Marxists laughing stocks to call Kant a dead end…???

I was critical of Woods’ History of Philosophy but tried to be less negative in a second attempt, but his work is ruined by the attempt to call Kant a dead end. That is typical of the wreckage of historical culture created by ‘historical materialists’ and their narrow visions. A good example is the chapter, The Dead End of Kant. As a socialist one winces at the kind of blanket judgment that leaves cultural history in a shambles. Kant is no dead end, but the inventor for a new aspect of idealism. Foar what earthly reason do ‘socialists’ have to trash Kant on the way to their vaunted new culture? It is like defacing exhibits in a museum.The left in the era of Hegel got sidetracked into a useless debate of materialism versus idealism which turned the whole Marx project into a one-sided monstrosity unable to evaluate culture and bent on narrow visions. And they can’t handle a Kant. What an instant mess. But in a strange outcome the ‘dialectic’ somehow survived into Marxism, but it is a narrow version, much vaunted as a ‘materialist’ dialectic. But the dialectic was always materialist, as in the classic Samkhya with its triads of ‘triadic’ versus ‘dual’ dialectic (the opposition of a pair of opposites versus some barely known three term non-dual version). But the dialectic has no real explication in Marxism. It is strange orphan in Marx and made into a universal and final version of an idea already distorted. So what will happen in Marx world when yogis attempt to do the dialectical triadic Sankhya yoga: will they be liquidated by a Stalin in chard of all thinking on dialectic? etc… Attacking Kant is typical of the amputations of Marxists of cultural history. Kant is open to critique, obviously, but to dismiss him thus is grotesque. And he is the ultimate source of a dialect before Hegel turned that into a mishmash of trinitarian Christianity and mystical thinkers like Boehme. The ‘dialectic’ in dual or triadic versions is a complicated subject and still unresolved even by yogis who has realized mysterious states of consciousness. To reduce to a post-Hegelian trinket won’t work. The sad reality is that philosophy after Kant started downhill to reach finally the philosophic realm of Rorty. The passage via Hegel/Marx was the first step down. Brilliant as both are. Transendental idealism has a better popular version in Schopenhauer, unfortunately no leftist, but a keen student of the real significance of Kant.

The eonic model would work better: it is completely generalized and stands beyond materialism and idealism, and shows the historical reality of both. The model is a periodization of world history and doesn’t dogmatize about some mysterious law of history or science of such. It simply shows each stage as empirical and points to economies as secondary processes inside civilizations. Economies can overtake societies but they never determine the fate of civilization as such which has its own process of creative evolution. Cleary capitalism has overtaken a whole civilization and then turned malignant. It is easy to bring in a modified marxism there, if it can be melted down and recast. The debate over materialism and idealism is simply not more than a side issue. Both are very much in evidence in modern ‘secular humanism’ freed of its crackpot versions we see in so many versions of rank scientism. A true humanism looks at the mental process in its material and ideal aspects in search of a higher unity. And the dialectic can never be a Marx monopoly in its reductionist narrowness.

I was very critical of Woods, as his book came out, but I hadn’t read it, although I did read his Reason In Revolt. This summary is useful and suggests the context in which ‘dialectical…

Source: Marxism’s contracted philosophic mess of pottage – 1848+: The End(s) of History

revolution meets ‘(counter/) revolution’?…Political scientist on the crisis of democracy: ‘This is the same roadmap we saw in Germany’ 

We have said all along that a time of chaotification is coming, and in the US it has come already. We have created a basic socialist model that is benign, postmarxist, but quite ready to challenge to fascist turn to what is really counterrevolution. Our model learns from but disowns the marxist legacy which will produce instant conflict from more than just the right. This model will be able to mediate reformism/revolution/chaos and will be set to appeal to those who can see that democracy really requires a soft socialism and a new kind of economy/politics. This approach pulls a rabbit out of a hat, and it is a pretty tough rabbit at that: we offer failsafed revolutionary action, and/or reformist minimalism: our DMNC could get set in place with one or two sets of laws passed as legislation.
These options are still long shots but the situation follows a dialectical mystery: instead of active passive reconciliation we are watching the ‘passive’ (here the demonic right), reconciliation, active: chaos/fascism, mediation of opposites, an active response on the left.

We have critiqued the left, but here we see the use of a different brand. More latter, or make a paper airplane there. But have renounced dialectical thinking, but here it pops out in a new form:

as Bennett shows there are six triads of dialectical logic: Active, Passive, Reconciliation, APR, And:

ARP, PAR, RAP, R….etc…this may be the last time we use this, but our notion seems relevant to our present as a version of triadic process. Forget I mentioned it.

Next….!
The issue is that the right is undermining itself and creating a future for its opposite. The WWI/bolshevism seems to have followed a similar dialectic. Our approach is better because it has a model this is holistic from the start: democracy and socialism. The Bolshevik era saw the collision of an attempted liberal democracy and a Bolshevik ‘coup’ or transition. Our model unites the two opposites one: DMNC, and be able to establish itself more coherently at the start.

