January 6, 2012
by, Lil Joe
The following polemical Discussion with Gary is a continuation from my original response to his post, where he wrote:
Some Thoughts On Nationalism January 2nd, 2012
My buddy Jack called me and we got into a discussion on the nature of Nationalism and Liberalism. He called himself a classical liberal, i.e. he is making some money, and he declared nationalism to be neutral. I then argued with him over the nature of nationalism, that it was born in the18th century out of French and German theory and the French Revolution, and to a lesser extent the American Revolution. A bastard child of the Enlightenment,itself a mutant descendant of the Reformation, Nationalism is certainly not neutral, being a root cause of most of the wars in the 20th century. Nationalism can be progressive as a form of liberation from the old rule of the aristocracy-church-kings in Europe, but in the modern era, hyper nationalism is only useful in separating the mass of humanity from their real interests. In a world of interconnected realities the only purpose of nationality is if it aids in resisting corporate globalism. But with international law trumping national law, there is little purpose for nationalism unless it is in creating islands of resistance to corporate rule. There are forms of tribal identity that might be called proto-nationalism, speaking a common tongue, having a common culture, the things that anthropologists consider when they look at what makes a people, these are what might be called natural nationalism, to the extent that any particular identity is permanent. Anthropology teaches us that humanity is infinitely flexible. The question comes, do we as the over culture have the right to destroy sub-cultures, languages, etc., simply because we are dominant? Nationalism could be seen as a resistance to dominance, but in the 18th century it was the dominance of the Kings, churches and aristocracy of warriors. Now it is the dominance of the multinational corporate mega state. International solidarity, based on the concept of a universal working class uniting to oppose the ruling classes, is one construct, but it does not seem to be as emotionally compelling as the feelings of loyalty to hearth and home. World War One seems to have proved that point when the international socialist movement fell apart and separated into nationalist parts. When the shit hit’s the fan, the fans go back to the tribe and the family. Perhaps the Romans were not all that far off building loyalties out of family connections and adoptions.
Mystification of language and culture is nothing but glorification of passing social phenomena. The falsification of nationalism as so-called resistance to globalisation is self-evident to objective analysis, insomuch as facts are the basis of scientific reason, the fact that the capitalist class is cosmopolitan, including the national comprador bourgeois regimes of so-called Third World nations.
The reason that I am responding in detail to Gary’s article is because of his claim that his regurgitation of nationalist lies are attacks on what he calls Marxist methodologies being outdated and displaced by bourgeois nationalism as new, ’disinterested reason’ of the Enlightenment, and as in contrast to a failed ideal of international working class solidarity of cosmopolitan class interests as human interests.
Gary has mixed together several items from distinct categories of logic, history, philosophy and actual anthropology, either naively and inadvertently or deliberately confusing and deceptive, is asserting pure patriarchal-monogamy ideology in that what is implicit in this presentation of the concept of the family isn’t anthropological systems of consanguinity but he is speaking specifically of ideological political patriarchal monarchy but mixing it up with philosophical advocacies as an ideal, then mixing this with natural sexual pairing a natural location of love, then connecting Desmond Morris' concept of family unit and male protector confusing it with the philosophical concept of the State as protection, which he wrongly associates as a natural extension from family to nation.
I am not criticizing people who choose to get married. What I am responding to is the American political conservative ideology of family and nationalism and oppose it being forced on others. I am not opposed to marriage, nor suggesting or opposing any system of consanguinity, patrilineal nor matrilineal, polyandry, polygamy, monogamy, adultery, faithfulness, promiscuity, abstinence, celibacy, homogamy, heterogamy or whatever is up to the consenting individuals involved. I am not opposed to anyone having, believing in or proselytizing their religious beliefs regarding marriage. I'm opposed to anyone presenting myths and especially lies as assertions of facts: here reactionary rhetoric declaring the lie that ‘the family is the cornerstone of the nation’ - by which is of course meant patriarchal monogamous family as ‘natural’, and denouncing those who choose otherwise as contrary to ‘nature’.
In the book Modern Physics and Ancient Faith, written by Christian, in fact Catholic, theoretical particle physicist Stephen M. Barr -published by the University of Notre Dame, he presents that: “In the first place, it is important to emphasize that the biblical religions did not originate in pre-scientific attempts to explain natural phenomena through myth. In fact, the biblical revelation, both Jewish and Christian, has as a central part of its message that the universe is a creation of God and reflects his infinite wisdom and power. However, the scriptural authors evince no concern with detailed questions of how or why things happen the way they do in the natural world. Their primary concern is God’s relationship to human beings, and with human beings relationship to each other.”( Barr p. 5)
There are not only Catholic scientists, but are Christians of nearly all other denominations who are scientists - in fact, all physicians are scientists, as was including Paul’s disciple Luke. It was said of Moses that he studied the sciences and ‘wisdom’ known by the Egyptians, the priests were the custodians’ of knowledge. Yet, empirical sciences and mathematics, even architecture is knowledge distinguished from the religion and theology of those priests. In the ancient book of Genesis, Adam and Noah named and cared for animals, it was said that representatives of each species of animals that entered two by two, but they were not presented as zoologists, entomologists or microbiologists. There were given no lectures by Adam or Noah on any of these subjects. It was either unknown to the authors of Genesis, or if known, unimportant to the lesson of the Noah’s Ark story, whether the authors were aware of species of asexual reproduction.
Yet, the Assembly of God preachers notwithstanding, because they don’t even bother to train to engage in empirical research projects regarding the life sciences but claim to know by assertion of unprovable mystical revelation what the authors of the scriptures ‘meant’, assert that (as far as they understand it and in ignorance of biological sciences as such) those references to two by two constitutes eternal categories and absolute limit. What they claim to be absolute is sexual gender was created and restricted to mating of male and female, solely for procreation, not pleasure as the highest physical good.
Understanding and Responding to a Pro-Homosexual Interpretation of Scripture
By Robert A.J. Gagnon
What the evidence shows:
Jesus believed a male-female requirement for sexual relations was foundational, a core value of Scripture’s sexual ethics on which to base other sexual standards, including the “twoness” of a sexual union. Jesus predicated marital “twoness” — restricting the number of persons in a sexual union to two, whether concurrently (no polygamy) or serially (no cycle of divorce and remarriage) — on the fact “at the beginning of creation God made them male and female [see Genesis 1:27]. For this reason a man … will be joined to his wife and the two will become one flesh [see Genesis 2:24]”2 (Matthew 19:4,5; see the context in verses 3–9; Mark 10:6–8). The fact God had designed two (and only two) primary sexes for complementary sexual pairing was Jesus’ basis for rigorous monogamy. The union of the two sexual halves created an integrated, self-contained sexual whole, making a third partner neither necessary nor desirable. We know this was Jesus’ reasoning because the only other first-century Jews who shared Jesus’ opposition to more than two persons in a sexual bond were the Qumran Essenes, who likewise rejected “taking two wives in their lives” because “the foundation of creation is ‘male and female he created them’ [Genesis 1:27]” and because “those who entered [Noah’s] ark went in two-by-two into the ark [Genesis 7:9]” (Damascus Covenant 4.20–5.1).
The appeal to the “two-by-two” statement in the story of Noah’s ark is significant because, apart from the repetition of Genesis 1:27 in Genesis 5:2, the ark narrative is the only other place in the Old Testament where the precise Hebrew phrase zakar Ã»neqevÃ¢ (“male and female”) appears. There it is strongly linked with the emphasis on a natural pair. For Jesus, as for the Qumran Essenes, the “twoness” of the sexes was the foundation for the “twoness” of the sexual bond. http://enrichmentjournal.ag.org/201103/201103_092_hom_understnd.cfm
Perhaps Gagnon can whip out some Hebrew phrases to explain this:
9And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
10And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.
11And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
12And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
… In connection can Gagnon come up with Hebrew phrases to explain this?
Reproduction is a marvelous culmination of individual transcendence. Individual organisms come and go, but, to a certain extent, organisms "transcend" time by reproducing offspring. Let's take a look at reproduction in animals.
What Is Reproduction?
In a nutshell, reproduction is the creation of a new individual or individuals from previously existing individuals. In animals, this can occur in two primary ways: through asexual reproduction and through sexual reproduction. Let's look at asexual reproduction.
In asexual reproduction, one individual produces offspring that are genetically identical to itself. These offspring are produced by mitosis. There are many invertebrates, including sea stars and sea anemones for example, that produce by asexual reproduction. Common forms of asexual reproduction include:
In this form of asexual reproduction, an offspring grows out of the body of the parent. Hydras exhibit this type of reproduction.
Gemmules (Internal Buds)
In this form of asexual reproduction, a parent releases a specialized mass of cells that can develop into offspring. Sponges exhibit this type of reproduction.
In this type of reproduction, the body of the parent breaks into distinct pieces, each of which can produce an offspring. Planarians exhibit this type of reproduction.
In regeneration, if a piece of a parent is detached, it can grow and develop into a completely new individual. Echinoderms exhibit this type of reproduction.
This type of reproduction involves the development of an egg that has not been fertilized into an individual.
Animals like most kinds of wasps, bees, and ants that have no sex chromosomes reproduce by this process. Some reptiles and fish are also capable of reproducing in this manner.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Asexual Reproduction
Asexual reproduction can be very advantageous to certain animals. Animals that remain in one particular place and are unable to look for mates would need to reproduce asexually. Another advantage of asexual reproduction is that numerous offspring can be produced without "costing" the parent a great amount of energy or time. Environments that are stable and experience very little change are the best places for organisms that reproduce asexually. A disadvantage of this type of reproduction is the lack of genetic variation. All of the organisms are genetically identical and therefore share the same weaknesses. If the stable environment changes, the consequences could be deadly to all of the individuals. http://biology.about.com/od/genetics/ss/Asexual-
I don’t know what Gagnon’s sexual hang up problems are, maybe he’s homophobic and even as is proved in so many cases a repressed or hypocritical homosexual, or maybe he’s straight, but uses the ‘argument’ that God wants heterosexual couples to mate as a duty for reproduction in order to pressure his wife to give him some pussy when she despises him and can’t stand his touching her, beating her into submission with Bible quotes. What I do know is that his claims are unscientific, and that millions of Christians refuse to use the book as a zoology or biology book.
