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Alienation Nation

charleslb
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11/18/2014 5:45:38 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Yes, alienation nation can and does all too aptly describe our society. Here briefly and bluntly is how it works.

The capitalist owns the means of production; owns the worker's means of securing a livelihood; owns his/her employee's ability to produce economic well-being and security; owns his/her access to productivity and the expression of creativity; to a significant extent, the capitalist owns the wage earner's means and opportunity to attain self-actualization; the capitalist employer in fact owns all of the above right out from under the workingperson. In effect, the capitalist thereby owns the fundamental creative nature and the intrinsic dignity of human beings right out from under them. What should be our truly inalienable human birthright is actually quite profoundly alienated from us. The human condition comes to be thoroughly characterized and impoverished by alienation from our deepest reality and drive, from our ability to "to generate, create, enhance, or bring forth goods and services", to externally materialize and thereby internally realize human potentialities and values, to realize ourselves through our work.

What's more, the reduction of work and productivity to a self-alienating and exploitative proposition prevents our performance of work, our participation in our society's economy from being an activity that connects us to our most substratal, shared nature and interests; to our common and unifying quest for self-actualization; to the social nature of our humanity. In short, it prevents us from connecting to and seriously alienates us from each other. Yes, the capitalist's perversion of our labor into a commodity that he buys and owns away from us in large measure precludes it from linking our lives and keying our consciousness into the creative interdependence of existence. It cruelly leaves human beings with modernity's well-known gnawing inner void and poignant sense of self and social estrangement where their creative self-fulfillment and inwardly-nourishing sense of social kinship and community should be.

Alas, quite tragically, and counterrevolutionarily, this is of course an existential plight that all too many individuals seek to medicate with alcohol, and with street and prescription drugs. Yep, Jack Daniel's, Big Pharma, the cartels south of the border, and your predatory neighborhood heroine pusher all do the capitalist quite a service by supplying capitalism's spiritual victims with literal opiates of the people! Chemical substances that help them pathetically cope, or that guarantee that they get caught up in their own dysfunctionality and self-destruction, and that thereby help capitalism stave off a level of dissatisfaction and anti-capitalist activism that would threaten its survival. Well, although it takes a heavy toll on taxpayers, thus far our society's addiction problem is certainly a win-win proposition for capitalists. Not only does it help the working class to anesthetize its alienation, angst, and inner bleakness, and to thereby keep going rather than going over to the anti-capitalist camp, it also generates enormous profits for the pharmaceutical sector of the economy, for the rehab industry, and for the prison-industrial complex.

But ultimately alienation will indeed prove to be quite a losing and suicidal proposition for capitalism. Capitalist societies will finally no longer be able to sustain the illusion that the prosperity generated by the expropriated labor of workers equals human flourishing. Capitalism's eventual rude rendezvous with the painful existential reality of exploitation and commodification that it currently hides from with pot and Prozac will at long last write finis to its sordid story of overaccumulation and greed, profiteering, exploitation, inequality, injustice, immiseration, and slow destruction of the planet's ecosphere. That is, alienation is the dark spiritual underbelly of the capitalist system, and when it inevitably goes belly up from its various contradictions and evils and that dark spiritual underbelly is more openly exposed, then there will be a reckoning and revolution. Let's just hope that that day comes before the ecosphere is too far gone for humankind to survive and create a better form of economics and life.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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11/18/2014 8:19:57 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Have I further alienated DDO's pro-capitalists?
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
HououinKyouma
Posts: 1,030
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11/18/2014 11:34:03 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/18/2014 5:45:38 PM, charleslb wrote:
Yes, alienation nation can and does all too aptly describe our society. Here briefly and bluntly is how it works.

The capitalist owns the means of production; owns the worker's means of securing a livelihood; owns his/her employee's ability to produce economic well-being and security; owns his/her access to productivity and the expression of creativity; to a significant extent, the capitalist owns the wage earner's means and opportunity to attain self-actualization; the capitalist employer in fact owns all of the above right out from under the workingperson. In effect, the capitalist thereby owns the fundamental creative nature and the intrinsic dignity of human beings right out from under them. What should be our truly inalienable human birthright is actually quite profoundly alienated from us. The human condition comes to be thoroughly characterized and impoverished by alienation from our deepest reality and drive, from our ability to "to generate, create, enhance, or bring forth goods and services", to externally materialize and thereby internally realize human potentialities and values, to realize ourselves through our work.

What's more, the reduction of work and productivity to a self-alienating and exploitative proposition prevents our performance of work, our participation in our society's economy from being an activity that connects us to our most substratal, shared nature and interests; to our common and unifying quest for self-actualization; to the social nature of our humanity. In short, it prevents us from connecting to and seriously alienates us from each other. Yes, the capitalist's perversion of our labor into a commodity that he buys and owns away from us in large measure precludes it from linking our lives and keying our consciousness into the creative interdependence of existence. It cruelly leaves human beings with modernity's well-known gnawing inner void and poignant sense of self and social estrangement where their creative self-fulfillment and inwardly-nourishing sense of social kinship and community should be.

Alas, quite tragically, and counterrevolutionarily, this is of course an existential plight that all too many individuals seek to medicate with alcohol, and with street and prescription drugs. Yep, Jack Daniel's, Big Pharma, the cartels south of the border, and your predatory neighborhood heroine pusher all do the capitalist quite a service by supplying capitalism's spiritual victims with literal opiates of the people! Chemical substances that help them pathetically cope, or that guarantee that they get caught up in their own dysfunctionality and self-destruction, and that thereby help capitalism stave off a level of dissatisfaction and anti-capitalist activism that would threaten its survival. Well, although it takes a heavy toll on taxpayers, thus far our society's addiction problem is certainly a win-win proposition for capitalists. Not only does it help the working class to anesthetize its alienation, angst, and inner bleakness, and to thereby keep going rather than going over to the anti-capitalist camp, it also generates enormous profits for the pharmaceutical sector of the economy, for the rehab industry, and for the prison-industrial complex.

But ultimately alienation will indeed prove to be quite a losing and suicidal proposition for capitalism. Capitalist societies will finally no longer be able to sustain the illusion that the prosperity generated by the expropriated labor of workers equals human flourishing. Capitalism's eventual rude rendezvous with the painful existential reality of exploitation and commodification that it currently hides from with pot and Prozac will at long last write finis to its sordid story of overaccumulation and greed, profiteering, exploitation, inequality, injustice, immiseration, and slow destruction of the planet's ecosphere. That is, alienation is the dark spiritual underbelly of the capitalist system, and when it inevitably goes belly up from its various contradictions and evils and that dark spiritual underbelly is more openly exposed, then there will be a reckoning and revolution. Let's just hope that that day comes before the ecosphere is too far gone for humankind to survive and create a better form of economics and life.

It seems that you have jumbled up Marx, Sartre, and Foucault together into one long insane piling up of words. I reckon that you've confused New Leftism with reality.

