For Ysohie was Re: Gramsci & "Spirituality"

Gary MacLennan g.maclennan at
Sat Dec 23 01:01:37 MST 2000

>What Gramsci says about "mechanical determinism" applies to "spirituality"
>as well.  While "spirituality" may be explicable as a commonsense (&
>therefore ideological) philosophy of the as yet non-Marxist masses & even
>an element of strength for them, it does no good to intellectuals such as
>Roy Bhaskar to adopt it as "a thought-out and coherent philosophy."

It is so good to be exposed to these great quotes from the classics! Like
Heinrich's quote from Capital I find myself agreeing with Gramsci's
critique of mechanical determinism or materialism.  Arguably this did
become a thought-out philosophy of the Stalinists, and presumably that is
the coded or implicit thrust of Gramsci's argument.

Gramsci's point, as I understand it, is that, mechanical determinism, which
sustains us when we are weak, can become a halter when we are moving into
the active phase especially if it is taken up by the intelligentsia.

Now the rub.  Does Gramsci's strictures against mechanical determinism
apply to Roy Bhaskar's objective idealism?  (Listers would recall the
classic definition of objective idealism as that which says spirit is prior
to matter).

Yoshie says "Yes". That is her prerogative.

Well for what it is worth let me answer my own question by saying,
"No".  And the reason for this?  Well I believe that objective idealism is
a correct philosophical position while mechanical materialism is an
incorrect one.

Now in case any one the list is going to faint in horror and poor old
George has another glitch, let me stress once more that the solution to all
this philosophical position taking,(I almost said posturing) will come
through praxis. It is the struggle that will reveal who is on what side.

I am quietly confident here, that age limitations and all, when tested I
will prove once more to be on the side of the proletariat.



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