This blog initially set out to focus primarily on Islam and the Islamisation of the UK. However, since that time the subjects covered have broadened. They now include (amongst other things): IQ tests, Jean Baudrillard, global warming, sociobiology, Marxism, Trotskyism, David Cameron, Foucault, Nazism, Ralph Miliband, economics, statistics and so on. - Paul Austin Murphy
I've had articles published in The Conservative Online, American Thinker, Intellectual Conservative, Human Events, Faith Freedom, Brenner Brief (Broadside News), New English Review, etc... (Paul Austin Murphy's Philosophy can be found here.)

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Karl Marx: Biography, Philosophy, Theory







The Bourgeois Marx


Karl Marx's own class status works against his own essentialism and reductionism with regards to class and “class consciousness”. His father, Heinrich Marx, was a lawyer and friend of Baron von Westphalen; who was a senior government officer from an aristocratic family. Marx's older sister Sophie was a friend of the Baron's daughter. Indeed that was how Marx himself met his future wife, Jenny (the Baron's daughter).

Marx himself was privately educated and then, in typical (revolutionary) bourgeois style, went on to study law at two universities: Bonn University and the University of Berlin.

As I said, Marx had an essentialist and reductionist view of capitalists or the “bourgeoisie” even though Marx himself and his best friend, Frederic Engels, were members of the bourgeoisie. Indeed Engels, during much of his life, was a capitalist/industrialist.

Much of Engels' money came from his father, who was a rich textile merchant who had a branch in Manchester. Engels' father also provided his son with an entertainment and hospitality allowance. He used some of that money to ride with the Cheshire hunt and to entertain his guests at his large house. At that house and during those dinner parties, he never allowed anyone to see his mistress; whom he had met at his father's mill in Manchester.

Apart from riding with the Cheshire hunt, Engels also said that he favourite hobbies were “wine, beer, women and song”.

Much of Engels' own money was spent financing Marx. In fact Engels reluctantly went back to work at his father's mill (in 1850) solely to help him finance Marx. He worked there for 20 years.

Marx's essentialism and views about the necessary war between capitalists and workers also seems strange because he was once a journalist for the Rheinische Zeitung; which was founded (in 1841) by wealthy manufacturers and industrialists. These capitalists, like Marx, believed in “progress” and “social advance”.

Philosophers Have Only Interpreted the World?

There are many self-aggrandising myths about Marx, some of which Marx himself fostered. For example, Marx famously said:

The philosophers have only interpreted the world in different ways; the point is to change it.”

This is outrageously false. That is unless Marx simply, or really, meant that no other philosopher before him had been a revolutionary. Yet even that is not entirely true because many philosophers - prior to Marx - could indeed have been seen as revolutionaries. So Marx simply must have meant that no philosopher before him had been a Marxist revolutionary. True.

The fact is that many of the big names in philosophy were directly involved in “changing the world”; or at least directly involved in politics. Even Marx's direct predecessor, Hegel, was directly involved in politics. He just wasn't wasn't involved in bringing about “class war”.

Just to cite a few other examples.

John Locke's political philosophy had a profound effect on European and American politics. Machiavelli was both directly involved in politics and had a strong influence on politics, as did Voltaire, Rousseau,Thomas Hobbes, Francis Bacon, Aquinas, Aristotle, etc.

Again, the simple crime of these philosophers must have been not to believe in “revolutionary class war”. Yet that didn't automatically mean that these philosophers didn't want to “change the world”: only “interpret it”.

Marx and Marxists, and this is still true today, have also got it into their minds that all philosophers before Marx saw human nature as being unchanging and fixed. Like the idea of all philosophers only interpreting the world, this is clearly false. Some philosophers did believe that. And some philosophers didn't.

However, despite Marx's seemingly anti-essentialist view of human nature, Marx did, after all, believe that there is an unchanging aspect of human nature in all societies and at all times. And this is where he incorporates another of his many essentialisms: according to Marx, “labour is the essence of man”.

