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Thread: Historical Materialism and Marxism

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    Paperback Writer RevForum Administrator Amoeba's Avatar
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    Default Historical Materialism and Marxism

    Just want to reiterate this about the political being inherently contingent from the perspective of the present.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amoeba View Post
    Yes but those are the kinds of "facts of the matter" that led people to say the Tories were destined to have a 50+ seat majority and that Corbyn had no chance in hell of winning the Labour leadership.

    All the points you mentioned can be countered by a whole host of others that may very well indicate that Leonard will win, and rather easily too. It's very hard to think them now (and very few people do), but then again, it was very hard to think the reasons that would lead to the above-mentioned being wrong and Trump winning.

    I guess we'll see how it goes.
    Benjamin's first thesis captures this point in relation to the past as well:

    "It is well-known that an automaton once existed, which was so constructed that it could counter any move of a chess-player with a counter-move, and thereby assure itself of victory in the match. A puppet in Turkish attire, water-pipe in mouth, sat before the chessboard, which rested on a broad table. Through a system of mirrors, the illusion was created that this table was transparent from all sides. In truth, a hunchbacked dwarf who was a master chess-player sat inside, controlling the hands of the puppet with strings. One can envision a corresponding object to this apparatus in philosophy. The puppet called “historical materialism” is always supposed to win. It can do this with no further ado against any opponent, so long as it employs the services of theology, which as everyone knows is small and ugly and must be kept out of sight."

    https://www.marxists.org/reference/a...40/history.htm
    To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer,
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them.

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    Senior Voting Member Rosa Lichtenstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK General Election 2017 thread

    I'm sorry, Amoeba, but I don't see the point of the Benjamin quote, especially when he has clearly elided the distinction between Historical Materialism [HM] and Dialectical Materialism. The latter always wins since it can be used to justify or rationalise anything expedient and its opposite, often by the very same theorist, in the the book, article or speech (since it glories in 'contradiction'); the former does not. HM has the possibility of defeat built into it:

    Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes.
    Bold added.

    https://www.marxists.org/archive/mar...o/ch01.htm#007

    If you wanted to initiate a debate about HM, you should perhaps have started a new thread.
    The emancipation of the working class will be an act of the workers themselves.

    http://anti-dialectics.co.uk/index.htm

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    Paperback Writer RevForum Administrator Amoeba's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK General Election 2017 thread

    Your reading of that quote is odd. By victory he doesn't mean literal victory of one side over another in some historical case, he means the victory of the method of historical materialism in the epistemic sense, that it can explain everything that has happened "in all hitherto existing society".

    And while you may still believe in that promise of classical Marxism and its postulation of historical materialism as the be-all end-all method to truly understand the past as it really was, I agree with Benjamin that that's an untenable theology.
    To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer,
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them.

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    Senior Voting Member Rosa Lichtenstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK General Election 2017 thread

    Amoeba:

    Your reading of that quote is odd. By victory he doesn't mean literal victory of one side over another in some historical case, he means the victory of the method of historical materialism in the epistemic sense, that it can explain everything that has happened "in all hitherto existing society".
    Ok, since you are so impressed with his view of HM, let's see your proof (or, indeed, his proof) that it is able to explain everything "in all hitherto existing society". And if you can't do this, perhaps you'll withdraw your claim that it's "an untenable theology".

    And, good luck reproducing Benjamin's proof, since he neglected to provide one, content merely to assert this about HM dogmatically -- indeed, assert it theologically, too. Looks like you have uncritically swallowed his claims; in which case you resemble rather too uncomfortably the credulous souls who frequent the Gospel Halls, Churches, Temples and Mosques of this planet.
    The emancipation of the working class will be an act of the workers themselves.

    http://anti-dialectics.co.uk/index.htm

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    Paperback Writer RevForum Administrator Amoeba's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK General Election 2017 thread

    I have no problem at all resembling folks who frequent any of those places, which are actually quite pleasant and tend to have great food on offer, unlike the Marxist Church ("reading group") I attended which only offered a shitty ham sandwich and a reading of Engels' Dialectics of Nature (true story).
    To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer,
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them.

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    Senior Voting Member Rosa Lichtenstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK General Election 2017 thread

    Amoeba:

    I have no problem at all resembling folks who frequent any of those places, which are actually quite pleasant and tend to have great food on offer, unlike the Marxist Church ("reading group") I attended which only offered a shitty ham sandwich and a reading of Engels' Dialectics of Nature (true story).
    So, you can't rise to my challenge -- but hey, why let that stop you posting similar lies about Marxism, of the sort one could read in the Daily Mail?

    You (rightly) rail against lies spread about Corbyn, but happily swallow any old guff about HM.
    The emancipation of the working class will be an act of the workers themselves.

    http://anti-dialectics.co.uk/index.htm

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    Paperback Writer RevForum Administrator Amoeba's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK General Election 2017 thread

    I agree that Benjamin would've loved the Daily Mail and have happily written for it.
    To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer,
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them.

