R48G: Zizek, dialectical materialism,  leftist idiocy, and the delusions of marxism…

We have been critical of marxism here without completely rejecting all of Marx’s insights and this seems problematical to some but nothing can make the point clearer than confronting a figure like Zizek. In fact, our stance mainly refers to the the legacy of bolshevism, but the pop ‘marxism’ of Zizek is material we should be wary of. In fact, I have a book trying to expose the confusions of dialectical materialism.
Zizek has created marxist chocolate fudge of this subject and I find myself unable to even read his take on the subject.
In the end Zizek lives in his own world and/or some marxist/leninist universe or else in some Hegelian disneyland.
This makes clear why we divorce our material from marxism and marxists. It is impossible to resolve the issues in Zizek because they are barely comprehensible.
The subject of dialectical materialism needs to be left behind in search of a new kind of left. The dialectic has confused almost all the leftists who use it, despite some classics that seem profound (and might be), e.g. from Western Marxism, and it is important to focus on what needs to be done and not try to justify, defend, or excuse the truly impossible muddle in which most marxists have ended up. Marx saw the dangers and in a way that drove him to make the problem worse by obsessing efforts to be scientific. But the result wasn’t science and a figure like Zizek makes it clear that the Hegelian bravura applied to dialectical materialism can sell books in the Zizek cult, but serious revolutionaries up to their last chance of real socialism need to travel light. Dialectical materialism, a concoction of Engels that Marx in a more ferocious moment toward his friend might well have shelved at once.
We need to simply note that we are socialists, reformist or revolutionary, and we adopt our own canon, and don’t need anything from marxism, let alone Zizek. We point to a kind of bare framework that deals with the practical questions of social transformation, economic reconstruction (and deconstruction, to use a postmodern term, ouch!), constitutional/legal constructs for a new type of specified socialism (e.g. our DMNC model), etc…
The issue of dialectic never arises because it has been left behind as a luxury revolutionism plain doesn’t need. We deal in recipes, not theories or theories manque as philosophies. We steer clear of Hegel, save historically, and can study his dialectic historically, but we may be out of time for that. Hegel is important for one chestnut, in our view: in a rising scientism he considered the ‘metaphysics’ of freedom in history.
We can proceed without his corpus in any case.
The issue is fearsome: marxists and bolsheviks may well have destroyed humanity’s three strikes to construct socialism as postcapitalism. That task struck out with marxism so we need to do something very different in a new attempt, if the chance ever arises. Let’s consider the American rebs, many of them high class Virginian planters, and many more dirt farmers. They carried out a revolution, one of the very few that succeeded, and they did that without a set of theories or Hegelian pastiche, or the dialectic. They were not yet confused by the philosophy of revolution.
We need that kind of plain sense. The socialist version is actually more difficult because the original revolution ended in a set of confusions (there Marx was very good at exposing the capitalist seepage into so-called democracy) and a socialist revolution is going to provoke a different kind of opposition. But either way the job of revolution and the construction of socialism has to be stated without the truly hopeless field of nonsense peddled by leftists now.
The steps should be clear, justified as logical elements, but at all points intuitive, etc…The sad reality is that socialist recipes aren’t that complicated (although they can be bad recipes) and can be done without training in Hegel or the reading of Capital. All we need is the original Manifesto, the rest is for academics and should not be used to confuse a general public, a confusion that is all too profitable for those who appoint themselves as the guardians of the esoteric cult.

Source: Corona Communism? Zizek a stalinist??? – 1848+: The End(s) of History

The need for a new post-marxist set of frameworks…

We have extracted a short blogbook from a longer piece with older archived posts.
The text points the way to a new and simplified approach (we had several here) to a leftist paradigm without the confusions of historical materialism. The booklet is at most a series of notes for a whole book and/or an introduction to World History and the Eonic Effect.
Every scientific theory ends up obsolete and marxism is not exception, but leftists tend to keep it central in a kind fetishism of true believers.
Most of the rest of the marxism is another matter: filled with useful material of one kind or another. But the theoretical confusions of marxism pervade the whole subject and the whole left.
We need to make Marx/Engels historical introductions to a new formulation created in our ‘now’ and relevant to the conditions of current economics, globalization, and science, and with a rewrite introducing ecological socialism as a keynote.


Utopian/scientific and the questions of values

Marx’s classic theories are more of a liability than an asset at this point: they give the impression of misdiagnosis. The larger critique of marx and marxists in the context of empirical studies tends to be far more successful. The left needs to propose an expert analysis and response and present a completely new face to the public. The classic distinction of utopian and scientific given by engels is part of the same problematic: the scientific basis of marx’s thinking about modes of production is not there and the resulting charge of utopian against any constructive effort backfires comletely.

Mode of production theory Continue reading “Utopian/scientific and the questions of values”

Engels and Munzer…xtian communism…?

Engels our first munzerian..Marx and the xtians of the hyparchic future

April 30th, 2015

Last and First Men envisions a kind of Xtian church taking up the path of communist endeavor all the way to revolution. This need not be anything dogmatic or anything like a coup d’etat on the left. A streamlined ‘church’ at the level of thought can (in fact, Engels almost did this exercise ages ago in the Continue reading “Engels and Munzer…xtian communism…?”

The failure of dialectical materialism

The failure of dialectical materialism
January 8th, 2015 · http://darwiniana.com/?s=dialectical+materialism
The reason for my attack on dialectical materialism is not based on some logical/scientific objection, quite the contrary: after a generation of the New Age movement many would look back on nineteenth
century dialectic as old-fashioned, and to underpowered compared to the more recent versions of ‘non-
dual’ experimental thought.

