Thursday, January 12, 2017
After the recent election, I started to wonder about how we actually got to where we are. In this process I was reminded of two individuals in particular, Karl Marx and Frederick Engels. These came to mind because there seems to be either a sentiment or Marxism or socialism arise in the U.S. that in my life time I have never experiences or noticed. I say both because I am not sure as to which one it is: social conflicts in relationships between different classes of people as an impetus for future egalitarian social transformation (Marxism), or questions regarding whether or not all means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the collective members of the U.S. as a whole (Socialism). This is not a holistic interpretation, but rather singularly relegated to political objectives of theAmerican progressive left.
Marx and Engels met in the 1840s if my history is correct, in industrial Germany. Back then it was either called Prussia or Bavaria. They connected due to their mutual appreciation for the philosophical writing of Hegel. For the laymen, Hegel, although known for many contributions to philosophy, one of his most interesting propositions he introduced was the Hegelian dialectic. The Hegelian dialectic was how in his view, all of human history unfolds; specifically that history progresses as a dialectical in the form of thesis, antithesis, synthesis.
Now I won’t go into dialectical materialism, but to put in basic terms, Marx and Engel used the Hegelian dialectic to describe their philosophical views of social systems in terms of the capitalist economy as a function of man’s progression to an eventual socialist/communist state. Their argument was that in the future, capitalism would become obsolete and end (be destroyed by the worker class). They detailed this concept in the Communist Manifesto. They believed that with the introduction of industry, and the business owners’ desire for more and more wealth accumulation (capital), the only outcome left would be that the worker would never benefit, would only grow greater in number and be more concentrated in mass in industrial areas of production. This would be the new and final stage of social existence and an end to the unequal relationships between different social classes (for the worker class would link together and eventually revolt against the owner class to address what they perceive as unfair with the manner in which our international economic system operates and correct the dysfunctional social order).
Honestly, don’t see too much Hegel in their economic philosophy. After all, they seem to have one supposition and stuck with it whereas Hegel postulated that there are gradations of reality within various phenomena, meaning his original commentary endorsed that there can be degrees of truth in proposals. Hegel specifically indicated in POM that there exist both material and mental phenomena.
Although the Communist Manifesto seems to be an attempt to explain the goals of the theory behind Communism, by speculating that the exploitation of one class by another is the motivating force behind all historical developments, they fail to integrate aspects of the human condition, or of those intangible activities of the basal ganglia and prefrontal cortex of each human that make us the unique species we are. Marx and Engels assert that capitalism will be transformed in the direction of socialism, yet they ignore the human effects of cognition. They obviate differences in races and gender in their outcomes albeit biology dictates distinctions in cognitive function based on gender for example. They fail to include that the collective unconscious (and for the record I despise Jung) of man may or may not forget their past, if it was historically filled with events of trauma based on race. This is consistent with language also, for we define and see our world according to how we understand our environment via language. These distinctions are important and may reflect what Hegel described as the “lacerated consciousness.”
I say this because one of the goals of Marxism is cultural – cultural Marxism being a form of social engineering that through political correctness (for lack of a better term), seeks to obviate capitalism and class structure because it is oppressive, by destroying traditional the concepts of family, morality, race, gender and sexual identity. This is achieved by cultivating a single victimized group solidified to fight the capitalist oppressors. For Marxists/socialist, this is mandatory to fulfill their societal goals.
If this is the objective, then Marx and Engels have failed. The failure is because they never consider that all groups, albeit they adopt standards of political correctness and promote their status a victims openly as a collective, will eventually lean towards expressing their human condition in terms of their mental phenomenological experience more so than their collective material phenomenological experience. No clearer can this (to bring me back to my original reflection) be observed on this eve of the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States of America. Plans are inthe works for thousands of journalists, academics, intellectuals, entertainers,and other leftist progressives to protest and make lucid their objection and rejection of the President Elect in the name of preventing America from becoming fascist. If they succeed they will be happy but it will be the end of Marxist/socialist ideology in America, for they will fall back into their personal ascribed states of victimhood, rather based on gender identity, race, ethnicity or ethnic affiliation. And when this happens the conditions of man that Marx and Engels excluded from their theory – the nature of man, will bring them back to man’s primal class system, one of good versus evil.