Author Topic: When Revolution started?  (Read 34576 times)

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Naslednik Norvezhskiy

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Re: When Revolution started?
« Reply #60 on: March 22, 2011, 08:47:16 PM »
Except in Denmark, it wasn't a death sentence to be different.

Quite right. Perhaps the lithmus test as to whether this pursuit of equality/conformity would lead to genocides and gulags or the most happy country on Earth?

Offline Janet Ashton

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Re: When Revolution started?
« Reply #61 on: March 23, 2011, 04:01:24 AM »
"the infallibility of the market'  is that the "they are too big to fail" train of thought that brought about the US government now owning (in the guise of taxpayers) part of General Motors and other big banks and insurance companies?

No; it's more the train of thought which (now) blames the government for the collapse in the first place, and argues that the answer to the failure of deregulation is yet more deregulation, stripping workers of their rights and demonising government as stifling enterprise.
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Alixz

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Re: When Revolution started?
« Reply #62 on: March 23, 2011, 08:36:32 AM »
[quote author=Petr link=topic=16451.msg481062#msg481062 date=130082223
As for Freud, that's a more ambiguous legacy in my view. Clearly by bringing an organized analytical approach to the study of mental disorders he broke new ground and opened an avenue to treatment which I believe has helped many. But by the same token, Freudian analysis has much too often been misused to excuse conduct and has led to moral relativism and situational ethics (a hop step and jump to "the end justifies the means") at the price of individual responsibility. I find it interesting that in the modern world psychiatry has increasingly moved to pharmacological treatment. It's hard to find a true Freudian analyst these days who doesn't write prescriptions. Apart from Freud's  attempt to classify and categorize behavior I often think that the Father Confessor does as much good, at much less cost and with the added benefit of granting divine absolution.            
[/quote]

I, too, am getting old, but I find myself less tolerant than more.  I think it is because I have less time to overlook annoyances and sloppy thinking.

I agree with this analysis of Freud's teachings as a way to excuse conduct.  And there is now nowhere that someone can go for therapy without also having to go to someone who either prescribes or is referred to someone who prescribes.  We are all being given "happy" pills.  If one can not deal with the realities in life, then one needs pharmacological help.

I have been complaining about the moral relativism and situational ethics for years and I also see it at the price of individual responsibility.  Never having been to a confessional, I do see the benefit of being able to talk to someone who is not judgemental (except where the laws of the respective church are concerned) and who can offer solutions without prescribing drugs.

But to me, the current social need for everyone to be the same in their thinking and their likes and dislikes has brought about a repression of individualism and a dampening down of the fires of righteousness. The need to express those thoughts in our own words and in our own way has resulted in many an explosion of anger and outrage which, because it has been repressed by our "anger management" society requirements erupts in a bigger explosion than it otherwise would have.


Offline Elisabeth

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Re: When Revolution started?
« Reply #63 on: March 23, 2011, 10:41:51 AM »

I, too, am getting old, but I find myself less tolerant than more.  I think it is because I have less time to overlook annoyances and sloppy thinking.

I agree with this analysis of Freud's teachings as a way to excuse conduct.  And there is now nowhere that someone can go for therapy without also having to go to someone who either prescribes or is referred to someone who prescribes.  We are all being given "happy" pills.  If one can not deal with the realities in life, then one needs pharmacological help.

I have been complaining about the moral relativism and situational ethics for years and I also see it at the price of individual responsibility.  Never having been to a confessional, I do see the benefit of being able to talk to someone who is not judgemental (except where the laws of the respective church are concerned) and who can offer solutions without prescribing drugs.

But to me, the current social need for everyone to be the same in their thinking and their likes and dislikes has brought about a repression of individualism and a dampening down of the fires of righteousness. The need to express those thoughts in our own words and in our own way has resulted in many an explosion of anger and outrage which, because it has been repressed by our "anger management" society requirements erupts in a bigger explosion than it otherwise would have.

I beg to differ, Alixz. If you look at recent mass shootings in the United States -- whether in Colorado or at Virginia Tech -- what's most striking is that the perpetrator was completely, certifiably, and moreover, quite obviously INSANE. Look at the police photo of the Colorado shooter and tell me this guy isn't totally off his rocker. Are you seriously arguing that this person was/is not in need of medication, that his was "just" an explosion waiting to happen because of the "repressions" of our "anger management society" -- ? -- As opposed to an explosion waiting to happen because adequate mental health care is not a priority in this country? Especially for the severely mentally ill, who tend to be indigent, and thus without any kind of medical insurance. They're usually homeless as well, and more often victims of violence than perpetrators of it.

