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31st January 2013 01:11Blake's BabyMaterialism posits material conditions as being the source of consciousness. While, on the thread, I may have been arguing that 'if everyone stopped believing in capitalism capitalism would stop' I don't believe capitalism's domination of the world is ideological; I don't propose 'changing everyone's minds' or 'teaching everyone socialism'. I think it is people's reflection on their material conditions - which include struggling with their colleagues at work and seeing the shit life that capitalism has in store for us - that produce a revolutionary consciousness. Not that I don't think capitalism is essentially an idea/set of behaviours of course, because it is; but the ideas of millions or billions of people don't change suddenly without material causes.
31st January 2013 01:10Blake's BabySure, they're different people, that explains why they see the world differently. But if all materialism says is 'things happen for reasons but we'll never know what they are' then it isn't really very useful.
We believe that 'classes' exist and we can make certian predictions based on that, but we can never predict how individuals will react, because we can never take everything into account. Even with classes we have to be cagey. The bourgeoisie, we're pretty confident, will maintain its role as long as it can. The proletariat? Much more difficult to predict. On the one hand, it's compelled to resist in order to protect its own conditions of life, which could lead to going on the offensive; but, it is being appressed so mightily that it may be impossible to offer meaningful resistance. From a class point of view, there are 3 possibilities; resistance, offense, or submission. But from an individual point of view there are multiple options.
OK - gotta take a break, post's too long
30th January 2013 23:07Blake's BabyWell, I don't think the connection between material conditions and consciousness is a direct one. Two people may be in the same situation - they might both be fired from their shit jobs, for instance - and when they come to reason why, one might blame his boss, and the other might blame the Polish guy who lives down the street and 'does the same job for next to nothing'. The same conditions produce different explanations, because our consciousness is not a mechanistic reflection of our circumstances. There's another process going on which is our self-reflection.
Otherwise revolution would be like trigonometery or statistics. a-amount of suffering x b-amount of time / c-percentage of people who get pissed off = d-date of revolution. It's not like that.
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