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Marxism

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Laika,

I have the impression that we share an understanding of the historical importance of applied Marxism.

5 hours ago, Laika said:

... Was the collapse of the USSR the result of causes within socialism itself or somehow the result of forces outside of and alien or hostile to Socialism? Were the Purges the result of Stalinist ideology and its propensity to paranoia or was the paranoia a justifiable attempt to maintain ideological purity and orthodoxy in the face of counter-revolutionary forces? You can go on like this and personally its not clear why one interpretation is better than the other and emotions played a pretty powerful role in my originally favouring Marxist interpretation over alternatives. the inner struggle wears you out and you want something "more". ...

In regard to exploitation theory and the Marxian Labor Theory of Value, (as proposed in the opening post), I can't offer much. gio, in the preceding post may have nailed it, but I wouldn't be the one to make that call. I am self-educated. My academic background is limited. I met only one self-identifying Marxist in my long life, and he didn't impress me as very well-equipped to defend his beliefs. Perhaps in the arena of higher learning, the breadth of knowledge you and some of the other OO contributors display could be hugely advantageous in a formal debate. Given your acknowledgement that persuasion requires for than facts, perhaps we could say that the formal debate is a somewhat ineffective means to the end result of confronting the popularity of socialism. Socialism is very popular in America, as long as you don't openly call it socialism. Without getting too deep into American politics, the people I work with are mostly displeased with the idea that the worst elements in society receive welfare benefits, while they have to work, but if you raise the subject of "the rich," you see the proverbial blood in their eyes. Americans workers have little in common with the proletariat of a century ago, but the sentiment is still very much alive: class-warfare, class-struggle, and all of the devises used by the International Workers of the World, long since forgotten along with the Cold War. These are the forces that shape the changes in our world, and when practical, I seek the unpopular course of resistance by reasoning with the few who question whether or not their notions of capitalism are correct.

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Posted (edited)

16 minutes ago, Repairman said:

I met only one self-identifying Marxist in my long life, and he didn't impress me as very well-equipped to defend his beliefs.

Come in my country if you want to meet much marxists! :D

Edited by gio
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Posted (edited)

6 hours ago, Laika said:

it was always disguised by political language of "class struggle", "dictatorship" and never really comprehended on a "human" level of experience, with all the personal turmoil and conflict that comes from caring about people- friends and so-called "enemies". That was a pretty strong indicator against the communist ideal of the " new man" as a noble and heroic standard bearer of "social justice" because it meant that the source of communist ideology couldn't be as simple as commitment to truth as a legitimate and moral source of political power.

2

Marx/Engles were very upfront with regards to what they considered the "plastic" nature of an individuals mind and how his ideas are determined only by a positive dialectic (as opposed to Hegel's idealism)  with the current age's material means of production (meaning roughly, ideas don't create "tools", tools create "ideas").   It's also no coincidence that the Behaviorist ideas of Pavlov, Watson, Skinner, etc. were "Left" and largely ideologically driven.  The "new man" was to be "conditioned".  This ideology of conditioning even went so far as to affect Soviet Biology (known as Lysenkoism) for decades.  Stalin rejected Mendelian genetics because it didn't support the idea that living organisms are "conditioned".  From wiki:

The pseudo-scientific ideas of Lysenkoism assumed the heritability of acquired characteristics.[2] Lysenko's theory rejected Mendelian inheritance and the concept of the "gene"; it departed from Darwinian evolutionary theory by rejecting natural selection.[3] Proponents falsely claimed to have discovered, among many other things, that rye could transform into wheat and wheat into barley, that weeds could spontaneously transmute into food grains, and that "natural cooperation" was observed in nature as opposed to "natural selection".[3] Lysenkoism promised extraordinary advances in breeding and in agriculture that never came about.

Joseph Stalin supported the campaign. More than 3,000 mainstream biologists were sent to prison, fired,[4] or executed as part of a campaign instigated by Lysenko to suppress his scientific opponents. The president of the Agriculture Academy, Nikolai Vavilov, was sent to prison and died there, while scientific research in the field of genetics was effectively destroyed until the death of Stalin in 1953.[3] Research and teaching in the fields of neurophysiology, cell biology, and many other biological disciplines was also negatively affected or banned.[5]

Rand repeatedly states that a man's mind has a specific identity and that it's not infinitely malleable.  This is central to understanding her epistemology and ethical individualism.  No man or class or tool can "cause" another man to think.

The horrors of collectivism stem from treating men as cogs in Society.

