Anarchy, Communism and Nationalism
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22-03-2017, 07:05 PM
RE: Anarchy, Communism and Nationalism
(22-03-2017 06:17 PM)Fred Hampton Wrote:  ADVISO: if any of y'all get really really depressed and feel suicidal and go to an ER or shrink and she/he asks you if you feel suicidal or homicidal: your CLEAR and CONCISE answer is "NO!" Or, better yet, "NEVER!" If you stumble into their trap and happen to be so out of it you mumble in an apathetic stupor, "yeah", or just passively nod your head, you have just, in effect, railroaded your bad self and they will lock yo' ass up in on of those horror of horror chambers they call a "mental ward", where the for-profit psych drug lords and docs milk you for everything they can get out of you while they dress you half naked and humiliate you and treat you like a 3 year old with their Pavlovian Dog tricks--YOU bein's the "dog": "If you want coffee, you have to take a pill", "if you want to use the bathroom, you have to take your pill", etc etc.

And you are in the clink there with, uh, lets say, the type of people you would never ever see bopping around out there on the streets. And you might have to bring in a lawyer to get yourself escaped out the back Jack.....

Just a heads up...
40 some years ago it could be like that in some places. Hasn't been like that since Reagan defunded the mental health system, back in the 80s. Now it's hard for someone to get IN to the system when they want to, no matter how much they may need it.

Maybe you need to read a few books published since 1978?
Just sayin'

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Dr H

"So, I became an anarchist, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."
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23-03-2017, 02:54 AM (This post was last modified: 23-03-2017 03:07 AM by Szuchow.)
RE: Anarchy, Communism and Nationalism
(22-03-2017 06:36 PM)Dr H Wrote:  I haven't ignored them; I pointed out parallels between promises made by m-l and promises made by capitalism.

Hardly. At best I can say that you're trying to do it now.

Quote:You see it as religious because of your particular definition of 'religion'. To me, utopian earthly philosophies are not synonymous with religion.

You don't see them as religious cause you don't want to set precedence and allow theists "easier" attacks on atheism.

Quote:I would point out, also, that a number of anarchist thinkers were critical of Trotsky -- Goldman, for instance.

So?

Quote:What Trotsky describes above is nothing more than heaven on earth.
Lots of people had philosophies which envisioned utopian societies -- Harrington; Moore; even BF Skinner. Few of them have been credited with starting a religion.

As regards Trotsky's claims, compare them with these claims made about capitalism:

"For American productivity to again become a reality, we must connect humane, compassionate ideals with clear-headed fiscal prudence that affirms the image of God in all persons, the dignity of work, the reality of debt and the value of personal responsibility. This is the secret our founders knew—and it is also critical to the survival and flourishing of our free enterprise system, which has the power to lift millions out of poverty." -- Speaking into the silence: Conservatives and poverty

"The basic idea of capitalism is that if we are left free to choose what we want most, we’ll get the most of what we want. That is all there is to it. Any alternative whatever to capitalism can only be a system in which the police may compel us to take B when we would prefer A."
"Given freedom to choose between alternatives as the single basic premise, all the institutions and gadgets of capitalism are then free to grow out of it all by themselves. Human beings, free to choose what things they will work and wait for, will spontaneously invent not only physical apparatus but also institutional conveniences, whereby working and waiting will pay off in more and more wants met and appetites satisfied."
"The moral of all this is that if we simply trust to human freedom as it exhibits itself in the market economy, we shall find that all will be as well as we can expect human affairs to be."
" In this century which the Common Man—whoever he may be—has had held up to him as his very own, he first of all should stand ready to defend capitalism as a system made to order for him. Above all, it promises him freedom to transform himself, if he can, into something else less common." -- The Essence of Capitalism

"What the free-enterprise system—Smith’s “obvious and simple system of natural liberty”—proposes, then, is the adoption of those political and economic institutions
that manage to combine not one but two great moral imperatives: allowing people the opportunity to rise from the impoverished existence that seems to be humanity’s miserable, if equal, status quo; and respecting people as the irreplaceable and precious individuals that they are. That is a sublime conjunction
of material prosperity and moral agency, the likes of which no other system of political economy has ever contemplated, let alone achieved
." -- The Moral Case for Capitalism

See also:

The Promise of Absolute Wealth: Capitalism as a Religion?

Trotsky beat them all with his promises. Ones you presented doesn't sound bad nor religious.

Quote:Atheism was only one of the examples I gave. Using your rationale, capitalism (see above); republicanism; democracy; environmentalism -- virtually any life- or economy-influencing philosophy could legitimately be classified as a religion.

All of these could be classified as religions if they would have such promises like m-l had, it's prophets, heretics, saints, doctrine, institutions that preserve purity of thought of founders and unbreakable faith in laws of history that will guide their side to victory. That is not the case.

Quote:I could turn that charge around on you: you want me to consider m-l to be a religion -- why, then, do you refuse consider capitalism, et al, in the same way? You have offered no serious argument against what you call a "slippery slope", merely denial. Why should I consider your denial any more valid than my own?

Cause capitalism isn't one. Look above, try to remember promises of ending alienation and freeing people from tyranny of the market which you conveniently ignore.

You try to play game if y then x but you ignore what don't fit your narrative.

Quote:As to the beer drinking example -- I try to offer simple, easily relatable examples when making analogies. When an analogy becomes too complex, it becomes easier to lose track of the fact that it is just an analogy.

Simplistic would be much better description. To me it looks like try to dismiss the issue using poorly conceived absurdity.