Source: Political scientist on the crisis of democracy: ‘This is the same roadmap we saw in Germany’ – Alternet.org

From rubbish 1.0 to rubbish 2.0…rescuing socialism from Marx idiots//In Defense of Slavoj Žižek

Source: In Defense of Slavoj Žižek
Update: We have a short booklet on all this: Samkya_ancient_modern2ax(1) which outlines the histories of the predecessors of the elusive and invariably botched attempts at ‘dialectic’.
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Dialectical materialism, before or after Zizek, is useless rubbish for the left now. Wake up. Hegel’s view of history is compelling but doesn’t work, and Marx’s rewrite via economics is very bad science, as was obvious already at the end of the nineteenth century. The canon coasted on its momentum into the era of the Second International until the reality of Stalinism sank in and the whole mystique was shattered. The dialectic has never found a decent defining standard, and doesn’t work as a dynamic in history, although ‘dialectical’ oppositions do appear, obviously. The dynamic of world history is almost impossible to decipher and one can only recommend at the eonic effect, not as a theory, but a periodization to see the mysterious evolutionary fragment that is clearly behind the ‘evolution’ of civilizations.
That attempt by Marx to create a system of economic epochs is so amateurish it is almost embarrassing. And Marx was hardly yet aware of the immense archaeology revolution underway: the world of Sumer, early Egypt, the Neolithic, the Descent of Man, the mysterious ‘Axial age’, the time was not ripe for a foundation of worlld history.
Economics does not drive the evolution of civilization. Historical materialism completely eliminates values, ideal aspects, free will, etc, etc…It is a grotesque and archaic period piece of early scientism when thinkers thought the example of Newton could be applied to all subjects. The results always failed because the higher levels of knowledge don’t fit into the classic canon.
Marxists are hopelessly stuck in this obsolete mess and will never in their current form manage a revolutionary transition.
Those who value the socialist/communist ideal would like to see the subject liberated from Marx fetishism and its cult of personality, bad science and botched predictions.
Zizek is a complete bullshitter peddling a mess of Marx/Hegel pottage that is extravagant and useless. It is impossible to read the cascade of gibberish he peddles as leftist commentary.

The eonic model can help here to abandon the illusions of historical theory, deal in concrete periodizations, and their empirical moments, and to construct socialism as a democracy reinvented in a Commons, etc…

That is, start with the Neolithic, then the first era of higher civilization, then proximate antiquity, and then the rise of the modern era. That’s it. That is all you need. There is no theory to explain this sequence or any proof is a dynamic epochs, but it does look like one. If not we can use it anyway to map civilization which encompasses an immense set of categories, social politics, cultural empiricism, values and religion, philosophy and its history, yogas and their legacy, the enigma of Archaic Greece and ancient Israel, etc, etc…The modern era is a universe in itself and is not defined by capitalism, which is process and not a stage of history. The whole Marxist analysis amputates almost every relevant category in the name of reductionist materialism, now out of date.

Dialectical materialism is a strange echo of ancient subjects rendered into an inaccurate and perilous version of the ‘dialectic’ or triad. Those are interesting subjects but they have been misconstrued to do what they can’t do. Explaining history as the action of triads is a great idea that always failed. There are in any case far better attempts to resolve the dialectic than either Hegel or Marx.
The left is out of time for this useless philosophical toy/luxury: simple logic is enough to construct the foundation of socialism. The idea of recipe, a procedure to do things, is needed to construct socialism. Not the ambitious idiocies of Marx and Hegel.

Source: In Defense of Slavoj Žižek

The debate over idealism/materialism is futile

This essay is obstinate in its defense of the classic Marxist formulas and dismissive of any and all criticisms, etc…
Let’s be clear: the issue is socialism and its passage into social realization. The question of Marx’s theories is secondary. Those formulas aim to establish socialism/communism but in reality they have the opposite effect now. And the questions of philosophy can’t be packaged in the way Marxists wish. Materialism in the age of quantum field theory is problematical.
The traditional opposition to idealism is a set piece of the nineteenth-century era of Hegel and is misleading as a generalization. The idea that idealists are reactionaries and materialists revolutionary is nonsense now, whatever sense it had in the era of the early modern. The issue of Hegel misses the point and neglects the far more foundational figure of Kant, whose work we should note was the foundation for an entire school of socialism.
The debate between idealism and materialism is a waste of time. In physics, even is the text says ‘materialism’ the equations say idealism. What is an equation in physics, an entity in an (idealist)sphere of abstractions. The mathematics of physics is a mysterious ‘ideal’ zone of ‘just in time’ innovations with uncanny timing ahead of new physics. The classic example is the mathematics of General Relativity whose mathematical basis long predated Einstein’s use of it.
Who can say anymore what is a true foundation for knowledge. Marx’s choice of economic fundamentalism was notably unsuccessful. And the example of Kantian ethical socialism, ignored by the cadre of second-rate Marxist philosophers, is clear proof that a radical/revolutionary platform can look beyond historical materialism’s poorly founded pseudo-science.
The left would do better with a large framework that can look at and embrace these opposites.
The issue of dialectical materialism is also a thing of the past. It is not a scientific stance and makes a kind of mysticism out of the dialectic.
The left needs to travel light and adopt a larger view where the issue is the history of philosophy as it is, and not the useless debate with Hegel’s idealism, a far cry from Kant’s so-called ‘transcendental idealism’.
The futile obsessions in these debates do not advance socialism so much as alienate needlessly by making dogmas out of now useless positions.

Wellred Books proudly presents the new edition of Lenin’s Materialism and Empirio-criticism. In this classic text, Lenin brilliantly explains the fundamental principles of the materialist philosophy of Marxism. He defends them against idealist attacks from the subjective idealism of Machism, a philosophical trend, which at Lenin’s time was becoming very fashionable, even within the workers’ movement.

Source: In Defence of Materialism – Alan Woods

 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…

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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….

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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