Sunday, January 18, 2015

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1760-1831)

What is Marxism?
Do Academic Hairsplitting. Jesuitical Logic, and Legalistic Thinking Have Value in the Practical Application of Political and Religious Doctrines?



Much has been made –– primarily by leftist academics and those who’ve fallen under their spell –– of the supposed differences between Marxism, Fascism, Fabianism, Communism, Socialism, Progressivism, Liberalism, Statism and the American Democrats, as they've developed in the past hundred years.

Since all are COLLECTIVIST in nature, most openly HOSTILE to CHRISTIANITY, and therefore ANTI-INDIVIDUALIST, and all inevitably lead to DICTATORSHIP –– i.e. tyranny, despotism, authoritarianism, totalitarianism, which in turn are forms of slavery, 

I can't see any significant difference 
among them, can you?


I see that infamous group as a rough parallel to the Christian movement as it has developed since the Reformation. "How so?" you ask.

All right, here goes: The Roman Catholic, Greek and Russian Orthodox churches, the Coptic Church, the Church of the East, the various branches of the Lutheran Church, the Episcopal, Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Dutch Reformed churches, the Quakers, the now-defunct Shakers, the Seventh Day Adventists, the Assembly of God, the Jehovah's Witnesses. the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints better known as Mormons, and others ALL identify themselves as CHRISTIAN churches, yet there are difference among them that keep them divided and largely at odds.

Most claim to be The One True Church to the exclusion of the others, BUT they ALL want identify themselves as CHRISTIAN.


I believe the same could –– and should –– be said for all the various branches of LEFTIST IDEOLOGY all of which are united in their opposition to INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM, CAPITALISM, CHRISTIANITY, and SELF-DETERMINATION 

The naked hostility the Left bears towards LIBERTY 
is almost palpable.


I hope someone will take the time to discuss what I have said, add to it, introduce contrast and enrichment while sedulously avoiding mockery, derision, hectoring, badgering, cliché-ridden rhetoric and canned opinion gathered from Central Propaganda Mills of any stripe.



42 comments:

  1. Perhaps you just focus too much on isms. I just don't know what else to say. You seem to think that any opinion that varies from yours is just more oil on the slippery slope to totalitarianism, yet you ignore your own lubricants. I guess that's because you are so into your own isms. It's all isms to you.

    JMJ

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    1. Wrong, as usual, Jersey. If anything, you might call me an "Anti-ismist."

      §;-D=

      This exercise is not supposed to be about me, however. It's supposed to be about the meaning of terms, and how easily they get confused in popular perception by agenda-driven factions who deliberately obfuscate their meaning, change their meaning.

      FYI: I am much opposed to Theocracy as I am to Marxism.

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    2. I don't know, FT. I'm not a domino theory guy, and I certainly don't think "leftism" leads to anything in particular or even is anything all that particular to start with, so I diverge a lot here. Conservatism clings to itself, leftism moves and changes.

      JMJ

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  2. I disagree that socialism is opposed to christianity, individuality, self-determination or even capitalism, if one allows capitalism to admit a mixed economy.

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    1. I wish you would share with us the evidence that caused you to draw that conclusion, Jez.

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    2. A mixed economy, ie capitalism with a degree (large or small) of state regulation. Greater influences of regulation generally leads to less economic liberty/freedom.

      Individualism can exist in a society governed by a true
      democratic socialist system.

      Isms you highlight can, all of them turn anti individual, anti liberty, anti religion, and anti self determination when TOTALITARIANISM, or rule by a small cadre of ideologues occurs.

      Marx may have been many things, a totalitarian was not among them.

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    3. Marx was Santa Claus amidst a North Pole elven slave colony.

      Anything less than ABSOLUTE Marxism results in totalitarianism.

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    4. " ... by their fruits ye shall know them," Gandolf.

      Matthew 7:20 (KJV)

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    5. I know justwhat you mean, AbMarx, but most of us know that is utterly impossible because of Human Nature.