One would think, reading your OP, that there is no such thing as a social safety net in the West, and that the populations of Europe and North America, as well as those of Oceania, are living in miserable conditions, where they can't actualize their potential as human beings; and that there are no trade unions which protect the rights of the employees of the corporations (read Satan) one almost thinks that we are still living in the 19th Century--I find that to be self-evidently false.

As for the business of creativity; I would argue that artistic and scientific creativity are only possible in an age of trade and commercialization (the age of capitalism is one such age) after all there has been more artistic and scientific production since the beginning of capitalism than at any period before the advent of capitalism. One only needs to think of all the great artistic movements that came into being in the last century alone, a century of overabundance of artistic production and creativity, in film, in theater, in literature, in painting, in music, etc, etc--this explosion has its parallel in science, of course, as everyone should know.

From the end of the second paragraph towards the end it all becomes quite nonsensical. Existentialism is a philosophy that is only made possible with capitalism, it is--in a sense--a product of it, and it is a sign of increasing material wealth, rather than of extreme poverty; poor people, specially desperately poor people, do not care a jot about questions such as "what is the meaning of life?" or "what is authenticity?"

The same can be said about the abundance of psychological disturbance in modern life--as Nietzsche once argued--it is only when people no longer have to worry about physical problems that they can begin to worry about spiritual pain, it is a sign of the elevation and wealth of a society. In that sense, one could say that it is a product of capitalism, but it would be quite erroneous to suggest, as it seems you are doing, comrade, that with communism all of this spiritual suffering would go away, to the contrary, I think that it would only increase--and quite rightly. It is also quite preposterous to argue that the reason why people suffering from depression or bipolarism or who have ADHD--as well as all those who have been diagnosed with a mental or physiological condition--take the medication that is prescribed to them is because the elites of capitalism want to drug them into a state of contented stupor, though this does not reach the same level of absurdity as the claim that these conditions themselves are products of capitalism.

The OP also condemns Jack Daniel's and pot, because, presumably, no one would indulge in the degenerate and depraved habit of consuming these foul substances in a communist society.

Finally, one receives the same apocalyptic visions of the end of capitalism that were already old when Karl Marx was young, and most of which has already been falsified, along with the complete failure to acknowledge that the vast majority of research into renewable energy is being carried out by private corporations.
"Here the ways of men part: if you wish to strive for peace of soul and pleasure, then believe; if you wish to be a devotee of truth, then inquire." F. Nietzsche.

"Freedom is always freedom for the one who thinks differently." R. Luxemburg.

"The principle of the masochistic left is that, in general, two blacks make a white, half a loaf is the same as no bread." G. Orwell, paraphrase.

"Islamophobia is a word created by fascists, used by cowards, to manipulate morons". Andrew Cummins.
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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11/19/2014 2:46:36 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/18/2014 11:34:03 PM, HououinKyouma wrote:

It seems that you have jumbled up Marx, Sartre, and Foucault together into one long insane piling up of words.

Thank you for your critique.

I reckon that you've confused New Leftism with reality.

This is what you reckon is it? Oh well.

One would think, reading your OP, that there is no such thing as a social safety net in the West, ...

Well, you may be shocked to learn that there's not currently much of one in the United States, which alas is the preeminent capitalist superpower. Nor does the capitalist totality, the capitalist world-system feature any kind of social safety net for the vast majority of its victims.

and that the populations of Europe and North America, as well as those of Oceania, are living in miserable conditions, where they can't actualize their potential as human beings;

I didn't say that economic immiseration always accompanies alienation.

and that there are no trade unions which protect the rights of the employees of the corporations (read Satan) one almost thinks that we are still living in the 19th Century--I find that to be self-evidently false.

You're certainly the one lamely living in the past if you would include the US among those countries in which workingpeople allegedly receive a sufficient amount of protection from labor unions. Besides, labor unions merely function to give workers the false sense that their interests are being championed and that they therefore needn't revolt against capitalist exploitation and domination.

As for the business of creativity; I would argue that artistic and scientific creativity are only possible in an age of trade and commercialization (the age of capitalism is one such age) after all there has been more artistic and scientific production since the beginning of capitalism than at any period before the advent of capitalism. One only needs to think of all the great artistic movements that came into being in the last century alone, a century of overabundance of artistic production and creativity, in film, in theater, in literature, in painting, in music, etc, etc--this explosion has its parallel in science, of course, as everyone should know.

You paint an extravagant picture of the flourishing of art and culture in the age of capitalism (conveniently neglecting to take note of a marked decline in quality caused by commercialization) and then, blatantly going in for single-cause simplism, you identify it with and attribute it entirely to the spirit of capitalism. Need I say it, Lol!

From the end of the second paragraph towards the end it all becomes quite nonsensical. Existentialism is a philosophy that is only made possible with capitalism, it is--in a sense--a product of it, and it is a sign of increasing material wealth, rather than of extreme poverty; poor people, specially desperately poor people, do not care a jot about questions such as "what is the meaning of life?" or "what is authenticity?"

But exploitation and alienation was in fact their fundamental existential lot all along, they were merely a bit distracted by extreme poverty. But actually even when they're being grievously immiserated workingpeople are not so crude or distracted that they fail to appreciate that their existence under capitalism is characterized by exploitation and dehumanization.

The same can be said about the abundance of psychological disturbance in modern life--as Nietzsche once argued--it is only when people no longer have to worry about physical problems that they can begin to worry about spiritual pain, it is a sign of the elevation and wealth of a society.

I see, the prevalence of psychological ill-being and people's free-floating dissatisfaction with life in modern capitalist society is actually an ironic selling point of capitalism. Is this what's termed making lemonade out of lemons?

In that sense, one could say that it is a product of capitalism, but it would be quite erroneous to suggest, as it seems you are doing, comrade, that with communism all of this spiritual suffering would go away, to the contrary, I think that it would only increase--and quite rightly.

Ah, the perfect solution fallacy, i.e. making out that my view is that communism would completely and perfectly cure human unhappiness and arguing against such a naive view rather than my actual view.

It is also quite preposterous to argue that the reason why people suffering from depression or bipolarism or who have ADHD--as well as all those who have been diagnosed with a mental or physiological condition--take the medication that is prescribed to them is because the elites of capitalism want to drug them into a state of contented stupor, though this does not reach the same level of absurdity as the claim that these conditions themselves are products of capitalism.

I never suggested that there aren't also clinical conditions primarily caused by somatic factors. As for medication, motivated by the drive for profit and the instinctive desire of capitalists to provide the masses with opiates, Big Pharma most certainly has systematically sought to hook the American public on its products.

The OP also condemns Jack Daniel's and pot, because, presumably, no one would indulge in the degenerate and depraved habit of consuming these foul substances in a communist society.

Again, I've never claimed that communism would be a perfect solution. Continuing to resort to the perfect solution fallacy does your powers of argumentation no credit.

Finally, one receives the same apocalyptic visions of the end of capitalism that were already old when Karl Marx was young, and most of which has already been falsified, along with the complete failure to acknowledge that the vast majority of research into renewable energy is being carried out by private corporations.

