“Kantian Ethics and Socialism” by Harry van der Linden

This book is a classic account of Kantian Ethical Socialism (referred to in the previous post). It arose in the late nineteenth century in Marburg and is a permanent challenge to the confusions of Marxism which ended up in a futile war against idealism. The debate over idealism and materialism is a a complete waste of time at this point. Nobody can win that debate because the two opposites are too entangled together.

Marx was forced in his theories to eliminate free agents and their ethics in the dynamics of historical motion, a disastrous mistake. And a dangerous one. It gives a revolutionary seeming license of void ethical issues.

Kant can be forbidding, but there are ways to get a good overview.

This study argues for three main theses: (1) Immanuel Kant’s ethics is a social ethics; (2) the basic premises of his social ethics point to a socialist ethics; and (3) this socialist ethics constitutes a suitable platform for criticizing and improving Karl Marx’s view of morality.Some crucial aspects of Kant’s social ethics are that we must promote the “realm of ends” as a moral society of co-legislators who assist each other in the pursuit of their individual ends, which requires in turn that we seek the realization of the republican state and peace between the nations. Thus hope for progress, as supported by the enthusiasm engendered among the spectators of the French Revolution, becomes pivotal to Kant’s ethics as well as other moral feelings such as moral indignation and solidarity with the victims of oppression.Kant views the moral society in the final instance as an “inner” unification of good wills. In a decisive elaboration of Kant, the neo-Kantian Hermann Cohen argues that all our social institutions, and notably economic enterprises, must instantiate the “realm of ends,” leading him to support cooperative socialism in Wilhelmine Germany. In his own words, Kant “is the true and real originator of German socialism” (1896).There are important evaluative similarities between Kantian socialist ethics and Marx, such as a condemnation of capitalism as a system of servitude and an understanding of the ideal society as a cooperative society, but only Marx contends that the ideal society does not set a moral task and that there is a dialectic operative in human history that inevitably leads to communist society. This dogmatic Hegelian understanding of history must be replaced by Kantian regulative understanding of progress in support of revolutionary praxis as moral praxis.We need a “Kantianization” of Marx, as Cohen and other neo-Kantian socialists also proclaimed in the three decades leading up to World War I. This study concludes with “A Historical Note on Kantian Ethical Socialism,” addressing, among others, Cohen, Karl Vorländer, Eduard Bernstein, and Kurt Eisner and the Munich Revolution of 1918. Their voices were largely silenced by the rise of fascism, and this study hopes to show that their voices still need to be heard.


 But will it ever happen?…//Thomas Piketty’s Case for ‘Participatory Socialism’ – The New York Times

This is a fascinating set of insight from which we can learn but there is one problem: it will never happen. Piketty is now a socialist, but does he mean social democrat.

One cannot compete with celebrities who aren’t revolutionary and never discuss how anything is going to happen.

I inset our theme on The Last Revolution which shows one way to touch all bases in a massive complexity of a postcapitalist shift…

A suggestion for the DSA: The Last Revolution…//Democracy, Strategy, Modes of Struggle: The High-Stakes Strife in DSA – Convergence


Perhaps the DSA’s problem is the long shadow of Marxism even as it has moved beyond the Marx legacy which created a kind of monopoly of the socialist idea. Might one recommend The Last Revolution, free pdf link above, as a toolbox for creating a new socialist framework with a clean break with the Marx canon, save as a historical moment tokened by the great Manifesto in 1848? And/or simply use the whole formulation ready-made as a platform, one that is aimed at a revolutionary perspective but at the same time usable for a reformist group.
This material is comprehensive, yet limited (it creates a container for brands of eco-socialism): it provides
a new and robust and unsinkable view of world history based not on theory but on empirical chronologies
a road to sanity on the economic question, comprising both socialist markets and the new technologies of planning: a four term system to replace the single logo ‘socialism’ or ‘communism’: democratic market neo-communism’, a modeling tool for socialist versions (I don’t distinguish socialism and communism, replace ‘communism’ with neo-communism, and use ‘socialism’ as a general reference to socialism old or new…)
and much else.

However a few problems will arise here:
You must cease being a Darwin dummy and assess the great underground secret of Darwin’s idiotic theory of natural selection so beloved of capitalists. This can also be rendered unsinkable via an empirical outline of the facts of evolution, a grand theory remaining in the future. This can assist in the debriefing of the social Darwinism of Darwin et al.

You should most probably (I didn’t quite say ‘must’) review the evidence for the 9/11 false flag crimes perpetrated by some faction of the US government. Same for JFK assassination, etc…You can’t call yourself a leftist if you are confused by the propaganda. Although exact answers are murky the basic issue is clear and is one of the darkest aspects…

You cannot call yourself a leftist (in the US) if you are still brainwashed on the above. Sorry, but it’s true.

The right (cf. the websites Uncommon Descent and/or Evolution News) has eaten the left’s lunch on the question of evolution, producing a vast amount of useful material on evolution, almost all of it marred by the Intelligent Design argument. That argument is entirely unnecessary and the material is often usable once extracted from its theistic confusions.

The point here is that this research should have been done on the left in a challenge to capitalist ideological misuse of Darwinian theory..

The issue of evolution is utterly simple: the statistics of natural selection don’t work. Period The empirical evidence is very robust.

The issue of 9/11 is reminder of the criminals hiding behind democratic fronts. Thie left is a laughingstock on this issue.

The evolution debate can easily adopt its own design arguments on the left: design in nature is a naturalistic process without theistic implications.

The issues of socialism versus social democracy lurk and the question of how to create a real socialism remain, but the moment is coming for a new reckoning.

Source: Democracy, Strategy, Modes of Struggle: The High-Stakes Strife in DSA – Convergence