Socialism |OT| The Dawn of a Red Era

Scottt

Member
Oct 25, 2017
881
Yeah, I also got the porn link to firstprinciplesjournal.com that some mentioned in that thread, under Fusionism and Paleoconservatism. I couldn't find any actual journal with that title either.

Maybe I moved through my answers too quickly. I didn't expect myself to be so resolute.
 

Deffers

Member
Mar 4, 2018
1,192
Yeah, I also got the porn link to firstprinciplesjournal.com that some mentioned in that thread, under Fusionism and Paleoconservatism. I couldn't find any actual journal with that title either.

Maybe I moved through my answers too quickly. I didn't expect myself to be so resolute.
The porn links are the least of it, my friend. Who he permits to have unrestricted editorial voice is more of a problem. Your answers may or may not be good but they should provide you with a pretty big reading list of actually decent things.
 

Rupetta

Member
Oct 27, 2017
638
Boston/Helsinki
You’ve really got the wrong one.

This whole quirky deal you’ve got going for you? Not me. So stop.
There is a vanguard to this subforum as there is a vanguard in poliera - I don’t know what kind of practical struggles the vanguard here immerse themselves in to overcome these contradictions, not merely in thought, but in practice... You on the other hand can just change the answer to the question of vanguards maybe the hierarchy one and be done with it.

From a dialectical perspective the use of political compasses (by socialists) is interesting as you can be an anarcha-feminist almost at the same time as being a marxist-leninist, one answer changes the system (cause-effect).

This all reminds me that it would be interesting to know how people here irl talk about socialism to non-socialists who are disillusioned with capitalism- the discourse cannot be as intellectually elitist as here?
 

samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
8,014
I was lying in bed, thinking about socialism, as you will, and I was wondering about how socialism would coexist with a market. Not because I very much like markets, but because people are really used to them.

Especially, what I was thinking about is the hiring and firing of people. Say there is a company that's worker owned, and there's two workers who started it as a co-op. To hire someone new, they divide a portion of their ownership to grant to the new worker so that it's split three ways. This is because we want to make sure that workers benefit directly from the success of a business (by owning parts of the business directly). And because this is what "ownership of the MoP" means to me. However, what happens when the 3-worker socialist business wants/needs to fire someone? Do they reappropriate the share of the business that they granted in the hiring process? Do they buy the share back from the worker they're firing?
 

Rupetta

Member
Oct 27, 2017
638
Boston/Helsinki
I was lying in bed, thinking about socialism, as you will, and I was wondering about how socialism would coexist with a market. Not because I very much like markets, but because people are really used to them.

Especially, what I was thinking about is the hiring and firing of people. Say there is a company that's worker owned, and there's two workers who started it as a co-op. To hire someone new, they divide a portion of their ownership to grant to the new worker so that it's split three ways. This is because we want to make sure that workers benefit directly from the success of a business (by owning parts of the business directly). And because this is what "ownership of the MoP" means to me. However, what happens when the 3-worker socialist business wants/needs to fire someone? Do they reappropriate the share of the business that they granted in the hiring process? Do they buy the share back from the worker they're firing?
I have not read it yet (on my to read list) but last issue of Jacobin, the article “We Need to Say What Socialism Will Look Like” referenced the below pamphlet as one of the “few efforts to try to outline the details of how such workplaces would function”: https://zcomm.org/looking-forward/
 
OP
OP
sphagnum

sphagnum

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,354
This all reminds me that it would be interesting to know how people here irl talk about socialism to non-socialists who are disillusioned with capitalism- the discourse cannot be as intellectually elitist as here?
I just tell people "you get to run your workplace instead of your boss," and then go from there if they're interested.
 

BuddyDharma

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,415
I try and come at it more from the angle of "what conditions would necessitate a change from commodity production to production simply to fulfill needs?" I think so long as there's a commodity market there really can't be socialism, just capitalism with more co-ops. Which I think would be neat, but they'd probably be forced out of the market by crueler, more efficient alternatives. Or maybe I just have a tiny House_Of_Lightning in my head yelling about historical materialism.

