Free-will ideology and capitalism

Is anyone here also thinking free-will is a meme?
Porky seems to base his entire moral and social order on the idea of merit vs guilt, saying proles are stupid and didn't work hard in school. But doing so they sweep under the rug the reasons some kids get through school very easily, meaning things such as intellectually-disposed parents vs parents who drop you on the couch with the TV on.
Marketing loves to bring up free-will as the choice of the products of consumption seem to define our true selves.
I've later found out that structural/historical deterministic explanations made more sense and had less risk to devolve into retarded conspiracy theories and it has really been my gateway into proper theory.

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I don't think free will is a meme, you can have agency within the constraints you find yourself in.
But neoliberal idea of "personal responsibility" for all the bad and good things that ever happen to you is very much a meme, aggressively forced one.

That's not contradictory. You have desire, it is oriented towards certain things, like a material situation or a symbolic one, like prestige.
But that orientation towards such or such thing is entirely grounded in a given historical situation and defined by the entirety of the encounters you have made in your past. Therefore, it is determined. Now you can re-evaluate things and knowledge is an important tool in properly orienting one's own desire, but agency is still going to oriented towards that thing and not that other one. The outcome couldn't be any different, just like each speck of dust in the desert couldn't have been anywhere else based on the laws of motion.


Freedom itself is not a meme, but willpower is basically a fascist fantasy. Whenever you hear people start talking about "just using your willpower" to do shit, it's usually some way to shame poor people, attributes everything to individual inner power instead of conditions. It's no coincidence the Nazis were obsessed with it, even making "Triumph of the Will."

Freedom is the ideal state we should aim for, it's not something achieved from the get go. People desire things but they don't know why they desire them.

I mean advertising is obscuring a pretty obvious truth.
That the commodities were already finished and transported to point of sale before you "chose" them.

So with this knowledge, what do we do?

Create a global planned economy with democratic control of production.

The constraints you find yourself in are the laws of physics which permit only determinism and randomness. There's no wiggle room for "free will". You have as much free will as a program running on a computer.


Free will is absolutely inconsistent with materialism, the logical conclusion of materialist philosophy is that the universe is deterministic.

You could try to argue this with some strange findings in quantum mechanics but then you'll reveal yourself to be a pseudoscience peddling physicist-shaman

Free will is just an assumption about reality people love to make because we like to feel like we are incontrol.
It's also irrelevant to use, we *appear* to have freewill and that's good enough for us. (My self included)

But if you are getting into it philosophically I would say it makes more sense that we live in a deterministic universe.

I mean look at General Relativity. There's literally no reason to think we have free will.

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You can't prove that. Also, consciousness seems different from everything else, so it wouldn't be surprising if it didn't obey the laws of physics (after all, the specks of dust are not conscious)

Free will is a myth, it is peddled by the ruling class because it serves as justification for everyone’s role in life so they can not only enjoy being in higher positions but can also see themselves as virtuous and deserving, and the lower classes do not only have to deal with what low social position entails but also have to carry the burden of blaming themselves for it. Rejecting the concept of free will and by extension that of a just world is a precondition to become socialist.

Does somebody have that quote about the falling snowflake that would believe it was acting as it chooses?

This is what trying to defend free will always comes down to, muh soul essentially.

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No, even without free will the ruling class could just blame "destiny" instead. Actually it would work even better to shift the blame away from themselves.

Insofar we are conscious of our bound to other individuals, of the reciprocity involved in every social relationship, we are free. Individual, atomized and bourgeois free-will is a meme, but not freedom per se. We are free, yes. But we will only be able to exercise our freedom once we become conscious of the power relations that capitalist production implies, once we transcend these capitalistic relations and organize our social life in a different way. That is to say, freedom can only be achieved collectively. That's the marxist take. Now, free-will ideology of capitalism is indeed a meme and a lie.

So you don't see yourself as different than the raindrop that just fell from the sky? Do you have thoughts? Feelings? Does it not FEEL like you have a choice? A raindrop surely doesn't feel it…

Because both extremes of common-sense are bourgeois. The solution is a dialectical approach

How the fuck does consciousness seem different from everything else?

It's literally made from the same atoms flying together and ripping apart as everything else. Not special.

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So show the atoms responsible for my consciousness, then. You know the brain cells replace themselves every so often. But I still have the same consciousness.

Well it’s true. That does not mean it’s not destiny that their heads will roll, it provides no justification for the current order, it is as valid as any other unless you believe nature=good.

