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responses to your thoughts

Posted by Dissident on Saturday, March 26 2022 at 11:05:03PM
In reply to thoughts posted by Eeyore on Saturday, March 26 2022 at 8:59:26PM

1.- I am pleased to see you are these days a proponent of incremental wins, Dissident. I can clearly remember many years ago how you seemed to demand everything this instant, and any suggestions that were less than that were not to be trusted. Would you agree that you used to be like that?

I was always in support of incremental progress for civil rights liberation within the context of the current system, because history has made it clear that this is the only way it can happen. The type of incrementalism that I was against is changing the system itself bit by bit, which always runs the extreme risk of the still intact ruling class taking these gains away relatively soon after they bequeath them. I believed then, and believe now, that we must make the change as soon as the vast majority comes to agree that it absolutely needs to be done, and as promptly as possible. But the changes leading up to this type of mass psychological change and preparation for it also occurs over time. As the saying I have mentioned before goes, "revolution is merely the culmination of evolution."

3.- I agree about the SJW's. They have single-handedly pushed me more toward the right with their actions.

I managed to avoid this, instead further entrenching myself in the classical but radical Left, albeit finding myself allied with the New Right (which includes the likes of Tucker Carlson, despite his hatred of MAPs) on this particular issue and a surprising amount of other issues too. I do not consider the SJWs radicals but extremists, and not truly Leftist at all but reactionaries hiding behind the veneer of progressive policies. They lie about being against capitalism (we all know how much the corporations, from the entertainment industry to Big Tech, love them and promote their agenda) and they lie about being genuine Marxists too (which I'll get to in a moment).

I'm wondering where you stand today, now that we are both older and people's views can (should -me) change over time and their own wisdom inevitably increases with life experience. In other words, you were Marxist, and I am pretty sure Marxism encourages things like taking over the school systems and doing away with the family unit. Are these SJW's not what is supposed to happen under true Marxism? I am just trying to learn your views of today compared to our exchanges all those years ago.

I would argue, as I always have, that wisdom increases with age (or not) depending more on the quality of one's life experiences as opposed to the mere quantity of it. That said, I will point out, as I often have, that numerous disparate tendencies have claimed the mantle of "Marxism" and "socialism" and other related terms in order to ingratiate themselves within the ranks of the radical Left and to play the friend to labor. Even the Democrats themselves continue to do this with the Democratic Socialists of America. At the same time, conservatives and Libertarians often point to these autocratic examples to discredit Marxism.

To be clear, I have always followed the formulation of Marxism as advocated by Marx and Engels themselves. I think it's best to call it Classical Marxism for that reason. It has been twisted by autocratic elements of the Left to dupe the labor class into embracing it. The Leninist vanguards and the Stalinists were early examples to do this, and the SJWs are the most recent examples. And as noted above, it has likewise been conflated with these autocratic tendencies by proponents of capitalism to try and discredit the actual ideology of Marx and Engels.

To be clear, and not to get too lengthy: Classical Marxism is focused on class, not race, gender, or sexual orientation. It's about achieving a classless, stateless, and moneyless society where everybody receives the full fruit of their labor in return for meaningful work in a cooperative labor environment. Marx and Engels spoke about how material prosperity for all in exchange for a reasonable share of the useful work would ultimately result in the cessation of bigotry against blacks and women (he didn't mention homosexuals or trans due to the era, but that is implicit as well) since they believed that competition and inequality within the context of class-divided societies are at the root of all forms of bigotry. Neither of them said anything about giving special privileges or "reparations" to people of color or women, but simply to use the new advanced industrial technology to create shared material abundance for all. Hence, the SJWs shifted the focus from class to social identity, which is why it has sometimes been referred to as "Neo-Marxism" or "Cultural Marxism." But as you can see, Classical Marxists are firm opponents of both what the Soviet Union did in the past and what the SJWs are doing now.

This has nothing to do with "taking over schools." I would say the Classical Marxist agenda would be for workers as a whole to run the education system in the spirit of egalitarian equality.

As for doing away with the family unit, if by that you mean the nuclear family unit, Marx and Engels never discussed that, but I think it was implicit that they were neutral about social institutions as they arose under class-divided societies. This is certainly how I feel from what I believe to be a Marxist perspective: if the nuclear family unit is really the best possible family unit, then a version of it will survive the change (should it occur) and adapt to the new system, or (as one socialist author put it) "a new family form will emerge that we cannot conceive of today." On a personal level, I do not understand loyalty to the nuclear family unit, as it was never democratic and has become highly insular, even more autocratic and ageist in response to the moral panics of recent decades. Consequently, and in a tragic case of irony, it has also become the greatest source of all real forms of abuse against kids.

Hence, I am not personally loyal to it, and Classical Marxist neutrality towards the family unit of today means that it needs to adapt to more democratic conditions or be replaced by a higher, better form of family unit, or perhaps offer a legion of choices.