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    6. Experience. In my part of the world, there are many countries with occassionally socialist govts which have not lapsed into dictatorship.

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    7. Glad you returned, Jez. I think I may know what you mean, but it's possible we each may evaluate our respective circumstances from a notably different perspective.

      As I've told you before, I've spent two extended periods of time in your country, back when it was still England, and loved every minute of it. Felt more at home there, as a matter of fact, than I do in many many places here in the States.

      I stayed for the most part with various family members of an English friend of mine who'd emigrated to the USA years before, but had retained her British passport. It was all very nice and chummy.

      HOWEVER, I suspect from the "tone" of what we hear about life across the Pond these days that you -- and most Europeans -- may be far more tolerant of heavy government supervision, and limits on your options and prospects than we.

      A minor hobby of mine involves looking at available properties for sale in various locations at home and abroad, and I have to say we can get a great deal more for our money here than there. The price of even the most dismal cramped dwelling spaces in Britain and all over Europe is exceedingly high -- out of sight in fact.

      I can't imagine what you do, unless you have an extraordinarily high paying job, and even then it would be hard to purchase even modest digs, I should think. Please correct me if I'm wrong. the sort of housing enjoyed by the middle class here seems to be reserved for the super-rich there, if internet property lisitings are to be believed.

      Of course, I realize real property may not be the be- all-end-all in your system of values -- nor is it mine -- but the fact remains I live like a proverbial prince of the realm on a very modest income here, but I'd quickly be reduced to penury if I lived under your system.

      So what-I-call "tyranny" comes in any number of forms. I have come to believe from the price and condition available of real estate alone that living under a socialist government tends to produce dismal economic and aesthetic conditions that would be unacceptable to me and most people I know here.

      Remember please that I did not come from great wealth and privilege. My maternal grandparents were dirt poor when they arrived from Europe in the nineteenth century. My paternal grandparents were working class, and never had much to start with, but both families worked hard and prospered greatly in the era before "progressivism" took over completely in the 1930's.

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    8. "I have come to believe from the price and condition available of real estate alone that living under a socialist government tends to produce dismal economic and aesthetic conditions"

      Since 1980, UK house prices have risen above general inflation a lot faster (I estimate 3x more quickly) than in the US. This happened under the Thatcher, Major and Blair administrations, none of which I would call socialist. As far as I know, the sustained UK property inflation in this period also eclipses inflation in the rest of Europe (although there have been shorter-lived bubbles), most of which have been far to the left of us at one time or another.

      If I had to explain our exceptional property inflation, I would probably talk about the cheap and deregulated supply of credit.

      As for the aesthetics, you can't understand our recent architecture without acknowledging the extraordinary impact of WW2. Much was destroyed, and we'd already spent everything. Certain towns (eg. Canterbury) have only in the last decade or so started to replace the post-War buildings that were put up on the cheap and in a hurry.

      So I agree with you that our property is over-priced (it goes without saying that square-feet is not the be-all and end-all -- I'd rather a small New York apartment than a sprawling LA mock-mansion), but I think it's a mistake to blame it on socialism.

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  3. FT,
    Cloaking identity by using different terms for -isms that have the same end result is a propaganda tool -- and divides those opposed to the loss of individual liberty. In the words of the adage (more or less): "A dead mackerel by moonlight still stinks."

    BTW, of all the terms you mentioned for political -isms, I prefer Statism. Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems to me that the Left avoids using Statism whenever possible.

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    1. Thank you, AOW. I see you understand what I meant in trying to stimulate this discussion.

      I neglected to list THEOCRACY among the various forms of inherently tyrannical governance. Perhaps because it isn't officially an "ism?" ;-) At any rate i was a serious omission in my part, because Theocracy is covered under the same umbrella as the others.

      "Corporatism" is another omission in my part that should have been listed.

