Socialism: Utopian and Scientific



the purpose of this video is to give a straightforward and plain English explanation of the essay socialism utopian and scientific by Friedrich angles this essay is largely a misunderstood document by people who've never read it immediately people assume Engels was saying that socialism is utopian in scientific thereby supposedly discrediting him and thus by extension Marx in social theory no Marx has ever claimed of their worldview was utopian only market fundamentalists do that in actuality the document explains difference between socialism as utopian and socialism that is scientific there are several views of socialism that were discussed in the Communist Manifesto utopian and scientific included the point of this document was to explain why scientific socialism is a better choice and why utopian socialism is wrong with that said what I'm going to give is a rough outline to what is written in the document this will hopefully give you a basic cover of what the document is about after watching this video I suggest you read the document for yourself so that you may receive the full context and the full knowledge contained within the work again this is only a brief overview not a substitute for actually reading and understanding the document it is only intended to give you a jumpstart into reading it modern socialism that of 1880 is the result of two elements its class antagonisms of society capitalist and worker and the chaos that is commodity production the theoretical form of modern socialism comes from updating the theoretical work of French philosophers of the eighteenth century as this socialism was new it had to flow from the already accepted intellectual thoughts on it even though it came from economic reality the theorist who began the social thought were true extreme radicals they were not influenced by any prevailing ideologies these men nitpicked every detail nothing was allowed to exist their ideology unless it had been examined extensively when they created their ideology nothing was based on absolute reason this was the radical break in social thought nothing from the pre-existing societies was preserved no traditional ideas existed none of the prejudices the new idea of socialism wasn't based entirely on eternal right and truth based on nature and the inalienable rights of men unfortunately this idealized version of society was nothing more than the building of boudoir society the Equality got reduced to bridgewater property this ownership of property became the inalienable right of man this was the creation of the Rousseau social contract otherwise known as the Democratic Bush War Republic the antagonisms of feudal society gave birth to the creation of the new society the bush war rose up and declared themselves the representatives of everyone the capitalists realized that they made power over the workers as the feudal class needed power over the peasants the difference is the new ruling class of capitalist could claim to represent everybody the landlords never even bothered to try there were theoretical ideas that came about as a result of various class uprisings in 16th and the 7th centuries but these were utopian just pictures of a perfect way of life of society they were unattainable goals with no theory of how to reach them from this came three great utopian socialists saint-simon Hyun in the middle class and the proletarian to a degree Fournier and Owen in the most developed capitalist countries they made proposals for removing classes based on French materialism not one of them represented the proletariat they claim to want to liberate everyone but their philosophies represented only the elite they acted in the name of Reason injustice but were far from the French philosophers they claimed to be inspired by these three men only created the basis of an unjust irrational bourgeois system that we have now the French philosophers the forerunners of the revolution did all they could to live by reason to promote a rational government and society however this reason was just an idealized version of the 18th century citizen that had turned into how the boudoir see themselves this new rationality only seemed rational when it was compared to the previous feudal society the new society was built upon Rousseau social contract which was unable to hold on to Bush more property less the bourgeoisie had to resort to the reign of terror and the Napoleonic despotism in order to hold on to it the new Society of Reason did not eliminate class divisions and create a more powerful one it only altered the existing class relations it created a freedom of property that created the illusion that anyone can own property legally anyone could thus a transfer power from the landlord class to the bourgeoisie class the boudoir rule changed the social relations as well instead of a night removing a portion of the crops from the peasant a person was handed a cash payment for labour the fraternity of the new society became trade and competition oppression was replaced by corruption from the sword to gold as a social lever prostitution also increased astronomically the difficulty lied in the new social relations of production the drive for socialism was based on the social relations futile ISM at this time capitalism was building but the completeness of capitalism shown itself yet meaning that the class relations and how they were going to take shape in capitalism hadn't formed