Rupetta I'll give that a look later. Although for your earlier question, I generally use humor, plain English, and work from their perspective. Like "your anxieties/issues are valid. I feel them, too. Here's what I think."
 

Pekola

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,614
The In-Between
You on the other hand can just change the answer to the question of vanguards maybe the hierarchy one and be done with it.
But why should I change the answer? I’m obviously missing a historical context (which you’ve all seemingly neglected to mention). However, I don’t think that should be disqualifying (tho I suspect a few on the thread would disagree—tough).

From my perspective of class dynamics in the US, I find that there’s people (usually white and adjacent) that are entrenched in politics and academia, and enamored with tech and pop culture, ect. It is those people who have the voices. The audience.

I see it on social media. I see it in real life. I see it in politics. I see it in academia.

So, when I was presented with that question I chose “slightly agree” because I don’t see how working class/poor people are going to suddenly turn away from capitalism when they’re constantly saying things like “secure the bag”, “always grinding” .

My thought process was you know, maybe people need inspirations like AOC, to see that yes, you can stand up to cruelty. That there is hope.

This all reminds me that it would be interesting to know how people here irl talk about socialism to non-socialists who are disillusioned with capitalism- the discourse cannot be as intellectually elitist as here?
Intellectually elitist sounds charitable.
 

Rupetta

Member
Oct 27, 2017
638
Boston/Helsinki
But why should I change the answer? I’m obviously missing a historical context (which you’ve all seemingly neglected to mention). However, I don’t think that should be disqualifying (tho I suspect a few on the thread would disagree—tough).

From my perspective of class dynamics in the US, I find that there’s people (usually white and adjacent) that are entrenched in politics and academia, and enamored with tech and pop culture, ect. It is those people who have the voices. The audience.

I see it on social media. I see it in real life. I see it in politics. I see it in academia.

So, when I was presented with that question I chose “slightly agree” because I don’t see how working class/poor people are going to suddenly turn away from capitalism when they’re constantly saying things like “secure the bag”, “always grinding” .

My thought process was you know, maybe people need inspirations like AOC, to see that yes, you can stand up to cruelty. That there is hope.

Intellectually elitist sounds charitable.
Yes, I agree but I think you need to have leniency as most socialists do not necessarily have much practice irl to the hone the socialist messaging to people outside of those who tend to know their trotskyists from their neo-kautskyists, or they have just given up on trying to convince through a compassionate discourse. It is not easy being a socialist in the US.

I’m surprised you’d get marxist-leninism with a somewhat agree answer, but the compass is also pretty shit imo. I got anarcha-feminism 100% with both answering ‘agree’ and ‘disagree’ on vanguardism AND hierarchy when testing the compass...

You can critique marxist-leninism from a variety of angles, esp. considering what dialectical materialism brings to the table, here are some angles:


It is a bit tedious really...

On a completely different but related not, I have a socialist reading that you might enjoy more and might be more useful for the kind of practice you might be looking for: https://outraspalavras.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Feminism-for-the-99.pdf
 
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RailWays

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
5,139
I decided to make a thread about that political sextant quiz we all took a few weeks/months back. If anybody new is interested in taking it, or if anybody old is interesting in reposting their results, it might be a neat place to get some... interesting political discussions going, what say you all?
Interesting quiz.
Top ideologies:
  • Anarcha-feminism 88%
  • Green Syndicalism 92%
  • Synthesis Anarchism 88%
  • Fourierism 88%
Worst ideologies:
  • Paleoconservatism 100%
  • Three Principles of the People 100%
  • Caliphate 100%
 

Pekola

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,614
The In-Between
Yes, I agree but I think you need to have leniency as most socialists do not necessarily have much practice irl to the hone the socialist messaging to people outside of those who tend to know their trotskyists from their neo-kautskyists, or they have just given up on trying to convince through a compassionate discourse. It is not easy being a socialist in the US.

I’m surprised you’d get marxist-leninism with a somewhat agree answer, but the compass is also pretty shit imo. I got anarcha-feminism 100% with both answering ‘agree’ and ‘disagree’ on vanguardism AND hierarchy when testing the compass...

You can critique marxist-leninism from a variety of angles, esp. considering what dialectical materialism brings to the table, here are some angles:


It is a bit tedious really...

