Sunday, May 10, 2009

65 Lenin

Lenin a philosopher? His name is easily associated with a lot of things in history, but with philosophy? Yes, after Marx and Engels he is the chief architect of the philosophy of dialectic materialsm.

I once suggested the question: is there a relation between personality and the kind of philosophy you perfer?Lenin enrolled in the University of Kazan in 1887, but was soon expelled for participating in student disturbances.

In 1895 he was imprisoned for revolutionary activity, was exiled to Siberia in 1897 and from 1900 til 1907 he lived abroad. visiting England, France and Switserland. And in all these countries the intelllectual and philosophical debate was about the new developments in society.

There was a strong materialist, empiricist tendency in this international debate. The works of men like Darwin, Mach, Marx and Engels were intensively discussed, but also the influence of Hegel was still a serious issue in this debate.

And it was still the dominating philosophical controvery of that period: materialism versus idealism.

Mach stated: "In my opinion are the laws of nature a product of our psychological need to feel comfortable with nature; all concepts that transcend sense experience are justified, if they are a means to understand, control and predict our environment."

Allthough Mach comes close to a pragmatic theory, it wasnt enough for Lenin. When sense experience is the only source of knowledge, you are forced to two options. either you deny the metaphysical reality of a world independent of our mind, or you have to choose the Kantian view, that we never will have the possibility of knowing the world as such.

Lenin defended dialectical materialism on the chief points at issue, particularly the status and character of matter and the nature of knowledge. Opposing the view that matter is a construct of sensations, Lenin argued that matter is ontologically primary, existing independently of consciousness.

Likewise, space and time are not subjective modes of ordering experience but objective forms of the existence of matter.Opposing the view that discoveries of modern science cast doubt on the "materiality” of matter, Lenin distinguished between two things:

Scientific conceptions of the composition of matter, which are provisional and “relative” because no components can be regarded as irreducible , and the philosophical conception, according to which matter is simply "the objective reality given to us in sensation."

In dialectics Lenin laid great stress on the struggle of opposing ("contradictory") forces or tendencies within every natural object and process; Lenin saw this struggle as the basis of all change ("the selfmovement of matter"), and thus as the core of dialectics.

While Marx believed that these contradictions eventually would lead the the revolution of the proletariat, Lenin was convinced that history had to be helped by action of the proletariat by deliberately organizing the revolution.

Lenin argued that capitalism had reached its final, monopolistic phase and was ripe for overthrow, but that, because of the "uneven" development of capitalism in different countries, socialism would not triumph in all or most countries simultaneously.

And thus ends the historical experiment in which a philosophical theory was "upgraded" to an international ideology and a method to run a state.
The experiment took millions of lifes and failed.