I present the reference to Barr in this connection as a scientist. This is to contrast Christians who appreciated both the scripture in spiritual matters, but don’t try to impose their ideological interpretations of it on nature. In this connection, Gagnon is no different than Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, with the exception being that the latter three are politicians who want to force their warped sexual hang ups and prejudices into mandatory federal Law. Gary is no different than these phony 'naturalist’s' in his same assertion as they -and Herder - that the patriarchal monogamous family, tribalism and bourgeois nation-States, and wars between them are ‘natural’.
These ’family value’ ideologues have viciously and consistently denounced ‘sexual promiscuity’ of women and describe women choosing to have children outside ‘wedlock’ as a ‘pandemic’. They lie and claim the patriarchal monogamous family has been common to humanity for the past three thousand years [see the 7 January 1212 Republican Debate].
The ideologists of nation and family also lie and blame the ‘breakdown of the American family’ as a red herring to ‘explain’ - that is, blame - the wide spread and growing independence of unmarried women with babies, and 'irresponsible men', and thus falsely connect women with ‘entitlements’ as the cause of economic recessions, blaming ‘government spending’ financed by high taxes as discouraging ‘job creators’ i.e. capitalists, from investing. The fact is that the one has nothing to do with the other.
The change of family structures from patriarchal monogamy to independent women choosing to have or adopt children is in fact the result of the progress of industry and increasing female participation in the labor force, including in China, a welfare state, and India, where in both countries economies are booming. In the U.S. the taxes go into the military-industrial complex and the capitalists pay proportionately less taxes than workers, including women workers with children - in fact the capitalists profits are derived from the exploitation of the working class and therefore every penny they pay in taxes is from money derived from appropriated unpaid workers labor, women workers with children as well as ‘irresponsible’ male workers. The present [and previous, repetitive, cyclical] collapse of capitalist commodity production by wage labor has nothing to do with taxes.
Rather, it is a recurring crisis inherent in the capitalist mode of production and appropriation, the exploitation of workers by forcing surplus, unpaid labor time in the production of surplus products containing surplus value has occurred and indeed recurred prior to the existence of welfare states, as the Great Depression for instance is one of many, so is the current one.
Given the necessary means of production, i.e. , a sufficient accumulation of capital, the creation of surplus-value is only limited by the labouring population if the rate of surplus-value, i.e. , the intensity of exploitation, is given; and no other limit but the intensity of exploitation if the labouring population is given. And the capitalist process of production consists essentially of the production of surplus-value, represented in the surplus-product or that aliquot portion of the produced commodities materialising unpaid labour. It must never be forgotten that the production of this surplus-value — and the reconversion of a portion of it into capital, or the accumulation, forms an integrate part of this production of surplus-value — is the immediate purpose and compelling motive of capitalist production. It will never do, therefore, to represent capitalist production as something which it is not, namely as production whose immediate purpose is enjoyment or the manufacture of the means of enjoyment for the capitalist. This would be overlooking its specific character, which is revealed in all its inner essence.
The creation of this surplus-value makes up the direct process of production, which, as we have said, has no other limits but those mentioned above. As soon as all the surplus-labour it was possible to squeeze out has been embodied in commodities, surplus-value has been produced. But this production of surplus-value completes but the first act of the capitalist process of production — the direct production process. Capital has absorbed so and so much unpaid labour. With the development of the process, which expresses itself in a drop in the rate of profit, the mass of surplus-value thus produced swells to immense dimensions. Now comes the second act of the process. The entire mass of commodities, i.e. , the total product, including the portion which replaces the constant and variable capital, and that representing surplus-value, must be sold. If this is not done, or done only in part, or only at prices below the prices of production, the labourer has been indeed exploited, but his exploitation is not realised as such for the capitalist, and this can be bound up with a total or partial failure to realise the surplus-value pressed out of him, indeed even with the partial or total loss of the capital. The conditions of direct exploitation, and those of realising it, are not identical. They diverge not only in place and time, but also logically. The first are only limited by the productive power of society, the latter by the proportional relation of the various branches of production and the consumer power of society. But this last-named is not determined either by the absolute productive power, or by the absolute consumer power, but by the consumer power based on antagonistic conditions of distribution, which reduce the consumption of the bulk of society to a minimum varying within more or less narrow limits. It is furthermore restricted by the tendency to accumulate, the drive to expand capital and produce surplus-value on an extended scale. This is law for capitalist production, imposed by incessant revolutions in the methods of production themselves, by the depreciation of existing capital always bound up with them, by the general competitive struggle and the need to improve production and expand its scale merely as a means of self-preservation and under penalty of ruin. The market must, therefore, be continually extended, so that its interrelations and the conditions regulating them assume more and more the form of a natural law working independently of the producer, and become ever more uncontrollable. This internal contradiction seeks to resolve itself through expansion of the outlying field of production. But the more productiveness develops, the more it finds itself at variance with the narrow basis on which the conditions of consumption rest. It is no contradiction at all on this self-contradictory basis that there should be an excess of capital simultaneously with a growing surplus of population.
These are empirical facts. Family values demogoguery denouncing Social programs ‘wasting’ money on ‘welfare queens’, and ‘welfare bums’, as Reagan had put it, and food stamp programs, didn’t even exist in any significant capacity in the first three centuries of capitalism, prior to the collapse of the global and domestic economy in 1929 and the Depression era of the 1930s. Rather the reverse, it was ‘government spending’, not only social spending and work projects, but more significantly in the rise of the permanent military industrial complex that ended the capitalist economic crisis by war and sustained the post war boom.
These and in this particular case economic crisis are actually derived from objective vicious processes of the drive for profit maximization by displacing human labor by high technology and outsourcing resulting in a permanent structural unemployed surplus population acerbated and increased by the current crisis of valorisation realization of exploitation in profits resulting from of overcapacity and overproduction resulting in mass unemployment. Social Security for the elderly and disabled, and the Food Stamp programs, the same as military related spending enables the surplus population and capitalists to participate in the economy.
If the family values proponents really believed in the preservation of human life and if what they call the sanctity of life really held the value and decency of all human life and human happiness as the highest Good, were really opposed to poverty and ‘government spending’ on the surplus population, they would become Communists and eliminate the existence both of capitalist exploitation and surplus produced surplus population by transferring the productive forces from the private possession of the capitalist appropriators and exploiters to the public property of an association of free and independent producers. This will put an end to capitalist commodity production resulting in anarchy and crisis, wars and poverty for the many for the enrichment of the few, by classes.
Gary is of course as a reactionary bourgeois nationalist opposed to this, and promotes Herder who advocated that all classes should exist in the ‘nation’ as ‘one volk’. In contrast to this, Enlightenment philosophers such as Diderot observed ‘in Nature, as species live off one another, in Society classes do the same’. This was the revolutionary faction of the Enlightenment, leading, as we shall see, to communism and Marxism, from the philosophical recognition to the subsequent practical class struggle overthrow of all class parasitism.
But, side by side with the antagonism of the feudal nobility and the burghers, was the general antagonism of exploiters and exploited, of rich idlers and poor workers. It was this very circumstance that made it possible for the representatives of the bourgeoisie to put themselves forward as representing not one special class, but the whole of suffering humanity. Still further. From its origin the bourgeoisie was saddled with its antithesis: capitalists cannot exist without wage-workers, and, in the same proportion as the mediaeval burgher of the guild developed into the modern bourgeois, the guild journeyman and the day-labourer, outside the guilds, developed into the proletarian. And although, upon the whole, the bourgeoisie, in their struggle with the nobility, could claim to represent at the same time the interests of the different working classes of that period, yet in every great bourgeois movement there were independent outbursts of that class which was the forerunner, more or less developed, of the modern proletariat. For example, at the time of the German Reformation and the Peasant War, Thomas Münzer; in the great English Revolution, the Levellers ; in the great French Revolution, Babeuf. There were theoretical enunciations corresponding with these revolutionary uprisings of a class not yet developed; in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries utopian pictures of ideal social conditions ; in the eighteenth, actual communistic theories (Morelly and Mably). The demand for equality was no longer limited to political rights; it was extended also to the social conditions of individuals. It was not simply class privileges that were to be abolished, but class distinctions themselves. A communism, ascetic, Spartan, was the first form of the new teaching. Then came the three great utopians: Saint-Simon, to whom the middle-class movement, side by side with the proletarian, still had a certain significance; Fourier, and Owen, who in the country where capitalist production was most developed, and under the influence of the antagonisms begotten of this, worked out his proposals for the removal of class distinctions systematically and in direct relation to French materialism.
The materialist conception of history starts from the proposition that the production and, next to production, the exchange of things produced, is the basis of all social structure; that in every society that has appeared in history, the manner in which wealth is distributed and society divided into classes or estates is dependent upon what is produced, how it is produced, and how the products are exchanged. From this point of view the final causes of all social changes and political revolutions are to be sought, not in men's brains, not in man's better insight into eternal truth and justice, but in changes in the modes of production and exchange. They are to be sought, not in the philosophy, but in the economics of each particular epoch. The growing perception that existing social institutions are unreasonable and unjust, that reason has become unreason, and right wrong, is only proof that in the modes of production and exchange changes have silently taken place with which the social order, adapted to earlier economic conditions, is no longer in keeping. From this it also follows that the means of getting rid of the incongruities that have been brought to light must also be present, in a more or less developed condition, within the changed modes of production themselves. These means are not to be invented, spun out of the head, but discovered with the aid of the head in the existing material facts of production. http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1877/anti-duhring/ch24.htm
But the socialism of earlier days was as incompatible with this materialistic conception as the conception of nature of the French materialists was with dialectics and modern natural science. The socialism of earlier days certainly criticised the existing capitalistic mode of production and its consequences. But it could not explain them, and, therefore, could not get the mastery of them. It could only simply reject them as bad. But for this it was necessary (1) to present the capitalistic method of production in its historical connection and its inevitableness during a particular historical period, and therefore, also, to present its inevitable downfall; and (2) to lay bare its essential character, which was still a secret, as its critics had hitherto attacked its evil consequences rather than the process of the thing itself. This was done by the discovery of surplus-value. It was shown that the appropriation of unpaid labour is the basis of the capitalist mode of production and of the exploitation of the worker that occurs under it, that even if the capitalist buys the labour-power of his labourer at its full value as a commodity on the market, he yet extracts more value from it than he paid for; and that in the ultimate analysis this surplus-value forms those sums of value from which are heaped up the constantly increasing masses of capital in the hands of the possessing classes. The genesis of capitalist production and the production of capital were both explained.
