Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Cheezy the Wiz, Oct 22, 2013.
In what way is Marxism falsifiable?
You'd have to answer that by presenting a simple statement of what Marxism is, perhaps something like 'Capitalism inevitably leads to wealth inequalities that themselves result in social movements amongst the lower social group/class (proletariat) that oppose Capitalism/Capitalists (bourgeoisie) and capitalist policies'.
This could be disproved by taking a strongly capitalist economy and observing that over a period of time no wealth inequalities emerged and no social movements in opposition to socialism appeared.
Now look at the history of the 20th century: legalisation of Labour Unions & massive welfare spending in all the major economies; universal education; universal healthcare; social security; communist revolutions in Russia, China, Korea, Cuba etc.
Marxism, in essence, has been confirmed as correct. The crucial bit Marx got wrong was that in the industrial era violent revolution is so deadly and destructive it is beyond the pale for most people - but when Marx wrote there had been and were ongoing revolutions - in France and Prussia for example. Thus purely Marxist Socialism is broadly giving ground to Democratic Socialism.
But hasn't inequality in wealth among other things been a constant since the invention of the very first man made item? Take a stick that has been sharpened and nicely detailed and adorned by a caveman. Some other cave man admires his spear and says, I want that spear. There is the birth of inequity. It seems that Popper would say that simply making the statement, "there is inequity" is not itself scientific because it is an unfalsifiable fact. Marxism seems to boil down to the idea that there will be revolution, that is certainly probable but it also predicts a society that overcomes the ills of capitalism. That hasn't happened yet and now Marxism is perhaps in a state of "degeneration" as Popper would maybe put it, perhaps to the point of becoming a "pseudo-science". At least if we are to take what Popper says uncritically. I'm critical of Popper but many hold Popper as some sort of scientific god-head.
Materialism. If the primacy of material relationships between people in shaping their consciousness could be disproven, it would catastrophically weaken Marxism.
That doesn't mean proving that other things influence people, it means disproving that material exchange does. Before Marxism this idea was disorganized and not particularly popular nor well understood. It was Marx who identified its centrality, and the past 150 years has seen extensive development of that theory, such that the concept today is so universalized as to be taken for granted by most people, which is why they are able to look at Marxism and believe that he contributed nothing.
That's simply equating facts that are demonstrably not false with unfalsifiable ones. An unfalsifiable fact is one that could never be shown to be false in principle, the reality of current inequality does not show that inequality could never become a thing of the past.
..right, so before that there wasn't inequity - demonstrating that inequity is falsifiable.
You're right that the whole of history features inequality, but then Marxist theory sees the whole of history as the slow rise of capitalism, so that's not a problem for a Marxist.
Well... no. Neither has teleportation. That it hasn't happened yet is no fundamental criticism.
fun interview, I appreciate how Bhaskar repeats the point that socialism isnt alien to the American or Western intellectual tradition. The desire to push back against the misappropriation of American history was probably what first drew me to socialisms.
any realistic strategy for the left in the US has to rely on the narrative that socialism is as American as apple pie, might as well get started now
^^^ This, plus this well-stated excerpt from Lukacs' "What is Othodox Marxism"
That is all. The principles of flight control patented by the Wright Brothers are still in use today, in spite of the fact that Orville and Wilbur would not recognize any modern flying machine today were they to lay eyes on it.
(My prospective in-laws live five minutes from Kill Devil Hills, NC and the Wright Bros. Monument, and I was born in Dayton, OH)
"This Big World", a song from a Soviet fiction movie "Moscow-Cassiopeia"
Link to video.
Edit: I clicked the wrong link in the signiature, meant to post this in Ask a Red.
Here is a fun article about Rosa Luxemburg explaining Capitalism with spoons.
I'd like to recommend one of classic Soviet fairy-tale films, for those who like this genre (and for kids, obviously).
The film directed by Alexander Rou and based by novel of Vitaly Gubarev.
"Королевство кривых зеркал" (Kingdom of Crooked Mirrors), 1963.
Plot summary (from wiki page)
I found full length movie with pretty good English translation on youtube.
Link to video.
Totally and absolutely.
As to reverse names outlined in the quote from the wiki, the movie probably has no other names at all.
Starting with Yalo, which is the reverse from Olya (justifying the girls' personalities to have many opposite traits).
The guy they are saving is named Gurd, which is reversed Drug (reads "droog", with "u" sound like in "book" or "drool"; means "friend").
The maid that helps them is named Aksal, which is reversed Laska, which means generic "comforting gesture", like cuddle, hug, hand stroke, etc.
Also, I cautiously wonder if the movie has any satire underlayer as well, hidden under its overtly obvious face value...
Interesting that in the video I posted, translators chose to use reverted English names.
Such as Ailo, Dneirf, Daot, Elitper. And Aksal was translated as Lesaew, which was IMO arguable choice
I apologise for cutting the rest of your post - which makes a very good point - but it seems to me that these two lines contradict each other. To disprove the primacy of material things in the shaping of consciousness, it is only necessary to find other things which influence it to the same or greater degree. By definition, the second most important thing does not have primacy, however much importance it has in the abstract.
Yeah, homonyms can be tricky.
And this is exactly where I think the conflict with the religion(s) is originating from.
Mikael Tariverdiev, waltz from the movie "17 Moments of Spring".
Link to video.
Sci-Fi cartoon "Contact", 1978.
Translation not required.
Link to video.
That was so cool.
I see LSD reached the Soviet art community.
No, and on the contrary presuming such a thing implies a completely unfalsifiable theory of inequality (as that which results from man making items). The origins of the modern private property system on which capitalism is based are traceable back to Roman slavery. That is the source of the 'inequality' with which Marx is concerned.
Meh. Marxism recognizes a dialectical relationship between the Material realm and the realm of Ideas, which means that Ideas can have an effect on the material realm. It's just that the material realm is considered the independent variable or prime mover in an ultimate sense.
I don't agree that getting rid of materialism cripples marxism, which is why I'm a Marxian and not a Marxist
Separate names with a comma.