The next generation

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nomadologist

Guest
btw I'm more a fan of democratic socialism myself, but I'm so so sick of the idea that because it's difficult to set up a communist government that all communist governments are ipso facto authoritarian regimes.

some people point to the early christian church in the first 20-100 years after christ as an early form of communism.
 
N

nomadologist

Guest
oh wait, i forgot, "economics" dictates that you can't set up a government with a set of elected officials that redistributes wealth in order to ensure all humans live up to a certain standard

nope only Stalins want to do things like this. evil evil evil.
 

aMinadaB

Well-known member
A "post-modernist" philosophy professor? Do we have to waste threadspace going over why "post-modernism" is not a set of precepts to which one either subscribes or does not, and is instead a state of cultural being after modernism again? Please let's not.
Have never been overly enamored of lumping contemporary phenomena under the exclusive heading of one 'post-modernism.' Also, I'd cast suspicion over any notion of "after modernism," as most thinkers since Nietzsche or whomever (take your pick) have repeatedly shown in numerous ways that absolute breaks or ruptures often come to look fallacious anyway, for a number of reasons.

Tho I do hear what you're saying.

To my eyes and ears, though, we've got many, many competing post-modernisms, modernisms, and maybe even a few medievalisms floating around, viciously intertwined (among others, no doubt). If we really want to take the bull by the horns and try to get clear on where we are historically, I'm always on the side of locating the complexity first and then setting to work on analysing it (and maybe even effecting change, imagine!), rather than grouping all under one 'post' heading and risk the appearance of laboring under one smug panoptic grasp of the situation (am not attributing that position to nomadlogist, please note).

If anything I'd say we're in the FFT age already, where the digital recording, re-presentation, sampling, sequencing, re-production, and digitized dissemination of the life world is fully underway, and the ontological consequences already visible ...
 
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N

nomadologist

Guest
Have never been overly enamored of lumping contemporary phenomena under the exclusive heading of one 'post-modernism.' Also, I'd cast suspicion over any notion of "after modernism," as most thinkers since Nietzsche or whomever (take your pick) have repeatedly shown in numerous ways that absolute breaks or ruptures often come to look fallacious anyway, for a number of reasons.

Tho I do hear what you're saying.

To my eyes and ears, though, we've got many, many competing post-modernisms, modernisms, and maybe even a few medievalisms floating around, viciously intertwined (among others, no doubt). If we really want to take the bull by the horns and try to get clear on where we are historically, I'm always on the side of locating the complexity first and then setting to work on analysing it (and maybe even effecting change, imagine!), rather than grouping all under one 'post' heading and risking the appearance of laboring under one smug panoptic grasp of the situation (am not attributing that position to nomadlogist, please note, just sayin').

If anything I'd say we're in the FFT age already, where the digital recording, re-presentation, sampling, sequencing, re-production, and digitized dissemination of the life world is fully underway, and the ontological consequences already visible here and there in pockets ...

Historically speaking, we're only minutes away from redescribing consciousness as feedback circuits and sampling rates. David Tudor and hip-hop looking at itself in a DAW, lol.

Agreed agreed. Thanks for putting this in the eloquent words that I was too impatient and preoccupied to reach for.

I just get so sick of having to rehash all this (the fact that post-modernism is not a concrete set of precepts, but rather, broadly, and differing substantially of course in various definitions, a socio-historical ontological condition that as such manifests itself in everything that exists under its auspices but applies adjectivally to precious few specific people in any meaningful way--I prefer Lyotard's definition obvs) and it comes up here quite frequently. I absolutely despise the use of "post-modernIST" as an adjective, especially when applied to individuals who have read critical theory and psychoanalysis. Some people are interested in theories about culture, psychology, art, etc. Get over it.

Some people say "post-modernist" the way I imagine others might say "leper."
 
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aMinadaB

Well-known member
I just get so sick of having to rehash all this (the fact that post-modernism is not a concrete set of precepts, but rather, broadly, and differing substantially of course in various definitions, a socio-historical ontological condition that as such manifests itself in everything that exists under its auspices but applies adjectivally to precious few specific people in any meaningful way--I prefer Lyotard's definition obvs) and it comes up here quite frequently. I absolutely despise the use of "post-modernIST" as an adjective, especially when applied to individuals who have read critical theory and psychoanalysis. Some people are interested in theories about culture, psychology, art, etc. Get over it.

Some people say "post-modernist" the way I imagine others might say "leper."
Yep yep, agreed, feel pretty much the same way as you do. :D
 
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vimothy

yurp
*sighs*

Maybe this will help -- How to Disagree, Paul Graham

Where to start...? There's probably little point in doing this, because I guess that if it's not obvious now, it never will be. Nevertheless...

I wrote my "treatise-length post" because someone asked a question earlier in the thread. That question was, basically, "Is there a reason communism failed beyond the fact that its leaders were destructive tyrants?" Or to put it another way, "Could communism work with competent, elected leaders?" It has nothing to do with being fashionable (?), or wanting you to bow down to the almighty dollar (not so almighty anyway), or trying to prove humans incapable of acting beyond a narrowly defined sphere of self-interest. I said nothing about about these disparate subjects. None of these things are essential to capitalism or communism. They are beside the point I was trying to make.

