manifested" somehow throughout history. One would expect that the means by which these abstractions are "manifested" is explained by anything from new age drivel to evolutionary psychology. Likewise, the reason we call this unscientific is again because ideals are abstracted to which various societies are then conformed to, with absolutely no regard for a critical, systemic evaluation of the logic of the societies themselves, the processes which sustained and reproduced them, and so on. A generalization is a generalization, but generalizations used to convey points about essential, particular characteristics about "entities" that are being subsumed is much more than that - it constitutes an ideological abstraction, and it is absolutely unscientific. To prevent more strawmen being churned out, let's take the very specific example of the nation-state: To speak of "nations" would be an accurate generalization vis a vis our present capitalist epoch, but to frame an assessment of history in terms of "well, people tend to form common bonding on national lines" is to abstract phenomena particular only to modernity and derive marginal or unessential qualities of previous societies as a means to conform them to it, i.e. "See! The Greeks more or less do this too" and so on. This is wrong for obvious reasons: The concept of the "nation" in its relevant pertinence only entered the minds of men and women as a result of modernity and the formation of nation-states, which despite any abstract "similarities", were wrought out for entirely different reasons than different "nations" thousands of years ago. In addition, such "similarities" were contingent upon entirely different historical processes, rather than superstitiously deducing that it constitutes an abstract "tendency" in history that "manifests" itself in men and women, Marxists recognize the reality of qualitative changes throughout history. It conveniently dodges, and places barriers to forming continents of knowledge, from asking very basic and simple questions: How do nations form? What sustains them? What brings vast swaths of people into association, makes them related by language and blood? These are questions that only Marxists can properly answer, or at the very least - people borrowing Marxian methods of analysis. Of course not even the most ardent historicist can avoid conceiving the past through the lense of present-day society, but the lesson of Hegel is that each historic epoch can be conceived by its own logic, and its own merits, through critical scientific methods derived from present-day society. That is to say, only now can a philosophy of history, or self-consciousness of historic processes be conceived - and we learn later from Marx that this possibility is wholly contingent upon the force of Communism.

You can't even, however, properly engage the argument for what it is. The point of mentioning epistemology is not to convey this or that as "epistemologically false", the point is to demonstrate that the means by which such conclusions are derived in the first place, are contingent upon an inherently unscientific epistemology. That means that "establishing" similarities between different things might be integral to any process of conceiving real knowledge consistently, but how one conceives the basis of similarity, the qualifications of similarity and in which regard is not going to be the same across the fucking board. Case in point, you can find similarities between any two societies, but the conclusions drawn from a relation to an understanding into the nature of those similarities - whether imaginary abstractions or correctly approximated coordinates in two totalities, is not going to cut it across the board. To say, for example that capitalism has existed in 50,000 B.C., or that people have "always" fought for nationhood


It is a false dichotomy to refer to this matters as "merely" an argument between the essential primacy of "the material base" and "ideas", for this is the epitome of ridiculousness. No sane person is going to argue that the nation-state formed because a person thought it was a good idea. And likewise, ideas are involved in such processes too, how could they not be? Materialism only becomes significant insofar as we reject conceiving historic events as the EXPRESSION or MANIFESTATION of this or that idea, which means that saying human "economic" life in 50,000 B.C. was capitalist and saying that Aristotle's ideas were proto-Communist are just as idealist, irregardless of the implications vis a vis the relation between the "base" or "superstructure". This is what you fail to understand as far as what constitutes materialism. Saying "da base determines da superstructure" can be perfectly idealist in the right context, as a matter of fact, in Stalinist discourse it took an ABSOLUTELY idealist character insofar as history was conceived as the mere "manifestation" of this or that abstraction. My god, you're hopelessly fucking confused aren't you. I think you might even have succeeded in, to a minor degree, even confuse ME! So let's play a new game: To put it shortly, my argument is not that you are "abstracting" a superstructure from a base (WHO THE FUCK THINKS LIKE THIS? HOW DO YOU COME UP WITH THIS SHIT?) and then generalizing it to all of history, but that you're abstracting observable characteristics in previous societies to conform to ideas about our society which are part of the superstructure itself . Are you schizophrenic, or what? Fucking god... All you're good for is OBSCUFATING basic points.

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But then again, so did Spencer’s ‘survival of the fittest’.
No, it didn't. Spencer conceived evolution as literally a matter of linear "progress". Spencer's "survival of the fittest" had inherently moral, ethical and metaphysical implications, it referred almost to a kind of cosmically, or divinely ordained RIGHT to existence - hardly comparable to Darwin's natural selection, which basically refers to catastrophe upon catastrophe that preludes existence. Darwin tells us that this animal exists, and is therefore fit. Spencer tells us that this animal was "fit", and therefore exists. Think hard about the difference. It's like saying social Darwinism didn't have inherently ideological underpinnings because it pretended to be "amoral". It is a lazy way of thinking. Darwin's idea of natural selection was on par with Marx's historical materialism epistemologically, because it allowed for an explanation of processes that were sufficient-unto themselves as having their own particular logic and merit. What that means is that there were no animals "evolving", no need to subordinate evolutionary processes to some grand plan for humanity. Likewise, historical materialism was the same for human societies: the characteristics of a society were only testament to the endurance of that particular process of production, and rather than "human nature", characteristic which are found across the board only warrant the generalization that they are necessary for every kind of society to survive.

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What’s also obvious is that to declare oneself ‘Darwinian’ is to attempt to place the ruminations of the humanities on a level of biology, as a ‘science’. Again to be ‘Marxist’ is to accept this nonsense as true; this we already know about you people.
We're referring to the epistemological parallel, not the implications Darwinism has on Marxism. Hint: It has fuck all to biological determinism. I'VE FUCKING BEEN OVER THIS ALREADY! In fact, YOU claimed that because humans are physiologically and biologically the same, that capitalism existed 50,000 B.C. Reducing the humanities to the level of biology is YOUR sin, not ours. I'm not even surprised anymore. "To be a Marxist is to accept this nonsense is true". Why, because I FUCKING said that Origin of Species contributed to Marx's epistemological revolution, and that Darwin's LOGIC of natural history was similar to Marx's of human history (AS TWO DISTINCT CATEGORIES). To extend the biological to the social is just as erroneous as extending the atomic in place of the biological. So, although we can't know who "we" refers to, it would appear that you don't know shit after all.

Qbill's thought process:

"Sounds sensible enough, because it is a falsely inferred extrapolation about a complex historic tradition that spans over a hundred years from my opponents argument in an internet argument, let me just say it as though it is indisputable."

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Althusser’s written history of Marx’s attempt to develop a scientific method does not –by virtue of its writing—establish whether or not Marx succeeded in his endeavor.
What the fuck do you want me to say? "Oh, I agree, Qbill". No elaboration necessary, apparently? If you actually conceive Althusser's qualifications for science, then yes, Marx absolutely succeeded in this. The idea that Althusser was showing that Marx was deliberately "trying" to make Marxism scientific (that is to say, CONFORM to "science") is yet again another baseless idea pulled straight out of your ass. If you actually bothered with Althusser, you'd know that he outlined HOW Marx developed a scientific method, and the processes which underlined this - not "if" he wanted to. Again, do you have some kind of mental disorder which propels you to confidently TALK OUT OF YOUR ASS? WHY DO YOU DO THIS? DO YOU THINK YOU'RE GOING TO GET AWAY WITH IT? If you're genuinely serious, here's a beginner's guide to how to speak about Althusser without baseless shit-talking, in pertinence to the topic of significance: https://www.marxists.org/reference/a...on-marxism.htm. Rather than "by virtue of his writing", the conclusion can only derive from Qbill's mind, it is absolutely implicit in Althusser's writings that Marx succeeded in developing a scientific method, because Althusser offers an epistemology which qualifies science as beyond the flimsy "Quantative data, predictions, ETC." - this is literlaly just a loose bundle of things that you're used to associating with natural sciences, it's not a coherent definition as to what constitutes science. For that reason, as Althusser and his followers (Me included) would say, your qualifications for science are ideological, in that what it really refers to is a method which has indisputable practical utility for EVERYONE regardless of ideological considerations. As it happens, predictions and quantitative data are the only characteristics, at least for Marxists and bourgeois, that both cannot ignore as "true". But as I stated before, this is contingent upon whether we recognize the background of assumptions to be valid.

Qbill, tell us, is Arthur Jensen's "data" scientific? How about the "data" collected by Richard Lynn? Evolutionary psychology? Surely this is "scientific", but as you stated above, such crude reductionism is nonsense. Why the inconsistency?

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Actually, many of us in the 70’s were saying, “Well okay, this turn to science was pure junk and Althusser’s a crank; so let’s go back to the younger Marx who established a viable critique of capitalism on realistically humanist grounds.”
Why should Rafiq concern himself with what "many of us" in the 70's were saying? If you were an "analytical Marxist", it would still be of zero pertinence. The idea that "many of you" constitute the basis of Marxism's legitimacy, as though some kind of force of history worked through you which allowed you to speak for the whole tradition of Marxism, is just laughable. Fuck "you all". Anything else, Qbill? Ask, why were many of you saying this? Because you were, by in part, bourgeois ideologues to begin with who wanted nothing more from Marx than a supplementation of these ideological foundations. He failed you in this regard. Boo fucking hoo. The reason many of you were saying this is because "this" Marxism violated your bourgeois sensitivities, but it's good that it drove away the scoundrels.

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In Fact, my own prof, Deleuze, claimed that we’re all Marxist in the sense that he was the first to develop a critique of the commoditization of daily life and culture. This I can accept, despite the emergence of the Grundrisse that clearly indicates the young Marx as a closet-case Hegelian-dabbler.
We've discussed this, and we've been over this in previous threads. The fact of the matter is that the qualifications for Marxism is not this vague opposition to "comomditization" to daily life and culture, any liberal can do this. No matter how desperately academics attempt to make Marxism fashionable. Marxism has nothing to do with some kind of moral platitude, for fuck's sake. So while we appreciate how generous you are in 'accepting' this qualification, it must be thoroughly stressed that no - you're not a fucking Marxist. In fact, short of claiming "wanting to make a better world" constitutes Marxism, Deleuze succeeds only in enticing irk we precisely have no need for, in our tradition. Rather than a critique of "commoditization", something any Fascist, or religious devotee can engage in, one is qualified as a Marxist the minute that they, as Communist ideologues, engage in ruthless criticism of everything and extend the scientific threshold vis a vis ideology to the social sphere. To put it less vaguely, Marxism is the unity of German idealism with French radicalism, with English political economy.

