Reply to Moshe – 1


Hello Moshe,

Thank you for your kind reply. I agree, the world will never be perfect – far from it. We are animals, not gods. But each one of us has the greatest product of nature yet known to us, a powerhouse, between our ears. And with that, in my view, comes an obligation.

You have argued on your blog for the necessity of all to employ that powerhouse and do that most difficult of things – think for themselves, and to never stop thinking for themselves. To never accept anyone as their intellectual master. To stand on their own intellectual feet.

The ready supply of those dedicated to providing everyone else with their answers, with the skills to achieve it and the burden of individual responsibility work against this.

All of this, while of the greatest importance, depends on consciousness and thought. But there are three other points, more fundamental, which Marx showed us – building on several currents, particularly the methods, subtlety and poetry of mysticism no less.

That matter is primary, that the one (theoretical) absolute is change and that the forces of production constitute the base of social relations.

These three are unwilled, with their own dynamic. They are ‘at work’ in all that we do and, together with our ability to think and how successfully we engage this with these three, point to the future of our species.

We, imperfect as we are, have the ability to rise to the challenges of that future.

Best regards, Phil


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2 thoughts on “Reply to Moshe – 1

  1. Dear Phil, first of all thank you for replying as a post, I feel most honoured. One idea stands out for my weary heart, i.e. the will related autonomy of the three processes you describe. I say so because, I truly wish historical development would need no human leaders to carry it forward, alas, such a thought would come too close to day dreaming…
    As I repeatedly wrote, I do understand and welcome the social sensitivity and strive for fairness emerging from Marx and Engels’ practical philosophy, which made a profound impact on my young mind when around the age of 10 I stumbled upon Engels’ novel about the English working class, which became ever since a subconscious standard for justice and equality. I remember sitting in my room as a child, crying after having read it, horrified by the sufferings described. After that day, my thick bread and butter never tasted the same…
    I would truly appreciate you personal thoughts of how a practical transition to a fair society could happen from contemporaneous conditions, without the well known, revolutions related historical disasters?
    All the best, Rom


    • Hello Moshe, thank you for your generosity. Because I respond to your question from the perspective of the primacy of matter over consciousness and thought I could not predict how that transition might be made. What I do know is that capitalism will pass, as does every one and everything. It will pass not because I don’t like it (consciousness, thought) but because the relations of production are no longer adequate to the forces of production they marshal (objective reality).

      The decline of the middle-class in the West is a crucial indicator of the dynamics of capitalism. Trotsky posed the question – barbarism or socialism?

      On the point of leadership he wrote that the betrayal of the German working class by their leadership (who refused to take a firm and consistent stand against the growing Nazi threat) resulted in the Nazis’ accession to power.

      The subject of socialist revolution is obviously profoundly coloured both by history and capitalist ideology. Under capitalism, Delacroix’s ‘Liberty Leading the People’ is a great work of art and, in the United States, the American Revolutionary War was fought for a noble cause…

      Best regards, Phil


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