Not even in his worst nightmares could Franz Kafka “imagine” such dystopia – he could only bear tearful witness in slack-jawed dumbfoundment!
Check out this link:
Carpe diem I shall seize the opportunity to address any and all “USEFUL IDIOTS”, especially those who are even unaware that they are “USEFUL IDIOTS” aka “Cultural Marxists”.
First of all, let us be clear here: Cultural Marxism is NOT just some misappropriated simpleton “snarl word”, to smear the presumed compassionate and well-intentioned high ideals of the Left, dontchya know. (my gorge rises)
Yes – yes… OK – let us all agree that the term “Cultural Marxism” has been misappropriated by silly conspiracy theorists, particularly by the “alt-right” – whatever that term is supposed to mean. That said, Cultural Marxism still remains a real phenomenon – a legacy of postmodernism and “Critical Theory” – a legacy most foul and murderous and championed by USEFUL IDIOTS!
Useful idiots? … those would include socially progressive Social Justice Warriors who who persist in posting Che Guevara posters above cinderblock bookshelves in university dorms stocked with unread textbooks on gender studies, race studies, and intersectionality, dontchya know.
Useful Idiots? … those would include virtue-signaling historically illiterate iconoclast undergrads who desecrate Confederate Flags without noticing their intellectual light-weight professors still remain Lynyrd Skynyrd fans. Historically illiterate iconoclasts who even now consider demolishing Mount Rushmore after tearing down the last statue to General Robert E. Lee. Yes, Lee, whose views on slavery were far more enlightened than Abraham Lincoln’s. Virtue-signaling Social Justice Warriors indeed – morons – all of them! I’ll bet they never even heard of Shelby Foote.
Useful idiots? … those would include those demonic professors who cut their teeth during the student riots of 1968. Virtue-signally professors who still enjoy playing Pete Seeger folk songs – Seeger, that nostalgic Stalinist who released an embarrassingly ill-timed and quickly recalled album titled “Songs of John Doe” – an album which PRAISED the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact! Bastard! Sons-of-a-Bitch! Pete Seeger and all like him can rot in Hell!
Useful Idiots? … A Pox on all of you who would celebrate May 1 and sing the Internationale! Yes! Go to Hell, all of you! Even you, who may be too embarrassed to sing the Internationale and sing instead Cultural Marxism’s new anthem – John Lennon’s song “Imagine”. Yes! Imagine even how virtue-signaling BDS SJWs who persist in singing that Lennon song, echoing in the same streets, but a generation ago, with the same the resounding resonance of the Horst Wesel Lied. Imagine BDS SJWs, who share the same Jew-Hatred of those very terrorists still attacking even as we speak, innocent victims in cities across Europe – Yes! … and witness our European leaders even singing that John Lennon song, while marching arm-in-arm over paving stones freshly spattered with the blood of innocent victims – victims to Jew-hating terrorists… a hatred shared by Cultural Marxism.
Yes indeed – today is May 1 – a day to commemorate the victims of Marxism both past, present and future. Rot in Hell – all of you who take pleasure in celebrating whatever this day stands for.
Let us pray that all universities be purged of Humanity Departments – indoctinators of Cultural Marxism – destroyers of civilization – groomers of sex-offenders and desecrators of all Western Culture holds dear. The pseudo-atheist anti-Semitic Cultural Marxist indoctrination of the Left must be extirpated once and for all. Amen!
Oh boy..; this is an OP in itself!
I urge in strongest terms you have misconstrued either Kant, Marx or both! To my reading, Marx’s thesis is diametrically contrary to the Kant citation you just provided.
And to my reading I haven’t — I gave you an argument that connects Marx’s analysis of the relation between capital and labor to Kant’s analysis of morality.
You can respond to that argument if you wish, and I can elaborate on it further, but I’m not going to apologize for not making the claims that you wanted to refute.
But…but…he’s urged you IN THE STRONGEST TERMS, KN! Plus he’s probably preemptively rebutted you! Maybe you missed that?