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However that might be, what seems to emerge in not only the posthumous papers of Deleuze but also in the works of Zizek, Badiou and Negri is a Spinozan, early Marx of pure immanence. The teleology emerges only later in the middle ‘scientific’ period as some sort of mental disorder—then recedes as Marx got more into practical organization.
We see this, by in part, because of the destruction of the ideology of Communism and therefore the practical sustenance of Marxism's basis obsolete. The scientific Marx emerged from the approximation of the ideas of Communism in its real material foundations. This "Marx of pure immanence", the Young Marx of course, dabbled in the sphere of processes of pure thought, the sphere intellectuals today are bound by in the absence of the class struggle, thereby the real movement to abolish the present state of things. Accusations of "teleology" are pure straw men, even when applied to Hegel. Plain and fucking simple. What finds AT LEAST in the work of Badiou and Zizek (Not particularly acquainted with Negri beyond Empire) is not a return to Spinoza, but rather a re-assertion of of Hegel over Spinoza. What is painfully disgusting, however, as far as how painfully ignorant you are - IS THAT IT WAS ALTHUSSER WHO STRESSED A RETURN TO SPINOZA, PRECISELY Althusser! What do you think Althusser's structuralism amounted to? Precisely the borrowing of a Spinozan concept to, in light of attempting to reject idealist essentialism (in its last remnants, in his mind), of the effect of the structure on its parts, that the cause of the parts are the result of the structure, and that finally, that the only means to conceive the cause is to observe the effect. But Althusser, being an actual philosopher, of course does not DISMISS Hegel, he fully acknowledges that Hegel's contradiction derived from an attempt to set Spinoza in motion. Rather than drawing the conclusion that motion itself is non-existent, Althusser claims that to approach a scientific notion of contradiction, one must discard both the Spinozan and Hegelian idea of the absolute, and reject the Hegelian notion of an expressive causality, i.e. the Hegelian placement of causality via contradiction within the wider context of absolute spirit. In other words, Althusser attempts to aufhebeng Spinoza (to be ironic) in a way he conceived Hegel was incapable of doing. And ironically, this is precisely where Althusser's limitations can be approached, ultimately a misreading of Hegel, to put it very shortly.

Cant' wait for the next batch of baseless, sweeping claims made with unfound levels of confidence as well as more confused obscufations. Keep at it, willy! Can't wait for another DODGING of the fucking discussion all together, opening new doors to more drivel upon drivel, like I have to endlessly pour my heart and soul into detailed, thorough and substantive responses only to have this motherfucker churn out more lines of creatively thought out BULLSHIT. Go on willy, have another go at it, I'm sure this time around you'll make your point! Marx is almost discredited!

In all seriousness, the fact that I have to teach someone who claims to be capable of discrediting Marx the most elementary components of Marxist theory is basically just unfair. You're delusional if any of your drivel is going to give you a free pass. Even if you abstain from this discussion, I'm going to endlessly follow you around the forum so as to disallow any of this filth to be given a platform. No, you will not "discredit" Marx for the Left, not here at least. It's almost like the nature of this "discussion" (and the infinitely many future discussions, we can now imagine) has gone thus far:

Qbill claims something fucking stupid.

I have to explain to him, condescendingly, why it is stupid, giving him a plethora of information regarding Marxism

With this newfound information, Qbill generates more stupid fucking arguments by merit of his ignorance, triumphantly on top of my substantive reply, almost as to symbolically demonstrate his disregard for it's content.
You see, willy, at this point, I cannot help but suspect you are genuinely, amply just a stupid person. The duration of this discussion has conferred upon me the role of a teacher, and you a student. Now, this is plainly unfair.

But as expected:

Cant' wait for the next batch of baseless, sweeping claims made with unfound levels of confidence as well as more confused obscufations. Keep at it, willy! Can't wait for another DODGING of the fucking discussion all together, opening new doors to more drivel upon drivel, like I have to endlessly pour my heart and soul into detailed, thorough and substantive responses only to have this motherfucker churn out more lines of creatively thought out BULLSHIT. Go on willy, have another go at it, I'm sure this time around you'll make your point! Marx is almost discredited!

In all seriousness, the fact that I have to teach someone who claims to be capable of discrediting Marx the most elementary components of Marxist theory is basically just unfair. You're delusional if any of your drivel is going to give you a free pass. Even if you abstain from this discussion, I'm going to endlessly follow you around the forum so as to disallow any of this filth to be given a platform. No, you will not "discredit" Marx for the Left, not here at least. It's almost like the nature of this "discussion" (and the infinitely many future discussions, we can now imagine) has gone thus far:

Qbill claims something fucking stupid.

I have to explain to him, condescendingly, why it is stupid, giving him a plethora of information regarding Marxism

With this newfound information, Qbill generates more stupid fucking arguments by merit of his ignorance, triumphantly on top of my substantive reply, almost as to symbolically demonstrate his disregard for it's content.


Thank you, at the very least, for confirming your basic predictability. Only this time, I should have mentioned taking phrases out of context which, if placed properly, would completely decimate the responses you've already leveled forth! The counter-argument is already implicit in them. Conveniently, you take it upon yourself to isolate a few FUCKING phrases and then, in turn, respond. It's not going to cut it, however. All of the bellow arguments i have already discredited, and the substantial basis of the argument has ended. Now, I'm going to provide mere summaries of them. It would seem that in his attempt to "discredit" Marx for the left, Franklin has succeeded only in discrediting himself on an internet forum. Get ready for yet another intellectual onslaught, though:

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Originally Posted by will franklin View Post
Kola’s book is the subject of this thread.
None of the arguments presented are unique to Kola in any way whatsoever. Therefore, instead of hiding behind him, we expect that you assume full responsibility in claiming "Kola's" arguments as none other than your own. We all appreciate you attempting to "stay on topic", but in discussing Kola's book, the debate has now shifted towards the legitimacy or validity of Kola's claims. I have thoroughly and amply demonstrated them to be a load of fucking nonsense - a desperate attempted by yet another weak-mind shit eating "academic" who became disillusioned with a tradition which extended far beyond him in ways obviously beyond their grasp - only to give us a plethora of "revelations" which constitute nothing more than a parallax shift wherein no new discoveries are found, but Marxism is now grasped through entirely different ideological coordinates which, to say the least, "give a new perspective to it". What we call this, is an ideological shift, the closest thing to it is the long-time atheist who finally accepts religion after a long period of soul searching. What does that mean? It is the process wherein knowledge is converted ideologically into a known unknown, wherein the substance of the knowledge becomes crystalized, thrown into the abyss and conceived solely in terms of straw men. This process swept across western Europe during the 1970's and the 1980's, as a result of the ideological, political and cultural revolution in capitalism: Neoliberalism. This is exactly why we'll see what is a basic revision of historical facts from you, or Kola, in order to conform Marxism to this "new perspective", to place it "properly within its context":

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No, it represented what it always was: a subcurrent of a subcurrent of the worker’s movement. For example, Eleanor Marx made her father’s work appear interesting through the hard, heroic, coalition-building work her father refused to do.
You no, it gets to that point, franklin, where I read something so painfully fucking stupid, and so obviously fucking wrong, that I feel it is a waste of time even trying to bother: Someone living in such a state of delusion, must obviously have his head so fucking far up his ass that he probably can't even decipher the words I'm typing correctly. But alas, I made good on a promise: Until you're banned, I'm not going to allow you to get your last word in this thread, or any thread. Even so, even after you're banned, I'm going to respond to your final post. So, as it happens, I have ot take it upon myself to school you in basic coronets and historical facts that any motherfucker who would dare make it upon himself to attempt to "discredit Marx" SHOULD HAVE ALREADY KNOWN. No matter. Sit back, and get ready to learn. After this, I can't imagine how you could even show your fucking face around this forum:

By the time of the Hague congress, there was no worker's movement that was not polarized between Marxism and anarchism. Because "Marxism" as such did not even exist, however, before Marx and Engels, Franklin here wants us to accept the convenient picture that Marxism was just a silly little fetish that we ought not to take seriously. For the scientific mind, this is rather puzzling, because even if it were true, it wouldn't make a SHIT of a fucking difference as far as the content goes. But low and behold, if we pay attention to my previous posts:

The fact of the matter is that it was only Marxism that allowed the Bolsheviks to seize state power, only Marxism that strengthened the workers movement to the point where it forced the western bourgeoisie first to retreat to Fascism, and then to inspire the formation of the welfare state. Now, of course for a bourgeois ideologue, PRACTICAL results (not practicality in general) are going to be the measurement of the legitimacy of Marxism. What does this mean? If Marx was used "practically" to mass produce iphones, or do something whose "value" is directly measurable in (Get this, folks) "the real world", then in Qbill's mind, Marx would be worth something after all. This is how philistines think: rather than CRITICALLY EVALUATING the theoretical content of Marxism, they will make prior value-judgments about it based on where it ranks in the hierarchy of legitimized truth of the state apparatus. Bourgeois ideologues are incapable of properly qualifying knowledge, because knowledge is going to always inevitably take the character of its "practical" expression in bourgeois society: Conveying relationships of power. Hence, the spontaneous impulse of the positivists is to evaluate content based on where it derives, rather than what it is actually composed of. The fact that Marx is all but "useless" to bourgeois ideologues, even scientists, is supposed to present itself as some kind of valuable point of criticism, but these opportunists will flip-flop back and forth largely based on how legitimate Marxism is conceived at any given time. It is a well-established fact that the popularity, and power of Marxism, is related to the state of class struggle.

there is no way to "force" those who ascribe to bourgeois science or its pathetic last ditch - positivism, to accept the premise that history can be conceived scientifically. It all goes back to the "paradox" of science: You can't prove the scientific method is true, for this is contingent upon methods that are ultimately contingent upon the scientific method. The scientific method, is therefore a practical instrument, one that we cannot force anyone to accept - not creationists, and not philistine critics of Marx. If it were anything otherwise, than social transformation would be possible if only we were able to convince those in power that we are "correct", bourgeois ideology would owe its power to a mere misunderstanding of reality, and it would be the end of capitalism. As materialists, however, we recognize that the ideological power which sustains capitalism is far from a misunderstanding, but a necessary function for the reproduction of the existing order and existing relationships to production, for capitalism could never be a socially self-conscious society and still function