It does, but that is because it was evolutionary advantageous to belief in it, it doesn't mean it’s true. I arrived to my conclusions by logical analysis.

Ignoring that you consciosness is constantly being altered, a program is the same even if you copy it to another computer.

It doesn't appear to be altered if I still feel like I'm the same person.

Regardless, why am I conscious and a rock isn't?

How does that defend free will? Have you reduced it to consciousness existing? It’s an emergent phenomenon and a rather vague one at that, which means all the rules from lower levels still apply to it, can you explain to me why self-controlled drone can make decisions and a piece of scrap metal can’t? This is actually possible and does not rely on free will. Arguing that because you don’t understand something there must be something supernatural is fallacious and what ultimately leads to religion.

Your perception deceives you. The changes are small and slow and your brain alters you memory too to fit later developments. In extreme cases when e.g. someone has a severe head injury or so it should be pretty difficult deny though.

The debate between free will and determinism is a false one because it arises from a distortion of reality by theological philosophers and also because we can never truly know so who cares. But honestly, socio-economic / technological determinism does seem the best that we have so far in analyzing things.

The drone is not conscious unless you can show it has feelings and thoughts.
Except I have feelings and thoughts, and it is YOU that has to explain why I have them and the rock doesn't.

You can't even prevent yourself from talking as if I AM in fact the same person "your brain", "your memory" - can't you see? Unless proven otherwise, it should be assumed consciousness is something separate from matter..

Regardless, why is this a topic at all on leftypol? It belongs on a philosophy forum…

It matters because it has a material impact. Why do all religions how people get what they deserve from their choices, as does the neoliberal dogma? It inevitably leads to moralism and serves as defence of the status quo. We do know it’s false because nothing else has free will and the laws of physics apply to everything, the believers in their mythical soul-essence carry the burden of proof.

Ontology is politics.

No I don’t. When people did not know why the sun goes up and down it was not proof that god exists and made it so. And their already is a lot of research into neurchemistry, for example your “choice” can be predicted before you are even aware of it.

I didn't say a word about god.

That experiment has been refuted. And it STILL does not explain why am I conscious and a rock isn't.

What are you even doing in this board?

The only thing special about your brain is that it's malfunctioning, making you an idealist.

actually read Marx, you'll be surprised

In direct contrast to German philosophy which descends from heaven to earth, here we ascend from earth to heaven. That is to say, we do not set out from what men say, imagine, conceive, nor from men as narrated, thought of, imagined, conceived, in order to arrive at men in the flesh. We set out from real, active men, and on the basis of their real life-process we demonstrate the development of the ideological reflexes and echoes of this life-process. The phantoms formed in the human brain are also, necessarily, sublimates of their material life-process, which is empirically verifiable and bound to material premises. Morality, religion, metaphysics, all the rest of ideology and their corresponding forms of consciousness, thus no longer retain the semblance of independence. They have no history, no development; but men, developing their material production and their material intercourse, alter, along with this their real existence, their thinking and the products of their thinking. Life is not determined by consciousness, but consciousness by life. In the first method of approach the starting-point is consciousness taken as the living individual; in the second method, which conforms to real life, it is the real living individuals themselves, and consciousness is considered solely as their consciousness.

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Haha okay, Mr. Properly Functioning Brain.

I came here to discuss the usual leftist issues, this topic simply caught my eye (I don't think it has much to do with capitalism anyway TBH)

free will is undialectical

Now let's see what he said in Capital…

What does all of this means? That in Marx materialism is not a simple deterministic relation. Materialism means that humans have agency and engage in a transformative praxis with environment. We humans think, we have consciousness, and we can act in consequence. You may call this idealist garbage: Marx is saying that the ideal pictures of our minds can actually become reality, become solid. And yes he's saying this. But that's not all that he says. We produce our reality, yes, but we do it under a lot of constraints. Furthermore, the objective world that we create stands tall in front of us and sometimes appear to dominate us, like he shows in his analysis of commodity fetishism.

It's exactly the opposite.

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It has a lot to do with capitalism. And Marx provides a beautiful answer for this issue. It's only one of the many you can give, but it's an exceptionally interesting one. Ignore the fags.

Even if consciousness exists that does not mean free will does. Consciousness is an emergent phenomenon of brain activity. It’s also pretty questionable that no other animal has it, at the very least you would have to make some arbitrary separation where the first on-animal is born to animal parents.