These two great discoveries, the materialistic conception of history and the revelation of the secret of capitalistic production through surplus-value, we owe to Marx. With these discoveries socialism became a science. http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1877/anti-duhring/introduction.htm
But, in opposition to this empirical economic science, Gary is regurgitating reactionary mysticism of volksgiest, yet pretending to it to be more advanced than ‘Marxism’. Basing his reactionary territoriality values of bourgeois nationalism on Herder, he wrote of working class Communists as “Stumbling blindly or regurgitating old methodologies simply won't make it, we must build upon our Marxism's, and other relics of the Romantic revolution in imagining the individual man as a free agent. We must now reimagine him/her as an interdependent agent, sort of like being suspended in Jello.”
Gary didn’t write anything about Romanticism to connect Marx’s economic and political analysis of capitalist commodity production on wage labor and class exploitation as a ‘relic of the [so-called] Romantic revolution‘, by disproving the capitalist mode of production on the basis of wage labor appropriated and exploited is not the product of world trade and the industrial revolution. Instead of presenting his ‘new’ methodology, nor has he even addressed any methodology at all, all he does is throw out assertions without proof. He is the one ‘suspended in Jello‘.
This is but Gary’s most recent of many attacks on Marx, Communism and working class international solidarity, is nothing but an asinine red herring about Herder and Jello, together with his imaginary I.e. made up crap about ‘shit hitting the fan’ mythology of ‘family and nation’. Gary’s vindictive, fire breathing vile breath of bourgeois hatred of working class political and philosophical independence, is presented by this reactionary bourgeois nationalist’s fascistic mystification as ‘disinterested reason’!
The ideological assertion of the ‘natural’ basis for nationalism is consanguineous patrilineal monogamy, this as natural family protection of individuals by patriarchal monogamous units from aggressive neighbors, is an ideology derived from the Hobbesian mythical assumption: Bellum omnium contra omnes, a Latin phrase meaning "the war of all against all,". This myth was restated in the pseudo-scientific ’zoology’ of Desmond Morris’ book, ’The Naked Ape”. Morris’s sensational book described man as a brainy killer ape, and compared human patriarchal monogamous families with territorial clans of wolves and other mammalian carnivores. But, whereas Morris attempted to masquerade his patriarchal monogamy and nationalism as empirical science, Gary presents only ideological prejudices as bare assertions.
These are ideological assertions based on myths, because actual omnivorous hominines for the past million years are social species, cooperative rather than competitive and certainly there never was any human male war of all against all. As far as the communal hunter-gatherer bands were concerned, individuals were born into groups and clans didn’t attack each other, and in the clan it was the female gatherers, rather than the male hunters that were the prime providers of food and medicine.
The ideological connection of the territorial patriarchal monogamous ‘family’ and corresponding racially consanguineous nations is predicated upon the lie that the nation’s bureaucratic-military State is the protective, as corresponding to the protective father defending his ‘wife and children’ against aggressive neighbors: ideologically, as it is the duty of the male to protect his family, it is asserted that it is the role of bourgeois bureaucratic nation-States to defend its citizens. In actuality, it is the function of all States, including the bourgeois nation-State’s function is to protect the material interests of the appropriating classes, domestically - to maintain by force the dominate class interests against risings of the exploited productive classes, and to promote the class interests of the appropriating classes internationally, including by wars.
Wilhelm Reich's case study of fascism was largely responsible for his expulsion from both the psychoanalytic institute and the Communist party. The Communists said, "You're not supposed to be asking about psychology. Psychological effects are supposed to be determined by the economic situation, not vice-versa.
Reich, a key question was: Why did people support the Nazis?
Reich stated that he found that several things went together in Nazi Germany:
*Strong paternal authority * Sexual repressiveness *authoritarian personalities * reactional political ideologies
Economically the Nazi program was not in the interest of lower middle class people of Germany, but they gave their support to it. Reich asked, What psychological reason could be found that would make the fascist ideology compelling to this group of people?
His answer was: The combination of authority and rebellion. Reich said the sons would especially admire an authoritarian person above them who was also rebellious. (Like Hitler and Stalin) That way they could fulfill the desire to rebel but with subservience. This was a submission that came with some real resentment.
Reich noticed that the family structure and work structure in the German lower middle class overlapped. In their small farms and businesses, both the family authority and the work authority were the same person. In other cases, if you go off to work you're going to work somewhere else. But if you're in a situation where you're working together within the family, the father's capacity to ensure his authority, to have a kind of totalitarian state within the home, goes way up. 'FAMILY VALUES" The "safeguarding of the family," held Reich, customarily refers to the male-dominated authoritarian and large family. This, he declared, "is the first cultural precept of every reactionary ideology."
Rather than support a variety of family forms, reactionary ideologies bolster the particular form that has an authoritarian male at the head. This sets people up to go for politically conservative ideologies.
Jennifer Stone, a contemporary thinker, declares, "Always remember, 'family values' is a code-word for male supremacy." One cross-cultural study found that male dominance in the cultural structure was highly correlated with aggression. A feminist psychoanalyst, Nancy Chodow, maintains that no matter what you say about sex roles, if mother does all the childcare, it will perpetuate sex roles of traditional patriarchal society.
"So you are opposed to the national liberation movements of the last century? Not that I entirely disagree with you, although accusing me of being a Nazi is simply inflammatory rhetoric and makes me wonder if you are capable of disinterested rational thought."
Response: Interests are natural to biological existence. There is in social theory and so-called political science no such thing as 'disinterested rational thought'.
As Marx wrote in Thesis on Feuerbach:
The main defect of all hitherto-existing materialism — that of Feuerbach included — is that the Object [der Gegenstand], actuality, sensuousness, are conceived only in the form of the object [Objekts], or of contemplation [Anschauung], but not as human sensuous activity, practice [Praxis], not subjectively. Hence it happened that the active side, in opposition to materialism, was developed by idealism — but only abstractly, since, of course, idealism does not know real, sensuous activity as such. Feuerbach wants sensuous objects [Objekte], differentiated from thought-objects, but he does not conceive human activity itself as objective [gegenständliche] activity. In The Essence of Christianity [Das Wesen des Christenthums], he therefore regards the theoretical attitude as the only genuinely human attitude, while practice is conceived and defined only in its dirty-Jewish form of appearance [Erscheinungsform]. Hence he does not grasp the significance of ‘revolutionary’, of ‘practical-critical’, activity. The question whether objective truth can be attributed to human thinking is not a question of theory but is a practical question. Man must prove the truth — i.e. the reality and power, the this-sidedness of his thinking in practice. The dispute over the reality or non-reality of thinking that is isolated from practice is a purely *scholastic* question. http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1845/theses/theses.htm
Insomuch as humanity is at once comprised of individuals but are social individuals. Homo sapiens is a social species, consciousness is social consciousness passed from parents to offspring by which cultures are materially and socially reproduced from generation to generation. By socialisation and upbringing to identify as members of a group and share the common interests with the individuals which constitute the group. In class society is comprised of groups with conflicting interests at war with each other, conflicting classes based on techno-economic relations of production that correspond to conflicting modes of income, and in particular the capitalist mode of production and appropriation being capitalist commodity production on the basis of wage labor.
You wrote: I am not advocating nationalism, I am only reflecting on the history of nationalism. Are you so insecure that when you see a name, "Herder,” you immediately react as if you saw Satan. Kneejerk Marxist responses like yours hardly deserve an answer, although I do enjoy the history. I am a fan of Rosa Luxembourg myself. I assume you have not read any of my other writings." ****
Response: I never met or saw or read anything from anyone named Satan. What’s his position on capitalism and commodity production by wage labor? What is a Kneejerk Marxist? I am not aware of any theory or organization that go by that name.
As for Herder and the origin of nation states did not originated from his idea, there is no connection between his particular idea about nations and the formation of nation states in opposition to kingdoms. English and French bureaucratic-military nation-states existed prior to Herder's existence, and was in formation in Prussia in his lifetime. What Herder produced was an ideology of nationalism.
"Herder attached exceptional importance to the concept of nationality and of patriotism – "he that has lost his patriotic spirit has lost himself and the whole worlds about himself", whilst teaching that "in a certain sense every human perfection is national". Herder carried folk theory to an extreme by maintaining that "there is only one class in the state, the Volk, (not the rabble), and the king belongs to this class as well as the peasant". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Gottfried_Herder
The bureaucratic-military nation state arose in the latter 17th and through the 19th centuries in Western Europe arose in opposition to the feudal system of lords in kingdoms, the House of Lords and Monarchs were overthrown as results of Civil War in England and the Estates system of aristocrats and kings overthrown and executed by the French nation-states assumption of power. In Britain, the lords and kings returned to formal position but had no real power of State.
The rise of the nation-state in other words were achieved by revolutions in connection with respective empires as results of bourgeois republican revolutions against the feudal systems and displaced the absolute monarchies by parliamentary regimes. It was through revolutions by means of which the bourgeois class as a class for itself become politically, as well as economically dominate.
This establishment of bourgeois republic nation-state, that is the State based on citizenship in the nation in contrast with and opposition to subjects of a kingdom arose as an historical actuality by the English revolutions of 1640 and 1688, the American colonies War of Independence in 1776 and the French Revolution of 1789 - as were articulated by the English Levelers and Bill of Rights, the British colonies’ Declaration of Independence, the French Constitution’s Declaration of the Rights of Man and of Citisen, and the Constitution of the United States.