From every positivist philistine I have spoken too, we Marxists become flattered by the second-hand conscious attempts to discredit Marx. So powerful, so omnipotent is Marxism, that philistines must stoop as low as to attempt to de-legitimize it out of our collective space of reason by qualifying the CHARACTER of it within their hierarchy of legitimized truth. Anywhere from Marx being "stupid" or literally just plain insane (moreover, Marxism being some kind of temporal intellectual fad which lost over to changes in the fashionable), Marx's repute must somehow be diminished, the content withstanding. So sickening and servile is this fucking logic, is that if Marx was the darling of the bourgeoisie, if Marx was used "practically" in the everyday goings of our capitalist society, then these philistines would have to, at the very least, pay some sort of respect or tribute to him. All of this, however, still dodges the fundamental point: Why the necessity of all of these attacks on Marxism that are simply EXTERNAL from the theoretical content of Marxism? Perhaps we might guess they are leveled insofar as to demonstrate Marxism had no "basis" in reality, the truth however is much more damning: Plainly put, they are used as an excuse to not have to be burdened with substantively and thoroughly criticizing or addressing Marxism. Because Marxism polarized academia for much of the cold war, because Marx's popularity had swept through Europe since the early 20th century, Marxism simply could not be ignored, an excuse for ignoring him was necessary. As I already demonstrated above, there is no way to "force" ideologues to accept using science, there is no way to "prove" science, so as such - all they can be left with doing is ignoring it. In order to provide a justification for their ignorance, they must reduce Marxism to the level of some kind of anomalous idiosyncrasy, so that they stick up their chins, tighten their lips, and in all their philistinism claim "Well, I don't have to concern myself with any of that". The very basic structure of the idea is the own recipe for the argument which destroys it. The idea, by merit of its wild outlandishness, is not one that can be spontaneously conceived, it must be - as already mentioned, opportunistically ascribed. In other words, conferring "irrelevant illegitimacy" to Marxism, is contingent upon ascribing characteristics to Marxism which are only substantively present in some fringe cult that might have existed, but is not conceived implicitly in Marxism itself. The argument, therefore, is structured as follows: "Marxism is like X", not "Marxism IS X". Otherwise, there would be no reason to stress regularly that Marxism would "otherwise' be irrelevant if not for the Soviet Union, because the theoretical power of Marxism would be inevitably bound up with official Marxist-Leninist ideology, it is absolutely and wholly ridiculous to think that ideas can be magically transmuted by states which exist overseas to intellectuals in the west to confer a sense of legitimacy. The Soviet Union might explain why anti-Marxists might have chose to bother discerning Marx (which, even this couldn't really be true) and understanding him, but it explains nothing about the sustenance and power of Marxism throughout the 20th century. The real people who lost interest was ruling ideology, this was not owed to the collapse of the socialist bloc alone, but to a parallax shift through the decimation of the worker's movement in a holistic assault by the ruling classes. In short, capitalism changed - and the Communism of the past became crystalized, no longer an ideology, but an idiosynchrasy of the past which was directly approachable. That is because the horizon of Communism's basis had changed its coordinates with the ideological change wrought out in capitalism's development. Why is this observable? For precisely the opposite reasons Kola mentioned. By the 20th century, there was no socialist movement that was not Marxist in character, or at the very least heavily influenced by Marx. At this point, even the anarchists could not help but be somewhat influenced by Marx - Marxism had completely transformed the character of the worker's movement and strengthened it in an unprecedented way, and this effect was visible early on, even before the Pairs Commune. Was Russia peculiar in this regard? Even if you can find me a "worker's movement" in the latter part of the 19th century, or early 20th century which was non-Marxist in character, the movement had to construct a new idiosyncrasy in order to counter-act Marxism (respond to it). In other words, Marx was hardly irrelevant, not even for non-Marxists. If there was ever going to be ANY revolution in Europe in the 20th century, it would have been Marxist in character. This is simply and amply not up for dispute. In light of these facts, however, what does this fuckwit franklin tell us? That it was a "subcurrent within a subcurrent". This is a blatant denial of historical facts, and rather than get off easy - I want to see this motherfucker actually try to back this up. I know how, after each and every time I completely make your arguments impossible to defend any further, you slip away only to generate new ones - but I want you to ACTUALLY go on claiming that Marxism was always a "subcurrent within a subcurrent", please - I demand you BACK UP THIS FUCKING ARGUMENT. Throughout Marx's whole life, he had been the ultimate figure of controversy within the worker's movement (when he entered it at least), you see, "irrelevance" merely refers to having little impact or influence on the course of events, but Marx POLARIZED the fucking movement. So painfully fucking stupid are you to not see the fact that the "socialism" before Marx was an eclectic, unsophisticated movement that was always susceptible to reaction and filth by merit of not being socially self-conscious. If Marx had never even lived, then someone (presumably another young Hegelian) would have taken his place, because the socialist movement could not have sustained itself without Marxism: The class struggle would have continued, but for it to sophisticate, and strengthen itself required the pre-requisite of something akin to Marxism. Where did this "socialist" movement, of which "Marxism was a subcurrent of" go exactly? The schism of Hague left only the Marxists and the anarchists: WHO THE FUCK ELSE WAS THERE, IN YOUR MIND? Everyone at that point had taken a fucking side. The picture that you're trying to pain, is PLAINLY FUCKING WRONG. Plainly. Fucking. Wrong.

Moreover, even in pertinence to the argument as a whole, we must actually, PROPERLY place Marxsim within its context. Rather than than being a stupid, arrogant motherfucker like Kola, with his eyes lit up claiming to have found the "secret" behind Marxism by probably skimming a few theoretical disputes and then running wild with the most painfully desperate drivel (Kola's writings are akin to a rebellious teen, now given the green light - after being fired of course - to give in to their temptations and run with it, Kola the hysteric), we must analyze the significance of the Soviet Union. Why? Because if not for the Soviet Union, the eastern bloc would not have come into existence, moreover, the Polish state specifically was wrought out from the geopolitical maneuverings of the Soviet Union, not a "revolution gone wrong cuz marxism". Therefore, to claim that "durr marxism was only significant cuz da communist states" might only refer explicitly to the enduring power of the Soviet Union (without which, we can imagine the eastern bloc falling apart). To place us squarely in context, by 1914 Marxism had absolutely and wholly dominated the European worker's movement, through social democracy. In Spain, the United States, and among a few other states, syndicalism was the preferred medium of class struggle (still heavily influenced by Marxism, if not strategically Marxist - then again, De Leon was one of the founders of the IWW, not to mention that there was no distinction between anarchists and marxists in the eyes of the American state/public, so even anarchists were called "Bolsheviks"). However, social democracy, while undoubtedly a worker's movement, was not distinctly revolutionary. It instead was the medium through which an actual, politically based and class independent worker's movement was forged (one that was not economistic in nature), but the character of this movement assumed two implicit possible trajectory paths: Reformist and revolutionary. By the early 20th century, no Marxist thought they were living in a revolutionary period, but none the less it became clear that reformist tendencies were implicit in the movement. This would first assume the form of our friend Bernstein, the first great renegade of socialism. By 1914, however, the second international was - to put it plainly, broken into pieces. The lesson of Marxism is that while conditions change, one must properly re-approximate themselves to new conditions. But this is not what the leaders of social democracy did, come the first world war: They remained exactly where they were previously, and in doing so, they betrayed the worker's movement. In the words of T.S. Elliot, sometimes, the only way to save a doctrine, is through heresy: And this is exactly what the German and Russian Marxists did. This leads us to the formation of the Zimmerwald left, the early prototype of the Comintern. They were the heroic minority formed after the Zimmerwald conference, the Marxists that remained true to the tradition. Lenin would observe the decay of the second international in how Marx was now being white-washed by the establishments of various European countries, in the same vein social democracy was. Eventually, the Zimmerwald Left would evolve into the de-facto leader of the international worker's movement, the Comintern. At this point, social democracy had become an establishment current, and it was not they who capitalists internationally shit their pants over, it was the Comintern. By the time the anti-Comintern policies were pursued by the Fascists, the Soviet Union was not seen as some kind of "state for itself" which influenced other people, but an entity under the control of internationalists seeking to spread world revolution. At one point, in the late 1920's, Amadeo Bordiga even suggested to Stalin that the Soviet Union be placed under the control of the international, obviously rejected.

Now the question: Why Russia? What led to the formation of the Soviet Union? Lenin's weakest link theory held that a revolution could occur in a country as backward as Russia, because of the heightened social antagonisms in place between modernization and the remnants of feudalism would give the workers movement an opportunity to seize power, thereby starting world revolution. All Bolsheviks knew that the success of the revolution, was contingent upon world revolution. Like we're seeing in anti-austerity politics in Greece, however, for the spreading of the revolution to gain traction, it must develop beyond being the mere national idiosyncrasy of this or that nation. After the October revolution, led by the Russian proletariat, we saw a wave of revolution across western Europe, and even in those cases where there was no a revolution, it became patently obvious that their predispositions were possible. This is observable in the red scare in the United States, and so on. Later the Soviet Union, isolated with a decimated proletarian population, was forced to pursue modernization, which would change its class character. This led to the "formalization" of Marxism as an official state ideology, circa the late 1920's. This simply doesn't refer to Marxists being in power, it refers to having to crystalize ideology into a set of formalities. The problem, however, is that a true ideology is never "official". In short, the Stalin-era Soviet Union was a bourgeois-liberal state in its ideological essence, unfree from the shackles of bourgeois humanism. One way to observe this is how the mentality of the Bolsheviks before was a kind of cosmist idea - there is no need for killing, everyone can merely be rehabilitated. In Stalinism, however, individual responsibility was conferred to the criminal, he was not the passive result of this or that condition, he was amply responsible as a free agent. To evaluate the claim that Marxism was only relevant because the Soviet Union, is a confused and idiotic claim because the Soviet Union cannot be divorced from the history of the worker's movement. It is the logic of anti-semitism to paranoically hold a single entity responsible for historical events: A scientific mind, conversely, recognizes things existing in a totality. In short, was there an independent worker's movement in the west, which would have existed without the Soviet Union? Yes, and how is this observable? The reason the Soviet Union was significant was because it, and the eastern bloc after, scared the shit out of the western bourgeoisie in both the wave of Fascism (keynseianism in the US and UK) and afterwards Social democracy. To place this properly in its context, after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the defeat of the worker's movement which gained from the fears of the ruling classes: All of the gains of the workers in the west, and the welfare state are being rolled back as we speak, in a holistic assault, a process which began in the 1970's. The confusion arises upon evaluation of the fact that the worker's movement possessed the upper hand during the cold war precisely BECAUSE of the fear of Communism, by in part generated by the Soviet Union. But it was not only the Soviet Union which generated this fear: The whole of Fascism, as well as new-deal politics in the 1930's provoked this, and this was a time period wherein everyone pretty much saw the Soviet Union as a rotting corpse. In fact, before Germany invaded, they thought that the Soviet Union would break into tiny little pieces immediately upon invasion. This contradicts an assessment of the events which followed.

