Friday, July 31, 2009

Papaver Somniferum, John Bonanno photograph, 2009
Cushing In The Sun, Beth Bonanno photograph, 2009

"The road to Hell is paved with good intentions."-Karl Marx, Capital

I believe Marx saw the varied phenomena of do-gooders as futile manifestations of a guilt complex. Conservatives usually insist on a similar analysis, which, of course, is a kind of atheistic nihilism.

"The need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the bourgeoisie over the whole surface of the globe. It must nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, establish connections everywhere."-Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto

Marx saw the fallacy of globalism before almost anyone else. Unfortunately his solution (Global Communism confronting Global Capitalism) compounded the problem. Perhaps that was the plan all along. In this case the call to arms of one global movement for battle against another global movement presents little choice at all since the desired result, hidden in plain sight and occult to the many, is Globalism. Communism and Capitalism are irrelevant distractions.

"The foundation of irreligious criticism is: Man makes religion, religion does not make man. Religion is indeed the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself or has already lost himself again. But man is no abstract being squatting outside the world. Man is the world of man, state, society. This state and this society produce religion, which is an inverted consciousness of the world, because they are an inverted world. Religion is the general theory of this world, its encyclopaedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual point d’honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn complement and its universal basis of consolation and justification. It is the fantastic realization of the human essence since the human essence has not acquired any true reality. The struggle against religion is therefore indirectly the struggle against that world whose spiritual aroma is religion.
Religious suffering is at one and the same time the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people."-Karl Marx, Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right. Introduction

At the head of this entry, Cushing, my Boston Terrier is contemplating Marx. And so am I. Marx has been so demonized by the prevailing, recently triumphant, but rapidly declining Capitalist mode one can instantly marginalize himself by the mere admission of having perused and analyzed Marx' thinking and writing. As spiritually and functionally dead as Marxism in practice has proven itself to be, one may garner knowledge from the man Karl Marx. I have long stated that Capitalism and Communism are two sides of the same materialist coin. And this coin has been absolutely debased and its plated dross desperately attempts to simulate spiritual gold. On reading Karl's famous statement that religion 'is the opium of the people' in context, one is led by him to conclude that religion, in practice, in an oppressed world cannot provide true spirituality. (Whether Marx entertains the possibility that such a thing exists is glossed over.) This passage implies that only in a liberated world may one properly pursue what is the object of religion. I disagree, the object of religion must be attained to liberate the world; but this much repeated, truncated, and mangled quote simplifies in a most banal way Marx' essential argument: organized religion provides comfort in misery by indefinitely delaying a possibly fantastic and certainly untestable reward for the common man's endless struggles and serves the masters of the world in so doing. Opium and religion are both incredibly good at what they do to those who are susceptible. It is error to confound the goals of establishment religion and the longings of men and women for the sublime other.

A case in point:

"A Christian man is the most free lord of all and subject to none"-Martin Luther 1520

"And should the peasants prevail (which God forbid!), -- for all things are possible to God, and we know not but that he is preparing for the judgment day, which cannot be far distant, and may purpose to destroy, by means of the devil, all order and authority and throw the world into wild chaos, -- yet surely they who are found, sword in hand, shall perish in the wreck with clear consciences, leaving to the devil the kingdom of this world and receiving instead the eternal kingdom. For we are come upon such strange times that a prince may more easily win heaven by the shedding of blood than others by prayers."-Martin Luther, Against the Rioting Peasants, retitled by its publisher as Against The Murderous Thieving Hordes of Peasants, 1525

Luther admitted that the goals of his movement were now identical with the interests of those who possessed political power and that the peasants whom he had previously championed and had supported him, were shit out of luck. The peasants had the choice between Rome's Catholicism and the local nobles' Protestantism, both of which would screw them into the ground. It was a false dilemma, not even a modicum of freedom was an option for the masses, and the 'reformed' Protestant nobility of Germany killed at least a hundred thousand revolting peasants. Luther's freedom was only the freedom to be Lutheran instead of Catholic. Political freedom was out of the question.

"--People do not know how dangerous lovesongs can be, the auric egg of Russell warned occultly. The movements which work revolutions in the world are born out of the dreams and visions in a peasant's heart on the hillside. For them the earth is not an exploitable ground but the living mother. The rarefied air of the academy and the arena produce the sixshilling novel, the musichall song. France produces the finest flower of corruption in Mallarme but the desirable life is revealed only to the poor of heart, the life of Homer's Phaeacians."-James Joyce, Ulysses

Coming Soon: Marx and Hegel! The Dialectic!

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