[Marxism-Thaxis] What more specifically does irreversible mean ?

2009-02-05 Thread Charles Brown
AP - President Barack Obama warned on Thursday that failure to act on an 
economic recovery package could plunge the nation into a long-lasting recession 
that might prove irreversible, a fresh call to a recalcitrant Congress to move 
quickly.

^^
CB: What more specifically does irreversible mean ?



This recession might linger for years. Our economy will lose 5 million more 
jobs. Unemployment will approach double digits. Our nation will sink deeper 
into a crisis that, at some point, we may not be able to reverse, Obama wrote 
in the op-ed titled, The Action Americans Need.

Senate Democratic leaders hope for passage of the legislation by Friday at the 
latest, although prospects appear to hinge on crafting a series of spending 
reductions that would make the bill more palatable to centrists in both parties.

Obama rejected the argument that more tax cuts are needed in the plan and that 
piecemeal measures would be sufficient, arguing that Americans made their 
intentions clear in the election.

I reject these theories, and so did the American people when they went to the 
polls in November and voted resoundingly for change, he wrote.

Historically huge to begin with, economic stimulus legislation is growing 
larger by the day in the Senate, where the addition of a new tax break for 
homebuyers sent the price tag well past $900 billion.

It is time to fix housing first, Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., said Wednesday 
night as the Senate agreed without controversy to add the new tax break to the 
stimulus measure, at an estimated cost of nearly $19 billion.

The tax break was the most notable attempt to date to add help for the crippled 
housing industry and gave Republicans a victory as they work to remake the 
legislation more to their liking.

Three swing-vote senators met with Obama at the White House on Wednesday to 
discuss possible cutbacks, but they declined to discuss details of their talks. 
Obama has made the legislation a cornerstone of his recovery plan.

For their part, Senate Republicans signaled they would persist in their efforts 
to reduce spending in the measure, to add tax cuts and reduce the cost of 
mortgages for millions of homeowners.

Officials figures were unavailable, but it appeared that the measure carried a 
price tag of more than $920 billion, making it bigger than the financial 
industry bailout that passed last year and as large as any measure in memory.

Despite bipartisan concerns about the cost, Republicans failed in a series of 
attempts on Wednesday to cut back the bill's size.

The most sweeping proposal, advanced by Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., would have 
eliminated all the spending and replaced it with a series of tax cuts. It was 
defeated 61-36.

Democrats also upheld a so-called Buy American provision that requires projects 
financed by the measure to be built with domestically produced iron and steel.

But with Obama voicing concern about the provision, the requirement was changed 
to specify that U.S. international trade agreements not to be violated.

Additionally, Democrats turned back an attempt to strip out a provision that 
Obama has said was essential. It would provide a tax cut of up to $1,000 for 
working couples, including those who do not make enough to pay income taxes.

Isakson said the new tax break for homebuyers was intended to help revive the 
housing industry, which has virtually collapsed in the wake of a credit crisis 
that began last fall. 

The proposal would allow a tax credit of 10 percent of the value of new or 
existing residences, up to a $15,000 limit. Current law provides for a $7,500 
tax break but only for first-time homebuyers. 

Isakson's office said the proposal would cost the government an estimated $19 
billion. 

The provision was the second tax cut approved in as many days targeted to 
individual industries. On Tuesday, the Senate voted to give a break to 
consumers who buy new cars. 

The House approved its own version of the bill last week.



http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090205/ap_on_go_pr_wh/congress_stimulus




 Stores see January sales fall; Wal-Mart posts rise (AP) 

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[Marxism-Thaxis] Revoke Krugman's Nobel Prize!

2009-02-05 Thread Charles Brown
Barkley Rosser is a Thaxis alum.