You did summarize Kant in his own words.
You failed to provide any quote from Marx to justify a comparison to Kant.
As walto correctly observes, I have in fact, already provided many quotes from Marx suggesting exactly the opposite of what you attempt to claim.
I welcome correction
I’m not going to quote extensive passages from the 1844 Manuscripts or Capital. The only point I was trying to make is that Marx thinks that industrial capitalism turns the worker into an appendage of the machine and (on the 1844 version of the story) alienates him or her from his or her essence as a creative, world-transforming agent.
Tom seems to think that if I want to defend the compatibility of Kant and Marx, I would need to show that everything that Marx says is compatible with everything that Kant says. Obviously that’s impossible — there are real tensions between them. And there’s a lot in Marx that I would refuse to endorse. (Likewise in Kant!)
As best I can tell, Tom thinks that Kant and Marx are diametrically opposed because he reads Kant as an individualist and Marx as a collectivist. I disagree with both readings. I think that Kant is less of a liberal individualist than, say, Locke: bear in mind that Kant was an avid reader of Rousseau and supported the French Revolution. In short, Kant was very close to what’s called civic republicanism: political life should be organized in a way that achieves freedom from domination. (Republicans think this ought to be distinguished from freedom from intervention, which is the main goal of classical liberalism.) It’s probably arguable as to how much Kant was a liberal or a republican; for more see here.
The civic republican tradition has been getting some revived attention in analytic political philosophy with recent work by Quentin Skinner and Philip Pettit. The New Republic has a nice short editorial here.
But here’s the thing: I think that Marx was also part of the civic republican tradition. The argument here is pretty new: as far as I know it’s distinct to a new book on Marx, Marx’s Inferno: The Political Theory of Capital. The gist of the interpretation is simply this: Marx was grounded in 19th century civic republicans like Robert Owen, committed to a conception of freedom as domination, and Marx’s contribution was to show how markets under capitalism function as instruments of domination.
(Elizabeth Anderson has a new book, Private Government, in which she argues that corporations have far too much power over the lives of their employees. Putting that together with Roberts, there’s a fairly compelling argument for why civic republicans should be critical of both markets and firms.)
In short, I think that there’s a compelling line of thought in Kant and Marx that can be extracted from their writings, made coherent and defensible, and detachable from the ugly things that they say elsewhere in their work (Marx on violence, Kant on Blacks & women, etc.).
Uhmmm… You must have missed my earlier posts contraposing Hegel and Kant. I suggest rather that …if you want to defend the compatibility of Kant and Marx, you would need to show that ANYTHING that Marx says is compatible with ANYTHING that Kant says.
With an obvious tip of the hat to Hegel, Marx’s earlier writings categorically contradict Kant. Marx’s latter rants become even more strident when advocating violence and terror for the greater good of the revolution and later the collective. It is clear that the individual can and should be sacrificed for the greater good – i.e. the individual is an expendable MEANS to a greater end, in direct contradiction of your quote by Kant! Modern apologists for Marx, embarrassed by the genocidal excesses of Marxism (as predicated on Marxism ethical nihilism) have disingenuously attempted to explain away the inherent criminality of Marxism as misunderstanding or misapplication and how Marx’s ethical reasoning really did have Kantian underpinnings dontchya know…
To which I reply – rubbish.
You have not read me correctly at all – Marx was an ethical nihilist whereas Kant’s ethics were premised on a priori categorical imperatives.
It is that little bit which requires rebuttal, that’s all.
How dare you question the Quantum Center of Excellence? LMFAO
Montréal last fall and everyone was lovely. A bit disappointed in the French bread, hoped it would be closer to the Parisienne variety.
No problem,don’t erect statues to them. How would they feel if Americans erected a statues honoring them on public property saying history requires it?
I love Canadian politeness, a Canadian woman trudging 20 miles to warn soldiers in obscure battle is comparable somehow to a West Point Officer who betrayed his country contributing to hundreds of thousands American military deaths.
Or, well, maybe a few deaths.
