Vulgarities

Robert Peter Burns rburns at chaph.usc.edu
Thu Nov 16 01:57:47 MST 1995


I have a couple of questions concerning what seem
to me to be "vulgarities" that crop up in some
discussions on this list.

1>  If all human motives have nothing but a material
    basis, how will it be possible to create a global
    mode of production based wholly or even predominantly
    on moral rather than material incentives?

2>  If reality is ultimately nothing other than matter in
    motion, and if idealism is the false view that seeks
    to preserve an irreducible place for reason at the
    heart of reality, what justifies the belief that humanity
    is inevitably destined to create a rational and noble society?

It seems to me from reading this list that some of its hardest
of hard "materialist" contributors are *also* the ones who seem
to have the most "idealist" views about the march of history and
the nature of humanity and society under communism--a reign of
reason and prosperity based on loving, unselfish, cooperative
social relations.  Is this *combination* of views compatible with
a "scientific" world-view?  Or can it all be explained by "dialectics"?
And would *that* require a more thoroughgoing--and honest--
incorporation of themes from Hegel?

Perhaps some of you could help me out with these "vulgarities"
<if that's what they are>.

Peter Burns SJ
PS--I'm disappointed to have to say it, but the amount
of blind dogmatism and irrationality posing as "science"
on this list is breathtaking.  Does this have anything
to do with the current political weakness of marxism?  
I expected better, and I hope things will improve, but 
urinating in other people's skulls is not what I was 
looking to read about on a list of the Left.  Hasn't
the Left been here before with disastrous *political* 
results?


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