yet the new form of exchange altered the relations between people economically and did not fit into the view of utopian socialism at that time crude under developed conditions of capitalism and underdeveloped class relations led to underdeveloped ideas about socialism not all the conditions of capitalism had revealed themselves because capitalism was still under development so the great thinkers of socialism at the time attempted to guess what they were going to be and the base their theories on those guesses a series of ideas what socialism was were created because no one had analyzed the full material reality of what was modern life all these models were based on very abstract ideas not based on real material conditions the more the philosophers worked on a model of socialism that was not based on real conditions the more drifted into fantasies about socialist life they were completely utopian because they were completely abstract ideas not created from an analysis of really existing conditions obviously this is the fatal flaw in utopian ideas saint-simon had a great deal to do with the French Revolution this revolution was one of the third estate the people it was the working people over the idle rich people but the victory of the people ended up being a victor the bourgeoisie the properties of the Royal and the church got put up for sale mostly by fraud through military contracts my how things have changed it was the rule of these swindlers that almost destroyed France the near ruin that gave Napoleon the pretext for his coup d'etat eventually people began to recognize that the French Revolution was a class war of three classes I dynamic class war of nobility were split yzu versus the proletariat it was also at this time that people first began to get the idea that economics dominates political institutions they were not totally on top of this idea but the breakthrough was just beginning to be understood at this time and a little after the French philosophy in the 18th century the new German philosophy dialectics appeared the then modern formation of the dialectic was a combination of dialectics from the past Greek philosophers however the new thinkers of it had stuck with it a metaphysical mode of reasoning which gave it a very inflexible character this however did not stop 18th century French philosophers from making their works on dialectics when we think about nature in general the history of mankind and our own intellectual activity it all seems as though it is the mess of random occurrences and relationships that affect other relationships everything changes things come into being and then pass away as Engels said we see therefore at first the picture as a whole with this individual part still more or less kept in the background we observe the movements transitions connections rather than the things that move combine and are connected this just shows the overall picture the whole scheme of things at once and does not allow us to see the details that make up the picture because it does not allow us to see all the details we can't get the entire picture in a metaphysical view all things and their mental reflexes are isolated things that are analyzed singularly and apart from each other they see something once define it and place it back into the picture with no more thought given to it for him a thing either exists or does not exist a thing cannot at the same time be itself and something else positive and negative absolutely exclude one another and cause an effect standing rigid antithesis to each other this is all well and good back in the day it seemed like it was based on common sense and therefore was completely logical however it has its limits barriers of understanding that it cannot overcome them because of its inability to investigate because of this metaphysics became one sided restricted abstract and hopelessly lost in contradiction because it cannot make out the connection between things it ignores the beginning of things and the end of things it ignores their motion this is the fundamental logic of capitalism but more rigidly held by market fundamentalists this is how they see the world it take a supply and demand curve blog post and arrogantly demand that it is reality they see labor as being nothing more than another commodity in the same supply and demand because of this they feel they fail to see that labor is not like every other commodity labor is human beings human beings in motion that don't act like chess pieces this goes a long way to explaining why their society and their economic structure doesn't work has never worked and will never work with an inability to see how forces interact with each other or how people interact with each other the only possible explanation of which must be the government it's always somebody else's fault for their apparent lack of understanding metaphysics says a person is alive or not in reality it's not that simple no one knows when a fetus becomes a human being or even when a collection of cells becomes a fetus because the creation of a human being is a process not an instantaneous event death is no different at what point exactly is a person dead is unknown an organized being is both itself and not itself we consume food and water adding matter to our bodies then we expel waste removing matter from it during this time cells die off and new ones are created in a gigantic complicated process that is human life every organized being is always