As a Marxist anarchists, I do believe that we should fight for the creation of an alternative hominid ecology or social world. I think that the call to commit and fight, to put alternatives on the table, has been one of the most powerful contributions of thinkers like Zizek and Badiou. If we don’t commit and fight for alternatives those alternatives will never appear in the world. Nonetheless, we still have to grapple with the world we find ourselves in. And it is here, in my encounters with some Militant Marxists, that I sometimes find it difficult to avoid the conclusion that they are unintentionally aiding and abetting the very things they claim to be fighting.
In their refusal to become impure, to work with situations or assemblages as we find them, to sully their hands, they end up reproducing the very system they wish to topple and change. Narcissistically they get to sit there, smug in their superiority and purity, while everything continues as it did before because they’ve refused to become politicians or engage in the difficult concrete work of assembling human and nonhuman actors to render another world possible. As a consequence, they occupy the position of Hegel’s beautiful soul that denounces the horrors of the world, celebrate the beauty of their soul, while depending on those horrors of the world to sustain their own position.
To engage in politics is to engage in networks or ecologies of relations between humans and nonhumans. To engage in ecologies is to descend into networks of causal relations and feedback loops that you cannot completely master and that will modify your own commitments and actions. But there’s no other way, there’s no way around this, and we do need to act now. Some Remarks on Ontology and Politics from Larval Subjects
Rather than dismissing ontology because it doesn’t tell us which politics to derive, I would instead prefer a more generous approach that makes room for ontological meditations, that recognizes that not all questions are questions about politics, and that makes room for normative meditations and considerations as to how to respond to oppressive situations in the world and promote emancipation.
On “commodity fetishism,” etc. from Object-Oriented Philosophy by doctorzamalek (Graham Harman) Cosmos and History has an interesting new issue posted on the theme of the future of philosophy. You can find it, free of charge, HERE. (It’s an open access journal.)
In short, it’s one thing to make an economic argument about the source of value in labor, but quite another to make an ontological argument that the source of all reality lies in human activity. Marx himself would be very unlikely to go that far, as his inversion of Hegel suggests. This leads Phillips not only into a relational ontology, but into a full-blown idealist one. (I think Hallward has the same problem with his relationism, and have told him so.)
The rhetorical problem here is that Marx has such moral authority in some circles that even misuses of his theories are often saluted as devastating blows. If you want to accuse object-oriented philosophy of “commodity fetishism,” this means that you’re not just taking an economic position (I’ve said nothing about economics, after all), but that you’re claiming that not just all value, but all reality is created by human labor. It’s a sort of Berkeleyan Marxism that I wouldn’t advise as a promising avenue for the future of the Left.
Hans-Hermann Hoppe is calling for a “new class war” – between the producers and the parasites. Welfare states are what are crashing all over the EU. Which is why I advised my readers very recently to “jump off the airplane.” Hard money, self-help, a free market, private property rights, political economy – these are the tried and trusted old ideas of the Whigs and the classical liberals that
as well as all the Anglo-American nations forgot. …
I myself champion a “private law society” – on which I have a column here. It means the same as the common law of old: Property, Contracts and Torts. Further, each dispute judged on its own merits with both sides represented by their own lawyers, before an impartial judge. Such judges can be available in the free market easily – and when both sides agree on a judge, he will be surely be impartial. There are “Rent-a-Judge” companies in
such services. California
Private law also solves the money and banking problem we currently face – for money is then Property: coins of gold and silver. And free, competing private banking can safely exist under the laws of Contract, whether these be “demand deposits” or “time deposits,” or “loans.”
This means Money & Banking Under Law – unlike a central bank issuing monopolistic fiat paper money while also creating credit out of thin air that has been established by legislation. These are not only fraud but also inflationary. We can then have “prudent private banking” without any “lender of last resort.” That is, no “moral hazard.”
There is another essay on this important matter in my Natural Order book on the right-hand bar. Chaos and confusion reign today – because of socialism and its electoral as well as legislative politics. A completely free market, fully competitive, without any political or bureaucratic controls, rules or regulations, but under private law – this is what I believe in.
