A new sentimental Marx’s resurrection as a ‘true (Hegelian?) Christian’…This Christmas, Radical Christianity and Marxism Can Inspire Us to Build a Better World

The conventional understanding of Marxism as doggedly anti-religious is wrong. In fact, as the philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre argued, Christianity and Marxism have at times inspired in humanity a radical sense of hope to build a more just world.

Source: This Christmas, Radical Christianity and Marxism Can Inspire Us to Build a Better World

This is an interesting article but it exhibits the hopeless muddle that Marxists and its lefts find themselves in, like an army stuck in mud about to face final defeat from the resurgent right aiming at turning Yankee Doddle land into a neo-fascism. First, the article (which is nothing if not interesting) quotes Marx on religion:

“Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo.”

— Karl Marx, 1843
These two paragraphs contradict each other and can’t be sausaged into consistency.

Then the article moves to the opening statement above trying to claim that Marx wasn’t really against religion, then moves to Hegel on religion, Marx’s tidbits of Hegel, no reference to Kant save in disguise swipe, and then after the typical citation of Nietzsche (the standard way to be rid of Kant by frantic existentialists), moves to Aristotle via MacIntyre.
Continue reading “A new sentimental Marx’s resurrection as a ‘true (Hegelian?) Christian’…This Christmas, Radical Christianity and Marxism Can Inspire Us to Build a Better World”

The eonic model and its data opens a new future for historical analysis…//Peter Singer charts the path from Hegelian philosophy to Marxist revolution | Aeon Videos

Despite the great interest in this delicious-looking video on Hegel and Marx which I hope to watch at some point soon, the subject of history needs to move on, starting with getting disentangled from Darwinism and then considering the implications of the ‘eonic effect’ and its model. The dynamic of history is not what we think and especially in the case of Marx (Hegel seems to endure in spite of himself) we need to move on from his incorrect theories of history which have crippled the path to socialism and turned Marxists into a dogmatic cult. In fact, freed of those theories Marx’s basic thinking on class and class struggle spring back with enduring relevance. But the dynamic of history is far different from the crypto-teleological depiction of stages of production. Continue reading “The eonic model and its data opens a new future for historical analysis…//Peter Singer charts the path from Hegelian philosophy to Marxist revolution | Aeon Videos”

The Last Revolution: Postcapitalist Futures ….//version 4_23_22

The_Last_Revolution_Postcapitalist_ Futures_version_4_21_22
We posted today a criticism of Sanders’ neutered idea of ‘Our Revolution’, below.

Our perspective can be taken as ‘up in the air’, but it can at least be a reminder to not speak of ‘revolution’ is you mean the opposite. The whole left has been paralyzed in the last generation and we have lost decades to the shallow activism that goes through the motions of protest.

The issue is in any case to set the record straight: modern democracy arises via revolutions in the real sense.
We are waltzing our way to planetary oblivion with no real left to stand up to the thuggery of capitalist fake government

prior versions:
The ‘Last Revolution’ may be an unrealistic projection (but I doubt that) but it can be taken in the sense of virtual revolution and used as a modeling tool in the complexity of social systems. We should be able to review such models in many versions and to be able to see the limits of, for example, the American system as a so-called democracy.
Ironically it is more a critique of Marxism than the bourgeois capitalist state, but it is nonetheless a direct challenge to the frozen and slowly eroding so-called democracies of the capitalist era. The model can help to see beyond the empty mantas of sloganized ‘socialism’ as a cloud of abstraction. Between Marx and the Chinese communists the hopes for socialism seem remote. The modeling tool (the DMNC model) can help to rapidly expose both fake democracies and fake socialism. The Chinese brand is an especially dangerous brand because it ever gets the chance will liquidate all rivals or any attempt to alleviate its Stalinist signature.
You may not agree as to socialism, but at least the model allows an abstract consideration of possibilities.

________________
The issue of socialism is completely scrambled with its Marxist monopoly and yet the two must be independent. In fact, the association with Chinese or even North Korean Stalinism lurks in all discussion, especially for relative outsiders. It is hopeless to try and repair this. The whole legacy of theory is at risk and needs to be left behind. We have shown how easy it is to start over and focus on a practical realization of a ‘new socialism’ or our democratic market neo-communism. This format should be clear, carefully defined and failsafed.
From the new edition: Continue reading “The Last Revolution: Postcapitalist Futures ….//version 4_23_22”

facing reality: Marxism is beyond repair…//G. A. Cohen Showed Why We Should All Be Socialists