It does mean that. As long as we acquire plain consciousness of our material existence, we can freely decide what to do and how to do it —our options being constrained, of course, by material objectivity. This is the chore of socialism. This is why only real socialism can be real freedom.

No you can't. Your brain is subject to the laws of physics, chemistry and biology just as much as that of an ant. Freedom is a meme, it is always a power struggle.

Well, you can stick to this if you want to. I'll stick to what Marx said, because I believe it describes better human history and reality. Labor process as an interaction with nature is a conscious choice of what and how to produce not only things, but our collective reality itself.

Not surprised that you stick to dogma like a true believer. You are essentially just arguing for the left-liberal postition of "equality of opportunity" with the implication that there is some magical independent choice that leads to distinctive outcomes. Arguing for pure idealism would be too difficult, so you try to keep at least a bit in to shiel at least parts of the societal structure from criticism by pointing at individual agency as a justification.

Yeah yeah whatever, lecture me on how physics laws ruled the success of the 1917 revolution, since human agency had absolutely nothing to do with it.

Their agency was determined by material reality and all actors were not free from the laws of nature. Computers can do impressive too, does not mean they have free will.

Mfw leftist debate turns into people arguing over something that literally doesnt matter at all

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Also just because there is no transcendent element that is independent of the universe, does not mean that there are not emergent phenomena like thoughts and political organisation that do play a role and help in explaining material processes.

this is pretty typical tho

agency =/= free will.
agency is still product of external stimuli like anything in the human brain

You are talking like a religious baby, you stick to what makes you comfortable, it's fine if it makes you more sane but don't pretend it's the totally correct approach.


Because the brain is a computer that is designed to learn from what it sees. Do you fucking think babies have free will?

I can be a christian and say that exact same sentence. It the same thing, you stick to what makes you more comfortable, i'm not saying hard determinism is true but free will doesn't exist, if Marx was alive today we would take a more "deterministic" stance without really adhering to either.

Every single encounter you do shapes your person and your person shapes every next encounter. Causality isn't a thing with holes.

Destiny is justification of social order through theology. It has nothing to do with causes.
Now there is another bad type of determinism, that is teleological determinism, like the Stalinist version of marxism or spencerism.

Hard Determinism is impossible, but something below soft determinism is where we lie.

Do you believe that the Casual and Mundane Universe affect overally Causality within this place? If so, then you can manipulate or read them both quite well enough.

Big claim lol.
I have no clue what are you asking.

Hard Determinism is impossible because we live in a Fractal Universe that is like an endless death/purity spiral depending on how you look at it. God Willing.
You are not a follower of The LHP?

I have no clue what you're saying, it sounds like new age mumbo-jumbo.
I don't even know what that is.

Looked it up, seems to be western esotericism.
I'm more of a spinozist myself. I reject duality of mind and body, I embrace absolute determinism and seek knowledge generally.

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A lot of physicists would disagree with you.

Many would disagree with you too.

People reject historical determinism because it allows them to think history has no "logical" structure. Which means that in their mind, human behaviour is irrational and left open to the fantasy of agents' free-will, this kills any possible for a materialist/structural/determinist analysis.

Rewatch this video.

Very few with any real understanding of quantum mechanics would claim that determinism is impossible.
The most anyone can say is "we don't know".
Anyway, even if there is true randomness, that still doesn't allow for free will. It only allows for "random will".

Basing a justification of free-will on quantum mechanics is the telltale sign of a confused person

I just want democracy in the workplace and removal of rent seeking.

Anyone who thinks free will is a meme is probably a bootlicker with dreams of playing sim city with our lives.


Just like individual freedom is achieved by acknowledging one's own determinations in their lives, collective freedom is achieved by democracy in both politics and the economy

Self interest. I benefit from democracy because I and people like me get a say in how things are done, as opposed to now where I'm just ruled over by the bourgeoisie. It doesn't really MATTER if free will exists or not. Either I am able to exercise my freedom of choice or I am able to act out my materially determined choices, but either way I'm better off.

is it pre-determined or not? in this paradigm whether you acknowledge your determinations is not a matter of your choice, everything you do was pre-decided and inescapable, a function of your nature and your environment, you're an automaton and anything else is illusion.
whether it's achieved or not is pre-decided and utterly arbitrary, and once you've acknowledged that you're a slave with zero agency any idea of freedom whether on a mass or individual scale can be discarded, it's a nonsense. the universe will do what it was set to do, and given that the universe's creation was presumably arbitrary and random any idea of one path being "better" or "worse" becomes meaningless, whether objectively or for you as an individual.

if you say so, i thought folks on here were more cynical than this, that's a bit starry eyed. with democracy as with any system i think a lot of it just boils down to scale, on a mass scale you'll never count for shit.
do you believe in a system where no one wields a greater amount of power than anyone else?
it does to the current conversation.
i'm not sure how you determine anything to be better or worse, from where you derive these values?