So his first argument against unchanging human nature was clearly targeted at the different ideologies upheld by different societies at different times. Marx was also keen to point out that there were different ideologies about human nature itself at different times and in different societies. However, Marx wanted to trump such ideologically suspect essentialisms with his own (new) essentialism: that the true nature of human nature is labour. That, of course, was an acceptable essentialism to Marx because it squared well with the rest of his revolutionary philosophy.

In fact it can be said that Marxism itself “was just one more passing ideology of human nature” and of much else besides. That is, Marx's theories can be applied to Marxism itself in a truly self-referential manner.

The British Museum

Marxists love the anecdote about Marx spending all his time in the British museum writing about society, history and the future communist society. However, it seems that Marx wasn't even original in this respect either.

Louis Blanc (1811-82) was, just like Marx, exiled to Britain. And like Marx again he spent much of his time in the British museum. Not only that: it might well have been there that he coined a phrase which is often attributed to Marx:

From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”

And just as Marx believed that socialism could only be a forerunner to (full or complete) communism, so Louis Blanc believed that communism itself would precede anarchism. Marx, needless to say, didn't believe that. Like Lenin and Trotsky, he had a deep hatred of anarchists and a deep faith in what the communist state could do.

The Scientific Study of Society

Marxists claim that Marx was the first philosopher (a few say “one of the first”) to “study society in a scientific manner”. Again, this is blatantly false.

Non-Marxist commentators have claimed that it was Hobbes (1588-1679), in his well-known book Leviathan, who was the first philosopher to study society and politics in a scientific manner. Indeed he even attempted to find the “laws of society” and history (in a manner akin to Galileo's physics and Gassendi); as Marx did some 200 years later. Indeed it can be argued that Aristotle analysed society and politics generally in a scientific manner. Indeed some neo-Aristotelians may even claim that Aristotle was far more scientific on these subjects than Marx.

However, it will be more fruitful to mention some of the more direct precursors of Marx.

Take Claude Henri de Saint-Simon (1760-1825); who was an influence on Marx.

Saint-Simon, like Marx, believed that both history and society should be studied in a systematic and scientific manner. Indeed, again like Marx, he recognised the importance that “class struggle” had throughout history. In addition, as a good proto-Marxist, Saint-Simon also recognised the class division of society and saw it as being divided between the industriels (workers) and the oisifs (capitalists or rich “parasites”).

And, again, just like Marx, Saint-Simon both raged against capitalism at the same time as welcoming its technological developments. In other words, Saint-Simon believed that the advances made by capitalism - in such things as productivity and technological development - could be harnessed for socialist ends.

Marxist Morality

Another self-aggrandising myth about Marx, specifically in relation to the “scientific” nature of Marx's theories, is that Marx “never made any overt moral judgements in his work”. This is an incredible thing to state and believe primarily because almost everything he wrote is full of overt moral judgments. Indeed Marx's entire enterprise must have been inspired by his moral position on capitalism and on so much else.

Marxists must claim this because Marx himself claimed it (as is the case when Marxists restate, more or less, what Marx said about “Utopian socialism”, “the scientific study of society” and whatnot).

In addition to that, part of Marx's philosophy is that morality itself is “bourgeois” in nature. (Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge and Chairman Mao's Red Guard were inspired by Marx's words on this subject.) Therefore if morality itself is bourgeois, how could Marx himself moralise about the evils of capitalism? This is clearly a quandary of some kind. And consequently here again we find that Marx and Marxism are riven with contradictions. (Yes, not unlike those “contradictions” which Marx and the Marxists talked and still talk about.)

Apart from the fact that Marx's (late) works weren't strictly speaking scientific at all (they were academic, which is not the same thing), his whole enterprise must have been initiated by his moral (or emotional) position on capitalism. Indeed, what else could it have been founded upon?

It has even been said that emotion, feelings and even morality (or religion) itself has motivated much of the great work that has been done in physics and mathematics (which is not to say that physics and mathematics are themselves about emotions or morality). And if that's true about many physicists and mathematicians, think how much truer it must be about a political philosopher/theorist who dealt with such things as “exploitation”, “class war” and the rest.