None that can be identified, that I know.
The entire affair was remarkably unprofitable to the British, mostly because the betrayal was discovered early enough to prevent disaster, notably, the plan for leaving West Point vulnerable to British takeover.
Oh wow… you must revisit Montreal and avoid the cheap tourist haunts. I just paid a visit to Montreal a couple of weeks ago and gained a stone!
Here is a quick Google search for Montreal pain artisanal boulangerie
Meanwhile, there remains some debate in Canada whether Montreal in particular, much less Quebec in general, really is part of Canada in a real sense. Much talk of “two solitudes” not to mention the political prostitution of our former Prime Minister Stephen Harper who passed a parliamentary motion recognizing that Quebecers form a “nation” (sic) “within a united Canada.”
Regarding the Loyalists in general – Canada’s history was transformed by their arrival and are unanimously considered Canada’s gain and America’s loss.
Monuments to their welcome arrival can be found across Canada as recorded by the auspicious United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada
Regarding Benedict Arnold in particular – well he was also a resident of Saint John and there is talk of building of a facsimile of Benedict Arnold’s home at or near Canterbury and King streets in Saint John, New Brunswick Canada (my current stomping grounds). Benedict Arnold seems to have been quite the disagreeable sort. He was first welcomed as a hero
For example, the local paper, The Gazette, on June 6, 1786, reported:
But after six years residence, Benedict Arnold’s welcome wore thin and he and his family were obliged to leave our Loyalist City.
Regarding monuments to Benedict Arnold’ military heroism – there are three I am aware of… all in America, two understandably anonymous.
I really think this observation by petrushka merits a bump and deserves applause
That would be correct – but such good news is not the case in Europe. Why? Because America is twice-blessed, geographically and politically to avoid the influx of Islamist terrorists Europe is currently witnessing.
Last year (2017) Europe was spared Islamist terror attack ONLY three calendar months of the year… and this calculus fails to include terrorist attacks which were identified beforehand and prevented!
All prognostications indicate the problem is about to get much worse! The year 2018 promises to be a bumper year in the harvest of innocents’ slaughter.
Your silence speaks volumes. It would appear I have you writhing in the talons of my ineluctable syllogisms.
Meanwhile – I remain most bemused by that particular John Harshman quote above. It reminds me of Wolfgang Pauli’s colorful objections to incorrect or careless thinking
I really hope you do make an attempt to buttress that particular Dicto simpliciter of yours. I wait with bated breath …
I trust I have refuted your specious accusations to your satisfaction…
I find your condescension insulting, and your imputation to me of things I never said equally insulting. You don’t actually read what I say or argue against me; you just imagine what your mental image of a Marxist SJW cuck might have said and respond to that.
So your perspective as a German lets you understand German history, while my perspective as an American prevents me from understanding American history. Odd. And annoyingly condescending once again. Also irrelevant to the point. What Germans (and people in the northern U.S.) are capable of is irrelevant to what southern whites actually did.
Of course you’re hiding. You have presented no justification for your views other than pointing to Foote. When was the Confederate flag added to a number of state flags? Why?
Do you consider this parade of non sequiturs an argument?
Yes, you are hiding behind Shelby Foote, as you present no argument, not even his, just name-drop him. And here’s another example of your failure to read what I say by claiming that I want to tear down statues of Washington and Jefferson, who are celebrated for reasons having nothing to do with slavery. That’s the big difference between them and Confederate monuments, which are a celebration of the Lost Cause and, often explicitly, white supremacy.
No. You don’t see this as ranting? Take another look at what you said above and then take another look at the actual history.
No, they didn’t just applaud. They’re the people who erected them.
Subtle and nuanced is not your forte, so you should stop using those words.
Yes, the end of reconstruction was indeed shameful and allowed for complete imposition of the Jim Crow regime, while white northerners for the most part acquiesced. I don’t see this as a positive step, and it certainly doesn’t show that the motives for Confederate monuments were benigh.
