academic freedom agit-prop, opinion manipulation and well-poisoning games Culture Darwinist rhetorical tactics Ethics

Allowing Rufo and Lindsay to speak in their own voices,

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again, as a certain objector here has accused:

Right-wing grifters like Jordan Peterson, James Lindsay, and Christopher Rufo make a lot of money selling these lies to the gullible fools who get their worldview injected into their brains by downloading Fox News propaganda

I have not previously heard of these two, but — courtesy YouTube — it is only fair to let them speak for themselves.

Rufo:

Lindsay:

(He was here giving a workshop, and onward sessions here and here may be helpful.)

I trust that in future, commenters will refrain from such intemperate language. END

F/N: William S Lind interviews Roger Kimball in the 1990’s on culture form marxism and political correctness:

Similarly, this discussion of the labour theory of value vs the marginal revolution, will help clarify thinking on Marx’s exploitation thesis:

The calculation of value challenge:

These two videos on economic issues will help to clarify underlying issues. Ponder, if titanium would make excellent grills, why is it never used for that?

(Why is it primarily used for aerospace work, and why do old cooking gas containers sometimes end up adapted into grills? What was the advantage to the UK c 1943 to take thousands of worn 12 cylinder, V-block Merlin aero engines, take off their superchargers etc and convert them into Meteor Tank engines, going from 1300 – 1600 HP to about 650 HP? A diamond would make a useful stone for a slingshot, or could be used as an industrial abrasive or could even be burned as fuel, why then are certain clear or attractively coloured diamonds reserved for making jewels? Why is water so much cheaper than diamonds or gold or titanium? A certain sheet of paper with $100 printed on it could be used to light a fire, why would we regard this as foolish waste? Hint, what is the next best use of the metal, or the worn engine, or the diamond, or the water, or the sheet of paper, and what price would someone be willing to pay? This is the opportunity cost principle of value, pivoting on the principle of scarcity.)

U/D Jan 10 23: On a more dynamically and historically based political spectrum, using the Overton Window to show how lawless agendas can undermine lawful government:

246 Replies to “Allowing Rufo and Lindsay to speak in their own voices,

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    Allowing Rufo and Lindsay to speak in their own voices

  2. 2
    relatd says:

    Were they censored?

    For the record: I have no reason to listen to either one.

  3. 3
    asauber says:

    “downloading Fox News propaganda”

    This is a pretty good indicator of ignorance… thinking that Fox News is the reason for things.

    Andrew

  4. 4
    relatd says:

    Andrew,

    Fox News is not the reason for anything. So, unless you want to believe the “mainstream media,” look for news elsewhere. They’re too busy creating “programming” as opposed to news. Got to sell ads. Real, professional journalism has given way to content (not unlike a box of corn flakes) that they believe sells and “attracts eyeballs.”

  5. 5
    kairosfocus says:

    Relatd, these men were, frankly, slandered in our comment threads. I am simply giving them space to speak in their own voices. KF

  6. 6
    relatd says:

    Kf at 5,

    Slandered? Here? I’m shocked! I mean, well, now I understand…

  7. 7
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    Slander requires the following:

    1. the claim is false
    2. the person making the claim knows it to be false
    3. the object of slander is harmed as a result.

    None of these criteria are satisfied in the case of what I said about Rufo and Lindsay. If you want to provide them a free platform here, by all means. Only Arrington has the power to stop you, and we all know that he won’t.

    That won’t stop me from repeating what I said previously: that Rufo and Lindsay are lying about critical race theory and about “cultural Marxism”, and that their audiences are eating it up because the lies are red meat to a right-wing audience hyped up on paranoia and ignorance.

    But, I know that no one here will listen to me, click on anything I post, or read anything I link to.

    Moving forward, I won’t entirely stop commenting at Uncommon Descent, but I’ll be more selective about how often I post here. No one here is interested in anything I have to say, and I’ve learned all that I can.

  8. 8
    asauber says:

    “No one here is interested in anything I have to say”

    PM1,

    Well, when you spend what little credibility currency you have on attacking Fox News… I don’t know what’s so interesting there. Any leftist bag of plastic ping-pong balls can do that.

    Andrew

  9. 9
    kairosfocus says:

    PM1, falsity is obvious and already shown [cf here on . . . and from initial sampling, Rufo and Lindsay do in key part reflect what I know of marxism and culture form neo marxism such as is outlined in the just linked . . . whatever errors or omissions of fine grained detail may be involved], it is not merely conscious knowledge of falsity that counts in defamation but you SHOULD have known and done better, finally, your remarks contribute to defamation and to poisoning and clouding the atmosphere for sober discussion at kairos. So, harm is done to the direct victims of defamation robbed of right to innocent reputation, and to the community at large. Do I need to explicitly say that verbal rape of innocent reputation is a deep and often highly destructive violation of the person? KF

  10. 10
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @9

    It is not merely conscious knowledge of falsity that counts in defamation but you SHOULD have known and done better, finally, your remarks contribute to defamation and to poisoning and clouding the atmosphere for sober discussion at kairos. So, harm is done to the direct victims of defamation robbed of right to innocent reputation, and to the community at large.

    Someone who misleads and distorts about Marxism and critical theory as wantonly as you do is no position to be admonishing others about “poisoning and clouding the atmosphere for sober discussion”.

    Ok, I’m taking a break from UD now. Interacting with you people is not healthy for me.

  11. 11
    kairosfocus says:

    PM1, first, Rufo [apology, Lindsay] has given a good short summary of core classical marxism that echoes what I learned from the communists themselves on my uni campus as they tried to push through a revolution in Jamaica; and, it is quite reasonable to identify the Frankfurt School and its descendants as making a pivot to the culture parallel to Mussolini’s shift to the national, when a grand crisis of Capitalism leading to communist revolutions in the leading capitalist countries — not backward Russia — failed. Yes, the uprisings in Germany failed, were put down. The Hungarian case collapsed. We can argue, the General Strike of 1926 was similar in some eyes. Then, Stalin shot Kondratiev because he saw the Depression as reflecting generation length waves not THE marxian eschatological crisis prophesied in Marx’s works. The chain from the Frankfurt school to critical theory and to the ongoing black theme colour 4th gen war culture revolution push in the US is obvious and that push is geostrategically obvious. So, I go with the excerpts from the horses’ mouths, not your attempts to dismiss. You have clearly disregarded the right to innocent reputation, branding people as grifters, liars, money grubbing and spreading propaganda. If you had simply disagreed and given cogent corrective reasons that would be one thing but that is not what happened. How else do you think your tactics would come across to someone who cut his eyeteeth dealing with Marxist revolutionary agit prop that fed a ruinous civil war and ongoing chaos in his homeland and so is all too familiar with a pattern of 4th gen war operations and tactics? Do you think I would overlook parallels to the Cuban Ambassador foaming out against one of two remaining independent media houses? I suggest that when you come back you take a turn to a more collegial approach that deals with issues rather than trying to create toxic distractions. KF

  12. 12
    chuckdarwin says:

    KF
    Great job, you’ve managed to drive off another smart UD commentor. I hope PM1 will reconsider, he is clearly one of the best informed and thoughtful participants on this blog.
    And, BTW, written defamation is libel, not slander. I think I’ve pointed that out to you before. You just don’t listen to anyone, do you?

  13. 13
    Viola Lee says:

    to PM. I’m dropping back in to support your dropping out, and to tell you I’ve enjoyed reading your posts. I think all serious commentators who hold a different view than the zeitgeist here eventually come to the same conclusion you have come to, including the realization that it is not really good for ourselves to get drawn into this place. We learn some things about other points of view, but learning some things about the intellectual character of those who hold those views is at least as enlightening as the views themselves.

    I particularly think this comment to KF encapsulates a main part of the problem:

    Someone who misleads and distorts about Marxism and critical theory as wantonly as you do is no position to be admonishing others about “poisoning and clouding the atmosphere for sober discussion”.

    For “Marxism and critical theory” you can substitute evolution, atheism, materialism, politics and the state of the world, etc., and point the finger more broadly beyond KF, and have equally true statements.

    I wish you luck (and me, too) in perhaps finding a better place to constructively discuss things with people of varying viewpoints.

  14. 14
    Ford Prefect says:

    I agree that it would be a shame to see PM1 leave simply because of the childish behaviour of others.

  15. 15
    vividbleau says:

    Looks like Peterson will have to endure a Canadian style Chinese struggle session

    https://twitter.com/jordanbpeterson/status/1610391120403468292?s=46&t=nPE29rX4surVdSzV0mGp-w

    Vivid

  16. 16
    chuckdarwin says:

    PM1 & VL
    If you find greener pastures, let the rest of us “Darwinian trolls” know. Heaven knows we could definitely use a change of scenery……….

  17. 17
    Belfast says:

    I’m sorry to see you go, VL, I think, and have long thought, you look for answers rather than look for a fight.
    However, I think you picked the wrong issue to justify leaving. Jordan Peterson was called a liar and, when PM was picked up on it, tried some mock-legal hairsplitting to justify the ad hominem.

  18. 18
    Viola Lee says:

    Thanks, Belfast. I hadn’t been reading the thread, and perhaps PM’s comment was narrrowly about Peterson. I took it to be about a broader dissatisfaction.

  19. 19
    vividbleau says:

    VL
    No question IMO that PMI is one well read and a very smart individual. I personally found some of his comments to be very insightful..

    Having said that from my perspective as it relates to the topics championed by Rufo, Peterson and Lindsay , treating them as if they are way out in left field , they are liars and grifters regarding their personal agendas, as if the issues they are highlighting are made up and not happening is to piss on my leg and then telling me it is raining. I don’t like to be gaslighted.

    I know the above is poorly written but I am in a hurry.

    Vivid

  20. 20
    Ford Prefect says:

    VB@15, I don’t see the issue. This is not government control or government censorship. He is being censured by an association he has chosen to be a member of.

    The last time I looked, condescending, pompous, arrogance is not a desired trait for practicing psychologists, a position that Peterson has not held for many years.

  21. 21
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks, defamation is never acceptable, that’s why it is a tort. And it is an appropriate response to allow the defamed to speak for themselves. On this matter, whatever his erudition otherwise, PM1 has done an injustice and that needs to be recognised and corrected. Without due recognition of the right to innocent reputation, there can be no community. And that is why I posted the video clips. We can take it from absence of a substantial correction, that these men were subjected to polarising, tainting attack, rather than addressing the merits. It is my observation, for cause, on the samples above, that they have a serious point. But, one that is obviously unwelcome. KF

  22. 22
    AndyClue says:

    @Ford Prefect:

    I don’t see the issue. This is not government control or government censorship. He is being censured by an association he has chosen to be a member of.

    You’re wrong. It’s not some private club. The association can revoke his licence. And you must have a licence to practice psychology in Canada!

  23. 23
    AaronS1978 says:

    Well that’s to bad we lost PM and sadly kept CD

  24. 24
    vividbleau says:

    Ford
    “The last time I looked, condescending, pompous, arrogance is not a desired trait for practicing psychologists, a position that Peterson has not held for many years.”

    I feel ya! I tried to listen to his podcasts, and found it hard to do because of the things regarding his personality and style of presentation. He sorta grates me.and I found it difficult to listen to him for any length of time

    Vivid

  25. 25
    vividbleau says:

    Regarding PMI disdain for Lindsay it may be helpful to actually read what he has written on the subject. In it he discusses the various nuances to the term “cultural Marxism “ He acknowledges the anti semitic form used by some but goes much deeper. I would encourage all to read it. Perhaps PMI could offer his critique

    https://newdiscourses.com/tftw-cultural-marxism

    Here is a snippet

    “Thus, when people use the phrase “cultural Marxism” in good faith to describe the mode of analysis in Critical Social Justice and its various Theories, this is what they mean. They are referring to a conflation of identity group with culture (see also, positionality and standpoint epistemology) that is then analyzed through oppressor-versus-oppressed conflict theory (which is Marxian) to achieve something that resembles (ethno)-communism more than it does capitalism. In this regard it is more accurate than not to refer to Critical Social Justice as “cultural Marxism,” noting the various caveats provided here—most especially that it is not explicitly Marxism and remains a tremendously fraught term that will be dismissed by almost anyone hearing it who doesn’t already agree to the meaning of the term.”

    Vivid

  26. 26
    kairosfocus says:

    Vivid, thanks. Lindsay is clearly trying to be objective and is concerned about intellectual, popular and policy trends. I remain astonished at the 170 years long intellectual love affair with marxist theorising. I think we need to accept that he raised some legitimate concerns, had some points of at least serious analysis, but that the system as a whole was fatally tainted. I think civilisation is far more complex than the oppressor/oppressed thesis and corollaries suggest or invite, and that it is far more delicate than many seem to assume, where, it is the framework that enables large populations to live together in reasonable prosperity, despite its difficulties, errors, struggles, wrongs etc. So, a wiser path is prudent reform informed by sound history. KF

  27. 27
    Ford Prefect says:

    Vivid writes:

    I feel ya! I tried to listen to his podcasts, and found it hard to do because of the things regarding his personality and style of presentation. He sorta grates me.and I found it difficult to listen to him for any length of time.

    Yes, his off-putting attitude and tendency to demean anyone who disagrees with him detracts from any of the good points he may have.

    Andy C writes:

    You’re wrong. It’s not some private club. The association can revoke his licence. And you must have a licence to practice psychology in Canada!

    You are correct, but he hasn’t practiced in years, possibly due to issues with his interactions with patients, as indicated in a 2018 National Post article. Which, if his media persona is any indication of his bedside manner, would not be a surprise.

    There were concerns about the quality of his service, doctor/patient boundaries, and the way he communicates with patients

    As a member of the college he would have had to abide by their code of ethics and behaviour. If he violates these, and makes no attempt to rectify the issue, then his licence should be suspended, as would be the case for doctors, lawyers, accountants and other professional designations.

  28. 28
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @25

    OK, challenge accepted (for now). Here’s Lindsay:

    “Thus, when people use the phrase “cultural Marxism” in good faith to describe the mode of analysis in Critical Social Justice and its various Theories, this is what they mean. They are referring to a conflation of identity group with culture (see also, positionality and standpoint epistemology) that is then analyzed through oppressor-versus-oppressed conflict theory (which is Marxian) to achieve something that resembles (ethno)-communism more than it does capitalism. In this regard it is more accurate than not to refer to Critical Social Justice as “cultural Marxism,” noting the various caveats provided here—most especially that it is not explicitly Marxism and remains a tremendously fraught term that will be dismissed by almost anyone hearing it who doesn’t already agree to the meaning of the term.”

    It seems that a good deal of Lindsay’s interpretation of Marxism hinges on what he calls conflict theory. There’s not really any such thing in Marx, though there’s something close.

    Marx thinks that it’s a matter of historical fact that all civilizations for which there are written historical records (“historical civilizations”) have had class structures: there are those are the bottom (slaves, peasants, serfs, untouchables), those in the middle, and those at the top (kings, priests, emperors, etc.).

    He also thinks that industrial capitalism has transformed these multi-level hierarchies into a two-fold distinction: there are those who own the means of production and those who need to sell their own labor in exchange for a wage that can then be exchanged for access to the means of survival (shelter, food, clothing, etc.).

    Marx thinks this relation is necessarily antagonistic because he accepts a version of the labor theory of value: all economic value is produced by labor. The reason why a widget costs $5 when the raw materials cost $1 is because the worker puts $4 of value into the raw materials. The worker’s employer then takes the widget and sells it for $5. He then gives the worker his wage of $2. So the worker creates value of $4 and receives $2 in exchange. The extra $2 of value that the worker produced and did not receive in the form of wages is then pocketed by the employer as profit.

    Given this analysis of what profit is, Marx concludes that the relation between employer and employee is necessarily antagonistic: the employer needs to maximize profit, which means reducing all expenses including wages, whereas the worker needs to retain as much value as he can, in order to exchange for more or higher quality of the goods necessary for survival.

    So what Lindsay calls “conflict theory” is just what Marx thinks is the underlying logic of how industrial capitalism structures the conditions of employment. (Which is not to deny that later Marxists have also argued that the basic antagonism of capitalism builds upon and transforms other kinds of oppressive hierarchies (patriarchy, white supremacy).)

    What Marx does think, very clearly, is that this antagonism is historically contingent: it is not based on “human nature” or “how society works”. He thinks that it didn’t always exist (capitalism hasn’t been around forever) and that it is possible for us to transform society so that it is no longer structured by this antagonism.

    Moreover, Marx also very clearly thinks that the Enlightenment ideals of liberty and equality cannot be satisfied in a society structured by this antagonism. Contra Lindsay, Marx is not against the Enlightenment — he thinks that industrial capitalism prevents the ideals of the Enlightenment from being fully realized.

    Nor is he against democracy. When Marx and Engels were hired to write the Manifesto of the Communist Party, the International Workingmen’s Association was comprised of political parties, trade unions, and other civil groups: they ran candidates and asked people to vote for them. Some of them wanted “direct action”, and most of them (including Marx) were content to work through parliamentary mechanisms. (Today, Lula da Silva is probably the best-known successful representative of this tactic.)

    In sum: Marx was an Enlightenment philosopher, grounded in humanism and republicanism, who argued at length (oh god, his books are soooo long!!!) that the single greatest obstacle to making good on the promise of the Enlightenment (including democratic republicanism) was capitalism itself.

  29. 29
    kairosfocus says:

    PM1, the issue is not Marx in the 1840’s to 80’s or so, but the Frankfurt neo-marxist school and its heirs from the 1920’s on after the Great War crisis did not turn into the general crisis of Capitalism, thus the key theme of oppressor/oppressed thesis/antithesis and revolutionary synthesis. Which, alters the focus from Marx’s primitive communalism –> ancient slave state –> feudalism –> capitalism –> socialist state –> communist golden age. KF

    PS, the labour theory of value systematically overlooks other contributions to value than labour and loses all credibility as a result, especially by then inviting the inference that return to entrepreneurial risk, capital investment etc is little more than theft of labour’s due. Thence, expropriate the expropriators, etc. The oppressor/oppressed polarising theme is clear, and there is much else. For example, sand has been transformed into the base for a high tech digital era, one in which a cheap cell phone far exceeds what sent men to the Moon. How did that come about?

  30. 30
    relatd says:

    PM1 at 28,

    Without using any tongue-twisting or highly specialized words/terms, here is the bottom line. The world is not perfect. Resources are not spread equally across countries/geographic regions. People are not perfect. Tell me, in Soviet Russia, didn’t workers/laborers get paid? I’ve seen Soviet magazines from the Cold War that showed the average family. Ads in those magazines were identical – IDENTICAL – with their Western counterparts. A family in a new car were different in that their facial features were obviously Slavic/Rus(sian) and they wore European clothes.

    My current problem with certain groups of Total Strangers in the United States is their borderline violent desire to re-form the thinking of the average U.S. citizen to what they want. Do you believe in “Live and let live”? They don’t. They won’t be satisfied until all the groups on their Privileged Persons list get exactly 50% parity in employment, get 50% parity in representation/propaganda value regardless of their actual proportion in the population. They are trying to portray themselves as THE only people who can change things to the way they want. The more they push, the more people push back. The more people reject their message. Why? Because they are the self-proclaimed Official Accusers. They are trying to replace anyone with themselves – to get everyone to accept their “version” of reality. Their thoughts are distorted. Their desire to pit Group A against Group B is distorted. The “change” they want is distorted. It is not based on sound principles, it is based on a desire to control. That’s bad.

  31. 31
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @29

    PM1, the issue is not Marx in the 1840’s to 80’s or so, but the Frankfurt neo-marxist school and its heirs from the 1920’s on after the Great War crisis did not turn into the general crisis of Capitalism, thus the key theme of oppressor/oppressed thesis/antithesis and revolutionary synthesis.

    First, I think it is crucial to think about the Frankfurt School theorists as disappointed Marxists, who were disappointed for closely related reasons. It was not just the failure of socialist revolution, but much more seriously for them, the fact that in World War 1, millions of workers murdered each other at the command of military elites rather than lay down arms in recognition of international class-based solidarity.

    Second, one of their key theoretical moves is the idea that revolutionary consciousness has been eliminated. This is because of a degree of psychological control over workers unforeseeable in Marx’s Victorian England. This is the key to their understanding of propaganda, advertising, and entertainment (what they called “the culture industry”).

    The very desire to revolt against domination is extinguished when people can be psychologically conditioned to desire only what those in power want them to desire: to be well-behaved, obedient, complacent, apathetic, to find the news “boring”, to always want to be distracted, to want to be “employee of the month”, to want to work hard for that raise, that bonus, so that one can get the next gadget or gizmo that will make one’s neighbors envious so that they too will work more and work harder.

    This is what Adorno calls “the administered society” and Marcuse calls “the one-dimensional society”.

    By the 1960s, there’s a rift in the Frankfurt School: Adorno is terrified of the 1960s counter-culture and protestors, because they remind him of the Hitler Youth, Horkheimer has become a full-blown Schopenhauerian pessimist, and only Marcuse thought that the site of revolutionary consciousness had shifted to the feminist and civil rights movements. (I think it’s interesting that the Frankfurt School theorists who are still taught today are the ones who concluded that resistance is futile.)

    In the next generation of critical theorists (Habermas, Axel Honneth, Rainer Forst, Nancy Fraser), they are hardly Marxist in any sense at all. Habermas is a welfare-state liberal whose politics are indistinguishable from John Rawls.

    For example, sand has been transformed into the base for a high tech digital era, one in which a cheap cell phone far exceeds what sent men to the Moon. How did that come about?

    If we put aside such issues as the environmental destruction and massive human suffering involved in mining and refining heavy metals (e.g. tantalum; see here), there can be little doubt that capitalism has allowed for extraordinary levels of scientific discovery and technological innovation — even the arts and humanities have been transformed by capitalism, largely (but not entirely) for the better.

    But that is, of course, exactly Marx’s point: he was a wild-eyed enthusiast about how capitalism improved science and technology. Marx was no Luddite — if anything he was a futurist. The gist of his dialectical thinking is that while capitalism had facilitated massive increases in technological development, now (in the 1850s!) the major limit on further increases in technology was capitalism itself — because nothing will be invented, discovered, cured, or built unless there’s a way to make money off of it.

    One of the big changes in Marxian philosophy from Marx to the Frankfurt School is their attitudes towards technology. Marx was as pro-technology as any progressive Victorian, and at one point speculated that eventually machines will eliminate the need for human labor entirely. (He thought this would be a good thing.) The early Frankfurt School theorists knew about the horrors of chemical warfare and were less optimistic. The atrocities of the 1940s — the Holocaust and the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki — made them far more pessimistic than Marx was about whether technology would improve the human condition.

  32. 32
    asauber says:

    “nothing will be invented, discovered, cured, or built unless there’s a way to make money off of it.”

    This has never not been true, Capitalism or otherwise.

    Andrew

  33. 33
    Querius says:

    Kairosfocus @11,

    You have clearly disregarded the right to innocent reputation, branding people as grifters, liars, money grubbing and spreading propaganda. If you had simply disagreed and given cogent corrective reasons that would be one thing but that is not what happened.

    Exactly, and not just one person here.

    I remember from my college days how some professors resorted to such tactics to avoid a clash of ideas on an intellectual plane. One of their most effective and underhanded manipulations as the authority figure, was something like . . .

    (eye-roll) “Oh, God.”

    That was intimidating and maddening. I was forced to take their classes for my general education requirements, but I wasn’t in college simply to demean myself to the level of memorizing and regurgitating the political positions of some academic peacock.

    I would have hoped they would have the intellectual integrity to foster an understanding of the issues, the positions, and the points of debate. This would be true regardless of whether the class was political science, U.S. history, psychology, English, or any other class in the humanities.

    In contrast, I had an excellent Iranian professor for one of my math classes who was an avowed communist. Nevertheless, I respected him for his integrity at refusing to inject his political views into his class. He would simply say that he’d be happy to share his political views outside of class.

    -Q

    P.S. I still remember his name among the handful of truly great professors.

  34. 34
    Querius says:

    Kairosfocus @21,

    Folks, defamation is never acceptable, that’s why it is a tort. And it is an appropriate response to allow the defamed to speak for themselves. On this matter, whatever his erudition otherwise, PM1 has done an injustice and that needs to be recognised and corrected. Without due recognition of the right to innocent reputation, there can be no community. And that is why I posted the video clips. We can take it from absence of a substantial correction, that these men were subjected to polarising, tainting attack, rather than addressing the merits. It is my observation, for cause, on the samples above, that they have a serious point. But, one that is obviously unwelcome. KF

    Thank you!

    For one, I welcome contrary views when they’re not simply . . .

    • A series of unsupported assertions
    • A vacuous trollbot response that could be applied to any post or comment
    • An ad hominem attack
    • A strawman argument
    • A case of moving the goalposts
    • The genetic fallacy (https://fallacyinlogic.com/genetic-fallacy/)

    Or one of many, many others.

    I really appreciate pithy comments that introduce NEW information (rather than rhetorical blather) in support of any position because I can learn things I didn’t know. Or at least take them into consideration.

    -Q

  35. 35
    kairosfocus says:

    PM1,

    yes, many marxists were disappointed that WW1 did not turn into a general socialist uprising. That led to many more diversities in schools of thought than can be explored here.

    I do not take war to be mutual murder, fighting in war [which is a deeply regrettable evil, but there are too many ill advised and sometimes outright evil statesmen and policy influencers] is different from the war crime of murder. What happened is, workers identified with their nation and its political leaders (not the same thing) and each great power convinced itself it was acting in the main defensively in the face of intolerable threats. I think that by 1915- 16, they should have paused and pulled back. They did not, 1916 was a catastrophe and led to the collapses from 1917 on. If Germany had become a constitutional Monarchy, and Russia too, much could have been averted, and maybe reasonable settlements in the SE could have resolved the state of succession to the two sick man empires. But I don’t know if there was a viable path. If Churchill’s Dardanelles venture had been better managed operationally, that might have been key. If Jellicoe had got the message and headed for Horn Reef, trapping and bringing the High Seas Fleet to surrender, if, if . . . if.

    It was a global catastrophe, and the peace settlements were incompetent, paving the way to further war.

    The point is, the Frankfurt School represented a form of international rather than national socialist interests and shifted focus to cultural-institutional “barriers” to the socialist revolution they hoped for. This does include media and entertainment power, advertising and marketing, education, the Christian heritage and much more.

    However, whatever the debates among the School, the oppression thesis remains a pivotal and fundamentally anticivilisational concept; its extension to today’s intersectionality thesis of multiple cumulative oppressions . . . thence warping of locus of knowledge from objective warrant to the use of face cards . . . and the attempt to do things like discrediting the breakthrough of July 4 1776, are red flag indicators of a tyrannical trend — historically, lawless oligarchy is the natural state of government and constitutional, lawful state democracy requires cultural buttresses that are being visibly eroded through toxic, corrosive ideologies of polarisation.

    Frankly, that history leads me to infer that radical ideologues are trying to ride to ruthless power indicated by the 4th generation war tactics I am seeing.

    Similarly, the labour theory of value has no credibility worth the name, it is now too obvious that there are far too many value-factors and that markets cannot be effectively centrally managed and planned. It feeds a hostility to the means of innovation that needs to be corrected.

    Where, the macro minded Austrians have a sobering point about malinvestment, tied to unsustainable macro policies that carry economies beyond their PPF capital-consumption tradeoff and destabilisation, where stagflationary recessions are a significant related issue. I think Kondratiev has a point and I have seen identification of something like nineteen generational cycles tied to fundamental innovations going back to the Song dynasty in China.

    As to the environment, watermelon policies are part of the problem, not a viable solution. For related instance the fundamental energy challenge is not going to go away through the means being promoted and energy has been pivotal in every global economic crisis since the 1970’s. I think here that a second generation of ICT technologies is a key global driver today.

    On energy, I think pebble bed modular reactors, molten salt reactors and if we can get a breakthrough, fusion, are issues that need better exploration (e.g. did Bussard have a point?), but the state of policy making is itself another disaster.

    More can be said.

    KF

  36. 36
    kairosfocus says:

    Q, yes, we need restoration of sound discussion. KF

  37. 37
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @35

    The point is, the Frankfurt School represented a form of international rather than national socialist interests and shifted focus to cultural-institutional “barriers” to the socialist revolution they hoped for. This does include media and entertainment power, advertising and marketing, education, the Christian heritage and much more.

    I’m not entirely clear on what how you’re understanding the term “barriers”. The Frankfurt School was certainly interested in a critical analysis of advertising and entertainment as covert forms of capitalist propaganda. (Adorno has a fascinating critique of the astrology columns in newspapers.)

    I’m less clear on what you mean by “the Christian heritage” in this specific context. For one thing, Jewish and Christian theology was central to how they articulated their vision of a better world. This is perhaps not how they are usually portrayed, but having studied their work for a long time, it is quite clear to me that the Frankfurt School in general (and Adorno in particular) are engaged with Jewish and Christian theology in profound ways. (One of Adorno’s life-long mentors was Paul Tillich, under whom Adorno wrote a secondary dissertation on Kierkegaard*). There’s been a lot of really good work recently comparing Adorno with the Jewish theologian Emmanuel Levinas.)

    Something similar could be said of Habermas’s engagement with Catholic intellectuals, his work on a “post-secular society”, and (perhaps this is not widely known?) his respectful debate with the recently deceased Pope Benedict XVI.

