Replying to Bill was RE: Short comment onLou's post was RE: [Marxism]Arguing against Creationism and Healyism

Bill Hughes bill at enlightenment.fsnet.co.uk
Sat Mar 5 16:36:18 MST 2005


Hi Gary,

Thanks for showing interest in a civilised manner. I don't know the Waite
book - will try and have a look at it soe time. However, I still think it's
a mistake to derive Furedi from Nietzsche; the latter's Romantic reaction
against Enlightenment is just too different. F and co are more in the line
of Condorcet if anybody, if you want non-Marxian antecedents. The most you
could argue is that they advocate a kind of heroism and striving against
limits rather than accepting a culture of passivity.

The Spiked grouping have argued vehemently against biological determinism
which makes it hard to see them as Social Darwinists. But then neither was
Nietzsche - he despised Herbert Spencer and had little time for evolution in
any case. His sense of history was cyclical rather than progressive, which
again distances him from Furedi even in caricatured form. (GB Shaw, it's
true, did manage to fuse social Darwinism and Nietzsche in his own cranky
way.) Nietzsche was also hostile to human rights, science and technology and
modernity in general. As you say, Furedi etc. advocate - even, as some say,
uncritically - modernity, though I think that a careful reading of their
pronouncements overall shows that this isn't necessarily *capitalist*
modernity - it's an argument instead against stasis.

On this, they don't dispute the fact of global warming - they query that a
scientific account of its causal mechanisms that attributes it unambiguously
to human activity has been developed; they question its severity or
finality, and they point to the uncritical ideologisation of the debate:
these all may be contentious points but don't necessarily invalidate their
position as a whole.

I don't know Fukuyama's reading of Nietzsche, only his crass appropriation
of Hegel which now looks rather silly and which had been effectively
targeted by people at LM and Spiked many times. They would be the last
people to suggest that the final goal of history is Western liberal society.

Yours,
Bill



-----Original Message-----
From: marxism-bounces at lists.econ.utah.edu
[mailto:marxism-bounces at lists.econ.utah.edu]On Behalf Of
g.maclennan at qut.edu.au
Sent: 04 March 2005 02:13
To: Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition
Subject: Replying to Bill was RE: Short comment onLou's post was RE:
[Marxism]Arguing against Creationism and Healyism


Hi Bill,

thank you for reading my post.   You must have heard the
chimes at midnight!

My first comment is that you should (re?)dip into Waite's
book and his characterisation of left Nietzscheanism.

It is there we need to look for the influence of Nietzsche
rather in the irrational posturing of the poststructuralists.
The latter's Nietzsche was heavily influenced by Heidegger's
reading.

Where I think the Living Marxism tradition comes closest to
Nietzsche is in their social Darwinism and their pro-
modernization triumphalism.  When Furedi toured Africa he
looked at the empty species and wanted a huge increase in
population.   (BTW John Wayne had the same reaction when he
was filming Hatari in 1962).

James Heartfield's contempt for the global warming hypothesis
(actually now a fact)is instructive.  Here again anything
which could possibly stand in the way of capitalist
modernity, such as a recognition of the reality of natural
necessity, is excoriated.

If we think Fukuyama and his reading of Nietzsche, then we
are close to understanding Furedi & Co's "turn".

regards

Gary



When he reads Marx he goes above all to the Manifesto and
what comes out of that is a belief in the capitalist as
ubermensch and capitalist modernity as the way to achieve
that.

Think too of Nietzsche's hatred for all and for everything
that he felt stood in the way of the brave new world of the
overman.  Don't you detect that in Furedi and James
Heartfield?



---- Original message ----
>Date: Fri, 4 Mar 2005 00:24:04 -0000
>From: "Bill Hughes" <bill at enlightenment.fsnet.co.uk>
>Subject: RE: Short comment on Lou's post was RE: [Marxism]
Arguing against Creationism and Healyism
>To: "Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition"
<marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu>
>
>Nietzschean thought dominates the world not only in neo-con
disguise but in
>postmodern 'left' pluralism and perspectivism. The fact that
left and right
>share this antirational relativism that transcends values
and truth is
>precisely the point of Spiked group (for want of a better
label). They have
>constantly argued against that strand of thought and I would
be surprised if
>you could cite anything from that quarter that remotely
resembles Nietzsche.
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: marxism-bounces at lists.econ.utah.edu
>[mailto:marxism-bounces at lists.econ.utah.edu]On Behalf Of
>g.maclennan at qut.edu.au
>Sent: 03 March 2005 23:31
>To: Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition
>Subject: Short comment on Lou's post was RE: [Marxism]
Arguing against
>Creationism and Healyism
>
>
>
>Lou wrote:
>
>In fact, they [spiked onlined]reject the terms of "left"
>and "right" as having little *value* (my emphasis).
>
>My comment:
>Which of course is the exact point is it not?  There is more
>monetary *value* in moving beyond left and right just as
>there is more value in moving beyond good and evil;
>especially in a world dominated by Nietzschean thought in its
>neo-con disguise.
>
>Some day somewhere somone should take up Geoff Waite's mighty
>tome on Nietzsche (Nietzsche Corps/e) and plot his influence
>on groups such as Furedi's.
>
>regards
>
>Gary
>
>
>
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