Indeed even in Marx's “most scientific work”, Das Kapital, he refereed to capitalists as “werewolves” and “vampires”. Elsewhere, Marx referred to the family as a “sentimental veil”; to the “sheer idleness” of the bourgeois; to Free trade as being an “unconscionable freedom”; that the “bourgeoisie” had brought about “naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation”; and, finally, that “the bourgeois sees in his wife a mere instrument of production”.

And yet - and here's another contradiction - Marx also believed (as did Louis Althusser much later) that capitalists are just as much cogs in the capitalist machine as any worker. In the language of Althusser, both workers and capitalists are not true “subjects” within a capitalist system. As I said, capitalists, as well as workers (though, of course not Marxists) are “appendages to the machine” (Marx's own words), or “one-dimensional men” (Herbert Marcuse), or, as Marxists/Leftists smugly put it nowadays, “sheeple”.

Yet if all that's true about these millions of cogs in the machine, whence the Leftist anger, aggression and outrage? You cannot morally or even politically disapprove of cogs. In fact you can hardly have a moral position on a machine (i.e., capitalism). All you can do is destroy that machine. But here again: if morality is bourgeois, why does the Marxist care about the wrongs of capitalism? What is the root of that care if it isn't morality: indeed, if it isn't “bourgeois morality”?

Economics

Marx was certainly not the first philosopher who felt the need to delve into the “dismal science” that is economics. Indeed his direct predecessor, Hegel, did exactly the same thing. Not only that: Hegel studied many of the same economists, such as Adam Smith, that Marx did. (Hegel, again like Marx, focused on free trade and the nature of labour.) Clearly this fact would have had at least some influence on Marx.

Not surprisingly, that inclusion of economics into the pot of philosophy also shows another parallel with Hegel. What I mean by that is because Hegel notoriously attempted to create a huge and complete system of philosophy (as he did in his The Science of Logic of 812-), it was obvious that economics, being part of that everything, would need to be included in his system. And the same is true (though even more so in the case of economics) of Marx's equally “totalist” system of philosophy.

Did Marx Invent the Study of Classes?

Marxists claim that Marx discovered the reality of classes or, at the least, that he was the first to realise their importance. Yet even Marx himself rejected that thesis:

"... no credit is due to me for discovering the existence of classes... nor yet the struggle between them."

Marx was right: both David Ricardo (1772-1823) and Adam Smith (1723-90) had recognised the importance of classes before him. More specifically, Adam Smith saw that capitalists formed a class in its own right. And as for Ricardo, he also recognised the reality of class struggle; though, of course, not in strictly Marxist terms. (To Ricardo, class struggle arose as a result of of the - unfair - division of society’s profits.)

False Consciousness & Alienation

Marx even borrowed the notion of “false consciousness” (though I don't think he used those two words) from Hegel. Yes, of course, Hegel and Marx's notions of false consciousness aren't identical (no two philosophers' views are ever identical).

According to Hegel, false consciousness (a phrase he didn't use either) arose because people believed that they were separate from the “divine”. That perceived separation brought about another state which is similarly related to Marx's work: alienation. Again, just like Marx, that false consciousness, and the resultant alienation, meant that people felt estranged from both the natural world and the world as it truly is. Marx, on the other hand, believed that capitalism created both false consciousness and alienation. And that, similarly, resulted in people becoming estranged from both the natural world and the world as it truly is.

Before Hegel, and therefore well before Marx, Charles Fourier (another influence on Marx) had also discussed the notion of alienation in his work. And, like Marx later, saw his own system of communism (which obviously predated Marx's) as a solution to that alienation.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Sabby Dhalu's Unite Against Capitalism... Fascism (UAF)


 





[Image above: Sabby Dhalu & Weyman Bennett: UAF and SWP Central Committee.]


Unite Against Fascism (UAF) claims to be "fighting against racism and fascism" only. It also claims that it's neither party-political nor that it's not allied to any specific political party or ideology.


They are complete and obvious lies - from top to bottom. The fight against racism and fascism is simply the major weapon in the revolutionary socialist's arsenal.


Take this article by Sabby Dhalu (the joint secretary of UAF), which was written for the Communist Party of Britain's online newspaper, The People's Daily: Morning Star. There is more in it about the crimes of “the Tories”, unemployment, "austerity" and whatnot than there is about "racism" and "fascism".