Now, let's go back to Marxism. Since the 1930's, already there had been a convergence in the development of Marxism in the west: The long tradition of Western Marxism began independently of the Soviet Union's official ideology. In fact, the Frankfrut school did not even touch upon the phenomena of Stalinism. Throughout the history of Marxism in the west, we see nothing short but regular disillusionment with the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union's influence, conversely, was confounded to the controversies of the worker's movement, of which "Marxism" was broken up from in the 1970's. We see this only in the POLITICAL field - the rising popularity of Maoism, and most especially in Western Europe, libertarian Marxism. In the field of theory, however, the Soviet Union had little to do with the power of Marxism - philosophically, or in the various fields wherein it permeated. There was if anything dissonance between Western Marxists and official soviet ideologues, who could not keep up with the pace of historical events in the west in the way that Marxists could. In order to make the affirmative claim that the Soviet Union was responsible for the popularity of Marxism in the west, we need an explanation as to how this would work: "Oh, there must be something true in Marx, because he's the big guy in the Soviet Union dem russians always talk about". Western Marxism was inevitably bound up with psychoanlaysis too, a doctrine amply rejected in the Soviet Union. Interestingly enough, the rejection of psychoanlysis coincided with the rejection of Marxism, is that owed to the Soviet Union too? This is patently a denial of facts: This is not how the popularity of Marxism propagated in the west, it propagated specifically in approximation to developments UNIQUE in the west which the Soviet ideologues could not even account for properly. Sure, the feeling that there's some kind of entity out there which might represent hope for the future could have inspired power into Marxists in the west, but this hardly accounts for the entirety of its power. The basic theoretical error is assuming that the existence of the Soviet Union and various Communist states was some kind of "external" idiosyncrasy which "influenced' the west, but the same power that sustained them in other places, was also found "organically" in the west, too. The same predispositions which led to the worker's revolution in Russia, were also found to be present in the west. How could someone deny this, upon the most rudimentary analysis of the situation in the 1930's in Germany, the UK and the US? In short, Qbill, you fail absolutely and utterly if we attempt to consistently take Kola's desperate hypothesis to its logical conclusion: That Marx would have been "long forgotten" if not for the Soviet Union, because the absence of the Soviet Union would have inevitably changed the course of history completely: If there was no Soviet Union, there would have probably been a revolution somewhere else, in fact the weakening of the worker's movement was by in part owed to the failure of the October revolution, observable even by the late 1920's! The leadership of the Soviet Union to Western Communist parties, if anything, delayed and hampered revolution in the west, and also Marxism. By subordinating the Communist parties to the geopolitical interests of the Soviet leadership, we end up with the cozying up to the establishment by the CPUSA, and the betrayals of the French Communist party. Working people, "engaged" intellectuals, etc. however, did not respond to this by "forgetting Marxism", they responded by breaking with the official parties themselves and forming new ones. Even when many became completely disillusioned with how things were going in the Soviet Union, they remained Marxists, but of course the collapse of the Soviet Union had a huge impact on the Left, anti-Soviet or otherwise. That is because it encapsulated a process that had been going on in the west for nearly a decade: The retreat of the international worker's movement. Utlimatley, my basic point stands: If anything, the Soviet Union did well to obfuscate the repute of Marxism in the west, but again history cannot be conceived in terms of the "what if the Soviet Union didn't exist" because this would have implied entirely different historical scenarios. In short, by removing a component of a totality, the rest changes in turn - you can't fucking pick and choose. At best, Kola can pretend to be an agnostic, "Who knows whether Marxism would be popular or not had the Bolsheviks lost the Russian civil war", but all facts, the most rudimentary analysis of events shows that it would have. Marx irreducibly was a figure the bourgeois ideologues simply could not ignore, he sent shock-waves in every domain that was of pertinence. If anything, the convenience of the Soviet Union allowed them to shy away from him. Moreover, more pathetically is the fact that because class struggle has been steadily growing, and because the neoliberal dream shattered into pieces in 2007, we are seeing an increase in the popularity of Marx, globally. Tell me, was Marx just as popular in 1995 as he is in 2015? No sane person can be believe this.

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No, without the interests of the Soviet state, Marx simply disappeared. A good example of this is that what we know of Marx through the majority of his published works came from the USSR.
Did you read the fucking argument? If this were true, then this holistic assault on Marxism would have began in the 1990's, or at the very least, the 1980's. This was not the case, however, the holsitic assault upon Marxism absolutely correlated with the disappearance of the worker's movement. Of course, a philistine like you can claim that "correlation is not causation", but tell me: What SUBSTANTIVE BASIS OF CAUSATION FOR MARXISM'S POWER BEING BOUND UP WITH THAT OF ITS "LEGITIMATE" STATUS IN THE SOVIET UNION IS GIVEN? The FALSE theoretical premise that Marxism was irrelevant before the Soviet Union - an assertion which is laughable at best. We could imagine what Kola was REALLY trying to say was that Marxism would have organically waned in popularity without the Soviet Union, but there is no indication of this whatsoever anywhere. All you're fucking demonstrating is that we would have seen a decrease in the amount of published works of Marx, or more pathetically, that someone else would have had to take it upon themselves to publish his works. If the Soviet Union is publishing most of Marx's works. I am inclined to recognize, however, that this is amply wrong: Most of Marx's "fringe" works could have been published in the USSR, but then again, the Soviet Union also engaged in the mass production of books ranging from Diderot to Hegel. What point are you really trying to make? That had the Soviet Union not assumed this role, no one else would have? That Marx and Engels' works were some kind of alien works distributed by the Soviet Union to fulfill its 'interests'? This is painfully fucking stupid, because as it happens, Marx's works had already been widely in circulation before the Soviet Union began to mass produce them: What does it matter where they came from? Again, with repeating the basic error outlined in the above, which is attempting to deduce historical outcomes by removing components of a totality which were integral to the sustenance and character of the totality. Interpretations of Marx never even came close to the levels of sophistication that we find in Western Marxism, in the Soviet Union. It's like saying that in 2015, Marxism would be irrelevant without the vast and extensive Marxist-Internet archive. I mean, sure, it's definitely useful, and it would be horrible without it - but the "keen interest in Marxism" we have has very little to do with this. What is most amply stupid about the example, moreover, is the reality that the fact that Marx and Engel's is works had such a high demand globally, suggests that the Soviet Union was playing the part of the middleman in this regard. I mean, think about it - was the Soviet Union 'advertising' Marxism in the west in order to sell their fucking books? Being "interested" and actually engaged in Marxism are two different stories. If what you say was correct, then all "Marxists" merely would have been Sovietologists, their "interest" in Marxism would be bound up with their "interest" in the Soviet Union. Was this the case? It was not. So what implicitly within the west was responsible for the "keen interest" in the "Soviet Idiosyncrasy" Marx? Clearly, you don't know shit about what you're fucking talking about, you simply haven't thought through the implications of your arguments properly. For that reason, again - I begin to suspect you're SIMPLY just a stupid fucking person. End of story. The reality is that the west constituted its own social totality, and if there was no relevance for Marxism beyond explaining the enigma that was Soviet Union, the story would have ended there. Why would people be inclined to approximate reality as Marxists? Because of the existence of the Soviet Union? What was so relevant about the Soviet Union in western societies that would inspire a sympathetic view? Maybe because it was inevitably bound up with the state of class struggle and the upper hand of the workers movement? No, of course not! Proliferation of ideas makes more sense, lul! Fucking idiot...

Really, these arguments are PATHETIC. They attempt to confuse, and obfuscate historic facts - this can only be flattering for a Marxist, because the minute you iron out the details and take them to their logical conclusion, the whole fucking thing falls apart. Let's be very clear: Kola's argument that Marx would have been forgotten without the USSR, as far as you're concerned, cannot be repeated in light of the facts presented. The class struggle, and threat of revolution absolutely defined the history of western societies and the provisions they took to hamper it. As a last resort, you could say "With industrialization and modernization, society's moral standards would have inevitably led to a moral standard that does not tolerate such conditions of misery and etc." Yes, and of course, "intellectuals" could have spear-headed the implementation of this new moral standard. Moreover, however, this argument is plainly false. Tell it to the residents of Brazilian Favelas, Congolese mines, American ghettos and Chinese factories.

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Given the conditions of 19th century evolution as an intellectual fad, it was inevitable that a labor militant would reply to Spencer’s nonsense on his own rhetorical terms.
It would appear that when Qbill talks out of his ass, he doesn't stop in trying to take his ideas to their logical conclusion. The idea that Marxism somehow resembles "Spencerian" biology can only be wrought out from the desperate attempts by bourgeois ideologues to discredit Marxism in every possible way. We'll get to that soon enough, bellow - but actually, as an attempt to explain Marx, you're SIMPLY FUCKING WRONG. What you're referring to is social darwinism, this could be the only application of Spencer's ideas into the domain of the social. But nevermind that - Marx didn't even have to bother with that fucking clown Spencer, for Spencer was already overshadowed by Darwin. Spencer, however, was still well-known, and if Spencer was more similar to Marx, Marx would have been able to see this. He didn't, however - usually these fucking philistines love to talk about how "Marx just couldn't have seen this coming", but to ACTUALLY FUCKING SAY THAT Marx was "too stupid" to see that he had more in common with Spencer is pure BLASPHEMY, a desperate fucking LIE and you know it damned well. It becomes painfully FUCKING stupid upon observation that a certain Paul Lafargue had already replied to Spencer, outlining very basically the superiority of Darwin:

Mr. Herbert Spencer has been mistaken for an evolutionist because he is in the habit of classifying natural and social phenomena according to their external appearances and coarsest features, without analysing their internal properties and their external causes, without studying the action of the milieu on the phenomena and the reaction of the phenomena on the milieu. The great philosopher piles up his facts in evolutive series, much like a shopkeeper piles up his goods upon the shelves of his shop, according to their most obvious qualities; he puts pants with pants, socks with socks, shirts with shirts, etc., never caring one straw to know what materials his goods are made of, and how and where they were manufactured.

In his “Coming Slavery” Mr. Spencer gives an excellent example of his shopkeeper-like evolutionism, which, let it be said in passing, is the only kind of evolutionism known and practised by a large number of Darwinian evolutionists.

Mr. Spencer says, Slavery, which is characterised by “how much the slave is compelled to labour for other benefit than his own and how much he can labour for his own benefit,” has been on the decrease since the time when the prisoner of war was made a slave, was converted into a serf attached to the soil, paying a fixed amount of labour and produce and then allowed to detach himself from the soil, as in Russia, but nevertheless bound to give the obrock or a certain amount of money. Because the obrock does not exist in England, and because the labourer is not fastened to the soil, Mr. Spencer concludes triumphantly that slavery is abolished, and that no Englishman is compelled to labour for other benefit than his own

https://www.marxists.org/archive/laf...rt-spencer.htm

So by criticism of Spencer shown, it is YOU who has more in common with this motherfucker if anyone, by merit of PRECISELY classifying natural and social phenomena according to their external appearances and coarsest features, without analyzing their internal properties and their external causes, without studying the action of the milieu on the phenomena and the reaction of the phenomena on the milieu (And presto! Capitalism in 50,000 B.C. and antiquity!). You're such a fucking idiot that you can't be drawn to realize that by even mentioning Spencer, you dig your own grave. So again, the idea that Marx was confusing Darwin with Spencer FALLS FLAT ON ITS FUCKING FACE, this STUPID fucking claim stems solely from your inability to UNDERSTAND MARX HIMSELF. Marx "has" to be teleological, "has" to make subservient his historical science to inherently ethical, ideological presumptions, "has" to have some kind of theory of his "ideas" being supported by some grand historical inevitability/destiny, and the list goes on - IT IS ONLY BY MERIT OF THESE FALSE QUALIFICATIONS OF MARX THAT YOU ARE ABLE to "draw" this conclusion. With class struggle in theory, Darwin was clearly the champion of Marx and Marxists after, not the pseudo-evolutionsits like Spencer. But again, I've been OVER THIS AND OVER THIS A THOUSAND FUCKING TIMES BEFORE. The epistemological difference, has its basis in:

it takes real creativity to ACTUALLY make the Olympic leap that because of your misinterpretation of Marx's conception of history, which I have THOROUGHLY AND AMPLY DESTROYED in previous encounters, AGAIN and AGAIN, we know draw the conclusion that Marx "misinterpreted" Darwin and that it was Spencer whom he would have truly considered his equal, had he bothered with him. Really, where the FUCK does the BLATANT ridiculousness end? Marx's epistemology is precisely similar to Darwin's insofar as it discarded any pretense to teleological or metaphysical notions inevitably bound up with ethical, or ideological presumptions. It would seem that both Darwin and Marx's vulgarian bastards misconstrued their work in equally abominable ways - by ascribing metaphysical, ethical values to their work, in the matter of the naturalistic fallacy, or the intensive formalization of Marxism in Stalinist countries (because the state in permanent chaos, of course demands the idea of different, inevitable "stages" of human development, when the reality is that what we find in Marx is that history is much more chaotic - whole modes of production can fail, or permanently halt any predispositions to historic development by merit of this or that social anomaly, as was the case in Marx's understanding of the Asiatic mode of production, which incidentally received the most scrutiny by Stalinists).