"You reduce everything to economics!" The debate I was having, or trying to have, was about economics. Asking what stops communism from working is a question about economics. All the other stuff -- wanting to live non-greedy lives of poetry, passion and organic yoghurt weaving -- is fine by me, but I don't see how it's relevant to the discussion. It's pretty simple (though there is some interaction between the following points):
  • Rational economic planning on a nation-wide scale is very, very difficult, if not impossible, because knowledge is tacit, temporal and dispersed.
  • Rational economic calculation is impossible on a nation-wide scale if you don't have a price system.
Or you can just attempt my thought experiment: On what basis or according to what criterea would you manufacture capital goods, that is, the seccond, third, and so on, order goods that are used in the production of other goods, in a Communist system?

Ironically, nomadologist, you also gave a pretty good description of the invisible hand:
I don't think you have to be *book smart* to make good decisions about how to live or even how to allocate resources. Most people will do the "smart thing" that benefits as many people as possible if they have enough accurate information to use in charting the way.

That's my point. That's why it makes more sense to make your own decisions than have a government make them for you.

btw I'm more a fan of democratic socialism myself, but I'm so so sick of the idea that because it's difficult to set up a communist government that all communist governments are ipso facto authoritarian regimes.

Bully for you, but the whole point of communism is mutual ownership of the means of production, i.e. to bring the mechanisms of production under the aegis of the proletariat, i.e. under the control of the central government body, which acts on behalf of the proletariat.

oh wait, i forgot, "economics" dictates that you can't set up a government with a set of elected officials that redistributes wealth in order to ensure all humans live up to a certain standard

I never said that, and I don't think anyone else did either.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
A third of Americans don't have health insurance either. Plenty of Americans have to work three jobs to pay their cancer treatment bills or whichever. Sounds like AMERICA.
Um, yeah, that's exactly my point.
Regardless, this doesn't mean that their economy couldn't do well and eventually do better than some others in the first world.
Yes, but it doesn't exactly chime very well with "To each according to his need", does it?
 

vimothy

yurp
I like the definition in the fashionable dictionary:

Marxism
1. Probably not true, but it should be.
2. Useful for understanding dialectical biology

http://www.butterfliesandwheels.com/dictionary.php

Fnar -- that dictonary is great! I particularly like,

Empiricism
Absurd notion that observation and measurement are useful in getting to know about things (see positivism).

Enlightenment
Sinister, destructive period of history which had a 'project' to dominate nature, prefer reason to superstition, and stop going to church. All a big mistake, but postmodernism will fix it.

Evidence
1. Something that can be tailored to the requirements of my arguments.
2. A tiresome thing that may conflict with something that I believe.

Evolution
Something to do with a snail called Burgess. Occurred only during the Cambrian period. Punctuated.​
 

slightly crooked

Active member
There is also the question of why Communism seems to go with the mechanisms of the police state in every instance where the Communists took power. (It makes nomadologist's statement that, "Not at communists are Stalinists, or Leninists, or whatever you want to pigeonhole them as" look rather amusing. Communists are never authoritarians until they get into power). As I said upthread, Communism must be imposed and capitalism (trading for personal profit) must be suppressed. I think it's that simple. Communists have no other choice.

Whilst you can advance an economic argument for the tendency of command economies towards economic stagnation or failure to adequately meet the material needs of their citizens, I don't think the trend towards tyranny is necessarily so straightforwardly an economic matter. Instead, I think a better assessment can be achieved by looking at the way the ideas that inspire communism work. Communism provides a vision of a single conception of the ideal, ordered society that is the inevitable conclusion of human history. If you believe you know where history is heading, then surely you are justified in helping it along its way, and if other people are obstructing the march of history you are doing nothing wrong in removing such obstacles. Therefore, I would say the historical path of Soviet or Chinese communism was aimed far more at stamping out dissent (from all quarters: religious, political and economic), rather than simply removing trading for personal profit.

This is a dynamic that is latent within any political ideology that believes it has access to the true ends of human purpose. It could, for instance, be suggested that the neo-conservative notion that the correct form of societal organisation (free trade economics coupled with liberal democratic political apparatus) can be advanced by means of military action also opens up the possibility of barbarous acts being committed in the name of human progress. The extent to which this dynamic becomes apparent is obviously going to be different depending upon the nature of the political system through which the ideology operates: a single party state apparatus with a high degree of central control and a paranoid head of state will be far more prone to tyranny than a system with full democratic accountability and a free press, for instance...
 

vimothy

yurp
Francis Fukuyama famously described himself as "Marxist", in contradistinction to the "Leninist" neoconservatives.

