Thesis, antithesis, synthesis

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Rosa Lichtenstein
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Apr 16 2007 15:26

TreeofWhatshisname:

Clarity is not the same as brevity.

So, even though I strive to be clear in my Essays (I constantly re-write them to that end), I never aim for brevitry for its own sake.

I have written two summary Essays of all of my ideas. The first I wrote is over 75,000 words long!

So I wrote a summary of that, and that is 20,000 words long.

I hope they are clear, but I do not really care if they are brief, or otherwise.

Anyone who wants a brief summary of difficult ideas in philosophy is asking for the impossible.

Sure, some claim to be able to do this (in introductory books,etc.), but I would argue they are pandering to superficiality.

And the analogy with Quantum Mechanics (QM) I gave was deliberate, for some of its foremost theorists say things like 'If you claim to understand QM, then you do not understand QM.'

However, if some cannot be bothered to wrestle with my full essays, I do not really care.

wangwei
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Apr 16 2007 17:13
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I think forming mass organizations is crucial because it is thru the experience of running struggles themselves,

Well, I see it as a choice between building the revolutionary organization and putting energy and resources in building the revolution, and building the mass org. The mass org is the vehicle of the organic expression of the working class in their own class interests. I don't see us working to specifically build the mass org as primary, but as a secondary activity. We should be building the specific org, communist culture, and of course, class consciousness.

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the main strategy is developing mass organizations that the members control, mass organizations that people can use to manage their own struggles.

How do you resolve this without it turning into a "front" organization?

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But the idea is to transform the labor movement into a vehicle of worker self-management of their struggles, thru a variety of possible tactics.

Worker self-management is important to foster, but we must not forget militancy and horizontalism.

And I couldn't agree more with you abou this:

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The specific organization should not aim to concentrate the knowledge and positions of control in its hands. That is a vanguardist position. The specific organization should aim to develop the knowledge, skills, self-confidence of the members of the mass organizations, so that they can be an effective factor in running that organization.

We must see ourselves as teachers of a sort, but also students from the workers.

I think we agree a lot more than we disagree. The role of the mass org to the specific org seems to be the crux of our disagreement.

wangwei
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Apr 16 2007 17:39
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Us non-elitists call this 'whistling in the dark'.

You are to non-elitism as GW Bush is to democracy. You think you have it, but what you're fighting for is bourgeois idealism, a romantic ideal, and mechanical materialism.

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that the unbeing and being of a thing are just as important to the essence of a thing.

Empty, idealist clap trap.

That you agreed with earlier. You agreed with it, 'nuff said.

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Once more, this allows you to make stuff up, which, it seems, you are an expert at.

Actually, I am good at making stuff up, but that has nothing to do with the polemic at hand.

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So, you are the elitist? Or was Piaget a coal miner too?

Uhm, no and no. Using sound scientific research, and then advancing education and the understanding of language is a help to humanity. You do know how ridiculous it sounds when you say that you only use philosophers that were working class. That's hilarious.

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I have read his work, and would no more accept his view of language than I would his views on High Energy Physics.]

I've come to the understanding that you don't know the difference between reading and comprehension anyway, so it doesn't surprise me that you don't get Piaget.

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And the bath, and the soap, and the bathroom....

Hence, why I say that you're an empiricist/semanticist complete absolutist. Disgusting. Baby chucker.

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So, everything that a ruling class stooge says is moot?

In Philosophy, yes.

I'll keep that in mind. You are unable to seperate the theory from the agent that imparts it. So, everything Aristotle and Plato said is no longer relative in Philisophy? Okay. Who's making shit up now?

I'll just repeat this again:
No, he never denied the use of the dialectic as method. As you cannot refute it. 'Nuff said.

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Since these 'contradictions' are based only on a handful of logical blunders Hegel made

Yeah, what you call "blunders", hmm... let's unpackage the way that you use that term. You subsume the whole of the dialectic to the word "blunder". Interesting and dismissive.

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But you would know that already if you concentrated on my 'meaning' and stopped pratting about with my words.]

Ain't that an example of chucking rocks in a glass house! Please take your own advice.

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You do know the contributions Piaget has made to pedegical theory right?

All irrelevant to Philosophy

All irrelevant to your perception of philosphy that excludes Aristotle!

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As I said, he merely 'coquetted' with this jargon.

You could say whatever you want, but actually proving something seems to be a bit difficult for you. You can just admit that you don't know what "negates" means, and then we'll be okay.

More later, I gotta go for now!

wangwei
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Apr 16 2007 17:39
Quote:
Us non-elitists call this 'whistling in the dark'.

You are to non-elitism as GW Bush is to democracy. You think you have it, but what you're fighting for is bourgeois idealism, a romantic ideal, and mechanical materialism.

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that the unbeing and being of a thing are just as important to the essence of a thing.

Empty, idealist clap trap.

That you agreed with earlier. You agreed with it, 'nuff said.

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Once more, this allows you to make stuff up, which, it seems, you are an expert at.

Actually, I am good at making stuff up, but that has nothing to do with the polemic at hand.

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So, you are the elitist? Or was Piaget a coal miner too?

