Forums - General Discussion - Karl Marx was born 200 years ago - time to talk about dialectical materialism

Dialectical materialism...

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Dialectical materialism or historical materialism was Marx's main scientific contribution: a new theory of history that was supposed to rival what the theory of evolution did to biology, a law of nature for history.

Marx thought that history was driven by material factors, mostly the mode of production and with that knowledge you could explain and even predict historical movement towards a future of a classless society.

historical materialism: (in Marxist theory) the doctrine that all forms of social thought, as art or philosophy, and institutions, as the family or the state, develop as a superstructure founded on an economic base; that they reflect the character of economic relations and are altered or modified as a result of class struggles; that each ruling economic class produces the class that will destroy or replace it; and that dialectical necessity requires the eventual withering away of the state and the establishment of a classless society: the body of theory, in dialectical materialism, dealing with historical process and social causation.

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/historical-materialism

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_materialism



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John2290 said:
A naive fool that caused so much avoidable grief and sorrow and continues to borrow into the minds within our society today, ever threatening to unravel all so many have died to achieve. I look at this man I once admired and I see nothing but sorrow.

Actually, the theories of Marx have merit and are taught even these days in economy and political philosophy. The ideas were subverted though by Stalin and Mao, who used it to suppress their enemies. They forced Marxism or some variant thereof by usage of violence upon the people.

This doesn't mean I think his theories are correct, they are worthy to discuss though. But it is unfair to put the atrocities created in his name on him, the same as you shouldn't accuse Charles Darwin for the social darwinism of the Nazis or put the atrocities done for profit and market domination onto the legacy of Adam Smith.



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Karl Marx was, first and foremost, a product of his time: the time of the first industrial revolution, when the money of the bourgeoisie became more important than the political power of royalty, but everything else remained the same for the people of an increasingly overpopulated Europe still overcoming the effects of the little ice age and the French revolution.

I think the understanding of a man limited to 19th century european scholarship makes for too small a sample to sweep broad conclusions over the whole history of mankind and the experience of civilization, on its various angles and aspects. Certainly it was not enough to grant him the extreme validity to his claims and teachings his followers give him (almost making the man some sort of prophet).

That Marx is still taught on the Humanities, in my opinion, doesn't make him any more valid or truthful. The "social and human sciences" are full of dead european men, like Foucault or Rawls, who wrote piles and piles of ideological nonsense rehashed from previous, greater thinkers such as Rousseau and Plato.

Even for the economic courses and specialisations, it is a shame those who spend time on Marx, given they haven't even discovered Freud yet. And thus are caught with their pants down time and time again when the markets react on seemingly irrational ways and so.

 



 

 

 

 

 

John2290 said:
A naive fool that caused so much avoidable grief and sorrow and continues to borrow into the minds within our society today, ever threatening to unravel all so many have died to achieve. I look at this man I once admired and I see nothing but sorrow.

Agree. And still causes a lot of suffering in so many parts of the world and prevent so many countries to develop. Unfortunately his message is very easy to be assimilated by young people who then are used by others to gain power. And I think more are yet to come in the near future.



The more I learn about Marx, the more I dislike him. I know you're not supposed to judge historical figures by modern standards, but I'm not even talking about modern standards. There is just so little about him that is redeemable. I'll list just a few of these things.

- Despite people calling him an economist, he really didn't seem to understand economics at all. It also didn't help that he could not handle finances to save his life.

- On top of being terrible with finances, he couldn't seem to stop having children which also didn't help him financially.

- He was a terrible father who gave his children very little attention. In fact, I think at least two of his children ended up committing suicide later on in life.

- When writing the Communist Manifesto, he never befriended people from the working class. He was not part of the working class. He never stepped foot into a factory. He instead hung around rich people who he often mooched off of. He developed his philosophy based on being trapped in an echo chamber rather than doing actual research or basing it off his own experiences. In other words, he was the 19th century equivalent of a Tumblr blogger.

- He was pretty much wrong about everything. He talked revolutions occurring in industrialized nations like Britain and Germany. Instead, they happened in mostly poor rural nations. He also took grievances with a lot of flaws that come from capitalism, not realizing that under capitalism, nothing stays the same. The free market often improves things over time. He saw exploited factory workers and child labor and though it was always to be that way unless the system changed. He was wrong.



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Scientific contribution? 😹 He didn't know what he was talking about. His predictions were wrong as well as his theories. All he managed to do was create a cycle of failed attempts at his ideal society at the cost of people's lives.



he was a racist and puppet of a capitalist called freidrich engels

https://www.dailysignal.com/2017/05/10/ugly-racism-karl-marx/

http://theconversation.com/everyone-knows-about-karl-marx-but-what-about-friedrich-engels-95241

 

amusingly what the vast majority of socialists and communist do not understand is that the elite came up with their ideology to justify having more complete control over the middle and lower classes



Not fair. VGP isn't even here to debate this.



haxxiy said:

Karl Marx was, first and foremost, a product of his time: the time of the first industrial revolution, when the money of the bourgeoisie became more important than the political power of royalty, but everything else remained the same for the people of an increasingly overpopulated Europe still overcoming the effects of the little ice age and the French revolution.

I think the understanding of a man limited to 19th century european scholarship makes for too small a sample to sweep broad conclusions over the whole history of mankind and the experience of civilization, on its various angles and aspects. Certainly it was not enough to grant him the extreme validity to his claims and teachings his followers give him (almost making the man some sort of prophet).

That Marx is still taught on the Humanities, in my opinion, doesn't make him any more valid or truthful. The "social and human sciences" are full of dead european men, like Foucault or Rawls, who wrote piles and piles of ideological nonsense rehashed from previous, greater thinkers such as Rousseau and Plato.

Even for the economic courses and specialisations, it is a shame those who spend time on Marx, given they haven't even discovered Freud yet. And thus are caught with their pants down time and time again when the markets react on seemingly irrational ways and so.

 

That's really all that needs to be said.  He analyzed his world and tried to present his findings as absolute truth that could be superimposed upon any other world.  He did not know enough to understand that he did not know enough.

That being said, I think he would be absolutely fascinated by modern society.  



AngryLittleAlchemist said:
Not fair. VGP isn't even here to debate this.

Is he furiously studying historical materialism right now?