Edit:  In 1907, William James reflected on the growth of Behaviorism in psychology.

Many persons nowadays seem to think that any conclusion must be very scientific if the arguments in favor of it are derived from twitching of frogs’ legs—especially if the frogs are decapitated—and that—on the other hand—any doctrine chiefly vouched for by the feelings of human beings—with heads on their shoulders—must be benighted and superstitious. 

Edited by New Buddha

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Repairman said:

Given your acknowledgement that persuasion requires for than facts, perhaps we could say that the formal debate is a somewhat ineffective means to the end result of confronting the popularity of socialism.

Why would an Oist grant this ridiculous premise? Almost nothing Laika said is remotely true. 

Has anyone else observing this and other recent threads been at least struggling to countenance how some have been responding to Laika? (Qualitativley, the nature of the responses)

 

Edited by Plasmatic

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4 hours ago, Plasmatic said:

Why would an Oist grant this ridiculous premise? Almost nothing Laika said is remotely true. 

What is ridiculous about it?  If non-rational motivation causes someone to persist in socialist or Marxist thought then how would rational argumentation address that motivation?  Plainly it can't and doesn't unless and until a person comes to value rational argumentation over the emotional payoffs of being righteous or conformist or rebellious etc...  Some people (most people?) never get there.

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5 hours ago, Plasmatic said:

Almost nothing Laika said is remotely true. 

What does this have to do with anything?  Give me a Marxist who has taken the time to actually read Marx over an Objectivist sycophant any day.

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Posted (edited)

5 hours ago, Plasmatic said:

Why would an Oist grant this ridiculous premise? Almost nothing Laika said is remotely true. 

Has anyone else observing this and other recent threads been at least struggling to countenance how some have been responding to Laika? (Qualitativley, the nature of the responses)

 

At no point am I suggesting that Laika said anything to the effect that formal debate is ineffective in all cases. I am not suggesting that formal debate is ineffective in all cases. If a person chooses to discuss the pros and cons of Marxism with emotional detachment, then of course one would argue on merit of fact. Taking into consideration the fact that the average Left-leaning person doesn't even know who Karl Marx was, it wouldn't be very effective to analyze Marxist theory. The impression I take from Laika's approach to the argument is that most Marxist take their beliefs as personally as any person of faith. Whether this is exactly true or not is a subjective matter; as far as being remotely true, I would say it has a better than fair chance of being true.

Plasmatic, not that I wish to change the topic, but what specifically is it that Laika said that isn't true?

Edited by Repairman
spelling correction

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Posted (edited)

10 minutes ago, Repairman said:

Plasmatic, not that I wish to change the topic, but what specifically is it that Laika said that isn't true?

As someone who has actually taken the time to read Marx, Engles, Lenin and several Soviet philosophers, I can say that Laika has been very consistent in presenting their case.  Within that context, everything he has posted is "true".  He's also demonstrated a far greater depth of intellectual curiosity and honesty than many others who routinely participate on this forum.

Edited by New Buddha
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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, Grames said:

What is ridiculous about it?  If non-rational motivation causes someone to persist in socialist or Marxist thought then how would rational argumentation address that motivation?  Plainly it can't and doesn't unless and until a person comes to value rational argumentation over the emotional payoffs of being righteous or conformist or rebellious etc...  Some people (most people?) never get there.

Yet, Laika argued nothing like the above. 

Edited by Plasmatic

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, New Buddha said:

What does this have to do with anything?  Give me a Marxist who has taken the time to actually read Marx over an Objectivist sycophant any day.

First, I don't expect you to appreciate the Oist position on dealing with people who hold evil beliefs, or even be aware of what my reasons for asking my initial question even is.

Second, I have a strong interest in Marxist doctrine and study it quite a bit. Particularly the Frankfurt school and the neo-marxism within postmodernism. I think anyone who doesn't  understand Marx cant possibly grasp what is happening all around us with much detail.

See my playlist on the topic here: 

https://m.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLmJ5QMr7eqvScV0kCa7UwgMz-d0F_x6vD

Read the description....

 

Maybe its true that you have equal value to gain by exchanging your "opinions" with a marxist on their terms but that is an affront to anyone with a moral compass. 

Edited by Plasmatic

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10 minutes ago, Plasmatic said:

Maybe its true that you have equal value to gain by exchanging your "opinions" with a marxist on their terms but that is an affront to anyone with a moral compass. 

Oh, no! Plasmatic is throwing Thunderbolts at me!

Laika has clearly come here because he is questioning Marxism.  He's been very open about it.  If you don't have the temperament to engage someone like Laika, then why don't you return to Mount Olympus?

