Philosophy

My Response To twofingerstwocubes “Hmm”, a Criticism of my “Pax Christiana Part I”

Friedrich-Engels-001

Here is a link to the thoughtful, though in my view mightily flawed, essay arguing against a segment of my polemical argument stating that Marxism, Utilitarianism, and existentialism are humanist ideologies/philosophies http://twofingerstwocubes.wordpress.com/2013/12/23/hmm/comment-page-1/#comment-45

Please read twofingerstwocubes’ essay in full before reading my response.

Marxism is hardly a Utopian ideology. You are conflating Marxism with statist Communism as practiced by Mao and Stalin and other absolute dogmatists. Marxism is a materialist philosophy that speaks to the value of labor and the systems that exploit, abuse, or utilize that labor. It also evaluates and analyzes the content philosophies that justify exploitation and certain market systems.Yours is a common mistake of course. You are also correct in stating that Utilitarianism is far more than just the outline you posted here. Mill was not some sort of Ayn Randian libertarian out to justify the craven urges and needs of the elite and the powerful. He sought to craft systems and ideas that would liberate man to pursue its greatest potential in the most pragmatic and humanitarian of ways. His was of course an analysis of failed systems and ideas as much as it was a proposal for reform, and his ideas must be seen within the context of the 19th Century Industrial era and its philosophic and moral peculiarities. As to this statement : “the issue of utilitarianism which are [sic] really just the ideological justification for wielding autocratic power”, I don’t know what this is supposed to mean and I doubt you do either. Again, I believe you are confusing modern paleo-libertarianism for 19th Century Utilitarian philosophy, which was heavily influenced by humanist and pre-Marxist socialist ideas. You even admit that you are coming to the table with a limited knowledge of the different forms of utilitarianism and how those philosophies pertain to the exercise of political power and governmental authority.

“Existentialism rejects any idea that there is a meaning to things outside of the individual.” Hardly. Sartre and Camus would laugh at the notion that this is the only meaning of the term or even a cogent analysis. Existentialism existed as a mode of reinterpreting existence, and how one copes with the varied truth-claims and experiences that each individual mind brings to that existence. To reject meaning would be to accept that meaning exists as a class of observable order, or that there is a truth to be found within experience that is ripe for rejection. Existentialism is a mode of crisis wherein post-cataclysmic man (and woman) reevaluated the way he/she approached a world, and the assumptions made from existential and sensual experience, that had torn itself apart in two world wars. How could reasonable, enlightened people see the world in such violently divergent ways, and was there a method beyond this divergence that would allow for a more peaceful, or at least more orderly, application of power and agency?

What is cave wisdom? Are you referring to the allegory of the cave? If so how does that have anything to do with the quote you took from my polemical essay on Christian Imperial pretensions? Are you implying that my idea in “Pax Christiana” is merely an exercise in limited thinking derived from a false set of assumptions made using the evidence I present? If so, how, and why? There is much that is flawed in this essay and I feel you would be better served by studying the assumptions you have made about the philosophies you are claiming to defend and/or disregard.

Yes, you do indeed digress. Your appeal to the historicist school is rather…oddly placed given your emphasis on systems of political power and the assumptions you bring a priori to their application and meaning. Are you attempting a historicist critique of my statement, or are is this just a strange ad hoc musing on the conclusions a better informed historicist critic would come to regarding my claims? The entire first paragraph of your essay comes off as rather clumsy non sequitur. I am also fascinated with your claim that the Catholic Church “are” the most powerful group of Historicists in history. How so? Do you have any evidence to back up this rather radical and impressive claim? Or are you just having fun with the word “historicist”, a concept that I suspect you may be having a difficult time understanding. Marxism hardly requires a teleological view of all world history ( a la the Catholic Church), especially the Marxism I was referring to which is a philosophy of economic and moral analysis. I would suggest you read The Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844 before you comment on this aspect of Marxism in the future.

I also never made the claim that these humanist/enlightened philosophies were DESTINED to improve humanity, just that Christianity and its imperial and universal prerogative attempts to retard any potential for growth and exploration OF alternatives to theocratic and imperial systems of thought and exploitation. Again, you seem to be putting your ideological cart before the horse.

In conclusion you are making huge leaps of logic and strange assumptions based on what I really do not know. You seem to be arguing a point that I did not attempt to make and seem to have your own mission against Marxism and materialist philosophies. More power to you…but my essay is not really the opponent I think you want it to be.

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