On a completely different but related not, I have a socialist reading that you might enjoy more and might be more useful for the kind of practice you might be looking for: https://outraspalavras.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Feminism-for-the-99.pdf
It’d be easier if you were predisposed to write like most people. Maybe you’re older and your line of work precludes you from it, but I don’t think that applies to everyone.

So I will be agreeable. If you’re nice to me and explain things when necessary (like you have thus far—in your own way).

Either way, I don’t think socialist ideas should just be expressed like we do here because that in itself is already alienating in (what I think is a) classist way. No one is going to want socialism if all it has to offer is required reading and corn.

Maybe it doesn’t matter anyway. Maybe in the next century we’ll all be underwater or toasted. And then what will all these terms and ideologies be good for? Might be better to watch The Little Mermaid as a survival guide 🙃
 

Rupetta

Member
Oct 27, 2017
638
Boston/Helsinki
It’d be easier if you were predisposed to write like most people. Maybe you’re older and your line of work precludes you from it, but I don’t think that applies to everyone.

So I will be agreeable. If you’re nice to me and explain things when necessary (like you have thus far—in your own way).

Either way, I don’t think socialist ideas should just be expressed like we do here because that in itself is already alienating in (what I think is a) classist way. No one is going to want socialism if all it has to offer is required reading and corn.
I agree, of course. But this is a gaming forum, the way I read this OT is that people mainly use it to hangout with other socialists. There is not much effort - including myself (given I don’t as such label myself a socialist)- to adapt to a nonsocialist audience bc that audience is not really here. It is also the practice of writing that brings out, a more let’s say, conceptual side of marxists. Most marxists share a rather keen interest in various concepts and theories that set marxism apart from other ideologies/theories, and it is nice to write about/like that sometimes in a forum were people share that vocabulary esp. if you do not work with it on a daily basis. I think if you look at people’s post histories you’ll find plenty who can express marxist thought/ideas in a very accessible way in other threads. Part of my work is actually union organizing, and I don’t ever talk about ‘dialectical materialism’ etc. bc yeah you need to adapt the discourse.
 
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samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
8,014
For my part, I try to speak in terms of anti-capitalism rather than Marxism or socialist gobbledygook ("Hegelian dialectic") around here. People can understand anti-capitalism, and maybe I can convince them to take the next step and think "what if we could replace it".

The use of humour and memes is to disarm/assuage people's fears of being preached at. People really don't like being preached at but they do like being invited to think for themselves.
 
Oct 29, 2017
5,043
I’m obviously missing a historical context
Marxist Leninists are garbage. Political compasses are garbage.

Don't let one arbitrarily label you a Marxist Leninist.

At the risk of repeating myself again, it's still something to always keep in mind: the working class knows it is getting fucked over. Dolly Parton practically built her modern career off a song that every drunk working class southern mom can sing by heart. If you have a choice between "build socialism in a vacuum" which will give zero results or "get that fucking money" which fixes your problems right now, then the smart thing would be to get that fucking money.



 

whiskeystrike

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
212
A guy at the company I work at got fired due to missing too many days in the past month.

His 9 year-old daughter passed away last month from a brain tumor.

This is so fucked.
 

umop 3pisdn

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,699
It’d be easier if you were predisposed to write like most people. Maybe you’re older and your line of work precludes you from it, but I don’t think that applies to everyone.

So I will be agreeable. If you’re nice to me and explain things when necessary (like you have thus far—in your own way).

Either way, I don’t think socialist ideas should just be expressed like we do here because that in itself is already alienating in (what I think is a) classist way. No one is going to want socialism if all it has to offer is required reading and corn.

Maybe it doesn’t matter anyway. Maybe in the next century we’ll all be underwater or toasted. And then what will all these terms and ideologies be good for? Might be better to watch The Little Mermaid as a survival guide 🙃
(Not addressed to me, but to take it more generally)

Um fuck writing like other people tbh! :p Theoretical language can be very effective and fluid and evocative (meaning that there can be a lot to appreciate in it), but it is a kind of specialized knowledge or a specialized application of thought, and so by definition is not really meant for mass consumption. So you're right that it shouldn't be some kind of necessary criterion for admission into the movement, but I don't think anyone really thinks this, and more to the contrary, given that an interest in the theoretical must be more of a minority trait within the greater predicted movement, I think we should be even more cautious about throwing it overboard!

