Unified Field Theory

Gary MacLennan g.maclennan at qut.edu.au
Tue Jun 18 21:44:45 MDT 1996


Zeynep wrote:

>>Just this: I think the Marxist left, at least most in the west, has lost the
>>ability to claim to represent a total emancipatory thought and action. Women
>>seemed to find it inadequate;


Doug  Wrote:

>Yes, all true, but Marxism's fall from grace has coincided with the decline
>of the left. All the particularist rethinkings that have been going on over
>the last 20 years or so have yielded very little in practical political
>wisdom, and they've muddied the theoretical waters considerably.
>
>As much as I admire the Zapatistas, I wonder where they're going. They say
>they don't mean to take over the state; ok, then, what is their strategy
>for transforming Mexican society? What is their vision of a better world?
>

This thread and the Louis G.'s piece on the name that Communists have are
all linked to a very strong sense of frustration & discontent on the Left.
I share this, truly, but it is useful sometimes to ask where we went wrong.

I am inclined to think that the answer is to be found in a weakness in the
original marxist program.  If we take Kant's categories of the Good, The
True and the Beautiful, Marxists have made great contributions to only one
of  these - the Truth.  It is true however that Marxists have made very
interesting contributions to aesthetics i.e. the Beautiful.

However in terms of the Good i.e. ethics we have been woeful. Like Marx we
are full of great rage.  Like Marx we are wonderful denouncers but we have
not even begun to attempt to solve the problems of means & ends for instance.


In some ways it is not a question of how we lost the moral high ground.
Really we seemed not to want it.  Science and history were on our side and
they would be sufficient.

regards

Gary




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