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View Diary: The "Marxism is coming back" trope (264 comments)

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  •  Well apparently "Socialism" (14+ / 0-)

    is no longer scary enough.

    And those who bandy the word "Marxism" about fail to understand that Marxism is not a political or economic system, but a philosophy.

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    Who is twigg?

    by twigg on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 02:47:31 PM PDT

    •  oops (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      twigg

      just wrote a similar comment without having seen yours.

      Steve Gilliard Lives.

      by Bethesda 1971 on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 03:26:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Do people below the age of 35 know (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      twigg

      that Marxism is supposed to be scary?

      Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 05:47:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sure ... (0+ / 0-)

        Fox tells their Dad, and their Pastor, who then share the love :)

        I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
        but I fear we will remain Democrats.

        Who is twigg?

        by twigg on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 06:27:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hmm. Given what Pew says they think of (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          thirty three and a third

          socialism, I wonder what a good poll would unearth on that score.

          Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 06:33:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Has anyone seen the Howard Zinn play, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SouthernLiberalinMD

        "Marx in Soho"?

        It's funny. We all grew up here thinking the Russians are the great masters of propaganda. But as an adult I view America's use of it is to be even more pernicious, subtle and crafty as it is, with its subliminal orders to stay on the consumer treadmill while shopping slavishly, embrace self-interest and gulp down mouthfuls of American Exceptionalism as part of the education system's indoctrination process.

        I never knew a thing about Marx, Communism, Socialism, etc, aside from that they were "evil" things to be universally disparaged and not spoken of. Then I went to college and took a sociology course freshman year and after hearing the basic tenets of communism, though, the basic idea is wonderful - why such a vehement backlash? One never hears a serious debate/discussion in the mainstream media about its virtues (or those of socialism, which seems more attainable), it's only dismissed out of hand with no further consideration (propaganda again). But that reflexive antipathy toward it (especially socialism) seems to be softening when the theories are explained, and especially as our capitalist system shows all signs of destruction and disaster.

        Zinn's play about Marx, delivered brilliantly as a one-man play by NYC teacher and activist Brian Jones, is a dignifying, humanizing portrayal of a man whose very name sends people here into spams of fright and anger.

        May go a long way in representing him not only as a thoughtful, dedicated family man, but how humanistic and compassionate his theories were then and how sensible and prescient they seem now.

        "Human history began with an act of disobedience, and it is not unlikely that it will be terminated by an act of obedience." Erich Fromm

        by thirty three and a third on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 08:46:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks for this, didn't know it existed. n/t (0+ / 0-)

          Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 01:44:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Marx as a philosopher (0+ / 0-)

      It is fairly common knowledge that Marx was a trained philosopher, and taught philosophy until he was exiled. Marx agreed with Hegel, and he believed that Hegelian theory ended philosophy, and that there was nothing left for philosophy to do. While in London, his interest turned to economics, because he saw the flaws in the economic model that was most popularly put forth to replace feudalism, namely capitalism.

      To my mind, the most important and most often misunderstood part of Marx`s economic theory concerns the distribution of the surplus that every enterprise of industry creates. There have been no National efforts to create a Marxist style of economics wherein Labor has control of the distribution of the surplus...There have been many failed National efforts where the state has been given control of the distribution of the surplus, but not Labor. Marxism can not function if Labor is not in control of the distribution of the surplus. Marx`s insight was that Capitalism will ultimately fail because labor has no say in how the surplus is distributed. "Capital"is the defense of that assertion.

      These points are brought out very forcefully by Richard D. Wolff in his many writings and lectures.  I wonder how we have 250 plus comments on Marxism and no reference to Dr. Wolff?

      While I agree that Marxism is not a political system, I must most emphatically assert that it is fundamentally only an economic system. An economic system that is designed entirely to function within, and is morally based upon the philosophy of the Enlightenment, wherein personal freedom is paramount. Because it challenged the rights of property, it had to be quashed and denigrated by the capitalists in the most thorough manner possible. So even today, we argue the ideas of Marxist theory from an (purposefully created) disjointed and inaccurate  knowledge base.

      It is my opinion that Marxist economic theory fits within a democratic political system quite nicely, because its very function as an economic system is very democratic.
      Conversely Capitalism functions most effectively in a fascistic type of political system, where industry controls governance.

      Just one other insight that I have gleaned from a series of lectures by Leo Strauss, was the idea that Marx made a conscious effort to turn economics into metaphysics, in other words, that economics was the true nature of man. I am not quite sure I fully agree with this assessment, but it is very apparent to anyone who has read Capital, that every theory is laid out and defended as a science. It is also true that much of economic theory cited to this day is still based in the findings of Karl Marx.

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