Sorry, your url has expired. I doubt whatever you linked is significant support for your contention. I will note that you have now accused me both of supporting this move and denying that it exists.
You mean White Southern Culture, right? The Peculiar Institution, the Gallant Cavaliers, the Lost Cause.
I find it more ironic that you think that’s what you’re doing.
You don’t find that just a bit creepy?
No, that isn’t what the quote means. Let us review: the election of 1860 resulted in secession. Why? Because the Republican platform was rightly seen by the south as a threat to the institution of slavery. Nearly every state’s secession ordinance details the reasons for secession, and preservation of slavery is the predominant justification in each case. The fact that Lincoln was, for a time, willing to countenance a return to the status quo as a temporary to restore the union is not relevant to the causes of the war. The cause of the war was secession, and the cause of secession was slavery. None of your Lincoln quotes are relevant to that.
And you show this by pointing out that northerners had racist attitudes, another non sequitur. I presume that most of the people who put up Union monuments liked ice cream too, but nobody would suggest that ice cream featured in the motives for erecting statues. Nothing you say about northern racism is relevant to Union monuments.
Perhaps, but don’t you realize how damaging the admission below is for your claims?:
Might I suggest that trolling is not an acceptable use of TSZ? You should be more than a little ashamed, and it will be difficult to take anything you say seriously in the future.
More condescension. In what way are you an “amateur historian”? I will admit that I read only English. So? And you have no idea how well I keep up with current events. I find your attempt to establish intellectual superiority insulting, especially in light of your constant recourse to non sequitur. All your quotes do nothing to illuminate the cause of the Civil War or the reasons for erection of Confederate monuments.
I was thinking of a particular statistical analysis that’s cited in the link
here, though I believe I first encountered such analyses in a fine book, Why the South Lost the Civil War by Herman Hattaway and Richard Beringer. You might also instructively consult The Myth of the Lost Cause by Edward H. Bonekemper III. Doubtless they are all SJW beta cucks, and your facile condescension is deserved.
Oh wow! Welcome to the club! Now perhaps you can better appreciate my own feelings when you respond to earnestly posed questions on my part. The only reason I endure your condescending insults would be that I benefit from your superior grasp of Evolutionary Biology and am prepared to learn from you, despite your own insulting condescension.
Perhaps you could take a lesson from me in that department – when my expertise exceeds yours in other domains. You will note – I have always publicly praised your intelligence as worthy of response where other unworthies are not so deserving.
Please read what I actually said. Perhaps I should break it down for you in tweet-sized sound bites.
Fact Germans can erect monuments commemorating their brave sons who perished in WW II without simultaneously endorsing the evil of Nazism.
This truth is incontrovertible!
Fact In principle – so too can the Southern (former Confederate) States similarly erect monuments to their fallen!
That last statement is “in principle” no less incontrovertible! The outstanding question remains whether not such contention is in fact true. You responded with an unsubstantiated blanket statement:
I provided much evidence to rebut that first suggestion of yours…
Again let’s break it down, when I replied :
Fact “Erection of those statues coincided with a growing and ever more popular sentiment – both North & South – for reconciliation between brothers-at-arms on BOTH sides of the conflict. On this score there is also NO dispute. I invite to google The Great Reunion of 1913 if you doubt me.”
… I even provided a photo of veterans from both sides sanding side by side under both the Union and Confederate banners. I am most curious what your explanation for that would be…
You obviously have not bothered to read my posts – and I wonder if I am wasting my time in responding until you do, reconsider your intemperate arguments and offer me apologies.
Which leaves me scratching my read to read you say
Uhmmm… Not the former – but clearly the later – just read your own posts.
ITMT – The “broken url” is quite functional
…and more than adequately contradicts your specious suggestions.
