marxmail@groups.io | Moderators Note: What should be done with the Marxism List?

I am no fan of Marxmail, having been banned for the entirety of his duration from the era of the narrow cult Marxist Proyect. I can hardly fathom the venoumous hatred of Proyect for me and even slight deviations from the canon. It was in part the critique of Darwinism and historical materialism that evoked such murderous anathema.
Having spent a year writing The Last Revolution I had expected at least a link to the (free) text, and some discussion, but in reality the result was total ‘cancellation, refusal of any discussion whatsoever, total refusal to interact, blanket refusal communicate by email and, well, I had expected that having watched Proyect over the years, a very narrow, that is, Marxist, vision. One is better off statying away from such a list which has its hidden form of conformity enforced.
Marxmail is useful enough, and as a blogger at redfortyeight.com I often go to its site in search of links. But as discussed in The Last Revolution Marxism has gone past its due by direct relevance date, keeping in mind however that I can’t generalize to the large number of disparate users, writers and posters in what is after all a collation list.
But I fear Marxism is too dated now for any direct action and Marxists as a whole are stuck in mindset that has passed away, along with Bolshevism. The fate of socialism, which needs a new realization, is under check by Marxists who think they own the subject. And infiltration by covert agencies remains a suspicious factor when a site goes dead.
The presumption by Marxists they represent the direct path to socialism/communism has crippled the left as critics over and over and over have tried to revive the subject, then simply abandon it and start over because the Marxist cult issues its unspoken banishment of any critique of Marxism as it has come down from its archaic nineteenth-century form.
Indeed, is this waste of breath? Perhaps, but I have noticed that a lot of subscribers to Marxmail take a peek at redfortyeight.com in a sort of tiptoe in the night. But Marxists make a fatal mistake of cancel culture with any new or creative effort here.
My issue here is that at a time when social crisis accelerates there is no left left to take up the task of postcapitalist transition. The Marxist effort, and that includes the many websites around, is hopelessly stalled and a victim of its own jargon which is seeded with the confusions of Marx’s theories. Marx was almost obscurantist in his theory obsession and has confused generation after generation of students vainly attempting to analyze capitalism with the mishmash of Marx and Engels pastiche.

So what of Marxmail. Not up to me but I think the whole game is too far gone for revival. Why not give at least a look at the neo-communist formulation in The Last Revolution. I would welcome criticism, but cultists in the Marxmail vein dare not communicate with critics nor even critique a critique. Total Orwellian cancellation is the only option.

Marx and Engles were terrific activists but they were both terrible at theory and seeded a dogmatic near-religion that no one understands and which is doomed to be carried by enthusiastic amateurs directly to the hands of Stalinists.
Whatever the case, it is easy to create a more viable brand of socialism/communism, and the whole question can be resolved by looking at Marx/Engels historically as a saga, and then moving beyond them to a new framework on history, economics, revolution(reform), and the construction of a democratic socialism in practice. The public won’t stand for the old fashioned left Marxism that ended up with Lenin. (What to say of Stalin).
Get a free copy of The Last Revolution: Postcapitalists Futures at redfortyeight.com, if you dare. As for Marxmail I suspect its time has passed, but it could revive itself to a new future if a break with the past can be achieved.

Source: marxmail@groups.io | Moderators Note: What should be done with the Marxism List?

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 harm done by taking ‘Marxism’ as science

We have been critical of the idea that Marxism is science for over a year plus here and The Last Revolution goes over this in a lot of detail. Having sent many links to Jacobin on this I have to assume this article is a shot over the bows for me. In any case, the idea that Marxism is science along with Engels’ useless Dialectics of Nature is not really defensible anymore, and I am puzzled anyone on the left would still try. Marx’s interest in science is commendable but what science are we talking about, in the early to late nineteenth century in the context of reductionist science, causal physics, and the botched job of Darwinism which Marx annexed to his doctrine of materialism, compounding the confusion. In that context, Marx tried something daring by trying to turn history into a study of economic categories but that was simply off the mark from the start. World history is an immensely complex field far beyond mere economic categories and Marx’s ‘stages of production’ theory applied to history in a sequence of epochs is a pile of nonsense.
Marx created a difficult situation for his faithful by locking them into nineteenth-century science notions, and with a system that even scientists of his time saw as dubious. And science has moved on. With the coming of Quantum Mechanics, and then Quantum Field Theory/String Theory we are all out in left field wondering just what science is telling us, if anything.
The science of Marx simply doesn’t wash anymore. Not at all. In retrospect, calling something like Marxism science is dangerous because it makes critics into counterrevolutionaries who must be lliquidated because they are not scientific…Madness. And it happened with Stalin.

Trying to produce a science of history has always failed because history is not like physics and shows the transformation of facts and values in a dynamic totally beyond current science. Better to use descriptive approach and deal with simple chronologies. Marx’s theory subjects the left to endless debates and rejection by critics who have long known the flaws here. And the whole mess is compounded by Engels and his total confusion over the dialectic. Taking The Dialectics of Nature as a path to science is hopeless confusion and gives even sympathetic leftists a difficult dilemma.
Socialism doesn’t require a science of history and can be constructed far better without a pretense of theory and science. This blog has endless material on this…
cf. The_Last_Revolution_Postcapitalist Futures_ ED2_8_23_22

From Marx and Engels to the present day, socialists have been deeply engaged with the world of science. With the provision of lifesaving vaccines held hostage by corporate profiteering, the story of this relationship is more important than ever.