    In any event, the idea that the Frankfurt School or Habermas are opposed to religion could not be further from the truth.

    However, whatever the debates among the School, the oppression thesis remains a pivotal and fundamentally anticivilisational concept; its extension to today’s intersectionality thesis of multiple cumulative oppressions

    I’m still not entirely clear on what you mean by “the oppression thesis”. But let me explain how I understand the kind of work in critical social theory that you seem to be alluding to.

    In the simplest terms I can manage, the claim is this: despite the avowed commitment to liberal ideals (equality before the law, respect for individual rights, participation in free and fair elections), nevertheless there are persistent structural injustices. This is taken to be an empirical sociological fact inferred from race and gender based health disparities, police brutality, race-based disparities in sentencing, environmental racism, etc.

    None of this is to disparage or even downplay the liberal-democratic ideal of a society in which the rule of law is respected by all and protects all and where people of good faith can work together to find acceptable solutions to widespread problems. It is to say that how close one thinks we are to achieving that ideal depends a good deal on how much privilege one enjoys, and that is a problem.

    . . . thence warping of locus of knowledge from objective warrant to the use of face cards . . .

    I don’t know what you mean by “face cards” here. (I only know that term in the context of playing cards, like in a deck of cards.)

    Regardless: while one can find some theorists in the humanities who are skeptical about objective knowledge, critical social theory assumes that objective knowledge of social conditions is possible and desirable. They couldn’t be using sociology, demography, geography, and social psychology if they didn’t accept the possibility and necessity of objective truths about social structures.

    and the attempt to do things like discrediting the breakthrough of July 4 1776

    I don’t know who you think is discrediting the significance of the American Revolution.

    Not even the 1619 Project discredits the importance of the American Revolution — it is an attempt to narrate American history from a different perspective, one that gets much less attention than it deserves, and that we need to pay attention to it as well as “the standard narrative” in order to have a more complete and therefore more objective assessment of American history and how it illuminates our present moment.

    are red flag indicators of a tyrannical trend — historically, lawless oligarchy is the natural state of government and constitutional, lawful state democracy requires cultural buttresses that are being visibly eroded through toxic, corrosive ideologies of polarisation.

    As I’ve indicated, I don’t see any of the critical social theorists — not even the avowed socialists — as undermining constitutional, lawful state democracy.

    And I say this as someone who might be, in other contexts, very critical of the U.S. Constitution as actually written and as beyond reform. That doesn’t mean I think we should not have a written constitution at all, or that we don’t need a government of some kind, or that democracy isn’t manifestly better than the alternatives.

    I don’t deny that there are “toxic, corrosive ideologies of polarisation” but insofar as there are any coming from the Left, they are faint and meager compared to those coming from the Right. But I suppose that is where we most fundamentally disagree.

    * Technically Adorno’s thesis on Kierkegaard was his Habilitationschrift. It’s controversial in Germany today, but for a long time, it was accepted that a German academic needed to write two dissertation-length projects: one that earned the doctorate and another that earned the right to teach in the German academy.

  38. 38
    vividbleau says:

    “Not even the 1619 Project discredits the importance of the American Revolution — it is an attempt to narrate American history from a different perspective, one that gets much less attention than it deserves, and that we need to pay attention to it as well as “the standard narrative” in order to have a more complete and therefore more objective assessment of American history and how it illuminates our present moment.”

    If you want to undue a nation you start by falsifying history. The 1619 project is a classic example of the post modern idea that truth is not found but is made. For the NYT that has been a great model to follow after all they garnered two Pulitzers and both were based on lies. The world we now live in is all about narrative and narrative amplification, truth is made not found.

    https://www.breitbart.com/the-media/2020/09/21/nolte-1619-projects-fires-off-new-lies-to-cover-up-old-lies/

    https://www.nas.org/blogs/article/pulitzer-board-must-revoke-nikole-hannah-jones-prize

    “But it turns out the article itself was false when written, making a large claim that protecting the institution of slavery was a primary motive for the American Revolution, a claim for which there is simply no evidence”.

    I could do this all day.

    Vivid

  39. 39
    vividbleau says:

    “I don’t deny that there are “toxic, corrosive ideologies of polarisation” but insofar as there are any coming from the Left, they are faint and meager compared to those coming from the Right”

    The most costly monetary damage in US history you call feint and meager?They are faint and meager!! You are delusional you need to take the red pill.

    A few facts Black Lives Matter, founded by Marxists, a grifter organization that could care less about black lives tallied up over 2 billion, yes that is 2 billion dollars in property damage in their mostly peaceful protests over George Floyd. In the Minneapolis area alone there was 350 million in damage and 18 deaths.

    Then of course there is Antifa, a fascist organization fighting facism, go figure.. I have family members that lived in Seattle that moved because they no longer feel safe. I have politically liberal family members that live in Portland. They are distraught that Antifa has literally destroyed the city of Portland further more they are outraged about the crap their children are being forced down their throat but cannot afford to get their children out of the public school system.

    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/09/16/nolte-blm-riots-are-officially-the-most-costly-manmade-damage-to-american-property-in-history/

    So I know exactly what I am dealing with here I would like to ask you a question. Do you think a biological male can be a woman?

    Vivid,

  40. 40
    vividbleau says:

    Sorry about the typos.

    This is PMI’s definition of “ feint and meager”.

    “If you add up the insurance cost in 2020 dollars for all six major American riots during the turbulent 1960s, the total is a little shy of $1.2 billion — which means the terrorists in Antifa and Black Lives Matter caused more mayhem and property damage in a little over a week than this country saw throughout all of the 1960s.”

    Vivid

  41. 41
    Querius says:

    Vividbleau @38-40,

    History is largely dependent on perspective and relative importance. I also agree that much of U.S. history has been sanitized. Once the histrionics is dismissed, some truly interesting conversations can begin, starting with some penetrating questions.

    But penetrating questions aren’t allowed. Instead there’s a battle between what set of self-serving mythologies will be taught in place of history.

    In the meantime, yes, I love to hear Rufo, Lindsay, Peterson, and anyone else with something cogent to say speak with their own voices.

    -Q

    P.S. In the 1960s, there was a strong “Free Speech” movement on college campuses across the country, but this has now been changed to an “Approved Speech Only,” movement.” A pity.

  42. 42
    vividbleau says:

    Q
    “I also agree that much of U.S. history has been sanitized”

    I agree

    “In the 1960s, there was a strong “Free Speech” movement on college campuses across the country, but this has now been changed to an “Approved Speech Only,” movement.” A pity.”

    Yeh Berkeley was the epicenter. Where did all the liberals go? UCB now probably is one of the most unfree speech campus in the country:

    Vivid

  43. 43
    Ford Prefect says:

    VB writes:

    A few facts Black Lives Matter, founded by Marxists, a grifter organization that could care less about black lives tallied up over 2 billion, yes that is 2 billion dollars in property damage in their mostly peaceful protests over George Floyd. In the Minneapolis area alone there was 350 million in damage and 18 deaths.

    I think it is important ant to keep everything in perspective.

    Detroit riots in the sixties cost -1 billion and over 500 buildings destroyed and 43 people killed. The LA riots in the sixties caused more than $500,000,000 with over 1000 buildings damaged or destroyed, and over 30 people killed. The Chicago riots in 1968 caused more than $100,000,000 in property damage. The Jersey riots of 1967 caused -$100,000,000 in damages and 26 deaths.

    In short, there were over 200 people killed in sixties protests. -16,000 instances of arson. -13,000 injured. And the population size was only two thirds what it is today. I think it is also fair to say that police in the sixties took a far more forceful reaction to protests that they do today. We can argue whether this is good or bad, but I value life over property.

  44. 44
    vividbleau says:

    Ford

    .. I am unclear what perspective is being ignored, Axious did that very thing, they put into perspective the 2020 riots vs the riots in the 60’s

    This all came about because PMI made an extraordinary claim that the lefts violence and polarization are “feint and meager” compared to the right which so far he or she has yet to define after being asked to do so by Jerry and mysel,

    You say you value property over life, I share those same sentiments. Here is an example. I am a gun owner and I wake in the middle of the night and see that someone is stealing my car. Do I shoot him ? Nooooo My first action is to call 911. My second action is to say to the thief “take the car and go.and throw him the keys.I am not going to kill some one over a car, he can have.it. Another way to put it is to say that his life, regardless of him being a bad guy has infinitely more value than a piece of property . Let it go. I just want him to leave without harming me or my family if the way to get him to leave is letting him take my car I will graciously give it to him., To take a life is serious business. I value life over property

    Vivid

  45. 45
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Food for thought from Wm S Lind, here. (A counterweight to much revisionism, being a live response at the time.) KF

    PS, notice, there has been no coherent definition of the “[typically, ‘extreme’] right,” just a lot of distractive projection to the despised other. Further to which, there is no cogent answer to why the market has become the last man standing for economic organisation, even in China, even as there has been a push to use the oppressor/oppressed intersectionality tactic to polarise and discredit without dealing with actual merits . . . a typical agit prop move. Meanwhile, I also note, the RW evidence is, there is a black theme colour culture revolution push, leading to a low kinetic 4th generation civil war in the US, war having evolved the nature of operations but retaining the objective of defeat and subjugation. If street mob and theatre tactics, doublethink/doubletalk media, and crooked rulings under false colour and ceremonies of law work why resort to more than 5 am police raids on elderly couples with cameras rolling and detention in abusive prison conditions on vastly overcharged accusation incessantly drum-rolled in the same media, backed up by show trial inquisitions?

  46. 46
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS, I argue that the following is the charter of modern constitutional, lawful state, democratic, responsible self government [with its embedded heritage] and is the founding point of the American republic:

    When . . . it becomes necessary for one people . . . to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God [–> natural law context is explicit] entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind [–> they were consciously universal in their appeal] requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, [cf Rom 1:18 – 21, 2:14 – 15; note, law as “the highest reason,” per Cicero on received consensus], that all men are created equal [–> note, equality of humanity], that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights [–> thus there are correlative duties and freedoms framed by the balance], that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security . . . .

    We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions [Cf. Judges 11:27], do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

    I now challenge objectors to refute its content and significance on the 1619 project’s principles and claims, without falling into defamation, gross falsities, historically indefensible claims [aka ideological revisionism] and/or outright absurdities. There is a right to innocent reputation, and defamation is not mere alternative opinion. Nor can slanderous distortion of history be legitimately taught as objective history.

    Of course, I put on the table, the proposition: we are seeing here, the willful undermining of objectivity and warrant, reflecting the oppression thesis intersectionality elevation of the — too often defamatory, tainting and strawman tactic, polarising — assertions of a radicalised fringe as if that were objective warrant.

  47. 47
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @39

    “If you add up the insurance cost in 2020 dollars for all six major American riots during the turbulent 1960s, the total is a little shy of $1.2 billion — which means the terrorists in Antifa and Black Lives Matter caused more mayhem and property damage in a little over a week than this country saw throughout all of the 1960s.”

    1. The figure for the 2020 protests is not “$2 billion” but “between $1 billion and $2 billion”.

    2. This number is not property damage but insurance claims. I suspect that insurance companies are highly motivated to inflate the cost of damages, since they know that the price will be negotiated down. (At least that’s been my experience with medical insurance.)

    3. I didn’t find data for the unrest of the 1960s and 1970s, but I did find data for the 1992 protest in Los Angeles. That was $775 million, or about $1.4 billion in 2020 dollars. Notice that $1.4 billion is between $1 billion and $2 billion. So the insurance claims filed as a result of the 2020 protests are in line with the insurance claims filed as a result of the 1992 protests.

    4. It’s important to keep track of the difference between perception and reality (see here).

  48. 48
    Seversky says:

    There is also the question of, while I have no objection to Petersen, Rufo or Lindsay being allowed to post freely here on the grounds of assumed “innocent reputation” or just plain freedom of speech, would the same courtesy be extended to Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi?

  49. 49
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky, We had direct defamation that cannot be substantiated. This is not a game of moral equivalency. Next, do you care to soundly substantiate the theses of culture form marxism, extended to our day through critical theory applied to everything from the environment to race? I hold — with the ghosts of 100 million victims — that marxism should be permanently retired to grim history, that whatever scraps of sound and untainted analysis come from that corpus have utility despite their frame [and can be founded elsewhere all the way back to say Isaiah et al], that the 1619 project is worthless ideological revisionism seeking to supplant July 4, 1776, and that there has been a clear, black theme colour 4th gen war colour revolution push. KF

  50. 50
    kairosfocus says:

    PM1, one should indeed strive to be accurate. Meanwhile, the labour theory of value and its ideological uses [recall, expropriate the expropriators?], the reduction of civilisation to a grand oppression thesis and other key concerns need to be soberly addressed. The whole issue, is there objective truth, does this involve justice and other moral themes and more, strikes me as needing some attention too. KF

  51. 51
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @50

    PM1, one should indeed strive to be accurate. Meanwhile, the labour theory of value and its ideological uses [recall, expropriate the expropriators?], the reduction of civilisation to a grand oppression thesis and other key concerns need to be soberly addressed.

    I made a first attempt at addressing “the reduction of civilisation to a grand oppression thesis” here. Let me know what you found deficient and I’ll do my best to address your criticisms.

    I would need some time to look into the debate about the labor theory of value. Two points worth mentioning right now: (1) the labor theory of value is not something that Marx just assumes. It was the widely held view among 18th and 19th century political economists (Smith, Ricardo, Say) and all inherited from Locke; Marx is simply saying that this widely held assumption by all political economists at that time has implications that they are refusing to acknowledge;

    (2) Marx that all economic value involves someone’s labor — even the industrial capacities that the capitalist provides (factories, buildings, computers, etc.) were produced by someone and then purchased by the capitalist for use in their business. The capitalist does not produce anything of their own.

    The whole issue, is there objective truth, does this involve justice and other moral themes and more, strikes me as needing some attention too. KF

    I don’t disagree with a commitment to objective truth and justice. But even people who share those commitments can still disagree about some pretty fundamental issues.

  52. 52
    relatd says:

    Querius,

    I am sick and tired of hearing about “movements” as if they come from the people. They don’t. I was there in the late 1960s. There was NO >>>>> MoVeMeNt<<<<<< just outside agitators. They produced 'underground newspapers' to spread Marxist/Communist/Anti-Capitalist Lies.

    The current tend is CENSORSHIP as practiced by groups of Total Strangers. You CANNOT say certain things today. To anyone who has studied history, their lies and distortions are obvious. Many "commentators" on TV today are actors reading from a script.

  53. 53
    relatd says:

    PM1 at 51,

    That was the stupidest, most uninformed thing I’ve read here.

    “The capitalist does not produce anything of their own.”

    Of course they do. Always. Henry Ford developed the gasoline engine and then the assembly line. Tell me, when did he cross the line from inventor to Capitalist?

  54. 54
    jerry says:

    Is there a better system of economics than free market capitalism with the emphasis on “free.”

    The answer is no. No one has ever demonstrated one.

    Given that, there are always something that could be better about anything, but to pick a small inefficient aspect of something is in no way an endorsement of something else.

    People like to take shots at various things and then use that as a defense of something very different. It is a fallacy to do so.

    So essentially everything pales in comparison to free market capitalism. Which essentially arose in the mid 1600s in England and slowly led to the Industrial Revolution. It then took off in the United States in the late 1700s and 1800s as it did in England.

    Aside: for the law of supply and demand to be efficient/effective requires that both the supply side and demand side be free

    Aside2: there are literally dozens of types of capitalism so to say capitalism is ____ is nonsense. One has to specify what type of capitalism and how it is for any claims.

    Aside3: why are we discussing this here? No one here is anywhere close to an expert on this.

  55. 55
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @49

    Seversky, We had direct defamation that cannot be substantiated. This is not a game of moral equivalency.

    I can’t imagine that Rufo, Lindsay, or Peterson would care about what some Internet nobody like me says about them, even if they knew. But I am quite happy to substantiate my pejorative characterization of them, or provide links to such evidence as I am aware of.

    Next, do you care to soundly substantiate the theses of culture form marxism, extended to our day through critical theory applied to everything from the environment to race? I hold — with the ghosts of 100 million victims — that marxism should be permanently retired to grim history, that whatever scraps of sound and untainted analysis come from that corpus have utility despite their frame [and can be founded elsewhere all the way back to say Isaiah et al]

    I agree that the moral core of Marx’s critique of capitalism can be found in the Hebrew prophets such as Isaiah (though I think that Aristotle is also quite important for Marx’s understanding of human nature). But I simply do not accept that the value of the theories and arguments of Marx, Engels, Luxemburg, and others is invalidated by the millions who were killed by agents of “state communism”.

    Theories are shown to worthy of our acceptance based on their merits, not based on the atrocities committed by those who rationalize their barbarism using jargon borrowed from that theory.

    No one should think that Auschwitz shows that The Origin of Species is mistaken, and no one should think that the gulags of Siberia and killing fields of Cambodia show that Capital is mistaken.

    the 1619 project is worthless ideological revisionism seeking to supplant July 4, 1776

    I completely disagree — the 1619 project is about expanding the narrative by including neglected perspectives, not undermining the importance of establishing the right of revolution to establish a new republic.

    there has been a clear, black theme colour 4th gen war colour revolution push.

    I suspect that I disagree entirely, but to begin with, I don’t know what this phrasing even means.

  56. 56
    relatd says:

    PM1 at 55,

    There are companies that do nothing but “scrape” and collect data from internet nobodies and send it to the companies that hired them. The same with advertisers. Nothing can be “trending” on the internet without knowing what people are saying. They take the idea of keyword search to another level. They are running internet surveillance 24 hours a day. The king wants to know what the peasants are talking about.

  57. 57
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @53

    . Always. Henry Ford developed the gasoline engine and then the assembly line. Tell me, when did he cross the line from inventor to Capitalist?

    When he hired someone else and still made a profit.

    @54

    Is there a better system of economics than free market capitalism?

    When it comes to making most of the planet increasingly unlivable for human beings, destroying in a few decades ecosystems that have been around for many millennia, and turning human beings into semi-robotic slaves in mines, plantations, factories, prisons, and businesses — no, you’re right, nothing better than “free market capitalism” at doing all of that.

    Aside: for the law of supply and demand to be efficient/effective requires that both the supply side and demand side be free.

    That seems plausible, in theory. I don’t think that condition can be satisfied in practice.

    Aside2: there are literally dozens of types of capitalism so to say capitalism is ____ is nonsense. One has to specify what type of capitalism and how it is for any claims.

    Fair enough. Since I’m talking about Marx and Marxism, I’m talking about industrial capitalism mostly. One would need a different analysis for financial capitalism and contemporary neoliberalism.

    Aside3: why are we discussing this here? No one here is anywhere close to an expert on this.

    You can blame me for starting it. I was content to keep my Marxism to myself until someone else started talking about “cultural Marxism”.

  58. 58
    relatd says:

    PM1 at 57,

    Zo, making a profit iz verboten? Ja?

  59. 59
    jerry says:

    When it comes to making most of the planet increasingly unlivable for human beings, destroying in a few decades ecosystems that have been around for many millennia, and turning human beings into semi-robotic slaves in mines, plantations, factories, prisons, and businesses

    Has to be one of the stupidest comments ever.

    When was it better? Answer, never. When 98+% of the world were serfs or equivalent? Which was not that long ago.

  60. 60
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @58

    Zo, making a profit iz verboten? Ja?

    If one is making a profit while also paying other people, then one is taking more value from their labor than one is paying them for. If you take something from someone without paying them for it, that’s called stealing.

    So yes, all profit is theft.

    Glad to see you’re finally catching on!

  61. 61
    relatd says:

    PM1 at 60,

    You do good job Comrade. Extra Vodka for you today.

    Dmitry

  62. 62
    asauber says:

    “all profit is theft”

    Ding Ding Ding! We have a Commie of the Day Winner! It’s…PM1! Congrats!

    Andrew

  63. 63
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @59

    When was it better? Answer, never. When 98+% of the world were serfs or equivalent? Which was not that long ago.

    So what? The fact that there’s never been a society truly based on equality of genders in the past doesn’t mean that feminists were wrong to urge us to build one in the present, as a legacy to give the future.

    Likewise, the fact that capitalism is an improvement on what preceded it (or at least it was an improvement, for most of the 19th and 20th centuries) doesn’t mean that capitalism is the best we could do.

    The whole point of Enlightenment humanism is that a reasoned faith in human capacities (intelligence, creativity, compassion) points the way to a better world than the one we’ve inherited.

    Put more bluntly: the Founders of the US republic were cut from the same cloth as Marx and Engels — the cloth of Enlightenment humanism. The major difference is that Marx and Engels take the same attitude towards industrial capitalism as Jefferson and Madison took towards hereditary monarchy.

  64. 64
    asauber says:

    “the way to a better world”

    Wow. Pulling out all the Red Cards, are we?

    Andrew

  65. 65
    relatd says:

    PM1 at 63,

    “equality of genders” ?????????????????????????

    Men and women are different. Always were. Always will be. Treating women badly, for example, is wrong. But I wish the man-haters would wear “I’m a Man Hater!” T-shirts so I can avoid them.

  66. 66
    relatd says:

    I am starting the Official Fall of the Soviet Union Day in the U.S. Where we all remember the constant threat of Soviet ICBMs and those lovely black and yellow Civil Defense ‘Fallout Shelter’ signs they put on buildings, including our school’s gym.

  67. 67
    relatd says:

    Andrew at 64,

    Humanism. Man is the highest being on Earth. Only man can improve man. There is no other being more wise, more productive and more enlightened. Or – man worships man. He surrounds himself with philosophers. He exalts himself.

  68. 68
    asauber says:

    Relatd,

    Indeed. Our enlightened vision of a better world for you, whether you like it or not, at your own expense, for our own good.

    Andrew

  69. 69
    asauber says:

    Under Capitalism, They will overcharge you. They will also overcharge you under…

    Anarchism
    Classical anarchism
    Individualist anarchism
    Libertarianism
    Social anarchism
    Insurrectionary anarchism
    Authoritarianism
    Absolute monarchism
    Autocracy
    Despotism
    Dictatorship
    Imperialism
    Oligarchy
    Police-State
    Totalitarianism
    Plutocracy
    Theocracy
    Communitarianism
    Communitarian corporatism
    Mutualism
    Distributism
    Eurasianism
    Communism
    Barracks communism
    Leninism
    Stalinism
    Marxism
    Naxalism
    Conservatism
    Authoritarian conservatism
    Bioconservatism
    Black conservatism
    Civic conservatism
    Classical conservatism
    Corporatism
    Absolutist corporatism
    Communitarian corporatism
    Conservative corporatism
    Economic corporatism
    Mutualist movement
    National syndicalism
    Neo-feudalism
    Democracy
    Associative democracy
    Bioregional democracy
    Bourgeois democracy
    Cellular democracy
    Majoritarianism
    Producerism
    Sortitionism
    Environmentalism
    Bright green environmentalism
    Deep green environmentalism
    Light green environmentalism
    Free-market environmentalism
    Fascism and Nazism
    Classical fascism
    Crypto-fascism
    Eco-fascism
    Neo-fascism
    Neo-Nazism
    Identity politics
    Age-related rights movements
    Animal-related rights movements
    Disability-related rights movements
    Feminism
    Neo-feminism
    Radical feminism
    First-wave feminism
    Second-wave feminism
    Third-wave feminism
    Fourth-wave feminism
    Liberalism
    Neoclassical liberalism
    Neo-liberalism
    Ordoliberalism
    Secular liberalism
    Social liberalism
    Technoliberalism
    Secularism
    Libertarianism
    Classical liberal radicalism
    Eco-socialism
    Free-market anarchism
    Paleolibertarianism
    Propertarianism
    Nationalism
    Bourgeois nationalism
    Civic nationalism
    Cultural nationalism
    Diaspora nationalism
    Populism
    Conservative populism
    Economic populism
    Liberal populism
    Reactionary populism
    Social populism
    Progressivism
    Economic progressivism
    Social progressivism
    Techno-progressivism
    Transnational progressivism
    Socialism
    Democratic socialism
    Reformist socialism
    Marxist revisionism
    Revolutionary socialism
    Ba’athism
    Nasserism

    Andrew

  70. 70
    relatd says:

    I’ve never seen so many ism’s in one place.

  71. 71
    asauber says:

    Relatd,

    MY -ism is better than YOUR -ism. 😉

    Andrew

  72. 72
    Querius says:

    PyrrhoManiac1 @63,

    “There’s something Eric Hoffer said: ‘Intellectuals cannot operate at room temperature.’ There always has to be a crisis–some terrible reason why their superior wisdom and virtue must be imposed on the unthinking masses. It doesn’t matter what the crisis is. A hundred years ago it was eugenics. At the time of the first Earth Day a generation ago, the big scare was global cooling, a big ice age. They go from one to the other. It meets their psychological needs and gives them a reason for exercising their power.” -Thomas Sowell

    Free Enterprise
    Free Enterprise is the natural enemy of Capitalism, which is merely a method of finance. The entrepreneur puts in sweat equity, her own money, ingenuity, and time. She hires people at their going rate, but they’re most certainly NOT being exploited when she retains the profit from her venture. Why? Because she also assumes ALL of the risk. Her employees do not. If her venture fails, as nine out of ten do, then how many employees would accept the risk of taking on a massive portion of the losses of her venture in exchange for the possibility of sharing the profit should it succeed?

    Enemies of the State
    So, to achieve your Socialist Worker’s Paradise, be it fascist or communist, you must first make sure your children are ignorant of history, and you must fill your children’s hearts to overflowing with enough intense hatred and anger that they demand a brutal authoritarian dictatorship to “get things done” and to “finally set things right.”

    Then, when you’re in power and luxury, you can tell your serfs how much better their abject poverty is than before the glorious revolution! You must constantly publish images of your happy slaves on the State plantation working together in community for the common good. Everyone there receives an equal distribution consisting of the barest minimum for survival in the name of true equality and environmentalism. Just as in the days of plantation slavery, you provide free housing, free healthcare, and free food!

    Naturally, you and your friends will receive the wonderful perks you deserve that are commensurate with your wisdom, education, concern, and level of responsibility to guard and maintain the plantation against Enemies of the State, which for some odd reason always seem to be Jewish . . . or Christian, if you run out of Jews. But you must find Enemies of the State!

    Would you deny that anti-Semitism is on the rise? According to the Anti-Defamation League, 2021 was the highest year on record for documented reports of harassment, vandalism and violence directed against Jews and that 2022 looks a lot like 2021. Right on schedule.

    “Under capitalism, man exploits his fellow man. Under Communism, it’s the other way around.” – Eastern European proverb

    And when it all predictably collapses, you will once again lament that it “wasn’t TRUE socialism.” Whatever that is. And immediately start working on the NEXT incarnation of this failed fantasy.

    -Q

  73. 73
    kairosfocus says:

    PM1, perhaps you do not know I lived through a marxist revolution attempt backed by Cuba and the USSR [who publicly aoologised for their part a decade later]. Yes, the labour theory of value had roots in Ricardo et al and by the 1870’s was already on the way to utter discredit. With the marginal revolution, it should have died. However, it was baked into marxist economics, and became pivotal to precisely the grand oppression thesis you are trying to dismiss. Do you think I made up, expropriate the expropriators out of thin air? A key pattern I saw live was the attempt to pretend that property was theft in effect, grand theft of the product of labour, which then justified treating the business-entrepreneurial classes as thieving parasites on society; feed in agit prop, let loose some sociopaths and we get to my aunt shot down in her shop because, rice being scarce the agit prop agitators propagandised that the problem was hoarding; through the usual front groups, here XXX for Progress . . . itself a clue word. After her murder the same operator got back on radio to pretend utter innocence. No, I am not going to forget something like that, the sort of real world murderous consequence you seem to be unaware of. The wave of thought we have been seeing extended that thesis to everything from watermelon environmentalism to project 1619, with intersectionality playing a key role. And we both know denial of objective truth is a major issue today. More can be said. KF

    PS, do you not see the implications of your:

    If one is making a profit while also paying other people, then one is taking more value from their labor than one is paying them for. If you take something from someone without paying them for it, that’s called stealing.

    So yes, all profit is theft.

    This is a grossly false slander.

    The value of a product, strictly, is the next best alternative foregone, and to pay labour at a reasonable and competitive rate with a senior claim to enterprise and even bonds, is not theft. Entrepreneurship is a valuable input, as is investment on prudent, informed estimate of the net present value of future earnings [or the equivalent], etc.

    One of the tricks here, is to quietly omit the riskiness of enterprise and the fact that the minority that succeed have to pay for the failures.

    For example, the computer industry, in aggregate did not net contribute value until IIRC sometime in the 80’s, that’s how risky it was.

  74. 74
    Jblais says:

    @55
    “I simply do not accept that the value of the theories and arguments of Marx, Engels, Luxemburg, and others is invalidated by the millions who were killed by agents of “state communism”.”

    Outrageous but so predictable. The classic “but this was not true communism” trope…
    You judge a tree by its fruits and Marx’s tree has given us nothing but bloody disgusting rotten and toxic pieces of crap for over a century now, and the gift keeps on giving to this day.