A book like Ouspensky’s Tertium Organon completely stole a march on the left from the right. More generally the lore of ancient Samkhya is far more fertile here, with its genuines ‘triads’ instead of dialectical dyads.

I do Not reject the dialectic, which should mean basically a ‘debate’, a corellation of opposites in thought. It also has a close relation to metaphors of transformation, etc…

But I think the time has come to move on: noone not already converted to marxism is not going to spend much time on dialectic.

So I think that a whole new canon of postmarxism is needed. I would be almost impossible to excise the dialectical legacy however.

But there is a simple solution to that: do the dialectic! Last and First Men reinvents what it calls
‘dialogical metadialectic’, which can be used to examine the self-referential dialectic argumentation on
the validity of ‘metadialectic’, i.e. some triadic connection to a reduced dyadic dialectic, …
We have better things to worry about at this point.
Let’s put it plainly: put dialectic on the sidelines as a research project in need of critique, state all axioms/theorems of neo-communist logic on simple logical deductions. And leave it at that. The left can’t afford to waste its energies defending dialectics. And the confused use of dialectics to explain revolution, historical change, evolution, etc, are too marginal to be useful anymore.
The issue of revolutionary/evolutionary change is clearly discussed in LFM using a completely different kind of discussion.
There was an old debate about whether dialectic could be applied to nature, with Engels challenged here many times. The critique is important but this just shows how marxists wish to reinvent ‘samkhya’ with triads for dialectics. The confusion of the two is a blind spot for marxists.

 Marxism and the black hole of hegelian confusions

Is there such a thing as a marxist who isn’t confused by Hegel? And, no matter how much one tries, marxists will always navigate back into the hegelian swamp and confuse themselves.
Mars and Engels lived through a remarkable moment in the history of philosophy but missed the key beginnings in the era of Kant. By the time of Hegel a kind of obscurantism had been constructed by those who did not understand him, and that has cast a shadow over the left. And the reaction tokened by Feuerbach in the 1840’s shows the sudden reversal toward the kind of outcome we see in Marx/Engels embracing an equally confused materialism, the ‘historical materialism’ emerging in 1848 period and beyond.
I have always been mindful of the way Schopenhauer denounced the way a whole generation was confused by Hegel and the way the Kantian revolution was frittered away in a strange brand of mystical idealism. His denunciations of Hegel may be obsessive but they went on and on for decades. Schopenhauer himself has a limited yet elegant and brand of kantianism that was immensely popular at the end of the nineteenth century. Too bad the left didn’t embrace a version of that. Its historical materialism is a millstone around its neck. In fact, rarely considered is the phase of German ethical socialism and the Marburg school at the end of the nineteenth century, a robust correction to the philosophical confusions of the marxists with their hegelian muddle, confusion over dialectic and extreme materialist scientism. How could such a mess have arisen? Marxists, as if to fulfill the prophecy of Schopenhauer, have sown an immense confusion into the middle of humble efforts to found socialism, which doesn’t require the Hegelian phantom or its marxist upside-downism.
The left needs a simplified history of philosophy, a critique of historical materialism, a starting point in Kant (and/or the beginnings of philosophy in ancient Greece), a look at the issue of scientism, the Romantic movement and its reaction. Hegel’s reaction to Kant is a most difficult issue and the one-sided take on Hegel, and that preposterously in the middle of an internecine battle with idealism, has turned the history of socialism into a farce of bad philosophy, and a near majority of turned-off leftists manque.
The left would be better off stripping socialism of its marxist wrapper and starting over with something more usable than the strange black hole era of post kantian philosphy.

The inversion of Hegel’s dialectics is based on the assumption that it is the “self-development of the idea” of which, therefore, the dialectic of facts is only the image, while the dialectic in our…

Source: MR Online | Engels on the importance of Hegel to Marxism

 Engels/Marx’s pseudo-theory, scientific versus utopian, etc…value free scientism on theory is the fountain of marxist bullshit, and paralysis…and got a lot of psychopaths into murderous power…and hasn’t produced a single success as socialism…

I am not sure if Engels does justice to this interesting figure but in any case Engels is peddling the extreme form of ‘historical materialism’ that behind its bluster of theoretical pretense about the final causes of etc…
It is not clear what ambition to theory wrecked the project of Marx/Engels but their analysis is surely false and in part the reason the left, influenced if not dominated by marxism can’t find its way to a revolutionary dynamic.
The claims for the modes of production and exchange are simply nonsense and should have been called out long ago. To claim a law of history in any form is dubious but the version of Marx is especially open to challenge: is class struggle really the key? Theories of historical dynamics are a big thing, and none has succeeded. This whole strategy was to use ‘theory’ for propaganda and the result at this point has stultified the left.

t might help to grasp that marxism is based on pseudoscience and proceeds without challenge to muddle all efforts of leftists.The left needs a broader historical perspective  without the colossal amateurism of ‘historical materialism’.

He added that, “the law according to which all historical struggles, whether they proceed in the political, religious, philosophical or some other ideological domain, are in fact only the more or less clear expression of struggles of social classes.
Scott thus betrays an affinity with Frederick Engels, that pioneer of scientific socialism. Engels wrote that, “the final causes of all social changes and political revolutions are to be sought, not in men’s brains, not in men’s better insights into eternal truth and justice, but in changes in the modes of production and exchange.” He added that, “the law according to which all historical struggles, whether they proceed in the political, religious, philosophical or some other ideological domain, are in fact only the more or less clear expression of struggles of social classes.

Source: Caribbean Crosswinds: Revolutionary Turmoil and Social Change