History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Vulgar marxism?

February 24th, 2015 · No Comments


This is a harsh indictment, and I have myself in Last and First Men tried to challenge archaic marxism on these issues. Reductionist scientism is actually an aberration of modernity and will not survive head on collision with ancient religions. But modernity will survive, and it won’t be defined by marxism. That why I have suggested a complete upgrade to marxist cliches.
In any case the status of Islam is hard to understand. The new atheists can’t seem to grasp this religion and the stance of the Israeli quagmire has complicated the issue, especially the ambiguities of secularism.
I think that a look at the larger context of modernity will warn Islamists to be wary of overconfidence about secularism. The evidence shows the way Islamic world views are ironically an attempt to create a ‘modernity’ before the fact. Now in the context of the modernity commonly defined Islam is very hard to analyze or understand. I think Moslems should sacrifice unstated illusions here. Modernity is not anti-religion and has a hidden depth that conservatives looking backward cannot see, and their attempts to move backwards will be the coup de grace, not the opinions of modernists.
I think that the questions of Marx and communism should inform the debate over religion, and the bungled vulgar marxism current makes no difference: the issue is what sort of public belief will serve the endgame of globalization.

But, of course, the problem is deeper than political correctness. For progressives, it’s something I’ve come to call Vulgar Marxism.

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While most progressives today disavow actual communism, those that care about the history of ideas still typically regard Karl Marx as an important and serious thinker. And his idea that has had the most influence is dialectical materialism, or the idea that the only driver of history is socioeconomic forces.

According to this view, religions, philosophies, ideologies, worldviews, and even culture at large are simply illusions, embraced after the fact to justify this or that move in our class warfare. Marx’s views of history were influenced by 19th-century evolutionism. Think of the idea that we’re just genes trying to reproduce: You may think that you’re in love, or that you do your work for some higher purpose, but really it’s just your genes tricking you into thinking that to increase their odds of spreading. Hence, for example, his notion that religion is just “the opium of the people” (a quote that is much kinder to religious believers in its context than is usually thought, by the way): beliefs have no influence on history.

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