WHAT DO WE TAKE? … C) from Marx



We get the idea that capitalism is concealment: hiding its exploitation well.

It conceals through seduction: the enamoured victim of the seducer is always blind to the depths of the one-sidedness of their relationship.

“… things do not always immediately appear as they are. The divorce between reality and the way it appears is a central aspect of Marx’s dialectical thought.”[i]

What we learn from Marx is the need to be critical and vigilant of appearances. In fact, it is precisely when everything looks quite rosy that we must be especially on our guard.

Marx argued that in communist societies technological development would seek to eliminate repetitive, physically demanding, unsafe and unhealthy tasks; reduce overall labour time, satisfy basic needs and develop human potential.[ii] The failure of communism is usually estimated by its inability to achieve, or even successfully approach the achievement of these goals.

However, in assessing this failure, it is also true that the communist states were set up at times when technologies were not advanced enough to make this forward-moving cultural-leap possible. Very many of the technologies capable of transforming our lives were developed in the capitalist, not the communist world, and the great spike in technological development that we are experiencing now came after the fall of the Berlin Wall. In a sense, it could be affirmed that communism arose as a political alternative before its time. Ironically, the application of Marx’s Utopian dream is far easier to envisage now. Whilst, a development of our current AI and robotics technologies offers an alternative to human labour that could give us the means to nurture our potential, the pressing needs for systemic change that are demanded by the ecological crisis give us a sound reason for wanting to make such a revolutionary change as well.

One of the goals of all human societies, if they are truly human, should be to get humans out of the psychologically and physically tedious work spaces, and into environments where human potential can be focussed on tasks related to the full development of our human, homo sapiens, potentials. Technology is now our greatest hope, and the more utopian are our hopes for the technological world, the better. Nevertheless, it is also true, and it should always be uppermost in any technological thrust forward, that a Utopia will only ever be built once research and the production of new technologies are liberated from the profit-making obligations of the market place. (Capitalism + Technology = Dystopia) is the true equation behind the façade of the current System, but it is this same monstrous equation that has to be avoided at all costs.

One of the ways to achieve the liberation from tedious, repetitive work that offers no spiritual reward for the labourer, would lie through a complete automation of production – a process which is taking place, but which is unpopular because it produces unemployment, which produces, in our capitalist-monetary system, misery and poverty. What this implies, therefore, is another Marxist or neo-Marxist goal: the deconstruction of the idea of unemployment allowing for a conception of society to be formed in which being without a wage-earning occupation never has to be a problem.

[i] From Ben Fine and Alfredo Saad, MARX’S CAPITAL, Routledge, p.4


[ii] Ibid, p.8


5 thoughts on “WHAT DO WE TAKE? … C) from Marx

  1. .

    yes … we need to talk about this gruesome condition !
    openly and constructively > without any pessimsm
    or any fata morganas

    just about the present reality > and how we can save this world
    for the nexts hunderd millionen years > and saving all sapiens as well …


  2. I think everyone is frightened by the global changes we are experiencing. That fear can be channeled in either A) an activist way, and an attempt to make changes move in the direction we think is right, or, to put a brake on change and turn things back to the way it was before; or B) respond passively in denial, refusing to admit of our ability to alter the course of events, calmly sitting in the bubble of the current status quo as if nothing bad was happening at all. But the general psychological attitude is fear, and that creates hysteria, and when the general climate is hysterical it’s hard to imagine anything good coming from it. That is my pessimism. Does the pessimism make us blind or is optimism denial? That is the question, but it is a paradox. The pessimist can’t see the optimism without risking the blindness of denial, and the optimist can’t see the pessimism without denying his own denial. The only way to break through this paradox, rooted in our present state of things, is to step out of our present bubble and gain an objective perspective. I think the only way to do that is to look ahead toward a future state that is desirable and then think: how do we get there from where we are here and now? It sounds like a simplistic solution, but it’s the only one I can think of to escape the paradox of the scepticism of the present.

  3. Pingback: WHAT DO WE TAKE? … C) from Marx – The Philosophical Hack

  4. Thx! I would also add that when things appear the most terrible that we should be skeptical. That is depression working when things appear as terrible.

    But I understand what you’re saying two is that when things seem all Rosie and good that’s when we need to get critical because that’s also win the state of oppression is functioning invisibly.

    But it’s more difficult to see that sometimes when things seem bleak and that everything is going to go wrong, that that is also the state of oppression asserting it’s authority upon one’s view as if they are synchronous and the same.

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