Source: How Marxists Brought Science to Politics and Politics to Science

Marxism and scientism

One of the key foundation points of The Last Revolution is the context/history of ‘scientism’ in the nineteenth-century gestation of Marx/Marxism: Google: scientism and a good study, Science and scientism in nineteenth-century Europe By Richard Olson. The complexity of this subject is considerable and our text merely points to the influence of scientism on Marxism/communism. Marxism thrived under this regime (as ideology or propaganda as theory?) and then by the twentieth century founded in its multiple exposes and/or historical realizations (Bolshevism). The latter study sees the connection to Darwinism/Social Darwinism but is slightly reticent on the issue of natural selection: it our view that is the core ‘scientistic’ myth of the Darwinian ideology.
A further aspects the idea of a science of history which has many nooks and crannies and an almost complete universe of fallacies and bad theories. The Lst/Rev adopts a new approach, one designed to focus on simple chronologies to keep the student well away from useless efforts to apply causal physics to history. This approach steps backward into what probably would be required for such a science: an evolutionary model, in a new sense, and not a theory but an empirical history as evolution taken as a discrete/continuous sequence effect, with (probably, our guess) a form of directionality, perhaps teleology. We make no hard claims there, but use this hypercomplext structure as a warning to stick to empirical histories. A system operating in a timed frequency is preposterous, but the evidence is there: judge as ye will.
The point here is that to found a socialist project on a science of history is always going to fail, best to stay low. Instead of the historical inevitability of Marx’s progression of epochs of production, a clearly brittle ‘theory’, we have the ‘core free agency of historical agents in the modern transition’, as they mediate the emergent political field of source ideas, e.g. democracy, socialism,… :the eonic macro effect seems to field these core starting points and leaves them to human realization. Thus socialism and democracy come into conflict/harmonization as the field attempts to reconcile the two into a unity: this idea appears directly in the early socialists, picked up by Marx. This was the ‘real democracy’ suggested by those first socialists. Behind Marx’s failed historical theories stands a cogent analysis of the capture of democracyy by the bourgeois state. Marx is original in his key insight into the problematic of unchecked capitalism, which is as much a modern innovation as the rest, but in the same way in need of resolution or harmonization into a new form of social economy: this project surely failed because no one could handle the mystery of markets until the twentieth-century debates on that. As a matter of fact, Marx, the critic of capitalism, admired it even as he foresaw correctly the dangers to come. Let us note (a la the eonic effect) the strange appearance of Adam Smith in such a timely moment, and that if anyone had actually followed his account the whole history of capitalism might have been far different.
We must wonder if modernity is not a fault unaccomplit: A series of potentials realized in fragmentary form.

But historical materialism has distorted the study of history…//No, Karl Marx Was Not Eurocentric

Although the charge against Marx that he was Eurocentric is not really correct, he did not fully grasp why the issue of Eurocentrism arises at all. Further, his view of world history is very limited and suffers the reductionist limits of historical materialism. Marx was ‘just one more sucker’ for Darwinism, and could not properly assess the fact/value question in the clear ‘idealist’ factors of the history of philosophy, art, and religion. Because of the confusions of the generation of Hegel, Marx perpetrated the monumental blunder of pitting materialism against idealism, where the two remain forever Janus-faced in the study of man, nature and his anthropology. Continue reading “But historical materialism has distorted the study of history…//No, Karl Marx Was Not Eurocentric”

The simple chronological dynamic of world history in one paragraph

Our eonic model can itself become somewhat elusive, but the basic idea is very simple and without theory: here is a world history model in a nutshell. Throw out Toynbee, Spengler, Marx, et al, and their idiotic theories and consider the simple chronology below. It is all you need and the result doesn’t require the ‘eonic model’ which can be considered later. You can speak thus (empirically) of the ‘evolution’ of civilization, as a category, but there is no simple theory for this. But who cares, you can with study ‘see’ what is going on, both micro and macro, sort of.

Our discussion of ‘decoding world history’ makes a distinction of ‘theory’ in the sense of physics and a ‘model’ which, for us, is not a theory, but an empirical construct like a chronological outline or descriptive set of chapters in a book. Marx struggled for years to produce a theory of history but he always failed and drove himself to distraction. A close look shows and incomplete project he could never finish, and the example of Capital makes clear. The problem was his theory of stages of production in a scheme of epochs, …feudalism, capitalism, communism…The wrong approach is a puzzle in itself, but then Marx had never heard of Sumer and lived just at the dawn of modern archaeological revolutions. Let’s cut to the chase and pull a rabbit from a hat with a genuine progression of historical epochs:
We see civilization emerging from the Paleolithic into the Neolithic and then a jump to what is called ‘higher civilization’, ’higher’ justified or not. A set of two and a half epochs of some kind thence take up the whole of world history into our time with:

higher civilization in Sumer, Egypt, ca. 3000 BCE
classical antiquity with parallel exemplars ca. 600 BCE
the modern era in a rapid emergence around 18oo

That’s it. We will start over and try to expand on this, but the point is we have a useful periodization of world history, of the Neolithic then two long eras, then the start of a third, and that is our own present. Note we suspect this kind of chronology should include the Neolithic, but so far our data is a bit weak.