This blog is dedicated to the memory of David Weintraub, who took on insidious astroturfers and won.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Fascism or Freedom? (conclusion to mailed in series on the roots of fascism with footnotes & a bibliography)

Imho, the best part of this series was when I covered the individual thinkers. I have edited the remainder and am only posting this to give some sense of closure. It wasn't the greatest paper ever written, but I stand by it to this day.


     Work needs to be reconstituted so that it is no longer the result of alienation. As it is, work is a dullifying duty which is at odds with the joy of life. It places greater importance on the state  and its conception of law and order than on gratifying work and self-regulating work-democracy. Under the oppressive reality principle, work has become compulsive labour in which workers have no final interest in the products produced for fat cat owners. In short, work is dehumanising because it has no meaning. What is at stake is our definition of sexuality. Is it to be the outcome of alienated labour or is it to be the consequence of self-realisation? If work is conditional on the suppression of pleasure and Eros, then sadistic and masochistic core-characters will again germinate.

     Herbert Marcuse understood the repressive nature of the reality principle. He also thought there could be a non-repressive reality principle. In Eros and Civilisation in regards to this topic he stated,

          These constaints enforced by the need for sustaining a large quantum
          of energy and time for non-gratifying labour, perpetuate the desexualization
          of the body in order to make the organism into a subject/object of
          socially useful performances. Conversely, if the work day and energy
          are reduced to a minimum without a corresponding manipulation of the
          free time, the ground for these constraints would be undermined. Libido
          would be released and would overflow the institutionalized limits within
          which it is kept by the reality principle. (17)

     We are living in a cultural wasteland, one in which consumption and exploitation have been instutionalised and validated by authoritarians. We consume more than ever before without a concrete relatedness to how history truly unfolds. Since every act of consumption should be a positive humane action, people need to stop in their tracks and question everything, because the act of consumption has become too much an end in itself. The time has come for a decision.

     If people are to start shaping the world in favor of Eros over Thanatos, they must first start right now! ... to make decisions - whether on the environment, alienating education, fascist South Africa, or whatever. We are given two choices when the umbilical cord is snapped. We can either continue down the road to annihilation or we can march with exhilaration towards self-realisation. As we become more cognizant of our own individuality, the burden of reality can be very strong. This is so especially because so much destructiveness is present. However, we must remain positive and keep pushing for an ideal future, of how it ought to be. Most importantly we need to understand the fundamental choice that confronts us all. As Erich Fromm wrote in Escape From Freedom,

          That man, the more he gains freedom of emerging from the original
          oneness with man and nature and the more he becomes an `individual',
          has no choice but to unite himself with the world in the spontaneity
          of love and productive work, or else to seek a kind of security by such
          ties with the world as destroy his freedom and the integrity of his
          individual self. (18)

     Our choice is between having a core-self or becoming a sadist or automaton. Our choice is between Eros and Thanatos, pleasure versus reality, work and love over alienated labour and hatred, and self-regulation as opposed to biological frustration and outright fascism. The choice is ours.

FOOTNOTES

1
 Fromm, Fear of Freedom, p. 108
2
 Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, p. 70
3
 Ibid., p. 15
4
 Miller, Thou Shalt Not Be Aware, p. 18
5
 Jay, The Dialectical Imagination, p. 108
6
 Ibid., p. 112
7
 Fromm, The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness, p. 268
8
 Ibid., p. 332
9
 Ibid., p. 325
10
 Ibid., pp. 398-399
11
 Ibid., p. 398
12
 Ibid., p. 397
13
 Ibid., p. 436
14
 Reich, The Mass Psychology of Fascism, p. 63
15
 Ibid., p. 322
16
 Ibid., benediction
17
 Marcuse, Eros and Civilization, pp. 162-32
18
 Op Cit., The Dialectical Imagination, p. 99
 
BIBLIOGRAPHY

Freire, Paulo
* A Pedagogy for Liberation Dialogues on Transforming Education
   Houndmills, 1987
   Macmillan Publishers Ltd.
* Pedagogy of the Oppressed
   Harmondsworth, 1972
   Penguin
* The Politics of Education: Culture Power and Liberation
   London, 1985
   Macmillan Publishers Ltd.

