Reactionaries Say the Darndest Things

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Re: Reactionaries Say the Darndest Things

Post by Rev Scare on Thu Mar 21, 2013 3:48 am

I fully recognize that analytical Marxism represents a plurality of approaches to Marx's work from a range of political persuasions (left-liberals to socialists). Indeed, the word "analytical" was itself contentious within the school. As Cohen wrote:

“In each sense of ‘analytical’, to be analytical is to be opposed to a form of thinking traditionally thought integral to Marxism: analytical thinking, in the broad sense of ‘analytical’ is to be opposed to so-called ‘dialectical’ thinking, and analytical thinking, in the narrow sense of ‘analytical’ is opposed to what might be called ‘holistic’ thinking."
Karl Marx's Theory of History: A Defence, p.17

Those whose primary disciplines were in the social sciences tended to incorporate methodological individualism (e.g., Jon Elster, John Roemer, Adam Przeworski) while those from philosophical backgrounds (e.g., G.A. Cohen, Erik Olin Wright, Andrew Levine) were more accepting of dialectics and critical of the former. Apart from differences in their analytical tools, they disagreed regarding questions of economic theory and historical development. They also varied, of course, in their dedication to Marx's corpus.

“Some participants in the intellectual project of analytical Marxism regard Marxism as simply one of a variety of sources of ideas, concepts and tools. Indeed, they may not actually consider themselves to be ‘Marxists’ of even a weak persuasion. While they may find the intellectual task of analytically reconstructing Marxism to be a productive one, it is not out of any deep commitment to Marxism as such. It is thus possible to “do” Marxism (make contributions to the reconstruction of Marxist theory) without “being” a Marxist (having a general commitment, political and theoretical, to the Marxist tradition.”
Wright, What is Analytical Marxism?

“If, by a Marxist, you mean someone who holds all the beliefs that Marx himself thought were his most important ideas, including scientific socialism, the labour theory of value, the theory of the falling rate of profit, the unity of theory and practice in revolutionary struggle, and the utopian vision of a transparent communist society unconstrained by scarcity, then I am certainly not a Marxist. But if, by a Marxist, you mean someone who can trace the ancestry of his most important beliefs back to Marx, then I am indeed a Marxist.”
Elster, An Introduction to Karl Marx

As the above quotes illustrate, my basic premise regarding this group of "No-Bullshit Marxism" was correct. I think we can both agree that Cohen produced by far the most admirable body of work.

Celtiberian wrote:Indeed. Locke's class interest was ever the impetus behind his political philosophy. Allan Engler recounts this history in the following lengthy, but illuminating passage:

I have read Engler's book and am therefore familiar with the quoted passage. Apostles of Greed provides a good account of the origins of market theory and capitalism, and I found Engler's narrative of the ascendance of monopoly capital and Taylorism especially intriguing.

I agree, but I believe that political philosophy is a worthy endeavor nonetheless. Vision is a critically important part of revolutionary activism, and political philosophy can assist us in conceiving of the values we should uphold and goals we should pursue. Material forces will ultimately determine when the social revolution occurs, but an attractive vision is a requisite element for overcoming the proletariat's narrow time-horizon and amassing popular support for socialism.

I believe you have misunderstood me, comrade. I did not intend to suggest that we shouldn't strive to present an alternative vision and ethical framework to the masses. My statement was specifically in reference to the reactionary quest to enshrine (disingenuously, I might add) certain "virtues" (i.e., self-ownership, non-aggression, etc.) as some fixed ontological "truths" rather than adopting an ethical perspective that conforms with our desires as a species, as the latter has no patience for propertarian sophistry.

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Re: Reactionaries Say the Darndest Things

Post by Admin on Mon Jun 03, 2013 4:23 pm

America's Coming Civil War: Makers vs. Takers

“A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

Abe Lincoln used those words in 1858 to describe a country that was careening toward civil war. Now we’re a house divided again and another civil war is coming, with the 2012 election as its Gettysburg.

Call it America’s coming civil war between the Makers and the Takers.

On one side are those who create wealth, America’s private sector–the very ones targeted by President Obama’s tax hikes announced Monday.

On the other are the public employee unions; left-leaning intelligentsia who see the growth of government as index of progress; and the millions of Americans now dependent on government through a growing network of government transfer payments, from Medicaid and Social Security to college loans and corporate bailouts and handouts (think GM and Solyndra).

Over the past century America’s private sector has been the source of productivity, innovation, creativity, and growth–and gave us the iPhone and iPad. The public sector has been the engine of entitlement, stagnation, and decline -- and gave us Detroit and the South Bronx.

The private sector built the strongest economy in the world. It armed the free world in World War Two, and then in the three decades after the war turned America into the most prosperous society history had ever seen. It revived America in the Reagan and Clinton years, and thanks to the Bush tax cuts brought this country back from economic collapse after 9/11.

In those same years a growing public sector, by contrast, turned Europe into a cesspool of debt, stalled economies, and chronic social dysfunction that’s set the streets of Athens -- and perhaps other European capitals--on fire.

That’s where we’re headed, too, more rapidly than we like to think.

That public sector–state, local, and federal -- now consumes 40% of GDP, compared to 33% just twelve years ago. It’s brought us to the point where 48% of Americans are now on some form of government handout, from 44% when Obama took office–almost a fifth more than during the Reagan years. And too many of them have been programmed to believe they have no future unless the government takes more from the Makers -- precisely what Obama promised on Monday.

So we know which side Obama and the Democratic party are on. Like John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry, ObamaCare has been a wakeup call to what’s at stake–just as the turbulent events in Wisconsin showed how far Democrats are willing to go to win.

We’re not Greece yet -- or on the brink of Bull Run. But it’s time for Romney and Republicans to make clear which side they’re on -- and to make it clear there can’t be government transfer payments, from Medicaid to Social Security, without a strong vibrant private sector to pay for them.

They don’t have to stoop to the Democrats’ tactics. They just have to give our free market, private sector economy the robust defense it deserves.

A country where more Americans go on Social Security disability than get jobs -- as happened last month--can’t stand.

Lincoln hoped in 1861 that the “angels of our better nature” would pull us back from catastrophe. He was wrong. Let’s hope in 2012 those angels still hover -- and can make a house divided whole once more.

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/07/12/america-coming-civil-war/#ixzz2VBcHtL00

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Re: Reactionaries Say the Darndest Things

Post by DSN on Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:48 pm

I'm subscribed to this guy because he has a few interesting videos where he makes people stop and question their views and methods of organisation on various issues (feminism, vegetarianism, environmentalism etc.), but when it comes to socialism this guy just makes me cringe. He reminds me of my father.


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Re: Reactionaries Say the Darndest Things

Post by DSN on Wed Jun 12, 2013 11:20 pm

That last brain cell of hers just died a slow, painful death.


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