Though ideational in forms of cultural, linguistic and philosophical articulations the formations of bourgeois nation-states were engendered by empirical economic and political historical facts.
Marx and Engels:
“Each step in the development of the bourgeoisie was accompanied by a corresponding political advance of that class. An oppressed class under the sway of the feudal nobility, an armed and self-governing association in the medieval commune (4): here independent urban republic (as in Italy and Germany); there taxable “third estate” of the monarchy (as in France); afterwards, in the period of manufacturing proper, serving either the semi-feudal or the absolute monarchy as a counterpoise against the nobility, and, in fact, cornerstone of the great monarchies in general, the bourgeoisie has at last, since the establishment of Modern Industry and of the world market, conquered for itself, in the modern representative State, exclusive political sway. The executive of the modern state is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie.
“The necessary consequence of this was political centralisation. Independent, or but loosely connected provinces, with separate interests, laws, governments, and systems of taxation, became lumped together into one nation, with one government, one code of laws, one national class-interest, one frontier, and one customs-tariff. http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/communist-manifesto/ch01.htm#007
I write of the empirical history of the rise of the nation-state as different than kingdoms because the membership of the nation is equality by citizenship rather than subjects of kingdom. The basis for the nation-state by the bourgeois parliamentary regimes in Great Britain and France.
Albeit that the British form remains a formal kingdom - the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, in reality since the English Revolutions of 1640, the Civil War, the brief Restoration followed by the so-called Glorious Revolution of 1688 and since this it has been, and is the British Parliament that hold political power and governs. That is the House of Commons. Albeit in the name of the king or as presently, the queen as ‘his majesty’s’ or ‘her majesty’s’ government it is the House of Commons that is the actual power that legislate and forms the government, selects the prime ministers and cabinets.
The Great French Revolution of 1789 overthrew of the absolute monarchy in France, by the abolition of the Estates System. Jacobin republicanism triumphed in the French Revolution, as it evolved in proportion as the party of the increasing participation of the Parisian sans culottes radicalizing the revolution as it passed through forms of government from the Third Estate to and through the National Constituent Assembly, the Constitutional Convention and the Committee of Public Safety.
The ascendancy of the big bourgeoisie in the culmination of this republican regime was the Directory and the military coup of 9th Thermidor - the Thermidorian Reaction that at the same time defended the bourgeois character of the new nation-state and defense of republic by military means - first defensive, and then the offensive revolutionary wars associated with the victories of Napoleon Bonaparte, Code Napoleon. Although there was for a short period a Restoration imposed by the British and Russian armed forces, the historical necessity for the bourgeois nation was proved by again the overthrow of the kingdom system.
Hegel wrote: “since in all periods of the world a political revolution is sanctioned in men’s opinions‘, when it repeats itself. Thus Napoleon was twice defeated, and the Bourbons twice expelled. By repetition that which at first appeared merely as a matter of chance and contingency becomes real and ratified existence” (Hegel: Philosophy of History p. 313)
Actually, the republic in opposition to the kingdom, first twice occurred in England and then twice occurred in France. But, by actual historical accounting it was the French Revolution that was the expression of an historical twice: the first bourgeois republican revolutionary parliament was twice time in England and the second time twice in France. Thus, if you want to use Hegelian historical arithmetic that which at first appeared merely as a matter of chance and contingency becomes real and ratified existence had in occurred four times.
Revolution is defined as transfer of power from one class to others, the economic transition from one mode of production and its corresponding method or mode of appropriation of products of labor to the domination of other forms of appropriation of labor and its products, reified in political formations corresponding to the revolutionary form arising from and displacing the dominate form.
For instance, privilege, the institution of guilds and corporations, the regulatory system of the Middle Ages, were the only social relations that corresponded to the acquired productive forces and to the pre-existing social conditions from which those institutions had emerged. Protected by the corporative and regulatory system, capital had accumulated, maritime trade had expanded, colonies had been founded—and man would have lost the very fruits of all this had he wished to preserve the forms under whose protection those fruits had ripened. And, indeed, two thunderclaps occurred, the revolutions of 1640 and of 1688. In England, all the earlier economic forms, the social relations corresponding to them, and the political system which was the official expression of the old civil society, were destroyed. http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1846/letters/46_12_28.htm
Revolutions are empirical facts. The nation-state, originally in England was republican in form, that is citizenship of the nation state displaced subjects of kingdom.
You wrote: “I personally believe that indigenous peoples should have the right to self-determination which may or may not fit into your plans. The interesting question is can indigenous people determine a path free from multinationals, and can nationalism provide a buffer and protect the rights of humans from corporate control. Certainly international solidarity would be nice, and I live my life as if that were true, but it doesn’t mean I can’t study history and what has emerged out of the Romantic Movement and the Enlightenment. Marx studied Hegel, Hegel read Herder. Below is a posting on the Hegel-Marx site. ****
“I was aware of the importance of the "Conversations." A great read too! and it seems to me that this conception of God/Nature was a fine foundation for Hegel's conception of Spirit. But bloody old Hegel doesn't have a word to say about him, so far as I can find. I just don't see how you can write an honest theory of modern philosophy without Herder.” ****
Response: Hegel was interested in and did deep study of the entire world and human history, including philosophers and philosophies, including every component of the Enlightenment writings in science, literature, art, philosophy, politics and economics. So were Marx and Engels, who though introduced to it by Hegel, did their own independent research and analysis.
Just as interests are dealt with as the basis for the civil society by Hobbes in The Leviathan, and by Hegel in The Philosophy of Right, so it is by French materialist sociology and politics of communism and Marxism.
You haven’t written anything about the Enlightenment. You never discussed any of the writings of John Locke, Bishop Berkeley, David Hume, Charles de Secondat Montesquieu, Voltaire, Rousseau, Diderot, Helvetius, Adam Smith, Holbach, Joseph Priestly, Kant, Fichte, Schilling, nor even the Letters of Thomas Jefferson or the writings of Thomas Paine.
Yes, of course Marx studied Hegel and Hegel read Herder, among the hundreds of books and articles read by Hegel and Marx. It's absurd to pick any particular author and say that the compilations of the works of Hegel and Marx, their respective inquiries published in their respective collective works were duplications of this or that particular author. The Enlightenment was Enclylopediac, literally. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/enlightenment/
What is the thing however is the question that is and can be addressed by the physis, the stuff that is addressed by material analysis called the empirical epistemology and ontology of science, beginning of objectivity of scientific analysis is the material ontological epistemology originating with Thales.
The empirical and social world is knowable by capacity of sensuous human social reason as the only source of/ for scientific ratiocination being empirical fact engendering objective epistemological premise, that senses are an objective social construct predicating ratiocination for provable, empirical knowledge, as first presented as scientific inductive method articulated in the exegesis Francis Bacon as the basis of objective observation, collection of information and analysis of that information. British science and French materialist sociology - Locke, Rousseau, Holbach, Helvetius, Bentham and others. Interest is an objective fact.
Marx wrote of the Enlightenment in 1845 wrote:
The difference between French and English materialism reflects the difference between the two nations. The French imparted to English materialism wit, flesh and blood, and eloquence. They gave it the temperament and grace that it lacked. They civilised it.
In Helvetius, who also based himself on Locke, materialism assumed a really French character. Helvetius conceived it immediately in its application to social life (Helvetius, De 1'homme). The sensory qualities and self-love, enjoyment and correctly understood personal interest are the basis of all morality. The natural equality of human intelligences, the unity of progress of reason and progress of industry, the natural goodness of man, and the omnipotence of education, are the main features in his system.
Just as Cartesian materialism passes into natural science proper, the other trend of French materialism leads directly to socialism and communism.
There is no need for any great penetration to see from the teaching of materialism on the original goodness and equal intellectual endowment of men, the omnipotence of experience, habit and education, and the influence of environment on man, the great significance of industry, the justification of enjoyment, etc., how necessarily materialism is connected with communism and socialism. If man draws all his knowledge, sensation, etc., from the world of the senses and the experience gained in it, then what has to be done is to arrange the empirical world in such a way that man experiences and becomes accustomed to what is truly human in it and that he becomes aware of himself as man. If correctly understood interest is the principle of all morality, man’s private interest must be made to coincide with the interest of humanity. If man is unfree in the materialistic sense, i.e., is free not through the negative power to avoid this or that, but through the positive power to assert his true individuality, crime must not be punished in the individual, but the anti-social sources of crime must be destroyed, and each man must be given social scope for the vital manifestation of his being. If man is shaped by environment, his environment must be made human. If man is social by nature, he will develop his true nature only in society, and the power of his nature must be measured not by the power of the separate individual but by the power of society. These and similar propositions are to be found almost literally even in the oldest French materialists. This is not the place to assess them. The apologia of vices by Mandeville, one of Locke’s early English followers, is typical of the socialist tendencies of materialism. He proves that in modern society vice is indispensable and useful. [Bernard de. Mandeville, The Fable of the Bees: or, Private Vices, Publick Benefits] This was by no means an apologia for modern society.
Fourier proceeds directly from the teaching of the French materialists. The Babouvists were crude, uncivilised materialists, but developed communism, too, derives directly from French materialism.
The latter returned to its mother-country, England, in the form Helvétius gave it. Bentham based his system of correctly understood interest on Helvétius’ morality, and Owen proceeded from Bentham’s system to found English communism. Exiled to England, the Frenchman Cabet came under the influence of communist ideas there and on his return to France became the most popular, if the most superficial, representative of communism. Like Owen, the more scientific French Communists, Dézamy, Gay and others, developed the teaching of materialism as the teaching of real humanism and the logical basis of communism.