The problem is that you are caught up in nebulous concepts like “goodness” and “freedom”. If you actually stick to viewing humans as automatons their behaviour makes sense from an evolutionary perspective and in general people struggle to acquire resources and mates. In this fight for domination is where concepts like democracy, freedom, goodness etc. are wielded as tools by individuals and groups to pursue their genetically encoded self-interest.

Genetics are only a small part of what determines people's interests though, compared to history or sociology.>>2946027

Dialectics are not "whatever Karl Marx said."

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i'm doing so to deconstruct that user's position. i myself don't view humans as automatons because i don't view myself as an automaton, as i personally experience the action of choice between what i 'know' to be right and wrong, though it's rarely so clear.
in this framework even the idea that existence is better than nonexistence is a nonsense, there is no such thing as an "interest," there simply is what is, which is arbitrary, nothing created it and nothing provides the basis of good or bad. the universe was created at random and any notion of value is without basis, and this applies to us, nothing we do is because it's better or worse or in our interest or not. the alleged laws of evolution are an abstraction created in your own mind, you have no direct knowledge of them, only what you've been told by things too that exist only in your own mind.
once this drive toward reduction is begun it can only end in absurdity, materialism is trumped by solipsism, and so far as i know that's the only possible end point of this path of reducing everything down so far as you are able.

Do you never do things in spite of knowing them to be bad?

Interest is just a concept created by you brain to help you understand the workings of reality. For example you can say that a closed system always strives to maximize its entropy, even though there is no real "striving" obviously.
It's not because those who thought so died out so those who think existence is better spread the genes that lead to this belief.

But how do you know those actions are truly freely determined and part of some cosmic level cause and effect?

General Relativity tells us that our universe is a 4 dimension space-time and that 4th dimension has all your actions already played out on it.

Interest is ensuring one's own survival and defined by power relations. My desire to eat food is a body need expressed by feelings of hunger that my body is able to form because it is equiped physiologically to make me feel hunger when my blood sugar levels drop

and not***

Nothing REALLY matters, mannn.

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Wave particle duality becomes irrelevant the further you zoom out, my dude.

That is the part that separates people like Deepak Chopra and Particle Physicists

How does that make Hard Determinism impossible?

Yep, you can apply the uncertainty principle to macroscopic objects like a tennis ball or the moon and see how ridiculous it gets. This is the entire point of Shrödingers cat experiment, to show that infering macroscopic judgement from what we know of the quantum world is bound to result in absurdity

I'm not pro free will, but what if you make a for example the selection of a political reader dependant on the outcome of a double slit experiment or so? Quantum pseudorandomness would have a very macroscopic effect in that case.

You might as well be using a random number generator. It's just introducing chaos into the system as unknown variables, not free-will and still determined in the grand scheme of thing (one thing will come out anyway)

Discussions around free will may be fun and interesting and all but too many times on amateur discussion they're reduced to justifications of pathological thought. You can use both hard determinism and free will to imply the need for bootlicking or revolution, regardless of what philosophical currents have historically been adhered to the left or to the right.
Isn't this just a implicit affirmation of determinism, considering you're selecting specific products on account of your 'true self' acting through you? The party line of technocratic neoliberalism seems to devolve into some form of determinism once you're at the appropiate zoom level. The obsession with 'equality of opportunity' implies that we should reach a state of society in which the trash, which assumed to be trash because of certain inherent qualities (genetical or otherwise), is thrown out because of their inferiority as the inherently cool, smart, pretty and skillful climb the ivory tower and circlejerk for the rest of eternity.

