Thursday, February 26, 2009

Marx and Hegel walk into a bar...and I kick their asses!

Marx and Hegel sitting in a tree: M-S-I-I-S-M
OR: How I Coined A New Word
Joel Straley

That's right, I've coined a new word. The word is Msiism (pronounced: Mmmmm-sizm). If it helps think of it like someone describing a delicious circumcision.

Marx, the one with the beard and not the glasses and mustache, has stated that Hegel was "standing on his head" when he wrote his dialectic theory and Marxist Dialectics aimed to put him back on his feet. If Hegel is standing on his head, then Marx has his head in the clouds. Marxism puts all faith in science and suggest that everything can be explained through matter.

In Das Kapital he states: "The ideal is nothing else than the material world reflected by the human mind, and translated into forms of thought". Hegel argues the opposite, that it is our consciousness that determines our existence and is reflected in the material world. You can see where when viewed in simpler terms its sort a chicken-egg debate about our consciousness and the perception of the material world.

Hegelian dialectic involves three stages: Thesis, Antithesis and synthesis. As is made clear by Marx's attempt to put Hegel back on his head his Dialectic theory is an antithesis to the view of Hegel. It should seem obvious through the empirical evidence that comes from being a conscious human being that neither can be completely correct, and thus the truth behind these Dialectic views is that we exist in a synthesis of both ideas.

For Marx I suggest that a baby born deaf and blind is forced to create a perception of the material world through her mind first. Although Marx is notorious for constructing his viewpoints with the bigger picture in mind, it should be obvious that not all individuals in any social situation or material confinement ever think in the same way. However I will agree that our social conditions do generally condition groups to think similarly, which has much to do with my definition for Msiism.

I don't want to switch arguments but I am always put off by other atheist who stubbornly deny and so easily discount a realization of the depth of intimate human interactions that hint at something deeper than the observable material world. For example the buddhist monks who train themselves to use their mind to control their bodily temperature offer, even in the slightest bit, evidence of the mind over the conditions and constraints of the material world.

For Hegel I must concede somewhat to the view of Marx because even a genius cannot strive if they exist in poor economic conditions. No matter how powerful the mind is, it cannot function properly without food. To make this clearer: Food, being of a material nature fuels the mind, which produces and holds ideals and ultimately our consciousness that are clearly of a non-material nature.

Msiism is not necessarily a term for the the synthesis of the Hegelian Dialectic view and Marx's Dialectical materialism. Msiism is a term I am coining that is based on the boring lives led by human beings, something that perhaps comes from the mind they received through birth but is also strongly reinforced by our material conditions and of these the most important being our society or the zeitgeist in which we live. Of course our social conditions that force us to surrender much of our lives for the attainment of success in a world where survival is based in a monetary system plays an enormous role.

To avoid being bored many turn to intellectual pursuits and eventually become known as 'intellectuals' and thus are usually much less boring. They are less boring as they are now less-easily entertained or amused and have become more obsessed with complex, and often existential, issues. These intellectuals begin to question what is around them and begin to stop taking for granted that which was told to them in their youth by the society that surrounded them as they were raised.

They now begin to hold certain ideologies and begin to label themselves by their interests, which usually becomes their 'career' such as sociologist, botanist, or a penis doctor, and also begin labeling themselves by the ideas that they hold such as feminist, Marxist or fascist (assuming one is now so not-boring that they hold the attention of an entire group willing to surrender what they think is best to now live under the rules by which you think is best).

Msiism is a term for the idea that humans are so boring that when forming their own ideals, in an attempt to become one's own self, they attach themselves to the ideologies of others, and more often than not begin amending their own thoughts to now be apart of this group.

Conclusion: Msiism is the belief that humans attempt to be different by upholding their own values, only to sacrifice their individuality by adopting the ideologies of others. Although to be fair they are now apart of a smaller group so in some ways they have become more individualist.

Feel free to agree or disagree but a belief in Msiism is in itself ironic.

And in a world of such uncertainty, split between the ideal and the material perhaps ironic ideologies are the closest truths we can rely one.

In the words of that redneck at that Mccain Rally over the summer when yelling about Barack Obama "get Karl Marx outta heeeereee". But Karl, you know we cool.


In Other News: As I walked up some stairs after getting off the train I saw a series of scattered 20 dollar bills - probably 100 to 140 dollars total. I had no instinct to pick up the money and even had to think about. The man next to me slightly hesitated and grabbed them. I looked back and he looked up at me, probably assuming I was stupid but more glad I didn't try and fight him for the money.

I don't agree that humans should be lived in a monetary system and always figure someone more greedy or hopefully more needy will pick up the money anyway. I spent the rest of the walk home in shock that this value is so engrained in me that I had no desire whatsoever to pick up the money...and never do, although this is the first time the amount has been so large.

It almost put me in tears to think how different I sometimes find myself from those around me....but not necessarily in a sad way.

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