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Which is why neo-Marxism is WRONG


by John Spritzler

January 27, 2023

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The goal of egalitarian revolution is to shape all of society by the egalitarian values of no-rich-and-no-poor equality (not "Equal Opportunity" to get richer than others), mutual aid and fairness, as discussed in "Egalitarianism: What Is It?"

The egalitarian goal has nothing to do with installing any particular class, or race or religion or gender or ethnicity in power over another or to receive preferential treatment compared to another. The egalitarian goal is to shape all of society by the egalitarian values (held by most people!) of no-rich-and-no-poor equality, mutual aid, and fairness.


In contrast to the egalitarian goal, the goal of Marxists (Marx wrote about class conflict) and similarly the goal of neo-Marxists (who, instead of class, talk about conflict between other groupings of people based on such things as race or gender or ethnicity or religion, etc.) is to install a particular class or race or religion or gender or ethnicity, etc. in power over another or to ensure that it is more favorably treated than another. "Anti-racism" intellectuals such as Ibram X. Kendi and many others who purport to champion some oppressed group against its oppressor group (such as women versus men [patriarchy]) do this. 


For example, in oh-so-liberal Massachusetts, three white men cannot form a non-profit organization and constitute its board of directors, but three people who are not all white men may do so. [The law is online here.] Some doctors at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts are now implementing "preferential treatment based on race or ethnicity," specifically "a preferential admission option for Black and Latinx heart failure patients," in the name of "anti-racism" as you can read about here.

These non-egalitarian supposed revolutionaries or reformers play right into the hands of the ruling class (that I call the 'haves') that oppresses the vast majority of people (whom I call the have-nots). The ruling class easily divides-and-rules the have-nots when the only anti-establishment discourse is one that says one part of the have-nots should be removed from power or discriminated against and replaced with a different part of the have-nots who should be installed in power or treated more favorably than the other group.

"But wait!" one might object. The Marxists say that the working class should replace the capitalist class in power, and isn't the working class the have-nots? So how does this divide the have-nots, it would seem to unite them.

Here's the problem. In the Marxist framework, there is no mention of the conflict in society being between opposing values--the egalitarian values versus the anti-egalitarian values of inequality and domination and pitting people against each other to control them. For Marxists the conflict is only between opposing classes with conflicting interests, not conflicting values. (Here is a typical Marxist article that illustrates this; h/t to J.R.) In the Marxist framework, what's important about a person is what class (working class or capitalist class or maybe petit bourgeoisie) they belong to and what is or is not in their interest, not what values they hold and what values by which they try to shape whatever part of the world they have any real control over.*


Marxists only talk about the interests of the working class (better pay and working conditions, etc., i.e. not being exploited by capitalists) but never the egalitarian values that most (not all!**) working class people hold. In fact, Marxists believe that everybody--working class and capitalist class alike--hold the same value, namely self-interest; it's just that the self-interest of working class people (higher wages, for example) conflicts with that of the capitalists (lower wages.) Marxists believe that ordinary working class people have no subjective desire to create a classless (egalitarian) society, that they do not have egalitarian values, and that for this reason ordinary working class people should not have the real say in society when Marxists seize power. This is discussed in detail here and here (in the section about the Bolshevik Party in the Soviet Union).

By eliminating from public discourse the very idea that the fundamental conflict in society is about what values should shape it, and framing the conflict instead as one group versus another over which will have the power and which will not, Marxists lay the groundwork for the ruling class to do what it is so effectively doing today. The ruling class promotes supposed revolutionaries/reformers who keep the Marxist framework (self-interest of one group versus self-interest of another group) while defining the antagonistic groups in terms of race or religion or gender or ethnicity. This is pure divide-and-rule of the have-nots.

The ruling class LOVES to be "attacked" by people who frame the conflict in this divisive way. This is why the ruling class promotes talk about race the way it does, as I discuss here about CRT and here about Affirmative Action and here about race in health care and here about reparations.

This is why the Israeli ruling class (backed 100% by the U.S. ruling class) frames the conflict as "the Jews" versus "the Palestinians" as I discuss here.

This is why the ruling class promotes those who pit men and women against each other, as I discuss here.

The "one group versus the other group" framework enables smooth-talking intellectuals to use the mass media and social media to defend their group against the attack on it waged by the other group. These intellectuals can, no matter which group they are defending, make very powerful and persuasive arguments about why the people attacking their group are wrong. Divide-and-rule is the result--the intended result by the ruling class.

The way to escape this divide-and-rule is to aim explicitly, not to replace one group in power by another, but to shape society by egalitarian values and remove from power people who want to shape it by anti-egalitarian values, no matter what group a person belongs to.


* Marxist regimes, which are notoriously anti-democratic (as I discuss here and here) get away with being anti-democratic by saying that the rulers represent the working class, thereby deflecting attention from the fact that the rulers promote inequality instead of equality.

** Quite obviously not all working class people hold egalitarian values. When workers stage a real (not a merely ineffectual 'informational') picket line to stop production at their place of employment, the picket line calls on workers to act on the egalitarian value of mutual aid by honoring, not crossing, the picket line. But often some workers--scabs--do cross the picket line (unless the striking workers forcibly, even violently, prevent them), demonstrating that a minority of working class scabs do not share the mutual aid value with the majority of working class people.

At the same time, as I write about here, some--it's a minority!-- rich people are good people with respect to their values.

Because most working class people do hold egalitarian values and most rich people hold the contrary capitalist values, it is reasonable to speak of the conflict of values in our society as a conflict between a working class culture and an upper class culture.

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