Marx and Marxism

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Micawber, Mar 19, 2011.

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  1. Long story short - Due to the arrival in the family of a new brother-in-law I have recently been faced with having to come up with a working knowledge of either football or Marxism. in the end I plumped for the lesser of two evils and chose the ravings of the beardy boxhead.

    I made a genuine effort to suspend my cold war based prejudice and 'fix bayonets' approach to Commies and read two books, The Revolutionary Ideals of Karl Marx, by Alex Callinicos, who is a proper lefty and no mistake, and Karl Marx by someone else.

    I have to say it has been a thoroughly worthwhile and fascinating exercise and it has led to the abandoning of some of my misconceptions of Marx himself and what he was all about.

    It has also happily ended up with my arriving at a perfectly good argument as to why he was wrong that has withstood a couple of extended discussions with new B-I-L in the pub, which was the whole point of the exercise.

    As I say, I can hold my end of it up in the pub, but there are a couple of things I have not been able to get a grip of and I'm wondering if any much better informed arrsers out there, or even some real Marxists, can help me out.

    I can't seem to picture what life in a truly Marxist society would actually be like and how things would be structured - which leads on to my next question, has a proper Marxist state ever existed and if so, how did it get on?

    If the Proletariat in a Capitalist society did rise up, banishing private property and seizing the means of production I don't see how you could prevent the whole thing either turning to ratshit or drifting back to how things were in the first place without ruthless social control and BINGO - you've got feudalism, not Marxism.

    One of the things I have come to realise is that Stalin and the whole USSR 'thing' was as close to Marx's vision as it was to Maggie Thatcher's - a sort of mad state bureaucratic capitalism, and that all the other alleged Marxist societies were/are just tribalism, dictatorship, corruption or racism in disguise.

    Any clarification or ridicule welcomed because my newbie grip on all this is a bit tenuous at the moment.

  2. Marx stole the whole concept from Thomas Moore anyway

    Utopia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I remember saying to him ,Dont loose your head with these silly ideas of yours mate, did he listen, did he F'ck
  3. Dimly lit memories of A-level politics - Marx effectively assumes a transformation of human nature - that in effect people just stop being selfish cnuts.

    This might have been why I thought it was a load of bollix.
  4. I prefer Marks & spencerism, MMMMMMMMMMM chocolate
  5. I preferred Groucho and Harpo.
  6. Ha ha! I reckon he nicked a good deal of it from one of my heroes 'Freeborn John' Lilburne of Levellers fame as well.
  7. rampant

    rampant LE Reviewer Book Reviewer


    Indeed, that is Marx most significant failing, he is unable to postulate a scenario in which human desire/will is fed by means of something other than material or substantive gain. The capitalist systems is addictive in so far that it can feed those desires, or to be more accurate the illusion of attaining those desire, and the status that they proclaim to evoke.

  8. Yer , me and Eddy Sexby were good mates with him, but they both came to sticky ends, Christ they were a pair, in and out of nick and back and forth across the channel like a pair of Afghan Illegal immigrants
  9. I've never been faced with the difficult choice of looking into football or Marxism so my knowledge of each is somewhat limited. But I do remember that whenever Marx (Karl) cropped up in conversation my dad (Oxford History Degree) used to pooh-pooh his memory with the comment "he never came up with an original idea, it was all Engels' stuff".

    Did that crop up in any of your books Micawber, or was it the ramblings of my ageing dad?
  10. Groucho Marx? fukcing genius. O, that other cnut? Get a copy of Das Kapital , duly massaged to wrinkled perfection , complete with tea stains, and leave it around with a bit of dust sprinkled on it. DO NOT attempt to read the fecker) . Mark a few pages inside with hmmmm interesting, or.. fancy that, or... fcuk me that's deep. Don't forget the library-supplied bookmark either, vital. Marx-Walt and Philosphy special (cheapish) weapons are here and here

    “From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” Ironics = on (Marx, born into a comfortable middle-class home in Trier on the river Moselle in Germany on May 5, 1 8 1 8) / ironics =off.
  11. I doubt it; but perhaps the other way round - John Lilburne (1614 – 29 August 1657) vs Sir Thomas More (February 7, 1478 – July 6, 1535).
  12. 1535 now that was a year,my gay Italian sailor mate Andrea went and f@cked up Tunisia
  13. Oyibo - Well Engels didn't think so. It seems you can't talk about Marx for long without Engels cropping up all the time as their lives were inextricably linked, but from what I've read Engels thought Marx was a proper genius and regarded himself as lucky to be his hod carrier.

    Again just from what I've read, Marx was in full time political philosophy which meant living in various levels of squallor with his long suffering wife and kids while Engels had a career as a successful writer and journalist who kept the Marx clan afloat financially.

    Without Engels Marx would not have achieved anything like what he did, but it doesn't seem Engels was in the same class when it came to the thinking game, though he did knock most of Marx's text into shape for publication.

    Engels outlived Marx by some distance and if there had been any real rivalry there he had plenty of opportunities to put the record straight, and equally Engels didn't come up with anything startling on his own after his mate passed on.

    But having said that, what the **** do I know compared with an Oxford history graduate?

  14. rampant

    rampant LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    I don't because Marx lived May 5, 1818 – March 14, 1883. You missed the thrust of the discusion there dear boy.
  15. Is this the people's front of Judea?