materialism/idealism and socialism….//Update on Schopenhauer, Marx….

A socialism based on idealism might consider its ready-made starting point in the question of Plato’s Cave: man must achieve not only economic liberation but a larger liberation from the inherent ‘exploitation’ of his limited consciousness. We can see in (mostly decayed) Christianity the dilemma of ‘spiritual’ modes: does religion liberate man or bind him in a controlled phenomenal realm? Is he a prisoner according to Platonic thinking.
More on this some other time. But the reality of Marxist realizations were always an exploited ‘material’ dumbed-down mental state open to a new form of controlled consciousness….
Man’s spiritual beliefs mostly end in superstitions as he wagers this thought against the noumenon and the unknowns behind the veil of the ‘phenomenon’.

Christianity claims to deal with all this for man, free of charge. It does nothing of the kind and (it has a long and varied history, mostly in decline) passes from the mysterious starting point into a state-controlled form of domination and in addition the unknow larger exploitation in the obscurity of the ‘unseen’.

Update: I will have to pass for the nonce on the rest of this interesting essay with a useful set of books listed at the end. The gulf between hoary transcendental idealism and William James is a challenge to a new synthesis…Marx attacks idealism at the point where it becomes a reactionary factor in the wake of the reactionary Hegel. But there is no reason that socialism has to attack idealism any more than physics should reject mathematics as idealist. Marx wanted philosophy in a practical form related to economic radicalism. Attacking idealism is a dated battle now

Source: Update on Schopenhauer, Marx…. – 1848+: The End(s) of History

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

repost: worst idea this month?…Marx/Nietzsche combinations mix uniforms on a battle field//Getting Karl Marx and Friedrich Nietzsche Talking

I have not read the book but I am suspicious from the start. In any case what will you do to those who disagree here?  This discussion asks us to combine two very different things in a field where disagreeing with, say, Marx is grounds for immediate cancellation. A cult of Marx mixed with Nietzsche is fatally confusing.  Liquidation a la Marxism turning into stalinism for dissent on Nietzsche? Marxist turned Stalinists were very deadly to dissenters. Perhaps this combination will be a. a dismissal of legacy Marxism, or, b. a truly deadly new poison. In fact, the combination could cause the whole marxist left to collapse. Good bye to all that; we should start over.

Armies on battle fields use flags and uniforms to make clear who is who. Any mixture would have deadly results. The combination of Marx and Nietzsche would be shoot on sight for many people for two opposite reasons. The danger of incomprehensible violence is real. Nietzsche is a popular figure for some because his style is brilliant, and, to make confusion worse, he has been sanitized by various scholars such as Kauffman. But in a way that simply creates more confusion.

I cannot quite fathom this strange combination, but in my the Last Revolution I am critical of Marxism and suggest leaving it behind. Marx and Engels produced a kind of core heroic saga of the future of postcapitalism, but their work is flawed and a little Nietzsche is preposterous. The left needs to leave behind these two ghosts, and concentrate on a socialism without dead celebrities. I was a big fan of Nietzsche my first two years of college, then it faded away, and then I studied Marxism years later. Is this a freshman/sophomore term paper here? Kauffman was the key man on Nietzsche at that point and rescued him from his many detractors. Is that what we have here?

Such a combination could produce insanity. Marxists have made a cult of Marx, now what? how make a cult of Marx and Nietzsche? Truly a mess of pottage. Maybe the two would cancel out and leave the mad stalin cult in the lurch. Why not do something sensible: take the whole history of philosophy as a history and create a new left beyond fixations over Marx, Hegel, and now apparently Nietzsche.
And in that history we see the figure of Kant towering over Hegel and Marx, and the instant decadent, Nietzsche who is really quite the rascal boy making faces at Herr Professor Kant. The reaction against idealism was off the mark: the resolution is still an unfinished task as Marxism slides into irrelevance because the public won’t buy Marx’s bad theories. Kant is really the introduction of a classic Advaita yoga into Western philosophy. Maybe he was onto something. He maybe right: the mind constructs space/time???  The creation of socialism doesn’t really have to decide such a question. In any case the materialism of Marx is a dead duck.

