by IGNCO, January 14th 2023
I am mainly concerning myself with the article that Postliterate and I wrote together because it is the one that I have been increasingly less happy with as time has passed. Moreover, I am going to focus on my understanding of Marx because even though my Hegel was also terrible, it was much less terrible and Hegel is just impossible either which way so I am cutting myself some slack here. So I am going to quote myself a few times and tell you all why I was wrong there, sorry for the short and lazy work but I just want everyone to know that I actually do know what I am talking about.
#1. “My good friend, who has written our conceptualization of communism, has put into good words the system which I love and therefore it is through the first parts of this essay that I suggest to the reader some reasons to take such a system, or more accurately, such an inevitable stage of human history, seriously.”
Already off to a bad start. First with the assumption of communism as a system rather than a movement (despite me literally quoting where Marx says that it isn’t a system)
This paragraph is pretty funny to me. Because when you read into it I actually rob communism of its human agency, which is what I (a council communist at the time) definitely didn’t mean to do. We can see that this is wrong from Marx’s standpoint just by proxy of seeing how he organized during his lifetime, but also on a fundamental level Marx accepts the agency of human action in the Theses of Feuerbach when he says
“The coincidence of the changing of circumstances and of human activity or self-changing can be conceived and rationally understood only as revolutionary practice.” — Karl Marx, Theses on Feuerbach
Which I also quoted. Capitalism might have been considered a revolutionary progression past feudalism but now it is nothing but dead weight. Which is something that I did get right, but inevitability (as I suggest is the case in the article) implies acceleration. But capitalism can do nothing but preserve itself. As Tiqqun says:
Capitalism produces the conditions for its transcendence, not that transcendence itself. The latter depends, rather, on the activity of a few people who, having adjusted their eyes to discerning the true geography of the times beyond domination’s glaring illusions, concentrate their forces at the right moment on the most vulnerable point in the whole. Among those we encounter, we appreciate nothing more than such cold resolution to ruining this world. (Silence and Beyond)
#2. “In classical dialectician style, Marx therefore finds a way to synthesize the Hegelian Dialectic with the shoddy interpretations of materialism of old. But how does he do that? The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy explains a kind of synthesis between both tendencies by saying…”
Synthesis is a word that dialecticians have no clue of. It doesn’t exist in our vocabulary and we dare not to speak of it. Dialectics is about 1. relationships between things, and 2. making abstractions concrete through negation. Here’s how Endnotes characterizes the systematic dialectic in a way that I really like
The account that follows is strongly influenced by systematic dialectics, a method that tries to understand social forms as interconnected moments of a totality. We therefore move from the most abstract categories to the most concrete, tracing the unfolding of gender as a “real abstraction”. (The Logic of Gender)
There was no synthesis between Feuerbach’s materialism or Hegelian dialectics because he (Marx) transcends both. He negates both of them, he doesn’t synthesize them. That’s really silly.
I am not really convinced that Marx never had a dialectics of nature, assuming that if it was a dialectic of man and man’s institutions that would really contradict his statement that man is nature. But, assuming that is really useful because you can see how Marx’s dialectics have nothing to do with Feuerbach at all and they aren’t similar to Hegel outside of pure methodology.
#3 The answer here is clear, we put too much focus on the emphasis of the proletariat rather than the fight for its survival. The bourgeoisie wants us, as wage workers, to preserve ourselves and therefore its ideology is stained even in the most presumably revolutionary movements.
This is a sneak peak into my dive into communization theory, but still pretty shitty in retrospect. The survival of the proletariat is the emphasis of it. The proletariat shouldn’t be a class, really.
Other than those three points, the rest of the problems with this particular essay lie with problems I have with Marx himself (problems that people like Althusser, Poulantzas, etc. deal with within the Marxist tendency) and are more rooted in my new found anarchism. I also can’t really comment on Postliterate’s work because we have a clear division of labor here and I know nothing about critical theory or so-called Marxist economics.
Sorry for the casual writing, I wanted to put my thoughts out while I research for this banger I am cooking up right now and I will fully elaborate my new found anarchism.