CB
^^^

Revoke Krugman's Nobel Prize!
by Barkley Rosser

Yes, I know, not only has no Nobel Prize ever been revoked for anything, but 
they certainly do not do so for idiotic statements made by winners after they 
have won. However, as the first winner of the prize for international trade in 
31 years, I find it appalling that Paul Krugman has come out for the buy 
American provision in the fiscal stimulus package now under consideration in 
the US Senate, a provision not supported by President Obama, and roundly 
denounced by pretty much everybody outside the US, a provision that would 
violate promises made in November in Washington not to engage in protectionist 
actions for at least a year, with at its worst the nightmare possibility of a 
rerun of the trade war of the 1930s following the US Smoot-Hawley tariff that 
exacerbated the Great Depression. While some may dismiss such a possibility 
now, the standing of the US in the world on economic policy may have never been 
worse, given the role of the collapse of
our sub-prime market in the current troubles, and with world merchandise trade 
dropping at an annualized rate of nearly 45% in November. This is not the time 
to be playing with such irresponsible fire.

http://econospeak.blogspot.com/2009/02/revoke-krugmans-nobel-prize.html


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[Marxism-Thaxis] Russia agrees to Afghan request for defence aid

2009-02-05 Thread Charles Brown
Russia agrees to Afghan request for defence aid
Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:13pm IST
By Sayed Salahuddin

KABUL (Reuters) - Russia has accepted a request from President Hamid Karzai to 
provide military aid to Afghanistan, the Afghan government said on Monday.

The move comes amid complaints by many Afghans that NATO and the United States, 
who have thousands of troops in Afghanistan, have been slow to equip Afghan 
national forces to fight the Taliban.

Afghanistan has largely relied on NATO and the United States to bankroll its 
security needs and the economy since U.S.-led troops overthrew the Taliban 
government in 2001.

But despite receiving some military equipment from NATO, Afghanistan still uses 
Russian-made weapons and aircraft, left over from the former Soviet Union's 
10-year occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s.

Karzai, who has led Afghanistan since the Taliban's removal, made the request 
by a letter to Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev in November 2008, the 
presidential palace said in a statement.

Medvedev, in a letter addressed to Karzai, has said that Russia is ready to 
help Afghanistan in the defensive sectors, the statement said.

Medvedev said defensive ties between Kabul and Moscow would result in effective 
cooperation on both sides and in the restoration of security in the region, the 
statement said.

Russia was keen for cooperation with Afghanistan in other areas too, the 
statement quoted Medvedev as saying in the letter.

Chief presidential spokesman Humayun Hamidzada said despite Karzai's call on 
Russia for defensive aid, Afghanistan was committed to its ties with NATO and 
the United States.

The equipment of our national army, our helicopters and tanks are Russian-made 
so this (request) has a technical aspect. We have strategic commitment to NATO 
and the United States, Hamidzada told Reuters.

Some 70,000 foreign troops under NATO and U.S. military command are stationed 
in Afghanistan, and Washington is expected to send up to 30,000 extra forces by 
summer to the country, where the al Qaeda-backed Taliban have made a comeback 
since 2005.

U.S.-led and Afghan troops overthrew the Taliban government after it refused to 
hand over al Qaeda leaders wanted by Washington for masterminding the Sept. 11 
attacks on the United States.

More than seven years on, Taliban and al Qaeda leaders are still at large and 
many Afghans believe foreign forces are more focussed on pursuing their own 
regional agendas, rather than helping Afghanistan.

The United States and its allies have not given any time frame for the 
withdrawal of their forces and say the soldiers will remain in Afghanistan for 
the long haul and until national security forces can stand on their own feet.


© Thomson Reuters 2008. All rights reserved


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[Marxism-Thaxis] Kyrgyzstan starts moves to close U.S. airbase

2009-02-05 Thread Charles Brown
Kyrgyzstan starts moves to close U.S. airbase
Wed Feb 4, 2009 3:04pm EST
By Olga Dzyubenko

BISHKEK (Reuters) - Kyrgyzstan's government asked parliament on Wednesday to 
approve the closure of a U.S. military air base which supplies U.S.-led troops 
fighting in Afghanistan.

The decision by the Central Asian state, a former Soviet republic and a 
traditional Russian ally, sends a tough signal and challenge to new U.S. 
President Barack Obama as he plans to send additional troops to Afghanistan.

But Moscow said it would be flexible to U.S. requests to transit supplies 
across Russia. It gave no details.

The Manas base is an important staging post for the U.S.-led military campaign 
against the Taliban and becomes more so as Washington seeks to reinforce supply 
routes that bypass Pakistan, where supply convoys face security risks.

Analysts said the move could be a signal to Obama that Moscow wants to ensure 
it is consulted in any diplomatic decisions in a region where it has 
traditional influence but the United States has sought to increase its presence.