I personally think 'theory for its own sake' is a potential good (says the philsophy student :p), which is to say that the theoretical has a distinct value apart from immediate practicability. I mean, the ability to somewhat clearly render objects in conceptual form, and to engage in the intersection of broader systems and a kind of 'teleology' via the abstract, is fundamentally valuable even if its sole 'practical' function is to chasten the more passionate or impetuous from excessive or hasty action, and to try to establish a greater framework to address 'what is it that we're actually doing?', when the whole thing actually is fully underway. Because the effective enactment of social justice arguably doesn't require anything like a theoretical framework at all (see: Foucault)!

So, on anything other than a ground level, we need theory to establish what the broader meaning of our movement is, what our discursive intentions are, and how to not have any unreasonable doubt about that. Something like pragmatism, which is a theory of evaluating the merit or basis of knowledge and actions entirely by their consequences or 'fruits', is arguably the theoretical negation of philosophy itself, and it's all we need to proceed into the world with our minds intent on enacting more justice or equity. But then how do we situate our movement within the greater flows of history and culture? What form of reflective self-understanding does or should our culture have of itself? What are the bases of our greater moral claims? And how do we know that all of these reasoned activities in speculation can be constituted as a kind of provisional knowledge? These could all be constituted as 'theory for its own sake', and yet without it, the movement as a whole does seem to be much more threatened to succumb to and devour itself in a contagious doubt caused by theoretical agnosticism.

Also, as others have said, it can't be that much of a surprise that a niche community subthread on a video gaming forum hosts primarily those of the more nerdy and 'passive'/reflective contingent! Though I'm probably the exceptional kook here that would name his (imaginary, figurative) sailboat 'The Hegelian Dialectic' if he could conjure even the smallest pretense for it seeming natural or appropriate to do so.
 
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umop 3pisdn

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,699
Sailing is the dialectic of boats and oceans.
This is good. Also the literal and symbolic journey represented by a sailboat is, like the dialectic itself, a concatenated and justified/competent projection by the humane into the unknown. Frankly I'd be a fool if I didn't name my (non-existent) sailboat that! So I guess now I have a name picked out for a sailboat that I will literally never have. Is this the peril of armchairs? lol.
 
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samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
8,014
I was reading "Socialism, Utopian and Scientific" earlier today and Engels goes on and on about Hegelian dialectic but the most important insight I gained from it is that dialectic is concerned with processes rather than discrete truths and ideas. In mathematical terms, classical philosophy is like discrete math where there is a thing and it's either the thing or not the thing, but dialectic is like calculus where you're most interested in a theoretically continuous process, derivatives, trending towards infinite, etc.
 

Pekola

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,614
The In-Between
I was reading "Socialism, Utopian and Scientific" earlier today and Engels goes on and on about Hegelian dialectic but the most important insight I gained from it is that dialectic is concerned with processes rather than discrete truths and ideas. In mathematical terms, classical philosophy is like discrete math where there is a thing and it's either the thing or not the thing, but dialectic is like calculus where you're most interested in a theoretically continuous process, derivatives, trending towards infinite, etc.
Not MATH.

I request that the Corn Council censure this dog for trying to trick us into doing mathematical things.
 