Sure, use negative buzzwords such as "apocalyptic". And really, this line that corporations will be the planet's saviors, rescuing it from "the end of oil" and climatological catastrophe by perfecting renewable energy in the nick of time is quite perverse.

(Btw, thanks for the reply, I suspect that you'll probably be this thread's only respondent, as most people aren't terribly familiar with the concept of alienation [not that you really have a grasp of it] and simply won't have the confidence to weigh in.)
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
sdavio
Posts: 1,798
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11/19/2014 4:23:26 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/18/2014 5:45:38 PM, charleslb wrote:
Yes, alienation nation can and does all too aptly describe our society. Here briefly and bluntly is how it works.

The capitalist owns the means of production; owns the worker's means of securing a livelihood; owns his/her employee's ability to produce economic well-being and security; owns his/her access to productivity and the expression of creativity; to a significant extent, the capitalist owns the wage earner's means and opportunity to attain self-actualization; the capitalist employer in fact owns all of the above right out from under the workingperson.

I think this pseudo-Marxist paradigm is overly reductionist in viewing society as divided into two simple classes, and one class owning, whatever it is that's called "the means of production." Almost everything is a means to production, and everyone owns some means to production. However, there are degrees and differences in the scale and nature of just what people own. However, the assumption is, further, that we are totally reliant on a right to the property of others in order to ourselves succeed. This makes any concept of freedom impossible, and burns a previously assumed justification of theft and exploitation into the framework at every level. In every action I take, I am, in your view, unjustified and immoral, because that property belongs rightly to the will of everyone else, and the only right decision is the one made by the largest majority.

You bemoan the "workingperson"'s inability to "attain self-actualization," but far be it from yourself to actually allow them that opportunity if they gained it, since "self-actualization" is immoral - requires property - and the only thing we might justifiably actualize is the hive-mind.

In effect, the capitalist thereby owns the fundamental creative nature and the intrinsic dignity of human beings right out from under them. What should be our truly inalienable human birthright is actually quite profoundly alienated from us.

If we have an inalienable birthright to "creative self-actualization," then others may not trespass the material which we require to do so. That is in itself a property right. If we have complete rights to the determination of that material, then we may trade it with others. There, we have capitalism.

The human condition comes to be thoroughly characterized and impoverished by alienation from our deepest reality and drive,

I think this seems very vague. In what sense are we alienated from our "deepest reality and drive"?

from our ability to "to generate, create, enhance, or bring forth goods and services", to externally materialize and thereby internally realize human potentialities and values, to realize ourselves through our work.

Everyone has the ability to do this already, and I'm not sure how you can justify a right to generate goods and services without a property right; I may stop your attempts to generate something, since it's no more yours than mine, without any understanding of property.

What's more, the reduction of work and productivity to a self-alienating and exploitative proposition

You seem to have elaborated greatly on the emotional aspects of your position, but you leave out entirely the deductive leaps you've used to get from one proposition to another. You say that since certain people (capitalists) have ownership of some means to production, productivity itself is reduced altogether into exploitation and alienation, but I'm not at all sure how that follows.

prevents our performance of work, our participation in our society's economy from being an activity that connects us to our most substratal, shared nature and interests; to our common and unifying quest for self-actualization; to the social nature of our humanity. In short, it prevents us from connecting to and seriously alienates us from each other. Yes, the capitalist's perversion of our labor into a commodity that he buys and owns away from us in large measure precludes it from linking our lives and keying our consciousness into the creative interdependence of existence.

I think it would help if you better define the "creative interdependence of existence," and explain how it is precluded by our ability to reward others for helping us in our endeavors ("labor as a commodity.")

It cruelly leaves human beings with modernity's well-known gnawing inner void and poignant sense of self and social estrangement where their creative self-fulfillment and inwardly-nourishing sense of social kinship and community should be.

Alas, quite tragically, and counterrevolutionarily, this is of course an existential plight that all too many individuals seek to medicate with alcohol, and with street and prescription drugs. Yep, Jack Daniel's, Big Pharma, the cartels south of the border, and your predatory neighborhood heroine pusher all do the capitalist quite a service by supplying capitalism's spiritual victims with literal opiates of the people!

I don't think most business owners would want their employees to be alcoholics or heroin-addicts. It seems like at this point you're turning capitalism into some sort of demon which causes all of life's problems, but without explaining how it is so, which will only convince those who already agree with you. You've yet to show how the ability to own property and trade - rather than say, childhood trauma and abuse, self-image issues, or social awkwardness - is the root of all depression and existential angst.
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
Greyparrot
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11/19/2014 7:09:28 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Companies will not stop producing (opiate?) tobacco for the same reason why Obama won't make tobacco illegal. The people want it.

Companies cannot survive if they alienate the consumer.
The_Fool_on_the_hill
Posts: 6,071
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11/19/2014 12:13:01 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/18/2014 5:45:38 PM, charleslb wrote:
charleslb : Yes, alienation nation can and does all too aptly describe our society. Here briefly and bluntly is how it works.

The capitalist owns the means of production; owns the worker's means of securing a livelihood; owns his/her employee's ability to produce economic well-being and security; owns his/her access to productivity and the expression of creativity; to a significant extent, the capitalist owns the wage earner's means and opportunity to attain self-actualization; the capitalist employer in fact owns all of the above right out from under the workingperson. In effect, the capitalist thereby owns the fundamental creative nature and the intrinsic dignity of human beings right out from under them. What should be our truly inalienable human birthright is actually quite profoundly alienated from us. The human condition comes to be thoroughly characterized and impoverished by alienation from our deepest reality and drive, from our ability to "to generate, create, enhance, or bring forth goods and services", to externally materialize and thereby internally realize human potentialities and values, to realize ourselves through our work.

What's more, the reduction of work and productivity to a self-alienating and exploitative proposition prevents our performance of work, our participation in our society's economy from being an activity that connects us to our most substratal, shared nature and interests; to our common and unifying quest for self-actualization; to the social nature of our humanity. In short, it prevents us from connecting to and seriously alienates us from each other. Yes, the capitalist's perversion of our labor into a commodity that he buys and owns away from us in large measure precludes it from linking our lives and keying our consciousness into the creative interdependence of existence. It cruelly leaves human beings with modernity's well-known gnawing inner void and poignant sense of self and social estrangement where their creative self-fulfillment and inwardly-nourishing sense of social kinship and community should be.

Alas, quite tragically, and counterrevolutionarily, this is of course an existential plight that all too many individuals seek to medicate with alcohol, and with street and prescription drugs. Yep, Jack Daniel's, Big Pharma, the cartels south of the border, and your predatory neighborhood heroine pusher all do the capitalist quite a service by supplying capitalism's spiritual victims with literal opiates of the people! Chemical substances that help them pathetically cope, or that guarantee that they get caught up in their own dysfunctionality and self-destruction, and that thereby help capitalism stave off a level of dissatisfaction and anti-capitalist activism that would threaten its survival. Well, although it takes a heavy toll on taxpayers, thus far our society's addiction problem is certainly a win-win proposition for capitalists. Not only does it help the working class to anesthetize its alienation, angst, and inner bleakness, and to thereby keep going rather than going over to the anti-capitalist camp, it also generates enormous profits for the pharmaceutical sector of the economy, for the rehab industry, and for the prison-industrial complex.

