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Thread: Things to do in the stateless classless society?

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    Question Things to do in the stateless classless society?

    Greetings. I would like to share with you a post of mine that constitutes an assassination attempt on the crux of all Leftist thought. (I deliberately limited myself to Humanism, i.e., human care for humans, but my criticism can be extended to human care for all sentient beings.) Here it is:

    It seems to me that the Humanist ideal is universal comfortable self-preservation, that is to say for all human beings to live as comfortably as they want for as long as they want.

    It also seems to me that Humanists should consider it praiseworthy for someone who lives comfortably to risk his comfort and even his life in trying to actualise that ideal.

    Thirdly, it seems to me that Humanists should even consider it praiseworthy for a majority to do so for a minority--indeed, especially praiseworthy! This would mean that the reason they consider it praiseworthy is not that they consider the comfortable self-preservation of any number of human beings worth the sacrifice of any smaller number.

    But if universal comfortable self-preservation were attained, there could no longer be praiseworthy actions of this kind.

    Therefore, it seems to me that, instead of universal comfortable self-preservation, the Humanist ideal ought rather to be the universal risking of one's comfort and even one's life--not for that self-preservation but for something higher even than self-sacrifice. Comfortable self-preservation is subhuman!

    In order to distinguish this genuine Humanism from the prevailing, subhuman so-called "Humanism", I've christened it Superhumanism. But what is higher even than self-sacrifice? What's higher than all reconciliation?
    Another way of phrasing my criticism is: "if the ideals of the Left should ever be fully actualized, what then?" The Left's answer, I think, would be: "that's up to each person individually; and in any case, one should first take care of this basic right [sic] before occupying oneself with what comes next." But I think leaving it up to each person individually will just lead to the Last Man; and while this may never be fully actualized--i.e., while man could keep striving for it till the extinction of the species--, "what comes next" could already be achieved in the meantime...

    In his "quick and dirty guide to our thinking" in the "Read this first" sticky, Jazzratt wrote:

    "Nearly all leftists, regardless of ideological perspective have the same aim: Stateless classless society achieved through revolution."

    But when he got to the question why leftists want that, he didn't really answer it, but just implied "exploitation is bad, mkay?" As a Nietzschean, I think "living itself is essentially [...] at the least, at the mildest, exploitation" (Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, aphorism 259, my translation). But even if exploitation is bad, this is only a negative determination. In the leftist utopia there would be no exploitation; but what would there be? The evil of exploitation would not exist there; but what good would there exist? Apart from necessities like work, sleep, etc., what would people be doing--"partay"? Would there, could there still be art, or only entertainment? Would it not be necessary to re-create the conditions from before the leftist revolution, if only to make "social justice" heroism possible again?
    "The conservatives stood for throne and altar, and the liberals stood for democracy, or something similar to democracy, and religion as a strictly private affair. But liberalism was already outflanked by the extreme revolutionaries, socialists, communists, anarchists, and atheists. There was a position we may call political atheism. Now Nietzsche opposed both the moderate and the extreme left, but he saw that conservatism had no future, that its fighting was a real garbage, and its conservatism was being eroded evermore. The consequence of this was that Nietzsche pointed to something which we may call the revolutionary right, an atheism of the right." (Source: transcript of Leo Strauss's 1971 lecture course on Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sauwelios View Post

    But even if exploitation is bad, this is only a negative determination. In the leftist utopia there would be no exploitation; but what would there be? The evil of exploitation would not exist there; but what good would there exist? Apart from necessities like work, sleep, etc., what would people be doing--"partay"? Would there, could there still be art, or only entertainment?

    Why *wouldn't* there be artistic endeavors -- ?

    Would these kinds of feats fulfill the definition of 'good', as a satisfactory answer to your question -- ?


    Quote Originally Posted by Sauwelios View Post

    Would it not be necessary to re-create the conditions from before the leftist revolution, if only to make "social justice" heroism possible again?

    No.

    Post-capitalist collectivist-type social endeavors could be *limitless* -- perhaps large-scale participatory art projects, or travels in space, or perfectly accessible infrastructure, excellent transportation, etc.

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    You you have a problem with partying?

    If there is no Dancing its not my revolution,

    I am a martial artist (and artist in general).
    If I where living in a communist society I would travel and train martial arts. Try my hand at glass blowing and smithing. Make some bongs and swords and stuff.
    Play lots of games and learn how to write books.

