Free will versus  ‘stages of production’ theory

The stance of the marxist left influenced by scientism has stood on the ‘no free will’ side of a classic dialectic.
Surely that is a mistake, as is the theory of historical materialism. In the final analysis the issue of free will should be more open on the left and be able to consider the radical challenge of Kant et al. There is no reason not to embrace the dialectic as such, but the strangeness of the ‘stages of production’ theory have crippled the whole range of marxist theory.

The left already has an alternative in Kantian ethical socialism...

Source: Lawrence Krauss and Richard Dawkins on free will – Uncommon Descent

The left, critiques of enlightenment and eonic transitions

Marxists seem to think that given a revolutionary seizure of society they can reconstruct society on their terms and eliminating everything as bourgeois etc…In fact the task would be monumental and nothing in the legacy of the various lefts suggests they have much idea of how to proceed.
One clue is the eonic model and its ‘transitions’: a rich source of the complex innovations that drive civilization, most of which are made a mess of in the later period…

From enlightenment values to a generalized secularist modernism
March 15th, 2017 Continue reading “The left, critiques of enlightenment and eonic transitions”

 Socialism: the danger of mechanized culture

The left is stuck in a very narrow world view that can’t even do justice to modernity. But  its marxist entanglement with hegel suggests a broader view, but that angle has failed to be helpful.

The legacy of monotheism is passing away, but the question remains, what was all that, speaking historically? there is an ironic continuation to those traditions: attempting to understand their history…In any case the coming of socialism needs careful thought as to a public spectrum of belief, and ideology. The resolution of nineteenth century marxist scientism isn’t enough….

Samkhya for commies, and throw in triadic dialectic and the doctrine of the Trinity,…crazy, right? in the words of Patton, nuts…

We have often indulged various new age discussions with respect to evolution, consciousness, and the enigma of the will, often via the work of J.G. Bennett, who was a british follower of gurdjieff and ouspensky, who wrote a classic text, The Dramatic Universe, a flawed but seminal work whose basic slant could be easily appropriated by a secular perspective (Bennett has a closet awareness of communism/1848 stuff), what to say of a leftist one, Continue reading ” Socialism: the danger of mechanized culture”

need for a critical marxism, the failure of ‘theory’ confronting praxis…//Marxism: A Method, Theory and Practice | Left Voice

This is a reasonable summary of marxism in a nutshell and also a good list of the problems of the whole ‘ism’ as we discover the need to upgrade the subject.
We have endless posts here on all the issues but in a quick take our critique has a range of issues:
we critique ‘theory’ and caution that marx’s ‘stages of production’ theory is flawed and the stages of epochal transformation as science, feudalism, capitalism, communism is hardly a scientific theory at all and we must not assume that some teleological mechanism will guarantee its action: we must assess the limits of capitalist economy and act as free agents on the basis of values beyond scientific claims to define and then construct a real socialism/communism. The latter are not guaranteed by history because they have no absolute definitions but we can sense that marx beyond theory was indirectly right: we can derive the axioms of communism in terms of values, such as equality and fairness, as we analyze the failed implications of capitalism. Failure to perform these tasks has left the radical game without direction, endlessly repeating the mantras of marxist shibboleths.
In general theories of history are an unsafe area for grand generalizations. Marx’s historical materialism thus produces a theory of history in a grand sweep. But historical theories are almost always failures and histomat has ended up as target practice for critics.
Marxists have a problematical relationship with hegel, but there is a simple solution: move beyond historical materialism to a larger and balanced study of the history of philosophy and science. Look at kant: his essay on history suggests a number of issues that are far more practical, viz. the progression to a perfect social constitution, than the ‘endgame’ of hegel who is a commentary on issues raised by a long history of philosophy: better to embrace a larger field in an ironic take on dialectic: the latter however is confused by marxists. The idea of material dialectic as some science known to marxists is complete nonsense and the whole legacy of dialectic has been almost a torpedo sinking the whole subject.  Hegel is a mysterious thinker and it is inadvisable to base one’s  legacy on his vatic obscurities. Base the canon on something more tangible, to start.
The distinction of ‘utopian, scientific’ socialism is thus misplaced: marxism has not produced a science in any reasonable account, so ironically the ‘utopian’ stands at the end as the real survivor. The term ‘utopian’ is wrong, or prejudicial: we should instead consider the subject the ‘practical task’ of defining a socialist or communist commonwealth and the values that support it, not as historical laws, but as gestures of men freely creating a successor to capitalism. There is no guarantee of this according to historical laws because ‘history’ only produces a starting point that must be realized in practice.

The central question for those awakening to political life today is this: What is Marxism, and what does it mean for our political analysis and practice? To begin to answer this question, we must see Marxism not only as a theory but as a method of analysis and a political practice.

Source: Marxism: A Method, Theory and Practice | Left Voice