Marx on Enlightenment economic schools:
We have the *fatalist* economists, who in their theory are as indifferent to what they call the drawbacks of bourgeois production as the bourgeois themselves are in practice to the sufferings of the proletarians who help them to acquire wealth. In this fatalist school, there are Classics and Romantics. The Classics, like Adam Smith and Ricardo, represent a bourgeoisie which, while still struggling with the relics of feudal society, works only to purge economic relations of feudal taints, to increase the productive forces and to give a new upsurge to industry and commerce. The proletariat that takes part in this struggle and is absorbed in this feverish labour experiences only passing, accidental sufferings, and itself regards them as such. Economists like Adam Smith and Ricardo, who are the historians of this epoch, have no other mission than that of showing how wealth is acquired in bourgeois production relations, of formulating these relations into categories, into laws, and of showing how superior these laws, these categories, are for the production of wealth to the laws and categories of feudal society. Poverty is in their eyes merely the pang which accompanies every childbirth, in nature as in industry.
The *romantics* belong to our own age, in which the bourgeoisie is in direct opposition to the proletariat; in which poverty is engendered in as great abundance as wealth. The economists now pose as blasé fatalists, who, from their elevated position, cast a proudly disdainful glance at the human machines who manufacture wealth. They copy all the developments given by their predecessors, and the indifference which in the latter was merely naïveté becomes in them coquetry.
Next comes the *humanitarian* school, which sympathizes with the bad side of present-day production relations. It seeks, by way of easing its conscience, to palliate even if slightly the real contrasts; it sincerely deplores the distress of the proletariat, the unbridled competition of the bourgeois among themselves; it counsels the workers to be sober, to work hard and to have few children; it advises the bourgeois to put a reasoned ardor into production. The whole theory of this school rests on interminable distinctions between theory and practice, between principles and results, between ideas and application, between form and content, between essence and reality, between right and fact, between the good side and the bad side.
The *philanthropic* school is the humanitarian school carried to perfection. It denies the necessity of antagonism; it wants to turn all men into bourgeois; it wants to realize theory in so far as it is distinguished from practice and contains no antagonism. It goes without saying that, in theory, it is easy to make an abstraction of the contradictions that are met with at every moment in actual reality. This theory would therefore become idealized reality. The philanthropists, then, want to retain the categories which express bourgeois relations, without the antagonism which constitutes them and is inseparable from them. They think they are seriously fighting bourgeois practice, and they are more bourgeois than the others.
Just as the *economists* are the scientific representatives of the bourgeois class, so the *Socialists* and *Communists* are the theoreticians of the proletarian class. So long as the proletariat is not yet sufficiently developed to constitute itself as a class, and consequently so long as the struggle itself of the proletariat with the bourgeoisie has not yet assumed a political character, and the productive forces are not yet sufficiently developed in the bosom of the bourgeoisie itself to enable us to catch a glimpse of the material conditions necessary for the emancipation of the proletariat and for the formation of a new society, these theoreticians are merely utopians who, to meet the wants of the oppressed classes, improvise systems and go in search of a regenerating science. But in the measure that history moves forward, and with it the struggle of the proletariat assumes clearer outlines, they no longer need to seek science in their minds; they have only to take note of what is happening before their eyes and to become its mouthpiece. So long as they look for science and merely make systems, so long as they are at the beginning of the struggle, they see in poverty nothing but poverty, without seeing in it the revolutionary, subversive side, which will overthrow the old society. From this moment, science, which is a product of the historical movement, has associated itself consciously with it, has ceased to be doctrinaire and has become revolutionary. http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1847/poverty-philosophy/ch02.htm
The most direct or immediate influence on Hegel were Francis Bacon, Jakob Bohme, Spinosa, Descartes, Kant, Fichte and Schilling, because they were the most recent and in a practical sense dominated German philosophy at the time. But, more important to his philosophy of history was the French Revolution and Napoleonic wars.
The most influential thinking on Hegel was the ontological epistemological categorical concepts of Parmenides and the dialectical reasoning presented in Heraclitus, the philosophy of Being and discussion of the concepts of One and Change, One and Many.
If we put aside the Ionics, who did not understand the Absolute as Thought, and the Pythagoreans likewise, we have the pure Being of the Eleatics, and the dialectic which denies all finite relationships. Thought to the latter is the process of such manifestations; the world in itself is the apparent, and pure Being alone the true. The dialectic of Zeno thus lays hold of the determinations which rest in the content itself, but it may, in so far, also be called subjective dialectic, inasmuch as it rests in the contemplative subject, and the one, without this movement of the dialectic, is abstract identity. The next step from the existence of the dialectic as movement in the subject, is that it must necessarily itself become objective. If Aristotle blames Thales for doing away with motion, because change cannot be understood from Being, and likewise misses the actual in the Pythagorean numbers and Platonic Ideas, taken as the substances of the things which participate in them, Heraclitus at least understands the absolute as just this process of the dialectic. The dialectic is thus three-fold: (a) the external dialectic, a reasoning which goes over and over again without ever reaching the soul of the thing; (b) immanent dialectic of the object, but falling within the contemplation of the subject; (g) the objectivity of Heraclitus which takes the dialectic itself as principle. The advance requisite and made by Heraclitus is the progression from Being as the first immediate thought, to the category of Becoming as the second. This is the first concrete, the Absolute, as in it the unity of opposites. Thus with Heraclitus the philosophic Idea is to be met with in its speculative form; the reasoning of Parmenides and Zeno is abstract understanding. Heraclitus was thus universally esteemed a deep philosopher and even was decried as such. Here we see land; there is no proposition of Heraclitus which I have not adopted in my Logic. http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/hegel/index.htm
Hegel was himself as an Idealist. Going back to Plato’s theory of Forms. But, moving Thought through the dialectics of history and philosophy itself he deals with not only Bacon and Descartes as the rise of modern philosophy, but a centrality of Jakob Bohme’s dialectics.
Hegel wrote in The History of Philosophy:
It was, in fact, through him that Philosophy first appeared in Germany with a character peculiar to itself: Boehme stands in exact antithesis to Bacon. He was also called theosophus teutonicus, just as even before this philosophia teutonica was the name given to mysticism.(1) This Jacob Boehme was for long forgotten and decried as being simply a pious visionary; the so-called period of enlightenment, more particularly, helped to render his public extremely limited. Leibnitz thought very highly of him, but it is in modern times that his profundity has for the first time been recognized, and that he has been once more restored to honour. It is certain, on the one hand, that he did not merit the disdain accorded him; on the other, however, he did not deserve the high honour into which he was elevated. To call him an enthusiast signifies nothing at all. For if we will, all philosophers may be so termed, even the Epicureans and Bacon; for they all have held that man finds his truth in something else than eating and drinking, or in the common-sense every-day life of wood-cutting, tailoring, trading, or other business, private or official. But Boehme has to attribute the high honour to which he was raised mainly to the garb of sensuous feeling and perception which he adopted; for ordinary sensuous perception and inward feeling, praying and yearning, and the pictorial element in thought, allegories and such like, are in some measure held to be essential in Philosophy. But it is only in the Notion, in thought, that Philosophy can find its truth, and that the Absolute can be expressed and likewise is as it is in itself. Looked at from this point of view, Boehme is a complete barbarian, and yet he is a man who, along with his rude method of presentation, possesses a deep, concrete heart. http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/hegel/index.htm
Hegel regarded processes in the progress of universal human sociopolitical economic history, and the history of philosophy as one and the same, that philosophy however arises at the twilight of an epoch, like the owl of Minerva’s wisdom in philosophical reasoning at dusk presenting an understanding of what has been.
It was Kant who posed the problem of the progress of universal history and advance of knowledge:
Whatever concept one may hold, from a metaphysical point of view, concerning the freedom of the will, certainly its appearances, which are human actions, like every other natural event are determined by universal laws. However obscure their causes, history, which is concerned with narrating these appearances, permits us to hope that if we attend to the play of freedom of the human will in the large, we may be able to discern a regular movement in it, and that what seems complex and chaotic in the single individual may be seen from the standpoint of the human race as a whole to be a steady and progressive though slow evolution of its original endowment. Since the free will of man has obvious influence upon marriages, births, and deaths, they seem to be subject to no rule by which the number of them could be reckoned in advance. Yet the annual tables of them in the major countries prove that they occur according to laws as stable as [those of] the unstable weather, which we likewise cannot determine in advance, but which, in the large, maintain the growth of plants the flow of rivers, and other natural events in an unbroken uniform course. Individuals and even whole peoples think little on this. Each, according to his own inclination, follows his own purpose, often in opposition to others; yet each individual and people, as if following some guiding thread, go toward a natural but to each of them unknown goal; all work toward furthering it, even if they would set little store by it if they did know it.
Since men in their endeavors behave, on the whole, not just instinctively, like the brutes, nor yet like rational citizens of the world according to some agreed-on plan, no history of man conceived according to a plan seems to be possible, as it might be possible to have such a history of bees or beavers. One cannot suppress a certain indignation when one sees men’s actions on the great world-stage and finds, beside the wisdom that appears here and there among individuals, everything in the large woven together from folly, childish vanity, even from childish malice and destructiveness. In the end, one does not know what to think of the human race, so conceited in its gifts. Since the philosopher cannot presuppose any [conscious] individual purpose among men in their great drama, there is no other expedient for him except to try to see if he can discover a natural purpose in this idiotic course of things human. In keeping with this purpose, it might be possible to have a history with a definite natural plan for creatures who have no plan of their own.
We wish to see if we can succeed in finding a clue to such a history; we leave it to Nature to produce the man capable of composing it. Thus Nature produced Kepler, who subjected, in an unexpected way, the eccentric paths of the planets to definite laws; and she produced Newton, who explained these laws by a universal natural cause. http://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/ethics/kant/universal-history.htm
Hegel is consistent with this see Hegel’s Philosophy of History @
Pantheistic History as ’slaughter bench’ is nevertheless the ’autobiography of God’. Individuals are presented representative of particular universal Form objectified through particular empirical interests comprising the Substance expressed through class struggles and thought. Particular representations that comprise the individuals of specific civil societies are the content manifesting forms is themselves the replication and diversification of an epoch’s Truth constituent of determination of collective uniform character Geist: ‘the Absolute is not just Substance, but Subject as well‘ - Humanity a collective of individuals by means through whom God or the Absolute moves its Self-Consciousness of Itself for itself forward from moments through sociopolitical and economic processes progress, including revolutions through class warfare and empires.
