Exchanges on Marxism and ecology

Charles Brown CharlesB at
Fri Oct 22 07:42:33 MDT 1999

>>> Xxxzx Xyyxyz <Xxxzx at> 10/22/99 01:56AM >>>

Charles wrote:

>By Lenin's time, isn't philosophy embarrassing thinking ?

  Dialectical Materialism is a philosophy. My dictionary divides up
philosophy into four areas: metaphysics (beyond reality),
epistomology (knowledge of reality), ethics (morality), and semantics
(language to reality).

  Not one of these pursuits was destroyed by Marxism, none of them are
the less valid, incorrect, or unnecessary. To say these are embassing
pursuits for thinking humans to practice is to leave us in a narrow
realm of thought, with the remnaints mostly existing of dogma.


Charles: Of course, "embarrasing" is the word David used. So, I was sort of being

I think the idea is that philosophy would no longer be the queen of so many subjects
and sciences, as in history. The disciplines you name might continue, although I think
metaphysiics may be considered defunct. There is nothing "beyond reality".
epistemology is formal logic and dialectics. Ethics is what you do, practice. It is no
longer the moralizing of old. Linguistics is a science.

The point of embarrassment is not to realize that Marxism so radically transforms the
traditional philosophical discipline that it needs a new name. But it means people
will think more and LESS dogmatically than ever before in the old philosophy.


  Which aspect(s) of philosophy are embarrassed thinking?


Charles: See above. The embarrassment is not to realize the elitsm, dogmatic and
religious aspects of the old philosophy, and that Marxism cleans house OF dogmatism.



Charles: No I'd say, Marxism emphasizes practice and action, which is ethics or
conduct. It is the old philosophy that emphasizes sitting around thinking and not
doing anything. Traditional philosophy TALKs about morality, but they don't actually
DO what is to be done, which is the essence of ethics.


We could argue this in two ways, firstly that Marxism
explains that ethics is mostly based on economic forces, and that
therefore any inquires into ethics is unnecessary or redundent. From
this point we might ask; but ethics nevertheless abudently exists in
the world, and any shrugging it off or disregarding it is thus
idiotic. Must we not then study it in some fashion? If morality does
exist today; and if Marxism explains that ethics is mostly based on
economics, does that mean that ethics is somehow vanished,
nonexistant; simply a henchmen of economic forces, or that it plays a
role in the existance and shaping of a society; that an examination
of economics does not cover ethics, and that additional inquires and
modes are necessary to address systems of morality. Accordingly, any
such examinations into ethics are philsophical; so long as Lenin was
correct in saying Dialectical Materialism is a philsophy, and so long
as ethics is a part of philsophy.


Charles: I think this notion that ethics mostly being based on economics and is
therefore unnecessary and redundant misunderstands Marxist POLITICALeconomy.  Marxism
calls for action in economics by the working class. That is a primary area of ethics
today. Change the world is an ethical injunction. Marxist ethics are revolution now,
and what the people in communism come up with later.


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