      On the other hand, since my purpose is to try to stimulate THOUGHT -- as opposed to reflexive REACTION -- it would be fools of me to try to do everyone's thinking FOR him.

      The Bible covers the entire point at issue more than adequately when it warns us to "beware of wolves in sheep's clothing."

      Jersey wants to believe I want to see everything in terms of "isms." No. I just want to clarify the ultimate meaning of the bewildering olio of terms that have proliferated and craftily shifted their meaning periodically since Marxian-Fabian-Socialist-Communist-Collectivist-Progressivist-Liberal-Dictocratic-Statism reared its ugly head and began its Long Slow March Through the Culture.

      I realize this discussion will never come to a satisfactory conclusion, but I would like -- at the very least -- to do something to help people to understand that CENTRALIZED POWER is our greatest enemy no matter what WHAT "banner" it waves.

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    2. Your final paragraph FT carries with it the truth of the ages.

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    3. Thank you, Gandolf, and that is the Central Point I had so hoped others would infer from the questions raised. The ability to draw intelligent inferences, make allusions to works of literature, poetry, music, art, and other fields, to understand figurative language, and the use of fables, parables, etc. has declined alarmingly in the past fifty years.

      All part of the process regrettably known as The Dumbing Down of America, of course.

      I my own small way I'm doing what I can to counteract the lamentable trend. (:-s

      Delete
  4. FROM AOW'S BLOG

    Ducky's here January 17, 2015 at 12:33:00 PM EST

    You mention the Shakers, FT.

    
There was an obvious drawback for most people in their philosophy.
It's unfortunate the philosophy couldn't spread further because it was very productive both in economics and the arts.
Shaker design is absolutely brilliant in utility and aesthetics.



    I don't imagine it's worth mentioning Dorothy Day and the social welfare component of the Roman Catholic church which produced Michael Harrington and The Other America. The Holy Father is clearly promoting aspects of this doctrine.

Of course if you study the history of the early church you find collectivism.

Myself, I think the current right wing sects in America are interested in two major themes:

1. Control peoples sexuality

2. Promote laissez-faire capitalism

In fact any idea of individualism degenerates into oppression through a warped Calvinist lens.

    Then there are the existentialists like Kierkegaard, Tillich, Marcel and Niebuhr who probably are out of favor with more conservative Christians.

Complicated but frankly I believe you are more interested in labeling people (often quite inaccurately) than listening to them.


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    1. FROM AOW'S BLOG


      PART ONE - DUCKY SAID: (Please read my responses between the lines)



      DUCKY: You mention the Shakers, FT. There was an obvious drawback for most people in their philosophy. It's unfortunate the philosophy couldn't spread further because it was very productive both in economics and the arts. Shaker design is absolutely brilliant in utility and aesthetics.



      FT: I'm a great admirer of the Shakers for most of the reasons you cited Ducky. although there is no way I could see their way of life as a good universal role model for the economic health and strength of the nation. I even did a paper on the Shakers in graduate school, and found many aspects of their way of life most engaging. I'm surprised you didn't point out their identity as a COMMUNAL organization, which they were. However, as AOW said to you in reference to early Christian communalism, the Shakers' unique brand of communal identity was entirely VOLUNTARY. No one was FORCED to join the Shakers or FORCED to STAY with them. One could argue that any close-knit family unit is a type of communal living, but again it's largely been a matter of CHOICE -- at least in our society. The obvious Achilles Heel in the Shaker movement was their proscription against SEX in any form whatsoever. Mother Ann Lee, who'd suffered horribly in childbirth, when married to Abraham Standerin in England, managed to convince herself and her followers that SEX was THE greatest EVIL and was responsible for most-if-not-all of the woe in this world. Such a preposterous doctrine was obviously doomed to fail in the long run, but it did work very well -- for a select few special souls -- for about a hundred years
      


      DUCKY: I don't imagine it's worth mentioning Dorothy Day and the social welfare component of the Roman Catholic church which produced Michael Harrington and The Other America. The Holy Father is clearly promoting aspects of this doctrine.



