Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Pope was wrong

posted by Mr. Vidiot @ 6:53 PM Permalink

Il Papa said this about Marx:
Excerpt: "Karl Marx describes man's alienation in a drastic way; although by limiting his reasoning to the material sphere he fails to reach the true depths of alienation, he nevertheless provides a clear image of the man who falls victim to the robbers," Joseph Ratzinger writes.
His argument followed the traditionalist line of the Marxist volgata, reducing Marx to an economic determinist. In other words, it's cheap, pop Marxism. The Pope apparently did not learn the more complex form of Marxist thinking that takes into account the dialectal nature of social processes.

Where it is true that Marx focused on human activity, he also focused on the world brought about by human activity. Marx basically knew that all reality is socially constructed. And it is socially constructed by the hands, minds, hearts and imagination of human beings, actively engaged in the world of every day life. In his activity, man produces ideas, ideas that become knowledge and embedded in institutions. These institutions --economic, cultural, social, political, and religious -- are brought about by human beings actively engaged in human activity of world producing. To Marx, ideas do not produce anything. Rather, human beings, in their action, produce the world. And this world, man recognizes as his creation. Man then produces the world of which he becomes cognizant, man separates himself from the world that he produces. Yet, the world maintains its human character. And this world he produces influences his activity, and this is an ongoing dialectical process.

Alienation is the moment in a process where man continues to produce a world that he no longer recognizes as being made by him. The world takes on a non-human character that exists independently of and is coercive to man. In other words, human beings are capable of producing a world that is capable of denying his existence. In short, and most simply put, man in his labor (in Marxist terms, labor means all forms of human activity, not limited to economic activity, which is where the Pope's mistake is) in the broadest sense of the term, includes all human activity.

Labor to Marx is all human activity, not just economic activity. Human activity produces ideas -- political, (state, government, polity) economic, social (family, education), cultural (art, music, urban planning), religious -- and these ideas that man creates shapes his activity and this process is dialectical. Simply put, human being, the world producer, is shaped by the world he produces. Man becomes alienated politically, from the results of his own activity, man becomes economically alienated from the results of his own activity, man becomes socially alienated from the results of own activity, man becomes religiously alienated, culturally alienated, from the results of his own activity. So Marx did not claim that man was only economically alienated. By economically, Marx meant human activity, and human activity produces ideas that he no longer recognizes as having been produced by him, especially capitalism. And so, man alienates himself and all the multiple social spheres through his own activity of producing the world.

Example: Man created the concept of god within the context of religion, he endowed god with super human qualities, and finally bowed down to his own creation. Simply put, man created god and became dominated by his own creation. Just as man created private property in the form of commodities and became dominated by private property.

And that's why the Pope is wrong.

It's the dialectic, stupid.


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