umop 3pisdn

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,699
I was reading "Socialism, Utopian and Scientific" earlier today and Engels goes on and on about Hegelian dialectic but the most important insight I gained from it is that dialectic is concerned with processes rather than discrete truths and ideas. In mathematical terms, classical philosophy is like discrete math where there is a thing and it's either the thing or not the thing, but dialectic is like calculus where you're most interested in a theoretically continuous process, derivatives, trending towards infinite, etc.
This is right. A lot of Hegel's epistemology is also about thought justifying itself to itself, or self-consciousness being a legitimate criterion for recognizing knowledge, in that not only do others hold us to account, but we can also make the effort to step outside of our own naive consciousness to hold ourselves to account, and secure knowledge by our legitimate best attempts to acquire knowledge. Hegel presents self-consciousness as being 'infinite', and this is because while the boundary of what we know is always a definite and unambiguous presence, at the same moment that we become aware of thus unknown or negative metaphysics/negative reality, is the precise moment that we make the mental intention or gesture to leap over or through it. This is something that we can apparently do by wielding concepts. And this is how Hegel is able to justify his whole weird impressionistic meta/macro-project. He only needs his conceptualization to capture enough facets of reality through a self-consciousness' attempts at knowledge, and then it's justified. Thus inspiring for all time a legion of wonderful and abstruse philosophers (Horkheimer and Adorno/DoE yooo). And if this kind of idealism was Hegel turning the world on its head, Marx's material application of the dialectic would be turning the world back on its feet.

But more to the point, the absolute is then the theoretical point of termination that we must have in our intention to knowing 'being' or the manifold of reality. So what was for Kant a negative or limiting concept (the noumenon), became something prefigured by our attempts at knowing, and theorized to be the finality or termination point in our attempts at knowledge ('being itself'). That's absolute idealism in a nut shell. Our attempts at knowing are in a sense infinite and therefore we can't really say that they won't deliver us into God's kingdom or something. (It probably can't, but the whole point or conceit is that the intention itself is significant.) So yeah a (possible) infinite trending towards the infinite is a rather good representation imo, at least to this amateur Hegel scholar.
 
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samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
8,014
I used to think the only objective truth in the world was math. Extrapolating from that, I thought rational economic agents was a good way of figuring out society.

I was very naive.
 

umop 3pisdn

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,699
I used to think the only objective truth in the world was math. Extrapolating from that, I thought rational economic agents was a good way of figuring out society.

I was very naive.
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." (Einstein maybe?)

It took me a while to learn this, too. I think it's natural to put forward our first best hope for securing knowledge on a kind of assured/assumed objectivity. It's arguably why the ancient world was so full of naive realists, and why it took us, collectively, so goddamn long to halfway transition out of it.
 

Pekola

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,614
The In-Between
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." (Einstein maybe?)

It took me a while to learn this, too. I think it's natural to put forward our first best hope for securing knowledge on a kind of assured/assumed objectivity. It's arguably why the ancient world was so full of naive realists, and why it took us, collectively, so goddamn long to halfway transition out of it.
Halfway is charitable when we exist alongside “FACTS and LOGIC.”
 

Deffers

Member
Mar 4, 2018
1,192
It comes and goes in waves, I think. Logical positivism is anything but either of those things. It's wrecked nations before because, by nature, when you believe your ideology is science itself you brook no room for dissent. IMO it's almost like a brother or cousin to fascism.

Which is WHY we dislike neoliberals and tankies alike. People who lean on inevitabilism won't bear good fruit.
 

samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
8,014
Marx's materialist analysis is just a precursor to sociology. It took me a while to internalize that his materialism isn't the "obsession with things" the word "materialism" is commonly defined as, but rather the analysis of the real (physical/material) world divorced of arbitrary philosophical, moral or theological lenses (metaphysical/metamaterial).

Marx, were he alive today, would be quite pleased with the concept of cultural relativism.
 

Deffers

Member
Mar 4, 2018
1,192
Marx's materialist analysis is just a precursor to sociology. It took me a while to internalize that his materialism isn't the "obsession with things" the word "materialism" is commonly defined as, but rather the analysis of the real (physical/material) world divorced of arbitrary philosophical, moral or theological lenses (metaphysical/metamaterial).

Marx, were he alive today, would be quite pleased with the concept of cultural relativism.
This is probably a more effective take than trying to tie it to the Lacanian conception of the Real, being honest. Or a more practical framing of the answer, anyways.
 