You see a communist group (i.e., UAF) could never be just about “fighting racism and fascism” alone because, according to Marxist theory, the situation with “jobs”, “housing” and “living standards” (Sabby Dhalu's words) simply creates - or causes - both racism and fascism. Therefore the primary task of UAF isn't to fight against racism and fascism: it's to fight against the capitalism and parliamentary democracy (the “tool of capitalism”) which causes racism and fascism. This means that the primary task of UAF is to “smash” the “capitalist system” (to use the SWP's way of putting it). Again, the SWP-UAF believes that only though smashing capitalism, and implementing a centralised socialist regime, will racism and fascism be eradicated. And this omnipresent dogma (or diktat) has been at the heart of Marxism since at least the 1920s.


As I said, communists such as Sabby Dhalu use the “fight against racism and fascism" as a means to bring about socialism/communism in our country. That effectively also means that these overwhelmingly white (though Dhalu is Asian), middle-class members and leaders of UAF use Muslims, blacks and, in the past, workers, in order to bring about their political dreams and ultimately to give them political power.


Defeat the Entire Right!


Sabby Dhalu begins her 'Crucial Time For Labour' article (for the Communist Party of Britain's Morning Star) by saying this:


Yesterday many were celebrating fascist British National Party (BNP) leader Nick Griffin losing his European Parliament seat.”


So now it's time for the extreme Left to get to work on UKIP, which is precisely what UAF and Hope Not Hate are doing at present. Before that it was the EDL. In fact Sabby Dhalu and UAF see it all in terms of defeating the entire Right – not just what they call “the far right”. As Sabby Dhalu puts it:


We have defeated fascists like the BNP and the English Defence League but Ukip is a problem, not just in itself.”


The thing is, if UKIP didn't exist, then these communists and Trotskyists would get straight to work on the Conservative Party; as they did in the 1980s and 1990s. Indeed they only stopped concentrating on “the racist Tory Party” because of the rise of what they now call “the far right”. (Such Leftists formerly used the words “fascist” and “Nazi” exclusively: “the far right” has only recently become a common synonym for “fascist” or “Nazi”.)


UAF& the Labour Party


The forerunners of people like Sabby Dhalu also despised the Labour Party (not only the Tories) and saw it as being full of “racists”, “reactionaries” and “reformists”. In fact such people still hate the Labour Party. Nonetheless, like the fight against racism fascism, the Labour Party itself is a useful tool in the toolkit of revolutionary socialism.


The Labour Party itself has had a love-hate relationship with Marxists going back to its birth. This relationship has taken on three main forms:


i) Some – though not all – Marxist revolutionaries feel that it is useful to align themselves with the Labour Party (for many reasons).

ii) Some Labour Party MPs feel they can advance international socialism better inside the party rather than outside it.


iii) Some Labourites know that they cannot dismiss or openly criticise unelected revolutionary groups (such as UAF, Hope Not Hate, Trotskyist-led unions, etc.) because they - in tandem with equally unelected Leftist lawyers, etc. - can do the Labour Party some serious damage (as they can all parties).


Indeed Sabby Dhalu is quite honest about her revolutionary socialist message. She says that voting for the Labour Party is simply not enough. Or in her own words:


Why vote for the centre-left when the right, far-right and fascists will always give a stronger racist message?


So what's the solution? For Sabby Dhalu, the Labour Party must become much more socialist and centralising in nature. She says:


The centre-left and left must provide the solutions to the problems that people face and unite against the far-right and fascism, rather than blaming immigration.”


But, of course, for Trotskyists like Dhalu that simply won't be enough either. Of course it won't!


Unite Against Fascism (UAF) was created by the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) in 2003. It is still completely run by it. The SWP, in turn, has been at war with the Labour Party since the 1960s. So talk of the “centre-left and left providing solutions to the problems people face” is, in fact, very duplicitous. Sabby Dhalu basically means that only the extreme Left - the Trotskyist/Communist Left (i.e. SWP-UAF or perhaps the Morning Star's Communist Party of Great Britain) - can solve these problems. And it can only do so if it completely “smashes capitalism”. Indeed Dhalu says that the Labour Party “must wake up and smell the coffee”: that it must become more revolutionary and even more socialist. And that will basically mean more mass immigration, more Islamisation, stricter and more widespread enforcement of politically-correct laws against the entire Right (as handed down by our Leftist “hegemony”), etc.


