Your opinions on Marx

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Your opinions on Marx

Post by UzN2tS1q on Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:05 pm

What are this forum’s opinions on Marx?
I can expect that people here may not like his ideas on internationalism but his criticism of capitalism is extremely relevant.
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Re: Your opinions on Marx

Post by Celtiberian on Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:58 pm

As I frequently stress, Karl Marx's work can be divided into three categories: sociology, economics, and philosophy. In my opinion, his contributions to those disciplines remain valuable and relevant today. If you have any specific questions regarding his work, please feel free to ask.

With respect to internationalism in particular, not only do I find it unobjectionable, but I consider it to be integral to the success of
socialism. Bear in mind, however, that the internationalism which I'm referring to is distinct from the cosmopolitanism which pervades within the contemporary left. John Spargo (prior to his abandonment of radical politics) explained this distinction quite well when he wrote,

...[I]nternationalism does not mean for us anti-nationalism. Nor has it anything whatever to do with the vague doctrine of world-organization, for which no accurately descriptive name exists, symbolized by the picturesque ceremony of a flag burning. This much exploited ceremonial was a crude attempt to symbolize a conception of a nationless world.

We repudiate the claim made by some that loyalty to this nation is inconsistent with true internationalism. Those who say that Socialism involves the view that the working class has no nation to call its own, that all nations are alike, that there is nothing to choose between a militarist autocracy and a democratic republic, do not preach Socialist Internationalism, but pernicious reactionary nonsense.

"Internationalism presupposes nationalism. It is the inter-relation of nations. The maintenance of national integrity and independence is an essential condition of internationalism. This principle has never in the past been seriously questioned in our movement. It has been the guiding principle of our policies in the Socialist International
."
John Spargo quoted in Victor L. Berger: Hearings Before the Special Committee, Vol II, p. 627 (emphasis added).

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"Nationality. . . is a historic, local fact which, like all real and harmless facts, has the right to claim general acceptance. . . Every people, like every person, is involuntarily that which it is and therefore has a right to be itself. . . Nationality is not a principle; it is a legitimate fact, just as individuality is. Every nationality, great or small, has the incontestable right to be itself, to live according to its own nature. This right is simply the corollary of the general principle of freedom."
—Mikhail Bakunin Red Star
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Re: Your opinions on Marx

Post by DSN on Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:46 pm

Celtiberian pretty much said it all. It just goes to show how a worryingly large percentage of socialists lack the ability to listen to themselves and others.

"I believe in the interrelation of nations, but I don't believe in nations."

Logical, eh? I can't remember what the words before and after Marx's claim that the working class has no nation were, but that on its own could simply mean that workers have no nation to call their own because they do not have any (significant) control over the nations they are born into.

One thing to bear in mind when throwing nationalism out of the window as an undesirable aspect of socialism is small scale nationalism. Take Native American tribes for example. I've never heard any leftist claim that such a group shouldn't have the right to deal with its own affairs and to exist free from unwanted foreign cultural influence. What about the autonomous tribes of the Amazon that don't want a McDonalds built next to their homes? Are Native Americans and Amazonian tribes dangerous Nazis that pose a threat to socialism? No, they simply want the right to self-determination.

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