 

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Posted (edited)

 

6 minutes ago, New Buddha said:

Oh, no! Plasmatic is throwing Thunderbolts at me!

Laika has clearly come here because he is questioning Marxism.  He's been very open about it.  If you don't have the temperament to engage someone like Laika, then why don't you return to Mount Olympus?

 

 You have any non-strawmen comments, sweetheart? 

Edited by Plasmatic

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Plasmatic said:

You have any non-strawmen comments, sweetheart? 

Such witty repartee!

Look Plasmatic, the only purpose of a philosophical forum is to engage those with whom one disagrees.  Forums don't just exist to mirror one's own unanalyzed ignorance, prejudices, and opinions.

Laika has clearly come here because he is questioning Marxism.  He is precisely the type of person that Objectivists should hope to come to this site.

A significant part of my professional career has been spent teaching interns.  I enjoy trying to communicate knowledge.  If someone doesn't agree with me I don't just castigate them as "people who hold evil beliefs."

If Objectivism is to have any influence in the wider reaches of society, then it will need to engage that society.

Not everyone has the temperament to do that.

Edited by New Buddha
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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, Repairman said:

At no point am I suggesting that Laika said anything to the effect that formal debate is ineffective in all cases. I am not suggesting that formal debate is ineffective in all cases. If a person chooses to discuss the pros and cons of Marxism with emotional detachment, then of course one would argue on merit of fact. Taking into consideration the fact that the average Left-leaning person doesn't even know who Karl Marx was, it wouldn't be very effective to analyze Marxist theory. The impression I take from Laika's approach to the argument is that most Marxist take their beliefs as personally as any person of faith. Whether this is exactly true or not is a subjective matter; as far as being remotely true, I would say it has a better than fair chance of being true.

Plasmatic, not that I wish to change the topic, but what specifically is it that Laika said that isn't true?

Regarding my response to your comment I excerpted previously; there is no such thing as non-rational persuasion. To persuade is to make rational arguments such that another accepts your premises as true. This should not be a controversial claim.

As to the erroneous comments of Laika's I was referring to, lets see:

Is it the case that "appealing to ethical absolutes" "wouldn't work with anyone"?

and is it true that

"trying it with a marxist serves as evidence of how little respect you have for them as people trying to reason there way through the world."

If one is "trying to reason their way through the world", then why is it the case that "truth will not persuade them"?? (your "merit of fact") 

If self esteem can only be gained by virtuous action then how is pretending that a marxists "dedication" to the immoral cause of marxism is a source of true self worth and worthy of "respect"?

Is it the case that one should treat the belief in marxism as "not a big deal" because a marxist is suffering from the psychological and emotional weight of the fact that their beliefs DO reflect on them morally and there "self" is in a state of moral debasement?

Is it the case that "Marxism is primarily (but by no means exclusively) an emotional response to people's suffering"?

Is the marxist view of social justice an instance of a "humane" condition"?

Is it the case that the marxist myths of "out of control market forces", "anarchy of competition", "exploitation of the ruling class" and a "lack of property" are "oppressing" the Marxist into "militancy" and robbing them of individuality?

Is it really "selfish" "at its core" to choose marxism because one is "grappling with legitimate personal problems" that Marx claims "they cannot change or control."?

Do I need to go on?

Edited by Plasmatic
Fixed bolding error

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1 minute ago, Plasmatic said:

Do I need to go on?

Your all bold response is borderline psychotic.

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Posted (edited)

49 minutes ago, New Buddha said:

Look Plasmatic, the only purpose of a philosophical forum is to engage those with whom one disagrees.  

This is not just any philosophical forum and what you suggest is ridiculous. It may be your only reason for being here but there any number of reasons for folks to visit this Oist forum.

Quote

Laika has clearly come here because he is questioning Marxism.  He is precisely the type of person that Objectivists should hope to come to this site....If someone doesn't agree with me I don't just castigate them as "people who hold evil beliefs."

 Nowhere have I claimed that mere disagreement makes one guilty of "holding evil beliefs" nor have I claimed Laika is not questioning Marxism.

 

Quote

If Objectivism is to have any influence in the wider reaches of society, then it will need to engage that society.

But not on their terms, conceding their errors as praiseworthy and without moral tolerationism. 

Your clearly ignorant of the wider debate on this front. 

Quote

Not everyone has the temperament to do that

Nor the understanding, clearly....