Maybe a future socialism will produce its won yogis. The issue of materialism isn’t so important any more: in the context of science now at quantum field theory it gets demoted but still can be a useful general framework, seen to be incomplete. But with the ‘ideal’ the ghosts come back, and the ghosts of Marx and Nietzsche are quite deadly.
Nuts? It is impossible to discuss anything anymore with Marxists, and a little Nietzsche won’t help. Mixed with Marx, Marxism will dissolve in acid. OK, so let’s move on. Neither one will lead us to socialism. The age of Kauffman on Nietzsche sanitized his crypto-fascism: but his place in the emergence of fascism can’t be fixed.

The eonic model (see the Last Revolution, or Decoding world history) suggests looking at periodizations in history instead of kiddie mudpies as philosophical Opinion. Take the suchness of the elements of the history of philosophy to create a larger socialist culture. Nietzsche a la carte would be no problem. But here the Marx cult wants a hybrid that can never be realized. Far better to step back to the starting point: Kant. Nietzsche for second rate minds disposed of Kant. Did he? Clearly Nietzsche shows a kind of decadence of a mysterious Kantian plateau…
Note: Nietzsche had many interesting ideas, taken a la cart: e.g. his critique of Darwinism disguised almost…He spotted the problem but seems to have equivocated…

Karl Marx believed in the self-emancipation of the working class, while Friedrich Nietzsche had nothing but disdain for the masses. But a provocative new book claims the two thinkers can be read together to develop a socialism for today.

Source: Getting Karl Marx and Friedrich Nietzsche Talking

worst idea this month?…//Getting Karl Marx and Friedrich Nietzsche Talking

I have not read the book but I am suspicious from the start. In any case what will you do to those who disagree here? Liquidation a la Marxism turning into Stalinism? Marxists turned Stalinists were very deadly to dissenters. Throw in Nietzsche and the result could be grotesque. Perhaps this combination will be a. a dismissal of legacy Marxism, or, b. a truly deadly new poison. In fact, the combination could cause the whole Marxist left to collapse. Good bye to all that; we should start over.

Armies on battle fields use flags and uniforms to make clear who is who. Any mixture would have deadly results. The combination of Marx and Nietzsche would be shoot on sight for many people. The danger of incomprehensible violence is real. Nietzsche is a popular figure for some because his style is brilliant, and, to make confusion worse, he has been sanitized by various scholars such as Kauffman. But in a way that simply creates more confusion.

I cannot quite fathom this strange combination, but in my the Last Revolution I am critical of Marxism and suggest leaving it behind. Marx and Engels produced a kind of core heroic saga of the future of postcapitalism, but their work is flawed and a little Nietzsche is preposterous. The left needs to leave behind these two ghosts, and concentrate on a socialism without dead celebrities. I was a big fan of Nietzsche my first two years of college, then it faded away, and then I studied Marxism years later. Is this a freshman/sophomore term paper here? Kauffman was the key man on Nietzsche at that point and rescued him from his many detractors. Is that what we have here?

Such a combination could produce insanity. Marxists have made a cult of Marx, now what? how make a cult of Marx and Nietzsche? Truly a mess of pottage. Maybe the two would cancel out and leave the mad stalin cult in the lurch. Why not do something sensible: take the whole history of philosophy as a history and create a new left beyond fixations over Marx, Hegel, and now apparently Nietzsche.
And in that history we see the figure of Kant towering over Hegel and Marx, and the instant decadent, Nietzsche who is really quite the rascal boy making faces at Herr Professor Kant. The reaction against idealism was off the mark: the resolution is still an unfinished task as Marxism slides into irrelevance because the public won’t buy Marx’s bad theories. Kant is really the introduction of a classic Advaita yoga into Western philosophy. Maybe he was onto something. He maybe right: the mind constructs space/time???  The creation of socialism doesn’t really have to decide such a question. In any case the materialism of Marx is a dead duck.