      FT: I did try to read The Long Loneliness once, and found it ineffably dreary. Thinking along such lines may be perfectly righteous and worthy at some level, I wouldn't dare say it isn't, but dwelling on misery and wretchedness, as so many folks of that sort do, seems based more in contempt for comfortable middle-class society than any love for the poor and downtrodden. And that has been my problem with leftists in general all along. The Bolshevik's barbaric treatment of Czar Nicolas and his family is all we need to know to prove that pure, savage HATRED was the primary motive in all they did. Nothing like Self-Righteous Wrath to bring out the brutish beast in any of us. 


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    2. FROM AOW’S BLOG:


      FreeThinke January 17, 2015 at 4:24:00 PM EST


      PART TWO - DUCKY SAID (my responses between the lines)


      


DUCKY: Of course, if you study the history of the early church you find collectivism.

      

FT: I believe we've covered that above.

      

DUCKY: Myself, I think the current right wing sects in America are interested in two major themes:
      


      1. Control peoples sexuality
      


      2. Promote laissez-faire capitalism

      

FT: I agree to a limited extent about sexuality being a morbid preoccupation of SOME -- but certainly not ALL -- who identify as Christians. I have limited patience with that, myself, but don't feel it's incumbent on me to try to FORCE my views on ANYONE. I try to give a wide berth to those who do feel that way. HOWEVER, the unbridled licentiousness and loss of depth, loyalty and affection in personal relationships we've been living with since The Sexual Revolution is deplorable. The evils it has spawned are patently obvious to anyone not an absolute imbecile. What to DO about it, however, is certainly open to debate.

      ADDENDUM: While adherence to the principals of unfettered Capitalism is certainly a central tenet of Conservatism, I don’t see it particularly tied to Protestant Christianity. Roman Catholicism on the other hand has long been regarded by Old Guard WASPS as essentially a peasant religion highly sympathetic to leftist ideologies of varying kinds.

      

DUCKY: In fact any idea of individualism degenerates into oppression through a warped Calvinist lens.

      

FT: You misuse the term "Calvinism." What you mean, -- I think, -- is that a grimly authoritarian, even tyrannical church organization is certainly oppressive and inimical to human happiness and to healthy forms of progress. I certainly agree with that, but it's been found in most organized forms of Christianity until recently. Terrifying people is no way to lead them to Salvation. What you fail to acknowledge is that temporal forms of Utopian Ideology -- Marxism in particular, and all it's many derivatives -- have led to even GREATER acts of despotism, cruelty, mass murder and widespread destruction than those of the religious sort -- not that EITHER is the least bit excusable. Mankind's greatest ENEMY is his overweening Lust for Power and Conrol over he lives of others.

      

DUCKY: Then there are the existentialists like Kierkegaard, Tillich, Marcel and Niebuhr who probably are out of favor with more conservative Christians.

      

FT: Too big a topic for now, and frankly out of my depth since I received my religion, such as it is, more from direct experience than from reading books ON religion and philosophy. I have been praying earnestly since childhood -- and received helpful answers more often than not -- have studied the Bible, spent the better part of forty-five years heavily involved in churches of various Christian denominations, know a great deal about music written for the Church, which happens to be THE bedrock of Western Civilization -- the mother, father and nursery out of which grew most of our greatest works of music, art, architecture, literature, and our finest ideas of law and governance. Beyond that my knowledge is limited.

      

DUCKY: Complicated but frankly I believe you are more interested in labeling people (often quite inaccurately) than listening to them.

      

FT: Well, Ducky, you would think that, because that's what you WANT to think. You like to denigrate me, because I have firm convictions based on experience and observation over a seventy-four year that you find distasteful. I, of course, feel the same about YOUR, apparent, convictions, but the only thing I object to about you is the persistently rancorous, condescending, pointedly insulting tone you take much of the time. Thank you for dropping that at least for this exchange.

