Was Marx Right

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Nick_A
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Was Marx Right

Post by Nick_A »

I've written of the Great Beast as described by Plato and elaborated on by Simone Weil:

http://cimarronline.blogspot.com/2004/0 ... beast.html

Simone Weil gets the term "Great Beast" from Plato. Specifically, this passage from Book VI of his Republic (here Plato critiques those who are "wise" through their study of society):
I might compare them to a man who should study the tempers and desires of a mighty strong beast who is fed by him--he would learn how to approach and handle him, also at what times and from what causes he is dangerous or the reverse, and what is the meaning of his several cries, and by what sounds, when another utters them, he is soothed or infuriated; and you may suppose further, that when, by continually attending upon him, he has become perfect in all this, he calls his knowledge wisdom, and makes of it a system or art, which he proceeds to teach, although he has no real notion of what he means by the principles or passions of which he is speaking, but calls this honourable and that dishonourable, or good or evil, or just or unjust, all in accordance with the tastes and tempers of the great brute. Good he pronounces to be that in which the beast delights and evil to be that which he dislikes...

Society, the "mighty strong beast." There's the obvious power of many hands working together. But Plato points to a deeper, pseudo-moral power of the many, the group. Weil also describes this:

The power of the social element. Agreement between several men brings with it a feeling of reality. It brings with it also a sense of duty. Divergence, where this agreement is concerned, appears as a sin. Hence all returns to the fold are possible. The state of conformity is an imitation of grace.
Karl Marx describes Man as like the Great Beast. The difference is that Plato describes Man as asleep in Plato's cave with the ability to awaken while with Marx there is no awakening. Man is awake but only needs to be conditioned.

https://oregonstate.edu/instruct/phl201 ... /marx.html

Marx wrote
"It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but on the contrary, their social existence that determines their consciousness."

Men can be distinguished from animals by consciousness, by religion, or anything else you like. They themselves begin to distinguish themselves from animals as soon as they to produce their means of subsistence, a step which is conditioned by their physical organization, men are indirectly producing their actual material life."
"It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but on the contrary, their social existence that determines their consciousness."


So which is it? Does our consciousness determine our existence or does the quality of our existence determine our consciousness?

If Marx is right mankind is the Great Beast which must be conditioned by society with the goal of producing utopia. If Plato and the essence of Christianity are right, Man can evolve to become consciously human rather than the reacting creature called the Great Beast which inhabits Plato's Cave.

Who is closer to the truth: Marx or Plato?
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Terrapin Station
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Re: Was Marx Right

Post by Terrapin Station »

Nick_A wrote: Sat Jan 23, 2021 10:54 pm So which is it? Does our consciousness determine our existence or does [our social existence] determine our consciousness?
Not sure why you changed the part I put in brackets. At any rate, I'd say that's a false dichotomy. It's a combination of both. Nature and nurture.
Man can evolve to become consciously human
There's no need to "evolve to become human." We're already human. We're also animals. Humans are a type of animal, and surely lots of other animals have mental states, too.
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Sculptor
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Re: Was Marx Right

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Nick_A wrote: Sat Jan 23, 2021 10:54 pm Who is closer to the truth: Marx or Plato?
Plato is pretty short on economic theory.
And Marx did not hae much to say about personal Daemons.

Its a dumb question. How much Marx have you ever read?
Nick_A
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Re: Was Marx Right

Post by Nick_A »

Terrapin Station wrote: Sat Jan 23, 2021 11:11 pm
Nick_A wrote: Sat Jan 23, 2021 10:54 pm So which is it? Does our consciousness determine our existence or does [our social existence] determine our consciousness?
Not sure why you changed the part I put in brackets. At any rate, I'd say that's a false dichotomy. It's a combination of both. Nature and nurture.
Man can evolve to become consciously human
There's no need to "evolve to become human." We're already human. We're also animals. Humans are a type of animal, and surely lots of other animals have mental states, too.
Are we human? Are their relative states of consciousness that can define the difference between human and animal consciousness?
Thomas Merton read A Fellowship in Love, Jacques Chabaud, 1964) and was challenged and inspired by Simone Weil"s writing. “Her non-conformism and mysticism are essential elements in our time and without her contribution we remain not human.”
Regardless if you agree, do you know what Thomas Merton meant?
Nick_A
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Re: Was Marx Right

Post by Nick_A »

Sculptor wrote: Sat Jan 23, 2021 11:19 pm
Nick_A wrote: Sat Jan 23, 2021 10:54 pm Who is closer to the truth: Marx or Plato?
Plato is pretty short on economic theory.
And Marx did not hae much to say about personal Daemons.

Its a dumb question. How much Marx have you ever read?
It is a basic question: Does social existence determine our quality of consciousness or does our consciousness, our "being," determine our existence?
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bahman
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Re: Was Marx Right

Post by bahman »

Nick_A wrote: Sat Jan 23, 2021 11:44 pm
Sculptor wrote: Sat Jan 23, 2021 11:19 pm
Nick_A wrote: Sat Jan 23, 2021 10:54 pm Who is closer to the truth: Marx or Plato?
Plato is pretty short on economic theory.
And Marx did not hae much to say about personal Daemons.

Its a dumb question. How much Marx have you ever read?
It is a basic question: Does social existence determine our quality of consciousness or does our consciousness, our "being," determine our existence?
Most people are lost. So Plato is more right.
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Terrapin Station
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Re: Was Marx Right

Post by Terrapin Station »

Nick_A wrote: Sat Jan 23, 2021 11:40 pm Are we human?
Yes, based on how human is conventionally defined in the biological sciences.
Are their relative states of consciousness that can define the difference between human and animal consciousness?
Probably, but there's no way for us to experience any other humans' consciousness, let alone other sorts of animals' consciousnesses, so we can't exactly make informed comparisons. We can only make rough guesses off of behavioral clues.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: Was Marx Right

Post by Immanuel Can »

"Was Marx right?"