In his Introduction to The Philosophy of History, Hegel wrote:
The first glance at History convinces us that the actions of men proceed from their needs, their passions, their characters and talents; and impresses us with the belief that such needs, passions and interests are the sole springs of action — the efficient agents in this scene of activity. Among these may, perhaps, be found aims of a liberal or universal kind — benevolence it may be, or noble patriotism; but such virtues and general views are but insignificant as compared with the World and its doings. We may perhaps see the Ideal of Reason actualised in those who adopt such aims, and within the sphere of their influence; but they bear only a trifling proportion to the mass of the human race; and the extent of that influence is limited accordingly. Passions, private aims, and the satisfaction of selfish desires, are on the other hand, most effective springs of action. Their power lies in the fact that they respect none of the limitations which justice and morality would impose on them; and that these natural impulses have a more direct influence over man than the artificial and tedious discipline that tends to order and self-restraint, law and morality. When we look at this display of passions, and the consequences of their violence; the Unreason which is associated not ,only with them, but even (rather we might say especially) with good designs and righteous aims; when we see the evil, the vice, the ruin that has befallen the most flourishing kingdoms which the mind of man ever created, we can scarce avoid being filled with sorrow at this universal taint of corruption: and, since this decay is not the work of mere Nature, but of the Human Will — a moral embitterment — a revolt of the Good Spirit (if it have a place within us) may well be the result of our reflections. Without rhetorical exaggeration, a simply truthful combination of the miseries that have overwhelmed the noblest of nations and polities, and the finest exemplars of private virtue, — forms a picture of most fearful aspect, and excites emotions of the profoundest and most hopeless sadness, counter-balanced by no consolatory result. We endure in beholding it a mental torture, allowing no defence or escape but the consideration that what has happened could not be otherwise; that it is a fatality which no intervention could alter.
And at last we draw back from the intolerable disgust with which these sorrowful reflections threaten us, into the more agreeable environment of our individual life — the Present formed by our private aims and interests. In short we retreat into the selfishness that stands on the quiet shore, and thence enjoy in safety the distant spectacle of “wrecks confusedly hurled.” But even regarding History as the slaughter-bench at which the happiness of peoples, the wisdom of States, and the virtue of individuals have been victimised — the question involuntarily arises — to what principle, to what final aim these enormous sacrifices have been offered. From this point the investigation usually proceeds to that which we have made the general commencement of our enquiry. Starting from this we pointed out those phenomena which made up a picture so suggestive of gloomy emotions and thoughtful reflections — as the very field which we, for our part, regard as exhibiting only the means for realising what we assert to be the essential destiny — the absolute aim, or — which comes to the same thing — the true result of the World's History. http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/hegel/index.htm
Hegel wrote in the Preface to the Philosophy of Right:
Philosophy is, as I have already observed, an inquisition into the rational, and therefore the apprehension of the real and present. Hence it cannot be the exposition of a world beyond, which is merely a castle in the air, having no existence except in the error of a one-sided and empty formalism of thought. In the following treatise I have remarked that even Plato’s Republic, now regarded as the bye-word for an empty ideal, has grasped the essential nature of the ethical life of the Greeks. He knew that there was breaking in upon Greek life a deeper principle, which could directly manifest itself only as an unsatisfied longing and therefore as ruin. Moved by the same longing Plato had to seek help against it, but had to conceive of the help as coming down from above, and hoped at last to have found it in an external special form of Greek ethical life. He exhausted himself in contriving, how by means of this new society to stem the tide of ruin, but succeeded only in injuring more fatally its deeper motive, the free infinite personality. Yet he has proved himself to be a great mind because the very principle and central distinguishing feature of his idea is the pivot upon which the world-wide revolution then in process turned:
What is rational is real;
what is real is rational.
Upon this conviction stand not philosophy only but even every unsophisticated consciousness. From it also proceeds the view now under contemplation that the spiritual universe is the natural. When reflection, feeling or whatever other form the subjective consciousness may assume, regards the present as vanity, and thinks itself to be beyond it and wiser, it finds itself in emptiness, and, as it has actuality only in the present, it is vanity throughout. Against the doctrine that the idea is a mere idea, figment or opinion, philosophy preserves the more profound view that nothing is real except the idea. Hence arises the effort to recognise in the temporal and transient the substance, which is immanent, and the eternal, which is present. The rational is synonymous with the idea, because in realising itself it passes into external existence. It thus appears in an endless wealth of forms, figures and phenomena. It wraps its kernel round with a robe of many colours, in which consciousness finds itself at home.
Through this varied husk the conception first of all penetrates, in order to touch the pulse, and then feel it throbbing in its external manifestations. To bring to order the endlessly varied relations, which constitute the outer appearance of the rational essence is not the task of philosophy. Such material is not suitable for it, and it can well abstain from giving good advice about these things. Plato could refrain from recommending to the nurses not to stand still with children, but always to dandle them in their arms. So could Fichte forbear to construe, as they say, the supervision of passports to such a point as to demand of all suspects that not only a description of them but also their photograph, should be inserted in the pass. Philosophy now exhibits no trace of such details. These superfine concerns it may neglect all the more safely, since it shows itself of the most liberal spirit in its attitude towards the endless mass of objects and circumstances. By such a course science will escape the hate which is visited upon a multitude of circumstances and institutions by the vanity of a better knowledge. In this hate bitterness of mind finds the greatest pleasure, as it can in no other way attain to a feeling of self-esteem.
This treatise, in so far as it contains a political science, is nothing more than an attempt to conceive of and present the state as in itself rational. As a philosophic writing, it must be on its guard against constructing a state as it ought to be. Philosophy cannot teach the state what it should be, but only how it, the ethical universe, is to be known.
Idou Podos, idou kai to pidima
Hic Rhodus, hic saltus.
To apprehend what is is the task of philosophy, because what is is reason. As for the individual, every one is a son of his time; so philosophy also is its time apprehended in thoughts. It is just as foolish to fancy that any philosophy can transcend its present world, as that an individual could leap out of his time or jump over Rhodes. If a theory transgresses its time, and builds up a world as it ought to be, it has an existence merely in the unstable element of opinion, which gives room to every wandering fancy. With little change the above, saying would read: Here is the rose, here dance.
The barrier which stands between reason, as self-conscious Spirit, and reason as present reality, and does not permit spirit to find satisfaction in reality, is some abstraction, which is not free to be conceived. To recognise reason as the rose in the cross of the present, and to find delight in it, is a rational insight which implies reconciliation with reality. This reconciliation philosophy grants to those who have felt the inward demand to conceive clearly, to preserve subjective freedom while present in substantive reality, and yet thought possessing this freedom to stand not upon the particular and contingent, but upon what is and self-completed.
This also is the more concrete meaning of what was a moment ago more abstractly called the unity of form and content. Form in its most concrete significance is reason, as an intellectual apprehension which conceives its object. Content, again, is reason as the substantive essence of social order and nature. The conscious identity of form and content is the philosophical idea.
It is a self-assertion, which does honour to man, to recognise nothing in sentiment which is not justified by thought. This self-will is a feature of modern times, being indeed the peculiar principle of Protestantism. What was initiated by Luther as faith in feeling and the witness of the spirit, the more mature mind strives to apprehend in conception. In that way it seeks to free itself in the present, and so find there itself. It is a celebrated saying that a half philosophy leads away from God, while a true philosophy leads to God. (It is the same halfness, I may say in passing which regards knowledge as an approximation to truth.) This saying is applicable to the science of the state. Reason cannot content itself with a mere approximation, something which is neither cold not hot, and must be spewed out of the mouth. As little can it be contented with the cold scepticism that in this world of time things go badly, or at best only moderately well, and that we must keep the peace with reality, merely because there is nothing better to be had. Knowledge creates a much more vital peace.
Only one word more concerning the desire to teach the world what it ought to be. For such a purpose philosophy at least always comes too late. Philosophy, as the thought of the world, does not appear until reality has completed its formative process, and made itself ready. History thus corroborates the teaching of the conception that only in the maturity of reality does the ideal appear as counterpart to the real, apprehends the real world in its substance, and shapes it into an intellectual kingdom. When philosophy paints its grey in grey, one form of life has become old, and by means of grey it cannot be rejuvenated, but only known. The owl of Minerva, takes its flight only when the shades of night are gathering. http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/hegel/works/pr/preface.htm#xxvi
Reconciling suffering of individuals through dialectics through moments of affirmations, negations and negations of negations viz. position, opposition, composition in the conflicts that constitute progress in Society is also reflected in philosophy, beginning with the Substance monism of the Ionian materialists and of Plato and Aristotle, through Medieval philosophy to modern philosophy progress through thesis-antithesis-synthesis polemics: Spinosa/ Schelling and Descartes/Fichte, Idealism and Nomenalism.
The procedures of philosophical or universal consciousness - that the series of philosophical consciousness is in each moment the intellectual quintessence of an age set in thought - that by and through the history of humanity and corresponding philosophy is revealed the characteristic of epochs is his philosophy of history and at the same time the history of philosophy - regarded as the intellectual quintessence of an age set in thought.
Hegel believed that it wasn’t the empirical content of character that determined individual personality, but the Form made particular in the individual person that manifested the Idea in and for Itself comprehended as such in the Notion, through and by individual self -consciousness of philosophical comprehension of universal interest as particular self interests actualizing the Idea as culture and progressive series of cultures - internal class interests in conflict reflection on belf of the existing ruling classes as Affirmation, the rising classes fighting for Negation, the new reality is synthesis of affirmation by Negation of Negation.
It is in this connection regarding passing moments of self-objectification of God in Nature, or as Nature, Objective Spirit and self-transcending consciousness of human beings in history, successive ‘moments’ of self-consciousness as realisation manifested in specific political forms, that revolutions were explained, and ideas corresponding to those moments Herder’s volksgeist is posited as a particular ideology - that which you call nationalism.