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    Senior Voting Member Rosa Lichtenstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK General Election 2017 thread

    A:

    I agree that Benjamin would've loved the Daily Mail and have happily written for it.
    The way you're drifting, I suspect you will one day.
    The emancipation of the working class will be an act of the workers themselves.

    http://anti-dialectics.co.uk/index.htm

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    Paperback Writer RevForum Administrator Amoeba's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK General Election 2017 thread

    You know, a lot of Marxists say the same about you given your rejection of dialectical materialism.

    I guess we'll just have to wait and see who'll do a Hitchens.
    To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer,
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them.

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    Paperback Writer RevForum Administrator Amoeba's Avatar
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    To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer,
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them.

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    Senior Voting Member Rosa Lichtenstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK General Election 2017 thread

    A:

    You know, a lot of Marxists say the same about you given your rejection of dialectical materialism.
    Ok, smarty pants, name one and provide the links.

    I guess we'll just have to wait and see who'll do a Hitchens.
    Good to see you are doing a Hitchens a lot faster than me.
    The emancipation of the working class will be an act of the workers themselves.

    http://anti-dialectics.co.uk/index.htm

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    Administrator RevForum Administrator CornetJoyce's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK General Election 2017/Corbyn & Labour thread

    Einstein on marxology:
    "In the realm of the seekers after truth there is no human authority.
    Whoever attempts to play the magistrate there founders on the laughter of the Gods."

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    Paperback Writer RevForum Administrator Amoeba's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK General Election 2017 thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosa Lichtenstein View Post
    Ok, smarty pants, name one and provide the links.
    Your own website is saturated with them.

    Good to see you are doing a Hitchens a lot faster than me.
    If anything I did a Chomsky, who amazingly manages to not give a damn about the various dogmas of classical Marxism and yet remain politically sharp and on the right side of history.
    To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer,
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them.

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    Senior Voting Member Rosa Lichtenstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK General Election 2017 thread

    A:

    Your own website is saturated with them.
    In that case, you should find it easy to quote one, shouldn't you?

    [But we already know that when it comes to Marxism, you don't do evidence, just invention and fibs).

    If anything I did a Chomsky, who amazingly manages to not give a damn about the various dogmas of classical Marxism and yet remain politically sharp and on the right side of history.
    Even though, when pressed, you can't defend a single one of these baseless allegations against Marxism, can you? And we already know Chomsky was largely ignorant in this field, too. So, yes, you did do a bit of a Chomsky -- but, in so far as you used to be Trotskyist, as did Hitchens, and you both spout guff about Marxism that you could have dredged up from the Daily Mail, or off Fox News, you did more of a Hitchens than a Chomsky, sunshine.
    The emancipation of the working class will be an act of the workers themselves.

    http://anti-dialectics.co.uk/index.htm

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    Senior Voting Member Rosa Lichtenstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK General Election 2017 thread

    And thanks for the video CJ; good to see you can't put any coherent ideas together yourself, but have to rely on that defender of George Bush's invasion of Iraq, Hitchens. What next? An anti-Marxist video by the alt-right?
    The emancipation of the working class will be an act of the workers themselves.

    http://anti-dialectics.co.uk/index.htm

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    Administrator RevForum Administrator CornetJoyce's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK General Election 2017 thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosa Lichtenstein View Post
    And thanks for the video CJ; good to see you can't put any coherent ideas together yourself, but have to rely on that defender of George Bush's invasion of Iraq, Hitchens. What next? An anti-Marxist video by the alt-right?
    Yes dear, now run along and read those 20,000 books.
    Einstein on marxology:
    "In the realm of the seekers after truth there is no human authority.
    Whoever attempts to play the magistrate there founders on the laughter of the Gods."

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    Senior Voting Member Rosa Lichtenstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK General Election 2017 thread

    CJ:

    Yes dear, now run along and read those 20,000 books.
    So, nothing from your alt-right, chums, eh?
    The emancipation of the working class will be an act of the workers themselves.

    http://anti-dialectics.co.uk/index.htm

  18. #18
    Administrator RevForum Administrator CornetJoyce's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK General Election 2017 thread

    I wouldn't describe your contribution as nothing- well, maybe I would- but you contribute it with great garrulity, chum.
    Einstein on marxology:
    "In the realm of the seekers after truth there is no human authority.
    Whoever attempts to play the magistrate there founders on the laughter of the Gods."

  19. #19
    Senior Voting Member Rosa Lichtenstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK General Election 2017 thread

    CJ:

    I wouldn't describe your contribution as nothing- well, maybe I would- but you contribute it with great garrulity, chum.
    So, still nothing from your alt-right buddies, eh?
    The emancipation of the working class will be an act of the workers themselves.

    http://anti-dialectics.co.uk/index.htm

  20. #20
    Administrator RevForum Administrator CornetJoyce's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK General Election 2017 thread

    I wouldn't describe your contribution as nothing- well, maybe I would- but you contribute it with great garrulity, buddie.
    Einstein on marxology:
    "In the realm of the seekers after truth there is no human authority.
    Whoever attempts to play the magistrate there founders on the laughter of the Gods."

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