Uhm, no and no. Using sound scientific research, and then advancing education and the understanding of language is a help to humanity. You do know how ridiculous it sounds when you say that you only use philosophers that were working class. That's hilarious.

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I have read his work, and would no more accept his view of language than I would his views on High Energy Physics.]

I've come to the understanding that you don't know the difference between reading and comprehension anyway, so it doesn't surprise me that you don't get Piaget.

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And the bath, and the soap, and the bathroom....

Hence, why I say that you're an empiricist/semanticist complete absolutist. Disgusting. Baby chucker.

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So, everything that a ruling class stooge says is moot?

In Philosophy, yes.

I'll keep that in mind. You are unable to seperate the theory from the agent that imparts it. So, everything Aristotle and Plato said is no longer relative in Philisophy? Okay. Who's making shit up now?

I'll just repeat this again:
No, he never denied the use of the dialectic as method. As you cannot refute it. 'Nuff said.

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Since these 'contradictions' are based only on a handful of logical blunders Hegel made

Yeah, what you call "blunders", hmm... let's unpackage the way that you use that term. You subsume the whole of the dialectic to the word "blunder". Interesting and dismissive.

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But you would know that already if you concentrated on my 'meaning' and stopped pratting about with my words.]

Ain't that an example of chucking rocks in a glass house! Please take your own advice.

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You do know the contributions Piaget has made to pedegical theory right?

All irrelevant to Philosophy

All irrelevant to your perception of philosphy that excludes Aristotle!

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As I said, he merely 'coquetted' with this jargon.

You could say whatever you want, but actually proving something seems to be a bit difficult for you. You can just admit that you don't know what "negates" means, and then we'll be okay.

More later, I gotta go for now!

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gatorojinegro
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Apr 16 2007 20:32

RosaL says I "fibbed." Presumably she means that one of my descriptions of her viewpoint is mistaken. If she thinks that, the appropriate response is to show that i was mistaken by explaining how i was mistaken. If my description was false, she can't know it was a "lie" -- an intentional falsehood -- unless she is claiming powers of mental telepathy.

but in reality she seems to have decided not to engage in any substantive discussion...substituting instead occasional back and forth personal sniping.

Quantum mechanics may be counter-intuitive and very complex, but if a student is learning physics, the basic concepts are explained to them -- must be explained -- in terms of ordinary natural langauge and mathematical concepts. Thru this learning process, physics students come to understand the theory, although this understanding is in terms of a set of equations and their interpretation and application. Even if a theory is complex, it must ultimately be able to be unpacked in that way.

And what exactly is the theory here that is being compared to quantum mechanics? Historical materialism? This is supposed to be a theory that explains social change over time, in particular, the transition from one social formation to some other.

Since both wangwei and rosa embrace historical materialism, acceptance or not of this theory can't be what they disagree about. Their dispute seems to be about the kind of language used to talk about it or formulate it. What exactly is "dialectics" supposed to be? A logic or what?

A minimalist way of interpreting historical materialism would be to say it is the thesis that in all explanations of social events, or social change, the structural element in the explanation will refer to economic structures and tendencies. The dynamic (non-structural) element in the explanation need not be economic. It might be some set of political events, or even a religious movement, or it might include natural events such as disasters. This means that all such explanations, to be adequate, have to take account of the economic structural context.

Oh, but this is a problem for Rosa since she rejects structural elements of explanations such as economic structures and tendencies.

t.

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Tojiah
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Apr 16 2007 21:16
Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
And the analogy with Quantum Mechanics (QM) I gave was deliberate, for some of its foremost theorists say things like 'If you claim to understand QM, then you do not understand QM.'

And what do you conclude from this about QM? What is your reaction to theorists taking pride in their theory being beyond understanding? What does that remind you of?

In nomine patris, et filii, et spiritus sancti...
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Tojiah
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Apr 16 2007 21:16
gatorojinegro wrote:
Quantum mechanics may be counter-intuitive and very complex, but if a student is learning physics, the basic concepts are explained to them -- must be explained -- in terms of ordinary natural langauge and mathematical concepts. Thru this learning process, physics students come to understand the theory, although this understanding is in terms of a set of equations and their interpretation and application. Even if a theory is complex, it must ultimately be able to be unpacked in that way.

The student of quantum mechanics is provided with half-truths, misdirections and fuzz which are nonetheless sufficient for him to crank out equations and interaction cross-sections, for the greater glory of the Holy LHC, or the Divine SLAC, or possibly Intel's latest bid in miniaturization.

Rosa Lichtenstein
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Apr 16 2007 21:57

Gator:

Quote:
RosaL says I "fibbed." Presumably she means that one of my descriptions of her viewpoint is mistaken. If she thinks that, the appropriate response is to show that i was mistaken by explaining how i was mistaken. If my description was false, she can't know it was a "lie" -- an intentional falsehood -- unless she is claiming powers of mental telepathy.

I refer the honorable fibber to my previous response.