Hegel is more structured in empirical determinations in the chapters in the books History of Philosophy and Philosophy of History, and The Philosophy of Right - indeed for that matter The Phenomenology of Geist, itself, in the sections on Greece and Rome and the French Revolution than in the sections on Germania. In this connection is posited Hegel‘s assessment of Herder. Herder is a reactionary moment in the progress of history expressed as a particular point of view, or ideology.
The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy section on German Idealism, states:
The nineteenth century movement called German Idealism grew from the highly independent character of the Enlightenment in Germany. The main features of the movement were the mind-dependence of reality, the dominance of thought over sensation, universalized ethics, and natural teleology.
Leibniz was an important early influence on the movement through his dedication to ethics and religion and through his doctrine of natural teleology. However, Kant provided the first conceptual framework for German Idealism by securing the priority of mind over nature without endangering the validity of scientific principles.
Kant’s idea of inner freedom became the inspiration for creative genius; the resulting aesthetic-ethical idealism manifested in the work of Lessing, Herder, Goethe, Schiller and many others. However, the absolute reality of nature was equally important to these poets; thus, an absolute consciousness from which the individual consciousness could be deduced was posited to eliminate the unknowable real world of the Kantian system.
Inspired by this turn, German Idealism became Absolute Idealism through the philosophies of Fichte and Schelling. In their systems, the human mind is directly in touch with reality as an individual manifestation of the absolute mind. Absolute Idealism reached its peak with the philosophy of Hegel. Hegel makes the impulse of the absolute mind a gradual and self-determined process, by which the Absolute lifts itself from mere possibility and actuality to conscious, free, and necessary possession. For Hegel, the whole process is timeless, and only to a finite mind does it appear as an endless procession in time and space. Schelling, who coined the term “the Absolute,” disagreed with Hegel’s idea that the Absolute was spirit, preferring to say the Absolute is the identity of subject and object. http://www.iep.utm.edu/germidea/
In the Introduction to his Critique of Dialectical Reason Jean-Paul Sartre is right in the Hegelian sense of what a universal philosophy is, but in the sense at the same time of the Marxian critique I.e. sublation advocacy of revolutionary praxis:
PHILOSOPHY appears to some people as a homogeneous milieu: there thoughts are born and die, there systems are built, and there, in turn, they collapse. Others take Philosophy for a specific attitude which we can freely adopt at will. Still others see it as a determined segment of culture. In our view Philosophy does not exist. In whatever form we consider it, this shadow of science, this Gray Eminence of humanity, is only a hypostatised abstraction. Actually, there are philosophies. Or rather-for you would never at the same time find more than one living philosophy-under certain well-defined circumstances a philosophy is developed for the purpose of giving expression to the general movement of the society. So long as a philosophy is alive, it serves as a cultural milieu for its contemporaries. This disconcerting object presents itself at the same time under profoundly distinct aspects, the unification of which it is continually effecting.
A philosophy is first of all a particular way in which the arising class becomes conscious of itself. This consciousness may be clear or confused, indirect or direct. At the time of the noblesse de robe and of mercantile capitalism, a bourgeoisie of lawyers, merchants, and bankers gained a certain self-awareness through Cartesianism; a century and half later, in the primitive stage of industrialisation, a bourgeoisie of manufacturers, engineers, and scientists dimly discovered itself in the image of universal man which Kantianism offered to it.
But if it is to be truly philosophical, this mirror must be presented as the totalisation of contemporary Knowledge. The philosopher effects the unification of everything that is known, following certain guiding schemata which express the attitudes and techniques of the rising class regarding its own period and the world. Later, when the details of this Knowledge have been, one by one, challenged and destroyed by the advance of learning, the over-all concept will still remain as an undifferentiated content. These achievements of knowing, after having been first bound together by principles, will in turn-crushed and almost undecipherable-bind together the principles. Reduced to its simplest expression, the philosophical object will remain in “the objective mind” in the form of a regulative Idea, pointing to an infinite task. Thus, in France one speaks of “the Kantian Idea” or in Germany of “Fichte's Weltanschauung.” This is because a philosophy, when it is at the height of its power, is never presented as something inert, as the passive, already terminated unity of Knowledge. Born from the movement of society, it is itself a movement and acts upon the future. This concrete totalisation is at the same time the abstract project of pursuing the unification up to its final limits. In this sense philosophy is characterised as a method of investigation and explication. The confidence which it has in itself and in its future development merely reproduces the certitudes of the class which supports it. Every philosophy is practical, even the one which at first appears to be the most contemplative. Its method is a social and political weapon. The analytical, critical rationalism of the great Cartesians has survived them; born from conflict, it looked back to clarify the conflict. At the time when the bourgeoisie sought to under nine the institutions of the Ancien Regime, it attacked the outworn significations which tried to justify them.' Later it gave service to liberalism, and it provided a doctrine for procedures that attempted to realize the “atomisation” of the Proletariat.
Thus a philosophy remains efficacious so long as the praxis ' which has engendered it, which supports it, and which is clarified by it, is still alive. But it is transformed, it loses its uniqueness, it is stripped of its original, dated content to the extent that it gradually impregnates the masses so as to become in and through them a collective instrument of emancipation. In this way Cartesianism, in the eighteenth century, appears under two indissoluble and complementary aspects. On the one hand, as the Idea of reason, as an analytical method, it inspires Holbach, Helvetius, Diderot, even Rousseau; it is Cartesianism which we find at the source of antireligious pamphlets as well as of mechanistic materialism. On the other hand, it passes into anonymity and conditions the attitudes of the Third Estate. In each case universal, analytical Reason vanishes and reappears in the form of “spontaneity.” This means that the immediate response of the oppressed to oppression will be critical. The abstract revolt precedes the French Revolution and armed insurrection by some years. But the directed violence of weapons will overthrow privileges which have already been dissolved in Reason. Things go so far that the philosophical mind crosses the boundaries of-the bourgeoisie and infiltrates the ranks of the populace. This is the moment at which the French bourgeoisie claims that it is a universal class; the infiltrations of its philosophy will permit it to mask the struggles which are beginning to split the Third Estate and will allow it to find a language and common gestures for all revolutionary classes.
If philosophy is to be simultaneously a totalisation of knowledge, a method, a regulative Idea, an offensive weapon, and a community of language, if this “vision of the world” is also an instrument which ferments rotten societies, if this particular conception of a man or of a group of men becomes the culture and sometimes the nature of a whole class-then it is very clear that the periods of philosophical creation are rare. Between the seventeenth century and the twentieth, I see three such periods, which I would designate by the names of the men who dominated them: there is the “moment” of Descartes and Locke, that of Kant and Hegel, finally that of Marx. http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/sartre/works/critic/sartre1.htm
Herder’s ideological formulations of nations based on commonality of language, religion or volksgeist was posited in opposition to the Rationalism of the Enlightenment and did not constitute the universal of the historical determinate. Is really was but a particular, I.e. a petty bourgeois revolt as an ideological protest, this articulation which for you is the universal essential, but in actual history an unessential.
There are in general no university courses on Herder. Rather, in this is true even of your presentation it is taught in relation to Hegel, the same as Feuerbach’s The Essence of Christianity and Essays in philosophy courses is discussed in relation to Marx and Engels, the same as in courses on the history of economic theory Proudhon’s significance is in relation to Marx, and in the history of anthropological science is Henry Lewis Morgan’s Ancient Society in relation to Marx’s Ethnological Notebooks and Engels use of them in The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State.
The nation-state is an historical political fact and not the product of an ideological concepts of a ‘volks‘. What is the historical quintessential content of the formation of the nation-state is that of citisenship, this being territorially based according to birth into it and rights according to it.
On the basis of you using the name of Herder, without however presenting any explication of what he actually wrote is nothing but name- dropping. You ask me about ‘national liberation movements’ -I.e. the formations of nation-states - in the 20th century. In this connection I examine the empirical history of formation of nation-states, which were products of bourgeois interests rather than of Herder’s romantic, reactionary mysticism.
You are promoting Herder’s ‘romantic’ nationalist ideology, although you are now attempting to mask it as your personal intellectual interest as a ‘disinterested rational project. Yet, though Herder in the 20th century was irrelevant to the national liberation movements, you defend and promote his ideology as if it were the intellectual basis for those movement. This therefore is the context when you ask in the statement: “so you are opposed to the national liberation movements of the last century?”
It is not for me to answer this ‘gotcha’ question, but for you to explicate how you regard German volksgeist nationalism of the anti-communist and anti-worker internationalism of the 20th century -I.e. racialist Aryan cultural nationalism - an ideology and politic of German imperialism and German imperialist policy a ‘national liberation movement’!
You wrote: But I am simply speaking as a radical researching into the past looking for answers. I certainly don’t think that anti-Semitism is going to provide a means of combating global capitalism. But there is a theoretical argument that nation states can provide protection from its worst influences, otherwise what is the point of places like Cuba in offering a national resistance. ****
Response: Great that you are opposed to anti-Semitism! But, Cuba is governed by a Communist Party, the nationalists including Batista fled and are in Miami plotting on behalf of and along with US imperialism to crush Cuba’s political economic life. Nationalism has long since ceased to be revolutionary and become reactionary in response to proletarian internationalism.
20th century German ideological nationalism, the concept of volksgeist which draw ideological romantic passion from Herder in opposition to Enlightenment Rationalism and materialism fed into Nazism and by its ideologists was developed in opposition to working class Social-Democratic labour unions and Communist party so-called “Bolshevism”, especially in this connection the Internationalism of the Third International. So did Italian Fascism.
Cuba had survived, not because of nationalism, but because of its international integration into the Soviet economic block, including Eastern Europe and its political military protections. Presently it is connected with the economics of the Peoples Republic of China and Western European Social-Democracies. Yet, it is being forced to introduce market reforms because it is part of the world.