    The question of what to do in a communist society is easy to answer; What ever you would do if you had near unlimited leisure time.
    "It is only by the abolition of the state, by the conquest of perfect liberty by the individual, by free agreement, association, and absolute free federation that we can reach Communism - the possession in common of our social inheritance, and the production in common of all riches." ~Peter Kropotkin
    "Let us fight to free the world - to do away with national barriers - to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness. Soldiers! in the name of democracy, let us all unite!" ~Charles Chaplin
    "Communism is Anarchy. You can't regulate or reform your way to communism; it can only be achieved by direct action against state, class and capital."

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    Quote Originally Posted by (A) View Post
    You you have a problem with partying?

    If there is no Dancing its not my revolution,
    I can appreciate that. Thus a pivotal moment in my personal (r)evolution was when I invented what I then called "Shiva-dancing"--definitely a revolutionary form of dancing! Shiva after all is basically the Hindu God of revolutions. But yeah, I have a problem with partying if it's secular, if it's just entertainment, not art; instead of the party, I want to see the festival, like the festivals of Dionysus!

    "For if it were not to Dionysos that they made a procession and sang the shameful phallic hymn, they would be acting most shamelessly. But Hades is the same as Dionysos in whose honour they go mad and keep the feast of the wine vat." (Heraclitus, fragment 15, 1912 translation by John Burnet.)


    I am a martial artist (and artist in general).
    If I where living in a communist society I would travel and train martial arts.
    But in the perfect communist society--which would, among other things, encompass the whole world--, there would be no need for martiality--for Mars, the war god. The art would no longer have its natural purpose, and it would degenerate into a mere commodity, or a form of enter-tainment--at best a form of main-tenance, of keeping oneself in shape. (I jog and do fitness, but wouldn't call that an art.)


    Try my hand at glass blowing and smithing. Make some bongs and swords and stuff.
    Yeah well, that's not art, just artisanship. I'm talking about High Art--truly inspired art, in the religious sense of the word "in-spiration".

    "This means, in other words, that in such cases the ego is a suffering bystander who decides nothing but must submit to a decision and surrender unconditionally. The 'genius' of man, the higher and more spacious part of him whose extent no one knows, has the final word." (Jung, Aion, "Christ, a Symbol of the Self".)


    Play lots of games and learn how to write books.
    Games are entertainment, not art--except perhaps in rare cases (I'm thinking of The Last Guardian now). Most books aren't art, either.


    The question of what to do in a communist society is easy to answer; What ever you would do if you had near unlimited leisure time.
    I pretty much had that, in the five years before I invented my "Shiva-dancing". But as I quoted and wrote recently, after the quoted passage had struck me as a quite perfect description of that depression or "anticyclone":

    "Without commandments, obliging us to live after a certain fashion, our existence is that of the 'unemployed.' This is the terrible spiritual situation in which the best youth of the world finds itself to-day. By dint of feeling itself free, exempt from restrictions, it feels itself empty. An 'unemployed' existence is a worse negation of life than death itself. Because to live means to have something definite to do--a mission to fulfil--and in the measure in which we avoid setting our life to something, we make it empty. Before long there will be heard throughout the planet a formidable cry, rising like the howling of innumerable dogs to the stars, asking for someone or something to take command, to impose an occupation, a duty." (Ortega y Gasset, _The Revolt of the Masses_, "Who Rules the World?")

    What if there is no such someone or something? Must one then not assume the duty of imposing duties on others? Or of inventing a heavenly Imposer of Duties? Is this not the duty imposed on us by the Nothing?...
    That thing about inventing a God is a reference to Voltaire, by the way. Anyway, as I responded to someone who replied to what I quoted and wrote:

    The problem for me is not imposing a duty upon oneself, but imposing upon oneself a duty that is not _arbitrary_.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sauwelios View Post
    "Nearly all leftists, regardless of ideological perspective have the same aim: Stateless classless society achieved through revolution."

    But when he got to the question why leftists want that, he didn't really answer it, but just implied "exploitation is bad, mkay?" As a Nietzschean, I think "living itself is essentially [...] at the least, at the mildest, exploitation" (Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, aphorism 259, my translation). But even if exploitation is bad, this is only a negative determination. In the leftist utopia there would be no exploitation; but what would there be? The evil of exploitation would not exist there; but what good would there exist? Apart from necessities like work, sleep, etc., what would people be doing--"partay"? Would there, could there still be art, or only entertainment? Would it not be necessary to re-create the conditions from before the leftist revolution, if only to make "social justice" heroism possible again?
    it's interesting to see how someone with an "opposing ideology" understands leftism.

    You're not wrong about the lack of a fully-formed concept of a possible future. But I'm confused by the motives you assign to "leftism". I'm also curious about your definition of exploitation.

