Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Marxists Are Not on the "Right Side of History"

From the Foundation for Economic Education:
One of the most common phrases to be heard from “the left” is the assertion that someone or some public policy is or is not on “the right side of history.” It has almost become a mantra by those who disagree with, hate, or are fearful of ideas and policies proposed by those generally characterized as being politically on “the right.” The notion behind it is that “history” moves in a particular direction, toward some set of specific goals and societal forms, with each step in the historical process representing a “higher” and “better” stage or level than the preceding ones at which “society” has been operating.

 It is also captured in the popular labeling of those, again, on the political left as being “progressives” in their outlook and proposals for social reform and change. On the other hand, opponents are declared to be “reactionary,” “conservative,” or “deniers” of some facet of reality. Under the latter heading would be those who deny or challenge or question whether “climate change” is singularly or primarily or significantly man-made, or whether America still is or is becoming a more racist, misogynist, or generally anti-“social justice” hateful society.

This attitude and language has been exacerbated by the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States, but it has been an ideological and linguistic conception of the political divisions in America and other places in the world for a very long time. As with many things on the political left, it dates from the nineteenth century and the “scientific socialism” of Karl Marx (1818-1883).

Many of the socialists who preceded or who were contemporaries of Marx believed that mankind could be transformed into a new and better socialist arrangement of human association through reason, willpower and conscious institution change. Marx rejected these people, labeling them as “utopian socialists.” They were “utopian,” that is, unrealistic fantasy believers, not because they wanted a bright and beautiful socialist future for humanity, but because they thought that it was in the ability of human beings to “will it” into existence. (Read more.)

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