Dhalu also believes that more (unelected) power must be given to the politicians and activists who believe precisely what she believes. As Trotskyists have always believed, our - or any - democratic (not just “capitalist”) system simply cannot be relied upon to come up with the revolutionary socialist goods. In addition, the people, especially the workers, cannot be trusted; as Sabby Dhalu makes clear – in a roundabout way – in her article.


In turn, all these extreme socialist demands are bound to result in increased communal conflict or even civil war. And this is precisely what many – if not all – revolutionary Trotskyists and communists want. Why? Because only out of such violence and chaos (they think) can the firebird of revolutionary socialism arise. Trotskyists and communists have always believed this and that is why they've consistently agitated to destablise democratic systems. As the saying goes: “The worse it is [for us], the better it is [for revolutionaries].”


A Marxist Class Analysis of UKIP


As you'd expect, Sabby Dhalu also offers us a thoroughly Marxist “class analysis” of UKIP and indeed of everything else. For example, she begins by saying that


[f]ar from being a working-class party, Ukip is a reactionary multimillionaire-sponsored creation.”


The thing is, even if UKIP were a working-class party, UAF-SWP would still offer a critical Marxist class analysis of that fact too. For example, the middle-class Leftist problem with the EDL was once that it was full of “white working-class knuckle-draggers”. Then another former leader of Sabby Dhalu's very own UAF, Martin Smith, said that it wasn't a working-class movement at all but really a “petite-bourgeois” one. He said that “many [EDL] come from petty bourgeois professions – the classic base of fascism”. (Yes, Trots are still using these quaint archaic terms.)


In any case, UAF and many other Leftists have more or less admitted that most UKIP supporters are working-class. Nonetheless, in the classic Marxist conspiratorialist style, they also argue that it's led by “reactionary multimillionaires” who simply and very easily hoodwink the workers. (Many Leftists – often the same ones - said exactly the same about the EDL.) And of course the workers are hoodwinked because they are thick; or, in Marxist-speak, they have “false consciousness”. In fact the middle-class whites of UAF and Hope Not Hate think that black and Asian supporters of UKIP are Uncle Toms who also suffer from false consciousness: i.e., they're not Leftists).


What all these Marxist “analyses” have in common is that what UKIP - or EDL and UKIP Uncle Toms - believes is of absolutely no consequence. It's the “class nature” of UKIP that really matters – not its values and concerns. Actually, in the Marxist picture, the values and concerns of UKIP are completely determined by the “class structure” of its leaders and supporters; as well as by today's “socioeconomic realities”.


Thus Sabby Dhalu's article is an even cruder version of the already crude Marxist “materialist analyses” (or tarted-up ad hominems) we've had to put up with for the last 150 years or so.


Yet if class and socioeconomic conditions are literally everything, then that must also apply to UAF and indeed this article by Sabby Dhalu.


So what is the class nature of Unite Against Fascism? It's overwhelming made up of white, middle-class people. Indeed many in the higher ranks are upper-middle-class. Not only that: English universities provide almost the entire “socioeconomic environment” of UAF-SWP activities and members. And that's forgetting the the professors/lecturers who make up many of UAF-SWP's leaders and the overwhelmingly middle-class students who make up its foot-soldiers. Now isn't all that a perfect subject for a Marxist “class analysis”?


Sabby Dhalu's Marxist analysis continues. She says that


[i]mmigrants are being wrongly blamed for the cost-of-living crisis as a result of the Tory-led coalition’s austerity measures.”


But didn't Dhalu say that UKIP is made up of “millionaires”? Are such millionaires also suffering from the “cost-of-living crises”? Except, as a Marxist, she'll also claim that UKIP millionaires hoodwink their stupid working-class supporters. However, remember here that the SWP's Martin Smith said that the membership - not even the leadership - of the EDL is “petite-bourgois”. So if that's true of the EDL, it must be even truer of UKIP.