You wrote: When international revolution collapsed in Germany and Hungary, the Soviet Union was more or less on its own and as a reaction to the world situation developed the concept of socialism in one nation. It may not have been the solution to the problems it faced in the long run, but in the short run it was one way of dealing with the realities being faced. ****
Response: The absolute monarchies of Prussia and Russia were overthrown in the early 20th century, in connection with and response to World War I, displaced by German Parliamentary republic and in Russia by the Union of Soviet republics.
Now, you challenge me regarding whether or not I oppose national liberation movements of the 20th century. But, since it is in this polemic not me, but you who have of your own account identified nationalist ideology with Herder, it is not me but is up to you to first prove that Italian Fascism and German Nazism were ideologies of ‘national liberation movements of the last century’.
Moreover, in the 20th century, the colonial territories of European empires were challenged by bourgeois national liberation movements for independence, in Asia and Africa, and by the end of that century nearly all national independence movements had been achieved on those continents. But, as in Europe, so in the former colonies, it was the bourgeoisie that won political power, albeit it in the name of ‘nation’.
As far as social theory is concerned it is acknowledged in the first place that humanity is comprised of social individuals.
The objective achievement by Herder is that he popularized the recognition among bourgeois sociology the connection of language as an instrument of cultural transmission of tradition by and from parents to offspring from one generation to the next, insomuch as language is an ordered system of symbolic meanings and understandings of things. As for me accusing you of being a Nazi, that wasn’t the case. The Nazi Party doesn’t exist, having been defeated by the Allies in World War II. Ditto the Italian Fascist Party. What I wrote was that you have the same ideology of the fascists, and nationalist generally, positing ‘family’ and ‘nation’ as an emotional connection and loyalty to it ’country first‘ in opposition to proletarian internationalism. I pointed out that your nationalist ideology isn’t ‘disinterested reasoning’ but represent bourgeois interest reasoning.
The problem is therefore not whether of not I oppose the nationalist movements of the 20th century, but is the analysis of nationalist politics, what interests and ultimately class interests did the ideologies serve. The Chinese Nationalist Party, namely, the Kuomintang, was the political and military representive of the interests of the landlords and comprador bourgeois,that was in opposition to the interests of workers and peasants, represented politically and militarily by the Chinese Communist Party and the Peoples Liberation Army. The Vietnamese Workers Party and National Liberation Front waged a class war against imperialism, whereas the Vietnamese nationalists propped up, represented the bourgeoisie and imperialism.
--------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 6 Jan 2012 20:55:56 -0800
Subject: gary concerning Herder
Some Thoughts On Nationalism
January 2nd, 2012
My buddy Jack called me and we got into a discussion on the nature of
Nationalism and Liberalism. He called himself a classical liberal, i.e. he is
making some money, and he declared nationalism to be neutral.
I then argued with him over the nature of nationalism, that it was born in the
18th century out of French and German theory and the French Revolution, and to a
lesser extent the American Revolution. A bastard child of the Enlightenment,
itself a mutant descendant of the Reformation, Nationalism is certainly not
neutral, being a root cause of most of the wars in the 20th century. Nationalism
can be progressive as a form of liberation from the old rule of the
aristocracy-church-kings in Europe, but in the modern era, hyper nationalism is
only useful in separating the mass of humanity from their real interests. In a
world of interconnected realities the only purpose of nationality is if it aids
in resisting corporate globalism. But with international law trumping national
law, there is little purpose for nationalism unless it is in creating islands of
resistance to corporate rule.
There are forms of tribal identity that might be called proto-nationalism,
speaking a common tongue, having a common culture, the things that
anthropologists consider when they look at what makes a people, these are what
might be called natural nationalism, to the extent that any particular identity
is permanent. Anthropology teaches us that humanity is infinitely flexible. The
question comes, do we as the over culture have the right to destroy
sub-cultures, languages, etc., simply because we are dominant? Nationalism could
be seen as a resistance to dominance, but in the 18th century it was the
dominance of the Kings, churches and aristocracy of warriors. Now it is the
dominance of the multinational corporate mega state.
International solidarity, based on the concept of a universal working class
uniting to oppose the ruling classes, is one construct, but it does not seem to
be as emotionally compelling as the feelings of loyalty to hearth and home.
World War One seems to have proved that point when the international socialist
movement fell apart and separated into nationalist parts. When the shit hits the
fan, the fans go back to the tribe and the family. Perhaps the Romans were not
all that far off building loyalties out of family connections and adoptions.
But there still is a human solidarity that although not proscribed by the
concept of working class, but does mean the interests of the vast majority, the
99% who do not control the wealth of the world, against the new aristocracy or
perhaps oligarchy of the class of the few who have, and the many who have
degrees of less. This is the solidarity of we want. But there must be more,
there must be a - we dream, we desire, we love, something that was more evident
in the spirit of the sixties. We are more than our demands, we are a growing
sense of the human family as one, not as a series of warring tribes. If the 1%
must be sacrificed for this unity to come, then let the scapegoating begin. If
they will simply give up, dissolve, then we must be capable of filling the void
with other than the multinational corporations; after all it is the product of
the end of history, capitalism triumphant. The only future is to step into
democratic socialism, we working together.
The German philosopher Herder with his emphasis on the Volk, is to a great
extent the father of modern nationalism in the sense of the culture of the
people and developing the modern intellectual underpinnings of nationalism.
But there could be an argument that the reformation is the root of nationalism.
Although much of the thinking that emerged as nationalism started in French
society conversations in the salons of Paris, what is less well known is what
the thinking was among the intellectual poor of the time.
Byron and the romantics presented nationalism as the next step in human
liberation from the old empires.
This is an excerpt from article on Herder.
"Along with Wilhelm von Humboldt, Herder was one of the first to argue that
language determines thought, a theme that two centuries later would be central
to the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis. Herder's focus upon language and cultural
traditions as the ties that create a "nation" extended to include folklore,
dance, music and art, and inspired Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm in their collection
of German folk tales.
Herder attached exceptional importance to the concept of nationality and of
patriotism – "he that has lost his patriotic spirit has lost himself and the
whole worlds about himself", whilst teaching that "in a certain sense every
human perfection is national". Herder carried folk theory to an extreme by
maintaining that "there is only one class in the state, the Volk, (not the
rabble), and the king belongs to this class as well as the peasant". Explanation
that the Volk was not the rabble was a novel conception in this era, and with
Herder can be seen the emergence of "the people" as the basis for the emergence
of a classless but hierarchical national body.
The nation, however, was individual and separate, distinguished, to Herder, by
climate, education, foreign intercourse, tradition and heredity. Providence he
praised for having "wonderfully separated nationalities not only by woods and
mountains, seas and deserts, rivers and climates, but more particularly by
languages, inclinations and characters". Herder praised the tribal outlook
writing that "the savage who loves himself, his wife and child with quiet joy
and glows with limited activity of his tribe as for his own life is in my
opinion a more real being than that cultivated shadow who is enraptured with the
shadow of the whole species", isolated since "each nationality contains its
centre of happiness within itself, as a bullet the centre of gravity". With no
need for comparison since "every nation bears in itself the standard of its
perfection, totally independent of all comparison with that of others" for "do
not nationalities differ in everything, in poetry, in appearance, in tastes, in
usages, customs and languages? Must not religion which partakes of these also
differ among the nationalities?""
From article on Nationalism
"The term nationalism was coined by Johann Gottfried Herder (nationalismus)
during the late 1770s. Precisely where and when nationalism emerged is difficult
to determine, but its development is closely related to that of the modern state
and the push for popular sovereignty that surfaced with the French Revolution
and the American Revolution in the late 18th century and culminated with the
ethnic/national revolutions of Europe, for instance the Greek War of
From an article on the legacy of the Reformation.
"The fall-out of the religious intolerance was that the rulers of every state
in central and Western Europe, whether they were Catholic or Protestant sought
to base their political unity on the religious unity. Hence, they used their
power to compel their subjects to adopt one official kind of Christianity. Since
the time of Pope Leo X, who faced the Lutheran revolt, he and succeeding Popes
banned Protestants and urged secular rulers to suppress heresy by force. On the
other hand, Luther made an appeal to the secular rulers to use force against
Catholics. Even Calvin, who was considered as an apostle of religious tolerance
did not permit either Catholic or dissenting Protestants to reside in Geneva."
An excerpt below.
"Economic and Social Conditions in France during the Eighteenth Century
The peasants, from the beginning of the Middle Ages, were completely freed from
servitude in most parts of France and came to own the land they cultivated, with
the right to will it to heirs, or to sell or exchange it. This property,
however, was burdened with dues imposed by the manorial system, made
particularly irksome because of the latter's practices and abuses. And yet there
is reason to believe that the continuation of the manorial system up to the
Revolution helped toward the consolidation of peasant ownership. This seems to
us all the more plausible if we reflect that in England, where the manorial
system was considerably weakened toward the end of the Middle Ages, peasant
ownership was ultimately eliminated almost altogether in favor of the landed
This is interesting and may be one of the factors in the earlier development of
industry in England than in France. Labor was available in England, partly due
to the enclosure movement which was the process by which the landed aristocracy
were able to push peasants off the land. It is naturally more complicated than
that. England was able to implement agricultural reforms that increased
productivity that in theory was developed in France. This was largely the use of
"four field crop rotation" adapted from the Dutch, enclosure, selective breeding
and some mechanization were causes of the British Agricultural Revolution. This
allowed for labor to be released to the cities where insipient industrialists
were investing in early factories. By allowing the peasantry to retain land
ownership, the French were suffering from inefficiencies, bread shortages, and
ultimately revolution of a political nature. Whereas in England the people were
channeled into the factories, but in France there were shortages of labor, as
most people were still attached to the land. (My own theory, but I am getting
The end result now is that movement to the next level of human interdependence,
must be procured by an intellectual revolution in conceptualizing the way
forward. Stumbling blindly or regurgitating old methodologies simply won't make
it, we must build upon our Marxism's, and other relics of the Romantic
revolution in imagining the individual man as a free agent. We must now
reimagine him/her as an interdependent agent, sort of like being suspended in
LabourPartyPraxis discussion - subscribe