    As as I see it, morality and heroism are kinda abstract and weightless. "Leftism" and "exploitation" exist in real context--if we looked at a car motor in isolation and without knowing what a car is or does, we could argue all day about if this machine was used primarily to create heat or noise or exhaust.

    Exploitation is good and bad, it depends on if you are exploited or exploiting. Exploitation is like that motor. It's the way this class society keeps itself running.

    What would there be in a leftist utopia, a society not run on exploitation? Cooperation. If the motor that keeps human life going is cooperation, rather than the rule of a few over the vast majority, then that's a pretty big and complex task with unknown challenges and obsticals and rewards for that vast majority. What wouldn't people be doing, exploring, perfecting or debating... and probably all while partying too?

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    In the meantime I already replied to (A) again, but apparently it hasn't been approved (yet). That may be because of two quotes whose copyright status weren't clear. The Ortega y Gasset quote is from the 1932 authorised translation, whereas the Jung quote is from a 1960 translation--which may indeed not be sufficiently old to be in the public domain yet. If the mods want they can edit out the Jung quote--I'd much rather have it posted without that than not at all. I can also repost it without the quote, if that's okay. Anyway, on to my next reply.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmie Higgins View Post
    it's interesting to see how someone with an "opposing ideology" understands leftism.
    Yeah, my "ideology" is not completely opposing; I think the religious right for example would be less tolerant of my views. In a way I want to reach the East (the rural, the deeply rooted, the maternal, Flaubert's Salammbo's Carthage) via the West (the urban, the mobile or rootless, the masculine, Flaubert's Madame Bovary's France. One could add to this "politics via liberalism, philosophy via science", but that's pretty esoteric).

    My signature quote distinguishes between an atheism of the left and an atheism of the right. But I think it's a bit more complicated than that. For the Abrahamic God is in fact a compound of two "divine" things. Consider the difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament God: increasingly the Hebrew God--especially in the form of the Christian and Islamic Gods--has become intertwined with Platonism, with what Plato called "the Idea of the Good". Thus Spinoza criticised his contemporaries, Jews and Christians alike, for setting up the Idea of the Good as an authority over God:

    "I confess, that the theory which subjects all things to the will of an indifferent deity, and asserts that they are all dependent on his fiat, is less far from the truth than the theory of those, who maintain that God acts in all things with a view of promoting what is good. For these latter persons seem to set up something beyond God, which does not depend on God, but which God in acting looks to as an exemplar, or which he aims at as a definite goal. This is only another name for subjecting God to the dominion of destiny, an utter absurdity in respect to God, whom we have shown to be the first and only free cause of the essence of all things and also of their existence. I need, therefore, spend no time in refuting such wild theories." (Spinoza, The Ethics, Part I, Prop. XXXIII, 1883 Elwes translation.)

    Secular Humanism is basically Judeo-Christianity without God; Spinoza's philosophy is basically Judeo-Christianity without the Idea of the Good. And the difference between Nietzsche's and Spinoza's philosophies is basically that Spinoza's is monotheist whereas Nietzsche's is polytheist (though both are, paradoxically, pantheist).

    I think the atheism of the left means the death of God, but not of the Idea of the Good, whereas the atheism of the right to which Nietzsche "pointed" means the death of the Idea of the Good but not of God. Thus in my "Nietzsche Contra Wilders" essay, I champion cultural relativism as a consistently liberal outlook, whereas all liberalisations since Christianity have, like Judaism since at least the Babylonian Captivity, been inconsistent (Catholicism is basically a liberalisation of Judaism, in which it's no longer required to belong to a certain--namely the Jewish--ethnicity; Protestantism is basically a liberalisation of Catholicism, in which a priestly mediator is no longer required (every former layman becomes his own priest); and secular Humanism is basically a liberalisation of Protestantism, in which there is no longer a God between oneself and the Idea of the Good). Cultural relativism no longer has An Idea of the Good, but now as many ideas of what is good as there are cultures, and in theory, I think, as many as there are people... Thus Reagan was booed by the left when he called the Soviet Union "the evil empire", whereas he was shrugged at or even applauded by those same people when he said the US and the USSR had different values.