But ultimately alienation will indeed prove to be quite a losing and suicidal proposition for capitalism. Capitalist societies will finally no longer be able to sustain the illusion that the prosperity generated by the expropriated labor of workers equals human flourishing. Capitalism's eventual rude rendezvous with the painful existential reality of exploitation and commodification that it currently hides from with pot and Prozac will at long last write finis to its sordid story of overaccumulation and greed, profiteering, exploitation, inequality, injustice, immiseration, and slow destruction of the planet's ecosphere. That is, alienation is the dark spiritual underbelly of the capitalist system, and when it inevitably goes belly up from its various contradictions and evils and that dark spiritual underbelly is more openly exposed, then there will be a reckoning and revolution. Let's just hope that that day comes before the ecosphere is too far gone for humankind to survive and create a better form of economics and life.

The Fool: Healthy competition is what drives innovation, better products, and more efficient prices. Yes the driving force behind evolution, is that good old healthy masculine trait of competitiveness. The desire to try and do better than the ones around you is what makes us work harder, and experiment with new ideas, and get ahead.

Against The Ideologist

Anti-freedom is not the answer, and certainly not a better way of life.
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
fazz
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11/19/2014 3:11:58 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/18/2014 5:45:38 PM, charleslb wrote:
Yes, alie-nation nation..

Public-City! Publicity!!
charleslb
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11/19/2014 6:04:39 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/19/2014 4:23:26 AM, sdavio wrote:

I think this pseudo-Marxist paradigm is overly reductionist in ...

So, essentially, your response is to make like a nihilistic skeptic and make everything, class, ownership, means of production, and freedom out to be fictions, or too nebulous for what you derogatorily characterize as a "pseudo-Marxist" analysis (revealing your bias right up front with no compunction) to apply.

You bemoan the workingperson's inability to "attain self-actualization," but far be it from yourself to actually allow them that opportunity if they gained it, since "self-actualization" is immoral - requires property - and the only thing we might justifiably actualize is the hive-mind.

That the private ownership of the means of production is a sine qua non for self-actualization is just a bit of capitalist ideology. In actuality it's precisely the socioeconomic conditions and the alienation that results from private control of our society's productive forces that all too commonly impedes or prevents human beings from attaining the full realization of their creative and moral potential. As for your term "hive mind", well, that's merely a blatant attempt to evoke the chilling specter of stereotypical totalitarian "communism". Well, if you've ever read any of my posts on communism you should know full well that the form of communism that I envision and advocate is not Stalinist or Orwellian in the slightest. Yes, you're simply quite off base and merely tilting at an outmoded, Red Scare-era windmill. No, my friend, the communism advocated by contemporary communists, such as myself, is most definitely not your grandfather's boogeyman.

If we have an inalienable birthright to "creative self-actualization," then others may not trespass the material which we require to do so.

Precisely! Capitalists should not be permitted to lock up and control the economic resources and power, the means of producing and enjoying economic well-being that people require to freely pursue self-actualization. There certainly should not be a class of people with a disproportionate amount of power & privilege who exercise a dominance over the working-class majority that impedes or precludes their realization of their human potential. Mm-hmm, no one, no "job creators" or capitalist elites should be allowed to trespass their neighbor's right to the material conditions necessary for self-optimization.

That is in itself a property right. If we have complete rights to the determination of that material, then we may trade it with others. There, we have capitalism.

On the contrary, if we conceptualize and reinvent the right to control "property", namely the means of production, from a democratic and imperative-of-universalizing-well-being perspective, shared and democratic control is what we have, as it's the best way of ensuring everyone an inalienable access to and say in making determinations about material resources, goods, and production. Which would of course be a more ethical and enlightened definition of "property", if one insists in thinking in such egoistic terms, one that would make for the true universalization and equalization of property rights by abolishing private property. Well, I hope that this isn't too paradoxical for you.

I think this seems very vague. In what sense are we alienated from our "deepest reality and drive"?

Under capitalism our productivity, i.e. our creative activity is owned away from us (from workingpeople) by capitalist "job creators". Moreover, the product of our creative activity is objectified/commodified and owned by one's employer. In short, our creativity (i.e., our "deepest reality and drive") comes to be alienatingly experienced as an expropriated commodity rather than being recognized, claimed, cherished, and cultivated as our fundamental nature.

Everyone has the ability to do this already, ...

All of the workingpeople who've been reduced to drones and commodities? Lol!

and I'm not sure how you can justify a right to generate goods and services without a property right;

That's because you're locked into a capitalistic way of thinking that creates artificial catches, so to speak.

I may stop your attempts to generate something, since it's no more yours than mine, without any understanding of property.

Democratically-controlled community property & resources in fact will be put to uses of a far more universally beneficial nature that the private property of fat cats and corporations.

You seem to have elaborated greatly on the emotional aspects of your position, but you leave out entirely the deductive leaps you've used to get from one proposition to another.

I disagree. I would suggest that you give the OP a more careful read.

You say that since certain people (capitalists) have ownership of some means to production, productivity itself is reduced altogether into exploitation and alienation, but I'm not at all sure how that follows.

Are you serious?! When the means of production and the productivity of workingpeople are privately owned by capitalists & capitals the worker is essentially reduced to a subject of a capitalist master who uses the worker for his own self-enrichment. That is, the relationship of capitalist and worker is that of user and object of his use. The worker, and the productivity fundamentally included in his/her identity, are in fact thus self-alienatingly objectified into things of exploitation, productivity ceasing, as it does, to be recognized as something that intrinsically belongs to the laboring individual, to be recognized as his/her means to self-expression and fulfillment.

I think it would help if you better define the "creative interdependence of existence," and explain how it is precluded by our ability to reward others for helping us in our endeavors ("labor as a commodity.")

I'm simply referring to the empirically observable social nature of life. But, to delve into a bit of ontology, to wax Whiteheadian, I would elaborate by observing that existence is a process of aesthetic, creative synthesis, of entities (micro expressions of energy/creativity/experience and the macro objects and creatures that they socially organize into) interactively constituting themselves; i.e., actualizing themselves by internally (not merely externally) relating to each other, by creatively appropriating and integrating the contributions and inspiration of other entities. Thus, and in short, individual entities are not independent individuals but rather are constituted from, and in turn contribute to the constitution of other entities; the creative process is thoroughly interactive and integrative, involving everyone and thing in a relationship of interdependence and mutual creativity. But alas the economic individualism promoted by capitalism, and the adversarial/exploitative/parasitical relationship between capitalist and worker reduces us all to competing and alienated atomized specimens who fail to realize or make the most of the creative-integrative MO of nature.