I have a feeling Russia wants to offer a new format for cooperation, in which 
Russia will speak on behalf of the region in contacts with the United States, 
said Arkady Dubnov, an independent analyst.

Bargaining could be conducted on this footing.

Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev said the base would be shut after he secured 
Russian financial aid at talks in Moscow on Tuesday.

Adakhan Madumarov, secretary of the Kyrgyz Security Council, said in Moscow the 
U.S. military would be given 180 days to close its operations and leave once 
the two sides had exchanged formal diplomatic notes outlining the intention.

Moscow denied any connection between the $2 billion package to combat an 
economic crisis -- the equivalent of about half of Kyrgyzstan's gross domestic 
product -- and Bishkek's decision.

That was a sovereign and very well thought over decision of the Kyrgyz 
leader, said Russia's deputy foreign minister, Grigory Karasin.

U.S. SUPPLY ROUTES

Closing Washington's only military outpost in Central Asia would pose a 
challenge for U.S. supply lines in the region, particularly after militants 
severed the main route into Afghanistan by blowing up a bridge in Pakistan this 
week.

The U.S. State Department said by early Wednesday it had still not been 
informed officially of the decision.

We have seen many statements in the media but we have not received any 
notification through the appropriate diplomatic channels on this, said 
spokesman Gordon Duguid.

Many in Kyrgyzstan have criticized the presence of U.S. troops, prompting 
Washington to explore possibilities in other parts of Central Asia including 
Uzbekistan which evicted U.S. troops in 2005. Ties have eased since then.

Moscow, which operates its own airbase in Kyrgyzstan a few dozen kilometers 
away from Manas, has been irritated by Manas's existence and has put pressure 
on Kyrgyzstan to close it, though on Wednesday said it would offer the U.S. 
support.

We positively reacted to the request of the United States for the transit 
through Russia of goods and materials to Afghanistan, Russian Deputy Foreign 
Minister Grigory Karasin told reporters.

We will be flexible in many other ways which will support our joint success in 
Afghanistan -- that would be the basic school of thinking from which we will 
proceed.

BUSINESS AS USUAL

Outside Bishkek, business appeared to go on as usual at the airbase, viewed 
from behind a ring of barbed wire encircling the facility, home to more than 
1,000 U.S. military personnel.

At its main gate, three servicemen, all clad in uniforms and looking stern, 
refused to talk to reporters as they verified registration plates on vehicles 
entering the base.

Outside Manas, surrounded by swathes of empty, snow-blanketed land, a Kyrgyz 
sheep herder said he supported closing the base -- partly because he wanted 
more grazing land.

I support this move. We think this airbase only harms our nature, said Ulan, 
a bearded man of about 50.

Although many Kyrgyz have mixed feelings about the presence of U.S. troops, 
particularly after a U.S. airman shot dead a Kyrgyz man in a 2006 incident, 
Bakiyev critics said the nation could ill-afford to lose such an important ally 
as Washington.

U.S. officials said while the Manas base was important, any decision to close 
it would not halt operations in Afghanistan.

The United States has 32,000 troops in Afghanistan and U.S. officials have said 
the planned build-up could grow to include as many as 30,000 troops over the 
next 12 to 18 months.


© Thomson Reuters 2008


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[Marxism-Thaxis] Etta James Doles Out Harsh ‘La st’ Words for Beyonce, Obama

2009-02-05 Thread Charles Brown
Evidently, Etta James agees with Ralph (smile)