    You're not wrong about the lack of a fully-formed concept of a possible future.
    Yeah, and that is a problem. As Strauss pointed out in one of his lectures on Nietzsche, we may know what the exploited proletariat wants, but not what the free proletariat wants once it evolves in its new environment. And in fact, I think anarchy (lack of government, of a State) will naturally lead to a new hierarchy, possibly by what Hobbes called "the war of all against all" (which Nietzsche changed to "the war of all families against all families"--so maybe the revolutionary left should abolish the family, as Plato's Socrates did in his ideal State). And indeed, all the actual so-called "Communisms" (Soviet, Cuban, Chinese, North-Korean, Vietnamese, etc.) are or were really quite totalitarian states (Fascist, I would even say: inasmuch as in Fascism, at least in theory, everyone is his own civil servant; everyone belongs to the state hierarchy). This is basically Marxian Socialism, not Marxian Communism. And indeed, Hitler really admired Stalin. Also, I'm reminded of what that Frenchman tells Captain Willard in Apocalypse Now Redux: what Americans didn't understand was that the Vietnamese "Communists" they were combatting were Vietnamese "Communists", National "Communists". Likewise, in the essay "National Socialism: an eclectic view", which can or could be found on Hitler.org, the jews (sic) and the Japanese are commended as National Socialist peoples. And then of course there's the return to nationalism as exemplified by Trump, Brexit, and the like. Lastly--and I'm sorry if this is a bit desultory--, I think Soviet "Communism" and the like are entirely reminiscent of the Catholic Church: yes, in this life you suffer, and have to give all you don't absolutely need to the Church, but because of this you'll go to Heaven in the afterlife; yes, in this generation the people suffers and has to give all it doesn't absolutely need to the State, but because of this a coming generation will live in Heaven on Earth... (Modernity as a whole is about creating Heaven on Earth through science, by the way.)

    I tend to concur with the Dutch Nietzschean Menno ter Braak--who killed himself when the Nazis invaded the Netherlands, by the way--, when he says imperfect democracy, with its bureaucracy and elites (in one word: Clinton) is better than the Fascist and National Socialist movements that emerge from it, and which claim to represent "the true democracy". The true democracy, doctrinal democracy, is a mistake (the universal aristocracy--as if democracy doesn't rather lead to ochlocracy, idiocracy, as the Ancients already knew!); but democracy in practice, at least as it was before Fascism and before the victory of the "alt-right", was okayish. Better than Romantic attempts to go back; though not, in my view, than Nietzsche's Dionysian attempt to go forward, all the way to a new pre-Homeric age (a circle), or the higher equivalent of the pre-Homeric age (a "spiral dynamic")... (I'd prefer the latter, at least at first.)

    Lastly--yes, really now--, I wanted to say that the only way, in my view, the communist anarchy would not lead to a new hierarchy is if the human traits responsible for war are bred out: for example, genetically and hormonally by Transhumanism (which I consider merely the explicit form of so-called "Humanism": abandoning moral foundations like loyalty, sanctity, and authority, for example. A Humanism worthy of the name would embrace humanity warts and all; and I even disagree with most people on what the "warts" are)...


    But I'm confused by the motives you assign to "leftism".
    Following Jonathan Haidt--who no longer calls himself a liberal when he is west of the Atlantic, because of the left's totalitarian and fascist tendencies there right now (hardly any diversity of opinion in universities and colleges; choruses to drown out rightwing speakers, if these are even allowed to speak in the first place; physical violence against rightwing figure(head)s, etc.)--, I think the left ultimately only has a single moral foundation (see the Wikipedia article on "moral foundations theory"), namely care or compassion--by which it then defines fairness, as the situation in which everyone is taken care of and cared for equally. This is the (main) respect in which secular Humanism holds on to the Christian morality.

    What I just wrote may seem paradoxical when compared to what I said about the "alt-right", by the way. The thing is, I think the victory of the "alt-right" may be a good thing: I mean, it's surely bad for the actualisation of the left's ideals, at least in the short run, but I think it is--or should be!--very good for the left itself. And in any case it's better if two fascist movements combat each other than if a single one tyrannises over everyone.


    I'm also curious about your definition of exploitation.
    Well, I looked it up, and the first definition Google gave me (not sure if I'm allowed to quote it here) defines it as unfair treatment for the sake of benefiting from the work of others. So if fairness is, in turn, defined in terms of care, as I think the left ultimately does (leftists who don't are still relatively center-left), then exploitation is unequal care for the sake of benefiting from the work of others. After all, why should such treatment be unfair? It must be because others suffer (unnecessarily). Therefore, it's only compassion which motivates the left (unless it's rather resentment of the exploiting, as rightwing cynics claim. This may be true for those who suffer (unnecessarily) themselves).

    You may want to remember the story about Nietzsche embracing a horse when he went insane. The story may well be spurious, but still it's really imaginable for those who know him well. Nietzsche was not lacking in compassion; it was just outweighed by his loyalty to sacrosanct authority (to put it in terms of that Wikipedia article). What sacrosanct authority? What is higher than all reconciliation?