It's now a proven scientific fact that schizophrenia, for example, is a brain disease. If left untreated it causes incalculable suffering, not only to the schizophrenic, but also to his family and potentially, his community. There is no known cure but at least the illness can be managed now with the proper medications. The same goes for other serious mental illnesses, such as depression and bipolar disorder. Brain scans demonstrate that these illnesses actually exist, they are not a product of some (post-)Freudian desire to escape responsibility. Moreover, they are often fatal if left untreated, because sufferers are likely to kill themselves (would you really describe suicide as just another escape from responsibility?).

Of course, I agree that this society is over-medicated and reliant on "happy pills," as the cliché goes. But that's because the Worried Well and their indulgent doctors think that they are entitled to be happy. That's one of our God-given, inalienable rights as Americans: "the pursuit of happiness." I remember back in the early 1990s, Russian friends would tell me, laughing, that they thought this idea was so typically American. No other country on this planet thinks that being happy all the time is "normal." As the great poet Osip Mandelshtam told his wife during the height of the Terror under Stalin, when she wanted to kill herself, "So who ever promised that you would be happy?" Being happy is the exception, not the rule, to the human condition. We are happy momentarily only -- relative to the full span of our lives -- e.g., when we pass a test, when we land a good job, and most especially when we fall in love. But it is only Americans who believe that we DESERVE to be happy, ALL THE TIME.

 
« Last Edit: March 23, 2011, 10:46:33 AM by Elisabeth »
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Naslednik Norvezhskiy

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Re: When Revolution started?
« Reply #64 on: March 23, 2011, 11:11:29 AM »
Le mieux est l'ennemi du bien.
Voltaire.

Applies both to the Make-me-happy-NOW attitude and the creation of a Communist utopia at all costs.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2011, 11:15:59 AM by Фёдор Петрович »

Alixz

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Re: When Revolution started?
« Reply #65 on: March 23, 2011, 12:08:10 PM »
American's are not told that they have a right to be happy.

The correct quote is "life, liberty and the "pursuit" of happiness.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2011, 12:09:52 PM by Alixz »

Offline Rodney_G.

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Re: When Revolution started?
« Reply #66 on: March 23, 2011, 12:24:06 PM »
  I've found the progression of thought about,  or the evaluation of Marx and Marxism, really revealing. In other words, notice how Marx  has  been viewed from his own time to now. In his prime he was a  thinker, writer and would-be revolutionary. After the publication of "Das Kapital" and the"Communist Manifesto" he rightly drew attention as a political  theorist and philosopher , both from the more literate and enlightened and from existing and threatened bourgeois and monarchist European states. The public at large basically didn't know him from Adam.

After his death, those who pursued his cause  llike Lenin , Plekhanov , and other selfidentified  Marxists, gave Marxism a greater 'identity' in the late nineteenth, early twentieth century, but he was still obscure in the larger world, and virtually unknown to the proletariat. With the Bolshevik coup and the triumph of Communism in Russia (Soviet Union), it was now marxism-Leninism that was the official dogma by which those claiming authority measured themselves and each other. You didn't want to be a "deviationist" from the Party line.
In the 1920's and1930's , even in the non-Communist or anti-communist West, Communist true believers fought over who was the most authentic Marxist. (Trotsky was, and caught an ice ax in the head; Stalin wasn't but ruled a quarter century and died more or less in bed).

Roughly post-Stalin, Marx and Marxism were of interest almost sol;ely in academia, especially in the West. And there Marxism was still numero uno in the universities. The man in the street was sweating Soviet Communism, but not actually Marxism (Who actually reads  Das Kapital and the Communist  Manifesto?)

In recent times Marxism is just not thought about, let alone understood (though maybe it should be). Thankfully, even the prevailing political correctness no longer completely protects Marxism. I relatively recently heard Marx called a crackpot, and I think that was quite on the money.
If people's largescale historical memory of the past century and  a half could be erased (just a thought experiment, if you'll  bear with me) and there had been no Karl Marx or Marxism as a famous person and ideology, his theories introduced under a different name would still not sell.
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Re: When Revolution started?
« Reply #67 on: March 23, 2011, 03:35:58 PM »
OK now let's try to have some fun and tie this together. What would Freud have said about Marx (I don't believe Freud ever analyzed him)?