itself and yet something other than itself another aspect that formal logic metaphysics Kant comes to turn with is the Union unity of opposites metaphysics say opposites are in conflict and they work against each other however simple scientific analysis shows us that this is not necessarily the case you have to have a positive and a net if for a magnet to work you can't have life without death you can't die unless you've lived and you can't live if there is only death the opposites work with each other not against each other this also applies to cause and effect a cause happen that creates an effect that is simple and straightforward that even kindergartners can understand however formal logic stops there where dialectics continues on these effects that just took place become the causes that create other effects the universe and everything in it is one big entanglement of causes and effects metaphysics only sees one cause-and-effect moment and not their effects on the whole of the other causes and effects only dialectics understands these things not metaphysical reasoning dialectics understand processes that include the unity of opposites and the fact that things come into being and then leave metaphysics is a completely rigid system that cannot understand these things in fact only dialectics can explain evolution Darwin laid down the evolution is a process that takes time to develop there however there appears to be jumps in evolution from one stage to another at what point does Homo erectus become homo sapien when is the official change made evolution is a process that takes place under the immediate surface of physical appearance the next stage seemingly appearing out of nowhere all of a sudden okay a common creationist attack against evolution is the wholes argument take any two juxtaposed points on the evolutionary chart and there's a space between those two points creationists will say there is a gap there you don't know what happened in time a new fossil is found that fills that space giving explanation then the creationists will say you haven't explained anything now there are two holes on each side of the new fossil in other words using metaphysics you can never satisfy the wholes argument as dialectics understands that it is not an instantaneous change but a process that takes place under the surface this new German philosophy finally built up into its modern form the hell Gihon system as Engel said in this system and herein is it's great merit for the first time the whole world natural historical intellectual is represented as a process ie in constant motion change transformation development and the attempt is made to trace out the internal connection that makes a continuous whole of this whole movement and development from this point of view the history of mankind no longer appeared as a wild world of senseless deeds of violence all equally condemnable at the judgment seat of mature philosophic reason and which are best forgotten as quickly as possible but as the process of evolution of man himself this system also had his problems its problem was in the immaterial Hegel was an idealist to him the thoughts in his brain were not more or less abstract pictures of actual things and processes to him they were external ideas that existed before ideas did he sees ideas as something eternal to the human mind this mode of thinking is similar to that of religion it all lies on big contradiction the helghan system says that human history is a process of evolution which means there cannot be an absolute truth but at the same time it claims to be the very essence of absolute truth a system of natural and historical knowledge embracing everything and the final for all time is a contradiction to the fundamental law of dialectic reasoning this perception a fundamental contradiction by necessity led back to materialism but it did not lead back to the 18th century metaphysical materialism the old materialism saw human history as a crude heap of irrationality and violence modern materialism sees it as an evolution of humanity that leads towards an explanation it this means modern materialism is dialectic it takes in natural science which has it's all in history and time it takes into account celestial bodies like organic life under favourable conditions and are created and then destroyed it understands these things because materialism and the dialectic work in the synergistic manner this new conception of nature as a process not cycles could only come about through information discovered by research social theory is no different in this regard the class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie became the main event in history in proportion to the development of modern industry and the political supremacy of the bourgeoisie with the dialectic we were able to see that all of history except in the primitive stages was a history of class struggles the classes the go to war in any given time are the product of the mode of production and exchange when this happened soldiers went from being the idea of some genius to becoming the necessary result of a battle between two historically developed classes the proletariat and the bourgeoisie socialism was no longer idealistic its goal was to no longer create a perfect system it was materialistic to examine a historical economic succession of events from which these classes and her antagonisms had of necessity sprung and to discover in the economic conditions