Maybe a future socialism will produce its won yogis. The issue of materialism isn’t so important any more: in the context of science now at quantum field theory it gets demoted but still can be a useful general framework, seen to be incomplete. But with the ‘ideal’ the ghosts come back, and the ghosts of Marx and Nietzsche are quite deadly.
Nuts? It is impossible to discuss anything anymore with Marxists, and a little Nietzsche won’t help. Mixed with Marx, Marxism will dissolve in acid. OK, so let’s move on. Neither one will lead us to socialism. The age of Kauffman on Nietzsche sanitized his crypto-fascism: but his place in the emergence of fascism can’t be fixed.

The eonic model (see the Last Revolution, or Decoding world history) suggests looking at periodizations in history instead of kiddie mudpies as philosophical Opinion. Examine the whole from the Presocratics to Plato to Kant, and then very carefully examine the post-Kantian field. Take the suchness of the elements of the history of philosophy to create a larger socialist culture.
Note: Nietzsche had many interesting ideas, taken a la cart: e.g. his critique of Darwinism disguised almost…He spotted the problem but seems to have equivocated…

Karl Marx believed in the self-emancipation of the working class, while Friedrich Nietzsche had nothing but disdain for the masses. But a provocative new book claims the two thinkers can be read together to develop a socialism for today.

Source: Getting Karl Marx and Friedrich Nietzsche Talking

Dualism and Materialism in Modern Neuroscience 

This is a cogent critique, but perhaps misses the point in terms of the category of materialism: the result is as usual put in the context of a theological debate, but the real issue is, what are the basic categories relevant to discussions of reality, therein the ‘will’: the duality of matter and spirit fails as badly as a materialist focus. Consider the way Schopenhauer, and some who are influenced by him, such as J.G. Bennett, often cited here: for Schopenhauer, the ‘Will in Nature’ is a fundamental category, and with Bennett, we have the triad of ‘being, function, will’. Such methodologies are able to deal with the strangely anomalous will.

Wilder Penfield concluded that free will is not in the brain — it is an immaterial power of the mind.

Source: Dualism and Materialism in Modern Neuroscience | Evolution News

The Brain Does Not Create the Mind; It Constrains It. | Mind Matters – The Gurdjieff Con – 1848+: The End(s) of History

This website often has good stuff, but its perspective (the site appears to be connected to the ID blog EvolutionNews, et al) is marred by the obsessive diatribes against materialism, not surprising if you promote religion.
But materialism has many varieties and we have often explored the version given by J.G.Bennett who made clear once and for all that universal materialism is appropriate even for spiritual s0-called discussions. That springs from the tradition of Samkhya with its universal materialism of triads and consciousness. A muddled subject but the echo of an very ancient now lost ‘spirituality’. Many philosophies are themselves ‘triadic hybrids’, as in Bennett’s Being, Function, Will. Note that for him ‘matter is merely an aspect of being, and ditto for spirit, which is non-such, another form under the being aspect, the mirror image of the material. The dividing line here is Kant who breakthrough distinction of noumenal/phenomenal is a still better hybrid, and the key to the confusions of soul-man and matter-man, viz the noumenal aspect of man lies in the ‘soul category/confusion/muddle. Noone can make use of the work of Kant which throws the whole question of soul into a new mode. But it is clear that the noumenal aspect divides the body-soul into false duality, the soul as metaphysical.  In any case there is no reason the ‘soul’ can’t be considered material, but not in the usual sense. Be skeptical here, but the muddle of current scientism is almost pathological. The ancient soul of man was a material entity of mysterious origin. The tradition still exists in some forms of sufism where the ‘soul’ in some new form is injected into the solar plexus region, somehow. This is a different brand from the common soul-state of homo sapiens. Most sufis and moslems are themselves ignorant here, and one suspects the whole spiritual technology and its mysterious got ripped off somehow and is in the possession of dark side rogue sufis, Gurdjieff being an example with his incessant discussions of body energies and soul.

