Queequeg wrote: ↑Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:17 pm
Well, if this shutdown lasts months, maybe I'll take a look. In the meantime, dharma study seems more pragmatic.
I admit I don't know much about Marx or much political theory outside of what I learned in school and bits and pieces I picked up. That's neither here nor there, though. I have a lifetime of experience that tells me, whatever formal rules we put in place, if the people following the rules are jerks, its not going to work no matter how well thought out. Sooner or later everything collapses. And the common denominator in every political and economic disaster seems to be that humans have a tendency to be nasty little shits. As far as I know, Marx didn't figure that problem out.
This is true, but if anything contemporary capitalism exacerbates this problem, it's pretty much built on the idea that people should be encouraged to be jerks. I think this tendency has become more obvious even to people who at one time saw it as "ethically neutral" or "just the way things are".
My take is that capitalism and the political structures which sprung up under it in are going to end, and we are living in the beginning of it's collapse..or transformation if you prefer. This shouldn't really be controversial, to paraphrase Ursula K LeGuin (and anarchist, btw) at one time people could not envision a feudal world not run by the divine right of kings either, at one time that
was just "the way things are".
Despite the flaws of Marxism (mostly Leninism, Stalinism and the more authoritarian variants really), I think his basic ideas about capitalism, it's flaws, and eventual undoing of itself are probably correct. What that will ultimately look like, who knows. I actually buy in somewhat to the anarchist critiques of (authoritarian) Communism, in that I think (to your point on people being jerks) it is basically impossible to have a non-oppressive "workers state"...at least with our current forms of social organization - that is exactly why new ones are needed.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."