Quote:Regardless of what you think of previous examples, I have just given you references to similar statements made about capitalism, and even to a scholarly article which proposes treating capitalism as a religion -- based on very similar arguments to those you make for m-l. You can hardly dismiss these examples as mere silliness or nonsense.

It's behind a paywall it seems.

I can dismiss it as a load of hoey - Referring to Simmel's idea of money as `absolute means' and Marx's concept of capital, it is argued that money is a non-observable and basically paradox phenomenon, comparable to religion. This fragment is enough to not bother with it.

[bolding mine]

Quote:Fine. But again, such sentiments are by no means limited to m-l. Other non-religious systems have employed them liberally. In America we have, for example:
  • America: Love it or leave it.
  • My country: right or wrong.
  • America first.
  • He who loves not his country, can love nothing.
  • America is the only nation in the world that is founded on creed.
  • American exceptionalism is the recurring character in the nation's narrative.
  • American exceptionalism requires understanding biblical view.

Is American nationalism a religion?

No. You're purposefully obtuse if you think that statements you cited (from where?) are comparable with one made by Trotsky, who spoke about how history provided them only way of being right. It nicely ties to wider narrative of m-l faith in laws of history.

You cited couple of silly sounding aphorisms and you expect to be taken seriously? In your mind they might make nationalism equivalent to m-l as religion but that's not the case. You're just trying to dissuade me form calling m-l religion by bringing shitty examples, ignoring the multitude of whys orbiting m-l being religion.

Quote:You are welcome to remain unconvinced by my rebuttal. You have, however, presented nothing to counter it, other than simple denial.

I remain unconvinced by your denial.

Of course you remain unconvinced, you have interest in it.

Quote:Is that the book which convinced you?
Is it available in English? I'm willing to read it.

Yes it is that book. And no, there isn't even synopsis (or my Google-fu sucks). It's why I had to translate some fragments.

Quote:I have, however, read other essays from people who considered the connection between communism and religion (and again, I use their term, "communism", which most have not considered as distinct from m-l). For example:

Communism as Religion

It requires registration it seems. It doesn't matter though as even from preface I can tell that he took different approach speaking about para-religions.

Quote:Most of these have either relied -- as you do -- on definitions for "religion" which differ from the general norm, or else they have qualified their analysis with such terms as "the quasi-religious elements of Marxism" (as Kula does in the article cited, above).

So you're right: I probably won't be convinced. Nonetheless, I'm willing to examine the argument in context, if possible.

If you don't know Polish it is impossible as doing summation and then translating it would result in unreadable monstrosity, given that it isn't easy read even in Polish. Taking little fragments that support my thesis I see as useless and not really honest, even if all book support it. Edit: It is why I also recommend Raymond Aron book. If one does not know Polish then one can at least look for perspective at least somewhat close to that offered by Imos book.

Really it would be only waste of time considering what you wrote below.

Quote:I acknowledge that Marxism (like evolution) has been forced into areas in which it has been an uncomfortable fit -- like "Marxist science". That still does not involve the key element of mysticism/supernaturalism which is, in my eyes, necessary to define something as "religion".

Worth noting that there have been those who have charged that science itself is a religion, and they use reasoning similar to that advanced for claiming religious status for m-l.

I think that you deny for denial sake.

People claiming that science is religion are as deluded as those who claim that atheism is one.

Quote:I could say the same.

We may have to agree to disagree, and move on.

Moving on would probably be the best as neither of us can convince other.

Quote:No sir. I gave other examples besides that; you chose to disregard them as "slippery slopes". You have not argued against them, you have simply dismissed them.

I dismissed them cause they suck.

Quote:I did concede that you have a valid argument, given your definition of 'religion'.

I still, however, don't agree with your definition of 'religion', and you've done little to convince me to move towards it.

It's not really mine, I didn't invented it. And there is no need for convincing you as it is used by sociologists, like late Emile Durkheim.

You don't accept it? Tough luck, your acceptance isn't needed for it to be valid.

Quote:I have demonstrated -- with citations -- that it does have consequences.
You don't like them, so you reject them out of hand, but you have not refuted them.

You claim that there will be consequences. I see no compelling reasons to believe your claim.

Quote:Peer review has established that m-l is a religion? Somehow I seem to have missed that. Yes, there have been articles published on the subject; they still amount to social science speculation.

Peer reviewed book Faith of the Soviet Man. The Soviet's Institutionalized Myth by Rafał Imos shown that m-l was indeed religion, or to be more precise and less rigid it in light of known facts established that m-l fit with functional definition of religion.

Quote:Communism has defined itself as incompatible with religion: "Religion and communism are incompatible, both theoretically and practically." -- Why religion and communism are incompatible

I don't give a shit about what communism speaks about itself. It was supposed to be best thing for people and tries to achieve (remember it never was) it ended in millions dying. Since then it had lost any sort of legitimacy.

Also kindly remember distinction between communism and marxism-leninism. These words aren't synonymous. Maybe check Andrzej Walicki and his Marxism and the Leap to the Kingdom of Freedom. It is available in English.

Quote:For you, or a handful of social scientists to come along and contradict that self-definition is not unlike you or I telling a practicing Lutheran that he's "not really a Christian".

So Bukharin deny that m-l is religion and you see nothing suspicious about it? He had interest in it not being religion, just like the rest of commies. Opiate of the masses remember? Bolsheviks may had thought that m-l was sciencest science and decry religious connotations of it. It does not mean that they were right.

And Imos to deals with this in his book though I gather it doesn't mean much to you given it lack of translation.