Quite simply, war is not just inevitable but necessary, with roots extending deep into the very structure of the cosmos. Conversely, it is pacifism that is not only unnecessary but highly narcissary to boot; sanctimonious pacifists are usually just people unaware of their viciousness and cruelty, like, say, Jimmy Carter. Pacifism is essentially to surrender -- not just in war, but in the struggle of existence itself. For as written in Exodus, The Lord is a man of war; or in the words of Jesus: Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword; or in the words of
Krishna: Nothing is higher for a
[member of the warrior caste] than a righteous war.
In his introduction to the subject of Holy War, Perry cites Guenon, who wrote that the essential reason for war -- legitimate war -- is "to end a dis-order and re-establish order; in other words, it is the unification of a multiplicity, by use of means which belong to the world of multiplicity itself.... War understood in this way, and not limited in an exclusively human sense, thus represents the cosmic process of the reintegration of the manifested into the principial unity." This reintegration necessarily involves destruction, as catabolism is to metabolism.
Guenon continues: "The purpose of war is the establishment of peace, for even in its most ordinary sense peace is really nothing else than order, equilibrium, or harmony, these three terms being nearly synonymous and all designating under slightly different aspects the reflection of unity in multiplicity itself.... Multiplicity is then in fact not really destroyed, but 'transformed'..."
In another sense, legitimate war is none other than justice, being that justice is really an "equilibrating function" which is "directed against those who disturb order and [has] as its object the restoration of order." The reason we catch and punish bad guys is ultimately to restore order -- to the community, to the wronged individual, within the disordered psyche of the perpetrator, and ultimately to the Cosmos itself.
Fundamentalism’s two faces: the naïve and the power peddlers from auroleaks by auroleaks
Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. Or is it? Posted by Gautam Chikermane on Wednesday, May 9, 2012 at 8:36 pm at his Hindustan Times blog: P.S. Gautam Chikermane can hardly be called a Western supermacist (sic) or chauvinist.
Recently Sraddhalu Ranade of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram was prevented from engaging in open dialogue and debate with members of Auroville: LINK ...
Mihir Jha @MihirKumarJha 7:05 PM - 10 May 12
Not that Sri Aurobindo devotess have no internet presence but then they are not keeping pace with changes. Check this http://www.motherorissa.com/
That both Marx and Engels were Euro-centric is well known. They were convinced that non-European cultures could not possess anything of innate value. And whatever of value non-European cultures might have had, they had been surpassed in the march of history by Euro-American culture. However in the writings of Karl Marx, one finds a soft corner for Indians when compared to what he thinks of Slavs. The reason is not far to seek. Marx finds Indian communities to be racially connected to dominant European nations…
Yet paradoxically in the very same essay, Marx acknowledges that these very Indian weavers living ‘undignified, stagnatory, and vegetative life’ had produced such ‘admirable textures ‘ and had sent them to Europe making Europe to send ‘in return for them her precious metals’.
In other words the denunciation of Indian villages come from a civilizational bias rather than from an objective analysis based on economic productivity. Curiously, overlapping the period of observation made by Marx, in the span of just ninety years -from 1765 to 1858- India, coming under the grip of East India Company, had experienced twelve major famines and four ‘severe scarcities’ and for the first time India started experiencing famines not limited to small geographical regions but affecting a wider area and taking a heavy toll of life.
Contrary to popular belief, restrictions on proselytisation placed by some state governments in India is neither in violation of the freedom of religion nor is it a departure from an international consensus.
The final draft (of Article 25) entitled the citizens of
to the “freedom of conscience
and the right freely to profess, practise and propagate religion.” In itself,
the wording does not set off alarm bells, but a closer look – and subsequent
history – marks religious pluralism as a road better left untravelled… On a
day-to-day basis, the differing metaphysics hardly causes any problems. The
point of friction, not only in India
but worldwide, has been the propensity of Christianity and Islam to proselytise
while Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, and Jainism discourage the practice (though
recently, Theravada Buddhism has taken to proselytism). Not surprisingly,
the wording of Article 25 was modified to include the right to propagate by the
Minorities subcommittee of the CAI. In such a situation, a seemingly equal right
to peddle one’s religion becomes unequal and unfair, much like giving wolves
and sheep the right to eat one another. Lest the reader be misled into thinking
all proselytism in India
is Christian or Muslim targetted at Hindus and indigenous tribes, the two
Abrahamic faiths have been known to poach followers from each other as well. India