I find myself questioning DiaMat all the time. I know I shouldn't, but after reading through a lot of western philosophy I've become stuck. Nothing makes sense to me anymore. It scares me because how can I prove Marxism is "the Truth"? How can I show why communism (rather than social democracy or some other system) is ultimately needed without using dubious appeals to emotion or fantasy? How can I prove communism through philosophy, rather than hard science or whatever?
Does anyone else feel as if they don't have a strong philosophical foundation for their ideology?
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there is no universal truth, no correct position. you subscribe to one ideology or another due to your innate principles which are developed from a bit of nature and a lot of nurture. thats it
there is no universal truth
How can this be proven? Also I'm sure Hegel (and thus Marx) would say otherwise. Doesn't Badiou write about this idea?
I'll say in short that Marxism is not a teleological system, there isn't an appeal to an overarching truth of existence. So put that out of your mind, and relish the fact that you don't have to force yourself into dogmatics to do so. Marxist philosophy is the examination of the antinomies of an existing regime of meaning and valuation, both economic and having to do with the human subject, towards its (and I'll say this ironically given what i've only just said a moment ago) "ultimate revelation" - that to be a universalist is to abolish regimes of essential meaning, not to redefine them.
When discussing where Marxist philosophy stands in relation to existing philosophy, that is, in this case, to say the mainstream philosophy, the point isn't that Marxism offers some sublime and transcendent truth of all things - its precisely the opposite, Marxism is the abolition of those lines of thought which bind human value in all its forms to the contradictory systems of thought and production. Where it leads from there, who knows: "The owl of Minerva spreads its wings only with the falling of the dusk", philosophy is but the interpretation and valuation of those things happening at the time within a larger scheme of meaning. Philosophy doesn't create truth, it is a process by which a truth can be made apparent.
How can I show why communism (rather than social democracy or some other system) is ultimately needed without using dubious appeals to emotion or fantasy? How can I prove communism through philosophy, rather than hard science or whatever?
I suppose the question would be why you're basing your pursuit of communism on anything else but science and historical necessity?
why are science and historical necessity to be valued, though? thats probably where the op's quandary comes from
What's your philosophical background?
Epistemology and science can only analyze the world. You need ethics to make value judgements, like what's good or bad, or what should be done. For example, growing income inequality is just a fact. Some libertarians might say it's a good thing. You need some system of ethics, which is ultimately based in emotion, to draw further inferences. A person's political beliefs are largely a function of their capacity for empathy, with leftists being more empathetic than right-wingers.
how can I prove Marxism is "the Truth"?
Marxism is not The Truth, but a philosophical tradition (arguably) most capable of describing the conditions of the collective production of political truths – in the plural. I recommend you read some intro texts to Badiou, focusing on his concept of the four truth procedures (science, politics, art, love).
I've felt that way as well but fortunately in my country I can study philosophy & history for pretty cheap, i'm really happy in that it allowed me to structure my thought.
Fairly sure hegelian dialectics (and marxist philosophy of history) are largely teleological.
Imo Spinoza should be looked into by leftists.
Althusser is a good Marxist Spinozian.
Althusser had his problems though. But yes, there are many many bridges to make between Marxism and Spinozism. Imo, Marx, Bourdieu & Lordon are absolutely crucial references for a contemporary leftist theory.
Ngl seeing people so preoccupied with philosophy makes me sad. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy philosophical ventures, but all I need to know to oppose capitalism is the ways in which it has hurt me personally- from there, not that I feel this is a requirement, it's very easy to see that I am not alone.
Don't worry too much about the truth, right and wrong, or any of that- worry about self-actualization and the pursuit of your personal power in opposition to the world around you. Now go forth and cause mayhem.
History and philosophy are two legs we need to walk. But you need to really go out of your way to find interesting philosophical content, although this is changing thanks to the internet.
History I'd say has more actual use value than philosophy I'd say. But even then that can easily get muddled and end up with a constant academic struggle for enlightenment instead of a practical struggle against capital.
Lol look at me and my shitty use of words there, that's what no sleep gets you.
I'm gonna be honest with you about a rather important issue on this.
There is no singular "truth" to political philosophy because these truths are going to be dependent on an irrational motivator for you, personally, that nobody can actually tell you is right or wrong. You have to decide what the right and wrong outcomes are before you can begin to use the logical rules of science and philosophy to tell you if those goals are coherent and achievable, and how you can start to make your way to get there.
Emotional or fantastical appeals aren't wrong or unsubstantiated. They're just what they are, and they don't tell you anything more about what to do.
Don't read ppl in this thread, philosophy can bring you more than this shitty skeptical "there is no right or wrong" approach.
moral realist spotted
Nope. I don't believe in transcendantal values like Good or Evil. Read on Spinoza's criticism of morals. Deleuze wrote about this and likened the spinozist approach to Nietzsche's.