But now we have exhibit C fro the proesecution:

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Oh, but this is a problem for Rosa since she rejects structural elements of explanations such as economic structures and tendencies.
Rosa Lichtenstein
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Apr 16 2007 21:59

Tree...:

Quote:
And what do you conclude from this about QM? What is your reaction to theorists taking pride in their theory being beyond understanding? What does that remind you of? In nomine patris, et filii, et spiritus sancti...

I am sorry, this was too obscure for me to follow.

What on earth are you asking?

[I understand the Latin, but do not see the point.]

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Tojiah
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Apr 16 2007 22:13
Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
Tree...:
Quote:
And what do you conclude from this about QM? What is your reaction to theorists taking pride in their theory being beyond understanding? What does that remind you of? In nomine patris, et filii, et spiritus sancti...

I am sorry, this was too obscure for me to follow.

What on earth are you asking?

[I understand the Latin, but do not see the point.]

Do you approve or disapprove of quantum mechanics? Do you approve or disapprove of a theory that bases itself upon a divine mystery, just like the Three Who are One?

Certainly Bohr makes Hegel seem like a perfectly sound bloke from the pub.

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gatorojinegro
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Apr 17 2007 01:29

Tree:

Quote:
The student of quantum mechanics is provided with half-truths, misdirections and fuzz which are nonetheless sufficient for him to crank out equations and interaction cross-sections, for the greater glory of the Holy LHC, or the Divine SLAC, or possibly Intel's latest bid in miniaturization.

No doubt. But how does he/she learn the mathematical concepts needed to correctly manipulate the equations? And if he/she's to apply the theory to semiconductors, he/she must know something about how such a theory is to be applied to that real context. the theoretical explanations may be "fuzz" and "half-truths"...and physicists will tell you "I don't know what it means" ...but it works.

Dialectics is also fuzz and half-truths but no one really knows how to apply it to anything reliably. And the confused lingo of dialectics isn't necessary as clearer explanations are available.

RosaL's latest says to refer to her previous explanation....except that there wasn't any.

t.

wangwei
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Apr 17 2007 19:32

Well, I've reached the point where the quantity of Rosa's polemic can be qualitatively analyzed as an object, and a subject procured.

I call her form of philosophy borgeois, because capitalism, the state, valorizes itself by division and the creation of atomization. Her philosophy seeks to seperate and delineate, as opposed to an organic philosophy that seeks to see things in terms of relation and interrelation. The dialectic seeks to understand how the part is related to the whole, so that both the specific paticular represents the general universal, and the general universal represents the specific particular.

The whole of Capital is a study in the dialectic, where Marx starts with the commodity, ilustrates its relation and interrelation, and then explains how those who are the personifications of capital, the capitalists, interreact with each other. Marx gives specific examples of the proletrianization of humanity and its subsumption to the forces of the state, as well as illustrating the origing of capitalism through primitive acquistion. The whole of Capital is the greatest example of the dialectic, as it proceeds from the Grundrisse, where Marx didn't really narrow down the commodity until around page 800 or so. Marx started the Grundrisse with an analysis of money, which he mistakenly thought to be the basic particular of the whole of capital, whereas it was contingent to it, not necesary of it.

I advanced the Grundrisse because she was comfortable quoting from The German Ideology, a work of Marx that didn't reach print until the '30's. I saw her say that she's read everything printed on dialectics since the '70's. I saw her call other people a liar, and I figured that she must have seen The Grundrisse published by David McCellan, as it was a very popular work. Within it, McCellan discusses the history of The Grundrisse. Apparently she hadn't read it or she would know that The Grundrisse was the work that Marx wanted to publish, but the publisher and Engels warned him not to publish only one text, as money had to be made. Marx then said that he would publish 6 volumes of Capital (4 being published, 1 by him, 2 posthumousley by Engels and Kautsky) and would work on a handbook of his method when he was done. The Origins of The Family, Private Property, and The State, published by Engels represenst much of the work that Marx did on the state, and The Dialectics of Nature represents much of Marx's thought, though it was published by Engels. Marx did contribute to Anti-During and never stopped extolling Hegel, though he did break with Hegel's obscurantist language, there is no reason to throw out the baby with the bathwater and say that he broke with the dialectic. Rosa takes this extremist view.

As for her philosophy, Rosa refuses to use any science, literary analysis, language analysis, or philosophers that were ruling class. Her philosophy can't be simplified to 2, 000 words, let alone a succinct paragraph. When I advanced a simple understanding of the dialectic through the use of sam, she agreed and then quickly attacked the reformulation of the theory under the aphorism, "the being and unbeing of a thing are alike". When I put basic reading strategy that 6 -8th grade students learn in high school, she scoffed at them, and then dismissed the whole of Piaget's work. I'm not sure on what basis, but she did. I'm not sure what's included in her philsophy if it is lacking in critical analysis, science, language, and anything written by the ruling class, though she is comfortable discoursing in the "precise language" of power that the ruling class lawyers and sophists throw around.