Uhmm… Reconstruction was an abomination as explained by many historians other than Foote,
… some of whom I cited and somehow you missed
I do not understand how you managed to miss my citations of Jeffrey Rogers Hummel & Eugene Berwanger for example, both who were unequivocally in agreement with Shelby Foote’s assessment. You keep on bringing up Shelby Foote’s bona fides
as already explained, his credentials are impeccable
Not at all! Please reread again my explanation of what motivated Canadian support for the Confederate cause, which was not at all “creepy” and was in no way an endorsement of slavery because the Confederate cause was NOT all about slavery… a fact you persistently and obtusely ignore.
Uhmmm – that is where you are wrong on both counts! I am more perplexed you refuse to consider the hard data of Abraham Lincoln in his own words. My Lincoln quotes are EXACTLY relevant! Your thesis that … the cause of the war was secession, and the cause of secession was slavery. is overly simplistic, so much so, your contention is patently incorrect! That would explain why I cited Jeffrey Rogers Hummel & Eugene Berwanger together with Shelby Foote! I also cited other references – please reread what I actually said.
Again, just reread the analyses of Jeffrey Rogers Hummel & Eugene Berwanger if you do not prefer Shelby Foote – If you want more citations from even more authoritative historians who have a better understanding of Civil War history than you, I would be happy to oblige – after you have read and digested what I already have provided.
I guess you also missed the link to the surviving members of Lynard Skynner who were less than academic but more than earnest in explaining why they continue to be proud to display the Dixie Flag.
You really don’t get it.
As I have suggested on more than one previous occasion – perhaps we should reboot. I would be eager to continue to learn from you without your own constant barrage condescending insults directed my way.
Sorry, what analyses are you talking about?
That would be more credible had it not been preceded by a constant barrage of condescending insults, as well as your admission of trolling.
just follow my links
“admission of trolling”?
I am unaware of any such admission. My anger towards self-avowed Marxists is real, and I admit I deliberated placed a provocative trap wherein foolhardy gainsayers managed to fall; but unless you and I have different understanding of the term “troll” – I plead innocence.
FTR – I was most impressed with your penultimate post which was substantiated by authoritative links. Thank you. I am currently composing a polite and considered reply
ETA – ITMT, I note you have neglected to answer some politely phrased and carefully parsed questions I directed your way
It’s not condescension when it doesn’t apply to John, apparently. That’s part of what I meant when I described a post of yours as ass-kissy. You should know that It’s possible to be civil without doing that. Just as there are positions between SJW and your own take on matters, there are ways to behave that are neither wildly obnoxious nor ass-kissy.
Please specify what links contain the relevant references to Hummel & Berwanger.
Yes. You admit to posting insincerely to attract controversy. Your reasons for trolling do not interest me.
Nothing I state is “insincere” and I have never admited to as much
That’s how I interpret “I admit, my original OP was a less than academic provocation designed to ferret out SJWs for sport.” Though I will confess I’m more annoyed by your non sequitur arguments. Still waiting for those links, by the way.
This is an excellent rebuttal, providing authoritative links. Thank you.
Yes – I am aware of your first link.
It makes a marvelous argument repeated here
Let us be clear here – you have changed your opinion and you longer hold that
The apparently paradoxical and undeniable truth of the matter was exactly the contrary to what you first suggested
Here is a great summary in a sound-bite:
Keegan’s argument flies in the face of Joseph Glatthaar’s statistical analysis of the 1861 volunteers in what would become the Army of Northern Virginia, where Glatthaar argued that Confederate volunteers actually owned more slaves than the general population. This may have been so for the Virginia volunteers at the beginning of the war but was decidedly untrue for the entire Confederate army in general
As you correctly point out – there exist many sources which cogently argue that many confederate soldiers did not fight because they personally enslaved a person, but these Confederate soldiers:
1- did fight for a society whose economy depended upon slavery meaning even non-slaveowners were determined to preserve a national economy based on slave labor.
2- and also fought against an invader they were convinced would destroy the institution of slavery
3- were motivated by convictions of white supremacy, whereas the North was otherwise
Conclusion: Confederate Soldiers were fighting for slavery one way or another and their cause can only be considered “unworthy”, whereas the cause of the Union was morally worthy. I hope I summarized your thesis correctly. Please correct me if I am wrong.
