Carrol Cox cbcox at SPAMilstu.edu
Tue Dec 26 18:49:44 MST 2000

George Snedeker wrote:

> why get trapped by teleological arguments about history. it is one thing to
> look back to see patterns of development which may have led up to the
> present form of society. it is quite another to see these as necessary.
> society is not a tree.

One of the most common objections non-marxists raise to
marxism is that it is a teleology. But teleology leads to either
God or to some other mystic force permeating human history.
This error above all marxists must avoid. George's last point is
crucial: Society is not a tree. (And the oak is only *potentially*,
NOT necessarily, in the acorn.) The organic metaphor can be
useful, but it is deadly taken literally. If society is an organism,
then for the "good of the whole" one may amputate the limbs.
Anyhow, that was Mussolini's theory. Nor is society a work
of art: even the bourgeois Henry James saw that that way
lay a ruthless manipulation of persons as just so much clay.


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