http://h30405.www3.hp.com/print/pdf/2EJYDHE7CMAC/news

Etta James Doles Out Harsh ‘Last’ Words for Beyonce, Obama
(Feb. 5) - Etta James sure can hold a
grudge, that much is certain after the RB
icon vented her gripes about singer Beyonce
Knowles and President Barack Obama
during a recent concert in Seattle.
The 71-year-old diva is steaming mad over
Beyonce’s performance of ‘At Last,’ her signature
tune, at Obama’s first inauguration
party. The President and First Lady
Michelle Obama danced to the legendary
ballad (see photos below). The fiery rant, in
which she threatens to beat up “that
woman” and openly mocks “the one with
the big ears,” has been leaked on TMZ.
Hear Etta’s Concert Ramblings:
“You guys know your president, right? You
know the one with the big ears?” she said to
the crowd, unsure of what lay ahead. “Wait
a minute, he ain’t my president, he might
be yours, he ain’t my president. You know
that woman he had singing for him, singing
my song — she’s going to get her ass
whipped.”
Beyonce played James on the big screen recently,
in ‘Cadillac Records.’ Now, we have
an idea what the elder singer thinks of her
movie version. She continued at the concert:
“The great Beyonce. I can’t stand Beyonce,”
she told the crowd. “She has no business up
there, singing up there on a big ol’ president
day, gonna be singing my song that
I’ve been singing forever.”
James is best known for ‘At Last,’ released
in 1961 on Chess Records, but she has
scores of other hits including ‘Trust in Me’
and ‘Fool That I Am.’
Beyonce ruffled the sequins of another diva
last year when at the Grammy Awards she
introduced Tina Turner, and not Aretha
Franklin, as “The Queen.” Her royal highness
the Queen of Soul was not pleased by
the diss, and called it a “cheap shot.”

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[Marxism-Thaxis] Proletarianization and Overaccumulation

2009-02-05 Thread Charles Brown
Let us examine the matter a little more closely. Overproduction and 
Underconsumption are two sides of the same coin. Over or too much 
production of what and relative to what ? Too much is produced when 
the rate of profit starts to fall. Too much _from the perspective of 
the capitalists_. Not from the perspective of the working class.
 What is overaccumulation and what is over accumulated 
so as to cause the rate of profit to fall ? 


So, what is it that makes the amount of production or accumulation 
cause the rate of profit to start falling ? Socalled 
overproductionists emphasize the operation of Marx Law of the 
tendency of the rate of profit to fall  or the FROP, falling rate of 
profit, for short. Marx reasons ( In Vol. I of _Capital_ that increase in the 
Organic 
Composition of Capital or OCC causes a tendency for the rate of profit 
to fall. Why ? The OCC is the ratio of the Constant Capital (means of 
production, plant, equipment, raw materials, instruments of 
production) to Variable Capital ( human labor): Constant Capital 
(numerator)/Variable Capital(denominator) of a mathematical fraction. 
As the numerator increases and the denominator decreases, the OCC goes 
up; it goes down vica versa, of course 


Marx explained in Vol. I of _Capital_, in the discussion of Relative 
Surplus value ( as opposed to Absolute Surplus Value) that capitalists 
are constantly trying to increase relative surplus value by looking 
for ways to revolutionize the instruments of production . The 
_Manifesto of the Communist Party_ had said the same thing. The 
bourgeoisie are constantly revolutionizing the instruments of 
production. Individual capitalists are always looking for innovations 
in the instuments of production, constant capital, so as to get a leg 
up on the competition. Revolutions of instruments of production are 
inventions and innovations of machines of all types which increase 
productivity, that is, allow the production of the same number of unit 
commodities, with fewer hours of labor , or more unit commodities with 
the same hours of labor. This increases the rate of surplus value 
relatively ( absolute surplus value is increased by lengthening the 
workday). Eventually, the innovations spread to the whole industry, 
reducing the workforce size. This is a critical process to Waistline's 
analysis of what is happening with robotization in industry today. It 
also increases the OCC in an industry. 


The increase in the OCC eventually tends to lower the average rate of 
profit when it goes industry wide, because labor, variable capital, is 
the only source of new value and new surplus value, which is the basis 
of profit. Capitalists accrue surplus value and profit from their 
variable capital investment, their investment in labor, not from their 
investment in constant capital, in more efficient machines and other 
instruments of production ( well , of course the one capitalist who gets the 
leg up on the rest with innovative instruments of production increases profit 
compared to others until they catch up) 


Thus, Marx concludes this all creates a tendency for the rate of 
profit to fall. He discusses this in Vol. III ,under the law of the tendency of 
the rate of profit to fall.


It is the accumulation of too much constant capital relative to 
variable capital that causes the rate of profit to fall in the 
law of the tendency of the rate of profit to fall. 


Overproduction is production of more commodities than can be sold. In 
other words, it is production of more commodities than the mass of 
consumers, the mass of wage-laborers, can buy. This is the sense in 
which overproduction and underconsumption are two-sides of the same 
coin. This is a second way in which the rate of profit tends to fall. 
It creates the classic situation of inventories growing, warehouses 
filling up with unsold goods It is also the point of contradiction of 
the famous anarchy of production. Many different companies just 
produce in an uncoordinated or overall unplanned manner. It is the 
point at which supply and demand don't equal each other. This mismatch 
is inherent in exploitation. 