Which brings me to the state. Rosa discourses in the language of the state. Compare my mode of discourse with gato, toj's mode, and other's mode on this thread with hers. Instead of seeking an understanding, she seeks to overpower and crush. There is no dialogue, only challenge on her holy crusade. I'm not sure what set her off, maybe that Leninist that laid her and left her in college still hurts. Maybe she paid too many dues to a revisionist Maoist/Leninist Party in the '70's. but, she is on the Holy war and her discourse is classic ruling class rhetoric. She uses many philosophical tricks, pointed out at lenth by gato, and frankly, she hits on language, but refuses to consider her own. she is trapped in her own little logical sollipsism. She can't see past her own ideology.

so, either she doesn't know what the dialectic is, and so has a head of concrete after having studied Marxist literature for 30 years, or she can't see forest because the trees get in the way. If we were discussing problems with Marxism, then hey, I'd love to do that. If we were discoursing on how the dialectic has been misused, misinterpreted, and misunderstood, then that would be great, but she denies that it even exists!

Nah, she reminds me of the head of philosophy at the University of Padua who refused to look through Galileo's telescope because he refused to allow his eyes to tell him what his heart knew to be true.

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gatorojinegro
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Apr 18 2007 03:22

me: "Historical materialism is a philosophical theory. But I thought Rosa rejects all
philosophical theories. "

RosaL: "It is a scientific theory."

So, you have a theory about when something is a "scientific" theory? And is that theory (about when something is "scientific") s "scientific" theory? If so, what experiments have you done (since you seem to think this is the epitomy of "science")?

You still haven't answered my question, What is the difference between "philosophy" and "science"? Hint: It won't do to say that science is not based on apriori assumptions because philosophy need not be either.

t.

wangwei
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Apr 18 2007 12:52

Gato, you never explained to me why you use libertarian syndicalist instead of Anarchist Communist. Is it just the terms? I don't understand why you use "libertarian" instead of "anarchism". I also wonder why the word syndical is used instead of commuist.

Communism = a wageless, classless, egaitarian society where all distribution is soley based upon need.

Isn't a communist society your goal, so why don't you call yourself a communist?

I see the syndical as a vehicle to communism, but that communism is the goal. Anarchism, understanding the paradox that our order is capitalism's chaos, should be the method, but only relative to creating communism.

I think we're much closer than you think about our opinions on the mass org. I just think that at this stage of the social revolution, we need to develop the type of organization that is politically motivated and dedicated enough to be able to develop others. But, I like what you say about the mass org, and I feel that is what I try to do with those that I work with.

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gatorojinegro
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Apr 18 2007 14:50

syndicalism is a revolutionary strategy, based on developing self-managed mass organizations, as prefigurative of a self-managed, classless society.

I don't know what it means to say "distribution would be based solely on need." I think that it will be necessary to have an adequate motivation for people to actually do productive work for others. I think each person's share of the total social product will inevitably be finite. Therefore, i think we need a notion of able-bodied adults earning their share of private consumption goods through work effort. To have an effective economy, to avoid waste of labor time and resources, we need a way to ensure that allocation of labor time and resources goes to what is most important to people. This presupposes a way to find out what their preferences are. if people aren't limited to a finite entitlement to consume, where they have to make choices about how they wish to distribute that entitlement among possible products, i don't see how the economy can capture that information about preferences. It's possible to do that through participatory planning, without a market system, but it still presupposes a requirement to do socially useful work, and each person having a finite entitlement to consume. I think "moneyless commumism" would be too risky an experiment. And it isn't necessary to take that risk in order to get rid of the class system, and liberate humanity from the structures of oppression.

That's one of the reasons I don't call myself a "communist." The other reason is that the word has come to mean the kind of statist, managerialist economy that has existed in the various "Communist" countries.

t.

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Joseph Kay
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Apr 18 2007 14:56
gatorojinegro wrote:
Therefore, i think we need a notion of able-bodied adults earning their share of private consumption goods through work effort.

so, kinda like "from each according to his abilities ..." then? wink

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Apr 18 2007 16:06

revol, yes, you're right that some people would say that what i described IS a form of "communism." for one thing, I'm assuming that the earth and the means of producion would all be owned in common by everyone. "communism" is a rather ambiguous term. that's why some people would say that what I've described is a form of "libertarian communism", even tho it is really based on the principle "from each according to abilities, to each according to work for others, tempered by need"...I say "tempered by need" because i agree that distribution for need makes sense in some cases, such as health care, child care, etc.

t.

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Apr 18 2007 17:24

production of public goods would be important and because they are collective goods, they would be socially mediated if by that you mean the way it is decided to produce and distribute them. but there is also a realm of private consumption goods, things where there is variation in taste and people consume these things themselves, such as the foods people eat, the clothes they wear, the furnishings in their apartments, many of the activities they engage in, etc. it is not appropriate for these to be collectively decided. so there still needs to be some idea of how people are entitled to consume these things with people having the freedom to distribute that entitlement as they see fit among whatever things they want, up to the limit of their finite consumption share. and these preferences determining allocation of resources within the private consumption goods production sphere.

t.

wangwei
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Apr 18 2007 17:26

The reason that I say need is just because that's what should be the ethic of an egalitarian society, trying to understand and meet each other's needs. In order to meet somebody's needs, you need to understand them on a very human organic level. The whole of society struggling to meet the whole of society's needs should be the primary function of the anarchistic struggle for humanity's liberation to communism.