Not really. Of course I do doubt my ideological presuppositions, but this is not for their philosophical foundations, but rather their practical application. I'm pretty confident in the philosophical basis of my beliefs.
Dialectical materialism states that we need to throw away any arbitrary abstractions and look at what people are really doing in the real world. How are they reproducing themselves? It's a lot like Stirner's egoism, it doesn't preoccupy itself with spooks.
One very obvious spook is private property. There is no special reason for the masses of people to uphold that institution as it exists today. If they want to bolster their own interests, they should get rid of it and distribute the spoils among themselves. That's just generalized egoism.
And that act would be instating communism, there is little more to it. It's the collective assertion of individual interests in the face of private property relations.
Now, the practical worry is that of the neoliberal critique. What if private property relations are already the best way for proletarians to distribute property among themselves? Ultimately this is difficult to believe to me, but there could be something to it. We certainly shouldn't be naive about what seizing the means of production practically entails. As 20th century communism showed, there is some practical challenge there. Market mechanisms do provide some natural efficiency that has to be replicated, and new incentive structures need to be invented to ensure that this efficiency isn't lost. At the same time we need to rigorously critique that efficiency in order to put it under control of the proletariat. And this is a difficult project, one that neoliberals will argue is simply too difficult.
What makes me confident that it isn't too difficult is computer technology. Internet infrastructure and computer processing power – both of which are now well distributed among the population, soon also in poorly developed countries – should make the exchange and interpretation of economic data so easy and accessible that the entire population can engage in effective economic planning. If well executed, modern communism no longer needs a strictly hierarchical planning bureau to be effective, and can replace this with a much more open institution, perhaps based on peer-to-peer principles. We already know the effectiveness of peer-to-peer models of organization. Communism is nothing but the generalization of them to economic management. A kind of freedom few people have imagined up to this point.
You also seem to be worried about the basis of morality as such. My opinion is that if you do not feel morality to be based on your own interests, that is, a natural consequence of how you would like to see yourself expressed and reproduced in the world, then there is no basis for it. As for what a moral act would be, it is simply the act in which you strengthen the interests of the largest amount of people. Go for the greatest expression of empathy you can imagine. If communism is practically possible, such an act would be the creation of it.
That's my view on the matter. I hope it helps.
My opinion is that if you do not feel morality to be based on your own interests, that is, a natural consequence of how you would like to see yourself expressed and reproduced in the world, then there is no basis for it.
And to be clear, I'd argue that morality is a natural consequence of your own interests, at least if you're a normal healthy human being. There's no greater self-actualization than the reshaping of your entire society in your image. There's nothing better you can achieve with another person than the realization of their unique potential. Nothing better you can feel towards them than solidarity in their strength, disgust in their weakness. This should be self-evident.
bump what this guy said.
also imo, if Marxism is so great it should hold up against most major ethical philosophies
pragmatism, altruism, utilitarianism, relativism, deontology, rights, casuist and virtue
if you can hit each one of them, show that Marxism is compatible with each of these, then you have no reason to appeal to emotion or fantasy, because you can either wait for them to argue from one of those perspectives and you explain why Marxism is compatible, or you make your points FROM those philosophies and see if they agree its good.
its tough though, a lot of reading. I don't even know what most of those are tbh
I am not a Marxist so maybe this answer is more obvious to Marxists, but why is Marxism being held up to be judged by those ethical philosophies rather than the other way around?
dubious appeals to emotion or fantasy?
you are doing communism completely wrong
How can I prove communism through philosophy, rather than hard science or whatever
why would you want to? Philosophy is just science without research and verification
Dude, you don't need to be some sperg like Heidegger searching for some ancient philosophical foundation for every modern political belief. That's utterly retarded. You just need hard empirical evidence to prove a socialist economy operates better, of which there is plenty.
I find myself questioning DiaMat all the time. I know I shouldn't
You absolutely should. "The ruthless criticism of all that exists" includes and should be actively applied to our own movements and analysis. There are some things you need to support to be a socialist, worker ownership and anti-imperialism are crucial, but having unchanging uncritical reasoning behind why you support those things is not necessary, and can even be very harmful. Prioritize specific liberatory positions and hold to them and then read and discuss widely. The only grounding you really need is the claim Marx & Engels proceed from – we start with what exists and work backwards from there. Trying to debate the ideal economic system is useless without a historical analysis, historical analysis is useless without an account of economic realities throughout history.
I think this text lays out the basic responsibilities of socialist analysis in a good straightforward way without skipping over anything:
Philosophy is just science without research and verification
This positivism is a philosophy, retard. All scientific analysis is based in philosophical assumption.
I'm not arguing for "there is no right or wrong", I'm telling him to become his own God and decide what is right and wrong. Transvaluation, how does it work
Surprised Anal Water hasn't joined this thread yet.
hey guys hegels is a nigger also reality isn't real
how can I prove Marxism is "the Truth"?