Why If man always had a soul, would he need to also acquire one? I have no idea. But there is the obvious difference between the ‘soul/mind’ in reincarnation and a spiritual soul going beyond space-time./???? The species ‘soul’ of man is something like his larger ‘mind’ as it emerges as  complex package complete no doubt with spooky physics: at the noumenal/phenomenal greyzone. The other soul is who knows, but I suspect this doctrine was present in early christianity and then died out, and that, a guess, it first appears in Egyptian religion, and before that in Gurdjieff’s ‘pre-sand Egypt’, the neolithic. Buddhism’s ‘no soul’ teaching is no doubt connected in some mysterious way.

Try trotting over to sufi land and ask/harangue to be included, be  loud and obnoxious, thence from blank stares to the Big Blob. Worth a try.

But in the ten thousand years of human civilization since 10K BCE not a single civilization or religion has been able to provide man with a definition of who he is, his psychology and being. None. Not even Buddhism. Christianity was a mysterious fake, as Islam, and the whole esoteric tradition can’t show any real exemplars, our front. Garbage in, Garbage out, all the way. The age of science has proven no better, and somewhere between rat psychology and psychoanalysis a new and more studied incoherence has taken center stage with high hopes for a science.

If this is wrong, say so, and prove it wrong. J.G. Bennett suggested the obvious reason here: man’s psychology is so complex he can’t decipher himself. A psychology of man has to be more complicated than quantum physics, no doubt. But physics just goes into a funk on consciousness.

A cynical neurosurgeon colleague told Michael Egnor that he could not account for how a child patient’s NDE account described the operation accurately. Source: The Brain Does Not Create the Mind; I…

Source: The Brain Does Not Create the Mind; It Constrains It. | Mind Matters – The Gurdjieff Con – 1848+: The End(s) of History

  Using the eonic model instead of brain-dead historical materialism….

Marxism, as we see from the previous post is almost certainly doomed to no second chances. But if it is not it will take a terrible toll on those intelligent enough to see the useless theory baggage, plus a lot of others plus almost everyone.

I have followed these debates over marxist theories, or Marx’s theories for almost five decades and  I am completely sick of them.  Who cares about Marx’s sacred canon of brilliant chestnuts. They will always be refuted and then revived and re-refuted. The left needs to start over with something that has a chance for social transformation and a sane socialism. Marxists say they are revolutionaries but I doubt it. They are content to chew Marxist cud and ruminate over the sacred canon.  It may be that a revolution beyond capitalism is impossible, at least for Marxists.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Our DMNC model shows how you can construct a socialist model in a few pages, without theoretical baggage.  A set of recipes is far better.  With a little care it could be very popular: people would like a socialism that gave them jobs, economic rights, health care, education, democracy subject to some constraints ( an example would be that you can’t try to take over the Commons for  private purposes), legal rights, etc…Bolshevism flunked everyone of the above tests. It is not communism at all. In our approach using the DMNC model you must have four (or more) basics: democracy, markets, planning, a Commons. Or you can’t use the term.

The issue of world history is nonsense in Marxism. A better approach is the eonic model: you may not like the terminology but at its core which you are free to extract it shows only periodization with given empirical foundations, more or less. That periodization shows the ‘evolution’ of civilization we suspect and it embraces all categories. If you disagree that’s fine, but the periodization of the data is all you need. The overall effect is comprehensive: it embraces materialism and idealism, all possible philosophies and their histories, secularism and religion, the histories of religion, the Enlightenment and modernity, etc…That is a far richer base on which to found a socialist open society, with constraiints, but no foundational dogmas like histomat or dialectical materialism.
Try this as an exercise. The grotesque character of Marxist theory (and theory means just that, a lot of things are still useful). Thsi approach isn’t boxed into a corner where dissent becomes a threat to the state.

Source:  The near impossibility of critiquing marxist religious dogma… – 1848+: The End(s) of History