In the end, you know, Marx was right, but not in the way he thought he was, which is why the system he created is such a life-destroying sh*tshow and the world won’t be free or stop declining towards hellish living conditions in the spots invaded by it, till there are tickets sold for the annual piss on Marx’s grave gathering.
Seeing things, but then interpreting them upside down and sideways, btw, was bog standard for the angry, hirsute inkblot.
I went trough school with people like him. — and I’m sure you did too — These are people who are actually very smart. They’re just broken on their ability to understand things and take everything into account.
Some are control freaks who can’t understand that in real life, and human life particularly chaos gets a vote. They’d account for all the known factors and think they had the entire situation. (We see this in climate modelers, who discount things that can’t be controlled, like the sun’s variable output, and then pretend these don’t exist.)
Some are simply men of system. Or women of system. They need a myth that “explains everything.” Which requires even more ignoring of inconvenient facts and ideas.
I suspect Marx was both.
I first encountered this type in a school friend in sixth grade. She could read some passage, understand every word, but think it meant something completely different.
Something like “The sky was blue, the sun shone and the birds flew” and she’d come up with “He’s saying the world ended, and everyone is dead” and you’d scratch your head and go “The hell?” until she explained her thought pattern, which ended up sounding a lot like Marxist deconstructionism.
Oh, I forgot the third pattern of distortion, which Marx DEFINITELY had: the need to feel superior. If you see what other people have already seen and said, you are just one of them. You need to stand out and see something different and hopefully something that makes you more caring/superior.
Because our education has been taken over by crazy people who suffer from all of these and, to boot, worship in the church of eternal redistribution, there’s some bizarre idea that Marx was the first to notice the iniquitous oppression of the industrial revolution and/or speak out on behalf of the workers and that’s why his work is justifiable/important.
That’s like current idiots speaking out in favor of women in SF/F and thereby erasing ALL THE REAL PIONEERS. And the women who were in SF/F from the beginning. And reducing writers to their genitals/skin color. And ignoring personal inclination when it comes to writing sf/f. Or working in a dockyard. Or being an engineer. (“You must do this for the sake of female liberation, comrade.” “BUT I don’t want to do that.” “Doesn’t matter. You must be a slave to female liberation.”)
It’s in fact exactly like, because on top of all there was so much virtue signaling and currying favor with the ELITE OPINION of the time it’s not even funny. Or do you think it’s a coincidence the elites EMBRACED Marxism (despite lots of attempts to claim the contrary?)
So, quickly: The industrial revolution was not a disaster to your average peasant. It was a disaster for landowners.
Yes, yes, the conditions in the factories were terrible. By our standards. The lifespan was very short. By our standards. The anomie of the big cities, yadda yadda. When compared to what? Small villages? Ask those of us raised in them. Yes, there was child labor. As compared to what at that time? Other than the life of the upper classes?
Look, we don’t have to guess about this stuff. In India, in China, in other places that came to the industrial revolution very late, we’ve seen peasants leave the land where their ancestors had labored, to flock to the big cities, to take work we find horrible and exploitative at wages we find ridiculous.
And even if China has added “labor camp” and prisoner wrinkles to it, note that’s because China is a shitty communist country, not because the migration wasn’t there before. Also the labor camp aspects, as much as one can tell (and it’s hard to tell, due to the raging insanity of the regime) seem to have grown as the people grew more prosperous, as a result of the industrial revolution and thereby demanded higher wages, which positioned China more poorly as the “factory of the world.”
In fact, idealizing “living off the land” has been in place since at least the Roman empire, and probably before. It’s also been MISERABLE at least since then and probably before.
Because pre-industrial revolution farming sucked. It sucked horribly. And it kept you on the edge of subsistence. It double sucked when you were subjected to a Lord. Look, systems of serfdom, etc. didn’t come about because living in a Lord’s domain was so great, and everyone wove wreaths and danced around maypoles all the time, okay?
The bucolic paradise of a farmer’s life was mostly a creation of city dwellers, often noblemen, who saw it from the outside.
There are estimations that most people had trouble rearing even one child, and most of one generation’s peasants were people fallen from higher status. I don’t know. That might be exaggerated. Or it might not.