Fromm, Erich
* The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness
   London, 1973
   Jonathan Cape Ltd.
   pp. 268-332, 369-438
* Fear of Freedom
   London, 1942
   Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd.
* The Sane Society
   London, 1956
   Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd.

Jay, Martin
* The Dialectical Imagination: A History of the Frankfurt School
   and the Institute of Social Research (1923-1950)
   London, 1973
   Heinemann Educational Books Ltd.
   pp. 86-172

Marcuse, Herbert
* Eros and Civilization
   U.S.A., 1955
   Beacon Press
* One Dimensional Man: The Ideology of Industrial Society
   London, 1964
   Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd.

Miller, Alice
* For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Child-Rearing
   and the Roots of Violence
   London, 1983
   Virago Press
   pp. 142-197
* Thou Shalt Not Be Aware: Society's Betrayal of the Child
   London, 1985
   Pluto Press

Reich, Wilhelm
* Listen, Little Man!
   Harmondsworth, 1948
   Penguin
* The Mass Psychology of Fascism
   Harmondsworth, 1975
   Penguin

Trotsky, Leon
* Stalin: An Appraisal of the Man and his Influence
   London, 1947
   Willis & Carter Ltd.
   pp. 1-23, 335-434
 

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Work is alienating? This Marxist concept is a relic from the early days of the industrial revolution and has been losing its potency, though not entirely since the west either continues to evolve (or devolve) into a service economy where higher education, ideas and communication become more the norm of "work" than production of goods which has increasingly offshored or been replaced by robots in its more menial functioning.

The marxist trope is that work could bring us pleasure in a communist society which has lost the fever of greed and the insistence that more is better. Cuba comes closest to such a society, maybe the only one in the West, where the bulk of society has bought into a different psychology towards economic relations that is required for real socialism of the Marxist variety to succeed.

Is work less alienating in Cuba? Perhaps. But is that because of the nature of the work or people's belief system regarding acquisition, money, power, greed?

Alienation is a psychological attitude that extends from one's relations with the dominant forces of society including but not necessarily pervaded by the current structure of work in the 21st century. Cuba may have created a less alienating more inclusive society than the wild west of neoliberalism but this is a social force primarily, attitudes towards work are dependent on the sociopolitical priorities set by the ruling class and its acceptance by the Cuban society.

One could hardly compare the short brutish enslaved life of the mid 19th century industrial worker with the comparatively long, easy and overstuffed life of the average western peasnat of today. Sure, there are problems, major problems still to resolve, but the curve cannot be seen as bent in any but the right direction for the average worker of today comapred to his peer of 150 years ago.

One might notice a midpoint in the world between say US capitalism on one extreme and Cuban socialism on the other in the Nordic economies which have moved towards neoliberalism too since the 1980s but still retain higher levels of social cohesion, income equality and safety net than the US.

I'm tempted to conclude that one of these socioeconomic models, Cuba or Nordic or a hybrid represents the future, as population increases, life spans increase, technology consumes more of the 'alienating' aspects of work and natural resources deplete.

Perhaps natural occurrences such as climate induced famines or envuronmental destruction will inevitably change the human psychology of neoliberal greed to more sharing.

Perhaps a revolution will occur at some point, once which grows from inside the individual projecting outward to society as people learn the need to cope in order to survive. It would seem the internet could play a role in this social transformation in a distant time and place among a chastened, yet more enlightened world body politic.

socrates said...

Watch this movie. It will answer all your questions, grasshopper.

Anti-Clock

socrates said...

Some people like to make excuses for how our country is structured. They will reference other countries, taking eyes off of our own problems, contradictions, and state-sponsored illegal activity.

If you don't like it, move to Russia!