I don't think most business owners would want their employees to be alcoholics or heroin-addicts.

But it is in fact in the interest of the capitalist status quo that unhappy people become pill-poppers rather than revolutionaries. And not all alcohol and drug use makes one dysfunctional and incapable of performing one's job, alcohol and drug use enable some individuals to cope and carry on being wage slaves.

It seems like at this point you're turning capitalism into some sort of demon which causes all of life's problems,

Well, capitalism certainly features some truly and exceedingly demonic dynamics and characteristics.

but without explaining how it is so, ...

Rather than rehash I'll merely suggest another reading of the OP.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
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11/19/2014 6:07:11 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/19/2014 7:09:28 AM, Greyparrot wrote:
Companies will not stop producing (opiate?) tobacco for the same reason why Obama won't make tobacco illegal. The people want it.

Companies cannot survive if they alienate the consumer.

Companies that produce destructive substances and poisons in fact should not survive.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
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11/19/2014 6:41:47 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/19/2014 12:13:01 PM, The_Fool_on_the_hill wrote:
At 11/18/2014 5:45:38 PM, charleslb wrote:
charleslb : Yes, alienation nation can and does all too aptly describe our society. Here briefly and bluntly is how it works.

The capitalist owns the means of production; owns the worker's means of securing a livelihood; owns his/her employee's ability to produce economic well-being and security; owns his/her access to productivity and the expression of creativity; to a significant extent, the capitalist owns the wage earner's means and opportunity to attain self-actualization; the capitalist employer in fact owns all of the above right out from under the workingperson. In effect, the capitalist thereby owns the fundamental creative nature and the intrinsic dignity of human beings right out from under them. What should be our truly inalienable human birthright is actually quite profoundly alienated from us. The human condition comes to be thoroughly characterized and impoverished by alienation from our deepest reality and drive, from our ability to "to generate, create, enhance, or bring forth goods and services", to externally materialize and thereby internally realize human potentialities and values, to realize ourselves through our work.

What's more, the reduction of work and productivity to a self-alienating and exploitative proposition prevents our performance of work, our participation in our society's economy from being an activity that connects us to our most substratal, shared nature and interests; to our common and unifying quest for self-actualization; to the social nature of our humanity. In short, it prevents us from connecting to and seriously alienates us from each other. Yes, the capitalist's perversion of our labor into a commodity that he buys and owns away from us in large measure precludes it from linking our lives and keying our consciousness into the creative interdependence of existence. It cruelly leaves human beings with modernity's well-known gnawing inner void and poignant sense of self and social estrangement where their creative self-fulfillment and inwardly-nourishing sense of social kinship and community should be.

Alas, quite tragically, and counterrevolutionarily, this is of course an existential plight that all too many individuals seek to medicate with alcohol, and with street and prescription drugs. Yep, Jack Daniel's, Big Pharma, the cartels south of the border, and your predatory neighborhood heroine pusher all do the capitalist quite a service by supplying capitalism's spiritual victims with literal opiates of the people! Chemical substances that help them pathetically cope, or that guarantee that they get caught up in their own dysfunctionality and self-destruction, and that thereby help capitalism stave off a level of dissatisfaction and anti-capitalist activism that would threaten its survival. Well, although it takes a heavy toll on taxpayers, thus far our society's addiction problem is certainly a win-win proposition for capitalists. Not only does it help the working class to anesthetize its alienation, angst, and inner bleakness, and to thereby keep going rather than going over to the anti-capitalist camp, it also generates enormous profits for the pharmaceutical sector of the economy, for the rehab industry, and for the prison-industrial complex.

But ultimately alienation will indeed prove to be quite a losing and suicidal proposition for capitalism. Capitalist societies will finally no longer be able to sustain the illusion that the prosperity generated by the expropriated labor of workers equals human flourishing. Capitalism's eventual rude rendezvous with the painful existential reality of exploitation and commodification that it currently hides from with pot and Prozac will at long last write finis to its sordid story of overaccumulation and greed, profiteering, exploitation, inequality, injustice, immiseration, and slow destruction of the planet's ecosphere. That is, alienation is the dark spiritual underbelly of the capitalist system, and when it inevitably goes belly up from its various contradictions and evils and that dark spiritual underbelly is more openly exposed, then there will be a reckoning and revolution. Let's just hope that that day comes before the ecosphere is too far gone for humankind to survive and create a better form of economics and life.

The Fool: Healthy competition is what drives innovation, better products, and more efficient prices.

I thought that you claim to not be a pro-capitalist ideologue? This certainly sounds reminiscent of the rhetoric that folks of the "libertarian" and conservative ideological ilk are wont to spout.

Yes the driving force behind evolution, is that good old healthy masculine trait of competitiveness.

Ah, see folks how the adversarial, agonistic, and dominance-oriented macho mentality links up with and underlies the pro-capitalist mentality. The macho mentality in fact views the rich capitalist as the modern-day equivalent of the kind of alpha male it admires and vicariously identifies with, hence its tendency to take the side of and play apologist for capitalists. Furthermore, this sort of primitively masculine cognitive orientation fancies the idea of laissez-faire capitalism precisely because it would allow capitalists to unabashedly conduct business, and to behave in general, like aggressive-dominating males; i.e., it would give free rein to their paleo mentality so of course conservatives, "libertarians", and other pro-capitalists are quite biased in favor of capitalism.

The desire to try and do better than the ones around you is what makes us work harder, and experiment with new ideas, and get ahead.

No, dear cynical fellow whose viewpoint has been shaped by capitalist culture and ideology, creativity needn't be driven by egoism.

Anti-freedom is not the answer, and certainly not a better way of life.

Well, but capitalism is a system of capitalist domination, in the workplace and in society at large, i.e. capitalism is in fact thoroughly anti-freedom. A genuinely free existence will of course indeed entail humanity's liberation from our society's current capitalist, plutocratic power structure. And of course genuine freedom will entail the proletariat's liberation from oppressive existential conditions such as objectification and alienation. Yes, freedom is also a socioeconomic and an inner state of existential affairs, not merely a political concept.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
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11/19/2014 6:44:19 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/19/2014 3:11:58 PM, fazz wrote:
At 11/18/2014 5:45:38 PM, charleslb wrote:
Yes, alie-nation nation..

Public-City! Publicity!!

What's your point?
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
HououinKyouma
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11/19/2014 7:24:42 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/19/2014 2:46:36 AM, charleslb wrote:
At 11/18/2014 11:34:03 PM, HououinKyouma wrote:

It seems that you have jumbled up Marx, Sartre, and Foucault together into one long insane piling up of words.

Thank you for your critique.

You are welcome.

I reckon that you've confused New Leftism with reality.

This is what you reckon is it? Oh well.

One would think, reading your OP, that there is no such thing as a social safety net in the West, ...

Well, you may be shocked to learn that there's not currently much of one in the United States, which alas is the preeminent capitalist superpower. Nor does the capitalist totality, the capitalist world-system feature any kind of social safety net for the vast majority of its victims.