Deffers

Member
Mar 4, 2018
1,192
Well now I want to know what Lacan's concept of the Real is but I have enough readings as is.
The Wiki is pretty clear on this one, IMO:

For Jacques Lacan, the order of the real is not only opposed to the imaginary but is also located beyond the symbolic. Unlike the symbolic, which is constituted in terms of oppositions such as "presence" and "absence", there is no absence in the real. The symbolic opposition between "presence" and "absence" implies the possibility that something may be missing from the symbolic, the real is "always in its place: it carries it glued to its heel, ignorant of what might exile it from there." If the symbolic is a set of differentiated signifiers, the real is in itself undifferentiated: "it is without fissure." The symbolic introduces "a cut in the real," in the process of signification: "it is the world of words that creates the world of things." Thus the real emerges as that which is outside language: "it is that which resists symbolization absolutely." The real is impossible because it is impossible to imagine, impossible to integrate into the symbolic order. This character of impossibility and resistance to symbolization lends the real its traumatic quality.

The primordial Real in which a (pre-Oedipal) human subject is born is differentiated from the real which a subject integrated into the symbolic order experiences. In the former, the real is the continuous, "whole" reality without categories and the differential function of language. Following the mirror stage, however, and the eventual entrance of the imaginary and the symbolic (the split of the subject between the conscious imaginary and the unconscious symbolic), the real may only be experienced as traumatic gaps in the symbolic order. An example of this are traumatic events such as natural disasters, which effectively break down the signification of everyday life and cause a rupture of something alien and unrecognizable, without the usual grammar of the symbolic that conditions how to make meaning of something and how to proceed.

One of the main methods of psychoanalysis is to drain the traumatic experiences of the real into the symbolic through free association. The analyst searches the analysand's discourse for sounds, words, or images of fixation and through dialectization attempt to bring these fixations to the regular metonymic flow of the (unconscious) symbolic order, thereby integrating the subject further into their fantasy, usually referred to as "traversing the fantasy."[1]
So all the dialectical analysis we're doing is then taking place within the symbolic order of things, within the realm of human categorization of things. We can do materialist analysis because what we're applying that materialist analysis TO is the same, but we get different results because the symbolic lenses that we apply to what we experience. Zizek goes on to apply this to the Marxist experience (which, IMO, has always mostly ended up resembling Stirner in terms of outcomes).
 

Deffers

Member
Mar 4, 2018
1,192
I've never seen "opaque" spelled as "clear" before, very novel.
Well, it's part of a trio of concepts. The imaginary, the symbolic, and the Real. They're not quite a you-know-what, but there's a process there.

We live our lives in symbolic terms, but the actual world remains opaque to us sometime after we stop being babies (when we recognize ourselves in mirrors, specifically), since we categorize and make symbols of things to try and understand the world around us once we start stitching together images of ourselves. This aggregate of mental formations ends up being how we mostly interpret the world . When our constructed symbolic world fails to account for what's actually happening to us, that's when we see the Real again-- often in a traumatic way.
 

Pekola

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,614
The In-Between
Well, it's part of a trio of concepts. The imaginary, the symbolic, and the Real. They're not quite a you-know-what, but there's a process there.

We live our lives in symbolic terms, but the actual world remains opaque to us sometime after we stop being babies (when we recognize ourselves in mirrors, specifically), since we categorize and make symbols of things to try and understand the world around us once we start stitching together images of ourselves. This aggregate of mental formations ends up being how we mostly interpret the world . When our constructed symbolic world fails to account for what's actually happening to us, that's when we see the Real again-- often in a traumatic way.
The imaginary: I can understand all of this.

The symbolic: I can probably understand all of this if I concentrate.

The real: There’s not enough Xanax in the world for me to process all this early in the morning.

lol, I actually have no idea.
 

Deffers

Member
Mar 4, 2018
1,192
I saw the Real in 2016 and I was never the same since.

What is "the imaginary"?
That's one way of putting it and I don't think it's off.

Well, the imaginary is... oddly, connected to images, rather than immediately to make-believe. Lacan, starting out mostly rooted in psychoanalysis (before moving beyond a lot of those concepts) initially started it as a way to describe another way for the egoic self to form. Namely, baby sees itself in a mirror (or someone else) and identifies with that mirror image. "This is me," baby thinks, in its baby way. It does this since before it pieces together that it is a person, the baby just has a fragmentary experience of self. As Lacan began to formulate the symbolic, he began to view the imaginary slightly differently, and then he did that again when Lacan started talking about the Real. The imaginary is more a projection or double. It gets into semiotics at this point, but the sign is the symbolic and the signifier is imaginary. The Real remains actually untouched, since the Real doesn't really care. The actual outcome of things and lived experience of things doesn't abide by either the symbols we make up to interpret it or the images that we connect to those symbols.
 

samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
8,014
Before 2016 I was a bog standard liberal progressive. I disliked conservatives and bigotry but I thought they were fundamentally rational people. When they vote for Trump en masse and it seemed they were willing to kill themselves rather than give black americans anything I realized I was totally wrong about everything.