I still maintain the truth is far more nuanced and subtle
Let us work through those three points in reverse order:
The Union did not have substantially different ideas about race and equality than Southerners did. The naïve notion that Southerners were all slave-owning racists, whereas Northerners believed in racial equality is patent fiction!
William Madison Boyd is considered an “Unsung Foot Soldier” of the early Civil Rights Movement
Boyd made the remarkable and counter-intuitive observations that,
Boyd emphasizes how many in the South recognized the immorality of slavery, but recognized an even greater predicament which Lincoln acknowledged (as I already mentioned earlier)
Bottom Line: The South’s predicament was motivated by concerns of slave rebellions if slavery didn’t end, and the assimilation of slaves into society, if it did.
Lincoln together with the majority of the North understood and shared these concerns. Admittedly, these and other political/economic concerns (which I will address shortly) undermined the impetus of Southern abolitionism considerably by the time of the Civil War broke… like I said, it gets complicated.
Make no mistake – Northerners were no less racist and white supremist than the South – the North merely enjoyed the luxury of “better” (sic) demographics.
Remember as well, I already mentioned historian Jeffrey Rogers Hummel who observed how the racial attitudes of northern whites compared to southern whites were no different:
As you have already acknowledged, Northerners including Lincoln were amenable to allow the continuation slavery to continue where it already existed, but they were opposed to allowing Slavery into recently-acquired Western territories.
Why would that be now? Enlightened thinking on the Northerners’ part, perhaps?
Historian Jeffrey Rogers Hummel makes short shrift of such pious historical revisionism, explaining how Northerner’s anti-slavery was more
Frankly, the North was delighted to quarantine, in perpetuity, a burgeoning Negro population to the southern states. There goes your narrative – and if you wish, I can provide many more references upon request…
Meanwhile, acclaimed Harvard professor Louis Menan was very succinct
Consider as well, Lincoln’s obscure but seminal quote never cited in modern school books:
Lincoln repeated these reassurances on his inauguration March 4, 1861.
Lincoln was emphatically clear, the North would concede the issue of slavery, the South could keep their slaves, but slavery would not be extended into any new territories and Lincoln’s final line in the sand was southern independence.
So, what was the problem? Everybody agreed the Southern States could keep their slaves – as a matter of fact, it was in everybody’s interest the South do so.
Do you see what I have been driving at?
The economic realities were even more complicated than you are willing to concede – the North was exercising its ever greater electoral clout to the South’s great economic disadvantage. For example, the South’s standard of living was significantly diminished by a higher cost of living imposed by Northern-inspired tariffs permitting protectionism against cheaper imports. That would explain the South’s alarm at even greater political marginalization as more and more non-slave states increased the North’s political clout to the South’s disadvantage. Meanwhile, the North appreciated the significant economic subsidization provided by the South and were loath to see the South go its separate way.
The South was more and more being politically marginalized and more and more being economically exploited (a new twist on the former “no taxation without representation”) – The South had had enough and wanted out, even if it could keep its slaves, as Lincoln had promised.
In summary – as much as I admire the sentiments expressed by Christopher Graham & Edward H. Bonekemper III, which you cite, they still miss the mark by far. Contrary to the pleasingly pious narrative of the “Lost Cause”, the South was assured of preservation of slavery in already existing slave states and the South was grudgingly reconciled to not being able to expand slavery into the new territories.
Under those circumstances, they just wanted out of the Union, and felt they had every right to secede. That is the bit historians and constitution experts still quibble over today.
Now about the “inherent criminality” of Marxism which I SINCERELY believe…
your point is well taken and an opinion shared by a colleague whom I esteem
Here is what he wrote in response to the same post on FB
to which I replied:
Bottom Line – my expressions were:
1 – always sincere and earnestly held
2 – designed to provoke response without providing in advance the opportunity for evasion and subterfuge – I wanted expression of contrary opinion before any could ascertain, in advance, how my rebuttal would proceed
3 – elaborated in more considered detail, once I obtained response
… to employ yet another metaphor – I laid a trap. If that’s trolling… so be it… but I seem to remember you similarly guilty of no less. But no matter
I hope you find my last response to you worthy of consideration and respectful – and I hope we have buried the hatchet and can continue from now on with mutual respect.