      Delete
    3. Anon:

      SO what's yer friggin' point, jackass?

      Delete
    4. I think he wanted to post this exchange I had with Ducky at AOW's yesterday over here, because I asked the same questions and raised the same issues over there. If anything he just wanted to complete the record of responses to the post. I meant to thank him for it earlier, but hadn't gotten to it yet.. Whoever he is, he's no jackass. Be nice.

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  5. You stated your point quite well and I have little to add.

    What the left has done is insulate themselves from well-earned criticism by making a mockery of the words that apply to them, so that if someone calls Obama a socialist, they make a big joke of it.

    The left controls the debate. They frame it and set the ground rules, so they are guaranteed to win it. Every time.

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    1. Egg-ZACK-Lee!!!

      But WHY do "we" continually permit "THEM" to get away with it?

      That is the question.

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    2. I'm seeing a lot more pushback, people no longer afraid of the leftwing witch doctors shaking the PC sticks at them.

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    3. Certainly hope you're right, Kurt. If we fail to fight TYRANNY, we DIE as SLAVES. It's as simple as that. Of course we're ALWAYS having to fight SOME inimical force or other. The most cursory glance at history should tell us that.

      "The Good Ol' days" were never quite so good as we like to think. If they were good for "us," you may be sure they were perfectly dreadful for many others.

      As Emily said:

      I reason earth is short,
      And anguish absolute,
      And many hurt,

      But what of that?

      I reason we could die.
      The best vitality
      Cannot excel decay,

      But what of that?

      I reason that in heaven
      Somehow it will be even ––
      A new equation given,

      But what of that?

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  6. Perhaps FT you just focus too much THOSE LIBERAL fool’s SUCH AS
    Ducky, The Registered Nurse, The Wicked Witch of the Left aks Shaw, Octopussy, Dave Miller, and that whole bunch of progressive anti Anything American”
    In some ways, yes this is so truly true. I cannot respect anyone who does not appreciate America.
    Yes, in a way, I do agree with what you say, however, we must stop allowing far left to dumb down and radicalize this country and who use racist bigoted statements or who criticize us only because we don’t agree with their idiotic agenda, and this disaster who presently occupies the white house. . .
    There are many other liberals who are not as idiotic, anc radical as they may be. Many who are conservative Christians.
    Not every stupid person is a liberal progressive - just most of them are. There are some people out there who keep an open mind but let their brains fall out , and have become stupid liberals - and thankfully I don't think they're anywhere near a majority .

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    1. I don't regard hose people as "fools," at all. They are very strong-minded, very loyal to their troops, and steadfast in their convictions. None of that is either weak or foolish; the trouble is they happen to embrace airy, idealistic-sounding theories and philosophical positions that fly in the face of reason, prior experience, and good common sense.

      The extraordinarily militant and abrasive efforts they make to rationalize their point of view while defaming and denigrating anything and everything that appears to refute it is the source of much strife, ill will and wasted time.

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  7. Don't be so hard on Liberals, Free Thinke, Liberals mean well. They are just misguided, ignorant, people.

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    1. Certainly true of many-if-not-most of their followers, but the leaders and instigators of most leftist initiatives have either been remarkably self-deluded or genuinely evil. Karl Marx MAY have "meant well," and started out with "good intentions," but in the real world RESULTS are ALL that COUNT.

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    2. Very
      True
      Indeed

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  8. Information You DeserveJanuary 18, 2015 at 1:34 PM

    WHY do "we" continually permit "Progressives" to get away with it? Maybe because of the Spreading “Tentacles” of Liberalism, is getting to the weak minded, looney tunes of the Democratic party.