It is inherent in exploitation because societies' wage-laborers as a 
whole are not paid enough to buy all that they produce. 

Overproduction does not refer to the OCC/FROP logic above. There is not too 
much _production_ of constant capital, of too much constant capital relative to 
variable capital. There is too much _accumulation_ or deployment of constant 
capital relative to variable capital. It is purchase and deployment of constant 
capital in increased ratio to variable capital that raises the Organic 
Composition of the total capital and causes the FROP. It is not production of 
commodities that raises the Organic Composition of the total capital and leads 
to the FROP. So, it is overaccumulation, not overproduction that causes the 
FROP, or the falling rate of profit.

But also lowering the rate of profit 

[Marxism-Thaxis] Proletarianization and Overaccumulation

2009-02-05 Thread Charles Brown
Perhaps we can get an understanding of the issues on this thread by 
imagining Waistline's totally robotized or automated factory. 


As Walter Reuther said (to Ford ?) if automobile production is 100% 
robotized, then who will buy the cars produced ? This refers to a zero 
profit realization problem for capitalists when there is zero 
consumption. If workers aren't paid anything the masses are in 
absolute poverty and absolutely restricted consumption, and they can't 
buy anything. So, the capitalists have zero realized profit. 


It is also an absolute overaccumulation situation. The rate of profit 
is zero because the OCC is mathematically undefined or maybe infinite, 
as the denominator in the OCC fraction is zero. Constant capital/ 
variable capital is 1/0 - one over zero. Since there is no varible 
capital, no human labor all robots, there is no source of value, no 
new value, so there is no surplus value and no profit. If there is no 
exploitation there is no profit. The rate of profit is zero. If there 
is no profit, there is no capitalism. So, as capitalism moves toward 
no variable capital and all constant capital, absolute 
overaccumulation , it moves toward its own negation. 


 Perhaps this extreme, and imaginary * example demonstrates the truth 
of both overaccumulation ( OCC of infinity/undefined, robots can't be 
exploited, so zero surplus value) and overproduction/zero-consumption 
(robots can't buy cars, zero realization of profit ) 


How's my math ?


* 
(Of course, a perpetual motion machine is an impossibility because of 
the laws of physics, maybe one of the laws of thermodynamics) 


Jules Verne 




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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Etta James Doles Out Harsh †˜La st’ Words for Beyonce, Obama

2009-02-05 Thread Ralph Dumain
Thank you, Etta!

At 02:45 PM 2/5/2009, Charles Brown wrote:
Evidently, Etta James agees with Ralph (smile) 
http://h30405.www3.hp.com/print/pdf/2EJYDHE7CMAC/news 
Etta James Doles Out Harsh ‘Last’ Words for 
Beyonce, Obama (Feb. 5) - Etta James sure can 
hold a grudge, that much is certain after the 
RB icon vented her gripes about singer Beyonce 
Knowles and President Barack Obama during a 
recent concert in Seattle. The 71-year-old diva 
is steaming mad over Beyonce’s performance of 
‘At Last,’ her signature tune, at Obama’s 
first inauguration party. The President and 
First Lady Michelle Obama danced to the 
legendary ballad (see photos below). The fiery 
rant, in which she threatens to beat up “that 
woman” and openly mocks “the one with the 
big ears,” has been leaked on TMZ. Hear 
Etta’s Concert Ramblings: “You guys know 
your president, right? You know the one with the 
big ears?” she said to the crowd, unsure of 
what lay ahead. “Wait a minute, he ain’t my 
president, he might be yours, he ain’t my 
president. You know that woman he had singing 
for him, singing my song — she’s going to get 
her ass wwhipped.” Beyonce played James on the 
big screen recently, in ‘Cadillac Records.’ 
Now, we have an idea what the elder singer 
thinks of her movie version. She continued at 
the concert: “The great Beyonce. I can’t 
stand Beyonce,” she told the crowd. “She has 
no business up there, singing up there on a big 
ol’ president day, gonna be singing my song 
that I’ve been singing forever.” James is 
best known for ‘At Last,’ released in 1961 
on Chess Records, but she has scores of other 
hits including ‘Trust in Me’ and ‘Fool 
That I Am.’ Beyonce ruffled the sequins of 
another diva last year when at the Grammy Awards 
she introduced Tina Turner, and not Aretha 
Franklin, as “The Queen.” Her royal highness 
the Queen of Soul was not pleased by the diss, and called it a “cheap shot.