    I suppose that if you had been in charge to put Marx’s wonderful theory to practice, then we would have reached the utopia…

    This horrible and murderous philosphy and ideology was thoroughly discredited in shame in the 20th century, at the cost of more death and suffering than any other philosophy in the history of mankind. Defending it today with the benefit of hindsight is really shameful.

  75. 75
    vividbleau says:

    “2. This number is not property damage but insurance claims. I suspect that insurance companies are highly motivated to inflate the cost of damages, since they know that the price will be negotiated down. (At least that’s been my experience with medical insurance.)”

    Let me see if I get this right. Insurance companies inflate damages in order to negotiate down what they have to pay. Who are they going to negotiate with? Ohhh I get it they are going to negotiate with themselves. They certainly are not going to negotiate with the claimants.
    Hey mister business man we have determined that your damages are a million dollars please take less. Insurance companies don’t inflate what they owe they do everything to lower damages not inflate them! Off the chart crazy.

    “The figure for the 2020 protests is not “$2 billion” but “between $1 billion and $2 billion”.

    Says you however let’s split the difference, you contend that 1.5 billion is feint and meager got it. Hey I will use the lower number 1 billion, yeh feint and meager.

    Vivid

  76. 76
    vividbleau says:

    “The figure for the 2020 protests is not “$2 billion” but “between $1 billion and $2 billion”.

    So it’s not 2 billion and you are so sure of that that you then say it could be 2 billion? Sheesh

    Vivid

  77. 77
    jerry says:

    This whole discussion of economics has gotten ludicrous.

    We are talking about basic microeconomics. There are some fundamental processes based on human behavior and costs that drive the key decisions. The main one is the supply and demand curves which produce the optimum price.

    If the cost is higher than the price, nothing will be produced. So there must be a profit. If the profit is excessive then this will attract competitors and drive prices and profits down.

    To argue that there should be no profit is one of the more insane and inhumane policies imaginable. It essentially says nothing will be made and people can only resort to hunter gathering status. Anyone who suggest this is extremely ignorant.

    So we have person here who claims to be an expert on socialism, who had no idea what the left/right designations are, who obviously doesn’t understand microeconomics, doesn’t know the history of economic development and then claims to unbelievably wide read.

    This person also promotes emergentism but cannot produce a single incident from this process. There seems to be a contradiction here.

  78. 78
    Ford Prefect says:

    Relatd writes:

    But I wish the man-haters would wear “I’m a Man Hater!” T-shirts so I can avoid them.

    Have you ever thought that they may not hate you because you are a man, but rather because of your attitude?

  79. 79
    vividbleau says:

    “2. This number is not property damage but insurance claims. I suspect that insurance companies are highly motivated to inflate the cost of damages, since they know that the price will be negotiated down. (At least that’s been my experience with medical insurance.)”

    Ok it’s all making sense now you are a Marxist no wonder you don’t understand how insurance works but I am glad,to enlighten you. You talk about your experience with medical insurance which shows your ignorance but of course what can one expect from a Marxist.

    Incredibly you do not know that when you submit a medical claim YOU are the claimant! You or your Doctor( a claimant), or your hospital ( a claimant) submits your claim or there claim to the insurance company. The insurance company then try’s to lower what they have to pay. My goodness you don’t even know what you experience!

    “Notice that $1.4 billion is between $1 billion and $2 billion. So the insurance claims filed as a result of the 2020 protests are in line with the insurance claims filed as a result of the 1992 protests.”

    So I will just add the 1.4 billion to your estimate of the 2020 riots, 1.4 billion, for what you call “feint and meager”

    PMI remember It’s important to keep track of the difference between perception and reality . LOL

    Vivid

  80. 80
    vividbleau says:

    Q re 72

    Bravo!

    Vivid

  81. 81
    vividbleau says:

    When it comes to making most of the planet increasingly unlivable for human beings, destroying in a few decades ecosystems that have been around for many millennia, and turning human beings into semi-robotic slaves in mines, plantations, factories, prisons, and businesses — no, you’re right, nothing better than “free market capitalism” at doing all of that.”

    Gee sounds like that wonderful workers paradise in China which adopted Marxist philosophy.

    https://thediplomat.com/2022/10/minerals-and-chinas-military-assistance-in-the-dr-congo/

    https://www.dailywire.com/news/joe-rogans-podcast-shows-horrifying-slave-conditions-used-to-mine-materials-needed-for-electric-cars

    Vivid

  82. 82
    Querius says:

    Kairosfocus @73,

    Considering your quote

    If one is making a profit while also paying other people, then one is taking more value from their labor than one is paying them for. If you take something from someone without paying them for it, that’s called stealing.

    So yes, all profit is theft.

    The labor theory of value would also suggest that the invention of the wheel massively reduced the value of labor prior to its invention. Thus, by reducing technology further by banning copy machines and printers, for another example, and requiring all written communication to be produced on clay tiles would thus increase the value of labor (much more work for the same output).

    Receiving a newspaper handwritten on clay tablets would require hundreds of hours of labor for delivery at a single address, eclipsing the value of anything written on these tablets.

    So, yes. As Jerry said @77, we’d all become hunter-gatherers spending our time feeding one person, ourselves. But that’s not the end of the story!

    In exchange, for progressing onto the stone age, we’d all receive massive wealth in Social Credit Points (SCPs)–uncountable billions of them each!

    And this would be Totally Different than the original stone age in that billions of laws would ensure equality to the most minute level should you deviate from immediately and literally eating the fruits of your labor as you hold discussions of every word of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Castro, and all the others.

    How noble! 😉

    -Q

  83. 83
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I have added to the OP, Lind’s interview and two videos clarifying the issue of value and markets. Ideas have consequences. KF

    PS, profits mean various things in different contexts. Accounting profit is not economic profit, e.g. it often embeds risk premiums, returns to the scarce labour of entrepreneurship, invention, high quality analysis, decision making and broader management, also astute investment. These too, are key contributions to creating goods and services in markets that provide good value for money. Profit is exploitation of labour is simplistic but often persuasive though lacking in warrant; it is now a generally recognised economic fallacy, especially in a high tech era that pivots on innovation. It is also a toxic slander that has had horrific consequences and feeds a destructive attitude of general resentment that sees society as pivoting on oppression. Which, is at the heart of not only classical marxism but its neo-marxist culture form derivatives that typically operate as critical theories.

  84. 84
    jerry says:

    I can see why the left hates Chris Rufo.

    A voice for sanity in higher education. Appointed by DeSantis for a new university in Florida.

    I’m proud to announce that Gov. Ron DeSantis has appointed me to the Board of Trustees of the New College of Florida.

    My ambition is to help the new board majority transform New College into a classical liberal arts institution.

    We are recapturing higher education.

    https://twitter.com/realchrisrufo/status/1611406507815636993

  85. 85
    bornagain77 says:

    PM1 at 63,

    The whole point of Enlightenment humanism is that a reasoned faith in human capacities (intelligence, creativity, compassion) points the way to a better world than the one we’ve inherited.

    hu·man·ism – noun
    an outlook or system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters. Humanist beliefs stress the potential value and goodness of human beings, emphasize common human needs, and seek solely rational ways of solving human problems.
    *a Renaissance cultural movement which turned away from medieval scholasticism and revived interest in ancient Greek and Roman thought.

    Hmm, there seems to be fatal flaw in PM1’s “a reasoned faith in human capacities (intelligence, creativity, compassion)”, i.e. in “humanism”. leading to a ‘better world’, all without God.

    Specifically, “intelligence, creativity, and compassion” all find there basis in God. Thus for a humanist to try to use his ‘intelligence, creativity, and compassion’ to reason his way to ‘better world’, all without God, is for him to literally cut off the branch upon which he is sitting.

    As to ‘intelligence’, leading evolutionary thinkers themselves have admitted, after four decades of research no less, that they have, “essentially no explanation of how and why our linguistic computations and representations evolved”,,

    Leading Evolutionary Scientists Admit We Have No Evolutionary Explanation of Human Language – December 19, 2014
    Excerpt: Understanding the evolution of language requires evidence regarding origins and processes that led to change. In the last 40 years, there has been an explosion of research on this problem as well as a sense that considerable progress has been made. We argue instead that the richness of ideas is accompanied by a poverty of evidence, with essentially no explanation of how and why our linguistic computations and representations evolved.,,,
    (Marc Hauser, Charles Yang, Robert Berwick, Ian Tattersall, Michael J. Ryan, Jeffrey Watumull, Noam Chomsky and Richard C. Lewontin, “The mystery of language evolution,” Frontiers in Psychology, Vol 5:401 (May 7, 2014).)
    Casey Luskin added: “It’s difficult to imagine much stronger words from a more prestigious collection of experts.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....92141.html

    As to ‘creativity’, ‘creativity’ entails the ability to think ‘abstractly’, Yet ‘abstract’ thinking is profoundly immaterial in its foundational essence, and can therefore find no basis in the Atheistic materialism of Darwinian evolution. As Dr. Egnor noted, it is in our ability to think ‘abstractly, i.e. ‘immaterially’, that “We are more different from apes than apes are from viruses.”

    The Fundamental Difference Between Humans and Nonhuman Animals – Michael Egnor – November 5, 2015
    Excerpt: Human beings have mental powers that include the material mental powers of animals but in addition entail a profoundly different kind of thinking. Human beings think abstractly, and nonhuman animals do not. Human beings have the power to contemplate universals, which are concepts that have no material instantiation. Human beings think about mathematics, literature, art, language, justice, mercy, and an endless library of abstract concepts. Human beings are rational animals.
    Human rationality is not merely a highly evolved kind of animal perception. Human rationality is qualitatively different — ontologically different — from animal perception. Human rationality is different because it is immaterial. Contemplation of universals cannot have material instantiation, because universals themselves are not material and cannot be instantiated in matter.,,,
    It is a radical difference — an immeasurable qualitative difference, not a quantitative difference.
    We are more different from apes than apes are from viruses.,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....00661.html

    Same with ‘compassion’. Exactly how is ‘compassion’ to be grounded within the Darwinian worldview where it is held, (as the ‘one general law’ of evolution no less), “let the strongest live and the weakest die”?

    “One general law, leading to the advancement of all organic beings, namely, multiply, vary, let the strongest live and the weakest die.”
    – Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species – 1861, page 266

    As should be needless to say, Darwin’s “Death as the Creator” simply lacks compassion of any sort,

    How Has Darwinism Negatively Impacted Society? – John G. West – January 11, 2022
    Excerpt: Death as the Creator
    A third big idea fueled by Darwin’s theory is that the engine of progress in the history of life is mass death. Instead of believing that the remarkable features of humans and other living things reflect the intelligent design of a master artist, Darwin portrayed death and destruction as our ultimate creator. As he wrote at the end of his most famous work: “Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows.”13
    https://evolutionnews.org/2022/01/how-has-darwinism-negatively-impacted-society/

    So PM1’s hope for a ‘better world’, all without God, via “a reasoned faith in human capacities (intelligence, creativity, compassion)”, is an act of self-delusion on his part. Without God, PM1 simply would not even have the capacity for “intelligence, creativity, and compassion” in the first place.

    Moreover, humanists have been trying to build a ‘better world’, without God, for quite a while now. At least since the French Revolution. So what are the results of enlightenment humanists trying to build a ‘better world’, all without God?

    Well, sadly and predictably, enlightenment humanism started horrifically bad,,

    Solzhenitsyn Mourned Bastille Day. So Should All Christians. – July 2015
    The French Revolution invented radical nationalism and socialism, and launched the first modern genocide, aimed at Christians.
    Excerpt: the first such modern genocide in the West took place in France, beginning in 1793. It was undertaken by modern, progressive apostles of Enlightenment and aimed at pious peasants in the Vendée region of France. By its end up to 300,000 civilians had been killed by the armies of the Republic.
    This story is little discussed in France. Indeed, a devout historian who teaches at a French university once told me, “We are not to mention the Vendée. Anyone who brings up what was done there has no prospect of an academic career. So we keep silent.”
    It is mostly in the Vendée itself that memories linger, which may explain why that part of France to this day remains more religious and more conservative than any other region. The local government opened a museum marking these atrocities on their 200th anniversary in 1993 — with a visit by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, who noted during his eloquent address that the mass murders of Christians in Russia were directly inspired by those in the Vendée. The Bolsheviks, he said, modeled themselves on the French revolutionaries, and Lenin himself pointed to the Vendée massacres as the right way to deal with Christian resistance.
    It was ordinary farmers of the Vendée and Brittany regions who rose up in 1793 against the middle-class radicals in Paris who controlled the country. The ideologues of the Revolution had already
    *Executed the king and queen, and left their young son to die of disease in prison.
    *Seized the Cathedral of Notre Dame, stripped it of Christian symbols, and enshrined a prostitute as the “Goddess of Reason” on the altar;
    *Declared a revolutionary “war of liberation” against most of the other countries in Europe;
    *Suspended all Protestant services, in deference to the state’s cult of Reason;
    *Seized all church property from Catholics, expelling thousands of monks, priests and nuns to fend for themselves, then sold the property to their cronies to raise money for their wars;
    *Ordered all clergy to swear allegiance to the government instead of the church; and
    *Launched the first universal conscription in history, drafting ordinary people — most of them devout peasants bewildered by the slogans that held sway in Paris—to fight for the Revolution.
    When the Parisians came to take away their sons for the army, the Vendeans finally fought back and launched a counter-revolution in the name of “God and King.” It quickly spread across the northwest of France,,,,
    https://stream.org/solzhenitsyn-mourned-bastille-day/

    How atheism led to horrors of French Revolution 01/10/2016
    Bill Federer remembers words of wisdom from 19th century Yale president Timothy Dwight IV
    Excerpt: On July 4, 1798, Timothy Dwight gave an address in New Haven titled “The Duty of Americans at the Present Crisis.” In this address, he explained how Voltaire’s atheism inspired the French Revolution and it’s Reign of Terror, 1793-1794, where 40,000 people were beheaded and 300,000 were butchered in the Vendée:
    “About the year 1728, Voltaire, so celebrated for his wit and brilliancy and not less distinguished for his hatred of Christianity and his abandonment of principle, formed a systematical design to destroy Christianity and to introduce in its stead a general diffusion of irreligion and atheism.”
    http://www.wnd.com/2016/01/how.....KBO9Ttb.99

    And the results of enlightenment humanism have, sadly and predictably, only gotten catastrophically worse since its horrific inception in the French revolution,

    Atheism’s Body Count *
    It is obvious that Atheism cannot be true; for if it were, it would produce a more humane world, since it values only this life and is not swayed by the foolish beliefs of primitive superstitions and religions. However, the opposite proves to be true. Rather than providing the utopia of idealism, it has produced a body count second to none. With recent documents uncovered for the Maoist and Stalinist regimes, it now seems the high end of estimates of 250 million dead (between 1900-1987) are closer to the mark. The Stalinist Purges produced 61 million dead and Mao’s Cultural Revolution produced 70 million casualties. These murders are all upon their own people! This number does not include the countless dead in their wars of outward aggression waged in the name of the purity of atheism’s world view. China invades its peaceful, but religious neighbor, Tibet; supports N. Korea in its war against its southern neighbor and in its merciless oppression of its own people; and Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge kill up to 6 million with Chinese support. All of these actions done “in the name of the people” to create a better world.
    https://www.scholarscorner.com/atheisms-body-count-ideology-and-human-suffering/

    Hitler, Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mao – quotes – Foundational Darwinian influence in their Atheistic ideology https://uncommondescent.com/philosophy/david-berlinski-the-bad-boy-philosopher-who-doubts-darwinism-is-back/#comment-749756

  86. 86
    bornagain77 says:

    As well, PM1’s claim that enlightenment humanism guided the founding of America is also a patently false claim,

    In His Farewell Address, President Obama Misrepresented the American Founding – January 11, 2017
    Excerpt: “One thing he said about the American founding was especially troubling. Mr. Obama traced “the essential spirit of innovation and practical problem-solving that guided our Founders” to the Enlightenment. It was that movement, which he defined as “a faith in reason, and enterprise, and the primacy of right over might, that allowed us to resist the lure of fascism and tyranny during the Great Depression” and build a world order based on “the rule of law, human rights, freedoms of religion, speech, assembly, and an independent press.”
    This spin is common in the leftist canon, but it is historical revisionism of the highest rank.,,,
    The wisdom of the Bible and the clarity of natural law gave the founding generation the guidance they needed to frame a government suitable for an imperfectible but dignified humanity characterized by moral self-restraint and “a firm reliance on Divine Providence.”
    The shout of defiance in the President’s farewell address, that man can be made perfect through human cooperation with the “arc of history,” runs counter to the philosophy of the founding of our country and the text of the Constitution.”
    https://stream.org/in-his-farewell-address-president-obama/

    As John Adams stated, “The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.” And as George Washington himself stated, “You do well to wish to learn our arts and ways of life, and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ. These will make you a greater and happier people than you are.”

    A Few Declarations of Founding Fathers and Early Statesmen on Jesus, Christianity, and the Bible
    Excerpt: John Adams
    Signer Of The Declaration Of Independence; Judge; Diplomat; One Of Two Signers
    Of The Bill Of Rights; Second President Of The United States
    “The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.”1,,,

    George Washington
    Judge; Member Of The Continental Congress;
    Commander-in-chief Of The Continental Army;
    President Of The Constitutional Convention;
    First President Of The United States; “father Of His Country”
    “You do well to wish to learn our arts and ways of life, and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ. These will make you a greater and happier people than you are.” 121,,,
    https://wallbuilders.com/founding-fathers-jesus-christianity-bible/

    So the way to a ‘better world’, according the George Washington himself, is “the religion of Jesus Christ”? But what would George Washington know? 🙂

    And indeed, whereas enlightenment humanism has only left death and destruction in its wake in all the places in the world that it has tried to build a ‘better world’, Christianity has had tremendously positive impacts on the world at large, as well as a tremendously positive impact on the United States.

    How Dark Were the Dark Ages? PragerU – video
    What do we owe to the Middle (“Dark”)Ages:
    1. The University System
    2. Modern Science
    3. Architecture
    4. Art and Literature
    5. Musical Notation
    6. The establishment of schools, orphanages and hospitals.
    “Instead of the Middle Ages being called the ‘Dark Age’ it should instead be called the “Brilliant Age”
    – Anthony Esolen, English Literature professor at Providence College
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cqzq01i2O3U
    Were the Middle Ages, also known as the Dark Ages, characterized by oppression, ignorance, and backwardness in areas like human rights, science, health, and the arts? Or were they marked by progress and tolerance? Anthony Esolen, an English Literature professor at Providence College, explains.

    5 Ridiculous Myths You Probably Believe About the Dark Ages – 2013
    Excerpt: Almost immediately after the church gained a foothold in Europe, they started introducing a widespread system of charity that distributed food, clothing, and money to those in need. Perhaps not by coincidence, the concepts of goodwill hospices, hospitals (mid fourth century), and shelters for the poor were also invented during the “dark” ages, paving the way for the public health care system.
    http://www.cracked.com/article.....-ages.html

    For instance, Christianity founded the university system, and “approximately 106 out of the first 108 colleges were Christian colleges” in America were founded by Christians.

    Atheism’s Myth of a Christian Dark Ages Is Unbelievable – Mike Keas – January 22, 2019
    Excerpt: Atheist biologist Jerry Coyne once wrote, “Had there been no Christianity, if after the fall of Rome atheism had pervaded the Western world, science would have developed earlier and be far more advanced than it is now.” Did Christianity really drag the West into an anti-scientific “Dark Ages,” a period said to stretch from the fall of Rome to 1450 AD? In my new book, “Unbelievable: 7 Myths About the History and Future of Science and Religion,” I show why this and other anti-Christian myths crash and burn against the facts of history.,,,
    The University — A Christian Invention
    The institution in which most scholars investigated natural motion is also noteworthy — the university. This Christian invention began with the University of Bologna in 1088, followed by Paris and Oxford before 1200 and more than fifty others by 1450.,,,
    The Dark Ages Myth
    Contrary to the Dark Ages myth, medieval European Christians cultivated the idea of “laws of nature,” a logic friendly to science, the science of motion, human dissection, vision-light theories, mathematical analysis of nature, and the superiority of reason and observational experience (sometimes even experiment) over authority in the task of explaining nature.
    Medieval trailblazers also invented self-governing universities, eyeglasses, towering cathedrals with stained glass, and much, much more. Although labeling any age with a single descriptor is problematic, the so-called Dark Ages would be far better labeled an “Age of Illumination” or even an “Age of Reason.”
    https://evolutionnews.org/2019/01/atheisms-myth-of-a-christian-dark-ages-is-unbelievable/
    Michael N. Keas is Lecturer in the History and Philosophy of Science at Biola University and a Fellow of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture.

    The History of Christian Education in America
    Excerpt: The first colleges in America were founded by Christians and approximately 106 out of the first 108 colleges were Christian colleges. In fact, Harvard University, which is considered today as one of the leading universities in America and the world was founded by Christians. One of the original precepts of the then Harvard College stated that students should be instructed in knowing God and that Christ is the only foundation of all “sound knowledge and learning.”
    http://www.ehow.com/about_6544.....erica.html

    Moreover, secular humanists, with their removal of prayer from school, (not to mention their outlawing of teaching anything other than Darwinian evolution in public school), have, basically, tried their damndest to kick God out of public schools in America, in spite of the fact that Christianity gave us widespread education in America in the first place.

    Well, what have been the results of secular humanists, basically, kicking God out of public school in America? ,,, all in order to try to create a ‘better world’?

    Well, sadly and predictably, along with a host of other social ills, starting in 1963, SAT scores have dramatically plummeted for students in public schools in America.

    The Devastating Effects When Prayer Was Removed From School in America in 1962-63 – David Barton – video
    (excerpted from Barton’s “America’s Godly Heritage’ lecture)
    https://youtu.be/1No–GpdqCY

    Education Expert: Removing Bible, Prayer from Public Schools Has Caused Decline
    By Penny Starr | August 15, 2014
    Excerpt: Education expert William Jeynes said on Wednesday that there is a correlation between the decline of U.S. public schools and the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1962 and 1963 decision that school-sponsored Bible reading was unconstitutional.
    “One can argue, and some have, that the decision by the Supreme Court – in a series of three decisions back in 1962 and 1963 – to remove Bible and prayer from our public schools, may be the most spiritually significant event in our nation’s history over the course of the last 55 years,” Jeynes said.
    On June 25, 1962, the United States Supreme Court decided in Engel v. Vitale that a prayer approved by the New York Board of Regents for use in schools violated the First Amendment because it represented establishment of religion. In 1963, in Abington School District v. Schempp, the court decided against Bible readings in public schools along the same lines.
    Since 1963, Jeynes said there have been five negative developments in the nation’s public schools:
    • Academic achievement has plummeted, including SAT scores.
    • Increased rate of out-of-wedlock births
    • Increase in illegal drug use
    • Increase in juvenile crime
    • Deterioration of school behavior
    “So we need to realize that these actions do have consequences,” said Jeynes, professor at California State College in Long Beach and senior fellow at the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, N.J., “When we remove that moral fiber — that moral emphasis – this is what can result.”
    https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/penny-starr/education-expert-removing-bible-prayer-public-schools-has-caused-decline

  87. 87
    bornagain77 says:

    As the following graph highlights, after staying stable for years, In 1963, (the year prayer was removed from public schools), the verbal and math SAT scores ‘mysteriously’ started to decline for 17 straight years after 1963 until 1980.

    Historical average SAT scores of college bound seniors. – 1950 to the 2020
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e8/Historical_Average_SAT_Scores_%28Vector%29.svg

    And as David Barton pointed out in his video. the SAT scores for private Christian schools have not changed since 1962-63, but have remained remarkably stable.

    And if you are thinking about pulling your child from these ‘failing’ public school systems in America, which have ‘kicked God out of the classroom’, and enrolling them in a ‘passing’ private Christian school, might I suggest a private Christian school that teaches “Classical, Christian Education”?

    Classical, Christian Education: Higher SAT Scores Than All Other School Types “Without Even Trying”
    – Tom Owens on Jan 17, 2020
    One of the distinguishing features of classical education is we refuse to “teach to the test.” Instead, we immerse students in the great conversation of Western, Christian Civilization, exposing them early and often to the best minds humanity has ever produced. We seek the intellectual, moral, and spiritual development of our students above all, but when it comes to the standardized tests obsessed over in conventional schools, we are content to “let the chips fall where they may.”
    Yet, in following the wisdom of the ancients in our approach, the results speak for themselves. Member schools of the Association of Christian & Classical Schools (ACCS) produce students whose SAT scores are, on average, 325 points higher than public schools, 191 points higher than conventional religious schools, and 138 points higher than secular private high schools.
    How does this happen when most classical schools don’t formally prep for the SAT as part of the curriculum? Why does it seem like ACCS students easily handle the SAT “without even trying?”
    https://www.dominionschool.com/dominion-blog/classical-christian-education-higher-sat-scores-than-all-other-school-types-without-even-trying

    So thus in conclusion, PM1 may fervently believe that he, and other atheists, can, all without God, reason their way to a ‘better world’, but common sense and history both betray PM1. Man’s attempt “to be his own god’, as it were, has resulted in nothing but unmitigated horror for mankind.

    As was written 2000 years ago, and remains true today, (I might add with the benefit of hindsight, remains even more true today), “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”

    James 1:17
    Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

    Of supplemental note,

    Atheists often claim that the supposed doctrine of ‘separation of church and state’ is the reason that prayer was removed from public schools. But leaving aside the fact that the statement ‘separation of church and state’ is not even in the constitution, but was a statement that was lifted out of context from a letter that Jefferson wrote to a minister,

    Charlie Daniels: Separation of Church & State Is Not About ‘Religion’; It’s a Battle Against Christianity By Charlie Daniels | September 18, 2017
    Excerpt: Many people think there is a section in the Constitution, or somewhere in the federal papers that demands separation of church and state, but there is no such terminology.
    The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”
    Separation of church and state is part of a letter written by Thomas Jefferson, whose original intent was far from what the enemies of public displays of religion would have you believe.
    https://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/charlie-daniels/charlie-daniels-separation-church-state-not-about-religion-its-battle

    Leaving aside that ‘little detail’, the supposed ‘doctrine’ of separation of church and state is, basically, a work of fiction that was created out of thin air by the overtly racist Supreme Court justice Hugo Black (i.e. a former KKK member),,,

    Hugo Black and the real history of “the wall of separation between church and state” – 2011
    Excerpt: So how does this invocation of “wall of separation between church and state” become Supreme Court doctrine, extending from a casual phrase by Thomas Jefferson in a letter to an obscure comment in an 1878 Supreme Court ruling on bigamy to a pervasive doctrine of anti-religious censorship in the public square in the 21st century?,,,
    http://egnorance.blogspot.com/.....ll-of.html

  88. 88
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    If anything, this conversation has convinced me that trying to have an intellectually honest dialogue about the strengths and weakness of Marx and critical theory with people who have been indoctrinated with anti-communist propaganda is about as useful and enjoyable as talking with New Atheists about process theism.

    I’d explain how my version of democratic socialism differs from everything you’ve ever heard about, but at this point I have rather little faith in anyone’s willingness to have a conversation even about that.

    One last point: it is simply not true that “ideas have consequences,” contrary to Weaver’s little book of pseudo-history. Ideas have entailments and actions have consequences. It’s true that if you want to know what someone did what they did, it’s often useful to inquire into what they believe; our beliefs about what’s true often guide our choices. But it can also be true that the consequences of our actions are incompatible with the entailments of our ideas — something that can often only be seen in retrospect, and even then, only in the judgment of posterity.

  89. 89
    jerry says:

    If anything, this conversation has convinced me that trying to have an intellectually honest dialogue about the strengths and weakness of Marx and critical theory with people who have been indoctrinated with anti-communist propaganda

    Facts are stubborn things.

    Any type of socialism will fail because it is contrary to human nature. As shown by a zillion facts. Espousing any form of it will kill, probably billions if implemented.

    Recommending adopting it is amazing hubris and an obvious disregard for human life and flourishing.

  90. 90
    asauber says:

    “Any type of socialism will fail because it is contrary to human nature. ”

    Anyone who thinks they can change human nature with a political ideology is highly delusional, and shouldn’t be allowed to participate in political decision-making. 😉 Of course, people don’t really believe they can, but hey, they’ll say whatever they think sounds good.

    Andrew

  91. 91
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @89

    Any type of socialism will fail because it is contrary to human nature.

    This depends just as much on one’s version of socialism as it does on one’s theory of human nature. My own version of socialism is based on anti-Bolshevik autonomism and looks to degrowth as a short-term socio-economic goal.

    And my theory of human nature is based on history, sociology, archeology, anthropology, and primatology. (I’d share my reading list but that would be a waste of time.)

    Espousing any form of it will kill, probably billions if implemented.

    Yet Norway seems to be doing OK so far.

    Recommending adopting it is amazing hubris and an obvious disregard for human life and flourishing.

    Apparently no one told Lula before he won while running on a socialist platform.

  92. 92
    jerry says:

    Yet Norway seems to be doing OK so far

    Another stupid remark.

    Norway is a very small country and essentially has free energy. Not transferable to anywhere else.

    Norway is also a capitalist country. It just has this source of energy that helps reduce costs substantially for its citizenry.

