Marxism versus morality 2

On the left, the concept of objective truth is increasingly deemed a form of white supremacy.

From time to time, staunchly and admirably conservative Dennis Prager writes in defense of what he (along with many others) likes to call “Judeo-Christian” values. We generally reject the term for reasons we give here. But we accept its use in the article below because he gives it a definition which makes it palatable to reason.

He writes at the Daily Signal:

All of my life, I have said that the left’s moral compass is broken. And all of my life, I was wrong.

Why I was wrong explains both the left and the moral crisis we are in better than almost any other explanation.

I was wrong because in order to have a broken moral compass, you need to have a moral compass to begin with. But the left doesn’t have one.

This is not meant as an attack. It is a description of reality. The left regularly acknowledges that it doesn’t think in terms of good and evil. Most of us are so used to thinking in those terms—what we call “Judeo-Christian”—that it is very difficult for us to divide the world in any other way.

But since Karl Marx, the left (not liberalism; the two are different) has always divided the world, and, therefore, human actions, in ways other than good and evil. The left, in Friedrich Nietzsche’s famous words, has always operated “beyond good and evil.”

It all began with Marx, who divided the world by economic class—worker and owner or exploited and exploiter. To Marx and to Marxism, there is no such thing as a good or an evil that transcends class. Good is defined as what is good for the working class; evil is what is bad for the working class.

Therefore, to Marxists, there is no such thing as a universal good or a universal evil. …

By which is meant that –

Whether an act is good or evil has nothing to do with who committed the act—rich or poor, male or female, religious or secular, member of one’s nation or of another nation. Stealing and murder are morally wrong, no matter who stole or who murdered.

That is not the case for Marx and the left.

As Marx put it in “Das Kapital”:

Right can never be higher than the economic structure of society and the cultural development thereby determined. We therefore reject every attempt to impose on us any moral dogma whatsoever as an eternal, ultimate, and forever immutable moral law.

Fifty-three years later, Marx’s foremost disciple, Vladimir Lenin, architect of the Russian Revolution, proclaimed:

We say that our morality is entirely subordinated to the interests of the class struggle of the proletariat. … We do not believe in an eternal morality. … We repudiate all morality derived from non-human (i.e. God) and non-class concepts.[Address to the Third Congress of the Russian Young Communist League, Oct. 2, 1920.]

As professor Wilfred Cantwell Smith, director of Harvard University’s Center for the Study of World Religions, wrote in 1957:

For Marxism there is no reason … for not killing or torturing or exploiting a human person if his liquidation or torture or slave labor will advance the historical process.

This is how Marx’s ideological heirs, today’s leftists, view the world—with one important difference: Morality is not determined only by class, but by race, power, and sex as well.

In Left-think, racism is wrong – as it is in reason. But only for some people, not for all – a position reason rejects.

It is left-wing dogma that a black person cannot be a racist. Only whites can be racist. And, indeed, all whites are racist.

It is increasingly a left-wing position that when blacks loot, they are only taking what they deserve, or, as the looters often put it, looted goods are “reparations”. A Black Lives Matter organizer in Chicago, Ariel Atkins, recently put it this way:

I don’t care if somebody decides to loot a Gucci or a Macy’s or a Nike store because that makes sure that person eats. That makes sure that person has clothes. That is reparations. Anything they want to take, take it because these businesses have insurance.[Chicago Tribune, Aug. 17, 2020.]

Another non-moral left-wing compass concerns power. Just as right and wrong are determined by class (worker and owner/rich and poor) and race (white and people of color), good and evil are also determined by power (the strong and the weak).

Power is wrong – unless of course it is in the hands of the Left.

That’s why leftists protest and riot whenever a confrontation between a police officer and a black person ends with the death of an unarmed black person. … The death is automatically deemed murder.

And causes the world over are right or wrong according to that criterion:

That explains much of the left’s hatred for two countries in particular—America and Israel. America is wrong when it does almost anything in the world that involves weaker countries—assassinates the most important Iranian terrorist, builds a wall between itself and Mexico, opposes unlimited immigration. It is wrong because it is much stronger than those other countries.

The left’s antipathy to Israel derives from both the power compass and the race compass. Because Israel is so much stronger than the Palestinians and because Israelis are classified as white (despite the fact that more than half of all Israelis are not white), the left deems Israel wrong.