Apart from all that, I've never once heard a UKIP supporter - or anyone else for that matter - blame immigrants for the “cost-of-living crisis”. Some may have done so, sure. But it's hardly a prime determinant of why people have voted for UKIP. Instead, when it comes to immigrants, it's to do with mass immigration and its effects on communities. It's about the rise of Muslim ghettos and Islamisation in the UK. It's also about Roma criminality and whatnot. None of this has anything directly – or even indirectly - to do with poverty or unemployment.


And even when immigrants do take the jobs of the native British (which they do), this has largely been the result of the experiment in mass immigration on the British people which was carried out by the Labour Party for political/ideological (not economic) reasons Sabby Dhalu would definitely sympathise with. It had almost nothing to do with economics or jobs. It was ideological and political from head to foot. Indeed it was very much in tune with what UAF and the SWP believes. And the voters' consequent anger was primarily aimed at the fact that it all occurred behind their backs and without any public mandate whatsoever. It was largely the politics of this Leftist experiment that enraged voters, not unemployment or jobs. And that's precisely why Sabby Dhalu focuses all her energy on shopworn and monotonous Marxist analyses of mass-immigration economics and not on the politics and ideology which drove it.


Such is the crudity of Sabby Dhalu's Marxist analysis and the obsessive way in which Leftists such as her try to make reality (or the facts) fit Marxist theory rather than Marxist theory fit reality (or the facts).


Conclusion: Unite Against Capitalism


As I said earlier, the “fight against racism and fascism” isn't really the main concern of UAF. Take Sabby Dhalu's word for it when she says:


We are told that the economy is getting back on its feet, but the majority of people have not benefited from this so-called recovery.”


What it's all really about, according to Dhalu, is “jobs, better wages, housing and improving living standards for the many not the few”.


You see, a Trotskyist group never just fights racism and fascism because, according to Marxism, the economic situation (Dhalu's “jobs”, “housing” and “living standards”) actually creates both racism and fascism. Therefore the primary task of UAF is to “smash” the “capitalist system”. Only after smashing capitalism, and implementing a socialist regime, will racism and fascism be finally eradicated.


Thus Unite Against Fascism should really be called Unite Against Capitalist Democracies.


And this makes the many and varied alliances between UAF and the British Labour Party seem all the more ironic, if not deeply suspect.


                                       *****************************************************





Notes on American Thinker Comments



1) "In reality, racism isn't the major feature of fascism."


It certainly wasn't the main feature of Italian fascism in the 1920s and early 1930s. However, the story is that Hitler "converted" Mussolini to racism, as it were.


Nonetheless, I don't suppose all fascists converted in turn and neither was it the case that there were no racist Italian fascists in the early days.


It all hinges on definitions. According to some definitions of the word "fascism", racism is essential. According to others, it isn't.


2) "Fascism is really government control of private industry."


That's true, historically. But there doesn't appear to be that much difference between the state controlling industry (communism), and the state controlling "private industry" (fascism). In other words, I've never understood the Leftist criticism of "state capitalism" when Marx himself wanted the state to utterly control everything.


Why is that state-control worse simply because it occurs in close conjunction with "private industry"? In fact, the (Italian) fascist option is superior and preferable and indeed less totalitarian. That is, in communist societies the state controls everything - including industry. In Italy, in the 1920s and 1930s, the fascist state controlled rather less and gave some freedom to private industry. Yet Leftists prefer the higher degree of totalitarianism found in Marxist communism.


I personally would have preferred to live in fascist Italy than in Stalin's Soviet Union.


"You have it the wrong way. That's state capitalism. Fascism is private industrial control of government."


Why? You've simply made a statement there.


How could it come to be that "private industrialists" - or capitalists - "control" the fascist state, rather than the other way around? After all, the fascists have the state in their control: the secret police, the controlling party, a forceful ideology, the military, a strong leader, etc. Why would all that surrender control to capitalists?


You can only rationalise all that in terms of Marxist theory (e.g., "false consciousness"). That is, just as the workers are "hoodwinked by capitalists", as well as by the state; so the fascist state itself is hoodwinked by capitalists. But there's absolutely no reason to believe all that Marxist theory.