  93. 93
    kairosfocus says:

    PM1, just to refresh, while labour (of various grades) is indeed part of the value of a good and/or service (they tend to be bundled), it is neither the only class of input nor the determinant of price. Price is driven by the need to return to the various factors at a rate where one bids against alternatives. This reflects the underlying opportunity cost, the next best alternative foregone. As we saw, diamonds could be used as fuel or abrasives, but certain grades of diamond have a better use as jewellery. Titanium similarly is bought up by the aerospace industry and some of it goes into medical uses or luxury goods. KF

    PS, Ti is actually abundant but expensive to extract, see https://www.titaniumprocessingcenter.com/Clone_02-11-25-2021/titanium-extraction-and-refining/ If something approaching the efficiency of Fe or even Al production were on the table, that would shift the economics of its use drastically.

  94. 94
    Ford Prefect says:

    Espousing any form of it will kill, probably billions if implemented.

    Yet there are very few countries that have not adopted some aspects of socialism. Even the US.

  95. 95
    Ford Prefect says:

    Andrew writes:

    Anyone who thinks they can change human nature with a political ideology is highly delusional, and shouldn’t be allowed to participate in political decision-making.

    Many religious teachings go against “human nature”. As do civil rights and women’s’ rights. Society is always a battle between “human nature” and the behaviours necessary to live in a society.

  96. 96
    jerry says:

    Yet there are very few countries that have not adopted some aspects of socialism

    Wrong!

    Most people confuse welfare with socialism. Even Hayek advocated welfare where needed.

    Also free market capitalists espouse the value of the commons.

  97. 97
    asauber says:

    “Many religious teachings go against “human nature”.

    Of course they do. But religion and politics are different things with different purposes.

    Andrew

  98. 98
    bornagain77 says:

    FP falsely claims: “Many religious teachings go against “human nature”. As do civil rights and women’s’ rights.”

    Directly contrary to what FP believes, equal rights are based in the Judeo-Christian belief that men, and women, have souls that are created equal before God.

    i.e. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.-,,,
    https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration-transcript

    Genesis 1:27
    So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

    Since Darwinists deny the existence of souls, Darwinists simply have no way to ground equality between races, and between men and women.

    Don’t take my word for it, Darwin himself admitted that his theory was blatantly racist and misogynistic.

    ““Although best known for On the Origin of Species, Darwin does not address human evolution and race until his 1871 book, The Descent of Man, in which Darwin applies his theories of natural selection to humans and introduces the idea of sexual selection. Here his white supremacism is revealed. Over the course of the book, Darwin describes Australians, Mongolians, Africans, Indians, South Americans, Polynesians, and even Eskimos as “savages:” It becomes clear that he considers every population that is not white and European to be savage.”,,,
    Not only does Darwin believe in white supremacy, he offers a biological explanation for it, namely that white people are further evolved. He writes that the “western nations of Europe … now so immeasurably surpass their former savage progenitors and stand at the summit of civilization” (178). Darwin imagines that Europeans are more advanced versions of the rest of the world. As previously mentioned, this purported superiority justified to Darwin the domination of inferior races by Europeans. As white Europeans “exterminate and replace” the world’s “savage races,” and as great apes go extinct, Darwin says that the gap between civilized man and his closest evolutionary ancestor will widen. The gap will eventually be between civilized man “and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as at present between the negro or Australian and the gorilla” (201). Read that last line again if you missed it: Darwin’s theory claims that Africans and Australians are more closely related to apes than Europeans are. The spectrum of organisms is a hierarchy here, with white Europeans at the top and apes at the bottom. In Darwin’s theory, colored people fall somewhere in between. Modern human is essentially restricted only to white Europeans, with all other races viewed as somehow sub-human…”
    … “Now I understand why I’ve never been asked in a biology class to read the original text of Darwin’s theories: Our contemporary reverence for Darwin’s gentlemanliness and the pure scientific brilliance of his theories is an overly optimistic illusion that shatters upon a closer look at his publications.”
    Austin Anderson, “The Dark Side of Darwinism”
    https://uncommondescent.com/darwinism/an-academic-discovers-the-dark-side-of-darwinism/

    “Women were biologically and intellectually inferior to men, according to Darwin. The intelligence gap that Darwinists believed existed between males and females was not minor, but of a level that caused some evolutionists to classify the sexes as two distinct psychological species, males as Homo frontalis and females as Homo parietalis. In The Descent of Man, Darwin argued – “The chief distinction in the intellectual powers of the two sexes is shown by man’s attaining to a higher eminence in whatever he takes up, than can a woman—whether requiring deep thought, reason, or imagination, or merely the use of the senses and hands. ”
    In The Origin of Species, natural selection was developed along-side of sexual selection. Males were like animal breeders, shaping women to their liking by sexual selection on the one hand along with the recognition men were exposed to far greater selective pressures than women, especially in war and competition for mates, food, and clothing on the other hand. From Darwin’s perspective, males have evolved further than females from a Darwinian perspective.
    As Jerry Bergman explains, “Natural selection would consequently operate far more actively on males, producing male superiority in virtually all skill areas.”
    – Darwin Then and Now – Richard Nelson – 2013

    The history of the teaching of human female inferiority in Darwinism
    by Jerry Bergman – 2000
    Summary
    A review of the most prominent late 19th century writings by biologists focusing on Charles Darwin reveals that a major plank of evolution theory was the belief that women were intellectually and physically inferior to men. Female inferiority was a logical conclusion of the natural selection worldview because men were exposed to far greater selective pressures than women, especially in war, competition for mates, food and clothing. Conversely, women were protected from evolutionary selection by norms which dictated that men were to provide for and protect women and children. Darwinists taught that as a result of this protection, natural selection operated far more actively on males, producing male superiority in virtually all skill areas. As a result, males evolved more than females. The female inferiority doctrine is an excellent example of the armchair logic that has often been more important in establishing evolutionary theory than fossil and other empirical evidence.,,,,
    Summary
    The Christian teaching of the equality of the sexes before God (Gal. 3:28), and the lack of support for the female biological inferiority position, is in considerable contrast to the conclusions derived by evolutionary biology in the middle and late 1800s. In my judgment, the history of these teachings is a clear illustration of the negative impact of social Darwinism.
    https://creation.com/the-history-of-the-teaching-of-human-female-inferiority-in-darwinism

    In fact, Darwin’s systemic racism is literally built into the fictitious ‘march to man’ displays in museums.

    Human Evolution as a “Path to Whiteness” – November 24, 2021
    Excerpt: Do Your Own Google Search
    I had never thought of this before. In contemporary museum displays and other evolutionary depictions, just as in Darwin’s Descent of Man and in the notorious Civic Biology textbook that was at issue in the 1925 Scopes Trial, human origins are portrayed as an upward progress from dark to white. Neanderthals, however otherwise “primitive” (which is questionable in itself), are shown as light-skinned. And maybe they were, but modern man — Homo sapiens — is almost invariably white and European, not African or Asian. Check out some examples from around the Internet, here, here, here, here, and here. (links on site) Do a Google image search for the phrase “human evolution” and you’ll see many others.
    Just a coincidence? Or is Darwin’s racist legacy still with us today? You tell me. For a deeper exploration of that legacy, see John West’s documentary Human Zoos.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2021/11/human-evolution-as-a-path-to-whiteness/

    Of related note, contrary to popular belief, museum exhibits purporting to show the evolutionary ‘march to man’ are based far more on untethered imagination and ‘artistic reconstruction’, rather than on any substantiating, much less any compelling, scientific evidence

    Ancestor bias – Museum depictions of ‘human ancestors’ challenged—by evolutionists
    by Philip Robinson – Nov. 2022
    Excerpt: A team of researchers recently looked at artistic renderings of humans’ alleged ape-like ancestors. They openly discussed a wide range of issues of concern in how these are depicted.1
    The team noted that there have been very few ‘hominin’ fossils ever found. In fact, they highlighted that the total number of finds is less than the number of anthropologists active today. So, comparing reconstructions of the small number of individual hominin finds is relatively easy.
    Lead researcher Ryan Campbell wrote, “I expected to find consistency in those reconstructions displayed in natural history museums, but the differences, even there, were so severe that I almost thought all previous practitioners had never encountered a single hominid reconstruction before commencing their own.”2
    ,,, In addressing their original question about museums they suggested that while their artistic renditions are technically impressive, “There are potential educational harms in presenting unscientific reconstructions of hominins under the shroud of presumed validity.” They suggested that the reasons for museums doing so “can most likely be attributed to factors outside the control of science”.3
    In wanting to appear to present a coherent and convincing story of evolution, a great deal of ‘scientific/artistic licence’ is inappropriately used in ‘hominin’ reconstructions.,,,
    In fact, australopithecines in many respects “clearly differ more from both humans and African apes, than do these two living groups from each other. The australopithecines are unique.”4 Also, they did not, as many believe, walk upright in the human manner.5
    https://creation.com/museum-apemen-challenged-by-evolutionists
    Dec. 2022 – Thus in conclusion, the claim from Darwinists that humans evolved from some ape-like creature is, for all intents and purposes, based entirely on untethered imagination and ‘artistic reconstruction’, rather than on any substantiating, much less any compelling, scientific evidence. In short, the ‘narrative’ of human evolution belongs far more to the realm of fantasy and fairy tales than it does in the real world of empirical science.
    https://uncommondescent.com/evolution/at-sci-news-human-bipedalism-may-have-evolved-in-trees-study-says/#comment-772256

    Of supplemental note:

    Oct. 2022 – So since Darwinian Atheists, as a foundational presupposition of their materialistic philosophy, (and not from any compelling scientific evidence mind you), deny the existence of souls, (and since the materialist’s denial of souls, (and God), has led (via atheistic tyrants) to so much catastrophic disaster on human societies in the 20th century), then it is VERY important to ‘scientifically’ establish the existence of these ‘souls’ that are of incalculable worth, and that are equal, before God.
    https://uncommondescent.com/off-topic/what-must-we-do-when-the-foundations-are-being-destroyed/#comment-768496

    Verse:

    Mark 8:37
    Is anything worth more than your soul?

  99. 99
    Seversky says:

    Kairosfocus/49

    Seversky, We had direct defamation that cannot be substantiated.

    To succeed in a claim for defamation the plaintiffs would, at the least, have to persuade a court that their reputations have been substantively harmed by a comment published on a blog that has a small readership. How would you rate their chances? What about the comments you have published here about the BLM founders?

    This is not a game of moral equivalency.

    No, it isn’t. I think that that the campaign by right-wingers to disparage and discredit the likes of BLM by accusing them of Marxism, whether cultural or otherwise, is an obvious attempt to distract attention from the eqregious history of discrimination practiced by the dominant white culture against minority groups in the US. That the founders of BLM call themselves Marxist does not alter the fact of that history of discrimination.

    And, once again, would you extend to Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi the courtesy of allowing them to post here if they wanted, if you are prepared to do the same for Peterson, Rufo and Lindsay?

  100. 100
    Seversky says:

    Relatd/58

    Zo, making a profit iz verboten? Ja?

    Not necessarily, not if it’s being shared around evenly among those who helped make it but the CEO of McDonalds, for example, makes around 80 times what someone gets for flipping burgers in one of their fast food joints. Maybe burger-flippers could not do what the CEO does but neither could he flip enough burgers to make the same profit for the company all by himself.

  101. 101
    whistler says:

    How to put to rest marxism in less than 5 minutes:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYbambvmWMs

  102. 102
    Seversky says:

    Relatd/70

    I’ve never seen so many ism’s in one place.

    I believe it’s called suffix-ism.

  103. 103
    Seversky says:

    Jblais/74

    This horrible and murderous philosphy and ideology was thoroughly discredited in shame in the 20th century, at the cost of more death and suffering than any other philosophy in the history of mankind. Defending it today with the benefit of hindsight is really shameful.

    All of which, typically, completely ignores the blood spilled in the names of various religions over the past centuries and is no different from the attempts to “whitewash” out the history of oppression against minority groups by the dominant white culture.

  104. 104
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky, “All of which, typically, completely ignores the blood spilled in the names of various religions over the past centuries and is no different from the attempts to “whitewash” out the history of oppression against minority groups by the dominant white culture.”

    So what is your reasoning here Seversky? Various religions, or at least people claiming to be religious, have been ALMOST as evil as atheism has been in its short span of dominance in the 20th century, and therefore we should adopt your atheistic worldview instead?

    Do you see the glaring flaw in your reasoning here Seversky? Or are you so blinded by your hatred of Christianity that even IF Christianity had been ALMOST as evil as atheism has been, (which I contest as a valid claim), but even IF Christianity had been ALMOST as evil as atheism has been in the 20th century we should still opt for the worldview that has spilt far less blood, and which continues to champion “pro-life’ for the most vulnerable, and defenseless, humans.

    If even that basic point of reasoning escapes you, it is no wonder that “the best refutations count for nothing” against your chosen anti-Christian worldview.

    A Defense of the (Divine) revelation against the objections of freethinkers (atheists), by Mr. (Leonhard) Euler
    Excerpt: “The freethinkers (atheists) have yet to produce any objections that have not long been refuted most thoroughly. But since they are not motivated by the love of truth, and since they have an entirely different point of view, we should not be surprised that the best refutations count for nothing and that the weakest and most ridiculous reasoning, which has so often been shown to be baseless, is continuously repeated. If these people maintained the slightest rigor, the slightest taste for the truth, it would be quite easy to steer them away from their errors; but their tendency towards stubbornness makes this completely impossible.”
    http://www.math.dartmouth.edu/.....2trans.pdf

    (Leonhard) Euler (a devout Christian) is held to be one of the greatest mathematicians in history and the greatest of the 18th century. A statement attributed to Pierre-Simon Laplace expresses Euler’s influence on mathematics: “Read Euler, read Euler, he is the master of us all.”[4][5] Carl Friedrich Gauss remarked: “The study of Euler’s works will remain the best school for the different fields of mathematics, and nothing else can replace it.”[6]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonhard_Euler

    God by the Numbers – Connecting the constants
    Excerpt: The final number comes from theoretical mathematics. It is Euler’s (pronounced “Oiler’s”) number: e^pi*i. This number is equal to -1, so when the formula is written e^pi*i+1 = 0, it connects the five most important constants in mathematics (e, pi, i, 0, and 1) along with three of the most important mathematical operations (addition, multiplication, and exponentiation). These five constants symbolize the four major branches of classical mathematics: arithmetic, represented by 1 and 0; algebra, by i; geometry, by pi; and analysis, by e, the base of the natural log. e^pi*i+1 = 0 has been called “the most famous of all formulas,” because, as one textbook says, “It appeals equally to the mystic, the scientist, the philosopher, and the mathematician.”,,,
    The discovery of this number gave mathematicians the same sense of delight and wonder that would come from the discovery that three broken pieces of pottery, each made in different countries, could be fitted together to make a perfect sphere. It seemed to argue that there was a plan where no plan should be.,,,
    Today, numbers from astronomy, biology, and theoretical mathematics point to a rational mind behind the universe.,,, The apostle John prepared the way for this conclusion when he used the word for logic, reason, and rationality—logos—to describe Christ at the beginning of his Gospel: “In the beginning was the logos, and the logos was with God, and the logos was God.” When we think logically, which is the goal of mathematics, we are led to think of God.
    http://www.christianitytoday.c.....ml?start=3

    Euler’s identity – Mathematical Beauty
    Euler’s identity is often cited as an example of deep mathematical beauty.[5] Three of the basic arithmetic operations occur exactly once each: addition, multiplication, and exponentiation. The identity also links five fundamental mathematical constants:[6]

    The number 0, the additive identity.
    The number 1, the multiplicative identity.
    The number ? (? = 3.1415…), the fundamental circle constant.
    The number e (e = 2.718…), also known as Euler’s number, which occurs widely in mathematical analysis.
    The number i, the imaginary unit of the complex numbers.
    Furthermore, the equation is given in the form of an expression set equal to zero, which is common practice in several areas of mathematics.

    Stanford University mathematics professor Keith Devlin has said, “like a Shakespearean sonnet that captures the very essence of love, or a painting that brings out the beauty of the human form that is far more than just skin deep, Euler’s equation reaches down into the very depths of existence”.[7] And Paul Nahin, a professor emeritus at the University of New Hampshire, who has written a book dedicated to Euler’s formula and its applications in Fourier analysis, describes Euler’s identity as being “of exquisite beauty”.[8]

    Mathematics writer Constance Reid has opined that Euler’s identity is “the most famous formula in all mathematics”.[9] And Benjamin Peirce, a 19th-century American philosopher, mathematician, and professor at Harvard University, after proving Euler’s identity during a lecture, stated that the identity “is absolutely paradoxical; we cannot understand it, and we don’t know what it means, but we have proved it, and therefore we know it must be the truth”.[10]

    A poll of readers conducted by The Mathematical Intelligencer in 1990 named Euler’s identity as the “most beautiful theorem in mathematics”.[11] In another poll of readers that was conducted by Physics World in 2004, Euler’s identity tied with Maxwell’s equations (of electromagnetism) as the “greatest equation ever”.[12]

    At least three books in popular mathematics have been published about Euler’s identity:

    Dr. Euler’s Fabulous Formula: Cures Many Mathematical Ills, by Paul Nahin (2011)[13]
    A Most Elegant Equation: Euler’s formula and the beauty of mathematics, by David Stipp (2017)[14]
    Euler’s Pioneering Equation: The most beautiful theorem in mathematics, by Robin Wilson (2018).[15]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euler%27s_identity#Mathematical_beauty

  105. 105
    vividbleau says:

    Not only is BLM a scam that took off based on a lie ( hands up don’t shoot), burnt down Ferguson based on a lie, caused billions in damage, a lot of that black owned businesses, it’s also populated with racists.

    https://thepostmillennial.com/blm-toronto-leader-believes-white-people-are-sub-human-calls-them-genetic-defects

    Ain’t that lovely

    Vivid

  106. 106
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky, why do you inject an imaginary human court? The matter is a basic one of respect for the right to innocent reputation. We have a reasonable — and morally binding — expectation that others will not take to either gossip networks or soapboxes or newspapers or electronic and online media to try to damage our reputations with ill founded suppositions, insinuations, innuendoes, suggestions, half truths or outright false accusations or generally denigratory remarks. That is, others have a duty to respect innocent reputation. Where, THE VERY FACT THAT I HAVE TO EXPLICITLY POINT THIS OUT IN A CORRECTIVE RESPONSE TO AN EDUCATED PERSON SPEAKS VOLUMES ON THE BREAKDOWN OF BASIC CIVILISED VALUES AND VIRTUES IN OUR DAY. We are in a sad way, and it does not bode well for where we are headed. Slander, libel and defamation generally speaking exist before court action is taken, and decent people of common good deportment know a lot better than to go there. KF

    PS, the same holds for coarse, vulgar or blasphemous language.

  107. 107
    Jblais says:

    @Seversky
    “All of which, typically, completely ignores the blood spilled in the names of various religions over the past centuries…”

    I know of no religion that has ever managed to kill over a 100 million human beings in less than a century. But anyway, the discussion was about marxism/communism in this case so this seems to be “whataboutism” I’m afraid.

    “…and is no different from the attempts to “whitewash” out the history of oppression against minority groups by the dominant white culture.”

    How is this relevant to the point I was making ? How is pointing to the shameful, bloody and humiliating refutation of marxist ideas in the 20th century (a historical fact) an attempt to whitewash anything exactly ?

    But out of curiosity, how do you think “non-white” dominant cultures have historically treated and currently treat their minorities (ethnic, sexual, religious, etc) on their territory ? What about the han chinese or the arabs for example ? Better than in the west and its christian heritage ? If so, why are people from all over the world want to come to live in the west and not the other way around ?

  108. 108
    vividbleau says:

    Hey a Sev since you are,so virtuous where did all the money go that BLM got after Floyd’s death?. Furthermore since you are so concerned about the black man and woman care to guess what is the cause of 50% of all black deaths

    Vivid

  109. 109
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky,

    you’re another is an evasion regarding a clear and present danger.

    It also fails to recognise the correction that while there have been grave wrongs done under colour of religion, most of the fights over “religion” were more over ambitions and agendas of unaccountable power elites than disputes over theology.

    Classically, Nero targetted Christians for alleged treasonous arson because his reputation was so poor that he could not shake the whispers that he ordered the fire of July 64 in Rome. In turn Christians were reviled due to slanderous gossip and were held rebellious because they refused to give an idolatrous loyalty oath to the Caesar. That gossip was, per Tertullian’s rebuttal, reinforced with silly accusations of incest and cannibalism. That led to lynchings and to judicial murder, for centuries. A similar pattern of abuse of power will soon emerge when one studies say the 30 years war.

    I take a contrarian but well supported view on the crusades.

    Strategically, they were limited counter offensives after 400 years of a real case of religiously motivated conquest. Operationally, too often they were incompetent, ill disciplined and tainted with war crimes, unfortunately reflective of the general tenor of war since time immemorial. As a comparison, compare the behaviour of the Vikings.

    Indeed, it is precisely the ethical influence of a religion you show habitual hostility to that helped mitigate this and many other ancient evils.

    Turning to the focal matters here, marxian advocates of the simplistic the labour theory of value have tried to taint inventors, entrepreneurs, managers and investors, or even just independent minded peasants [Kulaks] as grand thieves who in effect forfeited their livelihood and too often their lives. As a result 100 millions died, separate from deaths in actual wars. I personally lost an aunt to this, murdered through agit prop and its street consequences.

    Most specifically, this thread is in reply to slanderous accusation of theft, lying etc for the thought crime of pointing out the history of ideas roots in marxism [now emerging in the exchanges loud and clear] in the Frankfurt School and in culture form neo marxism of today’s woke ideology critical theories and associated pushes for power. It is fair comment to note that — for cause — you will be evaluated on what you have tried to defend and the fallacious tactics you have used to do so.

    KF

  110. 110
    Querius says:

    Whistler @101

    How to put to rest marxism in less than 5 minutes:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYbambvmWMs

    Great presentation, thank you!

    The distinction between “capitalist” and “entrepreneur” is critical–and is ignored by Marxists. Let me add a couple of points:

    • Venture capitalists aim to double their money in 3-5 years for any successful venture.

    • Venture capitalists accept the reality that at least 9 out of 10 ventures will fail and they will lose 100% of their investment. All of it. Poof!

    • Venture capitalists research at least four primary areas in any company being considering for investment (and many minor ones as well):

    – What are the PROVEN qualifications of the completed management TEAM?
    – Do they have a viable PRODUCT already selling in the market?
    – What is the current GROWTH rate of the product in its market and how large is that market?
    – How will additional capital immediately BENEFIT the venture?

    • Venture capitalists invest in only about 1% of the businesses that approach them with viable business plans.

    Here’s an example of what venture capitalists are totally allergic to:

    Hi, I’m John Doe and I came up with several great ideas in my garage for products that nobody’s ever done. If I just make $1 from each person in China, it will produce billions of dollars in revenues in the first year.

    -Q

  111. 111
    Origenes says:

    Why is it that, unlike a broken clock, some people are exactly wrong about literally everything? No matter the subject, they, without hesitation, present you with the wrong way of looking at it. At some point, one has to wonder what’s going on.

  112. 112
    vividbleau says:

    PMI “If anything, this conversation has convinced me that trying to have an intellectually honest dialogue about the strengths and weakness of Marx and critical theory with people who have been indoctrinated with anti-communist propaganda is about as useful and enjoyable as talking with New Atheists about process theism”

    Why should we take anything you say seriously? You don’t even know something as basic as to how Insurance works. You don’t know the difference between a claimant and it’s counter party which demonstrates you know nothing about how the real world works.You call billions of dollars in property damage and numerous deaths as “feint and meager”. You gas light and [SNIP] on everyone’s leg and tell them it’s raining and then whine about no one taking you seriously and wanting a intellectual honest dialogue.

    Here is a bit of advice, if you want an honest dialogue quit [SNIP] on our legs.

    Vivid

  113. 113
    Querius says:

    Vividbleau @105,

    Not only is BLM a scam that took off based on a lie ( hands up don’t shoot), burnt down Ferguson based on a lie, caused billions in damage, a lot of that black owned businesses, it’s also populated with racists.

    The deeper scandal is long-term, pervasive educational malpractice in inner cities to persist a victim class for votes and to monetize the resulting human misery solely for the benefit of political and bureaucratic grifters!

    On the other hand, I agree that there needs to be a modernized replacement for current public education, police, and prison services. As is true for most institutions, reform is impossible.

    -Q

  114. 114
    Querius says:

    Origenes @111,

    Why is it that, unlike a broken clock, some people are exactly wrong about literally everything? No matter the subject, they, without hesitation, present you with the wrong way of looking at it. At some point, one has to wonder what’s going on.

    Simple. They have reasonably fine minds, but suffer from “garbage in, garbage out.” Unfortunately, this is true to greater or lesser extents for ALL OF US. That’s why lying and deception is so subversive.

    That’s also why we should reply more on pragmatic outcomes than well-meaning intentions. Both gooey sentimentalism and hard-nosed judgmentalism are wrong.

    He has told you, mortal one, what is good;
    And what does the LORD require of you
    But to do justice, to love kindness,
    And to walk humbly with your God? – Micah 6:8 NASB

    Justice. Kindness. Humility.

    -Q

  115. 115
    Querius says:

    Vividbleau @112

    You gas light and [SNIP] on everyone’s leg and tell them it’s raining and then whine about no one taking you seriously and wanting a intellectual honest dialogue.

    Here is a bit of advice, if you want an honest dialogue quit [SNIP] on our legs.

    Well said! And it would be truly valuable to encounter diverse and contrary opinions, but assertions need to be direct, honest, and well-supported. They need to be devoid of trollbot responses, ad hominem attacks, and other ploys and evasions.

    As to political “solutions,” let me offer a paraphrase of one of H.L. Mencken’s famous quotes–long a favorite of mine–as presented by my Quantitative Analysis prof:

    For every problem, there’s a solution. Neat. Plausible. And wrong.

    -Q

  116. 116
    relatd says:

    KF at 106,

    “Where, THE VERY FACT THAT I HAVE TO EXPLICITLY POINT THIS OUT IN A CORRECTIVE RESPONSE TO AN EDUCATED PERSON SPEAKS VOLUMES ON THE BREAKDOWN OF BASIC CIVILISED VALUES AND VIRTUES IN OUR DAY. We are in a sad way, and it does not bode well for where we are headed. Slander, libel and defamation generally speaking exist before court action is taken, and decent people of common good deportment know a lot better than to go there. KF

    “PS, the same holds for coarse, vulgar or blasphemous language.”

    I grew up in a mostly civilized culture. Where neighbors were extensions of our families. Where a stranger could walk up to a boy like me and say, “Young man, you should be ashamed of yourself.” We didn’t all go to the same Church but we all shared the same values. Respect was number one. As a boy, I was taught to address adults as “Hello, Mister So and So. Hello, Missus So and So.” There were standards regarding behavior and they were followed. As a boy, I was forbidden from using vulgar language.

    As time passed, these standards were attacked. The family, the basic unit of any society, was attacked. In the late 1960s for movies and starting in 1971 on TV, crude, vulgar and inappropriate subject matter began to appear. Low-level profanity on TV as the years passed. In 1987, George Michael was yelling I Want Your Sex on the radio. Some radio stations refused to play it but the self-appointed Total Strangers fought against that. And continued to fight to get a culture that was corrupted. They like that. That’s what they always wanted. A culture like themselves. I reject that. Always will.

  117. 117
    relatd says:

    Origenes at 111,

    So what do you think is going on?

  118. 118
    vividbleau says:

    Jerry
    “Facts are stubborn things”

    Unfortunately we live in a fact free world.where truth is made not found. It’s all about narrative the facts be damned.

    Yesterday I watched a lying evil lie perpetrated on the American people that would make Goebbel proud. President Biden and his minions perpetrated one lie after another, amplified by the media that 5 police officers were killed on Jan 6th. A blatant evil knowingly intentional lie and nothing but pure propagand and was nothing more than emulating Hitlers Reichstag Fire.

    The tragedy is that millions of Americans believe this crap because if you lie enough eventually the lie becomes a fact.

    No Siknick was not bludgeoned with a fire hydrant, no not one police officer was killed, the only one killed was an unarmed veteran by a Capitol police officer that in the past left his firearm in the bathroom and was never held accountable.

    To add insult to injury the mother of the only one killed was arrested yesterday. We are witnessing pure evil.

    I have come to the conclusion that the American people are stupid and will believe anything

    Vivid

  119. 119
    kairosfocus says:

    PM1,

    indoctrinated with anti-communist propaganda

    Just remember, my homeland was severely damaged by marxist insurgency and subversion, to which I lost an aunt to murder. Start there.

    Go on to 100 million victims of marxist dictatorships from Mao to Lenin and Stalin, to Pol Pot and Castro, and a consistent pattern of tyranny.

    Then, understand why we will give no further chances to jacobins of this stripe.

    That is not propaganda, it is simple prudence.

    For cause, marxism is dead, fatally tainted. (Why else do you think the modern versions shun the name?)

    That you seem to imagine it has any lingering credibility and proceed to try to defend a pivotal grand theft fallacy that cost millions not only livelihood but lives tells us all we need to know.

    KF

  120. 120
    vividbleau says:

    O re 111

    “ At some point, one has to wonder what’s going on.”

    See my response to Jerry at 118

    Vivid

  121. 121
    vividbleau says:

    KF
    “Just remember, my homeland was severely damaged by marxist insurgency and subversion, to which I lost an aunt to murder. Start there.”