It is not sufficient now, but I reckon that it will be improved upon in the future; I am not saying that the situation of the working class, and other classes, in the US is perfect, but it is not as miserable as you try to portray it. And by the way, the "preeminent capitalist superpower" at the moment--that is, for the last decade--is China, not the US.

and that the populations of Europe and North America, as well as those of Oceania, are living in miserable conditions, where they can't actualize their potential as human beings;

I didn't say that economic immiseration always accompanies alienation.

My post addresses both immiseration and alienation.

You're certainly the one lamely living in the past if you would include the US among those countries in which workingpeople allegedly receive a sufficient amount of protection from labor unions. Besides, labor unions merely function to give workers the false sense that their interests are being championed and that they therefore needn't revolt against capitalist exploitation and domination.

Just because there are some governors, in some states, who are trying to curb the power of trade unions right now--in the past four years--does not mean that trade unions have not had any power in the last century. As for the goals of the trade unions not being the overthrow of capitalism, that might have to do with the fact that most workers are not communists.

As for the business of creativity; I would argue that artistic and scientific creativity are only possible in an age of trade and commercialization (the age of capitalism is one such age) after all there has been more artistic and scientific production since the beginning of capitalism than at any period before the advent of capitalism. One only needs to think of all the great artistic movements that came into being in the last century alone, a century of overabundance of artistic production and creativity, in film, in theater, in literature, in painting, in music, etc, etc--this explosion has its parallel in science, of course, as everyone should know.

You paint an extravagant picture of the flourishing of art and culture in the age of capitalism (conveniently neglecting to take note of a marked decline in quality caused by commercialization) and then, blatantly going in for single-cause simplism, you identify it with and attribute it entirely to the spirit of capitalism. Need I say it, Lol!

There is no "single-cause simplism" involved, I merely argued that capitalism is one of the conditions required for artistic production. Now, considering how capitalism has its birth in--say--the 1750s? and since then we have had an unbelievable variety of artistic movements--Romanticism, realism, naturalism, symbolism, modernism, surrealism, magical realism, etc, etc--I think that my description of the cultural explosion in the age of capital is hardly extravagant. About the quality, you might reckon that the works of Garc"a Lorca, Hemingway, Jorge Luis Borges, Beckett, Garc"a Marques, and Salman Rushdie, are representative of a decline in the quality of art, but I don't.


But exploitation and alienation was in fact their fundamental existential lot all along, they were merely a bit distracted by extreme poverty. But actually even when they're being grievously immiserated workingpeople are not so crude or distracted that they fail to appreciate that their existence under capitalism is characterized by exploitation and dehumanization.

Exactly, "exploitation and alienation was in fact their fundamental existential lot all along," it is not a product of capitalism, that has been the condition for most of humanity for most of human history, it is under capitalism, when poverty ceases to be extreme, that people can begin to think about their situation, and what they can do to improve it.

I see, the prevalence of psychological ill-being and people's free-floating dissatisfaction with life in modern capitalist society is actually an ironic selling point of capitalism. Is this what's termed making lemonade out of lemons?

Try to be as sardonic as you like, but the fact remains that the reason that people can start thinking about spiritual problems is a sign that material problems are decreasing, people who have nothing to eat, or are ill all the time, do not have the time, nor will, to start asking themselves about their mental health.
,
Ah, the perfect solution fallacy, i.e. making out that my view is that communism would completely and perfectly cure human unhappiness and arguing against such a naive view rather than my actual view.

Well, considering how in your OP--and elsewhere--you argue that these frightful conditions are the product of capitalism--because, again, no one suffered from bipolar disorder before capitalism--and they will be done away with once the revolution comes and we start living in a communist society, or at any rate, that all will get much better with communism, you can hardly blame me for how your calls for revolution appear to the reader.

I never suggested that there aren't also clinical conditions primarily caused by somatic factors. As for medication, motivated by the drive for profit and the instinctive desire of capitalists to provide the masses with opiates, Big Pharma most certainly has systematically sought to hook the American public on its products.

The people who need medication--and have had them prescribed to them by a physician or psychiatrist--will, naturally, consume them, but people who lack prescriptions for them will not.

The OP also condemns Jack Daniel's and pot, because, presumably, no one would indulge in the degenerate and depraved habit of consuming these foul substances in a communist society.

Again, I've never claimed that communism would be a perfect solution. Continuing to resort to the perfect solution fallacy does your powers of argumentation no credit.

See above, this is how you come across.

Sure, use negative buzzwords such as "apocalyptic". And really, this line that corporations will be the planet's saviors, rescuing it from "the end of oil" and climatological catastrophe by perfecting renewable energy in the nick of time is quite perverse.

1) You fail to address the point, which is that the idea that capitalism will collapse of its own contradictions has already been disproved. 2) I know that you don't like the facts, but don't get angry with me. 3) The solution to the problem of climate change will come from a combination of the forces of the public sector and the private sector.

(Btw, thanks for the reply, I suspect that you'll probably be this thread's only respondent, as most people aren't terribly familiar with the concept of alienation [not that you really have a grasp of it] and simply won't have the confidence to weigh in.)
"Here the ways of men part: if you wish to strive for peace of soul and pleasure, then believe; if you wish to be a devotee of truth, then inquire." F. Nietzsche.

"Freedom is always freedom for the one who thinks differently." R. Luxemburg.

"The principle of the masochistic left is that, in general, two blacks make a white, half a loaf is the same as no bread." G. Orwell, paraphrase.

"Islamophobia is a word created by fascists, used by cowards, to manipulate morons". Andrew Cummins.
charleslb
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11/19/2014 8:13:02 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/19/2014 7:24:42 PM, HououinKyouma wrote:

Exactly, "exploitation and alienation was in fact their fundamental existential lot all along," it is not a product of capitalism, ...

Actually, I was referring to the lot of workingpeople under capitalism, i.e. I was pointing out that it's always been characterized, quite fundamentally, by exploitation and alienation, but when conditions of poverty are extreme enough of course they receive people's focus and there's little reflection on the nature of exploitation, reification, commodification, and alienation. But of course, whether workers are thoroughly immiserated or poverty is somewhat alleviated, these existential realities are indeed always cruelly present, under capitalism.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
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11/20/2014 12:42:15 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/18/2014 11:34:03 PM, HououinKyouma wrote:
Existentialism is a philosophy that is ...

Existentialism? Well, actually, although existentialists of course put their own interpretation on it, the concept of alienation goes at least as far back as Marx's Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844. Here's a link, https://www.marxists.org...
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
HououinKyouma
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11/20/2014 7:33:07 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/19/2014 8:13:02 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 11/19/2014 7:24:42 PM, HououinKyouma wrote:

Exactly, "exploitation and alienation was in fact their fundamental existential lot all along," it is not a product of capitalism, ...

