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August 16, 2007


Sean of Sheffield

I too have problems with the neocons as an ideology argument.

Ideology to me means you are claiming absolute knowledge, something that probably exists but we cant really have, as we live with quantum uncertainty (note to historicist Marxists, this means you cannot predict with scientific certainty what the future will be :0) )

Thus we have todays set of bolshovics, the Islamists, who claim they have an absolute knowledge, that gives them special rights over all others, not unlike Marx claiming special rights for the workers, as he had the special knowledge "theory of exploitation." and the National Socialist claiming special rights for the Aryan nation.

Gray claims that the Neocons are doing the same thing with "liberal secular democracy", imposing it as an ideology. But its not it an idealism.

I dont come from a nuclear family or live in one but I do think it is an ideal that the state should support, but many readers might not and vote accordingly.

Thus if you are prepared to subject your beliefs to constant testing of democracy then you are accepting the possibility that your beliefs might not constitute absolute truth, and could be wrong, thus they cannot be ideological. If you have truth why would you need democracy?

Bob B

"He mocks Trotsky's claim that under communism, 'man will become immeasurably stronger, wiser and subtler'."

In which phase was Trotsky located when he articulated that expectation?

It matters because one likely reason for Trotsky's apparently enduring popularity as a quotable ideologue in serious discourse was the remarkable flexibility he displayed in his successive ideological commitments. At one time or another, with the single exception of Nazism, he virtually covered the ideological waterfront.

He first came to international prominence as a supporter of the Menshevik faction at the 1905 conference in London of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party. In the next manifestation, he was a Bolshevik and the hugely successful commander of the Soviet Red Army during the Civil War in Russia after the 1917 October revolution. He became a World Socialist, espousing permanent revolution, during his power struggle with Stalin and finally, in exile in Mexico, he was eloquently expounding on the benefits of markets as a means for allocating scarce resources in terms that would have done credit to Von Mises and Milton Friedman writing in concert:

"If a universal mind existed, of the kind that projected itself into the scientific fancy of Laplace—a mind that could register simultaneously all the processes of nature and society, that could measure the dynamics of their motion, that could forecast the results of their inter-reactions—such a mind, of course, could a priori draw up a faultless and exhaustive economic plan, beginning with the number of acres of wheat down to the last button for a vest. The bureaucracy often imagines that just such a mind is at its disposal; that is why it so easily frees itself from the control of the market and of Soviet democracy."

At some stage, Trotsky was bound to be on the correct tack because he almost exhausted the possibilities.

As always, the challenging question is: Which?


Slight correction:

He mocks Trotsky's Great Lie and standing joke on the Russian people that under communism, "man will become immeasurably stronger, wiser and subtler".


"he fails to see that this happened even without revolution": EVEN? More like "especially". As for neo-cons and the Christian right: I have read that neo-cons are/were mainly Jewish ex-Trots. Have I been misled?

Matt Munro

"Hedge fund managers do not cut off people's hands, commit genocide or murder people for having the wrong god. This is not because they are nice people, but because they have better things to do."

Maybe not but they do get rich on the back of others efforts, undercut wages, shed jobs and put large holes in social structures which they themselves have no connection with.
And the Flynn effect does not mean we are "getting smarter", that's one interpretation, the other is that IQ actually measures "western thinking" and that as western society peaked, towards the end of the last century, it levelled off as refelected in the flattening of average IQ scores from the mid 1990s onwards.

Hilary Wade

"And just ask any woman, gay or black Briton whether there's been progress in the last 50-100 years" - well, the Jehovah's Witnesses who come round to my house from time to time fall into at least two of these three categories, and they certainly believe things are getting worse. I disagree with them on this and other points, however.

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