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[Marxism-Thaxis] Marx against creationism

2009-02-05 Thread Charles Brown
http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1844/manuscripts/comm.htm

The creation of the earth has received a mighty blow from geognosy – i.e., from 
the science which presents the formation of the earth, the development of the 
earth, as a process, as a self-generation. Generatio aequivoca is the only 
practical refutation of the theory of creation.[33]

Now it is certainly easy to say to the single individual what Aristotle has 
already said: You have been begotten by your father and your mother; therefore 
in you the mating of two human beings – a species-act of human beings – has 
produced the human being. You see, therefore, that even physically man owes his 
existence to man. Therefore you must not only keep sight of the one aspect – 
the infinite progression which leads you further to inquire: Who begot my 
father? Who his grandfather? etc. You must also hold on to the circular 
movement sensuously perceptible in that progress by which man repeats himself 
in procreation, man thus always remaining the subject. You will reply, however: 
I grant you this circular movement; now grant me the progress which drives me 
ever further until I ask: Who begot the first man, and nature as a whole? I can 
only answer you: Your question is itself a product of abstraction. Ask yourself 
how you arrived at that
 question. Ask yourself whether your question is not posed from a standpoint to 
which I cannot reply, because it is wrongly put. Ask yourself whether that 
progress as such exists for a reasonable mind. When you ask about the creation 
of nature and man, you are abstracting, in so doing, from man and nature. You 
postulate them as non-existent, and yet you want me to prove them to you as 
existing. Now I say to you: Give up your abstraction and you will also give up 
your question. Or if you want to hold on to your abstraction, then be 
consistent, and if you think of man and nature as non-existent, then think of 
yourself as non-existent, for you too are surely nature and man. Don’t think, 
don’t ask me, for as soon as you think and ask, your abstraction from the 
existence of nature and man has no meaning. Or are you such an egotist that you 
conceive everything as nothing, and yet want yourself to exist? 

You can reply: I do not want to postulate the nothingness of nature, etc. I ask 
you about its genesis, just as I ask the anatomist about the formation of 
bones, etc. 

But since for the socialist man the entire so-called history of the world is 
nothing but the creation of man through human labour, nothing but the emergence 
of nature for man, so he has the visible, irrefutable proof of his birth 
through himself, of his genesis. Since the real existence of man and nature has 
become evident in practice, through sense experience, because man has thus 
become evident for man as the being of nature, and nature for man as the being 
of man, the question about an alien being, about a being above nature and man – 
a question which implies the admission of the unreality of nature and of man – 
has become impossible in practice. 

Atheism, as the denial of this unreality, has no longer any meaning, for 
atheism is a negation of God, and postulates the existence of man through this 
negation; but socialism as socialism no longer stands in any need of such a 
mediation. It proceeds from the theoretically and practically sensuous 
consciousness of man and of nature as the essence. Socialism is man’s positive 
self-consciousness, no longer mediated through the abolition of religion, just 
as real life is man’s positive reality, no longer mediated through the 
abolition of private property, through communism. 

Communism is the position as the negation of the negation, and is hence the 
actual phase necessary for the next stage of historical development in the 
process of human emancipation and rehabilitation. Communism is the necessary 
form and the dynamic principle of the immediate future, but communism as such 
is not the goal of human development, the form of human society. [34]

 



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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] [politicalaffairs] Re: Political Affairs Magazine - The Concept of quot; Auraquot; and the Question of Art in Althusser, Benjamin and Greenberg

2009-02-05 Thread Charles Brown
Hello,
Thanks for your response.

Yes, I kinda thought the idea might be that much humanism is philosophical 
idealism ( in Engels famous sense in _Ludwig Feuerbach: The End of Classical 
German philsophy_, two great camps of philosophy,idealism and materialism, 
especially modern philosophy, on the relationship between thought and being, 
and all that). He's probably avoiding being subjective as opposed to objective, 
too.