The Discussion

[13:28] Herman Bergson: So far on Marx-Engels-Lenin
[13:28] Herman Bergson: what was your question Khayyam
[13:29] hope63 Shepherd: quantity is not an argument herman..
[13:29] Khayyam Kurosawa: well..its see how he got from an empirist vs rationalist discussion to socialism..i dont see that yet
[13:30] Varick Vendetta: But if you think about it, their ideas of dialectic could always be right. The ideas they had about capitalist governments could be argued was due to their environment. that their plan to improve didn't work, doesn't mean their ideas and revolutions did no good.
[13:30] Herman Bergson: well..I think Lenin took the common sense turn..there exists a reality outsid emy mind..period
[13:30] Khayyam Kurosawa: yes..but how did that lead to his view on society
[13:30] Khayyam Kurosawa: you could have a realistic capitalisim out there too....outside of the mind
[13:30] Khayyam Kurosawa: mind
[13:31] Varick Vendetta: these men were all living in a time of revolutions, a tendency for individuals to hold revolutionary ideas would be increased.
[13:31] Herman Bergson: Well...his elder brother was hanged because he participated in bomming the Tsar
[13:31] Mickorod Renard: do you know how he became so be able to do what he did.Herman?
[13:31] Herman Bergson: lenin was 17 then
[13:31] Qwark Allen: so young
[13:31] Khayyam Kurosawa: thats cause he was bold renard...bald people are always pwoerfull.
[13:31] Ninjah Valeeva is Offline
[13:32] Qwark Allen: ur funny khayyam
[13:32] Khayyam Kurosawa: take
[13:32] Khayyam Kurosawa: (sorry prof...)
[13:32] Herman Bergson: not such remark in my class Khayyam..this is a philosophy class..
[13:32] Khayyam Kurosawa: ok......
[13:32] Khayyam Kurosawa: just a joke...
[13:33] Herman Bergson: Mickorod..
[13:33] Mickorod Renard: he must have had some doors opened 4 him
[13:33] Varick Vendetta: was solipsism... I think thats right... a problem at the time for the "intellectuals"
[13:33] AristotleVon Doobie: I suppose folks like Trotsky helped him gain the recogniton and poser he needed
[13:33] Herman Bergson: lenin didnt become powerful..see it in the historic context..
[13:33] Varick Vendetta: or was it never brought up in those circles
[13:33] Samuel Okelly: how old was he when sent to siberia herman? (and was there a visible turning point in his philosophy?)
[13:34] Herman Bergson: he was a brilliant mind..absolutely...that is what convinces people
[13:34] Mickorod Renard: that, i guess was what i was wondering
[13:34] AristotleVon Doobie: yes a powerful influence
[13:35] Herman Bergson: We once had a discussion here about how one person could make history..change the world
[13:35] Herman Bergson: Lenin was such a person..
[13:35] hope63 Shepherd: who was the other?
[13:35] Mickorod Renard: would it have mattered what his philo was to the people,,or just that he was charasmatic?
[13:36] Khayyam Kurosawa: i think oprah is getting close....
[13:36] Herman Bergson: but not because he was such a person, but because the context was complete to make use of such a gifted mind/person
[13:36] Cailleach Shan: Oprah and Eckhart
[13:36] hope63 Shepherd: ?
[13:37] Herman Bergson: No Mickorod..I think his philosophy was essential..
[13:37] Mickorod Renard: but did the masses understand this
[13:37] AristotleVon Doobie: Lenin was the spoon that stirred the simmering soup
[13:37] Varick Vendetta: I think that is a good question.
[13:38] Herman Bergson: Yes Aristotle..I think that is a good metaphore...the cup was already there
[13:38] Khayyam Kurosawa: thats always the case with great individuals isnt it?
[13:39] Khayyam Kurosawa: they are there at the right moment....
[13:39] Khayyam Kurosawa: just have to fill the bucket with one more drop...
[13:39] Cailleach Shan: Or is it just that we create the leaders we deserve!
[13:39] arabella Ella: i think we need to understand the context where exploitation of workers and tough agricultural labor were the order of the day ... the context or fertile ground for socialism
[13:39] Khayyam Kurosawa: we as a whole yes....we as separate indivduals no...
[13:39] Herman Bergson: That is what I was thinking Cailleach regarding Khayyam's remark
[13:40] Varick Vendetta: khayyam, it takes more than just being there at the right time, he had to be respected in his works by knowledgable people before the spoon is given to stir... to continue with the metaphore
[13:40] Herman Bergson: Lenin was at the end simply a murderer..he sign lots of execution lists
[13:41] arabella Ella: those of us in europe may remember that socialism later led to the welfare state first in scandinavia ... and it was important and welcome in those days too ... protection of individuals ... which then went too far to an extreme which could not be maintained