5.- Yes, it does go for youths as well. People have an inherent nature about them that doesn't change with age. However, kids are also easier to enlist into the agendas of adults, or the state, or a religion, etc. etc..
Viewing what you see now (or maybe what I see now, not you).. that is, young people being groomed into believers of a political overthrow agenda, are you still of the belief that kids of all ages should be given the right to vote? What if they were all being groomed into evangelical Christians for instance? Clearly their vote would not be their own, but that of their teachers. I've come to wonder about how young is too young for voting, exactly because youths are trained to believe things rather than had time to form their own beliefs based on life experiences.

I remind you, and everyone else, that the same argument was used against giving the vote to women: it would be pointless because they would just vote exactly as their husbands did. On this note, I remain a firm youth liberationist, and I argue that there is no evidence whatsoever that people typically make more competent voting choices as they get older. In fact, older people typically do not vote for change and largely vote against their interests because they many of them admit to knowing nothing about politics or the policies of any given candidate. I have personally known many elderly people who admit to having no knowledge of what any presidential candidate stands for, and simply always vote for whoever is the sitting president.

This also provides yet more damning evidence that greater quantity of life experience does not automatically mean a superior quality of it, because there are too many individual factors to consider. In fact, younger voters have been documented as voting for change and to consider third party candidates much more often than older voters. Further, the world is currently run by older politicians, and are they making good decisions indicative of having developed stellar wisdom? No, they almost invariably vote for doing the same things over and over again.

Hence, I am against any arbitrary voting age, since adults are always allowed to vote no matter how set in their ways or ignorant of the political process or influenced by this or that source they happen to be. In the current Internet age, kids are also more capable than ever to do research on civics to learn about the policies supported by any given candidate.

6.- I'm not sure who you are calling the oppressor. I tend to believe that the people at the top of the oppressor pyramid are indeed evil and morally bankrupt. They are also usually psychopaths with dreams of complete domination, with sociopaths just below them. They are drawn to powerful positions like flies. They are infinitely charming schmooze experts, and do not feel fear like normal people do. You may have been speaking of the oppressor class, and for them I would agree with what you said.

I mean the wealthy few who own and control the corporations, and the state apparatus peopled by wealthy individuals who serve their interests. I fully agree with your assessment of them also.

8.- I would add that when you have absolutely no control over the narrative, anything you do at all can be used as an excuse for sterner measures. I am looking at the war situation now, and perhaps I am not the typical American here, but I know Russia has been telling the West to get NATO off its border for years and to abide by the agreement to not place it directly on its borders. They told them for years Ukraine was the "red line" and to stop placing offensive weapons on their border there as well. They were ignored, they invaded, and the response has been that the solution is *more* NATO is needed.

Agreed. But as you can see, many people in the West, including many on this board, do not want to hear any of that. They want to see the situation as a black and white melodrama of good vs. evil, so they obsessively focus exclusively on the fact that Russia invaded Ukraine and insist that Putin did it just because he's an evil bastard who wants to conquer and annex other nations. This is actually true to a large extent (though I would replace "evil" with sociopathic, which is hardly unusual for a person at the top of the food chain in any government), but instead they are quick to ignore the profit-based provocation he was given by the USA for a long time before doing so, ignore Zelensky's autocratic measures, and ignore the fact that the American government has done exactly the same thing to numerous nations, including at least five during the past two decades. I would have been more sympathetic to their zealous defense of Zelensky and denouncement of Russia if they had similarly reacted to the USA's attacks and occupations of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria, and how the American government helped Saudi Arabia devastate Yemen and Israel oppress the Palestinians.

In other words, everything becomes a justification for your own pre-existent goal or agenda when you control the narrative. In our case it's just funny that so many of the world's most powerful people have an attraction to children themselves. It shows explicitly that the rules for the common folk do not apply to them.

Agree with all of that. It's unfortunate that MAPs who are part of the ruling class tend to behave as dickishly as their teleiophile counterparts, but that is to be expected since we are only human and can be corrupted by power and privilege as much as any teleiophile. The tragic thing is that when they become known and screw up, their behavior is reflected on all MAPs. That is the equivalent of denigrating all women because of how the most privileged among them (whether late or living) such as Hilary Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Condoleeza Rice, Oprah Winfrey, Nancy Pelosi, Indira Ghandi, Margaret Thatcher, and numerous other examples behave.

10.- I am glad our streams of thought seem to lead us to similar next-topics. I'll add that times are difficult for nearly everyone, and debating anything is now considered an existential threat to many people, which is why a disconcertingly large percentage of people are now cheering on censorship. I never thought I'd see that gain so much popularity in my lifetime, but here it is, as stark as can be. People want others to be silenced, and no good can come of it, old friend:/ I'm glad we always agree on that.

I too am glad that I stayed firmly on the side of civil libertarian and actual progressive values, as I think it's more important now than ever before to do so. Also, I commend you for doing the same. And if you have shifted further to the Right, then I can only hope you take some of the New Right like Tucker Carlson as your role model (sans the anti-MAP sentiment, of course!), and not the "old school" likes of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.


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