You can't. The notion of absolute, unchanging truth is scientifically unsound. All you can do is go with what seems like it makes the most sense, and historical materialism fits that bill for me.
Conflict is inevitable, user. It is better to embrace that than to try to think some perfect thought.
Maybe I completely misunderstood DiaMat - but I basically ignore it and focus on LTV when looking at what I think is the basis of Marxism. But keep in mind, this is the worst and least Marxist post in the thread probably.
Materialism, at it's most fundamental, is the idea that matter comes first and exists first. (As opposed to idealism, or anything involving souls or whatever.) This has a lot of implications, from physics to political economy, but I wouldn't say its teleological. Dialectical materialism means that matter develops dialectically - instead of everything existing as it's own independent object, everything exists merely as a "moment" or stage in the middle of a never-ending development. Instead of looking at objects, you look at processes/evolution of forms. I think of it as a philosophy of material change. Of course, I could just as easily believe in some Christian philosophy - whether or not you "believe" DiaMat is irrelevant according to DiaMat - these processes exist whether or not we understand or care about them. Lenin lays it out well in Empirio criticism but Engels goes really in depth from the philosophic angle in Anti-Duhring, which I highly recommend.
Professionally negligible, I studied some while I was in grad school. But that was an aside, since I'm in the sciences. I tend to lean towards structural Marxism.
There has been a startling trend of attempting to rehabilitate teleology as a unique part and end to German Idealism. While Spinoza did play a major part, through the Jacobi-Spinoza debacles that led to a more thorough philosophical exploration of early ideal materialism, his system of thought is not the Hegelian, and certainly not the Marxist conception of essence and being. There is no essential end to history in Marx or Hegel, and even the contemporary readers, such as Althusser, do not rehash the full system of valuations and symbolism advocated by Spinoza - merely an examination of its presence and influence in the ideological structures of the state apparatus. Feel free to examine the influence and important contributions Spinoza made to enlightenment thought, but do not mistake him as the progenitor of universalism - he is merely one of the originators of a means of critique.
Also LTV logically follows from DiaMat. There must be something about commodities that gives them objective value outside of our own experience of them, and this something is labor. Specifically, socially necessary labor. However, this only materializes through the process of social production and exchange.
Maybe this is brainlet, but I don't think about philosophy when it comes to this. The way I think is, that the options in the face of climate change are either Communism or State Capitalism, and I'd much rather have communism, if you break it down with modern computing technology, communism wins over state capitalism in most categories consistently.
But Hegel said the real is rational?
Can someone please tell me if all this philosophy shit is a joke or if y'all legitimately think the philosophy matters?
philosophy helps you think. it helps you sort out feels from reals, it helps you identify ideology, allows you to identify sophists, to organize your thoughts. it's not a question of whether it matters or not, it's about the usefulness of philosophy, and the conclusion being "it's very useful". essentially, claiming philosophy is irrelevant on this board is like claiming math is irrelevant for engineering. you don't need to know absolutely everything, but it does help and the more you know, the more you can use it to your advantage and to deepen your understanding.
also philosophy is not only "lol what is life lmao" and there's more to socialist thought than "work suckz lmao". not sure why you're being a little bitch.
90% of this board has an incoherent framework.
I love this message.
expecting anal water to be consistent
He's been exposed on this board more than once as a charlatan who tries to shoehorn everything into Hegel and ragequits when he's shown he can't.
The problem with philosophy is that it can raise more questions than it answers. Seems like that's the main issue facing OP.
after reading through a lot of western philosophy I've become stuck. Nothing makes sense to me anymore.
The math analogy works here too, though. If you study enough math things stop making sense. That's true of any field of study, really. Eventually you stop learning answers and you start learning about unanswered questions, and then things go from making sense to being more confusing than ever. While that's great for philosophers and mathematicians, if you're just learning something for utility you probably don't want to study it THAT deeply.
hegel is ALWAYS right. your position has to be wrong because if it was correct hegel would have agreed with you.
Yikes. Does he really believe that?
Right to life (self defense), right to think (and expression thru speech), right to form a community (association) and right to property (critical to maintenance of life) are the universal truths. Any authority that infringes on these without your expressed consent is invalid. Any ideology that prohibits these natural rights is false. Any doctrine that do not hold these as implicit or explicit truths is evil.
What are this guy's political views? I ask, because I've seen a lot of "Hegelian" Marxists turn full neocon very quickly (look no further than the Platypus Society which advocates for Zionism and US imperialism in Afghanistan).
And yet those things you claim to be universal can be historically dated. Right to property needs to be cleared up whether we talk about use property or property of the means of production.
Freedom of thought, expression and religion (or lackthereof) were develop by Spinoza, read about him as much as you can.
I hate niggers