Actually, I was referring to the lot of workingpeople under capitalism, i.e. I was pointing out that it's always been characterized, quite fundamentally, by exploitation and alienation, but when conditions of poverty are extreme enough of course they receive people's focus and there's little reflection on the nature of exploitation, reification, commodification, and alienation. But of course, whether workers are thoroughly immiserated or poverty is somewhat alleviated, these existential realities are indeed always cruelly present, under capitalism.

So you think that before the age of capitalism, in the age of feudalism, there was no exploitation and alienation? And that the standards of living of people were much better? Such a view, would be absurd. The truth is that all these things have decreased in the West.
"Here the ways of men part: if you wish to strive for peace of soul and pleasure, then believe; if you wish to be a devotee of truth, then inquire." F. Nietzsche.

"Freedom is always freedom for the one who thinks differently." R. Luxemburg.

"The principle of the masochistic left is that, in general, two blacks make a white, half a loaf is the same as no bread." G. Orwell, paraphrase.

"Islamophobia is a word created by fascists, used by cowards, to manipulate morons". Andrew Cummins.
HououinKyouma
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11/20/2014 7:40:50 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/20/2014 12:42:15 AM, charleslb wrote:
At 11/18/2014 11:34:03 PM, HououinKyouma wrote:
Existentialism is a philosophy that is ...

Existentialism? Well, actually, although existentialists of course put their own interpretation on it, the concept of alienation goes at least as far back as Marx's Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844. Here's a link, https://www.marxists.org...

And this proves what exactly? Kierkegaard--a more profound psychologist than Marx--started writing around the same time, and he was a proto-existentialist. The nineteenth century--at least in Europe--was already, in part, a capitalism century.
"Here the ways of men part: if you wish to strive for peace of soul and pleasure, then believe; if you wish to be a devotee of truth, then inquire." F. Nietzsche.

"Freedom is always freedom for the one who thinks differently." R. Luxemburg.

"The principle of the masochistic left is that, in general, two blacks make a white, half a loaf is the same as no bread." G. Orwell, paraphrase.

"Islamophobia is a word created by fascists, used by cowards, to manipulate morons". Andrew Cummins.
The_Fool_on_the_hill
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11/20/2014 9:05:52 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/19/2014 6:41:47 PM, charleslb wrote:

charleslb:: : But ultimately alienation will indeed prove to be quite a losing and suicidal proposition for capitalism. Capitalist societies will finally no longer be able to sustain the illusion that the prosperity generated by the expropriated labor of workers equals human flourishing. Capitalism's eventual rude rendezvous with the painful existential reality of exploitation and commodification that it currently hides from with pot and Prozac will at long last write finis to its sordid story of overaccumulation and greed, profiteering, exploitation, inequality, injustice, immiseration, and slow destruction of the planet's ecosphere. That is, alienation is the dark spiritual underbelly of the capitalist system, and when it inevitably goes belly up from its various contradictions and evils and that dark spiritual underbelly is more openly exposed, then there will be a reckoning and revolution. Let's just hope that that day comes before the ecosphere is too far gone for humankind to survive and create a better form of economics and life.

The Fool: Healthy competition is what drives innovation, better products, and more efficient prices.

charleslb: I thought that you claim to not be a pro-capitalist ideologue? This certainly sounds reminiscent of the rhetoric that folks of the "libertarian" and conservative ideological ilk are wont to spout.

The Fool: Yes it sounds a lot like it, as it is a component of what I consider an efficient economical system. But the key word is "healthy" competition. As I've argued, a mixed economy is best and the very aspect which drives evolution forward is perhaps the capitalistic aspects, while I would argue that the communism aspects are which stabilizes the economy, and prevents monopolization.

charleslb: Yes the driving force behind evolution, is that good old healthy masculine trait of competitiveness.

Ah, see folks how the adversarial, agonistic, and dominance-oriented macho mentality links up with and underlies the pro-capitalist mentality.

The Fool: Charles, whether you like it or not, you are, yourself, right now engaging in that very process, which you claim to be above and beyond by virtue of creating and engaging in these posts. Are you not challenging, and competing in argumentation with those which you claim to be your opposition, and perhaps believe to yourself falsely, to be better than, namely capitalist.
<(8D)

And have you not, at least with me, by virtue of this very process, advanced your understanding, even if merely to adjust and adapt your previous understanding of communism to account for these non-Communist per se, components. Is this competitive environment, a debate website, which happens to be predominantly masculine, where free speech is encouraged, as opposed to the many other aspects of social media. Is this medium not specifically one for competing ideas where the best and most supported ideas ought be adopted, and the weaker ones discarded, or perhaps re-appropriated to account for what they are lacking.

Are you not, for better lack of words, one of the boys here engaging growing and learning through a kind of intellectual rough and tumble play?

Despite our constant disagreements, do we not by virtue of some sort of respect still entertain your arguments, defend your right to speak, and spend time trying to persuade you of our views, despite our belief that in the end our efforts may be futile?

Against The Ideologist

Perhaps were not so bad after all. Try and meet us in the middle.
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
The_Fool_on_the_hill
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11/20/2014 9:28:11 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Grammer Edit

* Is this competitive environment, a debate website, which happens to be predominantly male, where free speech is encouraged, as opposed to the many other aspects of social media, one for competing ideas where the best and most supported ideas ought be adopted, and the weaker ones discarded, or perhaps re-appropriated to account for what they are lacking?

Original Post:
http://www.debate.org...
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
sdavio
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11/20/2014 11:27:08 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/19/2014 6:04:39 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 11/19/2014 4:23:26 AM, sdavio wrote:

I think this pseudo-Marxist paradigm is overly reductionist in ...

So, essentially, your response is to make like a nihilistic skeptic and make everything, class, ownership, means of production, and freedom out to be fictions, or too nebulous for what you derogatorily characterize as a "pseudo-Marxist" analysis (revealing your bias right up front with no compunction) to apply.

I just don't see it as a useful picture insofar as it reduces everything into two groups; one of 'takers' and one of 'slaves', and sees the answer as simply for the 'slaves' to realize how bad the 'takers' are, and "take back what is theirs." As I pointed out, each person in their different moments can fulfill either or both roles; everyone is both an owner, a worker and a consumer.

You bemoan the workingperson's inability to "attain self-actualization," but far be it from yourself to actually allow them that opportunity if they gained it, since "self-actualization" is immoral - requires property - and the only thing we might justifiably actualize is the hive-mind.

That the private ownership of the means of production is a sine qua non for self-actualization is just a bit of capitalist ideology.

As you agreed below, if I am to "self-actualize," I require a right that nobody else can trespass the material I require to do so. Now, if the activity I am engaged in is one of "actualization," then the material in question is material which 'produces' a result, and is hence by definition a "means of production." So by your own reasoning, each person requires ownership of some means of production.

In actuality it's precisely the socioeconomic conditions and the alienation that results from private control of our society's productive forces that all too commonly impedes or prevents human beings from attaining the full realization of their creative and moral potential. As for your term "hive mind", well, that's merely a blatant attempt to evoke the chilling specter of stereotypical totalitarian "communism".