It all boils down to certain Marxist diktats.


I'm prepared to accept that Marx himself thought these things through; but the majority of Leftists, and even anarcho-syndicalists such as yourself, clearly haven't. Hence you make do with a simple catechism about the nature of the relationship between capitalists and a fascist - or any kind - of state.


Fascists and Nazis controlled businesses and capitalists in a similar way to which communist states controlled industries and factories. Yet in the communist cases it was said to be "for the good of the workers" (or the people).


Leftists, on the other hand, say that in the case of fascist states it was for the good of capitalists. Yet in both the cases of communist and fascist states, it is the state which has the final say.


However, because Leftists still fantasise about communist state-control being on "behalf of the workers" (or even being control by the workers), they prefer that fantasy to the other version in which capitalists and the state may work hand-in-hand (though unequally), which happened in fascist Italy.


Again, why is communist/socialist total state-control preferable to a partnership between the state and capitalists?


As for anarcho-syndicalism, I can't really comment on that because no state or nation has ever adopted it - and perhaps that's part of the appeal to anarcho-Utopians.


In fascism, there is no difference between the ruling fascists and capitalists."


That's a very different thing to what you previously said:


"Fascism is private industrial control of government."


That hints at, or states, a separation between state and capitalists, not their identity.


As I said, that's the problem with stand-alone statements.


"The capitalists are the ruling fascists, and they are using the state to keep their power."


Now you're simply stating again what you stated in the original post.

If "capitalists are the ruling fascists", then how can they "use the state"? They are the state. The ruling capitalists cannot "use" themselves.


I came back on the original statement (same as the above), and you haven't responded. I made various points about the inadequacy of the theory that capitalists "use the state". But, as I said, you also appear to saying that capitalists ARE the state.


It depends on what you mean by "the state".


Also, how can capitalists be the state when they have companies and businesses to run? It doesn't make sense. Literally being part of the state is a full-time business, whether you're a politician, a civil servant, part of the judiciary, etc. How can capitalists, who have to run businesses and make money, also spend all their time running the state? Fair enough, they can influence the state, but not run it as well? And if they aren't literally running it, as I said before, why would the fascist state give total control to capitalists?


"The battle of capitalism v. State capitalism was simply a battle between ruling classes, with one ruling class wishing to dominate over the other and vice versa."


Possibly, though on that reading, I don't think there has ever been a purely capitalist society. Indeed Leftists and anarcho-syndicalists are just as much against the genuine Free Market as they are against what you call "state capitalism". That is, if the market were completely free of the state, and the state completely free of the market, Leftists and anarcho-syndicalists would still be against it - in fact even more so.


So all this stuff about "state capitalism", or governments "propping up capitalists", etc. just shows that it's any form or kind of capitalism that socialists are against. They are against "state capitalism", "propped-up capitalism" and unrestricted capitalism (which they sometimes describe as "market fundamentalism").


"Under "economic freedom" capitalists gain the power to control the state through competition, and they will naturally turn to fascism when they do. Fascism is the natural result of capitalism."


You say you're an anarcho-syndicalist, yet that analysis above is Marxist from head-to-toe. Perhaps anarcho-syndicalists acknowledge their debt to Marx. Nonetheless, you also referred to non-Marxist socialists earlier.


That analysis above bears no relation to non-Marxist socialism.


You seem to be very keen on categorical statements (which may well have various theories behind them). Statements such as "fascism is the natural result of capitalism". Is it? Is that why America and the UK have never been fascist (though Chomsky says that the US is 'Nazi')?


And what does "fascism is a natural result of capitalism" mean? Is that a biological, economic or political statement? Is it a statement of necessity? It can't be because capitalism has not always led to fascism.


Even in the classic case of 1920s Germany, and the argument that "capitalism led to Nazism", there are many arguments which state that it wasn't capitalism which led to Nazism. Or at least it wasn't capitalism alone which led to Nazism.


That's the problem with this Manichean obsession with capitalism: that it necessarily leads to fascism and to all evil. To anarchists and Marxists, capitalism has taken on the role of evil, or Satan, or sin. And that's why they are so fond of statements (not arguments or debate) such as "capitalists will naturally turn to fascism".