Contingency is predicated upon need. All that is needed to acquire a thing requires things that are contingent upon it to occur. So, if the needs of all are the primary method of distribution, then the production will be organized to meeting people's needs. The human potential can be actualized, as those needs that hinder it now will be met, and a qualitative change in our whole society will result. The enforces scarcity of capitalism will end when people's needs are met, and production will be predicated upon need.

I am diametrically opposed to not supporting the abolition of the wage system the very day of the revolution. The social revolution must revolutionize society, and money is the mediator of the social discourse of society. A human discourse must take the place of the monetary discourse. Kropotkin's work on the wage system will illuminate what I've discussed.

I think that we should fight to unpackage the word Communism, as it does illustrate what we are fighting for.

wangwei
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Apr 18 2007 17:32

I just saw your post after I posted mine.

Quote:
things where there is variation in taste and people consume these things themselves, such as the foods people eat, the clothes they wear, the furnishings in their apartments, many of the activities they engage in, etc. it is not appropriate for these to be collectively decided.

Well, that's all well and good, but the apartments and activities that are engaged in can only be acquired if needs are met. Should it be okay for a commune on North America to have luxury housing while communes in India starve? I have no problem with a surplus value being enjoyed by the working class, but the surplus should be over and above the collective needs of all being met.

Quote:
so there still needs to be some idea of how people are entitled to consume these things with people having the freedom to distribute that entitlement as they see fit among whatever things they want, up to the limit of their finite consumption share.

I disagree with the use of "entitlement" after the revolution. Stop me if I'm being overly semantical, but I believe that we should be struggling for a society without privelege. I see that the state is the concentration of privelege, power, and authority centralized in the hands of the few, and that it's meted out to those that best serve the state. A stateless society would struggle to entitle as many people as possible, and that entitlement can only occur after the needs of society have been met.

Great discussion though!

Moderators, can we have this discussion moved to another thread, since Rosa's ranting, I mean polemical discourse seems to be the primary thread here. Thank you.

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Apr 19 2007 04:54

why do you suppose that an entitlement to consume implies privilege? I sort of assume that remuneration for work effort would mean that all earn at the same rate, unless their colleagues think they're either doing extra sacrifices or shirking or otherwise not pulling their weight. And for those not working we can assume they would get an entitement equal to the social average. No privilege.

You seem to think that there is some objective understanding of what "needs" are. I don't think there is.

t.

wangwei
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Apr 19 2007 13:12

Gato, did you read both of my posts? I posted the second after I saw yours, and I guess I was typing up the first one while you were typing up yours, so I ended up sending two posts.

Quote:
why do you suppose that an entitlement to consume implies privilege?

entitlement is a form of privelege, that you own and are supposed to be given something that excludes others. I am against private property, but having said that, I understand that there will be a surplus value, and that the workers themselves will decide what to do with it. I don't have a problem with what workers decide to do with the surplus.

Quote:
I sort of assume that remuneration for work effort would mean that all earn at the same rate,

I am really against any form of remeneuration for work, as that implies entitlement, ableism, and privilege. It also requires an external governmental structure to ensure proper remuneration, and I oppose all forms of the state. I am really against workers earning at the same rate, as not everyone has the same needs. A mother of two should be given more than a young strong healthy male, as she has a greater need.

I see social average as a form of inequality, and that we should see social need as the point of departure. What does the whole of society need, and how do we meet those needs, and then there is an increase over and above those needs.

Quote:
You seem to think that there is some objective understanding of what "needs" are. I don't think there is.

Food, Clothing, Housing, Education, a clean environment, and spiritual harmony are the needs of humanity. spiritual harmony can only be achieved when you have had food to eat, warm clothing, a house to meditate, and the understanding to do so. These are the objective needs of humanity. The very best housing, clothing, and healthy food should be predicated upon maintaining a harmony with nature.

I'm taking as objective an understanding of need as possible, and going from there.

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gatorojinegro
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Apr 20 2007 16:28

wagnwei:

Quote:
I am really against any form of remeneuration for work, as that implies entitlement, ableism, and privilege. It also requires an external governmental structure to ensure proper remuneration, and I oppose all forms of the state. I am really against workers earning at the same rate, as not everyone has the same needs. A mother of two should be given more than a young strong healthy male, as she has a greater need.

It seems to me you're confusing a bunch of different issues here. Why do you assume that parents should pay for their children from their own income? Children aren't the private property of their parents. The community needs to provide for the needs of children. When I say that people should be remunerated for their work effort, i'm only talking about their own consumption, not that of their children.

Without remuneration for work, there is no reliable, effective incentive to do work. I think some form of governance is inevitable but I don't see this as requiring a state. The society needs to set the basic structure, the basic rules, and provide for social self-defence and adjudicate accusations of criminal conduct. These are all governance functions.