While managing to deflect by talking about my own psychological reasons for using that term, you've avoided mentioning the fact that it's a completely accurate phrase for what you advocate. There is no room for a will outside the collective will in your system; in fact it denies at its basis the very concept of a "conflict of interest," and therefore it is literally a "hive mind" ideology.

Well, if you've ever read any of my posts on communism you should know full well that the form of communism that I envision and advocate is not Stalinist or Orwellian in the slightest. Yes, you're simply quite off base and merely tilting at an outmoded, Red Scare-era windmill. No, my friend, the communism advocated by contemporary communists, such as myself, is most definitely not your grandfather's boogeyman.

I'm still waiting to come across a communist who says "no, the communism I advocate is the really awful, fake version of communism. I want everyone to be controlled and killed." Unfortunately there only seems to be this abundance of *genuine communists*.

If we have an inalienable birthright to "creative self-actualization," then others may not trespass the material which we require to do so.

Precisely! Capitalists should not be permitted to lock up and control the economic resources and power, the means of producing and enjoying economic well-being that people require to freely pursue self-actualization. There certainly should not be a class of people with a disproportionate amount of power & privilege who exercise a dominance over the working-class majority that impedes or precludes their realization of their human potential. Mm-hmm, no one, no "job creators" or capitalist elites should be allowed to trespass their neighbor's right to the material conditions necessary for self-optimization.

And you don't see this as a 'property' claim? You are criticizing one group for infringing material which another should by rights have access to. I think you are assuming that the idea of 'property' only applies to the bourgeois but ignoring the fact that it also applies to the proletariat, and will moreso as / if they are more successful. You assume that "peaceful cooperation" is some sort of neutral state which will naturally be defaulted to once this group of monopolists is somehow removed from the means of production, but the very definition and parameters of what constitutes a "peaceful" interaction can only occur through a clear definition and honest allocation of property.

That is in itself a property right. If we have complete rights to the determination of that material, then we may trade it with others. There, we have capitalism.

On the contrary, if we conceptualize and reinvent the right to control "property", namely the means of production, from a democratic and imperative-of-universalizing-well-being perspective,

No, because property rights, and rights themselves, are the direct opposite of the might-makes-right system which is what you just described. It is the idea that my own body, my own dignity, is my own no matter what majority or power decides otherwise. It is the entitlement of each person to their own opinion, and this in precisely the most important case when it is *opposed* to the general opinion.

The democratic (common) opinion is that communism is impossible, and probably that you are completely incorrect, but you exercise your property right in deviating from that and advocating your own opinion. You also deviate from "universalizing-well-being" since you deviate regarding the very concept of what constitutes a desirable end, which for most people involves some mixed-economy, semi capitalist society.

shared and democratic control is what we have, as it's the best way of ensuring everyone an inalienable access to and say in making determinations about material resources, goods, and production.

This inalienable say is fictional. Let's say we're voting on whether slavery is instituted (if you want to make this about 'material resources', you could say that it's decided whether to not feed black people unless they fulfill the forced labour,) and I am a black man. I vote that slavery shouldn't occur, but the majority decides that it should. My democratic input was useless, since all that occurred was that the 'hive-mind' enacted its will. I could have voted either way and the exact same outcome would have occurred.

Which would of course be a more ethical and enlightened definition of "property", if one insists in thinking in such egoistic terms, one that would make for the true universalization and equalization of property rights by abolishing private property. Well, I hope that this isn't too paradoxical for you.

Of course it is paradoxical since you just applied the term "property" to the concept of mob rule, which is the direct opposite of what it means.

I think this seems very vague. In what sense are we alienated from our "deepest reality and drive"?

Under capitalism our productivity, i.e. our creative activity is owned away from us (from workingpeople) by capitalist "job creators".

Capitalism means that we own the products of our own labour. If we decide to trade this product to, for instance, the owner of a factory, in return for using the enhanced tools and means of production, I do this voluntarily and it is a mutually beneficial interaction.

(Continued...)
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
sdavio
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11/20/2014 11:32:34 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
(... Continued)

Moreover, the product of our creative activity is objectified/commodified and owned by one's employer. In short, our creativity (i.e., our "deepest reality and drive") comes to be alienatingly experienced as an expropriated commodity rather than being recognized, claimed, cherished, and cultivated as our fundamental nature.

The nature of a trade is that we allow something to someone else (in your language, we make it part of *their* fundamental nature,) and something of theirs in return becomes ours. In the factory situation, the worker values the freedom represented by money more than the work they put into the objects of the factory.

This is an act of self-expression since the person is exchanging lesser values for higher values; which is to say, "less self-expressive" with "more self-expressive," if you want to use that language.

Everyone has the ability to do this already, ...

All of the workingpeople who've been reduced to drones and commodities? Lol!

This occurs as a result of a lack of economic freedom. They are not allowed property over their own person nor over the products of their labour, and also are not allowed freedom of currency, freedom of drug use, speech, etc etc. In a truly capitalist rather than democratic system, these people would be easily able to gain the leverage in order not to need to work such demeaning jobs.

and I'm not sure how you can justify a right to generate goods and services without a property right;

That's because you're locked into a capitalistic way of thinking that creates artificial catches, so to speak.

Please show where my statements imply an artificial barrier which doesn't exist.

I may stop your attempts to generate something, since it's no more yours than mine, without any understanding of property.

Democratically-controlled community property & resources in fact will be put to uses of a far more universally beneficial nature that the private property of fat cats and corporations.

You just ignored my point. If I work to create something, and then the 'democracy' decides it is better put to use for something other than my self-expression, then it is taken away from me. As opposed to your statement that abandoning property will allow and give rise to fully liberated self-expression.

I think it would help if you better define the "creative interdependence of existence," and explain how it is precluded by our ability to reward others for helping us in our endeavors ("labor as a commodity.")

I'm simply referring to the empirically observable social nature of life. But, to delve into a bit of ontology, to wax Whiteheadian, I would elaborate by observing that existence is a process of aesthetic, creative synthesis, of entities (micro expressions of energy/creativity/experience and the macro objects and creatures that they socially organize into) interactively constituting themselves; i.e., actualizing themselves by internally (not merely externally) relating to each other, by creatively appropriating and integrating the contributions and inspiration of other entities. Thus, and in short, individual entities are not independent individuals but rather are constituted from, and in turn contribute to the constitution of other entities; the creative process is thoroughly interactive and integrative, involving everyone and thing in a relationship of interdependence and mutual creativity.

To envision total interdependence is to ignore the fact that the "totality" of my life, is limited to the totality of my own subjective experience, not the totality of the universe. And even this totality, is incomplete and limited in my own faculty and imperfect memory and thought processes. So that while I can regard certain people in my own life, my ability of thought can never be powerful enough to maintain equally powerful regard for, and understanding of, the lives of each and every human being.

Hence, while economics must take into account the scarcity of material, an economic political philosophy must take into account a scarcity of regard and of understanding. It must take into account that I can never possibly love all human beings equally, nor can I know what is best for the entire earth, or even attempt it.
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx