True Communism is Not Evil
Debate Rounds (3)
My opponent may either choose to (1) accept the debate in the first round without arguing, or (2) argue in the first round and not argue in the last.
Communism: a socioeconomic order structured upon the common ownership of the means of production, absence of social classes, money, and the state, as well as a social, political, and economic ideology and movement that aims to establish this social order.
I am looking forward to a serious debate.
Hegelian logic involves contradictions, particularly in the use of negating the negation. Western logic holds that there is nothing that does not follow from a contradiction. Therefore Hegelian logic that tolerates thesis antithesis synthesis, and the negating of the negation must be inconsistent. Marxism according to this view is ultimately flawed.
The knee-jerk response of logical positivists is to claim that communism is illogical on the basis that Hegelian logic is not logic at all.
It is certainly possible that Hegelianism is a model for explaining the semantics of logical statements as an ongoing development of interactions between people their societies and the forces of production, climate and the laws of nature.
Logic on this view is there to maintain and truth and provide proofs.
Truth in this sense is not conceived naively as correspondence to a state of affairs in the world, but is nevertheless related indeed shaped by the underlying movements of matter. The spiritual world insofar, as there is one, is ultimately a product of the evolutionary refinement of the movements of matter. But there is no room for a real dichotomy between the material world as we perceive it and the spiritual.
Our concepts within a human society, be they of science, morals, psychology or economics, get shaped by the material substrate, pure matter. All exist as a consequence of the historical interaction between the individual, society and physical perturbations of the material substrate.
In so far as there are any categorical moral truths then the most obvious one is resistance to the inevitable march of history. History shapes our very concepts.
Hegelianism is not opposed to logic even if it appears so at first.
What is abandoned is the notion that truths are immutable, that concepts remain the same. On a Hegelian view concepts like humans and societies become redundant.
Hegel's philosophy is very neat not, anti-religious, anti-moral but indeed as much about the spirit as it is the material, the spiritual arises from the material. However, spiritual truths are contingent upon the physical truths as much as the other way round,
There is, however, a problem for Hegel. How does one get one's ontology and epistemology right? How does one know that a concept has had its day or is the way forward.
For example, Hegel is blamed by some for being an originator of racism. While he uses the notion to refer to nations, some argue that he is referring to race. Importantly under Hegelian philosophy epistemology is eradicated ontology becomes primary. He certainly opens a conceptual space where very different ideologies may arise. If you include race within science then since it is in some sense a new concept, it may well become natural so see race as a driving force of history, other races as enemies.
History is open to many interpretations.
In citing the means of production as a core element together within the notion of history, Communists cite this as the key momentum behind social change.
Since we are in a bourgeois v proletarian stage, and this stage is a contradictory stage, it is not sustainable the direction of history must be to be me moving out of it. Given this it is a betrayal not to oppose the bourgeoisie who seek to maintain
the status quo and a duty to history to support the proletariat as the truly productive element of global society. Since this duty to forward the march of history it should also oppose any sentimentality in this endeavor. A person should not be afraid to wage war or revolution in the development of global revolution against the bourgeoisie.
I take this to be the communist position and suggest that it is arbitrary and evil.
"A person should not be afraid to wage war or revolution in the development of global revolution against the bourgeoisie.
I take this to be the communist position and suggest that it is arbitrary and evil."
It comes not from a place of arbitration and evilness, but of one that feels like there is an evil force that is oppressing the masses through capitalism. As Marx Himself put it in The Communist Manifesto:
"Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guildmaster and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, that each time ended, either in the revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes."
And, of course, the very well-known quote from the same manifesto:
"The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains."
I will not claim that communism is perfect, nor shall I claim that it is pure good; however, it was based on the belief that we need to rise against a nearly pure evil, to free ourselves and our posterity. While morally questionable by some in some respects, I would find it hard to call it "evil" at all.
"In so far as there are any categorical moral truths then the most obvious one is resistance to the inevitable march of history."