This is not even all-together unique to Marx. For the HEGELIAN METHOD ITSELF leaves no room for linear teleology, the lesson of Hegel is that only AFTER something occurs is it inevitable, in the same vein that a conception of natural history for Darwin must ALWAYS be linear insofar as it is a critical understanding of the processes that lead to the present condition of nature. That does not mean it "had" to be so, it means that it had to be so insofar as it constitutes the present-day reality which allows me to conceive it in the first place. A rejection of a "linearity" in history has always been rejected by Marxists, from Marx to Lenin, THOROUGHLY. The intellectually dishonest coward that you are, however, you aren't all-together unfamiliar with this assertion, for I continually stressed it in a previous thread, TO YOU. Even if you reject it, you have yet to present a basis of criticism - the basic etiquette of argumentation is to acknowledge the basic possible points that your opponent could make, and address them. I could forgive the inability to do this, but you ACTUALLY fail to even address points I HAVE ALREADY made! The point is that there are no "inevitable" stages of history, just ones that lead up to, and shape present day society that are observable as the stages that necessarily had to form the modern-day society that which we operate from. Nevermind this, however. The idea that Marx "used" the reality that the proletariat are the only class capable of superseding capitalism as some kind of last-ditch attempt to morally supplement socialism with "teleological" notions is beyond fucking stupid. Social Darwinism claims that things "ought" to be this way, or that things "are" this way because of "natural" (and therefore 'good') processes. Marxists, conversely, recognize that the proletariat is only the "fittest" insofar as it is the only class capable of destroying capitalism. What that means is that there are no "fit" classes, as far as we're concerned, the only fit class was the bourgeoisie which emerged victorious among the various different contending classes during feudal society. The only thing we're left with is the assertion that the analogy "could" be made that the proletariat "could" be the fittest class, as far as constituting a new mode of production goes, a socially self-conscious society, ETC. Of course this is not "inevitable". What the FUCK does socialism or barbarism mean, if not a recognition of this fact? There you go talking out of your fucking ass again with "Marx wasn't smart enough to see this" when it was PRECISELY this observation of Darwin which led him to praise him so, the 'lack of teleology'. This is what was meant by his epistemological revolution: This is fundamentally THE POINT of HISTORICAL MATERIALISM for fuck's sake! You literally make grand assumptions - FROM NOTHING! Any IDIOT who has read Marx can see he fully appreciated this fact, but rather than deducing conclusions from a critical evaluation of Marx, you make STUPID fucking assertions that derive SOLELY from infantile extrapolations of the DISCUSSION BETWEEN YOU AND I. Shows how much regard you actually have for facts, shows how much regard you actually have for understanding Marx.


Even in social-Darwinist terms, the capitalists are only more "fit" as individuals, not as a class. An understanding of class struggle or social antagonism is simply not present, instead, a justification for the constitution of different classes is given via "natural" differences between individuals, which obviously "naturally" expresses itself through complex historic formations like capitalism - which is assumed to be merely a "natural" background that is unchangeable, like a fucking jungle. In that sense, you have infinitely more in common with that irk than we Marxists ever could.

Fucking idiot can't even CONFRONT the basic arguments at hand - what did you take away from this wealth of argumentation? This PHRASE taken out of context: Marx's epistemology is precisely similar to Darwin's insofar as it discarded any pretense to teleological or metaphysical notions inevitably bound up with ethical, or ideological presumptions. You make it as though I just ASSERTED this. But I THOROUGHLY EXPLAIN WHY. If you ADDRESSED the explanation, you wouldn't have been able to fucking say: But then again, so did Spencer’s ‘survival of the fittest’. That’s because all ‘evolutions’ were written as subject-independent, beginning with Hegel’s. Any truly educated European of the age could have seen that. You dishonest FUCKING rat. Had you actually REPLIED to the argument, you couldn't have repeated more BULLSHIT that I already addressed. Fucking coward only responds to, what, 5 phrases taken out of context in what is probably at least a 12 page post? This is how willy here conducts discussion: Because this motherfucker has the audacity to think he's going to get the last word in here, without actually substantively replying. Literally, his botched up, sweeping and simplistic claims are construed so as to have the "last word", amidst ALL THE FUCKING EFFORT I PUT IN TO RESPONDING AND CAREFULLY ADDRESSING HIM. This motherfucker is trying to get the last word in without putting in the effort to show anything for it. Fucking coward... The best part is that he KEEPS RESPONDING in the same way! How the FUCK is this not trolling! How!

Keep fucking talking about Spencer with a few baseless, sweeping phrases you shit-talking fuckwit. Keep on, Qbill! Keep going! For FUCK'S sake!

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Kola’s point is that Marx is junk as far as philosophy goes, which is his domain.
Kola was a pseudo-philosopher at best. How the fuck was Kolakowski a philosopher? Name ONE UNIQUE CONTRIBUTION TO PHILOSOPHY! There was NONE! But in any case, Kola amply failed to demonstrate that the philosophic foundations of Marx were "junk", and that much has been shown.

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Otherwise, you’ve failed to offer any criteria for ‘science’ other than that of Humpty-Dumpty.
You see, no matter how many times you repeat this, it doesn't change the fact that "this" debate is over. What does that mean? It means, you lost the discussion: I have already amply demonstrated the scienticity of Marxism (pending response from you), it's done. I mean, you're fine to continually repeat this all you want, but you were already fucking destroyed. Not only did I give consistent qualifications for what constitutes science, I have amply demonstrated the pathology behind dismissing it as "humpty-dumpty". So extensive and thorough was my response, that I'm just giong to leave it there. But thank you for conceding defeat, Will. Saves me a lot of time, that's for sure.

All you can do now is reflect on why you were defeated, and you come back with stronger arguments. Until then, you keep your fucking mouth shut about "science". Starting with post #24, it became apparent that you gave up on trying to say that Marxism was "unscientific". If you want to revive that discussion, go ahead and try it motherfucker, but until then, your claims are not only unsubstantiated, they remain in the dustbin of this discussion.

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Moral implications, yes, as does Marx. Read the last sentence of The Manifesto.
Yet agian, you fail to understand what constitutes "moral implications". Moreover, what's even more pathetic is that the Communist manifesto was a political pamphlet, of course ideological. Rather than encapsulating some kind of grand theroy of everything, the Communist manifesto was completely contingent upon the context of the mid 19th century where the prospect of revolution as an immediate reality was taken very seriously by Communists. For that reason, Marx and Engels wanted to write a new one after the Paris Commune. The "Communist manifesto" is literally a CALL TO FUCKING ACTION, so what the FUCK do you expect if not the existence of moral implications? I'm sure Darwin might have been a liberal, and engaged in liberal rhetoric: That doesn't FUCKING mean that his theory of evolution had IMPLICIT moral implications sufficient to the science alone. All sicence is contingent upon ideology to operate - the point is the threshold of science vis a vis ideology ONLY widened by Marxism. I've already went into this, in great detail, however - so go ahead and FUCKING snip that out of context and respond "well durr, ur marxists think ths but kola sais ur relgious lul". But we've been over this, the reason historical materialism has no moral implications bound up with it is for the same reason you were previously compelled to post:

This group includes such heterogeneities as NBA starz, sweatshop slaves in China, oil rig workers at $1000/day, and pre-accident Niki Taylor at four contracts at 5 million each

To which I sufficiently responded:

Again, this is because IT IS SCIENTIFIC, it is inherently amoral. The practical implications, of course, are patently obvious: Yes some proletarians will never have any inclination to be a part of the movement of Communism, but this is clearly visible for the old parasitic bourgeoisie too: Many of the bourgeois had conformed and adapted to absolutism too and would not give way, in fact, during the English civil war, some of the big bourgeoisie was on the side of the Royalists, and why? Because the state had already adjusted itself to the growing capitalist accumulation centuries before. That doesn't mean shit as far as the actual class interests of the bourgeoisie went - and in conceiving the process of PRODUCTION, conceiving use-value must also take into account the effects this has in reproducing the conditions of production. Which means, the Jerseys, shoes, basketballs used by the NBA must also be conceived in terms of the process of accumulating profit in the entertainment industry as a whole. This is where our friend, Debord comes in. While NBA players may be "proletarians", they are not engaging in what Marx calls productive labor (while Oil rig workers might be doing this), because there is no way to actually quantify what "commodities" are wrought out by them. This holds true for all entertainers in general.

I know this is very hard for you to understand - but this dilemma here encapsulate the epistemological uniqueness of Marxism itself in opening up a new threshold of scientific inquiry. I'm sure theologians and astrologers tore their fucking hair out come Kepler and Galileo, but eppur si muove.


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Absolutely not. Natural Selection means that ‘fitness’ is contingent upon conditions exterior to the organism itself.
Predictably, you ignore how I stressed that you should AMPLY think this statement through. You miss the point entirely: the point is an ideological one. For Spencer, there were essential, superior characteristics of an organism which - therefore gave it the right to survive (idealism), Darwin conversely stated that the only way to evaluate the fitness of an animal is through recognizing its survival. So you actually end up repeating the basic point I've said: if an animal exists, and is continually able to survive, it is therefore fit. For Spencer, if the animal is fit, it therefore survives. The point is that there are no essential characteristics that confer any meaning whatsoever that make the animal "fit" as such, with "essential" being they key word. This is an Althusserian point. For Spencer, there are essential characteristics, ideals abstracted from the concrete, which confer to the animal "fitness", hence, there are some races "more fit" than others, some animals "more fit" than others, ETC. - this was inevitably bound up with moral implications and for this reason Spencer's methodology was unscientific. There was no Social darwinism implicit in Darwin, however - this was the misconstruction which philistines took and ran with. For Darwin, these characteristics were solely testament to the survival of the animal given any "exterior" conditions. But for conceiving natural history, no one would call Darwin "teleological" for still being an evolutionist, and likewise, no one COULD call Marx "teleological" for recognizing the historic processes which led to the present day, and the antagonisms conceivable in the present day, while still retaining a shred of intellectual honesty. Likewise for Marx, a mode of production does not exist because of some kind of "destiny", but because it is continually able to exist and procedure itself. The only means by which we can say capitalism is "superior" to primitive societies is by conceiving the implications both societies have on the worker's movement, which exists within capitalism. Spencer constructed grand idealist and metaphysical narratives to support his ideas. That's the fucking difference. That worthless rodent Kolakowski, probably phased with the power of Marxism theoretically, had to displace Marxism as some kind of big project which did exactly this. But he failed to properly demonstrate this, which is why he was, beyond the darling of Liberals and solidarnose, a worthless intellectual who had no impact on Marxist discourse whatsoever. For someone who likes to compare that DWARF Kola to Marx, webcast Marx was apparently "irrelevant", sure is fucking something that you keep talking about Kolakowski, who doesn't even fucking exist as far as the intellectual world is concerned. The reason for that is because all his arguments were plagarized from others - NOTHING was unique about his attacks on Marxism.

