- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Rich man...

Posted by: Red Death ( Socialist party, UK ) on March 31, 1999 at 12:28:36:

In Reply to: The Poverty of Moral Postivism posted by Joel Jacobson on March 29, 1999 at 16:14:33:

: What is moral positivism? Essentially, it says taht whatever is the social standard at the time is what determines right (relative right as Hegel would have said). But in reality, all social standards are products of human action and, thus, moral positivism aserts taht whoever can control is, in the end, the moral result of a particular "age". Deathy, himself, has admitted that Hitler and Stalin were such necessities of development and, therefore, must be viewed by the prism of history. I disagree.

Don't recall admitting that they were personally necessities, however I supsect I should have phrased the offending post 'they were part of the world historical necessity of capitalism' those particular forms were not necessary, btu capitalism was.

Now, imagine you lived in Louissianna two hundred years ago- would you believe that slavery is right?

Morality comes from the dominant ideas of the ruling class, their interests define their morality, as such morality is a function, as you note, of power- surely then, the only way to excape the 'evil' of some rulers, is to abolsih power, and set human subjects up as an end in themselves, and to abolish power?

: Regardless, of contrary claims, this view gives us no courses of action upon which we can make decisions. Anything we do is moral and rational as it is a product of "our times" and "our society" as relating to the Absolute ideal or material necessity according to the development of the human race. We have acknowledged, not that we possess no objective standard of truth, but that there is no standard of truth at all except what exists, and that anything we do is the standard of truth itself.

Thats the logic of postmodernism, now that all teh metanarratives have collapsed, there is no appeal to God, no Appeal to the nation state, nor the progress of the working class (for many), so simply performativity is the rule of the day- how Nietzchean. be excellent to one another- it doesn't matter what you do, just do it well.

: In reality, moral positivism simply is a tool people use to foist their personal value systems upon others. Hitler and Stalin, I contend, were vile individuals and represented the worst and avoidable manifestation of humanity in recent history; and, yes, that is an opinion, mine, precisely. Anyone certain that their personal value systems possess priority over other views is, in my opinion, following the spirit of Hitler no matter how benign-sounding their aims. As has been said, truly "the road to hell is paved with good intentions".

But aren't you asserting the superiority of your value system over Hitlers, or over the value systems of the 'value imperialists'? Would you want to live in a society where everyone's values were at utter odds with your own? What if you were Zapped back to eighteenth century Louissianna? would you accept their values, stand up for your own and be ostracised? Would you fight to change their values?

: Humanity's ONLY hope and basis for morality is the will of good opinions, as all values are based upon opinion.

How very rational. All values are based on the supreme good, and are thus irrational, since the supreme good cannot justify itself, 'I am because I am', you can because you must. We're back to master signifiers- so long as we go on recognising a master, there will be morality....

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