    Tragic, so sorry.

    I would suspect that PMI takes the position that “ Hey to make an omelette you have to break some eggs” Your aunt was nothing but an egg for PMIs omelette.

    Vivid

  122. 122
    vividbleau says:

    “Then, understand why we will give no further chances to jacobins of this stripe.”

    A great argument for the 2nd amendment.

    Vivid

  123. 123
    Origenes says:

    VB @

    To add insult to injury the mother of the only one killed was arrested yesterday. We are witnessing pure evil.

    I agree.

  124. 124
    vividbleau says:

    O Here is the end goal.
    “It’s now clear #January6th is the Democratic Left’s Reichstag Fire. A bogus “insurrection” is invoked to justify a ruthless crackdown, widespread state surveillance and intimidation of political opponents, and a terrifying regime of censorship and suspension of civil liberties”

    Vivid

  125. 125
    relatd says:

    Vb at 124,

    Quite dramatic. Widespread state surveillance has been going on for decades. May I remind you that every time you use your phone or computer that you may be subject to surveillance. But let’s get real here. If you’re calling grandma or other relative or conducting daily business, the people doing the surveillance don’t care. Intimidation of political opponents is also not new.

    You’ll have to provide some examples of censorship and provide credible sources for any claims.

  126. 126
    vividbleau says:

    Related

    “Quite dramatic. Widespread state surveillance has been going on for decades. “

    Why state the obvious?

    “May I remind you that every time you use your phone or computer that you may be subject to surveillance. “

    May I remind you that once again your stating the obvious what anyone with half a brain already knows

    “But let’s get real here. If you’re calling grandma or other relative or conducting daily business, the people doing the surveillance don’t care. Intimidation of political opponents is also not new.”

    Just more of the obvious, do you have anything to say that actually conveys any knowledge that anyone with half a brain doesn’t already know?

    “You’ll have to provide some examples of censorship and provide credible sources for any claims”

    This is laughable. BTW I don’t have to provide a damn thing to you do your own homework..

    Vivid

  127. 127
    kairosfocus says:

    Origenes, crooked yardstick thinking that erects a falsity as reference point is real. Then, what is genuinely straight, upright, accurate cannot match crookedness but the temptation is to reject even a naturally straight and upright plumb line. Also as each type of crookedness is unique, there is a locking in to one brand and polarisation vs others. That is why we need to recognise the adapted JoHari window point, and start reforms from self evident first principles and first duties of right, responsible reason. Notice, the sharply objecting responses to such we saw here at UD, though one objector has since had second thoughts. Start with, is there objective, well warranted knowable truth that transcends the peculiarities of an individual’s thoughts? Does this include, say, that to object to objective truth in general is to claim a grand negative objective truth that self defeats, and that truths about duty to the good are also involved? And more. Why, arguably, there are even valid aesthetics principles. KF

  128. 128
    Origenes says:

    Kairosfocus@ 127

    …crooked yardstick thinking that erects a falsity as reference point is real.

    It sure is real. To illustrate this, any worldview that does not allow for the existence of a free rational person—and there are surprisingly many—“erects a falsity as reference point”, and, even more troublesome, it constitutes a direct unceasing mental assault on the person himself.
    That’s why the existence of the free rational person should be on the list of ‘self-evident first principles’ for each of us, as a deterrent for adopting views that undercut rationality and self-worth.

  129. 129
    Ford Prefect says:

    Jerry@96, let’s assume that you are correct in claiming that I am wrong in claiming that there are few countries that have not adopted some aspects of socialism. If this is true, why to people like KF and others keep bringing up Marxism, communism and socialism any time the government enacts policies they disagree with.

  130. 130
    kairosfocus says:

    FP,

    it seems your point of reference is marxism-influenced socialist thought. There is a world of difference between seeking to address welfare concerns or involvement of government initiatives in aspects of the economy and general governance and trying to impose a regime in which a central entity — typically, an unaccountable, all pervasive state — monopolises the economy and typically seeks to control it by imposed plans . . . which run into the von Mises challenge of calculation.

    Such a state is invariably totalitarian, economically unsustainable, abusive and murderous; hence the 100 million victims whose voices need to be heard afresh a generation after the Iron Curtain fell, if you doubt me ask the Poles.

    Further to this, we are dealing with ideologies that outright declare property, privately held physical, intellectual and financial capital as well as profits (return to the risk of enterprise) are grand theft; often constructing one sided narratives of polarisation against those ideologically declared to be thieves and oppressors. This demonic defamation has led to robbing millions of not only livelihood but lives, wreaking economic and societal havoc. If you cannot see what is grossly wrong with such slander and the policies rooted in it, I cannot help you. If you cannot see that there are indefinitely many contributory, valuable production factors with a legitimate claim so that one does not muzzle even the ox that treads the grain [a law that is 3500 years old], I can only point you to the marginal revolution 150 years ago; that is how outdated the labour theory of value is, and so its extension to slander is a destructive anti civilisational fallacy, not merely error at this stage.

    And no, personalisation and polarisation are equally fallacious: I am not just bringing up “dirty words” because I disagree with particular policies. Indeed, policy is accountable to objective principles of justice, prudence, soundness (including economic soundness as a key aspect) and much more; utterly distinct from the myth of Marx and its baneful, destructive influences and extensions to today. Marxism is just one of many grave and destructive policy errors that can and do play havoc. But, sadly, in critical theory extensions, it has again become a clear and present danger that needs to be publicly corrected by all men of sound basis and public spiritedness, given its grim track record.

    KF

  131. 131
    Seversky says:

    Vividbleau/105

    Not only is BLM a scam that took off based on a lie ( hands up don’t shoot), burnt down Ferguson based on a lie, caused billions in damage, a lot of that black owned businesses, it’s also populated with racists

    The seeds of racism at least are in all of us, regardless of skin color.

    As for the rioting and protests in Ferguson, compare them to the Tulsa race massacre of 1921:

    The Tulsa race massacre, also known as the Tulsa race riot or the Black Wall Street massacre,[13] was a two-day-long massacre[14] that took place between May 31 – June 1, 1921, when mobs of white residents, some of whom had been appointed as deputies and armed by city officials,[15] attacked black residents and destroyed homes and businesses of the Greenwood District in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The event is considered one of “the single worst incident[s] of racial violence in American history” and has been described as one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in the history of the United States.[16][17] The attackers burned and destroyed more than 35 square blocks of the neighborhood—at the time one of the wealthiest black communities in the United States, colloquially known as “Black Wall Street.”[18]

    More than 800 people were admitted to hospitals, and as many as 6,000 black residents of Tulsa were interned in large facilities, many of them for several days.[19][20] The Oklahoma Bureau of Vital Statistics officially recorded 36 dead.[21] The 2001 Tulsa Reparations Coalition examination of events identified 39 dead, 26 black and 13 white, based on contemporary autopsy reports, death certificates, and other records.[22] The commission gave several estimates ranging from 75 to 300 dead.[23][24]

    That is far from being the only event of its kind over the past couple of centuries but they are studiously ignored by those who would discredit BLM and the deep well of grievance on which it draws.

    As for the Toronto BLM member, does the Westboro Baptist Church speak for Christianity in the US?

  132. 132
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77/104

    So what is your reasoning here Seversky? Various religions, or at least people claiming to be religious, have been ALMOST as evil as atheism has been in its short span of dominance in the 20th century, and therefore we should adopt your atheistic worldview instead?

    The question is, if Marxism is discredited by the atrocities committed in its name by the brutal totalitarian regimes of the twentieth century why isn’t Christianity similarly tainted by the bloody wars fought in past centuries?

  133. 133
    Seversky says:

    Kairosfocus/106

    Seversky, why do you inject an imaginary human court?

    Because comments here were alleged to rise to the standards of the tort or crime of defamation. The court is the forum where such allegations can be put to the test.

    The matter is a basic one of respect for the right to innocent reputation. We have a reasonable — and morally binding — expectation that others will not take to either gossip networks or soapboxes or newspapers or electronic and online media to try to damage our reputations with ill founded suppositions, insinuations, innuendoes, suggestions, half truths or outright false accusations or generally denigratory remarks.

    That may be the ideal but it is one of which humanity, unsurprisingly, usually falls well short. Need I point out that there have been comments posted here about BLM which could also be considered defamatory?

    That is, others have a duty to respect innocent reputation. Where, THE VERY FACT THAT I HAVE TO EXPLICITLY POINT THIS OUT IN A CORRECTIVE RESPONSE TO AN EDUCATED PERSON SPEAKS VOLUMES ON THE BREAKDOWN OF BASIC CIVILISED VALUES AND VIRTUES IN OUR DAY. We are in a sad way, and it does not bode well for where we are headed. Slander, libel and defamation generally speaking exist before court action is taken, and decent people of common good deportment know a lot better than to go there. KF

    The other side of that coin is that defamation laws have been applied in such a way as to try and chill public speech that may be offensive to some but which it may be in the public interest to be heard. While there should always be a legal remedy for those who have been harmed by reckless and insupportable public utterances, freedom of speech should be a fundamental right for all even if it offensive to some. Simply giving offense to some is not a sufficient reason for abridging that right.

  134. 134
    Seversky says:

    Jblais/107

    I know of no religion that has ever managed to kill over a 100 million human beings in less than a century. But anyway, the discussion was about marxism/communism in this case so this seems to be “whataboutism” I’m afraid.

    Pointing to the atrocities committed under the 20th century Marxist/communist dictatorships is usually in the context of implying that such horrors didn’t happen in past centuries when religious beliefs were dominant. Well, the evidence suggests that isn’t the case. The 20th century body counts may have been higher but there were a lot more people around then to kill and a lot more efficient ways of killing them in large numbers more quickly.

    How is this relevant to the point I was making ? How is pointing to the shameful, bloody and humiliating refutation of marxist ideas in the 20th century (a historical fact) an attempt to whitewash anything exactly

    But out of curiosity, how do you think “non-white” dominant cultures have historically treated and currently treat their minorities (ethnic, sexual, religious, etc) on their territory ? What about the han chinese or the arabs for example ? Better than in the west and its christian heritage ? If so, why are people from all over the world want to come to live in the west and not the other way around ?

    The fact that other cultures treated minorities badly does not excuse white Christian Europe for doing the same.

    And migrants from poorer parts of the world are coming to the West because of higher standards of living and better quality of life.

  135. 135
    vividbleau says:

    Seversky

    Since you love to virtue signal and your so concerned with black lives I will ask for a second time a question you seem to want to avoid. What is the cause of 50% of black deaths here in the US?

    Vivid

  136. 136
    Origenes says:

    Seversky @

    … freedom of speech should be a fundamental right for all even if it offensive to some. Simply giving offense to some is not a sufficient reason for abridging that right.

    We agree. I would even go so far as to say that the protection of free speech is exclusively for offensive speech. Speech that everybody likes is well-received and does not need any protection.

  137. 137
    relatd says:

    Origenes at 136,

    Wrong. Free Speech is being censored right now. The Left will come after you if you say something they don’t like. They will go through all your Twitter posts looking for something to use against you. They are a State within a State. They are the self-appointed deciders of what is good and right.

  138. 138
    jerry says:

    let’s assume that you are correct in claiming that I am wrong in claiming that there are few countries that have not adopted some aspects of socialism. If this is true, why to people like KF and others keep bringing up Marxism, communism and socialism any time the government enacts policies they disagree with

    I don’t agree with them that the real enemy is Marxism or socialism.

    Both of these variants would destroy civilization if enacted. They would destroy freedom because they cannot possibly work so oppressive behaviors are always instilled to maintain them.

    But they are not the real threat. The real enemy is international control by an elite. This is the goal and why Wall Street is all in. Does anyone believe the Davos crowd wants socialism. They want control and little freedom and production decisions from a few not independently by the many.

    When one man in this world controls almost $20 trillion dollars and he reports to a few then this is the real threat. He controls most of the Western press since he owns and controls them all.

    Freedom has produced the current prosperity of the world. But it dilutes power so the elites are trying to take this world prosperity and control it supposedly for a better mankind.

    But any curtailing of freedom always leads to oppression. It’s just not Marxists that are the threat. They are the useful idiots being used by the elites.

  139. 139
    vividbleau says:

    Vivid “Not only is BLM a scam that took off based on a lie ( hands up don’t shoot), burnt down Ferguson based on a lie, caused billions in damage, a lot of that black owned businesses, it’s also populated with racists”

    Sev “The seeds of racism at least are in all of us, regardless of skin color.”

    What does that have to do with the fact that black BLM is a scam and is populated with racists?

    Let’s settle this right now. It is estimated that approximately 90 million went to BLM after the Floyd riots. Where did it go?

    Sev “As for the rioting and protests in Ferguson, compare them to the Tulsa race massacre of 1921:”

    What does the Black Wall Street massacre have to do with the fact that BLM is a scam and populated with racists? Sev where did the 90 million go?

    Sev “ That is far from being the only event of its kind over the past couple of centuries but they are studiously ignored by those who would discredit BLM and the deep well of grievance on which it draws.”

    BLM has already been discredited. The above is nothing but chaff. Sev where did the 90 million go?
    Vivid

  140. 140
    Origenes says:

    Relatd @137

    Free Speech is being censored right now. The Left will come after you if you say something they don’t like.

    Certainly, but how does that make me “wrong”?

  141. 141
    relatd says:

    Origenes at 140,

    The same people who claim to defend Free Speech are often the same ones who censor it. It’s not a case of your being wrong, it’s a case of the self-appointed Official Accusers CENSORING speech when it violates one of their List of Things That Are Important to US. And ‘we are the only ones who get to decide.’ Not you, not me, only THEM.

    So what’s the point of free speech when Total Strangers can censor parts they don’t like?

  142. 142
    Origenes says:

    Relatd @141

    The same people who claim to defend Free Speech are often the same ones who censor it.

    We agree again. You said that I was “wrong.” Perhaps I was being unclear, I wanted to make the point that only unpopular (offensive) speech is in need of protection. Petter Haggholm said it better than I did:

    … the legal right to free speech is entirely about offensive speech; after all, it’s only once speech has been deemed offensive that anyone wants to silence it, and therefore only offensive speech ever needs, and uses, legal protection. In practice, “free speech except for really offensive speech’ is exactly equivalent to no free speech at all.

  143. 143
    vividbleau says:

    BLM

    “The BLM10Plus (The original 10 signatories and the other chapters and organizers that stand with us) remain steadfast in our open calls for accountability from the BLM Global Network Foundation (BLMGN) and Patrisse Cullors. “

    https://www.blmchapterstatement.com/no2/

    Vivid

  144. 144
    relatd says:

    Origenes at 142,

    Allow me to rephrase. You assume a definition of free speech that should be followed by everyone. But it’s not. That’s why I began with the word ‘wrong.’ Your thinking is sound but in practice, free speech does not exist, especially in certain areas.

    I may not like to hear things that are considered unpopular but I do my best to avoid offensive words. So, for me, unpopular does not always mean offensive. In general, I prefer to hear the truth.

  145. 145
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky at 132,

    Despite your overt hostility towards Christianity, the simple, blatantly obvious, point I was making is that even IF Christianity had been ALMOST as evil atheism has been over the past 100 years, (which is a point that I contest, and In fact I hold that Christianity has been the MOST powerful force for good in the world over the past two thousand years), but the point I was making was simply that even IF Christianity had been ALMOST as evil as atheism has been over 100 years of dominance, we should still prefer the worldview that has wrought less evil in the world. The burning question is not “why is Christianity not tainted by such evil?”, (God knows people have been tainting the teachings of Christ for their own gain for a long time), but the burning question is ‘why do you still prefer a worldview that has wrought so much more evil in the world?”, and please note that this evil has been brought about not by tainting the teachings of Charles Darwin mind you, but by people being faithful to the ‘death as the creator’ teachings of Darwin,

    How Has Darwinism Negatively Impacted Society? – John G. West – January 11, 2022
    Excerpt: Death as the Creator
    A third big idea fueled by Darwin’s theory is that the engine of progress in the history of life is mass death. Instead of believing that the remarkable features of humans and other living things reflect the intelligent design of a master artist, Darwin portrayed death and destruction as our ultimate creator. As he wrote at the end of his most famous work: “Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows.”13
    https://evolutionnews.org/2022/01/how-has-darwinism-negatively-impacted-society/

    “One general law, leading to the advancement of all organic beings, namely, multiply, vary, let the strongest live and the weakest die.”
    – Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species

    “A stronger race will oust that which has grown weak; for the vital urge, in its ultimate form, will burst asunder all the absurd chains of this so-called humane consideration for the individual and will replace it with the humanity of Nature, which wipes out what is weak in order to give place to the strong.”
    – Adolf Hitler – Mein Kampf – pg 248

    Hitler, Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mao – quotes – Foundational Darwinian influence in their Atheistic ideology https://uncommondescent.com/philosophy/david-berlinski-the-bad-boy-philosopher-who-doubts-darwinism-is-back/#comment-749756

    Atheism’s Body Count *
    It is obvious that Atheism cannot be true; for if it were, it would produce a more humane world, since it values only this life and is not swayed by the foolish beliefs of primitive superstitions and religions. However, the opposite proves to be true. Rather than providing the utopia of idealism, it has produced a body count second to none. With recent documents uncovered for the Maoist and Stalinist regimes, it now seems the high end of estimates of 250 million dead (between 1900-1987) are closer to the mark. The Stalinist Purges produced 61 million dead and Mao’s Cultural Revolution produced 70 million casualties. These murders are all upon their own people! This number does not include the countless dead in their wars of outward aggression waged in the name of the purity of atheism’s world view. China invades its peaceful, but religious neighbor, Tibet; supports N. Korea in its war against its southern neighbor and in its merciless oppression of its own people; and Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge kill up to 6 million with Chinese support. All of these actions done “in the name of the people” to create a better world.
    https://www.scholarscorner.com/atheisms-body-count-ideology-and-human-suffering/

    As should be needless to say, the ANTI-morality inherent in “Death as the Creator”, and in “let the strongest live and the weakest die”, is directly opposed to the primary Christian ethic of the strong looking after the weak. i.e. altruism

    Matthew 25:34-40
    “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
    “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
    “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

    As Sir Arthur Keith noted shortly after WWII, “the (moral) law of Christ is incompatible with the (moral) law of evolution as far as the law of evolution has worked hitherto. Nay, the two laws are at war with each other; the law of Christ can never prevail until the law of evolution is destroyed.”

    “for, as we have just seen, the ways of national evolution, both in the past and in the present, are cruel, brutal, ruthless, and without mercy.,,, Meantime let me say that the conclusion I have come to is this: the law of Christ is incompatible with the law of evolution as far as the law of evolution has worked hitherto. Nay, the two laws are at war with each other; the law of Christ can never prevail until the law of evolution is destroyed.”
    – Sir Arthur Keith, (1866 — 1955) Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons – Evolution and Ethics (1947) p.15

  146. 146
    relatd says:

    Ba77,

    The Atheist Utopia was tried in the Workers’ Paradise, the former Soviet Union. It collapsed, leaving the Russian Federation. Czechoslovakia became the Czech Republic and a separate country, Slovakia.

    Too many believe that blind, unguided forces led to human beings.

  147. 147
    Seversky says:

    Vividbleau/139

    Let’s settle this right now. It is estimated that approximately 90 million went to BLM after the Floyd riots. Where did it go?

    I assume you’re asking this because you already know…

    After Raising $90 Million in 2020, Black Lives Matter Has $42 Million in Assets
    New York Times
    By Nicholas Kulish
    May 17, 2022

    In the tragic, whirlwind year of 2020, with racial-justice protests prompted by the killing of Black men and women by police officers, the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation raised $90 million, much of it small donations from rank-and-file supporters. A recent tax filing from the group shows that by the middle of last year, more than half of that money had been granted to smaller organizations or spent on consultants and real estate, leaving the foundation with $42 million in assets.

    The foundation’s finances have been subjected to criticism both from participants in the Black Lives Matter movement and from their opponents. Many local groups that are part of the movement have called for more transparency and a greater role in making decisions, as well as more money for the organizations led by activists on the ground. At the same time, opponents of Black Lives Matter have tried to portray spending by one of the group’s founders as evidence of widespread mismanagement in a manner that appears intended to impugn the cause of racial justice as well as the group.

    “No one expected the foundation to grow at this pace and to this scale,” Cicley Gay, chair of the board of directors, said in a statement on Tuesday. “Now, we are taking time to build efficient infrastructure to run the largest Black, abolitionist, philanthropic organization to ever exist in the United States.”

    Ms. Gay was one of three new board members that the group announced last month. In an interview on Tuesday, Shalomyah Bowers, another new member of the board, said the picture painted by the documents shows an organization retooling for the long haul.

    “As a new board, we are building policies that didn’t exist, operational and administrative infrastructure that didn’t exist. We’re making it clear to Black people that we’re an institution and that we’re here to stay,” said Mr. Bowers. “In order to do that, we need to demonstrate that our financial house is in order.”

    […]

    Last month, New York Magazine reported that funds raised by the foundation were used to buy a house in California for nearly $6 million in cash in October 2020. The tax filing shows property worth $5.9 million, held by a Delaware company. The house was to be used, among other things, as an artist retreat, the filing said, but identifying information “is not being released here due to safety and security concerns and threats to B.L.M.G.N.F.’s leadership, staff and creators,” the form said.

    The tax form indicated that Ms. Cullors received no compensation during the fiscal year but instead “served as an unpaid volunteer.” A family member, Paul Cullors, was listed on the tax form as receiving payment for “professional security services” amounting to $840,993.

    According to the tax filing, Ms. Cullors also paid the organization back for “charter travel,” saying that she “voluntarily reimbursed subsequent to year end.” She also repaid the nonprofit for personal use of its real estate, which appeared to refer to a birthday party for her son held at the $6 million house.

    […]

    Now tell us what any of the above has to do with the history of oppression of minority groups in the US?

  148. 148
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77/145

    I hold that Christianity has been the MOST powerful force for good in the world over the past two thousand years), but the point I was making was simply that even IF Christianity had been ALMOST as evil as atheism has been over 100 years of dominance, we should still prefer the worldview that has wrought less evil in the world.

    Really? And how do you propose to define let alone quantify “evil”?

    The burning question is not “why is Christianity not tainted by such evil?”, (God knows people have been tainting the teachings of Christ for their own gain for a long time), but the burning question is ‘why do you still prefer a worldview that has wrought so much more evil in the world?”, and please note that this evil has been brought about not by tainting the teachings of Charles Darwin mind you, but by people being faithful to the ‘death as the creator’ teachings of Darwin,

    The teachings of Christ were set down by anonymous authors, none of whom claimed to be eyewitnesses, decades after the events they describe. They may be accurate but we have no way of knowing that with the certainty that believers assume.

    And, once again, the theory or evolution makes no moral prescriptions. Nature may be “red in tooth and claw” but that does not mean we should behave that way. Nor do I see hordes of evolutionary biologists rushing out driven mad with blood-lust after reading Darwin. I can honestly say I felt no such impulse after reading the The Blind Watchmaker

    As should be needless to say, the ANTI-morality inherent in “Death as the Creator”, and in “let the strongest live and the weakest die”, is directly opposed to the primary Christian ethic of the strong looking after the weak. i.e. altruism

    Nowhere does the theory of evolution propose “let the strongest live and the weakest die” as a moral imperative.

  149. 149
    Seversky says:

    Relatd/146

    The Atheist Utopia was tried in the Workers’ Paradise, the former Soviet Union. It collapsed, leaving the Russian Federation. Czechoslovakia became the Czech Republic and a separate country, Slovakia.

    I think we can actually agree that the Soviet Union was no more an Atheist Utopia than it was a Marxist Workers Paradise.

  150. 150
    vividbleau says:

    Seversky

    “Now tell us what any of the above has to do with the history of oppression of minority groups in the US?”

    Now you are just embarrassing yourself.

    No I will not, I will be happy to do so when you answer mine. I have asked you two times and now a third what accounts for 50% of black deaths in the USA?

    I will ask you a second time we’re did all the money go?

    From 147( I can’t believe you posted that ,it’s a damning indictment of BLM) Six million went for a house in CA for an ARTISTIC retreat ( is this a Monty Python skit?) supposedly by a Delaware company but identifying information is not being released (nothing to see here you racists) .

    A family member got over 800k (move along folks nothing to see here you racist’s) . After subtracting for the known grift that leaves 48 million unaccounted for. Were did the money go Sev? We know we’re it did not go.

    https://www.blmchapterstatement.com/no2/

    Vivid

  151. 151
    vividbleau says:

    Correction where is the 41 million

    Vivid

  152. 152
    vividbleau says:

    I mean WTxxx!! A 6 million dollar artist retreat? This is going to help the people in Watts or the inner cities of Baltimore, St Louis or any other predominantly black inner city? This is laughable forget about a skit this should be be made into a Monty Python movie. This is what you are defending Sev? My goodness talk about drinking the kool aid!!

    Vivid

  153. 153
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, 148:

    how do you propose to define let alone quantify “evil”

    we can readily define evil, it is on record for a looong time; with all due respect it is you who are stuck with hyperskeptical denial but must imply or use the concept as evil is undeniably real and generally unpleasant to repulsive.

    As to scaling it, let us resort to NOIR. Ratio or interval is not applicable but it is clear that evils can be ranked and so ordered, perhaps with yardstick anchors much as in law there are differing grades of homicide: accidental killing, self defence or excusable killing, manslaughter, murder that is in the heat of the moment, calculated premeditated murder, mass murder, holocaust. I simply cite such to show the gap of thought in your objection, that should not be there.

    Perhaps, you mean to exercise the atheistical rhetorical, hyperskeptical veto. As in, if unacceptable to “us” — never mind wider incoherence and other comparative difficulties issues with “our” view — then, dismissed. How convenient, for the side that still clings to the decades dead problem of evils. The truth is, atheistical thought typically ends up with emotive subjectivist or relativist views on what evil is or evils are, as a facet of utter breakdown of ability to admit moral knowledge, knowledge of virtue vs vice, duty vs violation, honor vs dishonour and betrayal of duty [including, loyalty or trust], good vs evil etc. Which views, manifestly fail.

    For, morality is a reasonably identifiable and relevant subject and the hyperskeptical denial of moral knowledge is instantly self referentially incoherent. For knowledge is a warranted, credibly true belief about an entity, circumstance or state of affairs. The claim there is no objective knowable moral truth is an implicit claim to knowledge of this domain and so is self refuting. The minimal knowledge we have of this or any other reasonably identifiable domain is that trivially, on pain of such incoherence is that minimal objective, knowable truth exists. Beyond, we may have little more than the negative knowledge state, a vast field of known unknowns with even more of unknown unknowns, but that too is minimal knowledge.

    It is time that such hyperskeptical denialism was retired permanently. Skepticism, is an inferior good that our era mistakenly substitutes for the true epistemic virtue, prudence acting through duty of responsible warrant.

    In the case of good vs evil and wider morality, there is a significant body of knowledge extending across civilisations and eras for thousands of years. It is foundational to good community, thus administration, regulation, law and government.

    Which brings out relevance here: there is a right to innocent reputation [which has been violated by an objector here] and there is a right to honestly acquired property [which is attacked through the Marxian form of the labour theory of value, leading to mass murder of 100 millions across C20]. Which, is why Marxism, of whatever form, should be consigned to the dustbin of history, instead of being revised in focus [culture form], re labelled [critical theories] and used to advance undermining of basic rights as we can see from objections above.

    As to basic definition, classically and in a rough nutshell: evil is the privation, frustration or perversion/diversion of what is valuable out of alignment with its due . . . and often naturally evident . . . end.

    The reputation of entrepreneurship, innovation, invention, organisation, management and investment as key valuable services ought not to be trashed, leading to robbing of livelihood and too often, of life. It is no accident, here, that we saw promotion or excusing of looting, rioting, mayhem, arson and the like (resulting in apparently dozens of murders) on a continental scale in 2020, on flimsy excuse. Likewise, the playing out of a reichstag fire stratagem for two years now. It is similarly no accident that there has been a concerted attempt to sideline a breakthrough moment and its charter for modern, lawful state constitutional, democratic self government, July 4, 1776. Only to substitute a poorly grounded — in fact, clearly ill-founded — myth through project 1619. For, crooked yardsticks are being set up, to the detriment of civilisation, coming from anticivilisational — thus patently misanthropic — jacobinism.

    That has to be set right, and this thread has served to expose some grave underlying errors, so they can be set to rights.

    First, consider DeSousa’s example, a parking valet at Ritz Carlton imagined as complaining that its capitalists are robbing him of his due, paying him perhaps a few dollars out of the $30 in the fee. To see the pile of errors, challenge him to set up his own business. Why would anyone turn over a valuable car to him, where would he park, how would he manage the affairs of such an operation, how will he handle tax and legal obligations if something goes wrong, why should there be any reason to trust that there would be consistent quality of services? Instantly, we see a range of valuable contributions that Marx suppressed and that Ricardo et al overlooked. Perhaps, Ritz Carlton could have a contract with a coop of parking valets etc, with right to use the name and space of Ritz Carlton as a key valuable asset, one sustained based on major investments and efforts across decades.