The person above mentions Cuba. Though he doesn't mention how the US has bullied them economically for decades.

That's what you get, when political operatives put two-party politics over what life is truly like compared to how it ought to be. To them, it is all about winning political seats and pork entitlements.

That's what the internet is. It is rigged. It is mostly comprised of political and military operatives. We are no different than China or Russia. We suck.

MA Angelbasher said...

You said a mouthful there, but you are wrong. We are much worse than China and Russia.

socrates said...

I tend to agree with you. There are different perspectives. Pure communication is very difficult.

I agree the United States of America has been a failure, if that is why you mean, in that they are hypocrites.

It's like the Supreme Court or any other top of the food chain power institution.

Orwell's 1984 has come to life with the all powerful U.S.. I hate to extrapolate from your one sentence too much. I don't know much about living conditions in Russia and China.

I only know America. I tried to make a simple point, yet I use too many words or something, or I try too hard sometimes.

The cliche is if you don't like it, move to China. Those comments come from people suffering from authoritarian personality disorder.

We Americans are pretty cool once we know what's going on. It just sucks because it feels like that movie The Matrix.

And also one starts to sense their own mortality as they grow older. The Wall is so high, as Pink Floyd warned us. It is. It's terrifying, if you really start to think about it. It's creepy. It's near impossible not to fall into pessimism.

The Bush Administration needed to be arrested for war crimes. Nope, didn't happen. And then the madness has escalated.

However, without Snowden's move, we'd be a lot worse off. There is that.

Anonymous said...

MSOC hangin em up:

LOL. This brought a tear to my eye.

This is so sad (0.00 / 0)
every old thread I look at makes me laugh.

"Kane is easy to love" - caliberal
by: Kane in CA @ Fri May 16, 2014 at 21:54:51 PM CDT


yep (0.00 / 0)
and brings back memories.
Whatever happened to Imhotep?

Did Miki ever get her pipes properly insulated?

Is donkeytale currently residing in a locked facility and getting the help he so desperately needed?


When the airlines figure out a way to charge for emotional baggage...we're all in trouble. ~ jbou at DK
by: puzzled @ Fri May 16, 2014 at 22:01:36 PM CDT
[ Parent ]

Anonymous said...

Linky thingie:

http://www.myleftwing.com/diary/28829/my-left-wing-rip

BTW, Miki is still posting dairies at pffugeecamp

socrates said...

The real story is shadowthief has been recently exposed as a Hal Turner-esque concern troll. See his Guardian schtic. That he was also an administrator at My Left Wing is very interesting.

He is what paid disinfo looks like in the real, fake cyber world. He defines what we might come to expect as described in some of the Snowden documents.

Maryscott O'Connor was a patsy. Her passion was excellent, but she was the wrong person at the wrong time to lead good guy supertrolls out of the Daily Kos milieu.

Anonymous said...

The real story of Shadowthief is that was no real story. He was his own ARG. A series of them

Maybe he was paid but I tend to believe he was creating a new literary genre out of this nouveau pseudo artform of the people. I think the Swedish dude captured Shadow's twilight zone quality quite well without ever really trying to define it.

To define art is to kill it. And Shadowthief was an artist, make no mistake.

There are lots of 'what ifs' attending whiteyspheric herstory.

What if Peeder had founded MLW? MSOC assembled an excellent cohort from the first two cuts of DKOS talented bannees but she never could just roll with it and allow it to flow in its own direction.

Every attempt at a spontaneous organic outgrowth had to nipped in the bud of her outsized needy egocentricity

Ultimately, MSOC's lack of a sense of humour did her blog in.

Peeder's brew was just too trollcentric. It was its own ARG. Great for awhile but unsustainable.

Blogging itself had its moments, some were sublime, transcendental even. And that's just me and you I'm talking about.

One had to give too much time and effort to be consistently as smart and entertaining as we can be and at the end of the the DLC didn't pay enough to keep me in clover.

Anonymous said...

Also, have you been to Marisacat's blog lately?