    "[T]he ideal of the most high-spirited, most alive, and most world-affirming man, who has not just learned to be resigned to, and to endure, that which was and is, but wants to have it again the way it was and is, to all eternity, insatiably crying da capo ["from the beginning"], not just at himself, but at the whole play and spectacle, and not just at a spectacle, but at bottom at him who needs precisely this spectacle--and necessitates it: because again and again he needs himself--and necessitates himself----What? And this would not be--circulus vitiosus deus [a vicious circle god]?" (Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, aphorism 56, my translation.)


    As as I see it, morality and heroism are kinda abstract and weightless. "Leftism" and "exploitation" exist in real context--if we looked at a car motor in isolation and without knowing what a car is or does, we could argue all day about if this machine was used primarily to create heat or noise or exhaust.

    Exploitation is good and bad, it depends on if you are exploited or exploiting. Exploitation is like that motor. It's the way this class society keeps itself running.

    What would there be in a leftist utopia, a society not run on exploitation? Cooperation. If the motor that keeps human life going is cooperation, rather than the rule of a few over the vast majority, then that's a pretty big and complex task with unknown challenges and obsticals and rewards for that vast majority. What wouldn't people be doing, exploring, perfecting or debating... and probably all while partying too?
    My question is then: cooperation towards what? Methinks towards universal comfortable self-preservation. Apart from everyone making their small contribution to the preservation of society (for which some exploring might be necessary), people would only be exploring insofar as it's still within the boundaries of how comfortably and how long they want to live. Why should people still try to surpass themselves, if no drive to do so is being bred into them? Compare what I said about the proletariat evolving in its new environment.
    Last edited by Sauwelios; 21st February 2017 at 20:41. Reason: typos
    "The conservatives stood for throne and altar, and the liberals stood for democracy, or something similar to democracy, and religion as a strictly private affair. But liberalism was already outflanked by the extreme revolutionaries, socialists, communists, anarchists, and atheists. There was a position we may call political atheism. Now Nietzsche opposed both the moderate and the extreme left, but he saw that conservatism had no future, that its fighting was a real garbage, and its conservatism was being eroded evermore. The consequence of this was that Nietzsche pointed to something which we may call the revolutionary right, an atheism of the right." (Source: transcript of Leo Strauss's 1971 lecture course on Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sauwelios View Post
    we may know what the exploited proletariat wants, but not what the free proletariat wants once it evolves in its new environment.
    yes, material condition, lived experience create ideas.

    And in fact, I think anarchy (lack of government, of a State) will naturally lead to a new hierarchy, possibly by what Hobbes called "the war of all against all"
    so your argument is that class rule and war natural. Based on what? War for and over what?

    Lastly--yes, really now--, I wanted to say that the only way, in my view, the communist anarchy would not lead to a new hierarchy is if the human traits responsible for war are bred out: for example, genetically and hormonally by Transhumanism (which I consider merely the explicit form of so-called "Humanism": abandoning moral foundations like loyalty, sanctity, and authority, for example. A Humanism worthy of the name would embrace humanity warts and all; and I even disagree with most people on what the "warts" are)...
    oh, I see hormones, maybe genetics? Are there things in the air that effect this hormonal chemistry to explain why some societies are more hierarchical? Do levels of the hormones migrate geographically to explain why some places or eras are sometimes peaceful and sometimes warring?

    I think the left ultimately only has a single moral foundation (see the Wikipedia article on "moral foundations theory"), namely care or compassion--by which it then defines fairness, as the situation in which everyone is taken care of and cared for equally. This is the (main) respect in which secular Humanism holds on to the Christian morality.
    Nope. I just don't buy stories about abstract morality or chemicals and genes that have seemingly evolved in order to help people sweep a broad lazy brush over the how's, whos, and whys of society and history.

    The goal of revolutionary leftists is not moral, it's closer to what you paraphrased in the quote at the top of this post: we know what we want, to end class rule over us. However I am not concerned that we won't know what we might want when we have power, I am concerned that others currently have the power to choose how we live and limit what we can do.

    fairness is abstract and not the goal. Self-emancipation is the goal of most marxists and most left-anarchists.

    Your other misconception seems to be that equality means everyone gets treated the same (by some magical force? Airborne hormones and genes? Human nature?). Who is treating people one way or another? We want to eliminate the conditions that allow some to dictate (benevolent or not) the treatment for large groups of others.

    We we want freedom from class domination and oppression, the rule of capital over individuals. [/part1]

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