    (It is a Marriott brand and subsidiary, based on buying out the Ritz name and expanding into a global chain now in 30 countries. This is traded in the stock markets and so it is reasonable to infer that pension funds for labour are a material part of ownership. That is yet another key point, through pension funds, labour is now a major collective owner of financial capital and pension fund managers are a key class of investors. This is not Dickensian sweat shop and orphanage operations with debtor prisons anymore. Notice, a quick web search: “In 2011, U.S. pensions directed an average of 44 percent of overall capital to the stock market, according to a 2012 Global Pensions Asset Study performed by pension consultant Towers Watson.” That is, c 2011 just under half of US financial capital comes from labour. Ask yourself, why something like that is not commonplace, household knowledge, routinely taught in civics or basic general studies courses. The answer will reveal much on the state of media, education, politics and radical agendas.)

    This alone suffices to show the simplistic, static nature of the labour theory of value and why the marginal revolution of the 1870’s long since superseded it in economics as a body of knowledge. Today, it only serves to undermine and polarise. It should be retired.

    KF

    PS, the gospels and Acts are formally anonymous. However, it is a case of hyperskeptical denialism that refuses to acknowledge that the titles reflect the consensus of the community that sponsored, received, valued and uses the documents. There is good reason to accept that Matthew took notes during Jesus’ ministry, that Mark is John Mark (complete with cameo appearance, fleeing naked into the night when the lynch mob tried to grab him) and records the testimony of Peter primarily, that John is the apostle of that name writing in old age, and that Luke=Acts comes from a physician who was a distinguished historian demonstrated by his work, likely initially completed c 62 AD. These are all well within lifetime and bear the marks of eyewitness evidence. All of this has long been on record but it is again a matter of hyperskeptical dismissiveness and targetting.

  154. 154
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky at 148, after I stated,

    I hold that Christianity has been the MOST powerful force for good in the world over the past two thousand years), but the point I was making was simply that even IF Christianity had been ALMOST as evil as atheism has been over 100 years of dominance, we should still prefer the worldview that has wrought less evil in the world.

    After I stated that, Seversky asks,

    Really? And how do you propose to define let alone quantify “evil”?

    I hold evil to be a departure from God’s good and perfect will for our lives.

    And even Jesus himself, although he broke no commandment, and had no sin, did not hold himself to be good, but held only God to be good.

    Matthew 19:16-21
    And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
    And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
    He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
    Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
    The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
    Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.,,

    And indeed, without God being held to be the objective standard of what is good, we then lose any objective standard by which to define what is good and what is evil. i.e. We lose our ‘moral compass’, and, as a result, all morality collapses into a morass of illusory, and subjective, moral preferences of individual people.

    Here is a good video that draws that point out.

    Premise 1: If God does not exist, then objective moral values and duties do not exist.
    Premise 2: Objective moral values and duties do exist.
    Conclusion: Therefore, God exists.
    The Moral Argument – drcraigvideos – video
    https://youtu.be/OxiAikEk2vU?t=276

    Importantly, no one, not even atheists, act as if objective morality does not actually exist, but is just illusory, and subjective, moral preferences of individual people.

    The Heretic – Who is Thomas Nagel and why are so many of his fellow academics condemning him? – March 25, 2013
    Excerpt: ,,,Fortunately, materialism is never translated into life as it’s lived. As colleagues and friends, husbands and mothers, wives and fathers, sons and daughters, materialists never put their money where their mouth is. Nobody thinks his daughter is just molecules in motion and nothing but; nobody thinks the Holocaust was evil, but only in a relative, provisional sense. A materialist who lived his life according to his professed convictions—understanding himself to have no moral agency at all, seeing his friends and enemies and family as genetically determined robots—wouldn’t just be a materialist: He’d be a psychopath.
    https://www.sott.net/article/260160-The-Heretic-Who-is-Thomas-Nagel-and-why-are-so-many-of-his-fellow-academics-condemning-him

    Darwin’s Robots: When Evolutionary Materialists Admit that Their Own Worldview Fails – Nancy Pearcey – April 23, 2015
    Excerpt: When I teach these concepts in the classroom, an example my students find especially poignant is Flesh and Machines by Rodney Brooks, professor emeritus at MIT. Brooks writes that a human being is nothing but a machine — a “big bag of skin full of biomolecules” interacting by the laws of physics and chemistry. In ordinary life, of course, it is difficult to actually see people that way. But, he says, “When I look at my children, I can, when I force myself, … see that they are machines.”
    Is that how he treats them, though? Of course not: “That is not how I treat them…. I interact with them on an entirely different level. They have my unconditional love, the furthest one might be able to get from rational analysis.” Certainly if what counts as “rational” is a materialist worldview in which humans are machines, then loving your children is irrational. It has no basis
    within Brooks’s worldview. It sticks out of his box.
    How does he reconcile such a heart-wrenching cognitive dissonance? He doesn’t. Brooks ends by saying, “I maintain two sets of inconsistent beliefs.” He has given up on any attempt to reconcile his theory with his experience. He has abandoned all hope for a unified, logically consistent worldview.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....95451.html

    Even Richard Dawkins himself admitted that it would be quote-unquote ‘intolerable’ for him to live his life as if his atheistic materialism were actually true and that he had no free will, i.e. no moral agency,

    Who wrote Richard Dawkins’s new book? – October 28, 2006
    Excerpt:
    Dawkins: What I do know is that what it feels like to me, and I think to all of us, we don’t feel determined. We feel like blaming people for what they do or giving people the credit for what they do. We feel like admiring people for what they do.,,,
    Manzari: But do you personally see that as an inconsistency in your views?
    Dawkins: I sort of do. Yes. But it is an inconsistency that we sort of have to live with otherwise life would be intolerable.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....02783.html

    In what should be needless to say, if it is impossible for you to live as if your atheistic worldview were actually true, and that there were no objective moral standards, then your worldview cannot possibly reflect reality as it really is but your worldview must instead be based on a delusion.

    Existential Argument against Atheism – November 1, 2013 by Jason Petersen
    1. If a worldview is true then you should be able to live consistently with that worldview.
    2. Atheists are unable to live consistently with their worldview.
    3. If you can’t live consistently with an atheist worldview then the worldview does not reflect reality.
    4. If a worldview does not reflect reality then that worldview is a delusion.
    5. If atheism is a delusion then atheism cannot be true.
    Conclusion: Atheism is false.
    – per answers for hope

    Seversky then quotes me again,

    The burning question is not “why is Christianity not tainted by such evil?”, (God knows people have been tainting the teachings of Christ for their own gain for a long time), but the burning question is ‘why do you still prefer a worldview that has wrought so much more evil in the world?”, and please note that this evil has been brought about not by tainting the teachings of Charles Darwin mind you, but by people being faithful to the ‘death as the creator’ teachings of Darwin,

    After quoting me again, Seversky then questions the authenticity of the Bible in recording Jesus’s life

    The teachings of Christ were set down by anonymous authors, none of whom claimed to be eyewitnesses, decades after the events they describe. They may be accurate but we have no way of knowing that with the certainty that believers assume.

    Contrary to what Seversky believes, there is actually a rich history in apologetics which establish the authenticity of the New Testament Gospels.

    Who Wrote the Gospels? by Timothy McGrew – video playlist
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gldvim1yjYM&list=PLnIqB7uUI48xjCdMh8vfMbQJqhldMm4Jq

    Personally, my favorite ‘apologetic tool’ for establishing the authenticity of the Gospels is ‘undesigned coincidences.

    Tim McGrew – Undesigned coincidences – video playlist
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLe1tMOs8ARn08J6XcziBKENY6GDdIP7LI

    Hidden in Plain View: Undesigned Coincidences in the Gospels and Acts – Paperback – Lydia McGrew March 1, 2017
    Hidden in Plain View: Undesigned Coincidences in the Gospels and Acts revives an argument for the historical reliability of the New Testament that has been largely neglected for more than a hundred years. An undesigned coincidence is an apparently casual, yet puzzle-like “fit” between two or more texts, and its best explanation is that the authors knew the truth about the events they describe or allude to. Connections of this kind among passages in the Gospels, as well as between Acts and the Pauline epistles, give us reason to believe that these documents came from honest eyewitness sources, people “in the know” about the events they relate. Supported by careful research yet accessibly written, Hidden in Plain View provides solid evidence that all Christians can use to defend the Scriptures and the truth of Christianity.
    https://www.amazon.com/Hidden-Plain-View-Undesigned-Coincidences/dp/1936341905/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1488246896&sr=8-1

  155. 155
    bornagain77 says:

    As well, the Shroud of Turin itself provides powerful evidence that the central claim of the New Testament is true. Namely that Jesus really did defeat death on the cross.

    Shroud of Turin: From discovery of Photographic Negative, to 3D Information, to Hologram
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-TL4QOCiis

    New technology suggests Shroud of Turin is 2,000 years old – April 2022
    Excerpt:,,, a new dating technology has placed the fabric within the time of Christ.
    WAXS
    The study was conducted by Dr. Liberato de Caro of Italy’s Institute of Crystallography of the National Research Council, in Bari. Dr. de Caro has employed a method known as “Wide-Angle X-ray Scattering,” or WAXS, which measures the natural aging of flax cellulose and converts it to time since manufacture.
    The process has several key features that make it more desirable than radiocarbon dating, not least of which that it is completely non-destructive to the samples.,,,
    De Caro explained that the WAXS method was used on a variety of samples of historical textiles that have been documented to be aged from 3000 BC to 2000 AD. He placed the Shroud of Turin against these samples and found that it best matched a piece of fabric known to have come from the siege of Masada, Israel, in 55-74 AD.,,,
    Pollen
    De Caro also noted some exciting elements that could help trace the shroud’s history and migration from the Middle East to Europe. He noted that the samples of the shroud contained samples of pollen from the ancient region of Palestine, which could not have originated in Europe.
    https://aleteia.org/2022/04/22/new-technology-suggests-shroud-of-turin-is-2000-years-old/

    Seversky then states,

    And, once again, the theory or evolution makes no moral prescriptions. Nature may be “red in tooth and claw” but that does not mean we should behave that way. Nor do I see hordes of evolutionary biologists rushing out driven mad with blood-lust after reading Darwin. I can honestly say I felt no such impulse after reading the The Blind Watchmaker

    So Seversky claims that his worldview provides ‘no moral prescriptions’, but, in his very next breath no less, Seversky then states no one should “behave that way”. You can’t have it both ways Seversky. If Darwinism provides no ‘moral prescriptions’ then there simply would be no basis for you to then say people ought not ‘behave that way’.

    But anyways despite Seversky’s direct contradiction in logic,, and although Seversky himself honestly admits people ought not “behave that way”, when you reject God as the source for objective morality then what do you have? Well, as the ‘atheistic utopias’ of 20th century abundantly testify, and as mentioned previously in post 145, when people follow the ‘moral prescriptions’ of Darwin, you have nothing less than ‘hell on earth’.

    How Has Darwinism Negatively Impacted Society? – John G. West – January 11, 2022
    Excerpt: Death as the Creator
    A third big idea fueled by Darwin’s theory is that the engine of progress in the history of life is mass death. Instead of believing that the remarkable features of humans and other living things reflect the intelligent design of a master artist, Darwin portrayed death and destruction as our ultimate creator. As he wrote at the end of his most famous work: “Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows.”13
    https://evolutionnews.org/2022/01/how-has-darwinism-negatively-impacted-society/

    “One general law, leading to the advancement of all organic beings, namely, multiply, vary, let the strongest live and the weakest die.”
    – Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species

    “A stronger race will oust that which has grown weak; for the vital urge, in its ultimate form, will burst asunder all the absurd chains of this so-called humane consideration for the individual and will replace it with the humanity of Nature, which wipes out what is weak in order to give place to the strong.”
    – Adolf Hitler – Mein Kampf – pg 248

    Hitler, Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mao – quotes – Foundational Darwinian influence in their Atheistic ideology https://uncommondescent.com/philosophy/david-berlinski-the-bad-boy-philosopher-who-doubts-darwinism-is-back/#comment-749756

    Atheism’s Body Count *
    It is obvious that Atheism cannot be true; for if it were, it would produce a more humane world, since it values only this life and is not swayed by the foolish beliefs of primitive superstitions and religions. However, the opposite proves to be true. Rather than providing the utopia of idealism, it has produced a body count second to none. With recent documents uncovered for the Maoist and Stalinist regimes, it now seems the high end of estimates of 250 million dead (between 1900-1987) are closer to the mark. The Stalinist Purges produced 61 million dead and Mao’s Cultural Revolution produced 70 million casualties. These murders are all upon their own people! This number does not include the countless dead in their wars of outward aggression waged in the name of the purity of atheism’s world view. China invades its peaceful, but religious neighbor, Tibet; supports N. Korea in its war against its southern neighbor and in its merciless oppression of its own people; and Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge kill up to 6 million with Chinese support. All of these actions done “in the name of the people” to create a better world.
    https://www.scholarscorner.com/atheisms-body-count-ideology-and-human-suffering/

    Seversky then quotes me again,

    As should be needless to say, the ANTI-morality inherent in “Death as the Creator”, and in “let the strongest live and the weakest die”, is directly opposed to the primary Christian ethic of the strong looking after the weak. i.e. altruism

    To which Seversky reiterates,

    Nowhere does the theory of evolution propose “let the strongest live and the weakest die” as a moral imperative.

    And to restate the obvious, without God you simply have no ‘moral imperatives’. You simply have no objective morality whatsoever. Yet no one lives their life as if objective morality does not exist. i.e. everyone knows that it is objectively wrong for the strong to ruthlessly exploit and kill the weak for their own personal gain. i.e. Besides the numerous lines of empirical evidence that scientifically falsify Darwinian claims, and morally speaking, Darwinism is worse than false. It is literally the personification of evil itself in that it is at war with the altruistic morality that is central to Christianity, and where the strong look after the weak.

    As Sir Arthur Keith noted shortly after WWII, “the (altruistic moral) law of Christ is incompatible with the (strong dominating the weak) law of evolution as far as the law of evolution has worked hitherto. Nay, the two laws are at war with each other; the law of Christ can never prevail until the law of evolution is destroyed.”

    “for, as we have just seen, the ways of national evolution, both in the past and in the present, are cruel, brutal, ruthless, and without mercy.,,, Meantime let me say that the conclusion I have come to is this: the law of Christ is incompatible with the law of evolution as far as the law of evolution has worked hitherto. Nay, the two laws are at war with each other; the law of Christ can never prevail until the law of evolution is destroyed.”
    – Sir Arthur Keith, (1866 — 1955) Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons – Evolution and Ethics (1947) p.15

    Verse:

    Matthew 25:34-40
    “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
    “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
    “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

  156. 156
    jerry says:

    And how do you propose to define let alone quantify “evil”?

    For one of the few times I agree with Seversky.

    There is no coherent definition to the word “evil.” But it is so essential to some that they cannot do without it. Use of it gets in the way. As one commenter has said it’s a pseudo problem.

    Aside: until someone can tell me why a stubbed toe or a dropped fork is not evil, let’s get rid of the term.

    Aside2: please don’t respond here if you feel compelled. It’s just another distraction or should I say evil. A recent place about this is:

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/at-reasons-org-why-would-a-good-god-allow-destructive-hurricanes/#comment-772969

  157. 157
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, actually, no. Though it is in the shadows, there is something substantial and longstanding, as I noted above:

    we can readily define evil, it is on record for a looong time; with all due respect it is you [the atheistical objectors] who are stuck with hyperskeptical denial but must imply or use the concept as evil is undeniably real and generally unpleasant to repulsive.

    As to scaling it, let us resort to NOIR. Ratio or interval is not applicable but it is clear that evils can be ranked and so ordered, perhaps with yardstick anchors much as in law there are differing grades of homicide: accidental killing, self defence or excusable killing, manslaughter, murder that is in the heat of the moment, calculated premeditated murder, mass murder, holocaust. I simply cite such to show the gap of thought in your objection, that should not be there . . . . morality is a reasonably identifiable and relevant subject and the hyperskeptical denial of moral knowledge is instantly self referentially incoherent. For knowledge is a warranted, credibly true belief about an entity, circumstance or state of affairs. The claim there is no objective knowable moral truth is an implicit claim to knowledge of this domain and so is self refuting.

    Obviously, this shows the possibility of having a warranted definition of evil, an important moral concept. Picking up:

    As to basic definition, classically and in a rough nutshell: evil is the privation, frustration or perversion/diversion of what is valuable out of alignment with its due . . . and often naturally evident . . . end.

    So, the real issue is not defining good vs evil, but instead is the consequences of denying our root in the inherently good and utterly wise creator God. Worse, in many cases the proper end is strongly naturally evident, sometimes even self evident. A recent horror in Idaho shocks the conscience as it is clear that cutting the throats or stabbing several young people to death is a manifest violation of the proper end of life.

    From this, we find ourselves probing what can order such due ends, raising the question so many are desperate to shut out.

    This comes back to focus as it is gross violation of the right to innocent reputation multiplied by institutionalised willful obtuseness that has turned the outdated labour theory of value into the means of destroying livelihood and lives of millions. 100 millions.

    KF

    KF

  158. 158
    jerry says:

    actually, no

    Actually yes!

    All you write is gobbledygook. Try simple coherent English sentences. An example:

    This comes back to focus as it is gross violation of the right to innocent reputation multiplied by institutionalised willful obtuseness that has turned the outdated labour theory of value into the means of destroying livelihood and lives of millions. 100 millions.

    Anything not liked is “evil.” Makes use of the word meaningless.

    Aside: this all started several years ago when I objected to the use of the word as evidence against the Christian God. So I find it ironic to associate objections to it as atheistic.

    Again respond on another thread. To respond here is evil.

  159. 159
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, we go over old ground. The description is accurate and contextual not gibberish. It is also not the definition in question. KF

  160. 160
    bornagain77 says:

    Since Jerry holds that evil, (i.e. a departure from that which is objectively good), does not actually exist, then I guess Jerry will have no moral qualms whatsoever when someone stronger than Jerry takes all his possessions away from him simply because he can and there is nothing Jerry can do to stop him?

    Again, when the rubber meets the road, no one lives their life as if morality does not objectively exist. Not even atheistic college professors, who claim there is no morality, and when the rubber meets the road, act as if morality does not objectively exist.

    Cruel Logic – video
    A serial killer videotapes his debates with an atheistic college faculty member. The topic of his debate with his atheistic victim? His moral right to kill him simply because he wants to kill him.
    https://vimeo.com/569412996

    The Heretic -Who is Thomas Nagel and why are so many of his fellow academics condemning him? Andrew Ferguson – March 25, 2013
    Excerpt: A materialist who lived his life according to his professed convictions—understanding himself to have no moral agency at all, seeing his friends and enemies and family as genetically determined robots—wouldn’t just be a materialist: He’d be a psychopath.
    http://www.weeklystandard.com/.....tml?page=3

    Existential Argument against Atheism – November 1, 2013 by Jason Petersen
    1. If a worldview is true then you should be able to live consistently with that worldview.
    2. Atheists are unable to live consistently with their worldview.
    3. If you can’t live consistently with an atheist worldview then the worldview does not reflect reality.
    4. If a worldview does not reflect reality then that worldview is a delusion.
    5. If atheism is a delusion then atheism cannot be true.
    Conclusion: Atheism is false.
    – per answers for hope

  161. 161
    Jblais says:

    @Seversky/149

    “I think we can actually agree that the Soviet Union was no more an Atheist Utopia than it was a Marxist Workers Paradise.”

    Well, it was certainly atheistic and marxist, openly and proudly so. But yeah, it was anything but a utopia and a workers paradise for sure, although that’s what it claimed to be. Hence, marxism failed in the most humiliating refutation of any philosophy in human history.

  162. 162
    relatd says:

    Ba77,

    It seems that when people have a little time on their hands, they debate evil. As if there’s some alternate definition of evil yet to be discovered. But it’s not true. It was never true. But for that handful of debaters, this needs to be repeated as necessary.

  163. 163
    vividbleau says:

    Evil is nothing (no thing.)

    Vivid

  164. 164
    relatd says:

    No one should harm another for no reason. There is legitimate self-defense but that’s it.

  165. 165
    Origenes says:

    Evil is whatever violates the golden rule.

    “Do to others as you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

    That’s all you need to know.

  166. 166
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    A few general comments

    1. To believe that Marx’s critique of capitalism was refuted by the atrocities of Stalin or Pol Pot reveals a profound lack of intellectual virtues & quite possibly a sign of intellectual vice. There is simply nothing at all in the economic and political theories of Marx and Engels that would justify forced collectivization of agriculture, secret police, or the mass murders that Michael Mann calls “classicide” and “politicide”.

    2. A quick read of even a short text by Marx, such as his “Critique of the Gotha Programme“, indicates very clearly that he was utterly opposed to the very idea that the state should have power over the rest of the society (e.g. “Freedom consists in converting the state from an organ superimposed upon society into one completely subordinate to it”). Marx was completely opposed to totalitarianism, as George Orwell understood perfectly well, which is precisely why Animal Farm and 1984 are about how the socialist ideal was perverted into its opposite, and what it took to maintain that lie.

    3. To maintain that the atrocities of the Soviet, Chinese, or Cambodian states can be traced back to the economic and political theories of Marx and Engels is precisely the same profound intellectual vice as that of the New Atheists who lay blame for the Inquisition and the Crusades at the door of Scripture. It is simplistic, reductive, ignorant, reprehensible, and inexcusable.

    4. The equivalence of Marxism with Soviet or Chinese communism also neglects the entire history of anti-Bolshevik Marxism in Germany, France, the UK, Ireland, the US, and pretty much the entire rest of the world.

    5. There is no logical contradiction between “conflict theories” and liberalism construed broadly (respect for the rule of law and individual rights, constitutional limits on government, broad political and civil liberties). This is for the quite simple fact that conflict theories are descriptive and liberal ideals are prescriptive. Moreover this was understood implicitly and explicitly by many theorists and activists in the American Black radical tradition, including Frederick Douglass, W. E. B. DuBois, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Derrick Bell, bell hooks, Angela Davis, Cornel West, and Charles Mills.

  167. 167
    relatd says:

    The average person lives an average life free of theories. The pattern of childhood to young adulthood to mature adulthood is followed everywhere. Only when people want to rearrange the ‘social furniture’ do problems arise.

    Hitler, and others, realized the expansionist purpose of the Bolsheviks (Reds). They wanted an Empire like the Romans or the British or the list goes on. They were held in check by the United States as World War II ended. And are still held in check.

    Don’t lump the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. into the radical category. I am sick and tired of seeing violence presented as the preferred method for solving social problems. The Reverend King was no radical, which is why he had to be killed.

  168. 168
    Origenes says:

    The great Jim Slagle on Karl Marx being self-referentially incoherent:

    “… Marx himself wrote of his critics, …

    Your very ideas are but the outgrowth of the conditions of your bourgeois production and bourgeois property, just as your jurisprudence is but the will of your class made into a law for all, a will whose essential character and direction are determined by the economical conditions of existence of your class.

    … Thus, his critics’ beliefs are brought about by social conditioning and their economic position in society and, as such, can be dismissed.
    The obvious response to such claims is to apply it to the Freudian and the Marxist themselves, not to mention Freud and Marx: if all beliefs are the product of nonrational forces, and thus nonveracious in some way, then belief in Freudianism and Marxism is similarly produced and so just as nonveracious as any other. If all reasoning is hopelessly tainted, then the Freudian and the Marxist arrive at their doctrines by tainted processes too, and if this condition allows their critics to be discounted, as Marx seems to suggest, it allows Freudianism and Marxism to be discounted by the same token. More broadly, if all beliefs are produced by nonrational forces and are thus nonveracious, then the belief that “all beliefs are produced by nonrational forces and are thus nonveracious” is itself produced by nonrational forces and is thus nonveracious. This belief, and any position that leads to it, is therefore self-defeating: if it is true, we no longer have any reason for believing it to be true. It is hoist with its own petard.”

  169. 169
    relatd says:

    Non-rational forces:

    Evolution is caused by non-rational forces.

  170. 170
    Jblais says:

    @166
    A sure sign of intellectual vice is surely denial.

    Defending a political philosophy, standing on top of a pile of over 100 million corpses produced by political regimes around the world with the open goal of realizing that philosophy, by pretending that all these regime had gotten the philosophy wrong because Marx said “Freedom consists in converting the state from an organ superimposed upon society into one completely subordinate to it”, and implying, idk that therefore we should perhaps have another go at it (but this time under the guidance of chairman PM1) ?, is the most irresponsible denial and completely delusional.

    Ideas have consequences and Marx’s ideas have had the most desastrous consequences imaginable, repeatedly all over the world. And its perverse influence continues to poison the world to this day. Enough with this horror.

  171. 171
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @167

    Don’t lump the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. into the radical category. I am sick and tired of seeing violence presented as the preferred method for solving social problems. The Reverend King was no radical, which is why he had to be killed.

    King certainly preached and practiced non-violence, but I don’t know what to call the author of “Beyond Vietnam” or Where Do We Go From Here? Chaos or Community if not a radical in the truest sense of the word: someone who gets down to the roots (Latin, radix) of the problems that we face.

    As I see it, King understood the moral obligation and spiritual necessity of a radical transformation of society through nonviolent means, and it was beginning to work. And that is why he was killed.

  172. 172
    Origenes says:

    Relatd @169

    Evolution is caused by non-rational forces.

    Therefore the belief that evolution is caused by non-rational forces is itself caused by non-rational forces and, as such, can be dismissed. 🙂

  173. 173
    relatd says:

    There are still Communists and Marxists in the United States and admirers of Che Guevara, but where does that get you? Along with Robert Kennedy, the Reverend King realized that the Vietnam War was based on fiction. The various advisers that were there before the war, which included the CIA and others, feared another Korean War scenario. China had detonated its first atomic bomb in October, 1964. The Chinese Communists could now invade or threaten their neighbors with it. U.S. troops had to intervene in the hope of creating a North and South Vietnam with U.S. troops on the ground, ready to spring into action just like the division of Korea in 1953.

    For those who missed it, a little background. Russia detonates its first atomic bomb in August, 1949. A few months later, the Chinese Civil War is over. The Communists seize power and the Nationalists flee to Taiwan. Stalin wants the new MiG-15 fighter (and no coincidence, remarkably similar to the American F-86) to have a powerful jet engine. The British have such an engine and Stalin is ready to steal it, but the British sell him a few examples instead. These are taken apart and copied. 1950, the Korean War starts, with Russian “advisers” on the ground and in the air in a proxy war against the United States. An armistice is signed in 1953 but, technically, the war is still on.

  174. 174
    relatd says:

    Origenes at 172,

    Only the non-rational believe that. 🙂

  175. 175
    kairosfocus says:

    PM1:

    I comment in steps of thought:

    >>To believe that Marx’s critique of capitalism was refuted>>

    1: The pivot, the grand theft thesis, was embedded in his version of the labour theory of value. This was baked into Marxism even as the marginal revolution was transforming economics.

    2: This led to demonisation and the cry that I still was hearing 100 years later, expropriate the expropriators.

    3: Thus, the door was opened to the jacobin thug state with power to carry out such a programme, and the genie was out of the bottle.

    >> by the atrocities of Stalin or Pol Pot>>

    4: Which flowed from the radical relativisation of morality, imposition of the thug state and consequences that directly echo the French Revolution’s terror, 100 years before Marx, with round two as Marx was still writing, c 1871.

    5: So, that there was a major moral hazard, was entirely too predictable.

    6: That this consistently came to pass, from Lenin and Stalin [read Gulag Archipelago] to Mao to Castro, Pol Pot and the thugs of Grenada speaks volumes, reminding us that the natural condition of government is lawless oligarchy and that it is a major challenge to ensure that we do not slide into such.

    7: The possibility was demonstrated in the French Revolution, Marx was responsible to avert such but instead fed it.

    >>reveals a profound lack of intellectual virtues & quite possibly a sign of intellectual vice.>>

    8: It seems rather, given the French Revolution, the shoe is on the other foot.

    >>There is simply nothing at all in the economic and political theories of Marx and Engels that would justify forced collectivization of agriculture, secret police, or the mass murders that Michael Mann calls “classicide” and “politicide”. >>

    9: Once the door of lawlessness is opened, the genie is out of the bottle. History’s verdict is plain: bloody, murderous, demonic fail.

    >> A quick read of even a short text by Marx, such as his “Critique of the Gotha Programme“, indicates very clearly that he was utterly opposed to the very idea that the state should have power over the rest of the society (e.g. “Freedom consists in converting the state from an organ superimposed upon society into one completely subordinate to it”).>>

    10: The state, or government, will have power, and the issue is how to so check and balance it that it is held to account for lawfulness and restrained from breaking out into its natural condition.

    11: Where, a case had been working out since the 1770’s, as is summed up in the US DoI, 1776. This was genuine progress, for all its wrongs and flaws down to today.

    12: Instead, we find the labour theory of value that opens doors to horrors that we have seen in actuality.

    >>Marx was completely opposed to totalitarianism,>>

    13: But opened the door by failing to deal adequately with a predictable problem that had already played out on the ground in France.

    >>as George Orwell understood perfectly well, which is precisely why Animal Farm and 1984 are about how the socialist ideal was perverted into its opposite,>>

    14: Not, opposite, a predictable moral hazard of radical revolution.

    and what it took to maintain that lie. >>

    15: The lies of agit prop, yes.