Even during the industrial revolution, it was normal for ladies bountiful to take baskets of food to tenant farmers because…. they couldn’t make it on their own.
And btw, the more the industrial revolution pulled people to the cities, the more the Lords and “elites” talked about how great the countryside was and how terrible the factories/cities/new way of living were.
A lot of artists and pseudo bohemians jumped in on this bandwagon and so did Marx, who was both a pseudo bohemian, by birth “elite” (Well, his family had a virtual slave attached to him. He impregnated her too, as was his privilege), and by self-flattery intellectual.
Therefore the factories were the worst thing ever, the men who owned them, aka capitalists were terrible, terrible people — mostly because Marx wasn’t one, and probably because they laughed at him — and the proletariat they exploited horribly would rise up and–
All bullshit of course. Later on his fiction needed retconning by Anthony Gramsci who, having the sense to realize the “workers” weren’t rising up, just getting wealthier and escaping the clutches of the “elites” more made the “proletariat” a sort of “world proletariat” centered on poorer/more dysfunctional countries. This had the advantage of making the exploited masses always be elsewhere (or the supposed exploiters) and therefore made it easier to pitch group against group to the eternal profit of rather corrupt “elites.” Mostly political classes which are descended from “the best people.”
But Marx was right.
I mean, in one small thing. The history of humanity is a struggle between self proclaimed “classes.”
It just has absolute ZERO to do with who owns “capital” and who “works” all of which are bullshit class divisions.
The struggle is between those who want to outfit humans with saddles, so they can ride them like ponies and those who escape being ridden. And both tendencies appear to be cultural.
If you’re culturally descended from the romantics, who found living in the countryside great and the industrial revolution a tragedy, you might be an idiot. If you’re not an idiot, then you’re probably identifying with the rulers who, looking from the outside, thought that living off the land was great, and the famines and struggles, honestly, probably more than those dirty peasants deserved. I mean, the rebellious masses never tug the forelock enough amiright?
Most of Marx’s most vociferous followers in the present, including Sandy of the Occasional Cortex and Bernie are of this kind. “The masses need to be ruled, and I’m just the person to do it.” They might use the environment or the land, or whatever to justify why their way is best, but what they mean is “These people should live in poverty, so I can have my inevitable place as their ruler.”
If you’re culturally a bourgeois, you’ll be accused of all sorts of horrible things. They’ll throw stuff at you, tell you that you want to exploit people (they project like an imax) and call you unimaginative, a stick in the mud, conformist, and whatever else they find.
In fact, you’re something quite new in the world. You neither want to be ruled nor to rule. You want to rule yourself. You apply the virtues of thrift, self control, and planing, to stay out of the clutches of the would be nobles in government, and you don’t have any interest in paying for those who refuse to follow those virtues either (though you’re unreasonably generous, often, to those in genuine need.)
The Marxists hate this so much they made bourgeoisie an insult. They keep trying to justify the success that comes to those who observe principles of self rule as all sorts of “privilege.” They keep trying to show that those who just let themselves be ruled are much better off, but the lie only holds up as long as no one actually looks closely. I mean, look at the “ruled” cities in the US.
These are, broadly speaking, US. The people who neither want to lead nor follow, but want to tread their own path and earn their own way.
And in the US we’re still majority. (The tell was when people in 2016 voted for the candidate that promised the jobs instead of those who promised welfare.)
The intellectual descendants of Marx HATE that, and keep trying to tell us the “struggle” is between wholly imaginary classes, “workers” “Intellectuals” “capitalists” or between races, or between sexes. Anything to continue refusing to own up to the fact that they have all these lovely spurs, and we’re supposed to wear the saddle, so they can ride us.
And this is why though they have hundreds of countries who conform to their model, they must take us down. While we exist, we refute their beloved theory.
And it’s why we must fight like rabid wolverines. Because we have nowhere else to go.
Keep fighting! Make the annual pissing on Marx’s grave festival a thing.
Do it for humanity.
Do it for the future.
Do it for the children.
(Posts on PJM this week (two are behind paywall. Should you decide to pay for them/membership please use discount code HOYT):