Quote:In view of the definition which YOU favor, I have already agreed to as much.

Your definition, however, is neither mine, nor most people's.

I have been striving to find a way in which we can amicably continue to disagree on this point, but you seen bound and determined to try to convert me to your view -- despite saying you don't think it's possible.

Perhaps you just take joy from the argument itself? Wink

I don't think that there is much amicability. You may have agreed with my take but you insist on naming other phenomenons as religion without sounds basis for it.

And it may be wrong view but I think you can not be convinced as you don't want to "set precedence". Therefore this discussion won't lead to anything worthy of continuing it.

Quote:Ah! OK, then we may have uncovered another fundamental difference.

'Philosophy of life' for me is much more than mere aphorisms. It is a set of ideas, beliefs, ideals, and goals which govern my actions, my relationships, and from which I form the basis of my personal moral system. My personal philosophy is roughly based on rationality, a scientific epistemology, social anarchism, and a general fondness for, and joy in my fellow humans. From that I derive a strong commitment to personal liberty, belief in personal responsibility, support for community, desire for justice, and a pursuit of knowledge based on solid evidence.

In short, it is a set of beliefs which play a functional role in my life, my societal relationships, and my psychology.

But I still wouldn't call it a "religion".

I don't bother with philosophy. Not being unnecessarily mean to others does not require much thought, just like realization that I should stand for liberties of others if I want them to do the same.

I'm not surprised by you not calling it (Aron quote I assume) religion.


Quote:He is a poet, yes?

Among other things.

Quote:Ah... found it on Amazon. OK, I'll read and be convinced. Maybe.

Well, I will read it, anyway Big Grin Thanks for the reference.

I sincerely doubt that you will be convinced.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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23-03-2017, 03:10 AM
RE: Anarchy, Communism and Nationalism
(22-03-2017 06:39 PM)Dr H Wrote:  
(22-03-2017 03:34 AM)Szuchow Wrote:  "Socialism" works best when it is used to criticize capitalism and show that something can be achieved.

There, I also agree.

It's from Zygmunt Bauman book Socialism the Active Utopia. You may like it.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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24-03-2017, 01:56 PM
RE: Anarchy, Communism and Nationalism
(22-03-2017 07:02 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  I think 'ol Freddy's a poe.

It's really interesting but if you dismiss the copy pastas and youtube videos he's basically said nothing about what he actually thinks more than a few words.

The real discussion has come from others and not based on anything he's actually said either.

Food for thought...
You may be right.

Incurable optimist that I am, though, I always hold out hope of drawing such into an discussion, eventually. If only by irritating them so much they HAVE to respond directly. Smile

--
Dr H

"So, I became an anarchist, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."
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24-03-2017, 04:23 PM
RE: Anarchy, Communism and Nationalism
(23-03-2017 02:54 AM)Szuchow Wrote:  Hardly. At best I can say that you're trying to do it now.
Better late, than never. The point is valid, nonetheless.

Quote:You don't see them as religious cause you don't want to set precedence and allow theists "easier" attacks on atheism.
No, that is only one reason. I don't see it as religion, because it doesn't fit the most prevalent current definitions of religion.

You are free to use a different definition, but if you want other people to share it, you will have to defend it.
At the very least you should be able to give a few other examples of some things which most people would regard as "religions", but which lack any mystical content.

Quote:So?
So your use of Trotsky as an example to support your argument is unconvincing.
Not everyone agrees that he was always the ultimate authority on what constituted m-l.

Quote:Trotsky beat them all with his promises.
Sorry, but I really don't see it that way. I see some striking parallels there.

Quote:Ones you presented doesn't sound bad nor religious.
"affirms the image of God in all persons" doesn't strike you as religious?

"if we are left free to choose what we want most, we’ll get the most of what we want" doesn't strike you in the least bit as mystical wish-fulfillment?

You don't find phrases like:
"two great moral imperatives" ; "a sublime conjunction of material prosperity and moral agency" ; the likes of which no other system of political economy has ever contemplated, let alone achieved" ; "promises him [the 'common man'] freedom to transform himself"

At all similar to Trotsky's:
"[Communist] Man will become immeasurably stronger, wiser and subtler; his body will become more harmonized, his movements more rhythmic, his voice more musical. The forms of life will become dynamically dramatic. The average human type will rise to the heights of an Aristotle, a Goethe, or a Marx."

?

I certainly do. Both speak of their respective systems as being unique; transformative; lifting man to sublime heights.

Quote:All of these could be classified as religions if they would have such promises like m-l had, it's prophets, heretics, saints, doctrine, institutions that preserve purity of thought of founders and unbreakable faith in laws of history that will guide their side to victory. That is not the case.
If you insist on using religion-loaded terms like "prophets, heretics, saints" we are never going to agree on this point.

I don't accept that those terms are an appropriate to a description of m-l; if I allow that they are, then their equivalents most certainly have come up in other economic and political philosophies, including capitalism. You propose a double-standard that I just don't feel you have adequately justified.

Quote:Dr H: I could turn that charge around on you: you want me to consider m-l to be a religion -- why, then, do you refuse consider capitalism, et al, in the same way? You have offered no serious argument against what you call a "slippery slope", merely denial. Why should I consider your denial any more valid than my own?
Quote:Sz: Cause capitalism isn't one.
In other words, I should accept your argument because you say so?

C'mon Szuchow, I think you're better than that. Yes

Quote:Look above, try to remember promises of ending alienation and freeing people from tyranny of the market which you conveniently ignore.
I haven't ignored them. I countered them with capitalism's "moral imperative", its "sublime conjunction of material prosperity and moral agency"; and its promise to transform the common man.