    16: What is needed instead is a sound, lawful state reformation programme. But the Marxist form of the outdated labour theory of value undermines reformation.

    >>To maintain that the atrocities of the Soviet, Chinese, or Cambodian states can be traced back to the economic and political theories of Marx and Engels>>

    17: You yourself presented a summary of the labour theory of value above, failing to identify its gross defects. That theory grounds the grand theft oppression thesis, and opens the way to “expropriate the expropriators.”

    >> is precisely the same profound intellectual vice as that of the New Atheists who lay blame for the Inquisition and the Crusades at the door of Scripture. It is simplistic, reductive, ignorant, reprehensible, and inexcusable.>>

    18: Dismissive, but not substantial on the main point, what the grand theft thesis opens up, and why by the 1870’s the labour theory of value was knowable as outdated.

    >> The equivalence of Marxism with Soviet or Chinese communism also neglects the entire history of anti-Bolshevik Marxism in Germany, France, the UK, Ireland, the US, and pretty much the entire rest of the world. >>

    19: Of course, socialist thought and particularly marxist thought has always had considerable diversity. This thread is about neo-marxism and the shift to cultural forms of the oppression thesis.

    20: In recent years and right now, we have seen the same jacobin trends playing out. What we have not seen is a balanced theory and programme of sound balanced reform.

    21: An excellent test of the issue is attitude to the event of July 4, 1776. Where, what we see is not recognition of a genuine breakthrough but the attempt to shift to 1619 on questionable historical claims.

    >>There is no logical contradiction between “conflict theories” and liberalism construed broadly (respect for the rule of law and individual rights, constitutional limits on government, broad political and civil liberties).>>

    22: The problem is that the natural state of government is lawless oligarchy, compounded by undermining of objective morality and respect for first, built in law. This is essentially across the board apart from rearguard action coming mostly from Catholic circles.

    23: In this context, paint utopian theories all you like, the slide into lawless oligarchy is under way. Radical revolutions simply accelerate the rot and collapse. As we have seen from Lenin to Mao to Castro.

    >>This is for the quite simple fact that conflict theories are descriptive>>

    24: The oppression thesis labour theory of value is anything but merely descriptive, it has been shown materially false for 150 years but is baked into a system that for 100 years has consistently robbed many of livelihoods and lives.

    >> and liberal ideals are prescriptive.>>

    25: Actually, it is natural, built in first law that is prescriptive and frames a better way, one epitomised in the breakthrough of July 4, 1776.

    >> Moreover this was understood implicitly and explicitly by many theorists and activists in the American Black radical tradition, including Frederick Douglass, W. E. B. DuBois, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Derrick Bell, bell hooks, Angela Davis, Cornel West, and Charles Mills.>>

    27: Again, radical revolution naturally lets loose lawless oligarchy, as it breaks the BATNA of lawfulness.

    Later.

    KF

  176. 176
    Seversky says:

    What is a “non-rational force”? Come to think of it, what would a “rational” force look like?

  177. 177
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @170

    A sure sign of intellectual vice is surely denial.
    Defending a political philosophy, standing on top of a pile of over 100 million corpses produced by political regimes around the world with the open goal of realizing that philosophy, by pretending that all these regime had gotten the philosophy wrong because Marx said “Freedom consists in converting the state from an organ superimposed upon society into one completely subordinate to it”, and therefore we should have yet another go at it, is the most irresponsible denial and is delusional.

    Prove it. Show me exactly which passages from Marx or Engels would rationalize the atrocities of the Soviet or Chinese communist states. Show me the evidence.

    Ideas have consequences and Marx’s ideas have had the most desastrous consequences imaginable, repeatedly all over the world. Enough with this horror.

    It is simply false to say “ideas have consequences.” No, they don’t, because they can’t. Ideas have entailments; it is actions that have consequences. “Ideas have consequences” is a confusion of the logical order and the causal order. (At most it is true that what people do is guided by what they believe to be true, but beliefs interact with lots of other motivations in guiding our actions, and very often what we choose is very different from what we would have chosen if we had fully understood what the consequences would have been.)

    No question, Stalin claimed that his actions were justified by what he called DiaMat and HistMat. But so what? Lots of monsters throughout history claimed that their actions were justified by some ideology or other. Christopher Columbus raped, mutilated, tortured, and murdered his way across the Caribbean searching for gold. He certainly thought that his actions were justified by his understanding of Christianity.

    If you want to say that the atrocities committed by Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot invalidate Marxism, then the exact same reasoning obliges you to say that the rape, enslavement, torture, and extermination of the Spanish and Portuguese colonialists invalidates Catholicism. “Ideas have consequences”, after all.

    Now, if you want to say (reasonably enough) that the conquistadors simply didn’t understand Catholic teaching correctly, that’s fine. But then that raises the question: why should we believe that Lenin correctly drew the right inferences from what Marx said, and that Luxemburg and Pankhurst were wrong to claim that the Bolsheviks had betrayed the revolution?

    Nothing I’ve said here implies that I agree with everything Marx and Engels said, or that their critique of 19th century industrial capitalism could be re-deployed in the 21st century in any obvious, straightforward way. Capital is very much a document of 1867, and the world has changed a lot in last 156 years. But has it changed so much that Capital is simply no longer relevant at all? Well, one would need to have actually have read it in order to have an informed opinion about that question — and I have.

  178. 178
    vividbleau says:

    PMI
    Here is the great divide, we have a fundamental disagreement regarding human nature.

    Vivid

  179. 179
    relatd says:

    Seversky at 176,

    Oh, oh, pleeeeeez. You missed ALL the comments about Intelligent Design here? That’s what a rational force looks like.

  180. 180
    Jblais says:

    @177
    “No, they don’t, because they can’t.”
    You see, political philosophies and idelologies are explicitely meant to be applied to the real world by real people. That’s what Marx wanted. Each time someone tried, it failed miserably. If your political philosophy is inapplicable to the real world, it is refuted. Which is what happened (and continue to happen) to marxism. It failed.

    Trying to say that’s because nobody (apart from you I suppose) really understood the nuances of it or because everyone perverted it, is denial and doesn’t change the empirical reality: each time marxist ideas have been applied to the real world, it failed.

  181. 181
    vividbleau says:

    Jblais
    “If your political philosophy is inapplicable to the real world, it is refuted.”

    Exactly

    Vivid

  182. 182
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @178

    Here is the great divide, we have a fundamental disagreement regarding human nature.

    Oh, quite so. But we also have (I suspect) an equally fundamental meta-disagreement — a disagreement about how to describe what it is that we are disagreeing about.

    Put otherwise, I suspect that if I were to describe my philosophical anthropology — my general view of human nature — it would be very different from the view that you would be inclined to ascribe to me, based on our limited interactions here. (And conversely, of course).

    We might also disagree about what sources of evidence are relevant for a theory of human nature.

  183. 183
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @180

    That’s what Marx wanted. Each time someone tried, it failed miserably. If your political philosophy is inapplicable to the real world, it is refuted. Which is what happened (and continue to happen) to marxism. It failed.

    You said “each time someone tried it, it failed miserably”. Be specific: how did Mike Davis fail? How did Charles Mills fail? How did Angela Davis fail? Or those example are too contemporary: how did Antonio Gramsci fail? How did Sylvia Pankhurst fail? How did C. Wright Mills fail?

  184. 184
    vividbleau says:

    PMI
    “We might also disagree about what sources of evidence are relevant for a theory of human nature.”

    For sure. My evidence is based upon the whole of human history, what is your evidence?

    Ask yourself, historically what do humans do best?

    Vivid

  185. 185
    Jblais says:

    @183
    You can list all american or western marxist academics and activists if you like but this is completely irrelevant to my point.

  186. 186
    vividbleau says:

    Jblais
    “You can list all american or western marxist academics and activists if you like but this is completely irrelevant to my point.”

    Yep

    Vivid

  187. 187
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @184

    For sure. My evidence is based upon the whole of human history, what is your evidence?

    Ask yourself, historically what do humans do best?

    Humans do all sorts of things very well: we love, hate, create, destroy, bring new life into being, and kill. I don’t know what you’re getting at by “what humans do best”.

    @183

    You can list all american or western marxist academics and activists if you like but this is completely irrelevant to my point.

    But it’s not irrelevant to my point, because we’re making different points. That’s what I’m trying to get you to see.

    As far as I can tell, you seem to be thinking of Marxism as involving a violent capture of the state apparatus by a revolutionary group and the subsequent use of state power to abolish markets and classes.

    It’s not that I don’t mourn for the victims of state communism — of course I do, I’m not heartless — it’s that I don’t think that’s even the right way to go about engaging with the world as a Marxist.

    This has nothing to do with me personally — it’s not like I have some secret decoder ring and that I’m the only person to understand Marx. I’ve read a lot of Marx, and I’ve read a lot of Marxist scholarship, and I’ve learned a lot from talking with left-wing activists over the years.

    Based on all that, I’ve come to two conclusions:

    1. The violent capture of the state apparatus by a revolutionary group and the subsequent use of state power to abolish markets and classes could never have worked. The people who thought it could work did not understand Marx, because it’s pretty clear from Marx himself why this strategy could not possibly succeed.

    2. That has absolutely nothing to do with what Marx actually said, wrote, or did, nor does it have anything to do with the work of subsequent generations of Marxists, from Rosa Luxuemborg and Sylvia Pankhurst down to the present-day.

  188. 188
    vividbleau says:

    PMI
    “Humans do all sorts of things very well: we love, hate, create, destroy, bring new life into being, and kill. I don’t know what you’re getting at by “what humans do best”.”

    We are killing machines. What humans do best is kill and the powerful subjugate the weak! That is the record of all of human history regardless whether we are in a Capitalistic or Marxist
    system. The state must be restrained.

    Historically tyranny by the state and by the powerful , or the long march towards tyranny, is the natural order of things.

    Vivid

  189. 189
    Origenes says:

    PM1@

    How did Charles Mills fail?

    I cannot imagine how this brave and brilliant mind could possibly fail. How inspiring it is to read about his worldview. He surely is onto something:

    Throughout his rich body of work, specifically within the areas of ethics, social, and political philosophy, Mills is critical of the “view from nowhere.” Mills’ work powerfully demonstrates how the whiteness of philosophy, in its attempt “to illuminate the world, factually and normatively” (2012, p.65), entails cognitive distortion, a form of evasion and epistemic violence that is linked not only to its monochromatic whiteness, but to “the conceptual or theoretical whiteness of the discipline” (1998, p.2). Reading the work of Mills (2017) reinforced, for me, the importance of calling into question the whiteness of ideal theory and how it “can only serve the interests of the [white] privileged” (p.80). That “view from nowhere,” for Mills, is a ruse that is actively maintained by those white philosophers who hide behind the structural (though contingent) normativity of whiteness. Mills (1998) argues that white experience is entrenched as normative, and that it is “so deep that its normativity is not even identified as such. For this would imply that there was some other way that things could be, whereas it is obvious that this is just the way things are” (p.10).
    … Moreover, I had absolutely no idea regarding the whiteness of the field of philosophy, its pretensions, and how the morphology of its philosophical assumptions and problems were shaped by the dynamics of white power and privilege. I didn’t see the debauchery, the fact that “a lot of philosophy,” as Mills (1998) observed, “is just white guys jerking off” (p.4).

  190. 190
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @188

    We are killing machines. What humans do best is kill and the powerful subjugate the weak! That is the record of all of human history regardless whether we are in a Capitalistic or Marxist
    system. The state must be restrained.

    Historically tyranny by the state and by the powerful , or the long march towards tyranny, is the natural order of things.

    Well, you weren’t wrong — we really do have a fundamental disagreement about human nature.

  191. 191
    vividbleau says:

    PMI
    “Well, you weren’t wrong — we really do have a fundamental disagreement about human nature”

    Do you have any counter evidence that historically this is not the actual state of affairs?

    Vivid.

  192. 192
    Jblais says:

    @Origenes/189

    How interesting. And some here were assuring us not long ago that all that CRT racist and absurd non-sense had nothing to do with true marxism…

  193. 193
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @191

    Do you have any counter evidence that historically this is not the actual state of affairs?

    If your account of history is based on “the West” and ignores the rest of the planet, then there’s a possibility that your account is biased towards WEIRD people and it might not hold more generally.

    And when trying to draw lessons about human nature from history, one also needs to be careful: what gets recorded is what’s interesting, or noteworthy, or deserves special attention. Written history and other documents are important, but so are archeological excavations and reconstructions, anthropological studies, etc.

    We would also need to ask “what counts as history”? If we privilege written history, then what about the millennia during which writing didn’t exist, or the millennia during which the lives of ordinary people weren’t documented because they weren’t special enough? Do hundreds of thousands of years of hunting and gathering count as “history“? If not, why not? What about a philosophy of history less focused on Great Men (who often enough become Great by killing and getting others to kill) and more about how people manage their ordinary yet remarkable lives?

  194. 194
    vividbleau says:

    PMI

    LOL Save the BS for someone else. Once again. Do you have any counter evidence that historically this is not the actual state of affairs? Obviously NOT!!

    Vivid

  195. 195
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @194

    LOL once again. Do you have any counter evidence that historically this is not the actual state of affairs? Obviously NOT!!

    I referred to books written by scholars and activists that present a view of history that differs from yours. You didn’t even do that much. You presented your opinion as if it is obviously true, with absolutely no evidence at all.

  196. 196
    vividbleau says:

    PMI
    “You presented your opinion as if it is obviously true, with absolutely no evidence at all.”

    Just in the 20th century alone 144 million were killed. In the 19th century, you do the math

    https://necrometrics.com/wars19c.htm

    Vivid

  197. 197
    Querius says:

    Seversky @149,

    I think we can actually agree that the Soviet Union was no more an Atheist Utopia than it was a Marxist Workers Paradise.

    HAHA! Yes, because (once again) that wasn’t TRUE socialism, right? LOL

    So, the various versions of Marxists have to try again . . . and again . . . and again . . . and again . . . this time for sure . . . we’re almost there . . . it’s just gotta work this next time. Oh, I almost forgot:

    Communism didn’t fail Russia, the Russians failed Communism!

    And other favorite:

    Communism has never been tried.

    Except in . . .

    Afghanistan
    Albania
    Angola
    Armenia
    Azerbaijan
    Belarus
    Benin
    Bulgaria
    Cambodia
    China (Current)
    Cuba (Current)
    Czech Republic (Czechoslovakia)
    Democratic Republic of Congo
    Eritrea
    Estonia
    Ethiopia
    Georgia
    German Democratic Republic (East Germany)
    Hungary (twice)
    Kazakhstan
    Kyrgyzstan
    Laos (Current)
    Latvia
    Lithuania
    Moldova
    Mongolia
    Mozambique
    North Korea (Current)
    Poland
    Romania
    Russia
    Somalia
    Tajikistan
    Turkmenistan
    Ukraine
    United States (progressing nicely from Fascism to Communism)
    Uzbekistan
    Venezuela (a “complex” situation, but in process)
    Vietnam (Current)
    Yemen
    Yugoslavia (Bosnia and Hertzegovena, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia, and Slovenia)

    But groundless hope and true faith in a Marxist utopia lives on forever!

    -Q

  198. 198
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    196

    Just in the 20th century alone 144 million were killed.

    How does that help towards your point? How many people were killed per century doesn’t establish your claim about human nature. You’re trying to make a general claim about human nature in general. What’s the relevance of how many people are killed per century?

    Now, it’s widely accepted that the 20th century was the bloodiest century on record. But if the 20th century was unusual, then how does that establish a general truth about human nature? How does the fact that the 20th century was so bloody establish the general truth of:

    We are killing machines. What humans do best is kill and the powerful subjugate the weak! That is the record of all of human history regardless whether we are in a Capitalistic or Marxist
    system. The state must be restrained.

    Historically tyranny by the state and by the powerful , or the long march towards tyranny, is the natural order of things.

    While we’re at it, I can’t tell if your view is Hobbesian or not. Are you saying

    The natural state of human being is to dominate and exploit each other, and the state is necessary to prevent that from happening.

    or

    We need to protect ourselves from being exploited and dominated by the state

    Or might your view be both — that we are naturally prone to dominate, subjugate, and exploit each other, but that there is nothing to be done about that, because giving the state enough power to end “the war of all against all” would also require giving it too power and that would deprive us of liberty?

  199. 199
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @197

    You forgot Brazil, which just elected a socialist president.

    HAHA! Yes, because (once again) that wasn’t TRUE socialism, right? LOL

    The conquistadors butchered, raped, and enslaved their way across the length and breadth of the Americas, assured all the while that they had the full blessing of the Church and of God Himself. But that wasn’t TRUE Christianity, right? LOL

  200. 200
    vividbleau says:

    PMI
    https://brewminate.com/an-historical-overview-of-tyranny/

    I got exhausted just doing the Greek Tyrants
    Ceylon 632 BC
    Pisistratus 581 BC
    Hippias 527 BC
    Theramones 404BC
    Aristion 88 BC
    Dionysius
    Hieron

    This does not include the tyranny of the church in medieval times. The tyranny of the monarchs and their Lords and minions. On and on history is either tyranny or the march towards it.

    PMI you are a true believer nothing anyone can say can alter that.

    Vivid

  201. 201
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    I said earlier that a careful reading of Marx would have shown that communism cannot be successfully imposed by the state. Let me elaborate on this, just a minute.

    Marx is very clear that what he envisions is the elimination of scarcity. This would be possible (he thinks) given a sufficient level of technological development. And he thought, with a certain Victorian optimism that would be difficult to sustain today, that the late 19th century was on the cusp of reaching that level. What was preventing the full realization of a post-scarcity society was that technology was serving the interest of capital, which is ultimately interested only in constant expansion of itself.

    As I see it, being a Marxist involves at least the following commitments: (1) it is possible for us to eliminate scarcity and with it the need to work; (2) it would be a good thing for us if we did.

    The Soviet and Chinese communists quickly abandoned the attempt to eliminate scarcity, and instead resorted to an inefficient bureaucratic management of scarcity, and not the elimination of it.

    Far from being controversial, I think it is quite straightforward that state communists were never really Marxist, and couldn’t be Marxist — because the technology necessary to eliminate scarcity simply did not exist at that time. It doesn’t even exist now, and we’re a lot closer to it than they ever were!

  202. 202
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @200

    This does not include the tyranny of the church in medieval times. The tyranny of the monarchs and their Lords and minions. On and on history is either tyranny or the march towards it.

    Sure, but that just goes to my point about how history is written, and who writes it, and why: what gets recorded are the actions of those who control what gets recorded.

    That seems like a very slender reed upon which to build any grand sweeping statements about “human nature”.

    For all you’ve told us so far, maybe the people who end up in power are unusually good at bullying, intimidating, threatening, and killing. If that were true, there is very little that we could learn about human nature in general from the recorded actions of those in power, because those with power really aren’t like the rest of us at all.

  203. 203
    Origenes says:

    PM1 @

    For all you’ve told us so far, maybe the people who end up in power are unusually good at bullying, intimidating, threatening, and killing. If that were true, there is very little that we could learn about human nature in general from the recorded actions of those in power, because those with power really aren’t like the rest of us at all.

    Perhaps the explanation is that power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Can we agree on that?

  204. 204
    Querius says:

    PyrrhoManiac1 @199,

    You forgot Brazil, which just elected a socialist president.

    Does that make them Communist?

    The conquistadors butchered, raped, and enslaved their way across the length and breadth of the Americas, assured all the while that they had the full blessing of the Church and of God Himself. But that wasn’t TRUE Christianity, right? LOL

    You’re resorting to the Tu Quoque Fallacy:
    https://fallacyinlogic.com/tu-quoque-fallacy-definition-and-examples/

    The question is the lack of success of any Communist government in history, including short-lived Christian attempts.

    Why is that?

    -Q

  205. 205
    Querius says:

    Pyrrhomaniac1,

    Thanks for bringing up Lord Acton’s famous quote! Here are some more that I thought you might also enjoy, starting with more of the quote you mentioned:

    “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority; still more when you superadd the tendency of the certainty of corruption by authority.”

    “Despotic power is always accompanied by corruption of morality.”

    “Everybody likes to get as much power as circumstances allow, and nobody will vote for a self-denying ordinance.”

    “Liberty consists in the division of power. Absolutism, in concentration of power.”

    “The will of the people cannot make just that which is unjust.”

    “Example is of the first importance in politics, because political calculations are so complex that we cannot trust theory, if we cannot support it by experience.”

    “Bureaucracy is undoubtedly the weapon and sign of a despotic government, inasmuch as it gives whatever government it serves, despotic power.”

    “Socialism easily accepts despotism. It requires the strongest execution of power—power sufficient to interfere with property.”

    As with all quotes from online sources, let me caution that these have been attributed to Lord Acton. I’ve not verified their accuracy from his actual writings.

    -Q

  206. 206
    vividbleau says:

    “You forgot Brazil, which just elected a socialist president”

    https://www.wsj.com/livecoverage/brazil-protests-bolsonaro-congress

    How did that work out for Venezuela?

    Vivid

  207. 207
    vividbleau says:

    PMI’s socialist paradise/ hell hole

    https://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2019/10/13/my-socialist-hell-20-years-of-decay-in-venezuela/

    Only an intellectual (smart dumb people)could deny the failure of socialism

    Today PMI is lauding Brazil 20 years ago ( or when ever it went socialist) he would have been lauding Venezuela

    Vivid

  208. 208
    relatd says:

    Not heard in a Pub in Norwich.

    Religion is bad.

    “What?”

    You heard me. Religion is responsible for millions dead.

    “And who were the Russians dying for in the Second World War?”

    You miss my point.

    “Which is?”

    People should stay away from religion.

    “And be what? Atheists? When the Soviet Union collapsed, churches opened back up. It’s pretty clear to me that religion does a better job of keeping people on the straight and narrow than the KGB.”

  209. 209
    vividbleau says:

    PMI
    “Sure, but that just goes to my point about how history is written, and who writes it, and why: what gets recorded are the actions of those who control what gets recorded.”

    Do you have anything other than this word salad to offer like disputing any of the historical facts I have provided?

    “That seems like a very slender reed upon which to build any grand sweeping statements about “human nature”.

    This is laughable coming from a person that calls billions of dollars in property damage and multiple deaths as “feint and meager””

    Vivid

  210. 210
    Ford Prefect says:

    VB writes:

    PMI’s socialist paradise…

    I think you are misinterpreting PM1’s comments. He is not promoting socialism or Marxism. He is criticizing the intentional polarizing tactic of labeling anything that several here disagree with (LBGQ, BLM, pro choice, same sex marriage, universal health care, gun control, secularism, dogs and cats living together, whatever) as socialist or Marxist agendas aimed at destroying our society. And they use this disingenuous tactic without having a clear understanding of the concepts of Marxism and socialism.

  211. 211
    Ford Prefect says:

    VB writes:

    This is laughable coming from a person that calls billions of dollars in property damage and multiple deaths as “feint and meager””

    You have yet to address the billions of dollars in property damage and multiple deaths that resulted from the 60’s civil rights protests.

  212. 212
    vividbleau says:

    Ford

    “You have yet to address the billions of dollars in property damage and multiple deaths that resulted from the 60’s civil rights protests.”

    Ford how about getting up to speed before you start yapping. There is nothing for me to address.

    PMI “I don’t deny that there are “toxic, corrosive ideologies of polarisation” but insofar as there are any coming from the Left, they are faint and meager compared to those coming from the Right”

    We are talking about the left. Are you making the absurd claim that the riots and deaths by the civil rights protestors of the 60’s were caused by the right? I lived through the 60s MLK was excoriated by the Black Panthers ( Kwame Ture, Bobby Seale , Huey Newton) and other leftist and heavily criticized for his adamant stance of non violent protest.

    Vivid

  213. 213
    Querius says:

    Relatd @208

    Not heard in a Pub in Norwich.

    Yeah, I also didn’t hear the exact same thing in that very same pub!

    Unfortunately, what you recount is a fairly typical conversation. Often, people just make up things and present them as “facts.” Something like,

    “So how do you explain that almost half of all homicides in the world this past year were the direct result of religion?”

    I suppose the most successful tactic would be just to make up your own FantasyFacts ™ such as

    “Actually, if you account for those also mandated by government executions, the number drops down to less than 4%. “

    Then, when they respond with

    “Where did you get that misinformation from?”

    You can tell them that it’s the same source as theirs. And of course, all this leads nowhere.

    -Q

  214. 214
    Querius says:

    Let me also add that relying on a single data point on which to rest an argument is a poor idea.

    There are almost always multiple ways to interpret statistics, and there are often confounding factors. A more reliable picture emerges from multiple data points, while a single data point nearly always misleads.

    And then there unknown and changing data requiring Bayesian statistics:

    Bayesian statistics and modelling
    https://www.nature.com/articles/s43586-020-00001-2

    -Q

  215. 215
    kairosfocus says:

    FP, first, the matter is not what one disagrees with, but a traceable history: marxist failed expectation on the great war –> rise of variant forms, including the frankfurt school and allies –> development of culture form marxist ideology [note, the British school too] –> spread through academia as critical theory framework with the oppressor thesis that dominates arts and social sciences –> various movements and rising policy initiatives –> the current black theme colour cultural revolution push with riots, arson, looting, mayhem and murder, agit prop, lawfare, a reichstag fire incident operation, dubious expansion of correspondence voting and much more, fitting SOCOM’s insurgency escalator and low kinetic 4th generation war operations. If you disbelieve the linked vids notice the set of clips from books here on — much of that is from the horses’ mouths. This chain is not in credible doubt, though there is a gaslighting and censoring attempt that is widespread as part of the agit prop push. This post is in specific response to a lurid accusation. Further to such, advocacy of the outdated, marxist form labour theory of value appeared above, and is refuted, with pointing out of the fact of many value adding factors in production, and of how it provides a grand theft thesis that has consistently led to persecution, state lawlessness, loss of livelihood and mass murder of millions. Marxism should be retired to the history books and due lessons on lawlessness need to be drawn, including, that it is yet another case on how lawless oligarchy is the natural state of government and what it takes to establish and buttress a lawful state. As for oh he is not advocating, he has manifestly advocated and in so doing has inadvertently shown the connexions. KF

    PS, I will now add to the OP a note on an alternative, historically anchored political spectrum — rising above, monarchists sit at the Speaker’s honoured right with ever more disreputable radicals further and further to the sinister side — and the tendency to slide into lawless oligarchy.

  216. 216
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS, SEP on critical theories

    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/critical-theory/

    [SEP:] Critical Theory
    First published Tue Mar 8, 2005

    Critical Theory has a narrow and a broad meaning in philosophy and in the history of the social sciences. “Critical Theory” in the narrow sense designates several generations of German philosophers and social theorists in the Western European Marxist tradition known as the Frankfurt School. According to these theorists, a “critical” theory may be distinguished from a “traditional” theory according to a specific practical purpose: a theory is critical to the extent that it seeks human “emancipation from slavery”, acts as a “liberating … influence”, and works “to create a world which satisfies the needs and powers of” human beings (Horkheimer 1972b [1992, 246]).

    [–> of course, this is the oppressor thesis of neo-marxism, and the “liberation” in view is to be understood i/l/o the history of Marxism driven “liberation” movements and fronts, i.e. not lawful state, constitutional democracy and associated cultural buttresses; the history of C20 is sufficient warning on here such “liberation” has consistently ended]

    Because such theories aim to explain and transform all the circumstances that enslave human beings [–> loaded language that sets up scapegoats as targets, originally the business classes, now any target selected by culture form [neo-]marxist thought], many “critical theories” in the broader sense have been developed. They have emerged in connection with the many social movements that identify varied dimensions of the domination of human beings in modern societies. [–> the range of radical movements pushing for “liberation”] In both the broad and the narrow senses, however, a critical theory provides the descriptive and normative bases for social inquiry aimed at decreasing domination and increasing freedom in all their forms. [–> oppressor thesis, leading to scapegoating]

    Critical Theory in the narrow sense has had many different aspects and quite distinct historical phases that cross several generations, from the effective start of the Institute for Social Research in the years 1929–1930, which saw the arrival of the Frankfurt School philosophers and an inaugural lecture by Horkheimer, to the present. Its distinctiveness as a philosophical approach that extends to ethics, political philosophy, and the philosophy of history is most apparent when considered in light of the history of the philosophy of the social sciences. Critical Theorists have long sought to distinguish their aims, methods, theories, and forms of explanation from standard understandings in both the natural and the social sciences. Instead, they have claimed that social inquiry ought to combine rather than separate the poles of philosophy and the social sciences: explanation and understanding, structure and agency, regularity and normativity. Such an approach, Critical Theorists argue, permits their enterprise to be practical in a distinctively moral (rather than instrumental) sense. They do not merely seek to provide the means to achieve some independent goal, but rather (as in Horkheimer’s famous definition mentioned above) seek “human emancipation” in circumstances of domination and oppression. This normative task cannot be accomplished apart from the interplay between philosophy and social science through interdisciplinary empirical social research (Horkheimer 1993). While Critical Theory is often thought of narrowly as referring to the Frankfurt School that begins with Horkheimer and Adorno and stretches to Marcuse and Habermas, any philosophical approach with similar practical aims could be called a “critical theory,” including feminism, critical race theory, and some forms of post-colonial criticism. [–> the list is long]

    Context.

