Curating Content To Support Learning About Humanity's Transition

This content was posted on  5 Sep 17  by   Helen Pluckrose  on  Medium
Are Marxist anti-capitalists post-modernists?

Are Marxist anti-capitalists post-modernists?
No. Postmodernists attacked Marxism. Many PoMos are anti-capitalist and some have adapted Marxist ideas but they are still different things. Marxists are very critical of postmodernism. I am not sure what you’re asking about this in relation to our manifesto?

I don’t know where we are conflating philosophy and politics. We are talking about modernity though which has both. That is also the context rather than geography.

Application is covered in ‘How to Renew Modernity.’ Yes, it is general rather than specific. There is an attitude and a set of values we want to defend generally.

We know ‘liberal’ has been used in a derogatory sense by both the left and the right and is used to mean different things by both groups and in America and Britain. That is why we avoided using it.

What ad hominem?

No, radicals did not bring about change. There was no revolution. The zeitgeist gradually changed. Ideas that were once radical stopped being radical when mainstream society accepted them. This is a benefit of a society in which ideas are allowed to fight themselves out, including those considered radical. This is modernity.

Yes, this essay is not about the anti-capitalist left except where they espouse attitudes that we have criticised generally. The same is true of the identitarian left and the extreme traditionalist right and extreme libertarian right. We are speaking generally of sets of anti-modern ideas all feeding into each other and needing to be opposed by those who value the fruits of the Enlightenment.

We have not described ‘right wing politics.’ We certainly haven’t suggested they are united. On the contrary, we have said that most people on both sides oppose the lunatic fringes of both and would do better to ally with each other.

We do identify why people are attacking modernity. See the section ‘What the enemies of modernity get right.’

We want to continue the project of modernity and improve it. Learn from its mistakes, consider the criticisms of it and continue to seek peace, prosperity and the furthering of human wellbeing using the benefits that science, reason, democracy and individual liberty and the institutions which support them have brought to us.

Why do we ignore material conditions? In what sense should we have addressed them in the context of our thesis? What underlying assumptions? Do we recognise the harm the western world has done via colonialism etc? Yes, we do. We say so. However, if you wish the manifesto had been specifically about economics, material conditions and western exploitation of the rest of the world in modern history, I can only suggest that you write that one. This one is about defending the fruits of the Enlightenment and continuing to refine its project against those who would return us to the ignorance, misery and oppression which dominated and continues to dominate society without them.

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