thus created the means of ending the conflict the early idealistic socialism could criticize the prevalent mode of capitalist production and his consequences but it cannot understand them and thus could not defeat them or understand how they developed what this dialectic analysis discovered was the great contradiction in capitalist society that explain not only exploitation but its eventual downfall surplus value in previous times unpaid labor these two great discoveries the materialistic conception of history and the revelation of the secret of capital the production through surplus-value we owe to Marx with these discoveries socialism became a science the next thing to do was to work out all of its details and relations the materialist conception of history starts from the proposition that the production of the means to support human life and next to production the exchange of things produced is the basis of all social structure that in every society that has appeared in history the manner in which wealth is distributed in society divided into classes from this point of view we can see that revolutions are caused by not created by ideas in people's head but by necessary changes in the modes of production and exchange they are not found in philosophy but in the economics of any given time the bushwa created the mode of capitalist production this destroyed the feudal system of production because it was incompatible with a system of free competition this allowed an explosion in the development of the production of machinery for production but now machinery has developed with limits within capitalism just as it had in feudalism this limitation is a conflict between the mode of production and the productive forces this is not a made-up conflict it exists independent of people's opinion socialism is the necessary reordering of society to unlock more productive forces before capitalist production society was a collection of small producers working for themselves private property was instruments of labour of single individuals adapted for the use of one worker this meant production was scattered among many small individual producers this scattering of production had its limits it could not develop further as it did in capitalism this happened because capitalism concentrated production in the fourth section of capital Marx explained in detail how since the 15th century this has been historically worked out through three phases of simple cooperation manufacture and modern history but the bourgeoisie as shown here could not transform these puny means of production into mighty productive forces without transforming them at the same time from means of production of the individual into social means of production only work by a collectivity of men because now commodities were the product of social production no one person could say they made it this is the contradiction of capitalism wealth is generated by a collective of people but owned by an individual this is given rise to all the social antagonisms of today it has reduced the productive power of a single individual into an exchangeable part of capitalist production so much for the capitalist claim of reaping benefits of their hard work the need is to reorganize the social nature of modern productive forces to recognize that the mode of production that is capitalism has determined the social relations the solution is to have society directly take control of production and have it fit the desired social relations not the other way around active social forces seem like that they impose themselves blindly and destructively only if we do not understand them but once we understand then we can subject them to our own will to achieve objectives this understanding goes against capitalism and the bourgeoisie which is why they fight like hell to make sure these ideas stay out of mainstream media and educational institutions as capitalism develops it turns more and more people into proletarians these proletarians become an exploitive majority who turn into a force for revolution the revolution in turn takes the means of production and makes in the property of the state eliminating the position of proletariat the state has always been a representative of the elite in society in ancient times the state of slave owning citizens in the Middle Ages the feudal landlords in our own times the bourgeoisie when there is no subjugated class or anarchy in production meaning it is organized and not market driven the state is no longer necessary the state is not abolished it dies out this gives the measure of the value of the adjective and as to its ultimate scientific inefficiency and also the demands of the so-called anarchists for the abolition of the state out of hand the document was written to show how socialism was developed from a utopian idea of society wanted to a true understanding of how societies worked thus enabling us to understand how a socialist society can be created the dialectic is a correct form of logic but it has its limitations because it is not grounded in materialism historical materialism gave the world an understanding of why societies were the way they were Marx combines historical materialism with the dialectic into dialectical materialism to create the Communist philosophy the dialectical materialism allows us to understand the material conditions of all societies and how those conditions work with and against each other this was the genius of Karl Marx




