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"The very same reasons which are said to be proof that Marx's ideas are incompatible with our religious and spiritual tradition and which are used to defend our present system against Marx, are at the same time employed by the same people to prove that capitalism corresponds to human nature and hence is far superior to an "unrealistic" socialism."

As to capitalism, that is an economical system. Modern society is made up by capitalism, democracy, fundamental human rights and lot many other things which do take the man in consideration as a whole being, material and spiritual, materialist but also sensible to art, but also  religious, and not just as a talking animal, with basic needs and strictly quantifiable reactions.

It is from this perspective that socialism is considered "unrealistic" or "utopical": ignoring the human, spiritual dimension, as an whole invididual.

Ayn Rand and other libertarian ideologies mistake by going too far in the opposite direction (basically denying the role of the state, or indeed of the community, hence of the society) but, if I remember well, still steering clear from the spiritual side of the humans.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 03:48:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Capitalism? Spiritual?

Who'da thunk it.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 05:44:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not capitalism. That's an economic model, not an ideology.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 06:34:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is communism an ideology or an economic model?

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by A swedish kind of death on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 12:30:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Communism is a political ideology backed by an economic system. The proletarian revolution and subsequent proletarian dictatorship, egalitarianism and future classless society all deal with the organization of the society. In particular this new social organization bases on a specific economic model resulted from those political principles.

This is the theory :) On the other hand marxism turns around the economic model. I find it hard to call marxist dialectics, or the historical materialism and its scientifism a "political philosophy". Hegel was a genuine philosopher, Marx, Engels, Lenin or Trotsky were not. So the political theory may say communism or marxism to be political ideologies. But since I don't think they possess a true political philosophy, I have a hard time with that label.
On the contrary, Marx was the precursor of economists-turned-(pseudo)philosophers that we had in the 20th century.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 03:16:10 PM EST
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The proletarian revolution and subsequent proletarian dictatorship, egalitarianism and future classless society all deal with the organization of the society.

You mean to say that capitalism does not concern itself with the organisation of society?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 06:32:57 PM EST
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It does by its consequences but hardly so in terms of political theory. Its goal is not the organization of society. It isn't even identified as an ideology or philosophic current, I don't even know who its inspirational fathers are - the term was I think coined by Marx in his need to define his dialectics; it is an economical system part of liberal and libertarian ideologies, and which Adam Smith was calling "a natural system of liberty".

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 06:52:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Adam Smith's notions of "natural systems" are, however, very much ideological and are extremely concerned with the (just) organisation of society. "Natural justice," in this context, is a term of art that denotes the system of justice in which the supposed impartial spectator can fully enter into the motives of the law and its execution.

Also, empirically speaking the default state of society seems to be some form of clan-based feudalism or clientism, where those family groups who control the repressive power of society also control the means of production. Capitalism - if it is to be distinguishable from feudalism at all - requires a separation of control over the means of production and control of the repressive apparatus of society. This requires some care to be given by the capitalist ideology to the structure of society. Otherwise, it is liable to lapse into plain, old feudalism (as the recent rise of mercenary militias like Blackwater can attest).

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 07:08:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We cannot speak of feudalism as an ideology however.

But the important point is that no one structured capitalism as a fullblown ideology. Of course the economical concepts result from the organization of society and produce their effects in the organization of society, you are making a huge mistake of category : the ideological basis of capitalism remains the Enlightenment, the liberal, and further the libertarianist ideologies.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 07:39:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But the important point is that no one structured capitalism as a fullblown ideology.

That is not correct. Several versions of capitalism have indeed been codified (see e.g. The New Industrial State, Capitalism and Freedom, Principles of the Political Economy).

Even if it were correct, it would be a distinction without meaning. Nothing prevents an ideology from evolving over the course of several successive iterations. In fact, this has happened with essentially every ideology throughout history.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 10:48:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]


It is from this perspective that socialism is considered "unrealistic" or "utopical": ignoring the human, spiritual dimension, as an whole invididual.

This is just rubbish, reminiscent of the crudest anti-communism of the 1950s. It's not true of socialism and certainly not true of Marx's views - see Fromm in my other response. Marx's whole project was to help develop systems within which humans were not alienated by the demands of capitalist systems of work, instead he wanted ones in which people COULD flourish as complete human beings. Even the most cursory reading of Marx would have made that obvious.

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.

by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Sun Jun 7th, 2009 at 07:19:36 PM EST
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I understand your issue, but you should have quoted the rest of my paragraph:

"many other things which do take the man in consideration as a whole being, material and spiritual, materialist but also sensible to art, but also  religious, and not just as a talking animal, with basic needs and strictly quantifiable reactions."

The point was not that marxism would not speak about emancipating humans. The point was that 1) the emancipation is at societal rather than at an individual level (and this is where marxists are at odds with libertarians, even today) and 2) that Marx chose to dismiss the spiritual side of the man and only think of it in empirical terms. Or anything in the domain of the subjective cannot be quantified, and exists beyond the scope of socialist scientifism. (and I don't even speak of the other side of the spiritual, metaphysical, paranormal, buddhism etc).


Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Mon Jun 8th, 2009 at 06:24:33 PM EST
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