[13:41] Herman Bergson: No have missed lecture here
[13:41] arabella Ella: sorry herman ... could you explain please?
[13:42] Herman Bergson: the concept of socialism isnt the benifit of was the French revolution
[13:42] arabella Ella: do you mean i did not understand cos i missed a previous lecture?
[13:42] hope63 Shepherd: may be lenin was a follower of macchiavelli?
[13:42] hope63 Shepherd: murder for the interests of the state is necessary....
[13:43] Herman Bergson: yes Arabella, for in the former lecture I explained that socialism in fact has nothing to do with Marxism
[13:43] Khayyam Kurosawa: i agree with arabella..............there sure is a relation......
[13:43] Herman Bergson: it was marx who adopted the ideas of socialism and incorporated them in his ideas
[13:44] hope63 Shepherd: french revolution was the origin of human rights.. not socialism
[13:44] Khayyam Kurosawa: yes...exactly hope...
[13:44] Khayyam Kurosawa: and as he adopted was a relation
[13:44] Varick Vendetta: but after that point wouldn't marx have some effect on socialists.
[13:44] Varick Vendetta: ?
[13:44] Herman Bergson: no Hope you are wrong about that..
[13:44] Mickorod Renard: I would like to think that what happened in russia was food enough in the UK to make them bring in social change
[13:44] arabella Ella: perhaps you are distinguishing between socialism and communism Herman?
[13:44] Samuel Okelly: socialism is a quite a broad umberalle term i think
[13:44] Herman Bergson: read my former lecture
[13:45] Herman Bergson: absolutely arabella
[13:45] Ganymede Blackburn: IMO it was the percieved threat from communism that made the welfare state politically acceptable in the west. It was seen as a compromize, a way to 'stem the tide'..
[13:45] Mickorod Renard: i think so Ganny too
[13:45] arabella Ella: ok ... but i think the french revolution led to what we today call democracy not to socialism ... but that is an opinion
[13:45] Khayyam Kurosawa: thats a fact....
[13:46] Herman Bergson: it is what you mean with socialism...
[13:46] Herman Bergson: the basic idea of socialism is equality
[13:46] arabella Ella: yes perhaps there are different definitions or different perceptions of socialism
[13:46] Catt Gable is Online
[13:46] Herman Bergson: socail equality..
[13:46] hope63 Shepherd: no.. that is communism
[13:46] Herman Bergson: no is not..
[13:47] hope63 Shepherd: ok.. we will discuss that another
[13:47] Herman Bergson: it is the demand for respect for every ones qualities and efforts
[13:47] Varick Vendetta: I still say that even tho socialism did not come from marxism, marxism did have effects on socialist ideas once its introduced to the environment
[13:47] Herman Bergson: that is what communisim pleaded for egality
[13:47] hope63 Shepherd: herman.. respect does not mean equality:)
[13:48] AristotleVon Doobie: equality and equal rights are two different things, the former is a myth and the latter is the rights of man
[13:48] Cailleach Shan: Yes, although the leaders at the top always seem to become corrupt in any system.. even socialism..
[13:48] Qwark Allen: nice view ari
[13:48] arabella Ella: Ari ... the rights of humans please not of man only ;)
[13:48] Herman Bergson: yes..Cailleach..the human organism has difficulty to handle power
[13:48] Stanley Aviatik: more so in socialism
[13:48] AristotleVon Doobie: well mankind
[13:49] arabella Ella: humankind ... sorry!
[13:49] Khayyam Kurosawa: lol...huwoman rights...
[13:49] AristotleVon Doobie: I agree
[13:50] hope63 Shepherd: human organism?
[13:50] Herman Bergson: Well it all is about words..socialism ..communism...but at the end it all is about man
[13:50] hope63 Shepherd: where is descartes ?
[13:50] Ganymede Blackburn: There is a distinction here that seems fuzzy, the one between egality and equality...
[13:51] Ganymede Blackburn: they're certainly not the same.
[13:51] Herman Bergson: yes..ganymede..good observation..
[13:51] Mickorod Renard: one is french
[13:51] hope63 Shepherd: all men are equal..
[13:51] AristotleVon Doobie: yes and historically man has been force to believe, both religious and also idelogical doctrine
[13:51] Mickorod Renard: unless ur french
[13:51] Cailleach Shan: And some are more equal than others.
[13:52] hope63 Shepherd: ty cal..
[13:52] Herman Bergson: I think the main philosophy of what you call communism was that all people are the same..
[13:52] AristotleVon Doobie: the failure is assured because you can not force someone to believe
[13:52] Herman Bergson: what they do in society is just a job..
[13:52] Varick Vendetta: thats stalinism for you herman... and communism has been effected by it ever since.
[13:53] hope63 Shepherd: well.. herman.. didn't all the philosophers in the past think that all men are the same?
