Capitalism and Statism

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  • #76
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It's true that humans are controlled by natural factors.
 
  • #77
NewScientist said:
Once one deduces that this is the argument, the simple shrug off of 'human nature' no longer holds, one begins to realise that the development of any society has only its foudnations in a basic intrinsic human nature with the key buildings upon that foundation being forged from the society's situation, the demographic and past history in the region to name but a few of the factors.
So the reactions of a person/group or people/society to environmental factors are not part of human nature in your opinion?

Dooga said:
Marxism argues that human nature is a reaction to the environment, and, in capitalist society, human nature becomes capitalist - being equals consciousness. Evolutionary theory, from what I understand, believes species react and change according to their environment.
And what of a species that constructs it's own environment?
 
  • #78
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TheStatutoryApe said:
So the reactions of a person/group or people/society to environmental factors are not part of human nature in your opinion?
THat is not the point, I proposed that as human nature is a constant across humanity the development of asociety cannot be put squarely at its door, it is rather that the factors I outlined previously efect devlopment

NS
 
  • #79
alexandra
selfAdjoint said:
The lack of reality in Marxism is precisely the belief that there is one human nature that you can analyze and predict. But human nature is incredibly various, and seems to have "tipping points" and "emergent phenomena"; Marx's simple one-parameter model was persuasive in the 19th century, but it appears just inadequate today.
Marx was well aware of the complexity of all aspects of social being, and a true Marxist analysis of societies and individuals and groups living within them acknowledges this complexity. Critics of Marxism misrepresent his theory as simplistic. On the 'human nature' issue, here is an extract from Wikipedia that outlines the basics of Marxist thinking (I have added emphasis with bolding):
Karl Marx inherits that Hegelian dialectic, and with it, a disdain for the notion of an underlying invariant human nature. Sometimes Marxists express their views by contrasting “nature” with “history.” Sometimes they use the phrase “existence precedes consciousness.” The point, in either case, is that who a person is, is determined by where and when he is — social context takes precedence over innate behavior; or, in other words, the main feature of human nature is adaptability.

"Human Nature" is often used as a counter argument to Marxism. However, it is not that Marxists entirely reject the concept of human nature, rather they contend that many of the behaviours exhibited by humans in Western capitalist societies - particularly excessive self-interest, and lack of social responsibility - are by no means fixed or innate.
Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_nature#Influential_views_of_human_nature
alex
 
  • #80
selfAdjoint
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Alexandra I think your quotes belie your point. Where Marxists believe in different human natures they are talking about different social stuctures, different means of production. But within any given structure they are insensitive to the range and import of human differences. They do not distinguish one bourgeois from another, or they assert that the distinction makes no difference.

But I think the distribution of personalities makes as much difference to the societies as do the means of production.
 
  • #81
alexandra
selfAdjoint said:
Alexandra I think your quotes belie your point. Where Marxists believe in different human natures they are talking about different social stuctures, different means of production. But within any given structure they are insensitive to the range and import of human differences. They do not distinguish one bourgeois from another, or they assert that the distinction makes no difference.
But I think the distribution of personalities makes as much difference to the societies as do the means of production.
Ok, selfAdjoint - this is an interesting point you make. For arguments' sake, I'd like to raise an analogy with how work is conducted in the 'pure science' disciplines :devil:

Pure scientists work with mathematical models that represent 'ideals'. These models are, of course, representative of reality, but are not quite as detailed as reality: one extracts the important, defining features that help one understand the phenomenon one is studying and one uses these features to construct the model. Despite the models' imperfections, they do (on the whole) seem to do a pretty good job of explaining aspects of the reality one is studying.

In similar fashion, while Marxists may acknowledge the individual 'personality' differences between individual members of the bourgeoisie, or between individual members of the working class, there are crucial issues around which all members of the bourgeois class will unite: when their existence as a class is threatened. So, for example, you see no vast differences between the policies of the Democratic Party and the Republican Party in the US at the moment (or, for that matter, between the Liberal Party and the Labor Party in Australia) regarding imperialist wars (Iraq) - these political parties (as parties) defend the overall interests of the bourgeois class, despite the individual personality differences between particular members of the parties. Thus, looking at the 'big picture' (which is what one has to do if any understanding whatsoever is to be achieved), there are central issues on which all members and representatives of the ruling class agree - if individuals do not agree, there are ways to deal with them - their plane mysteriously falls out of the air while they are on a campaign trail, or they are vilified in the press so that they do not come to power, etc, etc. Individual personality differences exist, but they do not have much of an impact on real politics.
 
  • #82
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The irony is that capitalism makes relational structures of authority much more complex and unequal than when one person commands the economy as in ancient command economies. If money rules then there is more inequality than when one person has the authority.
 
  • #83
arildno
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Hmm..I'm at a loss of seeing the definite, personal advantage of the Iraq war to the owners of WalMarts?
 
  • #84
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Good governance is still necessary imo. The role of government should be to protect minorities against institutional discrimination (e.g in academia or in employment).
 
  • #85
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arildno said:
Hmm..I'm at a loss of seeing the definite, personal advantage of the Iraq war to the owners of WalMarts?
Playing devisl advocate and not for one moment saying this is my view point or not, however :

People will bulk buy long lasting foods! Will not go to foreign competitors - take freedom fries as an example.
 

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