Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

Weapons of Class Destruction

Another interesting thing in the recent magazines I've been reading, which in brief repeats a common belief within a lot of marxist thought that I think is wrong -- the notion that there is no war but the class war, and that government will be unnecessary after a successful rejection of selfishness inherent in capitalism. It is often claimed that after the revolution, be it peaceful or not, there will be no police, no struggle, and no state. All conflict within society is reduced down to and framed in terms of the class struggle, all other struggles being illusory. While a lot of struggle has class implications, human existence isn't so simple. There are many things we need police and prisons for outside of things that are directly or indirectly the result of capitalism, and reducing all struggles to class war simplifies the debate in as stupid a way as libertarians (mis)understand liberty -- we find a way that works, and then pretend it was our idea all along and rewrite history so it was obvious and people who disagreed were betraying the moment. That's a stupid path. Why, for example, do we need police, prisons, and preventative measures to deal with crime, outside of class struggle? Some people are criminals at least partly out of genetic damage or physical trauma to the brain that affects behaviour. People who are psychopaths, for example, cannot be expected to turn into angels under even the most fair government. Some people have a quick temper, complex ideas about honour, or similar, that can lead them into conflict with others that has nothing to do with economics. People also must deal with their nature, in that we're not always looking out for society as well as ourselves. Socialism will require people to make more demands of themselves, and we can expect there to be some difficulty with that, just as the degree of civilization we have now is in some ways difficult for us. In sum, there will always be crime, and we will always be struggling to improve ourselves, and some of us will fail quite badly along the way. Socialism is, it is important to note, a national enlightenment that requires enlightenment of the individual in order to be achieved.

In other news, I've been summoned for Jury Duty for late next month. This sucks -- I will need to be downtown from 8:3-16:3, with an average of 2-10 days. Sigh.

Tags: philosophy

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