  217. 217
    Origenes says:

    My parents called themselves socialists. They made me aware of the contrast between the extremely rich and the extremely poor and argued that a more just society must be possible. Back then, when it was mainly focused on economics, socialism sure had a point.
    Now the left has ‘evolved’ into something incomprehensibly sick and insane, and, enigmatically, the super-rich is among its loudest voices.

  218. 218
    asauber says:

    “And they use this disingenuous tactic without having a clear understanding of the concepts of Marxism and socialism.”

    FP,

    At the end of the day, fancy concepts go out the window, and what is left is the powerful doing pretty much whatever they want.

    Andrew

  219. 219
    asauber says:

    Also,

    It’s an inevitability when the state makes up the rules instead of following God’s law’s that things are going to degenerate, and that’s where we are.

    Andrew

  220. 220
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    Some responses to nice points raised here by Origenes and Querius. (I’m numbering the different points just to keep them organized in my mind as I write.)

    1. I somewhat disagree with Lord Acton’s general observation about the corrupting influence of power, because I think that there is an important distinction between kinds of power that Lord Action might not accept. Acton was a liberal and I am not. In politics, I am a civic republican, but more specifically, I belong to a tradition of radical republicanism or social republicanism (this is also how I read Marx).

    2. The crucial difference between classical liberalism and republicanism is how freedom is defined. For classical liberals (such as Acton), liberty is the absence of interference: one is free insofar as no one (but especially the state) can coercively deprive one of one’s life or property. For republicans, liberty is the absence of domination: one is free insofar as one’s actions are not confined to a specific domain that has been imposed on one by some other person or institution.

    3. To see the difference between interference and domination, consider a woman who lives under the influence of a dominating male partner. She might not be abused (physically, sexually, or emotionally), and yet what she can do is subject to his arbitrary authority. It is he who would decide whether she can get a job, have a bank account, see her friends, when and what she cooks, and under what conditions she is emotionally and sexually available to him. She is not being interfered with, and yet she is dominated. In other words, she has liberal freedom but not republican freedom.

    4. On most issues, liberals and republicans will agree. But there are some issues where they will disagree, and specifically when it comes to property rights. One specific example is the US civil war. The greatest political philosopher of the Confederacy, John Calhoun, argued that it was the Confederacy that was the true, rightful heir of Washington and Jefferson, because it was standing up for property rights: the right to do with one’s property what one wished. (Hence they cast the federal government in the role of King George.) Most British liberals, including Lord Acton, supported the Confederacy. By contrast, republicans (including a lot of Germans who had to leave Germany after the failed revolution of 1848) took up arms in defense of the Union. Karl Marx was pro-Union and wrote about the Civil War for the New York Tribune while living in London. For the republicans, slavery was an absolute wrong because the slaves were deprived of republican liberty, regardless of how well cared for they were purported to be.

    5. What makes Marx a part of this radical republican tradition is that he thinks that freedom is the absence of domination. His major theoretical contribution is to show that domination need not be personal. It need not be the case that the source of domination is some specific person or group of people. Instead, it can be the case that domination is impersonal: it is a general structural feature of society that dominates, not any specific person or group of people.

    6. As radical republicans, Marx and Engels looked to the Paris Commune as their example of what a transitional stage between capitalism and communism might look like. What was of particular interest to them was the relative absence of hierarchy: it had a relatively “flat” organizational structure that empowered the people. So their ideal was somewhat close to what’s now called “council communism” and completely antithetical to what state-imposed communism became under Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and all those who followed in their footsteps.

    7. In case it is not entirely obvious by now, by Marxian lights, state communism is a contradiction in terms. What Marx and Engels wanted was a radically egalitarian social democracy (like the Paris Commune), not an authoritarian state (like the Soviet Union). Marxism is a political theory (among other things) but it is not a theory of government: it is a theory about the conditions under which it will be possible to transform government into a servant of the people rather than their master.

    8. What the Soviet Union accomplished was a perversion of Marx. This can be seen quite precisely when one considers how it abolished internal markets. It replaced markets (except for the illegal markets) with bureaucratic planning. But they did not abolish money, nor did they ever have the technology necessary to abolish scarcity (which is what Marx calls for). So how did the Politburo decide what the prices of goods should be? Answer: by consulting the international prices established by capitalist markets. So they were never independent of capitalism; rather, by abolishing all internal markets, all they accomplished was transforming the entire federation into one huge, bureaucratically managed (but not profit-generating) firm.

    9. In short, the Soviet Union (and other communist states) used a doctrine of non-domination to legitimize a new form of domination. This was the perversion that Orwell called out in Animal Farm and 1984 and that was denounced by Luxemburg, Pankhurst, Marcuse, and many other 20th century Marxists.

    10. This does raise the nice question, “what would it take to realize the structure of the Paris Commune on a world-wide scale?” I think it is unobjectionable that Marx drastically underestimated how easy it would be, and it may be altogether impossible. This is why most Marxists today have set their sights on limiting the dominating power of markets and capital, rather than abolishing them entirely.

    I’ll return later on to comment on the Frankfurt School and critical social theory.

  221. 221
    jerry says:

    enigmatically, the super-rich is among its loudest voices.

    Why?

    It’s not because they care for the poor. The obvious answer is that the poor, becoming less and less throughout the world, and those who claim they want to help the poor by changing the system are the useful idiots.

    The super-rich have other ideas and are the current puppet masters. Marxism and socialism have nothing to do with what they want and what is happening in the world. But it generates lots of comments on UD.

    Control and abolishing freedom is the common theme. It plays out in fears such as the virus, climate, social chaos and uses nebulous ideas such as discrimination to achieve its objectives. It uses shame as a driving force. And most swallow the bait very readily.

  222. 222
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @221

    The super-rich have other ideas and are the current puppet masters. Marxism and socialism have nothing to do with what they want and what is happening in the world.

    True, but Marxism can offer some diagnostic tools for explaining how the super-rich got that way, how they use their power and to what ends, and what it would take to build counter-power.

  223. 223
    jerry says:

    Marxism can offer some diagnostic tools for explaining how the super-rich got that way, how they use their power and to what ends,

    Maybe some but I doubt much.

    McClellan spelt it out. Individuals have different needs. It’s always been that way since hunter-gathers. Power, one of the needs for some, is an aphrodisiac. What’s new is that the US had a system to control individual power but it has been deteriorating for years.

    There is the famous expression- “gradually, then suddenly.” The digital world with its supposed liberating benefits has actually done just the opposite. It has found a way to control the masses voluntarily. It has led to control of elections nationally through the spending of massive amounts of money.

    I would look to “Bread and Circuses” or today “food and games” as the best metaphor for what’s going on.

  224. 224
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    A further thought I wanted to share about Marx and the labor theory of value.

    For a while, I had thought that Marx was in some sense committed to the labor theory of value, and this bothered me. I now realize that I’d been misreading Marx in this respect.

    Marx begins with the labor theory of value, not because he is committed to it, but because classical political economy was committed to it. His work Capital is, just as it says on the tin, “a critique of political economy”. That is: it is not a work of economic theory but a critique of economic theory.

    A critique (Kritik) is for Marx what it was for Kant but more importantly Hegel: an examination of how the foundational assumptions of a worldview are inherently contradictory. In this case, the claim is that the labor theory of value contains contradictions that cannot be resolved within the framework established by that theory.

    This does raise the question of whether a Marxian critique of capitalism can be revised now that capitalism itself has abandoned the labor theory of value, and if it can be, how. But I think this challenge can be met.

  225. 225
    Origenes says:

    Jerry @

    Control and abolishing freedom is the common theme. It plays out in fears such as the virus, climate, social chaos and uses nebulous ideas such as discrimination to achieve its objectives. It uses shame as a driving force. And most swallow the bait very readily.

    Skillfully phrased.

  226. 226
    kairosfocus says:

    AS,

    At the end of the day, fancy concepts go out the window, and what is left is the powerful [–> here, having seized power using the oppression thesis etc] doing pretty much whatever they want.

    AKA, lawless oligarchy.

    The gross diagnostic errors involved are:

    [1] failing to recognise that across the 1870’s, the marginal revolution was showing the true nature of economic value,

    [2] failing to recognise that as lawless oligarchy is the natural state of government, establishing lawfulness and using natural law duties of justice is the sound basis for sustainable reformation.

    Error 1 led to failing the market-innovation test, which was directly implicated in the collapse of the USSR. The points made by von Mises in the 1920’s told in the end: misdiagnosing value leads to systematic errors of resource allocation. That is why both China and Cuba have returned to the market. Where, profits are return to the risk of enterprise and investment, where it is easy to overlook the cases of losses that those that do make profits have to cover, and imagine the average profit is higher than it is. Imagining that profit is parasitical theft is disastrously counter productive and lends to the second error.

    Error 2 means that socialist systems are hostile to enterprise, investment and ownership of capital, physical, intellectual and financial, but huge swathes of law rightly uphold these things. So, socialist revolutionaries who gain or seize power find themselves undermining the BATNA of lawfulness. Which means, the slide into lawless oligarchy is wide open. Reigns of terror are a natural resort, and often that involves perversion of the legal system.

    The framing and cruel judicial murder of Milada Horakova is a telling paradigm case.

    We really do need to listen to the voices of 100 million victims of marxism.

    KF

  227. 227
    vividbleau says:

    PMI

    “2. The crucial difference between classical liberalism and republicanism is how freedom is defined. For classical liberals (such as Acton), liberty is the absence of interference: one is free insofar as no one (but especially the state) can coercively deprive one of one’s life or property. For republicans, liberty is the absence of domination: one is free insofar as one’s actions are not confined to a specific domain that has been imposed on one by some other person or institution.”

    This is helpful, could you give an example of a hypothetical between “absence of interference” and “absence of domination “

    Vivid

  228. 228
    vividbleau says:

    PMI

    I see In the link you gave that there is a hypothetical example so I will read it first if I have any questions I will get back to so ignore my request.

    Vivid

  229. 229
    kairosfocus says:

    PM1, 222:

    but Marxism can offer some diagnostic tools for explaining how the super-rich got that way, how they use their power and to what ends, and what it would take to build counter-power.

    An allusion to the grand theft and oppression theses.

    It fails for reasons already identified and there is a clear refusal to recognise the crucial importance of the lawful state [note the u/d to OP on this].

    However, how, actually, do the super rich get that way? Are they parasitical thieves?

    Not on the whole, theft (including theft by fraud) destroys economic value, it does not create it. Instead, first, we need to appreciate Kondratiev’s point, that there are generational waves in the economy, where transformational breakthroughs create a surge of global growth typically running 30 – 70 years. In our time, we have seen a major ICT wave.

    Those who lead such a wave surf high growth sectors, and if they are able to dominate, we are looking at tremendous rates of compounded growth tied to widespread economic transformation.

    They then have pools of funds that become major financial capital, which feeds into finance markets. Markets, that feed the investment driving growth.

    As a result of that growth, I was just speaking with someone 1,000 miles away on a digital network, both of us using phones that far outstripped the machines that ran the Moon shot or the famous s360 IBM, bet the farm breakthrough mainframe family. Where, IBM got together $5 billion in a high stakes venture that changed computing in the mid 1960’s. Indeed, this is the initiative that set the byte as 8 bits. Likewise, a modest outlay of several thousand dollars can set up a pocket TV station, for streaming, teleconferencing etc. And, I just picked up a credit card pocket magnifier bought through eBay that I just could not reasonably obtain otherwise.

    Yes, some men made up to hundreds of billions, but this fed huge multiples of that in globally distributed wealth, development and opportunities. This was driven by valuable ideas not some crude caricature of grand theft.

    Yes, Mr Gates retired and set up a foundation that sought to do good but has likely made some troubling errors. But that is not grand theft or calculated enslavement [see the terms cited by SEP regarding Horkheimer et al and critical theory], he is actually seeking to give away money on the grand scale to try to do good. Meanwhile the world has benefitted from his technical and entrepreneurial innovations vastly beyond any fortune he made. (Where, as we are dealing with games of trying to trot out background facts, his bringing together IBM and the on the shelf OS that otherwise had nowhere to go was a valuable entrepreneurial initiative.)

    The point is, we have an outdated, toxic account of production of economic value that has a demonstrated, repeatedly, consistently massively destructive and murderous track record.

    It is high time it was permanently retired in disgrace.

    KF

  230. 230
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    I feel as though I’ve said what I needed to say when I started this whole tangent. I’ll respond to any questions anyone has about what I’ve said, but with regard to my political views, I don’t feel a need right now to say anything else about what I believe or why I believe it.

  231. 231
    kairosfocus says:

    PM1, the issue is that you have made claims about the labour theory of value that run counter to well established economics and which have for 100 years served destructive ends, sadly. Most recently, you made allusive, inviting comments about the way great fortunes are amassed, which take on a very negative colour given what else you have said, and as this is not about personalities we can extend it to the entrenched views of radical marxist thought for well over 100 years even in the aftermath of the marginal revolution. Where, let me add, theft is anti-productive, it destroys value, it does not create it, and if sufficiently material it destabilises economies and societies, it does not lead to progress. I took it up, introducing the Kondratiev wave and illustrating with the ICT wave we have seen across a generation and more now. The point is, there are indefinitely many value adding factors, including entrepreneurship, invention, innovation, financial investment etc. KF

  232. 232
    Querius says:

    PyrrhoManiac1 @230,

    Thank you for your interesting comments. I’ve never made the distinction between classical liberalism, republicanism, or moderate libertarianism, which I guess shows that I’m certainly not very politically savvy. Fair enough.

    I was interested enough in economics (I found the year 1938 to be particularly interesting) to take a college course in the subject (Samuelson), which was blah-to-mildly-disappointing. But then, it is called the dismal science for a reason. Since then, I noticed several things.

    1. Economists seem to have a poor reputation with regards to, of all things, economics.

    2. Two of our kids, when they were younger, participated in online open-world role playing games. They noticed that the economies of such games seemed to want to crash, even though they were under absolute control by the game company! I was proud and delighted that my kids even wrote to one of these software companies with several specific suggestions on how to stabilize their economic models. No response of course.

    3. I understand that some economists studied some of these games and supposedly tried economic experiments in them.

    4. I’ve noticed that given two countries with identical populations and GDPs will have different outcomes depending on whether their population spend their income on “candy and ice cream” (instant gratification) or on “productivity tools,” including practical education. I concluded that how values affect consumption is not at all irrelevant (contrary to what little I understand about Keynesian economics). A corollary is the so-called “Dutch disease” with regard to investment in an oil-rich economic environment.

    Any comments?

    My specific question is, “Power, whether it’s economic, socio-religious, scientific, or political seems to have a tendency to concentrate. What mechanism in your republicanism would counteract this tendency or do you think concentrations of power to be harmless?”

    Thanks,

    -Q

  233. 233
    kairosfocus says:

    Q, the issue is that Economics news tends to emphasise disagreements. The zone of agreement on microeconomics is large, and includes the marginal revolution that decisively undercut the suggestion that labour is effectively the root of value. It is a major contributor but not the determinant of value. Finance, in effect a sub discipline, is another field of general agreement. Accounting intersects and though it is a bit of a crude yardstick dependent on conventions, there are globally accepted standards. On the macro side, it is now generally agreed that there are macro factors tied to aggregate effects of markets and especially to things like rates of interest, money supply etc. There is more agreement on what drives growth than the headlines suggest, and as we seem to be facing another stagflationary recession, it is worth noting that one can overheat an economy; tightening the markets for bottleneck factors — that bids up prices and chokes off rates of growth, i.e. economies saturate and have scarcity of key productive factors. On the other side, if an event or policy move happens that significantly cuts availability of key factors such as energy, what was once an economy with breathing room is suddenly choked. Where, anticipation of the future is a related factor, the value of a firm, say, is measured by the present value of its anticipated future earnings on revenues, discounted at some relevant rate, sometimes, 7% or another rule of thumb value. Given the issue of free services, the point is, search or email services are free to you as you are the commodity being sold, i.e. market research information. So, imperfect though the state of knowledge is, it is real and significant. A problem is, politicians and activists commonly demand what will have perverse, counter productive effects, e.g. locking down energy sources constrains growth, makes the world even more vulnerable to supply shocks and can trigger stagflation. Notice, my OP’s yesterday on nuclear energy. KF

  234. 234
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @231

    1. I do not think that Marx assumes or is committed to a “labor theory of value”, so his critique of capitalism does not stand or fall with whether or not that doctrine has been rejected by the apologists of Mammon.

    2. For reasons I have already given extensively, the Soviet Union and Communist China was always lies, from the very beginning, about what Marx and Engels had called for. Lenin was at least up-front about this, at the beginning, when he talked about “state capitalism” as a step beyond bourgeois capitalism. But the Soviet Union stopped at that stage, and China under Mao was hardly much different. Neither of them came anywhere close to realizing on a large-scale the flat organizational structure of the Paris Commune, which Marx and Engels both explicitly said was their ideal for “the dictatorship of the proletariat”.

    3. Whether a flat organizational structure could be realized on a large scale is another question entirely. I don’t think there is any point in being a Marxist today if one does not believe that a large-scale flat organization is at least possible, given future improvements in communications technology.

    4. At any rate there is no reason at all to believe that the millions of victims of Soviet, Chinese, etc state terrorism invalidate or refute Marx’s original critique of capitalism or the subsequent elaboration of that critique by later Marxian theorists, including Luxemborg, Sohn-Rethel, Braverman, and Postone.

    5. The Frankfurt School of critical theory was not really Marxist, nor “neo-Marxist”, precisely because they thought that the objective conditions for socialist revolution had disappeared. Nevertheless they made significant advances in social theory, above all in their analysis of fascism.

    6. It should also be noted that most of the Frankfurt School went to work for the American government when the US entered World War II, with Marcuse (among others) working at the OSS deciphering Nazi propaganda for the Allies. I won’t say that they made a decisive difference in how the war went, but I think it should be noted since there is a widespread perception that the Frankfurters were anti-American. Marcuse was perhaps the most pro-American of them, continuing to live and teach in the States until his death in 1979.

    7. It should also be noted that the Frankfurt School, upon returning to Germany, made significant contributions to the de-Nazification of German society by forcing a reckoning with the Holocaust. In the 1980s Habermas entered the public debates against neo-Nazi revisionist historians who wanted to downplay the barbarity of the Third Reich and its crimes against humanity.

    8. Critical race theory, in the form given by Derrick Bell and others, illuminates how structural injustice permeates US society regardless of the attitudes of individuals, whether explicit or implicit. Alexander’s The New Jim Crow is precisely about how the explicit policy of “colorblindness” facilitates the emergence of a new race-based caste system.

    9. None of this is to deny that “identity politics” in its current form has become something pernicious and ugly. But one can criticize identity politics from the left by seeing how identity politics has been co-opted by powerful entrenched elites as a means of keeping the powerless divided against each other. (Much as how wealthy Southern Whites after the Civil War stoked racism to prevent poor Whites and poor Blacks from banding together.) Olufemi Taiwo develops this left critique of identity politics in his recent Elite Capture.

  235. 235
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @282

    My specific question is, “Power, whether it’s economic, socio-religious, scientific, or political seems to have a tendency to concentrate. What mechanism in your republicanism would counteract this tendency or do you think concentrations of power to be harmless?”

    Republicanism would hold that power as domination is dangerous and must be limited as much as possible. The primary mechanism for restraining domination by non-state actors (e.g. corporations, universities, religious organizations) would be the state. The primary mechanism for restraining domination by the state would be democracy, i.e. the people.

    So republicanism (as I understand it) would require both a strong state and powerful democratic mechanisms for restricting the state — unlike (for example) the US today, which is both a weak state with very little democratic control over it.

  236. 236
    kairosfocus says:

    PM1, Marxism, historically, baked in the labour theory of value, as you previously acknowledged and even expounded. I clip for reference:

    https://socialiststudies.org.uk/marx%20surplusval.shtml

    Marx thought that his theory of surplus-value his most important contribution to the progress of economic analysis (Marx, letter to Engels of 24 August 1867):

    The best points in my book are: 1. (this is fundamental to all understanding of the facts) the two-fold character of labour according to whether it is expressed in use-value or exchange-value, which is brought out in the very First Chapter; 2. the treatment of surplus-value regardless of its particular forms as profit, interest, ground rent, etc. This will be made clear in the second volume especially. The treatment of the particular forms in classical political economy, where they are forever being jumbled up together with the general form, is an olla potrida (rotten pot of stew)

    . Marx, by using his theory of value to analyse “capitalism in motion” placed capitalism within a historical context allowing him to explain why and how exploitation takes place within the profit system, the peculiarity of the class struggle under capitalism and the contradictions which bear on commodity production and exchange for profit.

    The origin, nature and distribution of surplus value play a central role in Marx’s analysis of capitalism. “surplus value” is the translation of the word “Mehwert” which means “value-added” and is used by Marx to explain how invested money capital brings in more money capital as profit than first invested (M> C > M1, where M is the original money-capital, C is the production of commodities and M1 the original investment plus profit).

    So, he himself baked it in (as can be seen from linked ideas in his constellation of thought), writing a few years before Jevons, Meninger, Walras and co would upset the applecart through the marginal revolution.

    More, later.

    KF

    PS, the pivotal power issue is lawfulness restraining power, and as I drew out, that is where the trouble enters.

  237. 237
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @236

    1. There’s a long-standing and complicated debate how to interpret Marx on value, and to be honest, I’m just getting into it now. So all I really know is that there’s a lot that I don’t know. One book I’m now reading (see here) argues that Marx doesn’t think of labor as the source of all value, but rather thinks that there’s a complex historical process that at once constructs the labor of free white men as the source of exchange value and devalues all other sources of use-values (ecological bounty, metals and minerals, the enslaved, and the unremunerated work of women under patriarchy).

    2. You take it that the basic issue is “lawfulness restraining power”. That is one issue worth discussing, yes. I would frame that in terms of the republican problem: how to both empower the state sufficient to restrain or mitigate non-state sources of domination and also curtail how the state can be a source of domination as well. But the distinction between domination and interference is crucial to my view: it may very well be necessary for the state to interfere with non-state institutions in order to prevent them from dominating.

  238. 238
    kairosfocus says:

    PM1, whatever detailed debates on what Marx as opposed to marxists meant, it is clear from his letter to his partner in work, Engels, that he saw the labour theory of value and the oppression thesis [cf. surplus value etc] as integral and even central to his thought. This was in the decade before the marginal revolution. I do not have my Dad’s books here, so I cannot cite verbatim on what marxists were still arguing in the 1980’s at technical level, but they were using a matrix analysis that led to an overdetermined equation set forcing serious mathematical complications at that level to try to avoid outright contradictions. At more relevant level the theory fed the grand theft thesis, led to the slogan and intent expropriate the expropriators and became a gateway for lawlessness and terror. So, the matter is material. KF

    PS, Constitutional monarchies, even before modern republics or even general elections with adult sufferage, were successful lawful states. The issue is lawfulness and John Finnis on natural law vs positivism is material.

  239. 239
    Querius says:

    PyrrhoManiac1,

    A piece of paper such as the U.S. Constitution, or the numerous treaties made with the indigenous tribes in the Americas aren’t worth anything unless enforceable by the threat of the use of arms.

    As Mao Zedong is famously quoted to have said:

    Political power comes out of the barrel of a gun.

    For example, ask a Ukrainian citizen about the Budapest Memorandum of 1994:
    https://policymemos.hks.harvard.edu/files/policymemos/files/2-23-22_ukraine-the_budapest_memo.pdf?m=1645824948

    -Q

  240. 240
    Querius says:

    Kairosfocus @233,

    Thank you. It seems like economic stability needs the excess weight of the equivalent of bulkheads in ships (which add around 30% to the weight of a ship IIRC), such that a “hole in the hull” won’t sink the country or perhaps the entire world economy.

    I’ve also noticed that many companies streamline their operations to maximize profits by reducing expenditures that reduce risk. So, in increasing risk, they become very profitable, but become vulnerable to a bump in the market will put them out of business. Apparently, this is just fine by Wall Street investment managers.

    -Q

  241. 241
    kairosfocus says:

    Q, prudence is a much neglected virtue. Just because stock markets on average return about 8 percent, does not insulate one from catastrophic potential losses when shocks happen. There are fail safes but they cannot be guaranteed. Astute strategic guidance of firms and in making investments is a highly scarce skill, one that is a major productivity factor. Without inventions and innovators to carry them into markets, technological progress slows or stagnates. KF

    PS, pieces of paper are memory devices, recording specifics of agreements, laws etc. Yes, contracts and the like have no self enforcing power and there is such a thing as the sword of justice that deters many from wrong, but that is rather the point. If the sword has to be resorted to even a significant minority of the time, civil society collapses in chaos as it means agreements and laws have lost support of lawful people, trust evaporates and risk has gone through the roof. Under those circumstances of disorder the cry goes out for the strong man, only to typically find that power has been handed to the lawless. Lawfulness is critical social capital and takes generations to build up, including building up a legitimate, trustworthy, capable and consistently just state. All of this, of course points to first, built in law.

  242. 242
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @238

    it is clear from his letter to his partner in work, Engels, that he saw the labour theory of value and the oppression thesis [cf. surplus value etc] as integral and even central to his thought.

    1. Marx is developing a critique of capitalism by demonstrating the contradictions inherent in the labor theory of value. But the debate between marginalist and neoclassical economists, interesting as that it, does not affect the substance of that critique. At most it shows that contemporary Marxists should not endorse how Marx presents that critique.

    2. I don’t know what you mean by “the oppression thesis” and I’d rather not speculate. What do you mean by that phrase?

  243. 243
    kairosfocus says:

    PM1, he used that critique to justify the presence of a thesis-antithesis pair, leading to dialectic shift by revolution. The oppression thesis, in the first instance, is precisely the claim that property [of capital nature] is theft, which has had horrific consequences across the past century. Recall, expropriate the expropriators, and ponder the fate of the kulaks etc. Perhaps, you did not live through C20 and its central ideological conflict? KF

  244. 244
    Querius says:

    Kairosfocus @241,

    Astute strategic guidance of firms and in making investments is a highly scarce skill, one that is a major productivity factor. Without inventions and innovators to carry them into markets, technological progress slows or stagnates.

    Yes, indeed!

    And your observations fit well into my high-tech employment experiences, where corporate lack of investment in (if not active suppression of) continued disruptive innovation resulted in rapid obsolescence of their technology.

    This certainly maximized IMMEDIATE PROFITS for a while, but also guaranteed the subsequent bankruptcy of most of them in the face of the rapid changes in technology at that time.

    Did any of the executives or investors learn from their experience? My impression was that this was never a priority, which was simply “take the money and run.”

    It occurs to me that, given the pathetic level of management and finance integrity, this might actually have been their most practical course of action . . .

    -Q

  245. 245
    kairosfocus says:

    Q, I have long been of the view that the proper goal of the directors of a firm [= exec suite plus other board members] should be a sustainably profitable customer base. That automatically brings in the long term view, track record, present state, balance of investing in the future, trends and potential shocks, developing future product. Issues of sustainable competitive advantage lurk. Short term profit maximisation can be sub optimisation or looting and dumping the remnants. But there is a lot of pressure in the stock markets to boost an extremely short term view. The basic point is, astute entrepreneurship, investment and strategic management are highly scarce valuable productive factors that contribute to value in markets. Direct labour contributes but does not outright or overwhelmingly determine value reflected in product ranges in markets at price points and with good reputation tied to a customer base that is sustainably profitable. This even brings in brand value as an asset. And more, the labour theory in its marxian form is ill founded and an agit prop weapon that has cost not only livelihoods but lives. And, we have seen how culture form marxist thinking leads right back to the same pattern. KF

    PS, it is noteworthy that the accusations headlined in the OP have not received adequate substantiation. This points to the right to innocent reputation as a key point that marks a widespread failure of neighbourliness in our time.

    PPS, ironically, nearly half of the investment in stock markets in the US traces to retirement funds. That is a major financial, investment interest of labour. And a key constraint on sound management, as the retirement fund is a long term issue for a firm.

  246. 246
    Querius says:

    Kairosfocus @245,

    Direct labour contributes but does not outright or overwhelmingly determine value reflected in product ranges in markets at price points and with good reputation tied to a customer base that is sustainably profitable.

    If direct labor has the highest priority, then innovations such as “the wheel” are anti-labor, since the wheel reduced the amount of labor required for a task, impoverishing the working class as a whole.

    It’s actually extremely difficult to start a business and to build and maintain a good reputation in your customer base. However, Wall Street’s darlings are those executives who can monetize customer goodwill as if squeezing an orange to get the maximum short-term value from it before tossing it away and moving on to a new orange.

    There’s a good reason why innovation, free enterprise, talented entrepreneurs, and market competition are such a terror to capitalists!

    PPS, ironically, nearly half of the investment in stock markets in the US traces to retirement funds. That is a major financial, investment interest of labour. And a key constraint on sound management, as the retirement fund is a long term issue for a firm.

    And speaking of retirement funds . . . here’s an interesting read:

    If you look at multiemployer plans, those people worked in coal mines, driving trucks, in bakeries — typically physical, difficult jobs, and they certainly earned the pension they were promised by their union. Now, some of them are 70-years-old and in retirement and have the terrible prospect of having their pension cut.

    https://ideas.darden.virginia.edu/underfunded-pensions

    My question is, “why is there no criminal liability in such cases?”

    -Q

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