Wednesday, November 11, 2009

About the Magpie

Well, maybe it's best to see this first post as a personal introduction and a "mission statement" of sorts.

I am a 48 yo male and I need to work for a living.

In a previous life I was considered upper middle-class and I had post-graduate education (Master's and started a PhD), but that was long ago.

Now I work manually and I could hardly be described as anything but low income earner.

Ideologically, I describe myself as an heterodox Marxist. This shows in my personal philosophical posture, which tends to be nihilistic. If you don't know much about Marxism, you'll probably be surprised to hear that Marxism is an extremely optimistic worldview. But, if you don't know much about it, you'll have to take my word for it.

I, in contrast, am deeply pessimistic. And I attribute this in part to my nihilism.

Which leads me to the next point of this post: I am writing this because I believe the world is ill. Maybe terminally so. I realize there is little I can do to make a difference. But I want to try and the only means I have to effect a difference is through my voice.

Don't get me wrong: I am not a profoundly "idealistic" character (idealistic in the sense of altruism). Marxists are often "idealistic" in this sense, although they are likely to deny it.

I am doing this because, as a good nihilist, I believe life has no intrinsic purpose. It's up to us to provide our life with one. So, as a good Magpie, I choose to fight, in the hope this may to some degree justify my own existence.

My promise to the reader is that I will try to be informative and fair.

4 comments:

  1. This blog is very interesting, I have come across your writings via trawling through "Fixing the economists" and "Social Democracy for the 21st century", I myself have identified with Marxist philosophy for a long time however only recently have I started to actually research the real meat behind it all, aka the value theory and historical materialism etc...

    I find reading straw-man arguments from vocal non-marxists to be very enlightening because the counter-arguments presented to refute such arguments are generally quite good.


    D.K.

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  2. Thanks for the comment.

    Regarding reading those two blogs: it's a matter of taste and having time and patience, I suppose.

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  3. This is just outright flattery now, but you also modestly exclude having a wealth of knowledge on the subject matter and its connective material.
    I mean, reading those type of blogs (Which are the mainstream view of politcs/economics/sociology mostly), without the counters that others like you provide either in your own work or the comments sections means that such ideology goes unchallenged.

    And for laymen, such as myself, it is easy to accept the "common knowledge" of marxist incoherance without really understanding it.
    Anyway, once again, thanks.

    Onto a question I have been meaning to ask, I am currently reading Harvey's "On the condition of post-modernity". Knowing your "affinity" for PoMo. I was wondering what you thought about it?
    Is PoMo really the "cultural logic of late capitalism" and how does this fit in with the identity politics that seem to have totally replaced class politics?


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  4. "Anyway, once again, thanks."

    No. Thank you for your comment.

    (BTW, are you the same DK, or another anonymous?).

    "Onto a question I have been meaning to ask, I am currently reading Harvey's 'On the condition of post-modernity'. Knowing your 'affinity' for PoMo. I was wondering what you thought about it?"

    I haven't read it.

    "Is PoMo really the 'cultural logic of late capitalism' ..."

    PoMo -- in my experience -- is one of those terms with no definite meaning bourgeois intellectuals love.

    Another such term is "capital" for mainstream economists: it can be money, machines, raw-materials, land, owner-occupied houses, good-will, social coherence, knowledge/skill, clean water and fresh air, sex-appeal or a thousand other things (or any combination of them) depending on the economist.

    So, PoMo can well be the "cultural logic of late capitalism" as it can be a movement in architecture and design, or anything really.

    http://www.oneblademag.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/building-postmodern-500x400.jpg

    http://nataliesasmediablog.weebly.com/a2-research/post-modern-dystopian-architecture

    "... and how does this fit in with the identity politics that seem to have totally replaced class politics?"

    I'm afraid my answer will disappoint after all your praise: frankly, I don't know how PoMo fits in with identity politics, if it fits in at all.

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