Marx, from what I've read, was not a very cuddly character. He was always arguing with everyone (certainly with anyone who disagreed with him). He even had a contentious relationship with Engels who helped support him (constantly sending him carping letters asking for money). Not too nice as a family man either or so I believe. So for you Freudians out there was Marx a supreme egotist, one who so believed in the correctness of his theories that self-doubt never crept into his consciousness and what does that say about his thinking process.  To the contrary, were his dogged, stubborn, self-absorbed efforts the hallmark of genius (regardless of whether his theories proved correct). In some perverse way he could be viewed as a romantic, the starving artist in the garret who sacrifices everything to feed his obsession. Likewise, another towering figure on the mid-19th Century, Wagner, also exhibited some of the same character traits. Marx's attempts to create a single unified economic theory with all the answers reminds me of Einstein's efforts with respect to general relativity and his effort to create the unified field theory and Emil Durkheim (April 15, 1858 – November 15, 1917) who together with Marx and Max Weber is credited with being the principle architect of modern social science who believed that "... sociology would not only discover "apparent" laws, but would be able to discover the inherent nature of society" (cf., Wikipedia). Again, I find this a 19th Century weltanschauung, the confident thought that everything, including society, could be reduced to a set of unified principles that answered all and that can be grasped by mankind.  The end of the 20th Century, on the other hand, seems to me to have introduced an element of doubt, cynicism and introversion, creating greater interest in the self and perhaps the thought that life was not as simple as one would like.  The Heisenberg uncertainty principle and the reaction to the horrors perpetrated during the last Century by followers of Marx (a somewhat eclectic and nonlinear holistic thought) strike me as examples of where modern thought has also gone. Is the battle between religion and secularism we now see (viz., the Taliban) a manifestation of these two conflicting world views? Is "Big Government" vs. the "Tea Party" (i.e., the state  versus the individual) the opposite poles of the sole political choices available to us or merely evidence of a loss of faith in the power of institutions to solve all ills? Is the Big Bang evidence of the starting point of a scientific explanation for "everything" or does it confirm the Thomistic belief in the need for a "Prima Causa".

I'm afraid I have drifted from the original question of when did the Revolution start, unless one believes that the Revolution was an expression or culmination of  an egotistical 19th Century world view that mankind has all the answers and can create heaven on earth simply by the proper application of certain "scientific" principles disregarding the inherent fallibility of mankind.                 
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Offline Elisabeth

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Re: When Revolution started?
« Reply #68 on: March 24, 2011, 10:38:13 AM »
American's are not told that they have a right to be happy.

The correct quote is "life, liberty and the "pursuit" of happiness.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Please, please note, Alix, I did not say that the Founding Fathers told Americans that they would or should be happy all the time. I actually quoted them to the effect that "the pursuit of happiness" is a God-given right. It's modern-day, post-World War II Americans who think that this phrase somehow automatically translates into the right actually to be happy all the time, the so-called American dream. Although I have to say, even "the pursuit of happiness" is a very Western idea (and one I'm not knocking, by the way, I just think it's probably less conducive to overall contentment for all of us ordinary human masses than the idea put forth by most religions that most of the time, as human beings, we suffer -- hence, every single moment of happiness comes as the exception, not the rule, and moreover, as a moment of epiphany. Whereas Americans tend to think, Oh, I should be feeling this way all the time. It's my chemistry that's to blame if I'm not).
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Offline Elisabeth

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Re: When Revolution started?
« Reply #69 on: March 24, 2011, 10:56:59 AM »

In the 1920's and1930's , even in the non-Communist or anti-communist West, Communist true believers fought over who was the most authentic Marxist. (Trotsky was, and caught an ice ax in the head; Stalin wasn't but ruled a quarter century and died more or less in bed).

Actually, Rodney, this isn't at all true. Trotsky was a Stalinist before Stalin because Stalin basically STOLE all of Trotsky's ideas about the industrialization and collectivization of the masses, as well as the state's leading role in determining what was and was not permissible in all the cultural fields. Trotsky was not a true Marxist, any more than those French revolutionaries I mentioned before were "true" Marxists.

Roughly post-Stalin, Marx and Marxism were of interest almost sol;ely in academia, especially in the West. And there Marxism was still numero uno in the universities. The man in the street was sweating Soviet Communism, but not actually Marxism (Who actually reads  Das Kapital and the Communist  Manifesto?)