Anyway, good post! I basically agree with what you say about Soviet totalitarianism: it wasn't simply a function of an economic system, but also the expression and the domination of an ideology across all categories of social existance. I would perhaps argue that the Hegelian heritage of Communism is of less importance than the psychological, atavistic desires that totalitarian politics satisfies. And I would also reiterate that what I was trying to get at in the above post is that the mechanics of the command economy necessitate a degree of authoritarianism, because a command economy necessarily entails the suppression of natural forms of trade and exchange. Even if our hypothetical is realised ("nice communists"), society must still be made to bend to ideology's will.
 
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Leo

Well-known member
thought this was an interesting perspective, imagine a number of dissensians are from this generation (i'm an old geezer tail-end boomer myself...)

Why Generation X Might Be Our Last, Best Hope
Caught between vast, self-regarding waves of boomers and millennials, Generation X is steeped in irony, detachment, and a sense of dread. One of their rank argues that this attitude makes it the best suited to preserve American tradition in these dark new days.

https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2017/08/why-generation-x-might-be-our-last-best-hope
 

version

Well-known member
I sometimes worry about being old and at the mercy of medical professionals who grew up brain-fried on whatever hellish developments fell out of the web over the years.

When I look at how much of a mess education and higher education seem to be and how counterproductive a lot of our lifestyle habits and technologies are I do worry about decline.

That being said, everyone who's ever lived seems to go through phases of fearing for the future and thinking things are going to shit and my younger relatives are mostly sharper than my older ones have ever been, so who knows.
 

pattycakes_

Can turn naughty
Doctors are getting worse tho for sure and people seem to want to give it the old 'we live in statistically the most peaceful and prosperous time ever!!' batmanslappingrobin.gif but we don't even know the full extent of what is being done to our heads by all this online biz yet. I mean, the signs are all there that it isn't good. I mean, more than signs, shit is fucked. But still, things are taking a dive in so many ways all at once and technology only seems to be speeding a huge amount of that up. For all the good it does, it's kinda phyrric. The kids may be sharp but where's their spirit? They're the most consumerist generation ever, every possible angle they could choose has already been taken into consideration and a marketing expert has pathed out their entire lives. Not their fault ofc. They were born into it and the marketing world has been hoping for and working towards this for as long as they've existed. The net has now provided them everything they need.

I'll only have faith in a future where the yoot rebel against the current form of online existence and either carve out a new one which can't be swallowed by the marketing Borg, or just reject the net entirely and go analog and hang out in real life face to face. That's our only hope imo. Cos as it stands we're going out with a whimper.
 

version

Well-known member
From what I hear, my two youngest siblings don't spend that much time online.

They've both got smartphones and play games and stuff, but they spend a lot of their free time out doing things too - going for walks, wild swimming, playing music with people.
 
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pattycakes_

Can turn naughty
That's cool I guess but part of being born into the current young generations, as far as I can see, is this certain passivity which I feel is largely born out of the specific lazer guided consumerist culture they've been raised with. They all seem so weirdly content and depressed at the same time. One thing I feel is massively underestimated in culture is the degree to which kids emulate idols. We know this of course, but it doesn't seem to be discussed all that much afaict. Look around, look how depression is interwoven into the likes of Billy Eilish or loads of trap or whoever, that never used to be there, not aimed at such a young age. In the 90s it was all about exuberance and happy go lucky shit. Moody shit was more for your mid to late teens. Now you've got 11 year olds moping around all despondent, or doing YouTube style displays of joy which it doesn't take too much discernment to see is utterly devoid of anything geniune and I honestly think they get a lot of it just from consuming the current cultural menu that's been provided for them. Tin foil hat me would say how convenient for they who would prefer a world of passive consumers ala the matrix or whatevs. Non tin foil hat me says we might not want it to continue like this for too extended a period because it seems to have a depowering effect on a generation who might just need to have a bit of fight in em should they ever be faced with a world where politicians and technocrats start to take away more and more of their rights in order to keep them safe from potential threats.
 

pattycakes_

Can turn naughty
I say this because I see so much performative moping going on. Like it's not even convincing for fucks sake. Get it together, kids! Either mope properly or not at all!
 
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pattycakes_

Can turn naughty
This is not to dismiss genuine depression btw, in fact it's one of the positive developments in culture that mental health is being spoken about so openly. Am all for that and would actually like to see it normalized and maybe even as part of the school syllabus from a young age. Kids being taught a bit of psychology so they could understand themselves a bit more and have some vocab to navigate their own feelings and maybe be aware of how stuff like the culture they consume can affect and steer their way of thinking, and then maybe develop a bit of psychic self defense in that area. Because a lot of that stuff seems to be left for them to figure it out for themselves but that tends to come at a much later age when they've already been well indoctrinated. The parents can and should play a huge role here but I don't know how much of that is actively pursued. I say all of this because I could have done with a bit more of this stuff growing up. The effect of the cartoons and advertising alone was fkn insane, can only imagine how much more intense that's gotten with YouTubers and influencers. My daughter is aware of a lot of this stuff and says some of her fave YouTubers have been open about certain mental illness stuff, but I've seen a dark side to that shit where it appears to either be faked or grossly exaggerated to win sympathy and fuckin likes and subscriptions. A bit like gay baiting etc. What a tangled web we've woven.
 
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