Matter Over MindsteemCreated with Sketch.

in Deep Dives2 months ago

For the purpose of this post I'm going to ignore the deeper philosophical and scientific questions that arise when contemplating the implications of its title. So there'll be no speculation on the question if matter gives rise to consciousness and mind, or vice-versa. We're going to assume that the material world is real, and that we, as living, thinking creatures, depend for our survival on navigating that material world successfully, in order to feed ourselves and our offspring.


source: YouTube

"Facts don't care about your feelings." As a leftist it angers me to hear this assertion coming from my ideological adversaries on the right. It angers me because it's yet another way right-wingers project their own shortcomings onto those who don't agree with their woefully erratic world-view. It is in fact us leftists who have the facts on our side, but somehow it's always us who have to defend our world-view against those who let their feelings color and distort the facts. That starts with making clear what a leftist even is, and I can tell you that this alone is a great challenge in a world where some people accuse Joe Biden of being a socialist; it's generally the same individuals who claim that facts don't care about feelings who make this wildly unrealistic accusation. Biden and his political party are liberal and wholly support the neoliberal world order.

For American right wingers "socialism" is "when the government does stuff." This is in alignment with their simplistic black-and-white world-view that was so aptly described by their last two-term president, George W. Bush: "if you're not with us, you're with the enemy." This general right wing mindset became entirely materialized with the election of Donald Trump, who has proven to be the best representative of this mindset in the sense that he dazzled his followers with the simplest of answers to deep and complex social and economic issues. Too much immigrants? Build a wall. Too much Muslims? Ban travelers from Muslim majority countries. Pandemic? Nah, that's not real. And when it is, we'll cal it the "China Virus"; that'll teach 'm!

For decades we've lived and believed in the fairy tales told by the political right. Wealth would simply trickle down from top to bottom, but at the same time they kept cutting taxes for the rich, thereby preventing the wealth from trickling down. They're always on about individual freedom and responsibility, but in reality they only expanded the economical freedom of the rich, thereby infringing on the freedoms of the working class and the poor. These are the facts. So now they'll play on your feelings to hide those facts; your boss will now stop calling you an employee and instead welcome you every day into the "family" of his brand. You're not an Amazon employee anymore, now you're part of the Amazon family. BP (British Petroleum) has removed the word "petroleum" from almost all its internal and external communication, and doesn't call itself an oil company, but an energy company. The right wing will rage against raising the minimum wage to a living wage, yet again confirming whose "freedom" they're really concerned with, and that's not your freedom.

In the late 20th century BP was a major investor in green energy, and in 2003 the company unveiled the slogan “Beyond Petroleum.” However, within a decade BP had scaled back its renewable energy efforts. Notably, in 2012 the company closed its solar energy unit.
source: Britannica

Almost a century ago John Maynard Keynes, among many others, predicted a 15 hour work week:

After the achievement of the 40-hour workweek, paid vacations, and other labor concessions, many influential figures believed that egalitarian access to leisure would only increase in the 20th century. Among them was economist John Maynard Keynes, who forecast in 1930 that labor-saving technologies might lead to a 15-hour workweek when his grandchildren came of age. Indeed, he titles his essay, “Economic Possibility for our Grandchildren.”
source: Open Culture

And indeed, the facts of our technological and scientific advances make this possible; it's just an outdated and useless economy that prevents us from enjoying the fruits of all that progression. We produce too much of everything, and then throw it away because capitalism only works when products are scarce. We produce enough food for 12 billion people, we produce far too many mobile phones and in almost every major city there are more empty homes than there are homeless people. Those are the facts. And yes, I feel like it's wrong to be able to feed and house everyone and not do it. But right wingers feel like those who aren't housed or fed deserve to not be housed or fed. According to them, the poor and the working poor should try harder, pull themselves up by their bootstraps. And do it in their own country as well.

All freedoms are economic freedoms; all freedoms live and die according to our ability to fulfill our material needs and wishes. And although we have a democracy in name, we lack one in practice because this democracy ends with the economy that manages our access to those material needs. Capitalism inherently functions as a strict hierarchy in which those who own the means of production reside on top. The only way for us all to be truly free is to democratize the economy, to place the ownership of the means of production in the hands of us all, or at least in the hands of the workers. That's socialism. That's a fact. And it doesn't care about how you feel about it. Too long have we lived by the rules of those who place their feelings above the most obvious and simplest facts of life. Marx had the right idea with his purely materialistic view on society. For him this meant that the material world, perceptible to the senses, has objective reality independent of mind or spirit. He did not deny the reality of mental processes but affirmed that ideas could arise only as products and reflections of material conditions. He cared about the facts of the real world, as explained in the below linked video...

Why socialism is inevitable... and why it isn't

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