I find these sentiments quite comparable with Trotsky's claims for m-l.

Quote:You try to play game if y then x but you ignore what don't fit your narrative.
From my perspective, it appears that you dismiss out-of-hand any examples which conflict with your narrative, and insist that I accept your non-standard terminology.

Quote:Simplistic would be much better description. To me it looks like try to dismiss the issue using poorly conceived absurdity.
To me also, it appears that you prefer to simply dismiss arguments as "simplistic", rather than engage and refute them. If my points are indeed simplistic, then you should be able to logically rebut them, rather than just waving them away as "nonsense" or "silly".

I think we are arguing from different worlds, my friend.

Quote:I can dismiss it as a load of hoey - Referring to Simmel's idea of money as `absolute means' and Marx's concept of capital, it is argued that money is a non-observable and basically paradox phenomenon, comparable to religion. This fragment is enough to not bother with it.
<shrug> There again, you don't counter; you "dismiss".

We differ on this. I have not dismissed your contention that m-l is a religion as "hoey". I have assumed it to be a serious position, and I have argued against it seriously. I have even conceded that there is a perspective from which your analysis is valid.

It is, however, not my perspective. What more do you want of me?

Quote:No. You're purposefully obtuse if you think that statements you cited (from where?)
I included links with the statements.

Quote:You cited couple of silly sounding aphorisms and you expect to be taken seriously? In your mind they might make nationalism equivalent to m-l as religion but that's not the case. You're just trying to dissuade me form calling m-l religion by bringing shitty examples, ignoring the multitude of whys orbiting m-l being religion.
With all due respect, your knowledge of American cultural history seems to be very limited.

What you call "silly aphorisms" and "shitty examples" are widely and deeply held beliefs among many Americans. The arise from a long, complex, and sometimes bloody history of the evolution of our socio-politico-economic mores. Whole university courses are taught about the beliefs and attitudes behind those "aphorisms", and their place in our history, and their ramifications for contemporary society.

You're damned right I expect to be taken seriously.

I do not, however, expect to dissuade you from your view -- as I've already stated numerous times.
You strike me as both intelligent, and well-read, so I am going to assume you are smart enough to understand this point.

Quote:It requires registration it seems. It doesn't matter though as even from
preface I can tell that he took different approach speaking about para-religions.
Yes.

Quote:If you don't know Polish it is impossible as doing summation and then translating it would result in unreadable monstrosity, given that it isn't easy read even in Polish. Taking little fragments that support my thesis I see as useless and not really honest, even if all book support it. Edit: It is why I also recommend Raymond Aron book. If one does not know Polish then one can at least look for perspective at least somewhat close to that offered by Imos book.
I am embarrassed to say that, although my father's family is from Poland, and both he and my mother spoke the language, I never learned but a handful of words, mostly obscene. My parents were of the opinion that to be fully integrated into American society one should speak only English, and so Polish was not spoken around the children.

However, the notion of m-l as a religion is not, I think, a uniquely Polish idea. Certainly the apologist I used to discuss this with never cited any Polish sources. Nor were the sources I have read of Polish origin, to the best of my knowledge.

Surely your position doesn't rest on a single source?
There must be other authors who also hold your view.

Quote:Really it would be only waste of time considering what you wrote below.
I don't ever think it a waste of time to consider new perspectives, even if I may disagree with them.

Quote:I think that you deny for denial sake.
I think you assume my background to be more shallow than it is.

Quote:People claiming that science is religion are as deluded as those who claim that atheism is one.
But not those who claim that an economic system is a religion, of course. Wink

Quote:I dismissed them cause they suck.
LOL.
I like you, Szuchow. You are indomitable. Big Grin


Quote:You don't accept it? Tough luck, your acceptance isn't needed for it to be valid.
Agreed. Nor does your acceptance of it make it valid.

Quote:You claim that there will be consequences. I see no compelling reasons to believe your claim.
Because you deny the logic of my argument.

Quote:Peer reviewed book Faith of the Soviet Man. The Soviet's Institutionalized Myth by Rafał Imos shown that m-l was indeed religion, or to be more precise and less rigid it in light of known facts established that m-l fit with functional definition of religion.
I know nothing about Imos. Google searches turn up many references, almost all of them in Polish.
Except for a few in another atheist discussion group (not TTA) by a poster who looks at lot like you, under another name. Consider

Is there some biographical information on Imos somewhere in some other language? (Besides English, I could handle German or Spanish, if it's not extremely jargon-laden or technically detailed.) It's hard to know exactly what "peer reviewed" might mean in this instance, without knowing who might be considered his peers.

Quote:I don't give a shit about what communism speaks about itself.
I don't think that's entirely true. You quoted extensively from Trotsky -- a communist spokesman for communism[1] -- in support of your own argument. Either you do care what communism says about itself, or you don't: you can't have it both ways.

[1](Or an m-l spokesman for m-l, if we're being picky.)

Quote:Also kindly remember distinction between communism and marxism-leninism. These words aren't synonymous.
Yes, but remember that many communist writers themselves didn't always make this distinction, and used the terms interchangeably.

Quote:Maybe check Andrzej Walicki and his Marxism and the Leap to the Kingdom of Freedom. It is available in English.
Thanks. I see that Amazon has it, and I've just added it to my cart.