 But humanism as the term is commonly used today in English, is probably part 
of the rational kernel of idealism that we want to extract. Something might be 
lost in the translation from French. But even the French CP paper is name 
_L'Humanite_.

Anyway, I'll try to look at Althusser's essay, because I have become more and 
more a respecter of Althusser over time. And I subscribe to a certain amount of 
Levi-Straussian structuralism from my schooling in anthropology( even with its 
aroma of philosophical idealism ,smile); and Althusser was a structuralist in 
that school. Ideology and all that.

By the way, I think Marx did have a concept of human nature, in his discussion 
of species-being in the _Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844_. He 
expresses an essentialism on the relationship between women and men that knocks 
the socks off the post-modernist anti-essentialists in the following passage:


In the approach to woman as the spoil and hand-maid of communal lust is 
expressed the infinite degradation in which man exists for himself, for the 
secret of this approach has its unambiguous, decisive, plain and undisguised 
expression in the relation of man to woman and in the manner in which the 
direct and natural species-relationship is conceived. The direct, natural, and 
necessary relation of person to person is the relation of man to woman. In this 
natural species-relationship man’s relation to nature is immediately his 
relation to man, just as his relation to man is immediately his relation to 
nature – his own natural destination. In this relationship, therefore, is 
sensuously manifested, reduced to an observable fact, the extent to which the 
human essence has become nature to man, or to which nature to him has become 
the human essence of man. 

From this relationship one can therefore judge man’s whole level of 
development. From the character of this relationship follows how much man as a 
species-being, as man, has come to be himself and to comprehend himself; the 
relation of man to woman is the most natural relation of human being to human 
being. It therefore reveals the extent to which man’s natural behaviour has 
become human, or the extent to which the human essence in him has become a 
natural essence – the extent to which his human nature has come to be natural 
to him. This relationship also reveals the extent to which man’s need has 
become a human need; the extent to which, therefore, the other person as a 
person has become for him a need – the extent to which he in his individual 
existence is at the same time a social being. 

The first positive annulment of private property – crude communism – is thus 
merely a manifestation of the vileness of private property, which wants to set 
itself up as the positive community system.

http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1844/manuscripts/comm.htm

Indeed, the human subject is an ensemble of social relations, cultural beings 
in the anthropological sense of culture.  But the sexual relationship is a 
natural social relationship, the sexual instinct a social instinct, and thus 
sexual relations are both socially and naturally social. The sexual 
relationship is a special exception to the postmodernist correct idea that 
human subjectivity and individuals are predominantly socially or culturally 
constructed (maybe, ? smile)




Ciao, Comrade

Charles Brown


--- On Fri, 2/6/09, Disqus notifications-dqukn5y...@disqus.net wrote:

 From: Disqus notifications-dqukn5y...@disqus.net
 Subject: [politicalaffairs] Re: Political Affairs Magazine - The Concept of 
 quot; Auraquot; and the Question of Art in Althusser, Benjamin and Greenberg
 To: cdb1...@prodigy.net
 Date: Friday, February 6, 2009, 3:12 AM
 Gary Tedman (unregistered) wrote, in response to bing:
 
 hello,
 
 
 
 Althusser meant philosophical humanism, which is basically
 mainstream bourgeois ideology, he distinguished it from
 humanitarianism, but there is a lot of humanism in bourgeois
 humanitarianism too (charity for example). Yes, Marx said
 that, and being a 'true humanist' is to go beyond
 classical humanism, as he did for example in his criticism
 of Feuerbach.. A classic humanist belief would be of the
 'human spirit' or 'Man' with a 'human
 nature' (essence), 'born free' and
 'responsible' for 'himself'. For Marx the
 human subject is an ensemble of social relations (to be
 brief). See Althusser's essay Marxism is not a
 Humanism in the book For Marx.
 
 
 
  
 
 Link to comment:
 

Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] [politicalaffairs] Re: Political Affairs Magazine - The Concept of quot; Auraquot; and the Question of Art in Althusser, Benjamin and Greenberg

2009-02-05 Thread Ralph Dumain
Althusserian and French anti-humanism in general 
is bullshit, the French intellectual's way of, as 
they say, epater les bourgeois. If humanism 
alludes to something else, then that should be 
decoded. And I think Tedman is quite mistaken.