" No government can stand up to capital when capitalism is in place. History has shown so time and time again."


More religious/Marxist catechisms.


Governments have repeatedly "stood up to capital", as "history has shown time and time again".


If you think entirely in categorical statements about the "essential nature of capitalism", then you will keep making mistakes and keep on coming across as an anti-capitalist fundamentalist.


All your statements sound like recitations from religious texts. And those religious texts appear to have been written by Karl Marx.


3) "... I take the meaning of Socialism from those original philosophers, which is when the workers democratically and directly control the means of production (the workplace, the tools, the enterprise)."


There have indeed been some experiments in this kind of socialism and all of them were short-lived and geographically very limited. The Owen example famously never caught on.


"... Anarchic syndicalism was adopted by the Northern Spaniards during the civil war and in my eyes, it was a fantastic success while it existed."


Again, short-lived and limited experiments. There have been many such experiments at the non-state and non-national level over the years: complete sharia zones, "free-love" communes, gated communities, Jim Jones's religious-suicide community in Africa, numerous experiments in living according to religious rules (including the Amish in America), etc....


As for the experiments in anarcho-syndicalism during the Spanish Civil War, they were never completely self-sufficient anyway. And even if Franco hadn't won the war, my bet is that they wouldn't have survived. One possibility is that Stalin's Communists would have destroyed them.


4) "Reality shows time and time again that cooperation and direct democracy outperforms competition and capitalism, because it is simply within our nature."


What the hell does that mean? What do you mean by "cooperation"? Both fascists and capitalists believe in cooperation.


Which examples of "direct democracy" are you referring to and what do you mean by that term?


And talk about "human nature" is a little suspect when bearing in mind the fact that Leftists and anarchists have always castigated references to human nature when offered by their opponents. Marx himself had a lot of critical things to say about theories about (essential) human nature and then came up with his own version of what is essential to human nature: labour and, yes, cooperation - not competition.


5) "I am encouraged actually. It seems the race card is all the left has left. That seems to be the universal talking point now. Racism."


That's true enough. I think that many Leftists use the word "racist" or "fascist" in order to effectively silence all their opponents. They do so because that's the best way of instigating their universal "no platform" policy. In other words, Leftists either literally silence all those who dare to disagree with them or they use the second-best option: the ad hominem "racist'.


"It only appeals to the lowest elements of society. Seriously, I just don't see it as a long term winning strategy anymore."


I'm not sure whether it will continue working because there's always a new breed of student automatons to whom the words "racist" and "fascist" remain radical and new and therefore attractive - for whatever mindless reasons. And Stalin retained power for around 30 years partly with his masterful technique of calling all his opponents "fascists" or "imperialists".


6) "Fanatical Leftists (Marxist, Commie, Trotskyist, Socialist etc), are all stuck in the past, when there was Kings, Nobles, serfs and peasants."


If you apply Marx's views to Marx's views, then they can't help but be "stuck in the past". The alternative is that Marx's theories are trans-historical eternal truths - or absolute truths; which is precisely what most Marxists have always believed (though they would never use my words).


Michele Foucault said that "Marxism out of the 19th-century is like a fish out of water". He also said that "the Gulag wasn't a deviation from Marxism, but the consequence of its 'truths'".


Everything about Marx is utterly 19th century - and not just the social an economic conditions he commented upon. He was a Hegelian metaphysician until the end. He simply applied it to economics as partly borrowed from various English economists.


Marx was also a typical 19th-century teleologist: he believed that everything was heading towards a revolution and the "perfection of man". Others to the perfection of certain chosen races, and yet other to various other utopias. (Darwin, however, was not a teleologist in that evolution doesn't of necessity lead to progress or perfection and it can't be wholly applied to human society in any case.)


Marxists always stress the fact that "Marx turned Hegel on his head". Yes, precisely: he turned Hegel on his head. He didn't turn David Hume on his head and he certainly didn't ignore Hegel. In fact Marxists well into the 20th century remained infatuated with Hegel (as did various Nazis, though to a lesser extent).