Damn, S, you're going to actually get me reading political philosophy again.
Who'd have thought that would be the outcome of my joining an atheist forum. Smile

Quote:So Bukharin deny that m-l is religion and you see nothing suspicious about it? He had interest in it not being religion, just like the rest of commies. Opiate of the masses remember? Bolsheviks may had thought that m-l was sciencest science and decry religious connotations of it. It does not mean that they were right.
You do have a point.

Something I probably should have asked a long while back in the thread:
Why is it so important to you that m-l be considered a religion?

Quote:I don't think that there is much amicability.
Really?

I haven't made any personal attacks on you.
A little gentle sarcasm here and there, but no more, I think, than you've poked at me.

I take no personal offense at anything you've written, and I certainly hope you haven't taken any at what I've written... at any rate, none was intended.

Certainly two intelligent people can disagree about politics without invoking personal animosity. No?

Quote:You may have agreed with my take but you insist on naming other phenomenons as religion without sounds basis for it.
I think my basis is logically sound. But you disagree; c'est la vie.


Quote:I don't bother with philosophy. Not being unnecessarily mean to others does not require much thought, just like realization that I should stand for liberties of others if I want them to do the same.
Well... I would call that a philosophy[2]. You, no doubt, would not. Wink

[2](In the colloquial sense, as "a philosophy of life".)

Quote:Among other things.
Now that you mention it, I have come across The Captive Mind. Have not read it, though.


Quote:I sincerely doubt that you will be convinced.
Is it important to you that I be convinced?

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24-03-2017, 04:24 PM
RE: Anarchy, Communism and Nationalism
(23-03-2017 03:10 AM)Szuchow Wrote:  It's from Zygmunt Bauman book Socialism the Active Utopia. You may like it.

Thanks again. You are building up quite a reading list for me. Smartass

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24-03-2017, 08:23 PM (This post was last modified: 25-03-2017 05:17 AM by Szuchow.)
RE: Anarchy, Communism and Nationalism
(24-03-2017 04:23 PM)Dr H Wrote:  No, that is only one reason. I don't see it as religion, because it doesn't fit the most prevalent current definitions of religion.

Prevalent isn't the same as most useful for analyzing.

Quote:You are free to use a different definition, but if you want other people to share it, you will have to defend it. At the very least you should be able to give a few other examples of some things which most people would regard as "religions", but which lack any mystical content.

Functional definition is defense in itself. Other people don't accepting it means nothing, just like people not agreeing with Lawrence Krauss and his A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing. Average Joe isn't expert.

Quote:So your use of Trotsky as an example to support your argument is unconvincing.
Not everyone agrees that he was always the ultimate authority on what constituted m-l.

Tough shit. Especially considering that I didn't say that he was ultimate authority.

Quote:Sorry, but I really don't see it that way. I see some striking parallels there.

I see it differently.

Quote:"affirms the image of God in all persons" doesn't strike you as religious?

"if we are left free to choose what we want most, we’ll get the most of what we want" doesn't strike you in the least bit as mystical wish-fulfillment?

You don't find phrases like:
"two great moral imperatives" ; "a sublime conjunction of material prosperity and moral agency" ; the likes of which no other system of political economy has ever contemplated, let alone achieved" ; "promises him [the 'common man'] freedom to transform himself"

At all similar to Trotsky's:
"[Communist] Man will become immeasurably stronger, wiser and subtler; his body will become more harmonized, his movements more rhythmic, his voice more musical. The forms of life will become dynamically dramatic. The average human type will rise to the heights of an Aristotle, a Goethe, or a Marx."

I certainly do. Both speak of their respective systems as being unique; transformative; lifting man to sublime heights.

I don't. I find one as shitty rhetoric designed to influence god fearing flock, and other (Trotsky) as religious promise.

Quote:If you insist on using religion-loaded terms like "prophets, heretics, saints" we are never going to agree on this point.

So it seems that we will never agree, as I see use of this terms as valid.

Quote:I don't accept that those terms are an appropriate to a description of m-l; if I allow that they are, then their equivalents most certainly have come up in other economic and political philosophies, including capitalism. You propose a double-standard that I just don't feel you have adequately justified.

I accept those terms as appropriate description of m-l and I see no reason for use them in regard to capitalism. There is no double standard except in your imagination I feel.

It may sound harsh or unfair but that's how I see it.

Quote:In other words, I should accept your argument because you say so?

C'mon Szuchow, I think you're better than that. Yes

My arguments for m-l being religion may be unconvincing for you, but your arguments for capitalism being religion aren't more convincing to me. We are at impasse here.

Quote:I haven't ignored them. I countered them with capitalism's "moral imperative", its "sublime conjunction of material prosperity and moral agency"; and its promise to transform the common man.

I find these sentiments quite comparable with Trotsky's claims for m-l.

I don't. Capitalism promises I see as more earthly, Trotsky ones are truly sublime, especially given how venerated were masters of old in times of revolution.

Quote:From my perspective, it appears that you dismiss out-of-hand any examples which conflict with your narrative, and insist that I accept your non-standard terminology.

I find your perspective to be invalid.

Quote:To me also, it appears that you prefer to simply dismiss arguments as "simplistic", rather than engage and refute them. If my points are indeed simplistic, then you should be able to logically rebut them, rather than just waving them away as "nonsense" or "silly".

There is nothing to refute in them, just like you don't refute claims like god is good.

Quote:I think we are arguing from different worlds, my friend.

That's true. USA and Eastern Europe are very different worlds. Also I wouldn't call us friends, even if it's only rhetorical trick.

Quote:<shrug> There again, you don't counter; you "dismiss".