I remain disappointed that Natural Kantian has not managed to rebut my contention that Marxism is inherently criminal because Marx deliberately avoided offering elaborations on moral philosophy – but instead repeatedly made clear he was instead a moral/ethical nihilist. Given Natural Kantian seems anything but a moral/ethical nihilist, I am confounded he publicly declares himself a “marxist”
Given the alarming developments on North American and European campuses, these deliberations are indeed worthy of consideration, especially given the ever increasing cohort of Millennials who publically declare themselves to be sympathetic to Marxist ideals
I have to say I’ve kind of lost the thread here. I don’t deny there is historical interest in the question of why the South seceded and why the North fought a war as a result. But I take it you two got into this from the question of whether it’s OK to knock down some statuary. So I’m wondering if it’s the case that John and Tom agree that the question of whether certain statues should stay is a function of the answers to those questions about the causes of the Civil War. Is that right?
For my own part, I confess that I don’t entirely see that connection, but that’s neither here nor there. I’m more interested at present in where you guys are coming from.
Then I have to say I don’t really know how y’all got onto this stuff. But for whatever it’s worth, I recommend Trollope’s “North America” on the questions I mentioned above. He visited here just as the war was starting, and he was a very acute observer and political thinker, generally. (Good on the defects of the U.S. Constitution with respect to matters of impeachment too, but that’s another story.)
Getting back to Marxism, here’s Peter Singer on the subject in a recent interview:
Singer on Marx (and on Hegel) is not good. What Marx got from Hegel is not the teleological conception of history (and it’s questionable if that’s even in Hegel himself or in his interpreters).
But this is just flat-out wrong:
This is just false. Marx was an essentialist about human nature — that’s precisely what post-Nietzschean theorists like Foucault and Derrida reject in Marx. In fact Marx was very much an Aristotelian about human beings — he thought that we had a definite nature or essence, and that the best kind of life for a human being to live was one that allowed for the fullest expression of that essence. For Marx that essence is “labor”: self-conscious, freely guided creative activity. The whole problem with capitalism is that we deploy our power in the wrong way, and in the process our labor is turned against us.
Likewise, this is deeply misleading:
In Marx’s framework, “communism” is a more or less formal notion that stands in for “whatever would succeed capitalism”. He explicitly says that he is not interested in writing recipes for the cook-shops of the future: he’s not a prognosticator or a prophet. He’s interested in giving a detailed analysis of capitalism, focused on the contradiction between capital and labor, and why that contradiction shows that capitalism is essentially unstable. The bit about “the state shall wither away” is just a throw-away line that sounds good but it’s not based on any serious engagement with political theory.
In fact there’s very little sustained reflection on what states are and how they work in Marx. He’s primarily interested in what used to be called “political economy”, not in political theory in any recognizably contemporary sense. He has no theory of legitimacy, of justice, rights, democracy, punishment — any of the issues that are central to political theory. He’s interested primarily in how commodities are produced and how the process of commodity production both perverts the role of human creative agency and conceals that perversion.
Again, this is just false — Marx knew there was a biological basis to human nature, because he had read Darwin! He just thought that capitalism was deeply antithetical to that biological basis, because he thought that human beings are by nature cooperative and don’t need coercion in order to create. Arguably Marx was naive and optimistic about human nature, and didn’t think that any society based on cooperation needs to have social mechanisms that constrain and sanction bullies and free riders.
I’d say that of the many things that Marx got wrong, the most significant is that he assumed that people are more rational than they are. He assumed that once people are equipped with a theory about where there real interests lie, they will act on the basis of that information. He didn’t reckon with the fact that poor Whites will find more solidarity with rich Whites than with poor Blacks because of how racism functions as a mechanism of controlling the workers through good old divide and conquer (DuBois’s The Souls of Black Folks and The Souls of White Folks is excellent on this), and he didn’t reckon with the fact that French and German soldiers would kill each other for the glory and honor of those who oppress them.