Again Jacobing cites G A Cohen o socialism, fair enough, but they sound worried, they are clearly afraid of my new approachi, perhaps at my critique of Marx: bring in the later geniuses to try and save the day. But it won’t work. We have already discussed Cohen in another post:
https://redfortyeight.com/2022/04/11/if-you-want-to-understand-marxism-read-g-a-cohen/
Marxism had a whole group of apologists, brilliant in their own way, from the western Marxists to Cohen’s analytical marxism. I have read most of these works more than once, a while back, and I can’t remember anything they said. Attempts to rescue Marxism seem understandable if you are Marxist, but it won’t work anymore. Noone notices the incoherence and obscurity in Marx. No matter how hard you try to fix Marx, the effort fails. The reason is the unreasonable choice of starting point made by Marx, among other issues. Was Marx so bemused by Hegel that he never recovered? The emphasis on materialism versus idealism was a poor strategy. Let us grant that Hegel is a reactionary but that is nothing to do with idealism which is Janus faced with materialism and has a real breakthrough in Kant’s very different version which tries to show the way space-time are embedded in mind (??). It is not helpful to destroy this legacy in the name of Newton. and in any case, Marx doesn’t even follow ‘materialism’ but an ironically ‘idealistic’ economic version of his own. Why inflict this debate on socialists?
So with these later apologists, the defense always fails because the overall tenor of Marxism is off the mark.

We are running out of time. We need to ditch this morass of Marxism that almost no Marxists understand and find a simple recipe approach for the construction of a postcapitalist socialism that is not burdened with a materialist metaphysics. Further the Stalinist outcome of Marxism, however unfairly ascribed to Marx (I however have to wonder), leaves all who pursue socialism at risk of the exploitation of idealistic socialists used as fronts for the legacy Leviathan of Bolshevism-style dictatorship. Marxists can’t even yet grasp the swindle inflicted on the ‘proletariat’ in the name of a ‘Marxist bourgeoisie’ seizing control of capital for their own power system.

And speaking of socialism in isolation is problematical: we have shown how the term in isolation risks confusion: we must define the term in relation to democracy and the power of a revolutionary cadre that will be tempted to eliminate it, some clarity on markets and planning, some system of check and balances, a Commons, on issues of state ‘ownership, and much else. And some procedure for carrying out revolutions, if reform fails, we must ensure the prevention of monopoly of power by an ideological power core.

The resolution would seem to be a complex hybrid of systems: a neo-communism rewritten from a liberalism which rights that are also economic rights and it which large-scale capital comes under the rubric of expropriation, without trying to destroy democracy in the process.

Right before he died, Marxist philosopher G. A. Cohen wrote a short book called Why Not Socialism? It’s a perfect introduction to the case for moving beyond a capitalist economy.

Source: G. A. Cohen Showed Why We Should All Be Socialists

The Last Revolution: some essay notes

If the perspective given here is secular humanism then it must be enriched with something deeper. But can the religions provide this? We have solved this issue with our own custom ‘religion’: the original religion of man: his potential for supercharged consciousness or as is sometimes called his ‘self-consciousness’. We discussed this in our section of the ‘virtual church of the Holy Brick’.
It is also true that our macrosystem generates the flow of multiple traditions into the modern secular sphere: the legacies of Taoism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism/Israelitism, and the immense Greek heritage of the early transition. But the modern transition contains a host of riches all ignored by the usual secular humanist.
But the system of modern politics is corrupt and needs men of real awareness and ‘will’, the hidden self of man. It won’t get them in a field of Machiavellian desperation, yet with a figure like Lincoln we see the reality can manifest. This approach is the first and last religion and yet it is beyond religion as such and could never betray the independence of church and state. In any case, we have to take man as we find him and our model is a system of laws. It is the real men versus the rising tide of psychopaths.
Marx was simply wrong here: socialism will not happen in some automatic dynamic of history: it will be the achievement of real men as free agents. Best to wake up and begin the transition because history in some hypostatized sense won’t do it for men.

The modern politician is a kind of prisoner of his own straightjacket and needs the invisible church: the original ape who evolved into ‘real self-consciousness, if he can still be found. Man in civilization is a mechanical monster who has lost his real consciousness.

_________from previous version
I recommend a new kind of left, with or without the eonic model, which borders on a theory of history as opposed to the ‘eonic effect’ (or ‘the mainline periodization of world history….3000 to 600 BCE to 1500) which is an empirical pattern or chronology. This pattern is all you need and shows the way facts and values emerge in history, the reality of free agency, the sources of world religions, democracy, science, philosophy and even modern classical music (and much else). This pattern immediately leads to the eonic model but that can lead to its own confusions. Examine this pattern to see that a ‘science of history’ is not possible at this point in the emergence of science. Zoom in on the eonic effect and you find some mysterious creative force whose character is invisible to us but which defaults to the grab-bag of ‘cosmic fine tuning’. Cosmology hides an evolutionary matrix for planets (my guess) and this contains a pattern of patterns that directs the emergence of life. This is basically a non-theistic design argument. Continue reading “The Last Revolution: some essay notes”