We differ on this. I have not dismissed your contention that m-l is a religion as "hoey". I have assumed it to be a serious position, and I have argued against it seriously. I have even conceded that there is a perspective from which your analysis is valid.

There is nothing to argue against in shit like "money is religion".

And it's not like your conceding means much - my analysis (which came mainly form Imos book) is deemed valid by whoever rated his book. Whether you accept it or not it matters not - experts in the field see merit in such approach.

Quote:I included links with the statements.

I've seen no link. Maybe I missed it.

Quote:With all due respect, your knowledge of American cultural history seems to be very limited.

You could skip "all due respect" phrase, I doubt it has anything to do with respect. And yes, my knowledge of American cultural history is limited if not non-existent.

Quote:What you call "silly aphorisms" and "shitty examples" are widely and deeply held beliefs among many Americans. The arise from a long, complex, and sometimes bloody history of the evolution of our socio-politico-economic mores. Whole university courses are taught about the beliefs and attitudes behind those "aphorisms", and their place in our history, and their ramifications for contemporary society.

You're damned right I expect to be taken seriously.

What I call silly aphorism I see as in no way comparable to whatever examples I gave.

Quote:I do not, however, expect to dissuade you from your view -- as I've already stated numerous times.
You strike me as both intelligent, and well-read, so I am going to assume you are smart enough to understand this point.

What point? That nationalism is religion like m-l is? Don't want to sound rude but it may be case in your imagination.

Quote:I am embarrassed to say that, although my father's family is from Poland, and both he and my mother spoke the language, I never learned but a handful of words, mostly obscene. My parents were of the opinion that to be fully integrated into American society one should speak only English, and so Polish was not spoken around the children.

Nothing to be embarrassed about, Polish is language of unimportant country with martyr complex. There is no good reason for learning it, except for ambition as it is allegedly hard to master.

Quote:However, the notion of m-l as a religion is not, I think, a uniquely Polish idea. Certainly the apologist I used to discuss this with never cited any Polish sources. Nor were the sources I have read of Polish origin, to the best of my knowledge.

It probably isn't. I seen notion of m-l as religion in Polish book from 194x. It's so right wing that it would call Rush Limbaugh a fucking hippie.

But Aron book proves it is not only Polish idea.

Quote:Surely your position doesn't rest on a single source?
There must be other authors who also hold your view.

There is Raymond Aron and numerous books about Soviet history interpreted in light of Imos book. Richard Pipes if I recall correctly call m-l religion or religion like in his Russia Under the Bolshevik Regime. M-l as religion isn't result of one book, but rather years of research (my Master's thesis was Role of Russian Revolution in Poland regaining independence in Polish historiography). Imos just made all elements fall in place within sound theoretical framework.

Edit: I knew I saw something. There is book in English: Totalitarianism and Political Religions, Volume II edited by Hans Maier and Michael Schafer. There are is one article there which (maybe not entirely) support my point - Marxism-Leninism as political religion by Klaus Georg-Riegel. There is one other dealing with communism and faith: Communist faith and world-explanatory doctrine: a philosophical analysis by Peter Ehlen.

[quoteI think you assume my background to be more shallow than it is.[/quote]

Perhaps.

Quote:But not those who claim that an economic system is a religion, of course. Wink

Not those who claim that religion is religion. Marx original thought may be about economics, even if it borrowed much from Hegel (Martin Malia, The Soviet Tragedy: A History of Socialism in Russia, 1917-1991) but m-l is quite another beast. Remember, we speak not about communism nor marxism.

Quote:Agreed. Nor does your acceptance of it make it valid.

Fact that I find this book convincing means shit for I'm not expert in the subject, but peer review make it at least somewhat valid.

Quote:Because you deny the logic of my argument.

Because I find your arguments unconvincing.

Quote:I know nothing about Imos. Google searches turn up many references, almost all of them in Polish.

Nothing surprising. It's not like Poles are poplar abroad. Ones who were wrote mainly in English (Walicki, Kołakowski).

Quote:Except for a few in another atheist discussion group (not TTA) by a poster who looks at lot like you, under another name. Consider

Ivan Denisovich I presume. It was I.

Quote:Is there some biographical information on Imos somewhere in some other language? (Besides English, I could handle German or Spanish, if it's not extremely jargon-laden or technically detailed.) It's hard to know exactly what "peer reviewed" might mean in this instance, without knowing who might be considered his peers.

I doubt it. I looked through bibliography and it is in Polish. It may have been translated but I will not check original language of every book. Peer reviewed would mean Polish professors in his case. It may not mean much to you as Polish Universities are hardly world's best but there's that.

Except for truly magnificent Polish books there isn't much interest in them abroad. I think you could get more Polish works when Poland was behind Iron Curtain as it had different perspective back then. Now it is mostly regurgitating what West already wrote, with few original ideas.

Quote:I don't think that's entirely true. You quoted extensively from Trotsky -- a communist spokesman for communism[1] -- in support of your own argument. Either you do care what communism says about itself, or you don't: you can't have it both ways.

When communism speaks what it wanted to be I can trust it, especially if it was in first years of it when revolutionary idea wasn't buried under the ruble of day to day politics. When it speaks what it was then it is load of bollocks, cause it was shit and rulers couldn't really admit it, even if Brezhnev said fuck it and he no longer saw communism as real if placed far away target.

Quote:Yes, but remember that many communist writers themselves didn't always make this distinction, and used the terms interchangeably.

Then I would say that they knew shit about what they spoke. Being communist writer does not mean that one knows what's all about.