So liberal-progressivism was my symbology that was shattered by the Real of Trump and Trump voter.
 

Deffers

Member
Mar 4, 2018
1,192
Before 2016 I was a bog standard liberal progressive. I disliked conservatives and bigotry but I thought they were fundamentally rational people. When they vote for Trump en masse and it seemed they were willing to kill themselves rather than give black americans anything I realized I was totally wrong about everything.

So liberal-progressivism was my symbology that was shattered by the Real of Trump and Trump voter.
That's one way of describing it. Since we're using analysis, we're speaking withing purely symbolic terms now, but I suppose that's part of coping. Dwelling in the Real precludes analysis, after all. The situations Lacan typifies as encounters with the Real are things like natural disasters (grounding it within a concrete process outside of human control entirely tends to put forward the full meaning of his idea)-- and yet, talking to people about 2016 IS like talking to people about a natural disaster. It is one we've since moved past and contextualized within a new symbolic process, but the memory remains of a distinct moment of things just happening without a real mechanism to account for it. Sure, voting is a symbolic process, the president is a symbolic position (a signifier with signified changing by design), but the symbolic order sure didn't account for what ended up happening and what we ended up experiencing.

Unlike other intrusions of the Real, it's one based on human behavioral responses themselves entrenched in the symbolic and imaginary (those of the Trump voter), and primarily perceived through symbolic means, but the emotional response and previous symbolic orders' inability to cope sure seem to indicate the Real poked its head in.
 

Deffers

Member
Mar 4, 2018
1,192
Why doesn’t the imaginary account for the real?
Because it's a constructed image. The mental image you have of something is not the actual thing, and "actual thing" is a concept we applied to the Universe we live in so we can actually understand it.

When I say "Donald Trump," you see something in your head. Donald Trump is the signifier, and the thing you see in your head is the signified. The mass of cells and orange spray tan in question is not known to either of us in truth. Just an image-- and that's why it's imaginary. Lacan focuses on mirrors to explain the imaginary for this reason, I think, even though big mirrors in every household has hardly been a human truism for any length of time.
 

Pekola

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,614
The In-Between
After we finish the Family book, we can probably move on to further reading.

But I’d rather we move on to Scherzinger as I find her ideas more of a foundation to build on.
 

anthro

Member
Oct 28, 2017
253
The funniest part about Origins of the Family to me is still Engels being able to look past the hang ups of his time to suggest that the nuclear family itself is an institution with a genesis in the conditions of property ownership, that it served a reproductive purpose within the forms of production that gave rise to private property, but he is still like “the gays are unnatural” and “people may suggest monogamy could disappear after property. On the contrary, everyone will truly love their wife and stop cheating.”
 

Deffers

Member
Mar 4, 2018
1,192
The funniest part about Origins of the Family to me is still Engels being able to look past the hang ups of his time to suggest that the nuclear family itself is an institution with a genesis in the conditions of property ownership, that it served a reproductive purpose within the forms of production that gave rise to private property, but he is still like “the gays are unnatural” and “people may suggest monogamy could disappear after property. On the contrary, everyone will truly love their wife and stop cheating.”
I may be making an idiot of myself here, but didn't Engels ultimately lay the groundwork for the authoritarian tendency in the socialist movement when he experimented with the workers in his dad's factory and they didn't immediately thrive in worker self-determination, and he suggested that the workers needed some strong guiding force to captain their ship, or am I misremembering? There was something about a ship metaphor in whatever I'm remembering.

If I'm right, that seems consistent with what's coming out of Origins of the Family. It sounds like at the end of the day Engels had this continuous habit of propping up existing relationships of power and exporting them to his vision of the socialist future.