Edited by Plasmatic

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Posted (edited)

11 minutes ago, Plasmatic said:

But not on their terms conceding their errors as praiseworthy and without moral tolerationism. 

The reason I threw out the Thunderbolt Universe reference was to demonstrate that even intelligent people (and yes, I do think you are intelligent) can follow completely unfounded and erroneous beliefs with the best of intentions.

Edited by New Buddha

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2 minutes ago, New Buddha said:

The reason I threw out the Thunderbolt Universe reference was to demonstrate that even intelligent people (and yes, I do think you are intelligent) can follow completely erroneous beliefs with the best of intentions.

You threw it out because you wanted to make a strawman without having to argue the merits of the actual discussion, or what ideas within the link may or may not have merit. 

Do you have any idea how your last statement is dealt with in Oist philosophy and how it informs my question initially posed? 

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54 minutes ago, New Buddha said:

A significant part of my professional career has been spent teaching interns.  I enjoy trying to communicate knowledge.  If someone doesn't agree with me I don't just castigate them as "people who hold evil beliefs."

If Objectivism is to have any influence in the wider reaches of society, then it will need to engage that society.

When interns ask questions that I cannot directly answer, I try to provide them with the questions they need to ask, and direct them to the people to which they need to ask in order to gain access to the answers they seek.

The influence Objectivism has to offer is not directly embedded in the individuals that seek to spread them to the wider reaches of society. Rand's ideas are either true and stand on their own recognizance, or they are not, and will fall of their own accord.

On that note, is it Objectivism that needs to engage society on societies platitudes of its own merits, or is it society that need come to terms with that which it desires to engage with?

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Posted (edited)

10 minutes ago, dream_weaver said:

On that note, is it Objectivism that needs to engage society on societies platitudes of its own merits, or is it society that need come to terms with that which it desires to engage with?

1

In a civil society, people engage in debate to resolve disagreements.

By using the passive voice, you are committing a reification fallacy by treating "Objectivism" as something other than the thoughts, ideas and actions of the many people who self-identify as "Objectivist."  No different that a Collectivist who reifies "Society".

Are you the arbiter of all things Objectivism?  Is Plasmatic?  Am I?  Leonard Peikoff?  How about the Ghost of Ayn Rand?

Who exactly is this "Objectivism that needs to engage...." ?
 

Edited by New Buddha

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45 minutes ago, New Buddha said:

In a civil society, people engage in debate to resolve disagreements.

If they have something to gain from  doing so. And this is not even the issue being contended with.

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Posted (edited)

53 minutes ago, Plasmatic said:

If they have something to gain from  doing so. And this is not even the issue being contended with.

Feel free to pose any question you wish and I will answer it honestly. If you want me to provide detailed sources so you know I am telling what I believe to be the truth, I will. 

I can't really say any more than that... *shrugs*

whether you are dealing with a Marxist or not, the evidence is still the basis of any rational judgement. Not simply the person saying it. 

Edited by Laika

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9 hours ago, Plasmatic said:

Regarding my response to your comment I excerpted previously; there is no such thing as non-rational persuasion. To persuade is to make rational arguments such that another accepts your premises as true. This should not be a controversial claim.

It is a controversial claim.  Rational argumentation is the only way to reach truth, but there are people who value something else more than truth and for them other methods are appropriate.  See for example the books authored by Robert Cialdini, a long list of books on salesmanship tactics including Donald Trump's own Art of the Deal, or the histories of each of the world's religions and how they spread.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Grames said:

It is a controversial claim.  Rational argumentation is the only way to reach truth, but there are people who value something else more than truth and for them other methods are appropriate.  See for example the books authored by Robert Cialdini, a long list of books on salesmanship tactics including Donald Trump's own Art of the Deal, or the histories of each of the world's religions and how they spread.

 

 

So, because some irrational people don't value truth an Oist should use a non-rational method similar to the way religions spread, to "persuade" others????

OK, has anyone checked to see if Grames' account has been hacked?

Edited by Plasmatic

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10 hours ago, Laika said:

Feel free to pose any question you wish and I will answer it honestly. If you want me to provide detailed sources so you know I am telling what I believe to be the truth, I will. 

I can't really say any more than that... *shrugs*

whether you are dealing with a Marxist or not, the evidence is still the basis of any rational judgement. Not simply the person saying it. 

Laika, I'm sure NB's foolish comments lead you to think that I am questioning the veridity of your comments on Marxist doctrine (regardless of the doctrines falsity) but that is not at issue here, at all. 

A agree with your last statement and thats why I object to the things I quoted that are contrary to it.  

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