[13:53] hope63 Shepherd: (apart from the deweys)
[13:53] arabella Ella: the failure was also due to power going to the heads of those in control with the consequence that equality was no longer there but there were the haves and the have nots
[13:53] Khayyam Kurosawa: do we all agree that a very uncomprisming insistence that all people are equal is dangerous?
[13:53] Khayyam Kurosawa: cause we are not...
[13:54] arabella Ella: Hope ... Hobbes did not think all people are the same
[13:54] Herman Bergson: no ..we are not indeed KhAyyam
[13:54] hope63 Shepherd: i agree.. didn't take time to cite the moments when that was realuized,..
[13:54] Herman Bergson: but that is not the problem..
[13:54] hope63 Shepherd: ara
[13:55] Varick Vendetta: honestly, I think only a fool would believe all men are created equal, but I believe in treating each person equally fair.
[13:55] hope63 Shepherd: but.. before?
[13:55] Khayyam Kurosawa: as long as we treat them equally...we can accept unequality...
[13:55] Khayyam Kurosawa: exactly vendetaa...
[13:55] Khayyam Kurosawa: gotta go......see you later..thanks for class herman
[13:55] Stanley Aviatik: Exactly Varick
[13:55] Herman Bergson: You are excused Qwark..:-)
[13:55] Mickorod Renard: yea
[13:55] Cailleach Shan: Is egalitarianism our goal then?
[13:55] Qwark Allen: interesting as allways herman! got to go to work to! cya later!!!
[13:55] hope63 Shepherd: treat things equaly knowing theey are diferent.,. ?
[13:56] Qwark Allen: cya all later
[13:56] AristotleVon Doobie: bye Qwark
[13:56] Varick Vendetta: bye people leaving
[13:56] Mickorod Renard: c u quark
[13:56] Stanley Aviatik: bye Qwark
[13:56] Ganymede Blackburn: Goodbye, Qwark. :9
[13:56] Ganymede Blackburn: *:)
[13:56] Cailleach Shan: cu Q
[13:56] Herman Bergson: Ok..let's get to basics..
[13:56] Catt Gable is Offline
[13:57] Herman Bergson: the communist expriment seemed to have missed essentail features of the human mind
[13:57] Herman Bergson: its psychology
[13:57] Ewa Aska is Online
[13:58] Varick Vendetta: how can you really say it failed. communist ideas live on in communist countries, even if they have evolved to their environments
[13:58] Herman Bergson: and it seems that the socalled capitalist system did a beter job on that
[13:58] AristotleVon Doobie: Yes and also the fact that the system was hijacked by the deranged Stalin
[13:58] Stanley Aviatik: Could you seriously still call countries like China communist?
[13:59] Herman Bergson: No...
[13:59] AristotleVon Doobie: China is communist in oppression only.
[13:59] hope63 Shepherd: ari.. herman said the problem was psychology:)
[13:59] Cailleach Shan: Capitalistic in ambition.
[13:59] AristotleVon Doobie: I think 'Power and dominion'
[14:00] Varick Vendetta: I agree, they've definitely adopted a lot of capitalist ideas, but isn't the core of their government still based on communist ideas, tho not all of them
[14:00] hope63 Shepherd: ari.. china will be our problem because they realized that oppression doesn't work on the long run.. psychology..:)
[14:00] arabella Ella: the ideas behind the ideologies are interesting and idealistic but the application generally fails due to greed, power and corruption ... also lack of morals of those in power
[14:00] Varick Vendetta: I didn't say they kept the good parts
[14:00] Herman Bergson: No..only on control....the interests of a certain upper class
[14:00] Herman Bergson: Like in old China
[14:01] Samuel Okelly: isnt state imposition still exceptionaly strong in china? eg Tibet
[14:01] AristotleVon Doobie: China will be all our problems because we are bankrolling there rise to world power
[14:01] hope63 Shepherd: ara.. failed for plato too when he went to syracuse:)
[14:01] aurelia Emms is Offline
[14:01] arabella Ella: yes hope ... the application often fails for various reasons
[14:02] hope63 Shepherd: ari.. wouldbn't we want everyone to take part in the global advance?
[14:02] Herman Bergson: At the end I think we wil become China's they cant evade adopting our system
[14:02] AristotleVon Doobie: LOL, just make sure your childeren take chinese as their second language
[14:02] Herman Bergson: Yes..Aristotle..:-)
[14:02] Varick Vendetta: but hope... everyone is already. we're always advancing... can't move backwards in time.
[14:02] arabella Ella: well just imagine what will happen if china removes its one child policy
[14:03] hope63 Shepherd: lol.. a very good ideam ari.. instead of emnglish we learn in europe.. chinese
[14:03] arabella Ella: i would love to learn chinese myself
[14:04] hope63 Shepherd: ari.. don't forget that qabout 40 years ago business men learned japanese?
[14:04] AristotleVon Doobie: Their military numbers are staggering at present and will only in increase in techinoloigcal prowess
