- Capitalism and Alternatives -

A response

Posted by: Barry Stoller on February 20, 19100 at 09:33:56:

In Reply to: A Crack at Morality (A Little Better) posted by Hank on February 19, 19100 at 19:54:23:

: What I don't like about Chuck and Stoller's position is they seem to be wiping the slate clean of all morality. I don't think Marx would have agreed with this...

Hold on there!

Absolute morality, i.e. supra-class morality was rejected, not a particular class morality. As I said before:

Trotsky considered whether or not anything could be considered moral---and answering ONLY for the proletariat he identified himself with, concluded:

Permissible and obligatory are those and only those means, we answer, which unite the revolutionary proletariat, fill their hearts with irreconcilable hostility to oppression, teach them contempt for official morality and its democratic echoers, imbue them with consciousness of their own historic mission, raise their courage and spirit of self-sacrifice in the struggle. Precisely from this it flows that not all means are permissible. When we say that the end justifies the means, then for us the conclusion follows that the great revolutionary end spurns those base means and ways which set one part of the working class against other parts, or attempt to make the masses happy without their participation; or lower the faith of the masses in themselves and their organization, replacing it by worship for the 'leaders.' Primarily and irreconcilably, revolutionary morality rejects servility in relation to the bourgeoisie and haughtiness in relation to the toilers, that is, those characteristics in which petty bourgeois pedants and moralists are thoroughly steeped.

Not amorality, but PROLETARIAN morality.

Please note the distinction.

: What worries me about the wholesale rejection of moral standards is that it takes away one of the greatest weapons for change.

I would say that by showing capitalist morality as contingent upon the historical and material processes which produced capitalism, a claim then could be made for a proletariat morality in which the old (capitalist) values can be swept away without fear of superstition.

(BTW, that was an excellent post, Hank.)

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