At 11:10 PM 2/5/2009, Charles Brown wrote:
Hello, Thanks for your response. Yes, I kinda 
thought the idea might be that much humanism is 
philosophical idealism ( in Engels famous sense 
in _Ludwig Feuerbach: The End of Classical 
German philsophy_, two great camps of 
philosophy,idealism and materialism, especially 
modern philosophy, on the relationship between 
thought and being, and all that). He's probably 
avoiding being subjective as opposed to 
objective, too. But humanism as the term is 
commonly used today in English, is probably part 
of the rational kernel of idealism that we want 
to extract. Something might be lost in the 
translation from French. But even the French CP 
paper is name _L'Humanite_. Anyway, I'll try to 
look at Althusser's essay, because I have become 
more and more a respecter of Althusser over 
time. And I subscribe to a certain amount of 
Levi-Straussian structuralism from my schooling 
in anthropology( even with its aroma of 
philosophical idealism ,smile); and Althusser 
was a structuralist in that school. Ideology and 
all that. By the way, I think Marx did have a 
concept of human nature, in his discussion of 
species-being in the _Economic and Philosophic 
Manuscripts of 1844_. He expresses an 
essentialism on the relationship between women 
and men that knocks the socks off the 
post-modernist anti-essentialists in the 
following passage: In the approach to woman as 
the spoil and hand-maid of communal lust is 
expressed the infinite degradation in which man 
exists for himself, for the secret of this 
approach has its unambiguous, decisive, plain 
and undisguised expression in the relation of 
man to woman and in the manner in which the 
direct and natural species-relationship is 
conceived. The direct, natural, and necessary 
relation of person to person is the relation of 
man to woman. In this natural 
species-relationship man’s relation to nature 
is immediately his relation to man, just as his 
relation to man is immediately his relation to 
nature ­ his own natural destination. In 
this  relationship, therefore, is sensuously 
manifested, reduced to an observable fact, the 
extent to which the human essence has become 
nature to man, or to which nature to him has 
become the human essence of man. From this 
relationship one can therefore judge man’s 
whole level of development. From the character 
of this relationship follows how much man as a 
species-being, as man, has come to be himself 
and to comprehend himself; the relation of man 
to woman is the most natural relation of human 
being to human being. It therefore reveals the 
extent to which man’s natural behaviour has 
become human, or the extent to which the human 
essence in him has become a natural essence ­ 
the extent to which his human nature has come to 
be nnatural to him. This relationship also 
reveals the extent to which man’s need has 
become a human need; the extent to which, 
therefore, the other person as a person has 
become for him a need ­ the extent to which he 
in his inddividual existence is at the same time 
a social being. The first positive annulment of 
private property ­ crudee communism ­ is thus 
merely a manifestation of the vileeness of 
private property, which wants to set itself up 
as the positive community system. 
http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1844/manuscripts/comm.htm 
Indeed, the human subject is an ensemble of 
social relations, cultural beings in the 
anthropological sense of culture.  But the 
sexual relationship is a natural social 
relationship, the sexual instinct a social 
instinct, and thus sexual relations are both 
socially and naturally social. The sexual 
relationship is a special exception to the 
postmodernist correct idea that human 
subjectivity and individuals are predominantly 
socially or culturally constructed (maybe, ? 
smile) Ciao, Comrade Charles Brown --- On Fri, 
2/6/09, Disqus 
notifications-dqukn5y...@disqus.net wrote:  
From: Disqus 
notifications-dqukn5y...@disqus.net  Subject: 
[politicalaffairs] Re: Political Affairs 
Magazine - The Concept of quot; Auraquot; and 
the Question of Art in Althusser, Benjamin and 
Greenberg  To: cdb1...@prodigy.net  Date: 
Friday, February 6, 2009, 3:12 AM  Gary Tedman 
(unregistered) wrote, in response to bing:   
hello, Althusser meant philosophical 
humanism, which is basically  mainstream 
bourgeois ideology, he distinguished it from  
humanitarianism, but there is a lot of humanism 
in bourgeois  humanitarianism too (charity for 
example). Yes, Marx said  that, and being a 
'true humanist' is to go beyond  classical 
humanism, as he did for example in his 
criticism  of Feuerbach.. A classic humanist 
belief would be of the  'human