But i don't see what that has to do with remuneration for work effort. A horizontal system of participatory planning can allocate resources to groups of workers to produce the things that communities and individuals have requested to be produced. This allocation would include remuneration for the work they propose to do for the community. We can see what effort they've done by looking at their output. Assuming we have a price system that integrates all social costs and benefits, we can measure the benefit in terms of the products that people use. And the costs in terms of resources they consume, including any pollution or other social costs. We need to be able to measure these things if we are to allocate resources to work groups in a manner that is effective at producing what communities and individuals most prefer. It is possible to have a self-regulating participating planning system, not requiring any state.

Quote:
Food, Clothing, Housing, Education, a clean environment, and spiritual harmony are the needs of humanity. spiritual harmony can only be achieved when you have had food to eat, warm clothing, a house to meditate, and the understanding to do so. These are the objective needs of humanity. The very best housing, clothing, and healthy food should be predicated upon maintaining a harmony with nature.

But people don't want "clothing" or "food" in the abstract, or any old clothes or food. There are particular foods they want, and particular sorts of clothing, and individuals have different tastes and desires in these things. This is why it is necessary to let people distribute their entitlement to consume over any particular mix of possible products any way they want.

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I understand that there will be a surplus value, and that the workers themselves will decide what to do with it. I don't have a problem with what workers decide to do with the surplus.

And somebody else should control the non-surplus? Why? And how do you define "surplus"?
If you say, "it is what isn't needed", then I'd point out that no objective line can be drawn here. And what do you mean workers should control the surplus? And how is this different from controlling the non-surplus?

t.

wangwei
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Joined: 20-09-06
Apr 20 2007 17:19
Quote:
Children aren't the private property of their parents. The community needs to provide for the needs of children.

We are in complete agreement here. I have to remember that under a stateless society, the nuclear family will be negated, and more of a tribal relation will ensue. Having said that, a distribution based on need will have to account for those who can't contribute to society enough to meet their own needs. The elders could help with the rearing of the youth, but they can't possibly produce enough as a virile young man, so all of their needs need to be taken into account.

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Without remuneration for work, there is no reliable, effective incentive to do work.

I vehemently disagree with this statement. I am sorry, but for a new world to be built, the egoist man must be negated. The only incentive for work should be the worker's commitment to both themselves and society. The comitment to meet their needs through society, and not alienated from and at the expense of society. A negation of the incentive factor is a necessary struggle to create a society without any privilege. The ethic should be based upon needs.

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I think some form of governance is inevitable but I don't see this as requiring a state.

There's a difference between governance and government. Governement is an external power that is the vehicle for the state apparatus of the ruling class to maintain itself. Any external power that regulates the workers lives is a government and a state. A stateless society will have democracy centralized within the forces of production themselves, the working class, and will self-govern their own selves. I see the specific organization as being necessary to tear down any other mediator of social discourse so as to facilitate the sensous discourse of humanity on a human level, and that requires a recognizing of need.

You mentioned "price system" and "participatory economy" and those resonate with the state. There should be no price for anything, only a method of distribution that keys meeting the whole of society's needs. A "price system" smacks of currency, and currency is the lifeblood of the state. All forms of currency, the market, and trade need to be negated by a communist revolution.

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But people don't want "clothing" or "food" in the abstract, or any old clothes or food.

I am not talking about "want". I am discussing need. They are two absolutely seperate poles. Wants can bisect needs, but not always. Wants are contingent upon need being met. The form of the clothes is accidental to the fact that the content of the clothing carries out the function that they should do -- cool in summer, warm in winter. The needs of society are not negotiable, but the form that they take and the wants that arise can easily be decided by the workers themselves. Need is universal, but want is accidental, and particular to any number of variables.

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And somebody else should control the non-surplus?

No, the workers themselves should control the surplus. I am sorry if you think I'm intimating that some other higher power should control any aspect of the workers. The capitalists rule us because they control what can meet our needs and dictate our wants.

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And how do you define "surplus"?
If you say, "it is what isn't needed", then I'd point out that no objective line can be drawn here. And what do you mean workers should control the surplus? And how is this different from controlling the non-surplus?

I define surplus value as a surplus of things of value. Value is anything that somebody needs, and therefore values. After everyone's needs have been met, a surplus should exist, and that surplus is the property of the whole of the working class to decide what to do with it, hence, why I use the term "worker." I prefer the term worker, as those who work in the society, and work the hardest for that society relative to their ability to do so, will have the most say in that society. It will be a society where everybody works to the best of their ability to make work, and then has all of their needs met by society.

I know that no objective/absolute line can be drawn between value and surplu-value, but a relative one can be understood by careful examination of the entire working class, the classless class of humanity. I don't seen any difference between workers controlling the surplus -value and any other values of society's production.

