"THIS IS CLOSELY RELATED TO THE JEWISH IDEA OF CONVERGENCE OR GOD OR ‘SHOAH’, AND THUS HAS RAMIFICATIONS FOR THE METAPHYSICAL (SPIRITUAL) CONTEXT OF MARXISM..."
HISTORICAL MATERIALISM - MARXIST METAPHYSICS
PUBLISHED: 18th February, 2019 | By TOM TOMORROW
Historical materialism is Marx's construction of linear time. It divides all peoples and all sets of relations (family, community, race) into a set of relations based on modes of production: haves and have-nots. Any non-materialistic or essentialist relationship is not recognized. Marx conspicuously called religion “the opiate of the masses.”
The concept of historical materialism comes from Descartes’ notion of materialist duality: “I think therefore I am”. By applying Hegel’s notion of ‘synthesis’ to Descartes’ dualistic materialism Marx postulated a ‘linearity’ of the two elements of Descartes’ materialism: the external world and the internal thoughts of man. This notion of ‘synthetic’ or dialectical materialism, as a successor to dualistic materialism, allows one's material status (position in material production) to act as a standard of measurability for linear time.
Marx constructed linearity from cyclical attributes by analogizing linear time to the flow of a river. The flow of water in a river is continuous (continuity is initially conflated with the concept of linearity) however Marx also notes the flow of a river to be formalistically discontinuous: it can diverge to form two separate rivers or two separate rivers can converge to form a single river. Thus the only continuity of linearity is its formalistic discontinuity or ‘catastrophe’.
This is the Marxist construction of paradox or cyclicality: discontinuity as the only continuity ie. catastrophe as the only continuity. This is closely related to the Jewish idea of convergence or God or ‘shoah’, and thus has ramifications for the metaphysical (spiritual) context of Marxism.
While linear time remains the left’s structure of verification the medium by which linearity is measured changes from one cultural generation to the next. Marx mechanistically postulated this ‘discontinuity’ or ‘catastrophe’ as a workers’ revolution in which prior modes of production or construction (being) are formalistically overthrown to create new modes of being or production. In postmodernism the medium of verification becomes linguistic context. The postmodern school of Marxism criticized Marx for economic determinism (scientism) and developed a theory of negative formalism or negative dialectics. The ramification of this development is that the left has switched from regulating economics to regulating language itself. This includes using language in its “correct” (centralized) context etc.
More metastatically linearity pervades art in Postmodernism. Lines are created by material juxtapositionism and deconstructed materials. Postmodern art motifs propound the Marxist paradigm of discontinuity as the meta-truth of continuity.
It is important for the right to realize that postmodernism’s critique of historical materialism is spiritual (in linguistic terms) and not just materialistic. Horkheimer himself wrote of a “mass culture of poverty” and the spiritual dearth within capitalism. In the most self-referencing of ironies postmodern or grammar fundamentalism has become a religion in and of itself. The difference between left and right is thus posited as a paradigm of time. Linear for the Western and syndicalist and cyclical for the Eastern and socialist.
It is important to note that Marxism does not decidabley answer the orientation of the term ‘continuity’. Marx referred to the holistic flow of the river as continuous and therefore linear however, the formalistic flow of the river is continuous (cyclical) only in its discontinuity. Cyclical discontinuity is the only absolute truth of linear time.
To the right Marx left the more difficult problem of solving the construction of cyclicality from linear attributes.
This is the conundrum of modern philosophy.
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