Quote:Thanks. I see that Amazon has it, and I've just added it to my cart.

It's quite good from what I read to date. I skimmed it to check if Marxism was scientific. Spoiler: it wasn't or at least such is my opinion after skimming the book.

Quote:Damn, S, you're going to actually get me reading political philosophy again.
Who'd have thought that would be the outcome of my joining an atheist forum. Smile

In Poland atheist=communists so reading about marxism when one don't believe in god is par of the course.

Quote:You do have a point.

[Throw the humbleness aside] I know.

Quote:Something I probably should have asked a long while back in the thread:
Why is it so important to you that m-l be considered a religion?

It isn't important. Or maybe it isn't important in a way you think. I'm convinced (based on all evidence I got to this day) that m-l is religion so I show my view. Were m-l was atheist philosophy I would argue for recognizing of it. But it isn't so, so whenever someone says atheists bad cause m-l, then I say faithful bad cause m-l. It's not even about m-l being religion (though I think it was it), it's mostly about faith. It's faith that made m-l proponents certain of road they choose and it is faith that made them commit atrocities, supposedly to make life better for all humanity.

Quote:Really?

I haven't made any personal attacks on you.
A little gentle sarcasm here and there, but no more, I think, than you've poked at me.

I take no personal offense at anything you've written, and I certainly hope you haven't taken any at what I've written... at any rate, none was intended.

Certainly two intelligent people can disagree about politics without invoking personal animosity. No?

Really. I don't see too much of friendlies between us. I think you too dismissive and that colors my view. You may be cool with my not so friendly posts but I somehow doubt it despite your declaration. Certainly I bear you no ill will, but that's not the same as amicability (though my understanding of English words may be different despite what Thesauruses say).

Quote:Well... I would call that a philosophy[2]. You, no doubt, would not. Wink

I would not.

Quote:Now that you mention it, I have come across The Captive Mind. Have not read it, though.

It's worth reading even if it is little Polonocentric. Or maybe people Miłosz-knew-centric.

Quote:Is it important to you that I be convinced?

Not really. In theory you agree that m-l can be called religion, but I think that you see it like: well, according to some obscure definition m-l can be religion, but so can be beer drinking.

I can understand that you don't see m-l as religion but I "want" recognition of validity of my perspective. Your definition isn't any more valid than one that Imos use, yet I feel that you see it differently. I think you're attempting some strange kind of "blackmail"* - if m-l is religion, then capitalism is too and I don't think that's the case.


*Using "" isn't accidental, it's denote not being entirely serious.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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04-04-2017, 06:23 PM
RE: Anarchy, Communism and Nationalism
ETA: Sorry for the late reply; I was called out of town for a bit.

(24-03-2017 08:23 PM)Szuchow Wrote:  Prevalent isn't the same as most useful for analyzing.
True. Neither is unique.

Quote:Functional definition is defense in itself.
Well, actually no it isn't. It's just a definition.
You are offering argument by assertion; nothing more.

Quote: Other people don't accepting it means nothing, just like people not agreeing with Lawrence Krauss and his A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing. Average Joe isn't expert.
True. But I have spent rather more time studying comparative religion than Average Joe. I'll need a little more convincing.

Quote:Tough shit. Especially considering that I didn't say that he was ultimate authority.
<shrug> You asked "so what"; I replied.
Tough shit, indeed.

Quote:I don't. I find one as shitty rhetoric designed to influence god fearing flock, and other (Trotsky) as religious promise.
Fair enough.
Spoken like a True Believer. Wink

Quote:So it seems that we will never agree, as I see use of this terms as valid.
OK, I'll keep that in mind.

Quote:I accept those terms as appropriate description of m-l and I see no reason for use them in regard to capitalism. There is no double standard except in your imagination I feel.

It may sound harsh or unfair but that's how I see it.
Not harsh or unfair; I understand your position. I just don't agree with it.

Quote: We are at impasse here.
Yes, indeedy.

Quote:There is nothing to refute in them, just like you don't refute claims like god is good.
I haven't simply made claims; I've given quotes and references.

I find your out-of-hand dismissal of my argument to be very similar to the way theists dismiss arguments against the existence of God.
The approach is very familiar to me. The only thing which surprises me is to see it being used by an atheist.

Quote:That's true. USA and Eastern Europe are very different worlds. Also I wouldn't call us friends, even if it's only rhetorical trick.
Have it your way; you're going to anyway.

Quote:What point? That nationalism is religion like m-l is? Don't want to sound rude but it may be case in your imagination.
The point that I can disagree with your view, without dismissing it as "hoey".

And the point that your view has other consequences, regardless of whether or not you are willing to admit it.

Quote:It probably isn't. I seen notion of m-l as religion in Polish book from 194x. It's so right wing that it would call Rush Limbaugh a fucking hippie.
LOL.

Quote:There is Raymond Aron and numerous books about Soviet history interpreted in light of Imos book. Richard Pipes if I recall correctly call m-l religion or religion like in his Russia Under the Bolshevik Regime. M-l as religion isn't result of one book, but rather years of research (my Master's thesis was Role of Russian Revolution in Poland regaining independence in Polish historiography). Imos just made all elements fall in place within sound theoretical framework.

Edit: I knew I saw something. There is book in English: Totalitarianism and Political Religions, Volume II edited by Hans Maier and Michael Schafer. There are is one article there which (maybe not entirely) support my point - Marxism-Leninism as political religion by Klaus Georg-Riegel. There is one other dealing with communism and faith: Communist faith and world-explanatory doctrine: a philosophical analysis by Peter Ehlen.
Thank you again; this is more like what I've been fishing for.