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Your parallel is the unsupported claim
So let me get this straight, Qbill fucwit Harris comes here and tells me that my claim is "unsupported". Unsupported. Qbill fucking Harris, who has never made a single argument that he thought he was responsible for not only supporting - but ELABORATING upon. This FUCKWIT not only doesn't support his arguments, he doesn't even HAVE any real arguments! He can't, in other words, even DEFEND THEM. And then he tells me that my claim is "unsupported". Well, UNSUPPORTED BY WHAT QUALIFICATIONS? AND WHY THE FUCK SHOULD ANYONE CARE ABOUT YOUR WHOLLY UNSCIENTIFIC, WORTHLESS FUCKING QUALIFICATIONS, HUH? Go on, Willy. Keep responding. Keep going. See if you'll get your last fucking word here. You're not going to have the benefit of thinking that ANY of your drivel is secure. I promise you this.

<<Althusser, you'd know that he outlined HOW Marx developed a scientific method,>>

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Louis’ idea of what makes a ‘science’ was to claim that any encumbrance upon free will represented an objective ‘natural’ state; to study these states was to indulge in ‘science’. This, in so many words, is the infamous ‘Marx vs humanism’ critique.
The fetishization of human will, as far as we're concerned, is unique to Qbill Harris, it hardly served as the foundational basis of Althusser's qualifications to scienticity. I love how you talk out of your ass: Solely because you conceive free will as having some kind of essentially definitive characteristics of humanity, apparently you can just TALK OUT OF YOUR FUCKING ASS and assume that Althusser's qualifications for science directly concerned, or referenced ideas of "free will". You clearly have never read Althusser, and at this point it is almost comedic, how desperatly you attempt to fill in your fucking ignorance with pure bullshit, just to keep up with the discussion. Let's talk about "free will" again, since you insist, you fucking coward:

You are mistaking the complex of history itself, the summation of social relations to production, with 'individual volition' as an explanatory basis for the inability to use such crude predicative models, but the reality is that history can ONLY be conceived retrospectively, because history is not a crystalized artifact of the past, but in fact a process which we all constitute a part of. Nevermind even this, however. Do you ACTUALLY mean to tell us that historical events occur when they do arbitrarily as a result of the "power" of individual human volition? "And that's how science works"... prattles this shit-talking philistine, not even having the decency of resorting to a kind of agnosticism but actually putting forward a positive empirical claim, "human volition" which refuses to be critically approached, evaluated or scientifically conceived. Lo and behold, evolution will never be able to predict what future species will exist 1 million years from now, but if we were to observe this, you are going to tell us that in the absence of "predictive power", a critical understanding of how this species was wrought out would be impossible? You could say that under controlled circumstances, we COULD have the power to consciously emulate this successfully, but the truth of evolution is not contingent upon this. Marxists "could" have the power to do this too, given the right circumstances. Even Stalinists, for all the muddled categories a la "kulak", were correct in identifying different classes in their respective countries and their levels of propensity to resistance or counter-revolution. Volition is a meaningless term in this regards, which might be understandable in the same way a god of the gaps might. To claim that it is untouchable by science, is in fact proof of the scientific nature of Marxism in juxtaposition to the ideological mystifications of bourgeois ideologues. What does this mean? It means, of course I can't "prove" to you that ours is superior to "volition", because you have no practical use for our theory. But we, again, will keep at it, being that there are no variables you scum have identified that we have not accounted for, because practically we CAN scientifically conceive historic processes. You see, "the way science works" is that to be aware of limitations is to be beyond them. The fact that something can be consciously deemed unknowable means that it is possible to make it knowable, and that is all there is to it. But go ahead, tell me that the reality that the power of "human agency" in the modern epoch was 100% the same as it was 50,000 B.C. and that the propensity to making choices was identical, and that the fact that these choices were not made in previous historic epochs is merely owed to chance. This is what you ACTUALLY believe. If you do not, then you cannot speak of "human volition" vis a vis a criticism of Marxism, because as it happens, human will is only conceived as subordinate to social processes... Where it actually has social and historic pertinence to begin with!

If "free will" is conditional, then there is nothing free about it. Or, in pertinence to this discussion, to prattle of the underestimation of "volition" as being constitutive of Marxism is simply a pathetic last resort and nothing more - what magnitude of choices do Marxists understimate? The point is not that humans do not have the capacity to make choices that are external from what is necessary from productive relations, the point is that if these choices are not constitutive of the social field, they take on an ahistorical character - the only real expression of "free choice", is therefore what is akin to mental disorder, but even this is conceivable in terms of the factors which lead to it. How, oh how can someone criticize Marxism on grounds of unscienticity, while at the same time prattle of "free choice" or human volition as something we should actually take seriously? This is ultimately the point we have been making all along - it is not that we Marxists "impose" some kind of framework that is uncorroborated, it is that this framework is CONSIDERED with or without us - all we are doing is making it knowable scientifically, up for critical evaluation which is precisely why there is not a single positive "dogma" that Marxists must adhere to - if, for example, it turns out we Marxists were wrong about the character of the Roman class struggle, the method - the form remains consistent: One would run to an alternative class-based explanation, not "nature" or "free will".

This holds true for any scientific paradigm. If scientists discover that in their positive content, they were wrong about X species existing at Y time, or being wrong about how related it is to another species (which occurs regularly), within scientific discourse it does not stand to reason to assume that the theory of evolution is itself to blame, for the theory of evolution is the ONLY scientific approach to natural history - how could it be otherwise? The alternatives, of course, are either ideological or contingent upon ideology. Darwin's theory, however, was not wrought out from "mere" data (that could have existed, and did exist for hundreds of years) but the approximation and collection of data in subordination to a paradigm which, already implicit - contains the basis for forming implicit value judgements about quantifiable data. Darwin's method bares the most epistemological similarity to that of Marxism. This much has been pointed out by various Marxists.


So, while "free choice" or human volition might constitute the IDEOLOGICAL for Althusser, there is hardly anything unique about it ideologically. You can replace human volition, with the "search for meaning", "the search for liberty", "divine law", "cosmic balance", any other worthless ideological platitude and the argument would be exactly the same. God you're a fucking clown, aren't you. The anti-humanism of Althusser did not place an essential basis on "free will" at all, for this is even a straw man by humanist standards. Rather, althusser's point was that humanism occupied a space of designation where science (something systematically knowable) would otherwise be, that the enigmas of humanism were only enigmas insofar as they dazzled with ideological continents that were otherwise amiable to critical comprehension. So, what is plainly fucking stupid about your argument here is that if one would replace "destiny" with free will, it would be just as unscientific - so tell me, I want you to yet again BACK UP this fucking argument - if destiny, or divine will can be an encumbrance to free will, would Althusser conceive it as "scientiifc"? This philsitine piece of shit, as though we are all unfamiliar with Althusser, tells us that this is so "in so many words". This stupid motherfucker actually believes that Althusser's criticism of humanism amounted to a critique of "free will", and that his qualifications for science amounted to "anything which puts an encumbrance on free will". Like EVERY OTHER one of this stupid motherfucker's arguments, this is not even a generalization, it is PLAINLY, SUFFICIENTLY WRONG. EMPIRICALLY WRONG. Anyone with the most rudimentary familiarity with Althusser, should already know that the qualifications for science are JUXTAPOSED with IDEOLOGY, ideology being conceived in Lacanian terms. For Althusser, the ideological is everything that is designated as unknowable, which is knowable. Hence, the first great "scientific" revolutions were Greek mathematics, natural science, and Marxism. All of the "things" that these disciplines concern themselves with, were already implicitly designated ideologically before they were wrought out into existence into a formal, consistent system of knowledge. The mechanisms of "proof" are solely practical, and are implicit in the process itself. But "proving how to proof" something is a practical concern, and there is no practical use of Marx for reproducing bourgeois society.

Here Althusser gives a very clear insight as to what constitutes ideology vis a vis science:

But precisely in the couple ‘humanism-socialism’ there is a striking theoretical unevenness: in the framework of the Marxist conception, the concept ‘socialism’ is indeed a scientific concept, but the concept ‘humanism’ is no more than an ideological one.

Note that my purpose is not to dispute the reality that the concept of socialist humanism is supposed to designate, but to define the theoretical value of the concept. When I say that the concept of humanism is an ideological concept (not a scientific one), I mean that while it really does designate a set of existing relations, unlike a scientific concept, it does not provide us with a means of knowing them. In a particular (ideological) mode, it designates some existents, but it does not give us their essences. If we were to confuse these two orders we should cut ourselves off from all knowledge, uphold a confusion and risk falling into error.


[...]

So everything depends on the knowledge of the nature of humanism as an ideology.

There can be no question of attempting a profound definition of ideology here. It will suffice to know very schematically that an ideology is a system (with its own logic and rigour) of representations (images, myths, ideas or concepts, depending on the case) endowed with a historical existence and role within a given society. Without embarking on the problem of the relations between a science and its (ideological) past, we can say that ideology, as a system of representations, is distinguished from science in that in it the practico-social function is more important than the theoretical function (function as knowledge).

What is the nature of this social function? To understand it we must refer to the Marxist theory of history. The ‘subjects’ of history are given human societies. They present themselves as totalities whose unity is constituted by a certain specific type of complexity, which introduces instances, that, following Engels, we can, very schematically, reduce to three: the economy, politics and ideology. So in every society we can posit, in forms which are sometimes very paradoxical, the existence of an economic activity as the base, a political organization and ‘ideological’ forms (religion, ethics, philosophy, etc.). So ideology is as such an organic part of every social totality. It is as if human societies could not survive without these specific formations, these systems of representations (at various levels), their ideologies. Human societies secrete ideology as the very element and atmosphere indispensable to their historical respiration and life. Only an ideological world outlook could have imagined societies without ideology and accepted the utopian idea of a world in which ideology (not just one of its historical forms) would disappear without trace, to be replaced by science. For example, this utopia is the principle behind the idea that ethics, which is in its essence ideology, could be replaced by science or become scientific through and through; or that religion could be destroyed by science which would in some way take its place; that art could merge with knowledge or become ‘everyday life’, etc.

