[Marxism] That's funny...

Paul H. Dillon illonph at pacbell.net
Tue May 4 12:51:19 MDT 2004


  Lana

  In part to make up for my own regret at dismissing you as some high
pitched insect flying too close to my ear,  and before reading the rest of
the thread that the odd confluence of a prohibition on  Trotsky v. Stalin
discussions and your own eccentric (in an astrnomical sense) postings, I
want to write this .  Someone, in an earlier post, said that you do not yet
know how to think HISTORICALLY that such a way of thinking  is one of the
fundamental characteristics of  Marx's thought and the thought of those
who've worked in the fields he first opened up for cultivation.


  When your write, "My ranting in  the past were simply to support the FACT
that we are human.  If someone can
   explain to me, sincerely, what Marx meant when he said that we a society
can change this natural/biological/Darwinian affect by living in a
"socialistic" enviornment, I TRULY would appreciate it." one can only answer
that Marx never said anything about changing anything that was
biological/natural/etc. and although he greatly admired Darwin and sent him
a signed  copy of  Capital, he was no more a Darwinian when he though about
society than he was a Spencerian when he thought about biology.

  Marx always thought historically, looked at the forces that moved great
groups of people to organize themselves in one or another way across the
known spread of human history.  These forces are natural in many cases but
also  social, such as the patterns of organizing the division of labor among
the members of a society and ways of distributing the social product or
language.  Although influenced by natural (physical, chemical, biological)
phenomena these social forces are not determined by them according to Marx,
nor are they determined by the voluntary action of individuals, although
individuals working together may influence how those forces manifest
themselves in concrete historical events, basically individuals have the
possibility of becoming aware of their emancipatory potential with respect
to the necessary development (e.g. or i.e., it grows that way or it dies) of
human history.

  Within the context of the Trotsky-Stalin debate, it is interesting to note
that the area in which this way of thinking was beginning to be applied to
the problems of human psychology, the Vygotskean School in the USSR,
especially up until the 1930s, provides an interesting example of how
Stalin's regime influenced a very signficant area of development in Marxist
thought and one in which the entire problem of human will and the formation
of personality was being given Marxist foundations was one of the areas
brought into conformity with what was permitted to be said in Stalinist
Russia.  The same is true of marxist directions in linguistics, closely
related, as well as philosophy.  Trotsky has always seemed to me much more
aware of the subtleties of history than Stalin (who created a rigid and
wrong sequence for the stages of human evolution).

  But that is the important thing for you to learn about Marxism, Lana,
think historically: don't think in terms of static facts that characterize
the physical and natural sciences (much less the metaphysics of theology).
Think in historical stories that tie "facts" together in the description of
human action.  How things came to be the way they are?  Could they have been
different?  How is the present making tomorrow's past?

  Paul


  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: <Lanasnest at aol.com>
  To: <marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu>
  Sent: Tuesday, May 04, 2004 10:10 AM
  Subject: Re: [Marxism] That's funny...


  >    What's "funny" is that, from my limited studies, you don't really
  > contaraindict each other?  Stalin was who he was.  Everyone goes
somewhat insane when
  > they have achieved ultimate power.  He eventually locked himself in his
own
  > quarters, killing off his only real friends in his paranoia.  Power
corrupts.
  > Fact.  The answer is to find a way to sponsor leaders who truly
representee
  > people who He/She were put there to represent in the first place.   I
see various forms of suppression of
  > our "me first" makings...but they seem to eventually erupt into horrific
  > manifestations.  Look at history, not my ranting.  Again, please explain
how this
  > great transformation of the individual desire for power and autonomy can
be
  > explained.  I don't understand...sorry.
  >
  > Lana
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  > Marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu
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