I see what you are proposing as a valuable stage on the road to a communist society, one that we may in fact pass through before the final social revolution, but I don't see it as the objective goal of the revolution. I love what you are saying that you're organizing in the way of libertarian syndicals, but I see them as a necessary part of a greater whole. I would love to join one of them, work with them, and help struggle with the workers within them to see what a communist world will be and why we should fight for one.

gatorojinegro's picture
gatorojinegro
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Joined: 21-01-07
Apr 20 2007 21:24

I think it is simply impossible to draw any objective line between "needs" and non-needs. And anyway i believe that a social economy will be effective if and only if it meets people's DESIRES. Needs are expressed through desires. To be able to measure what is important to people -- the intensity of their desire for alternative possible products -- it must be the case that each person and each community is limited to a finite budget and must choose among alternatives not all of which can be produced for them because we have finite resources, and a finite amount of time we all want to labor. Without a price system it will be impossible to make the various alternatives and their costs commensurable. The society needs a social accounting unit, a unit of value. And this value can only be measured thru a social interactive process in which people are forced to express their preferences where they are limited to a finite budget, expressed in social accounting units....prices, in other words.

But I've already debated this point in numerous forums here, and I'm not sure I want to rehash the arguments yet again. in any event, you see why i refuse to call myself a "communist." It is precisely because "communism" is interpreted in exactly the way you have just done so.

t.

Rosa Lichtenstein
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Joined: 30-03-07
Apr 21 2007 13:21

Wang:

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You are to non-elitism as GW Bush is to democracy.

It is you who is a fan of that 'working class' thinker Hegel, so this is in fact a case of the kettle (you) calling the sterilising dish (me) 'sooty'.

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That you agreed with earlier.

No I did not.

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Actually, I am good at making stuff up, but that has nothing to do with the polemic at hand.

Except, you use this one skill of yours in this 'polemic', and liberally.

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Using sound scientific research, and then advancing education and the understanding of language is a help to humanity. You do know how ridiculous it sounds when you say that you only use philosophers that were working class

Translated, this means that you can be elitist when it suits you, but no one else can refer to experts, or you will throw a tantrum again, and slag them off (which then allows you to ignore their arguments).

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I've come to the understanding that you don't know the difference between reading and comprehension anyway, so it doesn't surprise me that you don't get Piaget.

This can't be so, or you would not bother trying to argue with me.

I rather think you just like saying these things since it detracts from your predicament.

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Baby chucker.

Just a hater of mysticism, which you seem to like.

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Okay. Who's making shit up now?

I think we established that almost from the beginning, and the verdict was, you.

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Yeah, what you call "blunders", hmm... let's unpack the way that you use that term. You subsume the whole of the dialectic to the word "blunder". Interesting and dismissive.

Well, it is quite clear from the syntactic mess you tried to sell us earlier that you know no logic, so you are in no position to judge.

And, yes, the whole of the dialectic can be shown to derive from a series of logical blunders (ones implicit in Aristotle's work, but turned into an art form in Hegel). So, it has no 'rational' core, just a rotten one.

I'd let you know where you could read up on thus, but I suspect you would not be able to follow the argument.

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Ain't that an example of chucking rocks in a glass house! Please take your own advice.

Ah, I see irony is lost on you.

Too complicated for you, is it?

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All irrelevant to your perception of philosophy that excludes Aristotle!

If you can show how it is relevant, fine.

But I suspect you cannot. You find irony a challenge....

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You could say whatever you want, but actually proving something seems to be a bit difficult for you. You can just admit that you don't know what "negates" means, and then we'll be okay.

This was your 'response' to my use of Marx's own words to undermine you naive faith in the 'dialectics'.

So, it's not a question of what I want to say, but why you ignore Marx's own words.

[Well, we already know the answer to that one -- you can read his 'thoughts' and do not need his words, even if that contradicts what he actually said.]

And the syntactic mess you posted earlier suggests it is you who hasn't a clue about negation (whether it is a sentence forming operator, a word modifier, or a predicate functor --, or something else).

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I'll just repeat this again:
No, he never denied the use of the dialectic as method. As you cannot refute it. 'Nuff said.

True, but he qualified his intent by saying that the dialectic was just jargon, with which he merely 'coquetted'. His words, not mine.

And since it has no 'rational' core, it is not difficult to see why Marx abandoned it.

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Well, I've reached the point where the quantity of Rosa's polemic can be qualitatively analyzed as an object, and a subject procured.

Eh?

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I call her form of philosophy bourgeois, because capitalism, the state, valorizes itself by division and the creation of atomization. Her philosophy seeks to separate and delineate, as opposed to an organic philosophy that seeks to see things in terms of relation and interrelation. The dialectic seeks to understand how the part is related to the whole, so that both the specific particular represents the general universal, and the general universal represents the specific particular.

You have not read my 'philosophy': 1) because I have none, and 2) you haven't read my Essays.

But, we know you can divine the thoughts of others by other means not available to us mere mortals, don't we?

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The whole of Capital is a study in the dialectic, where Marx starts with the commodity,

So you say, but Marx said he only used it in chapter one, and then he merely confined himself to Hegel's jargon, with which he 'coquetted'.

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I saw her say that she's read everything printed on dialectics since the '70's.

Unfortunately, I have in fact read practically everything published in English (and German) on this mystical doctrine, or which has been translated into either language, since Hegel put his pen to misuse. So, I have read more than you on this -- and it all reads largely the same.

After all, it is hard to be novel with gibberish.

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The Dialectics of Nature represents much of Marx's thought,

Your proof of this is what?

Oh sorry, Marx's ghost told you.