Comments
  1. Interesting listen, thanks for putting the time in. Here is, I think, the biggest concern people have with any movement towards socialism. "The solution is to have society directly take control of production and have it fit the desired social relations." What are the desired social relations? Whom among society will be in charge of directly taking control? What means will be used to direct production to "fit? the desired social relations? What is to occur if society finds itself 50-50 split on "desired social relations"?

  2. Good explanation, but I would be critical of Engels' interpretation of Hegel. Your explanation of Hegel conflates him as a Platonic idealist. Hegel was an objective-idealist. Hegel was a critic of subjective idealism. The idea that since all that we perceive comes from our cognitive abilities, all we can know is how reality appears to us and we can never know reality in itself. Hegel argues that we can understand reality since we take part in reality, but our understanding is a historical process where ideas come into antagonism with one another.. Hegel can come off as a Platonic idealists because he argues that since knowledge is a historical conceptual process, reality didn't know itself until we knew it, or we are reality self-aware.

  3. It's all well and good. But the class of Socialists who take over the state, on behalf of the proles, merely become the new managers and exploiters themselves. Add to this the incompetence of the lower order officials and the brutality of their enforcers and you've a recipe for disaster. The state does not wither away and die, far from it, for where there is power there is a will for more power not less. Philosophers are clever beasts, Marx was one of em for sure, but such philosophies trickle downwards into the hands of those who see in them what they want to see and are incapable of fully comprehending them. Thus liberatory ideas become tools of social oppression in the hands of sociopaths. Marxism attracts sociopaths, that's one of its great flaws and one which the clever Marx, Engels et al either didn't understand themselves or didn't care. Same with Nietzsche; a humdinger of a thinker whose ideas became fuel for the Nazis. What the so called proletariat really desire is to be left the hell alone! Simple rules, a fair shot, that's quite enough.

  4. 16:10 there isn't a contradiction if it is framed as "the existence of life, and the processes of the universe and the development of itself and life, is the expression of the truth"

  5. man, you (or engels) have no idea what meta physics is if you think it consists of a binary definition of a person as either "alive or dead"

  6. 15:30 I just understood why my french literature teacher's history lessons where annoying me. He was referring to the "important" french writer's ideas of humanity as if they just spawned out of their minds by pure coincidence and not by material and social conditions….

    he also ranted on marxist being inflated dominator savior egos idealist, or something like that, when I asked him on what he thought of historical materialism, so that din't help…

  7. I'm definitely a radical marxist leninist and I even studied a bit of philosophy among which metaphysics and semantic are probably my favourite thinking pastimes but I never understood the need for dialectical thinking which I find cumbersome and incomplete at best and dead wrong at worst.

    The closest related notion to it that I fully embrace is an idea that I couldn't name except "dichotomic semantic" or something similar that would state that all knowledge can be constructed as follow : every idea/concept can/is always defined as the a node with a parent node (except the root one maybe) and its coupled sister node. A parent of which it has all the semantic properties and that it further defined by opposition to its sister. As a perfect example, taxonomy, in which a bacterium species B is a mutation of species A, they both are sisters with the same father of which they have everything except the characteristic of being after the mutation two semantically opposite things of one common parent. If that example is a bit confusing let's take maths in which Real numbers are defined as being numbers that are opposed to Complex numbers.

    I would have to come up with a less clear example to prove this can be done with anything but it's 2:00 I want to sleep now, my point was that dialectical thinking can be reproduced with old fashioned cause-effect logics and that it is only a particular case of the more generalised cause-effect thinking. We can and should do without it.

  8. Unfortunately, "scientific socialism" was refuted by Karl Popper in 1957 with his noted ideas, falsification and the problem of demarcation and has since been discarded by academic philosophers as a deterministic view of history: http://philosophyfaculty.ucsd.edu/faculty/rarneson/Courses/popperphil1.pdf

  9. Wow, I end up on shity commie channel. I won't even waste my time on trying make my points here. Your kind allredy proven to me that logical thinking is for you as alien, as your understanding of economy. Witch make any dialoge pointless, still that would be mistake anyway. You should be shot on sight, speaking with your kind did lead Europe to it currently near death state.
    Those 200 years of socjalistic utopia bullshit should be destroed, and we should make counter-revolution, slauthering you just as you did that to us, to steal all our money, to fuel your disgusting ideology.
    Without respect I wish you all slow and painfull deaths.

  10. This was not plain English at all. Marxist jargons were still used. This video is more like a summary of the essay in Marxist terminology.

  11. "The purpose of this video is to give a straight forward and plain English explanation of the essay…" you definitely did not accomplish that. If anything, you made it more confusing. Why does everyone have to explain things in such a formal way?! Why can't you just explain it the way you would explain it to a friend? Like Einstein said, "any fool can complicate things; it takes a genius to simplify them"

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