And I am not going to steer clear of the crucial question: historical materialism cannot conceive that even a communist society could ever do without ideology, be it ethics, art or ‘world outlook’. Obviously it is possible to foresee important modifications in its ideological forms and their relations and even the disappearance of certain existing forms or a shift of their functions to neighbouring forms; it is also possible (on the premise of already acquired experience) to foresee the development of new ideological forms (e.g. the ideologies of ‘the scientific world outlook’ and ‘communist humanism’) but in the present state of Marxist theory strictly conceived, it is not conceivable that communism, a new mode of production implying determinate forces of production and relations of production, could do without a social organization of production, and corresponding ideological forms.

So ideology is not an aberration or a contingent excrescence of History: it is a structure essential to the historical life of societies. Further, only the existence and the recognition of its necessity enable us to act on ideology and transform ideology into an instrument of deliberate action on history.

It is customary to suggest that ideology belongs to the region of ‘consciousness’. We must not be misled by this appellation which is still contaminated by the idealist problematic that preceded Marx. In truth, ideology has very little to do with ‘consciousness’, even supposing this term to have an unambiguous meaning. It is profoundly unconscious, even when it presents itself in a reflected form (as in pre-Marxist ‘philosophy’). Ideology is indeed a system of representations, but in the majority of cases these representations have nothing to do with ‘consciousness’: they are usually images and occasionally concepts, but it is above all as structures that they impose on the vast majority of men, not via their ‘consciousness’. They are perceived-accepted-suffered cultural objects and they act functionally on men via a process that escapes them. Men ‘live’ their ideologies as the Cartesian ‘saw’ or did not see – if he was not looking at it – the moon two hundred paces away: not at all as a form of consciousness, but as an object of their ‘world’ – as their ‘world’ itself. But what do we mean, then, when we say that ideology is a matter of men’s ‘consciousness’? First, that ideology is distinct from other social instances, but also that men live their actions, usually referred to freedom and ‘consciousness’ by the classical tradition, in ideology, by and through ideology; in short, that the ‘lived’ relation between men and the world, including History (in political action or inaction), passes through ideology, or better, is ideology itself. This is the sense in which Marx said that it is in ideology (as the locus of political struggle) that men become conscious of their place in the world and in history, it is within this ideological unconsciousness that men succeed in altering the ‘lived’ relation between them and the world and acquiring that new form of specific unconsciousness called ‘consciousness’.

So ideology is a matter of the lived relation between men and their world. This relation, that only appears as ‘conscious’ on condition that it is unconscious, in the same way only seems to be simple on condition that it is complex, that it is not a simple relation but a relation between relations, a second degree relation. In ideology men do indeed express, not the relation between them their conditions of existence, but the way they live the relation between them and their conditions of existence: this presupposes both a real relation and an ‘imaginary’, ‘lived’ relation. Ideology, then, is the expression of the relation between men and their ‘world’, that is, the (overdetermined) unity of the real relation and the imaginary relation between them and their real conditions of existence. In ideology the real relation is inevitably invested in the imaginary relation, a relation that expresses a will (conservative, conformist, reformist or revolutionary), a hope or a nostalgia, rather than describing a reality.

It is in this overdetermination of the real by the imaginary and of the imaginary by the real that ideology is active in principle, that it reinforces or modifies the relation between men and their conditions of existence, in the imaginary relation itself. It follows that this action can never be purely instrumental; the men who would use an ideology purely as a means of action, as a tool, find that they have been caught by it, implicated by it, just when they are using it and believe themselves to be absolute masters of it.

This is perfectly clear in the case of a class society. The ruling ideology is then the ideology of the ruling class. But the ruling class does not maintain with the ruling ideology, which is its own ideology, an external and lucid relation of pure utility and cunning. When, during the eighteenth century, the ‘rising class’, the bourgeoisie, developed a humanist ideology of equality, freedom and reason, it gave its own demands the form of universality, since it hoped thereby to enroll at its side, by their education to this end, the very men it would liberate only for their exploitation. This is the Rousseauan myth of the origins of inequality: the rich holding forth to the poor in ‘the most deliberate discourse’ ever conceived, so as to persuade them to live their slavery as their freedom. In reality, the bourgeoisie has to believe in its own myth before it can convince others, and not only so as to convince others, since what it lives in its ideology is the very relation between it and its real conditions of existence which allows it simultaneously to act on itself (provide itself with a legal and ethical consciousness, and the legal and ethical conditions of economic liberalism) and on others (those it exploits and is going to exploit in the future: the ‘free labourers’) so as to take up, occupy and maintain its historical role as a ruling class. Thus, in a very exact sense, the bourgeoisie lives in the ideology of freedom the relation between it and its conditions of existence: that is, its real relation (the law of a liberal capitalist economy) but invested in an imaginary relation (all men are free, including the free labourers). Its ideology consists of this play on the word freedom, which betrays the bourgeois wish to mystify those (‘free men’!) it exploits, blackmailing them with freedom so as to keep them in harness, as much as the bourgeoisie’s need to live its own class rule as the freedom of those it is exploiting. Just as a people that exploits another cannot be free, so a class that uses an ideology is its captive too. So when we speak of the class function of an ideology it must be understood that the ruling ideology is indeed the ideology of the ruling class and that the former serves the latter not only in its rule over the exploited class, but in its own constitution of itself as the ruling class, by making it accept the lived relation between itself and the world as real and justified.

But, we must go further and ask what becomes of ideology in a society in which classes have disappeared. What we have just said allows us to answer this question. If the whole social function of ideology could be summed up cynically as a myth (such as Plato’s ‘beautiful lies’ or the techniques of modern advertising) fabricated and manipulated from the outside by the ruling class to fool those it is exploiting, then ideology would disappear with classes. But as we have seen that even in the case of a class society ideology is active on the ruling class itself and contributes to its moulding, to the modification of its attitudes to adapt it to its real conditions of existence (for example, legal freedom) – it is clear that ideology (as a system of mass representations) is indispensable in any society if men are to be formed, transformed and equipped to respond to the demands of their conditions of existence. If, as Marx said, history is a perpetual transformation of men’s conditions of existence, and if this is equally true of a socialist society, then men must be ceaselessly transformed so as to adapt them to these conditions; if this ‘adaptation’ cannot be left to spontaneity but must be constantly assumed, dominated and controlled, it is in ideology that this demand is expressed, that this distance is measured, that this contradiction is lived and that its resolution is ‘activated’. It is in ideology that the classless society lives the inadequacy/adequacy of the relation between it and the world, it is in it and by it that it transforms men’s ‘consciousness’, that is, their attitudes and behaviour so as to raise them to the level of their tasks and the conditions of their existence.

In a class society ideology is the relay whereby, and the element in which, the relation between men and their conditions of existence is settled to the profit of the ruling class. In a classless society ideology is the relay whereby, and the element in which, the relation between men and their conditions of existence is lived to the profit of all men.

https://www.marxists.org/reference/a...m-humanism.htm

Ladies and gentlemen, Qbill Harris told us that this merely amounts to an "encumbrance" upon Free will. It's almost like a religious ideologue who might claim that Marxism merely amounts to a "rejection of creationism", so fixated upon that particular controversy by merit of his ideological engagement with it. This is the basic error of empiricism: The idea that knowledge of a thing, and the thing itself, are one and the same.

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But as Kola wrote of Althusser
That's not what fucking Kola wrote of Althusser. Why the fuck do you keep hiding behind his skirt? Kola literally ONLY dismissed Althusser by merit of being "unfalsifiable". He quite amply ended it there, and the substantive bulk of his criticism in "Althusser's Marx" consists of a regular re-hashing of this over and over again. That's what a fucking philistine he was, as the rest, not only incapable of properly conceiving Marx, but incapable of properly understanding Althusser. The hysteric that he was, Kolakowski's critiicsm of Althusser was that his qualificaitons for "science" were not generally accepted. He literally, and openly stated this as part of his criticism in Althusser's Marx! This was how your beloved "philosopher" conducted himself.

I can't FUCKING BELIEVE THAT THIS IS THE RESPONSE I GET: NOTHING IN THIS FUCKING "REBUTTAL" WAS NOT ALREADY ADDRESSED. According to this STUPID piece of shit, I merely said "the French revolution was absolutely and unquestionably a bourgeois revolution" and ended it there. This PIECE OF SHIT then denies being a troll?:
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Bourgeois Revolution occurred a long time prior. Ridding France of its king was a minor act within the larger process of establishing a secular democracy. This took all of the 19th century.

In other words, the Bourbons were just another front for the moneyed interests. This is obviously clear by the events that took place even during Marx’s own lifetime: in 1830, 1848, 1852 and 1871, the French Bourgeoisie accepted the legitimacy of the crown.
Are you fucking kidding me? First of all, capitalist accumulation cannot be wrought out through a revolution. Capitalist accumulation, as in the case of western European history, is brought out from within the intricacies and antagonisms in feudalism. All the bourgeois revolutions, therefore, are POLITICAL revolutions wherein the state is transformed to conform to the interests of the bourgeoisie. This was true for the English Civil war as it was for the French revolution. I thoroughly, and explicitly explained this:

This is a particularly stupid example because as it happens, even from a vulgar Marxist standpoint, the French revolution was absolutely and unquestionably a bourgeois revolution. But moreover, does everyone see how these fucking philistines think? There is now a dichotomy between "economic roots" and "the proliferation of ideas", as though the latter explanation is sufficient unto-itself as a real, fully fleshed competing hypothesis. This is how these fucking idiots approach historical materialism. The reality is that to ask the basic question of: What was the basis of the proliferation of ideas, why did it happen, what sustained the popularity of these ideas (because we know that not just ANY idea is going to "proliferate" merely by existing), is merely beyond the scope of imagination for the bourgeois ideologues. Yet, they ideologically designate the answer itself: That is to say, there CAN be no answer because certain "ideas" proliferate as the culmination of the evolution of thought, or even worse, because "similar events have been recorded in history: It's just a human thing, that sometimes ideas proliferate that lead to revolution, it's in our DNA - soon geneticists will show you". And still you remain absolutely fucking dumbfounded at the pretense Marxists have to scienticity, when in fact the "proliferation of ideas" is given as the casual basis of the French revolution. Is that really where it fucking ends? In reality, of course, the French revolution occurred solely because French absolutism had become a hindrance to the development of French capitalism, it was spear-headed by the bourgeoisie, who constituted their direct, raw, "economic" interests in the Girodins, and the Jacobins: Bourgeois ideologues whose material basis of DIRECT SUPPORT was in the doomed class, the Sans-cullotes. The obvious mistake is assuming that the character of a revolution amounts to the "direct support" of individual members of a class, but this is besides the point. There were many classes before the French revolution. Afterwards, policies were pursued which benefited only the bourgeoisie, and the bourgeoisie was the ONLY class to come out of the French revolution victorious. The ideas which led to actual laws and a newly-found basis of statehood "coincidentally" dethroned the power of the former aristocracy in its entirety, and destroyed all barriers to capitalist accumulation by abolishing serfdom and creating universal civic rights. This should be enough to end the story, but to play the devil's advocate, let's take it much further: the basic error is the inability to conceive the fact that bourgeois revolutions can occur without the support of a bourgeoisie. This was true for the Soviet Union and China during their industrialization and the latter's cultural revolution, which Bordiga correctly identified as having its basis in a bourgeoisie which existed "in the intricacies" of social development in both countries, struggling to express itself. During the French revolution, the direct interests of the bourgeoisie, mediated through the Girodins, was not enough to lay the political foundations for capitalist development. This role was taken by the Jacobins, who were bourgeois ideologues. Now this begs the basic question: What implicit predispositions to capitalist development are there, if not for the direct interests of individual capitalists? In ideology of course, not a directly "capitalist" one in content, but in the bourgeois ideology of the revolution (sustained by their existence itself). This is why the Jacobins were doomed to failure, in not having a huge basis of support among the whole bourgeoisie directly, they could only ever "take things too far" in defending the revolution. The whole error rests upon properly conceiving what constitutes "class interests", in which case it is vulgar to reduce it to the individual interests of members of a class. Rather, one understands this by evaluating the processes which sustained the class, and therefore what in the long-term the class seeks. That is why individuals who did not belong to the bourgeoisie could have none the less carried out their interests where the individual bourgeoisie could not: Because classes assume a structural role irreducible to individuals. Furet, most of all, does not even "counter" the materialist analysis, he merely claims that it would be "better" (more practical, we should guess) to examine the French revolution solely with regard to the evolution of ideas. This, however, is not an alternate explanation - it is a pretense to ignorance. I can squarely place the French revolution in a crisis of fashion and aesthetics as well, rather than "ideas", and while I can read this narrative, it will not offer anything close to a causal explanation.