Time stopped there on September 6, 2012.

Eerie

http://marisacat.wordpress.com/

socrates said...

The Blogging Curmudgette was crucial to their infiltrating MLW. She was the ultimate concern troll. MarisaCat was actually not that far out and you simply trolled her too much, so she was forced to marisize your schtick. I think she pinned you as Bad Guy Dem Operative. The most recent theories sa you are that ex-cop who infiltrated biker gangs. You're definitely not Sabu. No one's saying that. You could be shadowthief.

You could be full time internet. You might also be Noom. You are like a Sid Caesar who can sound like the languages. You are a proven inventor of persona management.

You drop factoids that never pan out. No kid winning those academic olympic awards shows up. There's no raccoon police blotter in Denton or Denton County.

Anyway, it was the Swede reporter who took the shadowthief story to a new level. I do recall you vehemently claim he's some cubicle dweller in the Berkeley California school system. You say that despite the point that those suckers are called TOR and anyone can make themselves appear from wherever they want to.

Curmudgette made wild claims. She mocked instead of answering them. She said she called him at his job. I claim shenanigans.

Anonymous said...

The Berkeley school system IP address was actually the title of the wikipedia page dedicated to Shadowthief/Socrates/donkeytale/noom. This was circa 2008-9 thereabouts during the time we were being scrubbed from the FSZ.

God, I wish I had kept a screenshot, assuming at some point I had learnt how to make screenshots. There was also a runnibg dialogue on early twitter that often spoke of me. I remember finding it by googling me own handle one time and LMFAO for about 5 minutes.

Think it was the Howard X, Hamburglar/Darrel sub grouping but not sure. In my memory it was the same time we invaded the DFQ blog like maggots eating a rotten carcass. Ah, those were the days....

The TOR theory falters on the grounds that TOR randomly selects IP addresseds, most of which are located in Doucheland.

Actually, it was Marisa who outed ST's IP address. She outed mine too. Mudge may have mentioned his Berkely ISD connections and now that you mention it ST did play off that persona. I think he was a higher up at the district with a corner office. It was Miss Devore occupying a cube at San Jose State.

Mea Culpa on the over trolling in those days but when I do go back and re-read I also added some really good funny along with the bad funny and just plane bad schtick.

You get what you pay for.

The Swedish dude could also be Shadowthief, in fact thats at least as probable as any theorem.

That would also make him a paid fake which should make you happy.

socrates said...

No, the Swedish dude is legit. He is a social media kind of regular guy. Shadowthief/Veronika was causing major mayhem at The Guardian. Some loser even wrote up an article on it, very similar to loser accounts posted at say The Daily Dot or by the "Asher Wolf" security troll.

Mimicry is part of the racket. That was disclosed in Snowden documents.

I think it's called TOR. I had this strange moderator named Lophofo. He showed me how you can fake any location. He didn't show it, because I have no clue and do not venture to strange links, if I can help it.

Marisacat got the ip. That sounds legit. It however doesn't prove anything. Please explain how Curmudgette got shadowthief's work number off of an ip? It doesn't work that way.

School systems can have computer labs with 100+ computers. There was that curmudgette/curmudgeon blog that got white-walled.

That was agent provocateur type stuff shadowthief was up to.

You are either a paid fake or not. If so, then of course you will mock the idea of a massive Hal Turner program. If you are an unpaid troll, then to you it is all good.

I understand that lone wolf civilian bloggers can pop up. These people are unpaid. I was one of them. So it is possible.

It is even possible that these lone wolf trolls are into drama, and immature drama at that.

But I don't think so. The Snowden documents spell out what the British version of NSA was doing.

I think we have the Snowden documents and that means the eye test is a good test. What would these confirmed Spy Factory fakes look like? And it is conspiracy fact the M.I.C. is into arg's and persona management.

socrates said...

The Snowden documents speak of mimicry as one of the tactics. It was used on me a number of times. You were brought into that. So was The Last Name Left. It's a long story.