And now even more invention:

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As for her philosophy, Rosa refuses to use any science

I have no philosophy, do not want one, and seek to end this useless discipline.

However, I object to the use of science as if it were a substitute for metaphysics (i.e., the work of Piaget, or your attempt to so use it), but science itself I have the highest regard for.

You said you were good at invention, but the above assertion is rather poor even for you.

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Her philosophy can't be simplified to 2, 000 words, let alone a succinct paragraph.

Yes it can: I have no philosophy.

Now move on, please!

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When I advanced a simple understanding of the dialectic through the use of sam, she agreed and then quickly attacked the reformulation of the theory under the aphorism, "the being and unbeing of a thing are alike".

Who is 'sam'?

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When I put basic reading strategy that 6 -8th grade students learn in high school, she scoffed at them,

Eh?

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and then dismissed the whole of Piaget's work. I'm not sure on what basis, but she did. I'm not sure what's included in her philosophy if it is lacking in critical analysis, science, language, and anything written by the ruling class, though she is comfortable discoursing in the "precise language" of power that the ruling class lawyers and sophists throw around.

I dismissed your attempt to use his ideas to defend your god-like capacity to divine the thoughts of Marx which contradicted his actual words.

Piaget's work itself I passed no comment over.

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Rosa discourses in the language of the state.

Eh?

What are you mumbling on about now?

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Instead of seeking an understanding, she seeks to overpower and crush.

You are the one who resorted to abuse, not me. And you seemed to be rtahter proud of your use of scatological language.

And, from this, are we to assume that you think that Marxists do not aim to 'crush' certain things (like bourgeois ideas, the state, the oppressor?).

So your faux and recently assumed cuddly image won't wash, sonny.

You can't argue successfully against me, so you try to poison the wells. Abuse, invention, distraction -- anything to protect your precious mysticism.

Like this:

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I'm not sure what set her off, maybe that Leninist that laid her and left her in college still hurts.

In my experience, Leninists are rather poor in the sack (as I suspect you are, hence the abuse to compensate), but that has not stopped me from remaining a Leninist to this day.

So, why you raise this -- well we know why: you are rattled, and cannot defend the mystical theory you have swallowed.

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She uses many philosophical tricks, pointed out at lenth by gato, and frankly, she hits on language, but refuses to consider her own. she is trapped in her own little logical solipsism. She can't see past her own ideology.

Well, Gator knows what he is talking about, which is more than we can say for you -- but where did he do this 'at length'???

You make so much up, I do not think you can tell truth from fiction.

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so, either she doesn't know what the dialectic is,

I am in good company, then, since no one knows -- or if they do, they have kept the secret to themselves for 200 years.

You may be good with the jargon, but apart from that I suggest you do not know what it is, too.

Why, you do not even know of Hegel's serious logical blunders.

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she reminds me of the head of philosophy at the University of Padua who refused to look through Galileo's telescope because he refused to allow his eyes to tell him what his heart knew to be true

In Galileo's case, there was a material object to look through, and something physical to look at.

In the case of the 'dialectic' all you have is meaningless jargon, that not even I will 'coquette' with.

And since you will not read my Essays, I rather think you are like that professor you mention.

Stay ignorant -- you are less likely to do harm that way.

And thanks for providing me with more data to use to confirm my thesis that you Dialectical Mystics can only defend your ideas with emotion, abuse and lies.

Find out why, here:

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/rosa.l/page%2009_02.htm

Rosa Lichtenstein
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Joined: 30-03-07
Apr 21 2007 13:35

Gator:

Quote:
me: "Historical materialism is a philosophical theory. But I thought Rosa rejects all
philosophical theories. "

RosaL: "It is a scientific theory."

So, you have a theory about when something is a "scientific" theory? And is that theory (about when something is "scientific") s "scientific" theory? If so, what experiments have you done (since you seem to think this is the epitomy of "science")?

You still haven't answered my question, What is the difference between "philosophy" and "science"? Hint: It won't do to say that science is not based on apriori assumptions because philosophy need not be either.

I refer the honorable fibber to my previous reply.

gatorojinegro's picture
gatorojinegro
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Joined: 21-01-07
Apr 21 2007 16:14

RosaL's Leninism is at least consistent with her elitism. And now she makes stuff up. She never "replied" to these questions. She refuses to now presumably because she can't. And her reply to wangwei is completely lacking in substance. Again, she refuses to engage in any substantive discussion.

t.

Rosa Lichtenstein
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Joined: 30-03-07
Apr 21 2007 18:55

Gator:

Quote:
RosaL's Leninism is at least consistent with her elitism. And now she makes stuff up. She never "replied" to these questions. She refuses to now presumably because she can't. And her reply to wangwei is completely lacking in substance. Again, she refuses to engage in any substantive discussion.

I refer the honorable fibber to my previous reply.

gatorojinegro's picture
gatorojinegro
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Joined: 21-01-07
Apr 21 2007 23:29

The evasive Leninist RosaL has posted quite a bit to the Youth for International Socialism (the SWP youth group in UK?) website, particularly their philosophy discussion board:

http://discussion.newyouth.com/index.php?board=2.0

t.