Tag Archives: socialism

Bob Price — Did you really read Marx?

I like Robert M. Price’s academic works on themes related to Christian origins but after that we have little to discuss, sadly. I have had a long term interest in various aspects of the topic of “alienation”, and continue to harbour vivid memories of my post-graduate student days reading and discussing writings by Marx and others heavily indebted to Marx. I also enjoyed reading another work Bob Price references, Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann’s The Social Construction of Reality. So I got carried away and read a non-biblical post of his, Alienated (21/01/2019). Until I came to this howler …..

The alienation here is quite similar to that at stake in the crisis of sacrifice. In both, what the individual offers/produces is no longer really his own. A hidden, vital link has been severed. And because of it, the individual’s efforts are empty. But is Socialism any better? In the Socialist Iron Curtain countries, the work ethic was vitiated by the realization that one’s work, done well or badly, would not increase one’s wealth but would only vanish down the bottomless toilet of the “collective good.” Is this alienation really any different from or better than that produced by industrial Capitalism?

Oh Bob, oh Bob! Why do you, you who intimate libertarian sentiments elsewhere, fall hook, line and sinker for the propaganda line your government backed by Big Business has fed you ever since, well, probably since 1917.

Marxist Socialism 101: the workers have control of the means of production. Their labour is directly related to outputs. Communes. Soviets. Today we see them in worker-run-and-controlled factories or other businesses. That’s socialism. When Marx spoke of alienation he was not proposing an alternative alienating structure that emerged in the Soviet Union. We know that one of the first things Lenin did was to suppress local soviets or communes — he suppressed the efforts towards true socialism. Lenin stripped worker control away from the means of production and (I assume) falsely called it “socialism”.

Oh, and one more thing. My university education was paid for by national taxes. I invested a lot of time and energy into acquiring what was paid for by others. I have always been grateful for the privilege I was given by society. I feel I owe something to society in return. This blog, perhaps, is one small back-payment. Bob, not everyone who gets something “for free” or without personal “cost” (though I did pay a cost in late nights, sweat and hard work) tosses it aside as nothing to be appreciated.

Damn right wing politics!

 

You call that socialism? I call it basic human rights

This is called a “socialist platform“?

Compare points one and two (Medicare for all and Housing as a human right) with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

Article 25.

(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of
his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security
in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances
beyond his control.

There’s also something in that “socialist” platform about higher education for all. Today higher education has become for many as necessary as elementary education was back in 1948.

Article 26.

(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental
stages Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.

Speaking of education, the UNDHR even includes curriculum guidelines:

(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect
for human rights and fundamental freedoms It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all
nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.

Some countries have seventy years of catching up to do!