- Capitalism and Alternatives -

My 'motivations'

Posted by: Nikhil Jaikumar ( Americans in Solidarity with the Sandinistas, MA, USA ) on October 28, 1999 at 15:01:51:

In Reply to: Hiding depravity posted by Stuart Gort on October 28, 1999 at 12:09:58:

: I pine away for the days when it was acceptable to dismiss festering lunacy as such and move along to productive things. Barry has hoped out loud for calamity. Why should it surprise anyone that he sweeps the death and destruction that follows his humanistic (anyone see the pardox?) philosophy under the beautifully mancrafted rug of Marxist theory.

first of all, to wish for a war that will solve social problems is not necessarily humanistic. The Hindu scriptures do not all agree on this point, but according to osme interpretations, krishna was born so that he might relieve the military buildup and the arrogance of the warrior / ruling classes. after trying to convert people to peace and righteoussness, and not succeeding, he allowed a bloody war to happen that helped to purge the world of its evil, while offering his love and protection to those who would believe in him. This is hardly an 'atheistic' argument, you know.

:Indeed Marx ridiculed those who believed in God because they were the antithesis of his philosophy.

Marx defended the Catholic monasteries aqainst Henry VIII's secularization; this was the basis of Graham Greenes argument that communism and Catholicism were fully compatible. All Marx explicitly said was that religion was 'the cry of teh oppressed, the heart of a heartless world....the opium of teh ,masses." You can take taht in several ways. Literally, religion does relieve people's pain and suffering, just like opium does; and as somoene has pointed out, opium is teh only treatment for some diseases. The 'heart of a heartless world' seems pretty good to me; I think it's a GOOD thoing that religion gives solace to people. I don't consider that a criticism.

Of course, what marx said is really not the point. History has shown that communism and religion are by no means incompatible. Look at the early christian communists, or Sir Thomas more, or the Pygmies, or teh Puritans, or modern Nicaragua, or Brazil and El Salvador, or Burma, or India, or Tanzania.

:They were in the way of society placing hope in mankind to save themselves.

: If anyone wants to hear anecdotal accounts of the depravity of Marxism (or whatever distillation or dillution of it is being practiced),

More one-sided distortion. How come yyou refer explicitly to ONE of teh forms that was being practiced, and not to all teh oethers? The interpretation of Marxism practiced in the Ukraine may indeed have brought depravity. The Marxism or Communist philosphies practiced in Nicaragua did not, nor did the communism practioced in Kerala, or Zimbabwe, or Bengal, or Burkina Faso, or italy, or Grenada, or Guyana....the list goes on. These were all democratic, peaceful states. If you judge Marxism as bad because it brought bad effects to teh Ukraine, you must judge it good because it brought good effects in these countries....do you see the contradiction here? If it brought both good and bad effects, you must try and look deeper to determine whether it is really good or baqd. and when I do that, the sisue becomes crystal clear. A philosophy that stresses equality, freedom, the satisfaction of everyon'es need, and a society in which we are responsible for each otehr, in my estimateipon, is better than one that supports none of these things.

Do you see my point?You can't only look at the bad applications 9or misapplications ) of Marcist doctrine. You must, to be fair-minded, also look at the counrties in which it meant democracy, human rights, advances in huamn development, the satisfaction of everyone's basic needs, and the achievement of a harmonious society. Kerala is a good example. You acnnot judge Marxism by the Ukraine with also balancing it off with a state like Kerala or Nicaragua.

For what ideology ahs not brought evil to the world as well as good? Capitalism brought technological progress, but it also resulted in impoversihing many parts of the world, denying basic economic and social rights to many, and causing the three bloodiest genocides of the century, measured as a % of population (all carried out by explicitly capitalist regimes). My reverence for Christianity ahs been made clear enough, we all know the good things it brought the world. But it also caused teh Crusades, the Inquisition, the persecution of heretics, and teh destruction of indigenous religions and cultures as a result fo missinoray activity in Africa and South America. Remember the bruning of Mayan books in Mexico, for example.

: one can talk to missionary friends of mine who have lived in the Ukraine for the last 4 years. Granted, all the stories are second hand but it's pretty easy to trust people who give up everything for the sake of their beliefs to tell the truth. Marx is a filthy dirty word over there right about now.

Yes, but 'capitalism' is a dirty word in India or in much of teh erst of the world, for similar reasons. Marxism still represents freedom and liberation to millions of suffering people worldwide. How canb you say taht tehy are wrong, and the Ukrainians are right? As I said, the Unkrainians are entitled to have their experince aqnd opinion ehard, but you must also take into account those who were saved from death or unbelievable suffering by communist regimes, and thsoe who would give their lives in defense of communism.

: If one must get rid of any belief in order to achieve his goals or if one must wait for the next societal upheaval, he is not coming close to the concern for humanity that he espouses. Ostensible concern for humanity is often only a mask which hides personal ambition.

: I say it's OK to judge the motivations of those who want to witness the destruction of Capitalism. They almost always dismiss out of hand the general success it fosters and ignore the depravity of man as it manifests itself in their favorite hobby.

: Stuart Gort

Ignoring teh ad hominems, I'm going to repeat what I've said before. i do want to destroy capitalism, or at least change it beyond recognition, because every time I see a victim, someone suffering because of capitalism, it gnaws at my conscience. When I see a homeless man I know taht it's not right taht in a counrty taht can afford it, ghe should not ahve a home. I conclude taht a system which denies him what he needs cannot be the best, the final system of human history, and therefore there msut be somnething ebtter.

I have met peopel befroe that I consider vicyims of capitalism. They were unlucky, I was lucky to be in a position where I can actually do something to make teh system better so taht it never results in abuses like taht again. This is why it is my obligation to figt against a flawed system and bring about something better. The name of that domething better is socialism.

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