I'm not sure how exactly the existence of a 4th dimension prevents free will from existing. We can affect spatial dimensions through our actions, is it unreasonable to assume we can have marginal effects on a larger timeline as well?

yes i do, but that's exactly where i find the possibility of 'choice' arises.

how do you know this?
again, darwinism is an abstraction, the material world is an idea, the path of reductionism (which we've taken) leads only to solipsism. you cannot define interest because there is no value. there is only the direct experience of your mind which one has zero control or influence over, any absolute statements regarding "reality" are an absurdity because you only have a subjective perspective to go on, and because it is subjective it cannot perceive the absolute. it is no more real than a dream, transitory, contingent and temporary, it annihilates at death.
and yet, everything i just said is absolute, for instance
is an absolute.
it boils into absurdity, it is irrational, and yet materialism is a nonsense when put beside it, and so the materialistic worldview too is a nonsense, it is fundamentally irrational.

I see what you are saying;

Though I would have to say that those options are still being set up
in a universe that appears to be predominately determined.

Even particles people think are random aren't really "random."

When you are talking about quantum states of energy the location of electrons still exists with in a locality of possibility.

The orbit of those electrons isn't so much random as it is probabilistic with in a certain range from the nucleus of the atom.

Still not truly "random."

Perhaps pathological thought itself stems from excessive use of freewilist rhetorics. I have been doing very good in school and have generally breeze through life. Not on my own merit though, I'm aware society is basically tailored for my needs.

If you make a save state like in video games of the entire universe and replay it, it will play the same every single time. Your ability to choose is determined by your knowledge (determined by past experiences) and affects (likewise).
You can truly become free to choose when you re-evaluate who you are at a deep level, what matters to you and how to do that.


It's because the existence of the 4th dimension is the existence of all possible events with in our universe.

The actions of every atom with in the universe are already determined; where they will go what they will do.

It’s the opposite, equality of opportunity is to make all things that are not “chosen” equal, like how wealthy your parents are but it implies that there is a free will component that despite equal opportunity leads to unequal outcomes, which they always defend. In reality if there were equal opportunity, equal outcomes would necessarily follow.

not only is this not possible, but if it were you don't know what would happen, you cannot prove here what you've stated.
you've created an "objective" reality filled with rules that you yourself apply to it, and in this abstract reality things play out according to the rules you've selected. it's no more than a mind experiment, it's no reality.
yes, whatever free will you have is constrained by your nature and your environment, whether this means there is no 'free' will is almost a matter of semantics. some people argue that without absolute freedom there is no free will, that even if there were an omnipotent God he would not have it, as by having a nature he would not truly be unconstrained.
i dunno what you mean here at all, too vague.

lol ok mr. special snowflake

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"I" won't, but there are a fuckload of people who are a lot like me. In fact, a MAJORITY of people are a lot like me, materially speaking. Whether free will exists or not, we all tend to have similar wants and similar problems. That's why democracy is a preferable system of government in the first place. Since the majority of people are a lot like me in terms of wants and needs, then if the majority gets to actually wield power then I will have my own wants and needs fulfilled.
I don't think it really matters. If actual democracy existed then the group would wield more power than any individual. The problem we have now is that this isn't the case - there are individual people who have more power than the whole working class combined.
Self interest. I have wants and needs, and they would be better fulfilled under democracy than the current dictatorship of the bourgeoisie.

Merit as a concept exists outside of theories of agency tbh.

I don't think neoliberal doctrine is at all incompatible with some form of neurological determinism, in fact if you assume that people will irrationally choose 'wrong' answers to certain personal socioeconomical problems despite previous knowledge of the consequences you already are making the assumption that there is indeed a pattern to this 'free will' that will guarantee certain outcomes that resist outside influences (level of education, wealth, etc.). If individual psychiatric treatment says irrational actions are necessarily caused by 'wrong' psychological wiring, what does that necessarily say about the rational actions, despite open claims to the contrary?

There is zero evidence that QM stops applying at any particular scale. As far as we know QM applies to macroscopic objects and even living creatures. The decoherence time just becomes so short that it's impossible to observe effects such as interference or superposition on macroscopic objects.
The Copenhagen interpretation would say that the wavefunction collapses almost instantly, much faster than any measurement could be made.

Anyway, I was actually pointing out that QM doesn't permit free will to exist, no matter how random it is.

Of course they know it's not true, maintaining the social hierarchy is their goal o they will never really create equal opportunity because that would destroy the ruling system and their priviliges with it.

It just generally means everything has causal explanations, you're being far too literal. It means that if I was in the shoes of some shareholder or CEO, I'd have been determined to act they way they did. This refocuses the attention away from individuals back onto structures that allow/promote class interests over others.

Literally read Spinoza's philosophy you ignoramus. If it was good for Hegel, it's probably good for your illiterate brain.