This is also not really true, Rodney. Think about it. When was the Cuban revolution and when were people like Fidel Castro and Che Guevarra most influential in Latin America? For that matter, you're neglecting to look at other Third World nations, most notably China under Mao, but also countries in Africa like Ethiopia. I assure you, Marxism-Leninism, whether interpreted by Stalin (borrowing heavily from Trotsky) or not, remained extremely influential until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. That's when the Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist dream really exploded (or imploded, to speak more precisely).

In recent times Marxism is just not thought about, let alone understood (though maybe it should be). Thankfully, even the prevailing political correctness no longer completely protects Marxism. I relatively recently heard Marx called a crackpot, and I think that was quite on the money.
If people's largescale historical memory of the past century and  a half could be erased (just a thought experiment, if you'll  bear with me) and there had been no Karl Marx or Marxism as a famous person and ideology, his theories introduced under a different name would still not sell.

Again, I think you are somewhat confusing Marxism with its later interpretations by people like Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, and Mao. The original writings are far more subtle and open to different interpretations, as all great writings are. Hence their enduring appeal. Believe me, Marxism continues to be influential not only in (remarkably successful) socialist countries like those in Scandinavia, but also in American, Canadian, and Western European academia, where Marxist theory has shed considerable light on the field of social history, which only really emerged in the 1960s. Although this "revisionist" school has recently given way to a "post-revisionist" school, it's still clear that even post-revisionists are heavily influenced by social history. The emphasis in Soviet and Russian studies now is not nearly so much on social history but on cultural and intellectual history. But even there, social historians of the 1960s-1980s made invaluable contributions in opening up previously unperceived paths of inquiry and interpretation.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2011, 11:01:31 AM by Elisabeth »
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Offline Elisabeth

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Re: When Revolution started?
« Reply #70 on: March 24, 2011, 11:13:09 AM »
OK now let's try to have some fun and tie this together. What would Freud have said about Marx (I don't believe Freud ever analyzed him)?

Marx, from what I've read, was not a very cuddly character. He was always arguing with everyone (certainly with anyone who disagreed with him). He even had a contentious relationship with Engels who helped support him (constantly sending him carping letters asking for money). Not too nice as a family man either or so I believe. So for you Freudians out there was Marx a supreme egotist, one who so believed in the correctness of his theories that self-doubt never crept into his consciousness and what does that say about his thinking process.  To the contrary, were his dogged, stubborn, self-absorbed efforts the hallmark of genius (regardless of whether his theories proved correct). In some perverse way he could be viewed as a romantic, the starving artist in the garret who sacrifices everything to feed his obsession. Likewise, another towering figure on the mid-19th Century, Wagner, also exhibited some of the same character traits. Marx's attempts to create a single unified economic theory with all the answers reminds me of Einstein's efforts with respect to general relativity and his effort to create the unified field theory and Emil Durkheim (April 15, 1858 – November 15, 1917) who together with Marx and Max Weber is credited with being the principle architect of modern social science who believed that "... sociology would not only discover "apparent" laws, but would be able to discover the inherent nature of society" (cf., Wikipedia). Again, I find this a 19th Century weltanschauung, the confident thought that everything, including society, could be reduced to a set of unified principles that answered all and that can be grasped by mankind.  The end of the 20th Century, on the other hand, seems to me to have introduced an element of doubt, cynicism and introversion, creating greater interest in the self and perhaps the thought that life was not as simple as one would like.  The Heisenberg uncertainty principle and the reaction to the horrors perpetrated during the last Century by followers of Marx (a somewhat eclectic and nonlinear holistic thought) strike me as examples of where modern thought has also gone. Is the battle between religion and secularism we now see (viz., the Taliban) a manifestation of these two conflicting world views? Is "Big Government" vs. the "Tea Party" (i.e., the state  versus the individual) the opposite poles of the sole political choices available to us or merely evidence of a loss of faith in the power of institutions to solve all ills? Is the Big Bang evidence of the starting point of a scientific explanation for "everything" or does it confirm the Thomistic belief in the need for a "Prima Causa".

I'm afraid I have drifted from the original question of when did the Revolution start, unless one believes that the Revolution was an expression or culmination of  an egotistical 19th Century world view that mankind has all the answers and can create heaven on earth simply by the proper application of certain "scientific" principles disregarding the inherent fallibility of mankind. 