So, when Israel justifiably attacks Gaza for raining rockets over Israel, the world’s left vehemently attacks Israel—because it is so much stronger than the people of Gaza and because whites have attacked people of color.

In Left-think, rape is wrong – as it is in reason – but only for some people.

When a woman accuses a man of sexually harassing or raping her, the left’s reaction is not, “Let us try to determine the truth as best we can.” It is, “Believe women.” One must automatically “believe women” …

Unless, as we have seen lately, the accusation is brought against a leading Democrat, such as Joe Biden, the Left’s candidate for the presidency. In his case the woman must not be believed.

… because, on the left, it is not only morality that doesn’t transcend race, power, class or sex; truth doesn’t either.

Posted under Ethics, Israel, Leftism, Marxism, United States by Jillian Becker on Sunday, September 27, 2020

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A famous socialist advocates “humane” mass murder 59

In this video, the Socialist George Bernard Shaw advocates the gassing of people he regards as useless to society.

Shaw, an amusing and much acclaimed playwright, was highly sympathetic to the National Socialist Adolf Hitler, the Fascist Socialist Benito Mussolini, and the Dictators of the Union of Socialist Republics Vladimir Lenin and Josef Stalin.

Where does the idea that you need to justify your existence come from?

And with it the idea that the justification must only be according to what and how much you do for others? 

As a general moral theory, it was given birth to by Christianity. It is the very essence of Christian moral doctrine. It drives the Christian conscience towards self-sacrifice and martyrdom.

It was inherited by Socialism/Communism/Marxism/Progressivism. The Left. (Not by Hitler’s  National Socialism. Shaw was inconsistent there.)

We live in an age when the Left is so ungrateful for what the Enlightenment and capitalism have done for humankind, its minions so bent on destroying the great achievements of liberty and prosperity, that they deserve to lose the inventors, the doers and makers, the sustainers of our civilization – the Atlases who carry our world on their shoulders. Beware! Atlas can become exasperated. As he does in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. 

Ayn Rand has the characters who speak for her say:

We are on strike against martyrdom — and against the moral code that demands it. We are on strike against those who believe that one man must exist for the sake of another. We are on strike against the morality of cannibals, be it practiced in body or in spirit. We will not deal with men on any terms but ours — and our terms are a moral code which holds that man is an end in himself and not the means to any end of others.

And:

I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.

Like Adam Smith, she and all capitalists know (whether they express the notion or not), that the best way of earning a living is to provide other people with something – goods or services – that they will pay you for. The benefit is mutual.

We cannot live without others. We cannot help having an effect on them or stop them having an effect on us, and we are happy when the effect is beneficial. But we do not need to live for them.  

It’s surely hard enough sustaining your own life and the lives of your natural dependents. To think up a single formula for sustaining and ordering the lives of millions, as the Left does, is to be absurd or insane; and the implementation of it is tyranny and mass murder. No two lives are so exactly matched that the same conditions will affect them equally. Let them be free, each to choose his own path. He may be self-centered, he may be avaricious; he may be self-denying, he may be altruistic. He pursues his own happiness.

Because of her insistence that we do not live for the sake of others, Ayn Rand has been likened to Friedrich Nietzsche. (By, for instance, Steven Pinker in his book Enlightenment Now. See our post, Enlightenment, atheism, reason, and the humanist Left, April 12, 2018.)

Nietzsche was a weak, unhealthy, mentally deranged German philosopher who invented and adulated an imaginary super-strong Super-Man. The Super-Man would be above conventional morality. His existence would be far more important than the lives of the superfluous multitudes who are fit only to be trampled down. (A belief of his that was shared by Hitler.)

Ayn Rand’s philosophy is nothing like Nietzsche’s. Rather, it is close to that of the Epicureans. They were atheists (though to save themselves from contumely and attack they would wave the subject away by saying yes, yes, okay, there are gods, but they live very far from us human beings and have nothing whatever to do with us). They accepted that to live is to suffer, so the best way an individual can live his life is by finding ways to enjoy it as much as he can. To pursue his own happiness. As a school of thought they were not sybarites; they did not advocate living luxuriously, though they had nothing against anyone doing so if he chose. Their chief pleasure lay in intellectual exploration. They were not Atlases; they did not carry the world on their shoulders. But they saw no sense in creeds of self-sacrifice, whether to men or to gods.

 

(Hat-tip to Don L for the link to the video)