With this said, let us strive to make a future better than what the past has afforded us.
The Hegelian materialist view adopted and politicised by Marx maintains that these terms like all others are shifting concepts moved by the onward flow of history. Truth and Falsity along with all things that are true and false are in flux. Marx argued that there were two stages to pass through in preparation for an end to history. Firstly a Socialist revolutionary stage where and finally a communist where full ownership of the forces of production becomes shared under International communism.
Truth under such a view is itself no longer an absolute measure, it is a transient concept. Ideas, propositions concepts are themselves of little moment, it is their function within society that is to be judged. The actions they invoke being the ultimately the measure of their validity. This applies as much to scientific concepts as it does the aesthetic and philosophical ones. Sentimental Bourgoise notions of moral evil have no place. Giving to 'charity' for example would be considered wrong if it helped sure up the Bourgeois hold on society.
Scientific theories too must be evaluated in terms of their political effects. For example, it is not desirable for there to be a hierarchy of sciences. Physical sciences, social sciences, medical science, historical science ought not to be viewed in a hierarchical way.
In my previous post, I stated that within Hegelian materialism, moral wrong is ultimately a non-notion. There being only one possible candidate notion that of obstructing the march of history. In reality however if history flows inevitably a person cannot obstruct it being itself a part of the flow.
Within Marxism morality as a personal attribute or stance is not only not categorical, it is to be impugned, morality is sentiment,it is indulgent, mere emotion. History is the arbiter of right, of the correctness or otherwise of an act but correctness can only be known by posterity.
What can be known or discovered is whose side a person is on. A person who is otherwise likable altruistic, artistic, devoted is not thereby commendable. It is their allegiance and effectiveness that matter. 'True communism is not Evil' is simply not something that a communist can say. Not because communism is evil but because the statement is meaningless, without content and in itself a descent into bourgeois notions.
The Marxist does not say things like 'True communist' except in poor rhetoric, it is not we who decide who is a communist this is a function of the context of action within History. Truth adds nothing here there is no independent notion of Truth lies in social and revolutionary utility.
When the revolution is won there will not be a re institution of traditional morality as though the revolution were some form of state of emergency ,the moral landscape itself will be transformed. Morality itself may or may not play a role it may be replaced by something very different. All that needs to be maintained is the correct relation of humanity and the forces of production.
Pro, points out that there is a sense of uneasiness, a moral outrage at the way society is headed, the pre-dominance of evil within our economic system that needs to be opposed.
It is according to the standards of most 20th Century moral theorists, immoral to fail to oppose economic evil, formal or informal slavery, exploitation and inequality. These things are seen as restraining free-trade and distorting world trade harming their victims together with the world market system as a whole.
A concept akin to communism may yet emerge, or may have been preserved in European socialism, the Labor movement the developing nations or within global society generally. The Zeitgeist of 19th-century communism may yet play a major role in the shaping of society.
It is possible that a 'true communism' may yet be formulated that represents the spirit this for the 21st century.
It should, however, be clear that when a person is talking of 'True Communism' and thereby mean a call for the abandonment of the capitalism, they are really only using a moniker. You might as well say that 'True Tooth Fairyism' is the way forward.
Ultimately it is for Pro to show that there is such a thing as true communism, and to provide a notion of evil under which communism may be said to either fall or not fall under.
I wonder whether Pro is not falling into the American error of assuming that any opposition to capitalism at a political level is communism. If he is making this equation I would suggest he read more extensively.
I would personally vote yes for a debate on entitled 'Political Opposition to Capitalism is a good'. That does not make me a communist. Capitalism needs to be under the control of the state and not the other way round.
Pythasis forfeited this round.
No votes have been placed for this debate.
You are not eligible to vote on this debate
This debate has been configured to only allow voters who meet the requirements set by the debaters. This debate either has an Elo score requirement or is to be voted on by a select panel of judges.