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    1. Glorifying Sin, - Encouraging Dependency, - Persuading People to Believe they are Helpless, Innocent Victims Who Have No Power of Their Own to Improve Their Lot in Life, - Reveling in Moral and Cultural Degradation, - Making Excuses for Intellectual and Moral Corruption, - Glorifying and Sanctifying Selfishness, Laziness, Ignorance, Greed and Lust are VERY powerful tools in a concerted effort to DEGRADE, DEMORALIZE and DISEMPOWER a given population.

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  9. Excellent topic Free Thinke, as usual. I thought it might be interesting to discuss some of the socialist posters here, and my my disgust for them. Since their ideology is so demonizing here in the U.S.
    Liberal/progressive/leftist/marxist ARE fools, and we all know exactly who they are, they are the evil in America that has taken root deeply in the democratic party that is trying to destroy America.
    Just think about what they openly stand for.

    Killing unborn children, right up to the moment they would otherwise be delivered...and killing them in the most gruesome, bloody, awful manner imaginable and with no pain medications.

    Perverse life styles and living arrangements, and attempting to make them accepted in law as marriage, when they are not in the least that, and when all statistics point to those lifestyles being absolutely unwholesome and dangerous to the physical and mental health of anyone participating in them.

    Making people absolutely dependent on them for almost everything from cradle to grave...noot in an attempt to help those people, because the statistics again point to the rampant crime, destruction of the family, health issues, illiteracy and lack of education and unemployment rampant in all such communities and grous that become attached to it. They do it simply to garner votes, while locking people into a very destructive life.

    Tax cheats being placed in charge of the revenue and taxing arm of our government.

    Not drilling for or exploiting America’s rich energy reserves and resources because a President wants to “punish” the American people and their freedoms and life styles.

    Complaining and name calling Americans because they hold their 2nd amendment rights and religious rights sacrosanct as the unalienable rights they are.

    Pervertness and anti-Americans being placed in charge of critical agencies in the land, like Homeland Security and being named Education and other “Czars.”
    They are the Post Child of corruption, cronyism, and lack of virtue all the way up to their individuals in public office up to and including the Presidency (think of Bill Clinton in the Oval Office gratifying himself while US soldiers were out in harms way fighting to protect us from the horrors of Islam. There are no lunatic’s left in the asylums, they are all in Washington right there in the White House..

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  10. Bea Littler said

    Amazing no one pointed out what a creepy looking guy that Hegel was. I wouldn't want to be in the same room alone with him, I'll tell you that.

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    1. But Hegel may well be in the center of everyone's "living room" today. He recognized that if you control both sides of an artificial debate offering both the thesis and the anti-thesis you could drive the end result to synthesis—consensus.

      If the original plan created to polar opposites as represented by the USSR and today the USSA, by merging these at last into the ultimate controlled state, I'd say we're almost there.

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    2. Bea,
      No kidding! He looks as if he's "not wrapped right." To say the least!

      Delete
    3. merging these at last into the ultimate controlled state, I'd say we're almost there.

      That's why Obama and his crowd love Thomas Piketty so much! The liberal Welfare State will be perfect once we tax the rich a lot more (this is his SotU plan!

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    4. Thersites,
      The SotU plan will be only so much hot air and political pandering (trying to empower the Democratic Party as the party of the middle class) -- unless the Left gains the majority in 2016.

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    5. AS Mr. Piketty studied at the London School of Economics, being the egg that the Fabian Society laid for future generations, Piketty comes by his "income inequality" and "wealth distribution" from a strong pedigree, Theristes.

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    6. Most of the Left hasn't given up on the Blue liberal Economic model. Given the failure of mercantilism and the European Union, I fail to see why their still clinging to their legislatively produced "corporate" comforts. Isn't it time that they gave laissez faire economics a REAL try, carbon footprints be damned?

      Delete
    7. After all, we all know that "If man wants to progress, he must create new forms of energy of greater and greater densities." Carnot ,"Eloge de Vauban" ("In Praise of Vauban") ( 1784)

      Windmills and Solar Panels do NOT accomplish this. Nuclear power DOES.

      Delete

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