A very interesting explanation of Karl Marx’s analysis of Capitalism:
Yes, I very much understand these critiques about modern life. Marx was a Luddite of sorts, which I can relate to. Let me pause to state this. THIS is why I get defensive when people categorically dismiss “Marxist teachings” and lay all blame for the Leftist political ideologies we’re experiencing/witnessing now squarely on his shoulders. As if he’d likely be in full support of what’s become of the so-called Left.
People like to say they’ve read his “teachings.” Yeah? How much really? Most of us haven’t directly read a whole lot from the man, especially considering how incredibly much he wrote. Letter after letter between Engels on him, on top of lengthy books on these topics. Not easy reads, hence why many aren’t directly acquainted with what Karl Marx actually said. Including plenty who claim to be fans of him. And the information and ideas bandied about in his name can drift straight off the plantation of he ever appeared to have in mind. The man wasn’t terribly pro-technology and he couldn’t foresee the industrial explosion of unprecedented proportions that the next century ushered in. People didn’t even have an imagination for what was in store on this level or in detail. How could they? UNPRECEDENTED times we now live in in terms of technological innovations and global economics.
This is truly an interesting time to be alive.
But the man added to the mix his own views and analysis. So be it. I have no problem with him doing so. Though I do take issue with what’s being done in his name. Leftism =/= “Marxism.” The political Left is puppetry, neo-liberalism, just as the political Right is as well with its “neo-conservatism.” Different teams competing for global jockeying positions. We see this. We know our political systems are ALL rigged around the globe. And money does obviously factor into how it’s carried out.
We don’t want to be slaves to a new kind of slave-owner. And this is precisely why I say that slavery never truly ended, it just changed shapes. More inclusive now.
The threat of Communism is similar. Different strategy employed but in the end you still wind up with a ruling class and a bunch of serfs under their thumb, only to a more extreme degree. Personally, I find Communism as it’s ever been practiced detestable. BUT, I don’t conflate Communism with socialism. Based off the idea, yes, but then taken to a crazy extreme since the concept was applied to a huge society and carried out in a top-down manner. Socialism doesn’t quite work that way. It’s a bottom-up approach, by and large, though wider federations may be possible. But it doesn’t translate (apparently) when applied to a massive nation-state setup. Turns into totalitarianism when attempted, so history has demonstrated thus far.
Rulers. Everywhere we look. And perhaps that we be okay if they were benevolent and actually committed to protecting our wider interests. But that won’t ever happen if the people can’t hold them accountable, which we seemingly can’t currently. We’re rendered at the mercy of what’s unfolding, and we see it and feel the earth shifting beneath us. Life has gone into hyper-drive over this last century, and now we embark on a new one. One where likely middle-classes will begin blooming in China and India and elsewhere outside of the West where we have been abandoned by a good amount of our manufacturing jobs and are experiencing record debts, printing money nonstop backed by virtually nothing. We do see this. No secret here. And what will become of the U.S.? We don’t know, but it doesn’t look very good. And the politicians running are caught up in a game that’s beyond most of us in terms of making much of a lasting impact.
While I can understand the shift in people’s hearts, I wish we’d use our minds all the more. Exercise them. Explore ideas, particularly those we may have a knee-jerk reaction away from.
I don’t see socialism and libertarianism as necessarily incompatible. Perhaps they are the new political “right” and “left” down here on the ground. Reckoning with the philosophical conundrums arising between individual vs. collective or “societal” interests. So many buzzwords make it to where discussing these matters feels cheap, like people’s eyes glaze over when they peruse them. I get it. Really do. But we have to somehow come to terms with the fact that we are both social beings and individuals in our own right. There’s a balancing act needed here, yet different people will likely opt to attempt it in different ways. Hence why I like to talk about my dream of 10,000 communities going their own ways. Let the social experiments begin…
Pipe dreams, I know. Because now we appear locked into this trajectory, whether we like it or not. Jumping in a political “camp” or movement won’t likely improve a thing. Especially not when so many are so divided. Few of us can agree on anything anymore it seems. If ever people did. But some of us must find a way and group up with those we’re capable of living and working with to the best of our ability, if only to find solace and cooperation in whatever lies in times to come.
I don’t have any answers. But I do understand the concern and always have. Can also understand our Western concerns and how it may look to those most well-adapted and proven successful in our current setup. But times are a-changin’ whether we like it or not. And whether we try to prepare or not.
Crime will likely increase. We’re a very materialistic culture. Entertaining ourselves to death. I’ve heard Yugoslavians basically fell prey to the same lure.
After listening to the audiobook for Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature, and appreciating it to an extent (final chapter aside), I’d argue that he spoke (and wrote) prematurely. Comforting as it would be to agree with his analysis.
Lately this eerie feeling has been coming over me. Listening to all the propaganda and watching how race relations are being ramped up in our society, I get to wondering if it’s possible if there’s an economic breakdown if the U.S. may go the way of South Africa. At least in essence, though in our case it’s not simply two or three races/ethnic backgrounds against one another. It’s become fashionable to talk shit about “white” people today, yet the reverse is deemed intolerable. Hmm. If we’re honest with ourselves and set aside our excuses and rationale and just pay attention, observe — we see this going on. It started with jokes and has grown noticeably more vicious with time.
Increasingly not a secret.
We should be able to examine these matters without being pigeon-holed as belonging to the political Left or Right as a result. Screw all of that nonsense. And to hell with devoting ourselves to ideologies of any sort. Better to keep an open mind since not a one of us has it all figured out. Explore. These ideological cages are just that — utopian traps sold to us by people who don’t give a damn about us, who simply rely on us and the money we spend, pandering to our psychologies so that we don’t revolt and remove them from power. But then another of a similar caliber would surely take their places since we don’t understand the process of power and how it can accumulate. Forming hierarchies is in our nature, but what we’ve constructed are so big that they’re guaranteed to fail us. We can’t reach them anymore. Just have to accept the dictates sent down the ladder in the form of laws. Can fight them and sometimes win, but eventually they plow on through while claiming to have enough popular support. Pandering and pretending — that’s American politics at present.
It’s easy to feel powerless in the face of all of this. But we only have one life to live, so far as we know, so we might as well make it interesting and do something with ourselves that isn’t a complete waste. Was watching another talk with Dr. Jordan Peterson earlier today (see last post) where he goes into all that and highly recommend others hear the man out. Aligning with ideologies is a way to shirk individual responsibility and hide within a crowd. Best to opt to do something more courageous than that at least. That is too easy.
There are plenty of thought-provoking thinkers on any and all “sides” who are worthy of hearing out even if we wind up disagreeing. Suspend judgment for a while and just let it in and ponder. Helps to better flesh out our own beliefs and ideas, to challenge them and thereby alter, deepen and expand them. No shame in exploring far and wide.
Admittedly kinda surprised me initially to stumble across Abby Martin conducting that interview. Proved to be worth taking in as more food for thought. The professor explained his position very articulately, though I still don’t see a top-down approach winding up ultimately resolving this dilemma, at least not how the globally-minded may envision it. We shall see.