[14:04] Herman Bergson: I started on japanese many years ago..Chinese was an easy step then to understand
[14:04] Cailleach Shan: Would Lenin have recognised the Chinese version of communism?
[14:04] hope63 Shepherd: i think he would today :)
[14:04] arabella Ella: i think they call the chinese version Marxism
[14:05] Mickorod Renard: interestin q cail
[14:05] Varick Vendetta: I know a little japanese, but thats only cuz my ex gf was an anime freak
[14:05] Herman Bergson: Well..let's return to philosophy now..;-)
[14:05] hope63 Shepherd: ty herman..
[14:06] Herman Bergson: the philosophical issue here is that around 1900 the scene was dominated by a discussion about materialism and idealism..
[14:06] Ganymede Blackburn: Herman, aren't you underestimating the russian and chinese nature of their respective revolutions when you conclude that it was communism that failed? You're usually the first to tell us to consider the historical circustances...
[14:06] Ganymede Blackburn: chinas and russias weren't exactly enviable at the time the communists took power...
[14:06] Herman Bergson: with this three man.Marx-Engels-Lenin we end this discussion
[14:07] Herman Bergson: Now we are back in the philosophial mainstream...what will emerge..
[14:07] Mickorod Renard: I am interested in this quest gany
[14:08] Herman Bergson: Our next person on the list is Freud...
[14:08] Mickorod Renard: thanks herman
[14:08] Cailleach Shan: Ah Sigmund..
[14:08] Mickorod Renard: sex talk then
[14:08] Stanley Aviatik: Yes thanks Herman - and really look forward to Sigmnd
[14:08] hope63 Shepherd: quite a step. from revolution to the inner most mind:)
[14:08] AristotleVon Doobie: Siggy baby
[14:08] Herman Bergson: and we'll be heading for a whole new approach regarding who we look at ourselves
[14:09] Cailleach Shan: Do we bring our own sofa?
[14:09] arabella Ella: dream interpretation ... we need a couch herman
[14:09] hope63 Shepherd: just a pillow.. cal:)
[14:09] Stanley Aviatik: That couch is about 1 mile down the road from where I live!
[14:09] Herman Bergson: not necessay Cailleach..just ring in your own subconscious..:-)
[14:09] hope63 Shepherd: and of course your father.. girls:)
[14:09] arabella Ella: lol
[14:10] arabella Ella: which couch Stan ... sounds like a pub?
[14:10] Cailleach Shan: lol I've never figured out how to loose it Herman..
[14:10] Stanley Aviatik: will you be changing to cigars for this Herman?
[14:10] Herman Bergson: NO!
[14:10] Varick Vendetta: lol
[14:10] Herman Bergson: lol
[14:10] hope63 Shepherd: what kind of pubs do you go to
[14:10] Stanley Aviatik: lol
[14:10] arabella Ella: i love brit pubs, Hope, but do not live in the UK
[14:10] AristotleVon Doobie: well, I will be sure to have my 'Froot Loops' for breakfast that morning
[14:11] hope63 Shepherd: with couches?
[14:11] arabella Ella: lol
[14:11] arabella Ella: some do have couches today ... more life sofas
[14:11] arabella Ella: like
[14:11] Mickorod Renard: I go to a pub with lots of couches
[14:11] arabella Ella: a freudian slip see
[14:11] Herman Bergson: Class dismissed..all back to the couch before next cclass..:-)
[14:12] arabella Ella: herman will be analysing all our freudian slips in the meantime ;)
[14:12] hope63 Shepherd: WELL.. I NEVER SAW THE SLIPS OF FREUD..
[14:12] Stanley Aviatik: Goodnight Herman and thanks - goodnight everyone
[14:12] Varick Vendetta: thanks herman
[14:12] arabella Ella smiles
[14:12] AristotleVon Doobie: Thanks you Herman
[14:12] Cailleach Shan: Freud.. the
[14:12] Ap4ch3 Xingjian: damn missed it again :(
[14:12] Mickorod Renard: thanks herman
[14:12] Cailleach Shan: Time I left I think. Bye all.
[14:12] AristotleVon Doobie: bye Cal
[14:12] arabella Ella: thanks herman, bye everyone!
[14:12] Herman Bergson: Bye Cailleach
[14:12] AristotleVon Doobie: bye ara
[14:12] Mickorod Renard: hi ap4
[14:12] Herman Bergson: Sorry Ap
[14:12] Mickorod Renard: bye Ara
[14:13] Varick Vendetta: bye ara
[14:13] Ap4ch3 Xingjian: hi mickorod
[14:13] hope63 Shepherd: ap.. contact mick for the classes.. he knows whenb to be late..
[14:13] Ganymede Blackburn: thank you for the lecture, Herman. It was, excellent, as usual. The discussion was ok too. See you next time...
[14:13] Ap4ch3 Xingjian: herman there are notes?
[14:13] Mickorod Renard: yeaaaa
[14:13] Herman Bergson: Bye ganymede..:-)
[14:13] Ganymede Blackburn: bye, everyone. time to return to the nest...
[14:13] Varick Vendetta: bye gany
[14:13] AristotleVon Doobie: bye gany
[14:13] Mickorod Renard: bye gany
[14:14] Samuel Okelly: think ill head off too now, thanks again herman
[14:14] Varick Vendetta: bye sam
[14:14] Samuel Okelly: tc every1 :)
[14:15] Herman Bergson: Bye Samuel

Posted by herman_bergson on 2008-05-07 09:40:22

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