Quote:Fact that I find this book convincing means shit for I'm not expert in the subject, but peer review make it at least somewhat valid.
Depending on exactly what "peer review" means in this case, I might agree.


Quote:Then I would say that they knew shit about what they spoke. Being communist writer does not mean that one knows what's all about.
OK. Smile

Quote:[Throw the humbleness aside] I know.
No need to be humble; I'm not. Wink

Quote:It isn't important. Or maybe it isn't important in a way you think. I'm convinced (based on all evidence I got to this day) that m-l is religion so I show my view. Were m-l was atheist philosophy I would argue for recognizing of it. But it isn't so, so whenever someone says atheists bad cause m-l, then I say faithful bad cause m-l. It's not even about m-l being religion (though I think it was it), it's mostly about faith. It's faith that made m-l proponents certain of road they choose and it is faith that made them commit atrocities, supposedly to make life better for all humanity.
Actually, that explains a lot.
I might eventually be persuaded to agree with that particular argument.

Quote:Really. I don't see too much of friendlies between us. I think you too dismissive and that colors my view.
You may be right; I may be too dismissive.
It's not like I'm approaching this topic for the first time. I spent some time researching and arguing it with others, before I showed up here. No doubt I have some internal biases.

Quote:You may be cool with my not so friendly posts but I somehow doubt it despite your declaration. Certainly I bear you no ill will, but that's not the same as amicability (though my understanding of English words may be different despite what Thesauruses say).
Heh. How to put this in perspective?

For starters, I spent 15 years in Usenet newsgroups. In many of those, your posts would have been considered unusually polite. I do not have a thin skin, so doubt if you want to , but it's true. Wink

As far as amicability, well, OK, we're not buddies yet. Maybe never will be. But I bear you no ill will, and I respect your position. In some on-line contexts that's about as close to "amicable" as you can get.

Quote:Not really. In theory you agree that m-l can be called religion, but I think that you see it like: well, according to some obscure definition m-l can be religion, but so can be beer drinking.
Yes.

Quote:I can understand that you don't see m-l as religion but I "want" recognition of validity of my perspective. Your definition isn't any more valid than one that Imos use, yet I feel that you see it differently.
Given your axiomatic framework -- which rests on specific definitions -- I accept that you have a valid position.

And I don't assert that my definition is any more valid than Imos; but I do maintain that it's not any less valid.

Quote:I think you're attempting some strange kind of "blackmail"* - if m-l is religion, then capitalism is too and I don't think that's the case.

*Using "" isn't accidental, it's denote not being entirely serious.
Heh, OK. I see it as simply exploring the logical consequences of a particular position -- in this case, yours.


How about this:

I acknowledge your position as valid; but I disagree with it.
You think I'm full of shit.
Let's leave it at that for now, and move on? Drinking Beverage

--
Dr H

"So, I became an anarchist, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."
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06-04-2017, 05:09 PM
RE: Anarchy, Communism and Nationalism
(21-01-2017 06:45 PM)momo666 Wrote:  Were they the result of anti-religious sentiment ? I have heard this claim recently and I want to know what is your take on it.

What about the two world wars ? Wasn't the killer who "started" the first world war an atheist ?

Hitler was no atheist. He was the worst sort of true believer, a mystic who thought that he had been appointed by providence to rule the world.

Religion has had a bad track record in the world. That lead to the anti-clericism of the French revolution. It lead to the Spanish civil war that was laden with anti-Catholic fervor. In Russia, the support of an oppressive government of the tzars was supported by the Russian Orthodox church that lead to a deep anti-clericism there. And revolution. In England, support of the Anglican church in the English civil war caused many to despise that, and after the Puritans took over, people learned to despise them. This eventually lead to secularism and rise of religious tolerance in England. After the reunification of Germany, there was the kulterkampf, a reaction against the Catholic grab for power. In Italy, the deep corruption of the RCC lead to the Risorgimento, and loss of the RCC's temporal power in Italy. European history is saturated with revolts against oppressive governments and their religious institutes that supported them. Not to mention the reaction here in the US against official churches. In South America, there was a revolt against Spain and the RCC there. Especially in Mexico.

Yes, dislike of corrupt and oppressive state churches has been a dominant feature of Western history you won't get in high school.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-clericalism

When I shake my ignore file, I can hear them buzzing!

Cheerful Charlie
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07-04-2017, 03:01 AM
RE: Anarchy, Communism and Nationalism
Quote:After the reunification of Germany, there was the kulterkampf, a reaction against the Catholic grab for power

I have to add, to avoid any misunderstandings, that you were talking about the so called "second empire" of 1870, not the reunification from 1989.

Bismarcks actions werent, imho, solely targeted against a caholic power grab per se. It wasnt only a struggle between Catholic influence on the state (Pope) and protestant secularism (Bismarck), it was targeted against catholicizm in general and part of trench warfare between the catholic church with was very prominent in Germany ever since and the protestant prussian elite. This leads way back to the reformation and 30-year war.
The catholic church always represented the "governement" (during the holy roman empire which was a catholic empire, even after the reformation of 1520) until 1805 when Napoleon dissolved it. After 1870, Prussia and its protestantism became dominant and ruling, and they thoroughly hated catholicizm, Bismarck in particular.

In the end you were correct, Kulturkampf was a religiously motivated internal power struggle in the Second German Empire. It wasnt only about introduction of secularism, it also was a fight of protestantism vs catholicizm.

Ceterum censeo, religionem delendam esse
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