Sorry if I sound facetious (I hope I don't) but I think the entire late nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth represented a ceaseless, self-destructive quest on the part of a very confused humanity for a new religion to replace the old ones (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, etc.). Effectively all the old faiths had been destroyed by Darwin. Anyone educated, much less intellectual, found it very hard if not impossible to believe in the Garden of Eden and the Fall of Man, the pearly gates, etc. etc., after reading The Origin of the Species. Hence Bolshevism, communism, fascism, Nazism, to name the most obvious secular religions of the modern age. And now of course there is Al-Qaeda, which wants to bring back the medieval Muslim caliphates (it thinks! in actuality someone like Bin Laden would be completely horrified by the level of religious and ethnic tolerance that was regarded as the norm in such places at this time in history).
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Alixz

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Re: When Revolution started?
« Reply #71 on: March 24, 2011, 02:46:29 PM »
Before I write this, I want to be sure that everyone knows that I am not in anyway judging or making fun of those with deep religious convictions.

Since I am agnostic and do not believe in those deities who preach suffering as a way to salvation, I find it abhorrent that so many think it is the norm to be unhappy most of the time and happy only at specific points in our lives.  When they are unhappy it is "God's will".  When they are happy then "God moves in mysterious ways".  (If they truly believe that it is God's will then they should not be suing everything that moves into their path of existence.)

One of the reasons that I am agnostic is that I cannot believe that there is one omnipotent being who wants me to suffer in order to be redeemed enough to be brought into His/Her presence after death.

I am not saying that I expect to be blissful everyday, but at least not so frustrated that I feel I am "herding cats" as I wade through the various stupidities that I am assaulted with daily.  (You will have to forgive me.  I just got off the phone after trying to make an appointment at the UConn Health Center.  It was like pushing macaroni up hill.  I was told that I couldn't do so many things, that I am not sure I will ever get the appointment.  I am so unworthy.)

I was told when I was very young (and I am sure that there is someone of note who originally said this) that if there were no God, Man would invent one to keep himself from going mad.  I have also heard it said that we do not need to bow to anyone or anything to justify our existence.

I agree that Darwin cracked open the myths of creationism and left the population of the late 19th and early 20th centuries rudderless.  Religion was a balm to those who found no answers and suddenly that balm was not soothing anymore.  Perhaps they did then try to replace that old religion with "Bolshevism, communism, fascism, Nazism, to name the most obvious secular religions of the modern age".

But more wars have been fought in the name of religion than for any other reason.  That now includes the terrorism that is now being used by Muslim extremists.

Even, to get back to topic, the Russian Revolution was a form of religious war as the Bolsheviks banned organized religion as part of their new better way of life. 

Who said that "Religion is the opiate of the masses"?  It is often attributed to Karl Marx. 

However, it was also used in various forms by Guy DeBord:  The spectacle is a permanent opium war which aims to make people identify goods with commodities and satisfaction with survival that increases according to its own laws.

And also by the Marquis de Sade: 
This opium you feed your people, so that, drugged, they do not feel their hurts, inflicted by you. And that is why where you reign no establishments are to be found giving great men to the homeland; the rewards due knowledge are unknown here, and as there is neither honor nor profit in being wise, nobody seeks after wisdom

And also by Charles Kingsley:    We have used the Bible as if it were a mere special constable's hand book, an opium dose for keeping beasts of burden patient while they were being overloaded, a mere book to keep the poor in order


Naslednik Norvezhskiy

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Re: When Revolution started?
« Reply #72 on: March 25, 2011, 03:07:50 AM »
I agree that Darwin cracked open the myths of creationism and left the population of the late 19th and early 20th centuries rudderless.

Yeah, people whose parents had believed in fairies, trolls, witches, the Wild Hunt, goblins, leprechauns, water horses, black devil dogs and a lot of other subterrestrial and supernatural spirits not mentioned anywhere in the Bible, LOL! Not even mentioning the more exotic appearances of "folk Catholicism" with questionable Biblical basis. (In Norway, for example, the publication of "On the Origin of Species" came only a generation after the official state suppression of the last remnants of the Catholic pilgrimages by sick miracle-seekers to holy shrines with "sweating crucifixes" etc.)
« Last Edit: March 25, 2011, 03:22:15 AM by Фёдор Петрович »

Offline TimM

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Re: When Revolution started?
« Reply #73 on: March 25, 2011, 10:48:32 AM »
Quote
I am agnostic


That means you haven't decided, right?
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Re: When Revolution started?
« Reply #74 on: March 25, 2011, 10:55:43 AM »
Quote
I am agnostic


That means you haven't decided, right?

Agnostic doesn't exactly mean "haven't decided". It's more to the effect that if one is agnostic they are skeptical about the existence of a God but do not say there is/is not in total certainty, as they believe it is not provable.
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