No, he's been Left and wrong from the start.
Nick_A
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Re: Was Marx Right

Post by Nick_A »

Terrapin Station wrote: Sat Jan 23, 2021 11:54 pm
Nick_A wrote: Sat Jan 23, 2021 11:40 pm Are we human?
Yes, based on how human is conventionally defined in the biological sciences.

Yes, but suppose I define human consciousnes as the awareness of our source and I take the position that humanity is asleep in Plato's cave. Humanity is animal Man with the potential of becoming human much like caterpillr is one quality of being with the potential to become a higher quality
Are their relative states of consciousness that can define the difference between human and animal consciousness?
Probably, but there's no way for us to experience any other humans' consciousness, let alone other sorts of animals' consciousnesses, so we can't exactly make informed comparisons. We can only make rough guesses off of behavioral clues.

That is the idea. We can't put new wine into old bottles. Isn't it better to admit that we are uninformed and become open to experience noesis: the direct intuition of what we are, and build on that premise?
Nick_A
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Re: Was Marx Right

Post by Nick_A »

Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana

Why doesn't our species remember the past? The same things have been said in the past and will be said in the future but the result will be war. Right now many are creating the cancel culture imagining that it didn't happen with the idea that denying our experiences changes our consciousness.

It cannot happen. Since we are as we are, everything continues as it is. It isn't a matter of changing behavior but of changing what we are and we don't know what that is. Humanity as a whole does not know it lives its life in Plato's cave in which everything repeats. Cave life is the natural habitat for animal Man but not for conscious Man.
Dubious
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Re: Was Marx Right

Post by Dubious »

Nick_A wrote: Sat Jan 23, 2021 11:44 pm It is a basic question: Does social existence determine our quality of consciousness or does our consciousness, our "being," determine our existence?
The first question, I think, that should have been asked is how social existence relates to existence per se since consciousness, to whatever degree, must be common to both. How does one subtract social existence from existence, from Being itself in order to extract something definitive per your question?
Nick_A
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Re: Was Marx Right

Post by Nick_A »

Dubious wrote: Sun Jan 24, 2021 3:47 am
Nick_A wrote: Sat Jan 23, 2021 11:44 pm It is a basic question: Does social existence determine our quality of consciousness or does our consciousness, our "being," determine our existence?
The first question, I think, that should have been asked is how social existence relates to existence per se since consciousness, to whatever degree, must be common to both. How does one subtract social existence from existence, from Being itself in order to extract something definitive per your question?
As I understand it, Man is dual natured. The lower parts of the human essence arise from the earth as does the rest of animal life. The higher or conscious part of the human essence descends from above. The lower part cannot deal with this duality so has become corrupted with negative emotions which justifies this apparent absurdity and maintains the status quo.

It isn't a matter of subtracting social existence from existence but rather recognizing that Man on earth including us are not conscious beings but are rather creatures of reaction natural for REACTIVE animal life with the potential for human consciousness ACTION

Marx believed that the Great Beast or society itself can be trained, indoctrinated, to create utopia while Plato believed that human freedom comes from attempting to leave the habitual reactions to cave life and inwardly turning to receive the "light" and human freedom
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Terrapin Station
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Re: Was Marx Right

Post by Terrapin Station »

Nick_A wrote: Sun Jan 24, 2021 3:13 am Yes, but suppose I define human consciousnes as the awareness of our source
Awareness of our source? What do you have in mind there?
Nick_A
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Re: Was Marx Right

Post by Nick_A »

Terrapin Station wrote: Sun Jan 24, 2021 3:39 pm
Nick_A wrote: Sun Jan 24, 2021 3:13 am Yes, but suppose I define human consciousnes as the awareness of our source
Awareness of our source? What do you have in mind there?
The human collective soul or essence is dual natured. Its lower parts arise from the earth while its higher parts descend from above causing the contradictions we all experience. Plato describes our situation in the chariot allegory. As of now, our lower parts are dominant so don't realize we are in Plato's cave.

Becoming human is the process of remembering (anamnesis) our higher origin.
Nothing can have as its destination anything other than its origin. The contrary idea, the idea of progress, is poison. ~ Simone Weil.
For Marx, progress is the futile attempt to create evolution for human being and confuses progress with materialism. For Plato, Simone Weil, and the Christianity I know, progress is not adaptation. It is consciously evolving in the direction of the Source of humanity.
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Re: Was Marx Right

Post by Sculptor »

Nick_A wrote: Sun Jan 24, 2021 6:24 pm
Terrapin Station wrote: Sun Jan 24, 2021 3:39 pm
Nick_A wrote: Sun Jan 24, 2021 3:13 am Yes, but suppose I define human consciousnes as the awareness of our source
Awareness of our source? What do you have in mind there?
The human collective soul or essence is dual natured. Its lower parts arise from the earth while its higher parts descend from above causing the contradictions we all experience. Plato describes our situation in the chariot allegory. As of now, our lower parts are dominant so don't realize we are in Plato's cave.

Becoming human is the process of remembering (anamnesis) our higher origin.
Nothing can have as its destination anything other than its origin. The contrary idea, the idea of progress, is poison. ~ Simone Weil.
For Marx, progress is the futile attempt to create evolution for human being and confuses progress with materialism. For Plato, Simone Weil, and the Christianity I know, progress is not adaptation. It is consciously evolving in the direction of the Source of humanity.
Christianity has absolutely nothing to offer here.
And you last sentence is either confused or meaningless hyperbole.
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