Marx And Morals

OpenSentence Type Foundry typefoundry at opensentence.org
Tue Nov 18 20:16:25 MST 2003


> Date: Wed, 19 Nov 2003 00:55:46 +0100
> From: "Jurriaan Bendien" <bendien at tomaatnet.nl>
> Subject: Marxist humor
>
> Brother,
>
> You wrote:
>
> "Muslim alms are really different -- an everyday thing, but only for other
> Muslims)."
>
> Reply:
>
> I wonder how correct that is, and just how different the charitable relation
> of a Muslim to the beneficiary of charity really is - what is the true
> common factor here in the relation, having the same religion, or both being
> human beings with the same positive intention, the same concern with the
> Other ?

Well, because it's really a relation to the "Big Other" (God) and not the
other person: you just have to give alms, it doesn't matter how you feel, it
doesn't matter what the *other Muslims* are like; and the five pillars of
which that is one are not what we would think of as liberating (unlike the
Four Noble Truths of Buddhism), because Islam isn't about liberation and
that isn't either.  But it's not *exactly* about oppression, either, instead
about maintaining necessary social bonds in a *quite general* way.

> My point is really that we all are anyhow, except that we may not
> consciously try to give that a systematicity. This refers to the distinction
> between the morality which we actually live, and the way we might
> conceptualise that in thought. What I mean by "moralism" is the assertion of

Well, I play air guitar too; I try not to share that with people, but people
used to pay Mike Myers to share that with people on network TV.  The rest of
this was a little bit too thought-out and "substantive" for me to be able to
apply it to actual conduct, but your mileage may vary.

>
> Marx generally considered moral discussion ideological, except insofar as
> clearly related and integrated with practical activity, because in a
> competitive, class-divided society, a general or universal morality can
> neither be implemented or lived completely, and class-prejudice and
> sectional interests must necessarily intrude (in a rational morality, a
> moral rule must apply to all people under the same circumstances - this idea
> is already implicit in jurisprudence). At best a class-based morality can be
> asserted which aspires to become a universal morality.

I like class-based morality, but proletarian morality is "pretty sketchy"
sometimes.

Jeff Rubard


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