You see, it would be absolutely ridiculous for historical materialists to attempt to "prove" it is true, much like how it would be absolutely ridiculous for naturalists to "prove" Darwins' evolution is true. Of course the hypothesis that "Animals could have been hand-made by ghosts and it's only a coincidence that changes happen when they do" cannot be disproven, but it is not scientific. We can imagine this is why Popper (but why not Kola) called evolutionary biology a "metaphysical research program". The go-to question of historical materialists IS NOT "did the base determine the superstructure here? Was the French revolution class based?" but "which processes made the French revolution possible" or "what WAS the class character of it". Kola and Popper are 100% right that historical materialism is unfalsifiable, for the same reason science itself is unfalsifiable - it does not refer to any kind of "new" claim that must be proven, it becomes the axiom the minute one wants to engage in any scientific assessment of the social. This might seem like a longshot, but it merely stems from the basic observation that: "Ok, ideas, 'evolve' in our collective space, but what processes underlie our collective space? What brings me into social association with everyone else from which I can even form such ideas"? And furthermore , "We can observe the productive foundations of life, but since these aren't rooted in "nature" and cannot exist by themselves, how are they reproduced? Certainly it cannot simply be humans idly accepting their circumstances, for their conditions of acceptance cannot amount to "human nature" in the right situation, because we need to know how this situation was wrought out". Failure to conceive this basic fact leads to the philistines drawing more stupid conclusions during their messianic period of grand revelation, the late 70's and the 80's, a la "Marxists were wrong about the English civil war" because direct class differences weren't so clear cut. Even though the fuckers never even read Marx and Engels' works on it, which clearly and explicitly mentioned that various small landowners engaged on the anti-monarchist side, too, and that some of the bourgeoisie sided with the monarchy as a result of their comfortable relation wrought out from absolutism. Of course, philistines love to point that in their "cultural" and political pursuits, much of the nobility was on par with the bourgoeisie, but what htey conveniently ignore is very simple: Did they do this AS the nobility, or as a new aspiring bourgeoisie? The French revolution abolished feudal obligations and the political power of the Nobility while at the same time legalizing their right to own land, but on lines of capitalist accumulation. If this was "equally" a revolution of the nobility, then what would follow would be a political sophistication of their rights, but what we saw was the opposite. What makes this a bourgeois revolution is very clear upon close examination: The prerogatives of the rebels were clearly aimed at the formation of a state which would foster and allow for an extension of capitalist relations. In Qbill's eyes, all of this is mere meaningless drivel because capitalism = feudalism and everything which sets historic epochs apart are the random proliferation of "ideas". They come from men's asses, apparently.


What you fail to understand is that it is a straw man to argue that "Well, the bourgeois revolution happened before". To describe France under absolutism as feudalism is fucking wrong - because the problem was PRIMARILY POLITICAL. What does that mean? All that bounded serfs to the land, and all that bestowed aristocrats titles and privileges was through political decree, not by spontaneous social development. The aristocracy had assumed a parasitic role, but there was hardly already a "bourgeois revolution". The state, in France, was not a bourgeois state under Louis. Rather absolutism was the means by which the interests of the old feudal powers and the newly rising bourgeoisie were conjoined and mediated. The bourgeoisie's expansion and pursuits were severely limited, by the late 18th century the political formations existed solely IN SPITE of the changing social developments. Only this made the French revolution possible. And it's particularly stupid to mention the Bourbon restoration too, because all of the gains of pertinence vis a vis the bourgeoisie were retained under the Bourbon restoration, and as Marx recognized, the revolutions that would come afterwards were spear-headed both by the limitations of the Bourbon state to KEEP UP with the fluctuating demands of the bourgeoisie, as well as the newly socially stratified proletarian masses. The new monarchy, in short, failed to properly accommodate itself to the chaos of capitalist production, it had to be replaced. The bourbons themselves, and the laws they enacted proved to be insufficient to accommodate to the dynamic and growing demands of capital, and industrialization was greatly hampered. So no, while the French bourgeoisie might have temporarily accepted the legitimacy of the crown, the French bourgeoisie certainly did not accept their legitimacy when - lo and behold - the crown's existence was antagonistic toward theirs. While these events indeed did exist under the backdrop of "the larger process of establishing a secular democracy", this process was not sufficient unto itself - without its social ramifications, "secular democracy" is fucking meaningless. This philistine who makes pretenses to "science" is trying to tell us that literally IDEAS (i.e. "secular democracy") are expressed throughout history through the medium of conscious actors. As if "secular democracy" was some kind of observable fucking magical force that plowed through class realities to get realized. What the FUCK does that even mean, really? What's the basis of such an idea? This is the logic of the anti-Marxists. None at all.

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No, it claims that behind the veil of commoditization lies LTV.
Oh no, you don't get to take this out of context, sorry:
We've discussed this, and we've been over this in previous threads. The fact of the matter is that the qualifications for Marxism is not this vague opposition to "comomditization" to daily life and culture, any liberal can do this. No matter how desperately academics attempt to make Marxism fashionable. Marxism has nothing to do with some kind of moral platitude, for fuck's sake. So while we appreciate how generous you are in 'accepting' this qualification, it must be thoroughly stressed that no - you're not a fucking Marxist. In fact, short of claiming "wanting to make a better world" constitutes Marxism, Deleuze succeeds only in enticing irk we precisely have no need for, in our tradition. Rather than a critique of "commoditization", something any Fascist, or religious devotee can engage in, one is qualified as a Marxist the minute that they, as Communist ideologues, engage in ruthless criticism of everything and extend the scientific threshold vis a vis ideology to the social sphere. To put it less vaguely, Marxism is the unity of German idealism with French radicalism, with English political economy.

Again, it would seem that you're literally, actually incapable of properly qualifying information and ideas. There is nothing "behind the veil" of commodification, for the theory of value merely refers to the process of commodification. There can be "nothing behind the veil" for this is pure fucking meaningless drivel. It is not the "LTV" (A FUCKING THEORY) which we posit to be "behind" commodities, but real relationships to production. Again, pure idealism on your part, EXACTLY what Althusser referred to as empiricism. The theory of value merely refers to processes of which the production of commodities are engaged. You know, Qbill, the shit you say is literally, ilterally plainly wrong. They cannot be grounded in any rational background - it's literally a loose conglomeration of empirically wrong claims that you pull out of your ass.

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‘Dictatorship of the proletariat’ was taken seriously—which brings us back to Humpty-Dumpty: Marxist concepts are taken just as seriously as anyone wants to take them in order to prove any point of the particular moment. According to Kola, this either makes Marxism a just-so tale or a recipe for red fascism.
Again, you don't FUCKING know what formalization means. It doesn't refer to being given power by merit of political power. It means being logically formalized to being subsumed to bourgeois ideology. Again with talking out of your fucking ass: The dictatorship of the proletariat - why WOULDN'T this be taken seriously you stupid fuckwit? Contra to its employment by Eastern bloc states, we Marxists conceive it for what it is - as being the result of a proletarian revolution. So, where was the proletarian movement in the eastern bloc? Was power seized as a result of the culmination of a worker's movement, or wrought out from geopolitical strategies? Something that actually refers to a real process, you cannot "not" take it seriously, there is no magnitude of approaching it with levels of "seriousness", you either accept it theoretically, or you don't. The anarchists did not. But again, thank you for actually admitting that the enigma of Marxism for both you and Kola is your inability to ground it in any observable hierarchy of legitimized truth. The reason we can still recognize the proletarian dictatorship, and yet reject it as far as having any application to the eastern bloc, is because there are real qualifications as to what constitutes a proletarian dictatorship beyond the "creative" whims of stalinist states who reject Marxist "dogma": The utilization of state power by and for the proletarian class. Many of these states did not even have a proletarian demographic that formed the basis of the party, none the less an actual proletarian demographic majority. I already extensively detailed how the proletarian dictatorship failed in Russia - so what more do you fucking have to say, worm?

Let me re-quote myself yet again:

What this lazy method of criticism fails upon, is the reality that words are not conceived by Marxists arbitrarily. That is to say, while the Marxist notion of science might not hold up to philistine positivist scrutiny, there is a basis of consistency as far as what is conceived as 'science', and if this offends your sensitivities, this is hardly our problem. The idea that our employment of the word "science" exists solely to spicen up, or legitimize our ideas is absolutely fucking nonsensical, because contrary to our postmodern epoch, the ideology of "scientism" hardly had taken root in the 19th century in the sense that the mere usage of the term would radiate an aura of legitimacy: Indeed, science in the 19th century was not an ideological cult in the manner that it is today (i.e. "Science disagrees with you", "Is science and faith compatible?" ETC.), so it follows that no matter how many individual Marxists in the 21st century abuse the word in order to bestow upon themselves a seal of approval by the state apparatus, the scientiifc basis of Marxism remains impervious

You claim it is used "whimsically" by anyone who wants to use it - but for WHAT POINT OF REFERENCE as far as interest goes? To be an opportunist requries having some kind of implicit interest - so why would people "use" Marxism whimsically and arbitrarily to support themselves? A state? You can claim that they "can" do this, but what does that actually mean? Anyone can bastardize and vulgarize anything. That does not mean it remains true to the tradition of Marxism. And yes, the qualifications for this are clearly defined. Those who try this, from Kautsky to Tito to Deng Xiaoping, clearly are engaging in REVISION to sustain themselves. We Marxists remain militantly against this - in the spirit of Lenin.