[OPE] question re published letters Engels

From: Jurriaan Bendien <adsl675281@telfort.nl>
Date: Sat May 30 2009 - 07:21:15 EDT

To understand how banale the Marxist schematism about the forces and
relations of production is, it is sufficient to study a few good books about
cultural anthropology and social archaeology.
I don't think Lenin was a romantic value-form theorist. He realised very
well that a higher level of civilization required a material infrastructure,
and a higher material productivity; it is just that he could not reconcile
his socialism with forced labour and political-military despotism, except by
changing the meanings of words.

With Lenin, workers get to tighten their belts now, for the sake of a better
future for their children, while the nomenklatura get special privileges.

With the jetsetting, spend-up-large Greens, workers get to tighten their
belts with only the promise that they will survive, while they build
monuments for the priests of Gaia.

With the bourgeoisie, workers get to tighten their belts, so that rich
people can enjoy their protected parks, jacuzzi's, condo's, gated
communities, private beaches, cars etc. more.

The biggest enemies of a better world are:

(1) anti-humanism and contempt for the human spirit.
(2) cultural pessimism, and stimulating public anxieties/fears/panics.
(3) the desire to place constraints on other people, instead of providing
exemplars of a better alternative.
(4) pseudo-scientific irrationalism, which mixes apparently scientific
findings with cranky metaphysical theories or ideologies which are

With a "world view" suitably deformed by these four main factors, it becomes
impossible to recognize, distinguish and evaluate real progress and regress,
whether in the past, in the present, or in the future. This leads directly
to political incoherence, because you don't know if you're moving forward or
backward. Inversely, an exemplary, optimistic humanism based on scientific
insight makes it possible to discover what is to be done, and to evaluate
well what has been done.


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