Monday, April 18, 2011

Marx was skint but he had sense/Engels lent him the necessary pence

Terry Eagleton's "In Praise of Marx," from the Chronicle of Higher Education, is a great, must-read essay.  I'm not sure how you could read it and continue with the "grrr Marx evil" business that so many do.  Well, you'll see how if you check the comments section: either don't bother reading it or very cursorily skim it and then present anti-Marxist objections that the article clearly outlines and debunks.  No TIME for considering new information!  We have a weltanschauung to maintain! Not saying there are no possible objections to be made here; Eagleton obviously has a point of view, and the fact that I mostly share this point of view does not mean that it is unassailable. Probably a thoughtful dissenter could raise counter-arguments that would at least require me to think! But there seem to be few who care to be thoughtful on this topic.

It's like I tell my students: sure, you can argue X, but you CANNOT, in so doing, pretend that objection Y doesn't exist.  Of course, it's pretty unsurprising that so many of them have difficulty grasping this point, as our culture militates quite vigorously against the idea.  I don't let them write gay marriage argumentation papers because there are no good arguments against gay marriage. Like reality, I have a Librul Bias™.  However--well one might ask--if there are no good arguments against it, then why is it still illegal in so many states?  And the answer is: because we typically prefer to believe things through sheer force of dogma than for any other reason. Of course, gay marriage isn't legal in most of the world, it's true; but A) we fancy ourselves an "advanced" nation, so it's really incumbent on us to get with the picture; and B) we have an AWFUL LOT of these things: taxes are always automatically bad, medical care HAS to be expensive, global warming and evolution are satanic hoaxes, the drug war makes sense, and so on. You may not believe these things, but the culture at large refuses to treat them with the derision they deserve. CAPITALISM IS TEH ROXXOR HOW DARE YOU QUESTION IT may not have any logical power, but it sure is deeply embedded in most of our brains.


Blogger Tavis pontificated to the effect that...

How can you argue with TEH ROXXOR? There is no bojection nor no sanwer to roxxor. So there.

11:06 PM  

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