Showing posts from October, 2021

Towards a Goth Politics

    Against Utilitarianism, Against the Happiness Agenda I was having an online argument with a right-wing, Mises-type ultracapitalist, on the topic of Marxism.  In the course of the conversation, he opined that the problem with Marx's economics was that Marx wrote about maximizing "utils" or "utilons" - that Marx did not realize that human utility cannot be so easily quantitatively measured, since different people subjectively desire different things in different ways.  I almost tore my hair out in frustration.  How do you respond to this kind of ignorance?  How can we have any kind of discussion about economics when people are carrying around these bizarrely inane strawmen? Anyone who was the least bit familiar with Marx's writing would know that Marx would never use such ridiculous terms as "utils" and "utilons".  Having done a little digging, the earliest references to these kinds of ideas I can find come not from Marx but from...

Debord against Communization

    In section 92 of Society of the Spectacle , Debord writes:  "The strength and the weakness of the real anarchist struggle resides in its viewing the goal of proletarian revolution as immediately present [....] From the historical thought of modern class struggles collectivist anarchism retains only the conclusion, and its exclusive insistence on this conclusion is accompanied by deliberate contempt for method. Thus its critique of the political struggle has remained abstract, while its choice of economic struggle is affirmed only as a function of the illusion of a definitive solution brought about by one single blow on this terrain [...]." Criticizing anarchism for its "metaphysics of presence," as it were, Debord has a point.  There are, and have been, anarchists who are, so to speak, "immediatists."  See, for instance, Hakim Bey (most obviously, here , in his book "Immediatism"). But such immediatist anarchists are far from the norm,
If "contradiction" is understood to mean that which gives rise to social antagonism, there will never be a human society without contradiction.  It's not clear to me that Marx ever suggested that such a society could exist, though certainly some of his self-professed followers seem to believe that it can.  If Marx did indeed believe such a society was possible, then he was more deeply utopian than any of the people at whom he hurled the insult of "utopian socialist."