In short, Marx didn’t have a psychological theory about the role of affects, emotions, and drives in regulating human conduct. That’s why the Frankfurt School people turned to the best theory currently available to them at the time, which was Freudian psychoanalysis. Unfortunately that’s turned out to be quite badly false.
Thanks. I hope no one thinks I was endorsing anything in Singer’s remarks; I just thought people reading this thread might be interested in them. I don’t know a whole lot about Marx’s positions. George called him “prince of the muddleheads” and I used one short thing by him regarding labor value in an intro to ethics course that was pretty bad. I admit that I’ve been moved by both of those things, but I also recognize that I don’t know much about his views. Furthermore, to be honest, I just skimmed the Skinner interview myself before posting it here. Not a big interest of mine.
I think it stems from “I bet they never even heard of Shelby Foote” in the OP rant.
STILL WAITING FOR THOSE LINKS, BY THE WAY.
Fair enough. I went off on a rant because this idea that Marx denied the existence of human nature is (1) false and (2) responsible for the idea that there’s any convergence between “Marxism” and “postmodernism”. When there are charlatans making $80k a month peddling this twaddle that “postmodern neo-Marxism” will be the end of “Western civilization” it’s necessary to correct such errors as one comes across them.
Let’s be much clearer here. The links you show above both confirm my opinion, and you appear to be seriously misreading both of them. Hathaway & Beringer has many more details if you’re interested. (Though I can’t at the moment lay my hands on my copy.)
I am at a loss to figure out the basis for this claim of yours.
I would be interested in your support for this claim. At the least, something more than an unspported sound bite from Keegan, which doesn’t even address the question, would seem necessary. You should realize that “large” is a weasel word, and that the entire quote describes (and in vague terms) only absolute numbers, not proportions of the population.
While those statements are correct, it wasn’t my claim, which was that slave-owners and their family members were over-represented in the Confederate army compared to the general population. You have provided no information to contradict that claim. And this was intended as support the claim that secession and the Confederate side of the war were chiefly (almost exclusively) motivated by defense of slavery.
Yes, you do, but so far with no support.
Agreed. Of course nobody has ever made any such claim, so it’s unclear who you’re arguing against. It certainly has nothing to do with anything we’ve talked about so far.
I’ll just snip some more irrelevancies.
Could you provide one or two relevant ones instead of this cloud of non sequitur? The Republican Party was founded on abolitionism, whether abrupt or gradual. The south seceded for that very reason after Lincoln’s election. None of your little tidbits affect that.
No. You are too subtle and nuanced for me. Try saying what you’re driving at. I think that the political class in the southern states had a better idea of the meaning of Lincoln’s election than you do. Read the secession ordinances.
This is cherry-picking of the most egregious sort. “Tarriffs” is the last refuge of southern apologist scoundrels.
You can gain this message only by being very selective in your choice of references and quotes. Have you ever read the texts produced at the time by the seceders themselves?
I will and I generally did. A day and evening session at the Botanical Gardens. The spaghetti homard at Liverpool House. Dinner at Chez Lavigne, small plates of unique pairings and good wine, free bourbon, and watching the Yankees lose a playoff game to the Astros with the owner after closing.
Trust me, I am a professional on searching out local bread. The traffic and parking limited the range of search but the ones visited were good just not as transcendent I had hoped for.
I am suprised your sympathetic view of the Confederacy does not carry over to Quebec.
Georgia Democrat Alexander H. Stephens, who would become the Confederacy’s vice president, also stated that the Confederate constitution was “decidedly better than” the American one, as it “put at rest, forever, all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institution. African slavery as it exists amongst us; the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the ‘rock upon which the old Union would split.’ He was right.”
Nice, but I was thinking more of this.