Marxist Theological Stability Theory

Marxism implies a revolution, but does not give a credible reason for why there would be one.

The Marxist view of history appears to be

The Revolution will be televised… someday…. maybe

But why? What is the miracle? Especially considering Marx’s apparently constructivist nature, it seems likely that capitalism could be “stuck” in a permanent burgeious state. Indeed. It is easy to see how one can take Marxism to imply that this must happen, and that Religious Capitalism is the highest form of any existence.

Marx believed all politics to be derived from economics, but he was not an economic-determinist. Marx believed that ideas matter, and that one could change behavior with ideas. This is how he could say that religion is the opiate of the people — the people’s behavior is changed by the “drug” of religion.

A rational capitalist class would use this to their advantage. Accepting the Marxist notion that change is dialectic, the elite would steer this dynamic away from material redistribution (where they could be harmed) to ideology (so it would work to reinforce a capitalist system). So at a certain stage the capitalsits would establish a nonmaterial cultural hegemony that would divert change away from them while simultaneously reducing alienation.

In one word: religion

Future dialectical change would be ideological, with capitalism constantly producing enough wealth to buy off its enemies. That Marxism predicts the boom-bust cycle hardly matters: Shumpater‘s creative destruction predicts similar things, and capitalism is hardly the weaker for it. One could say that this Marxist-Gramscian Religious Hegemony is a horizontal diversion from the vertical march of history.

Changing Infrastructure, Changing Superstructure

Indeed, it might even be likely. A transition from capitalism to final communism is odd, because in Marxist thought it would be the first time in history a more productive economic regime is replaced by a less productive one. One could view this Marxist Theological Pacifism as a progression of both productivity and time, with no revolution ever.

A Marxist-Capitalist Theocratic Regime?

The problem is compounded by assuming that the capitalist population will be affected by evolution: capitalists who run their zones of controls in a manner that provokes revolution will be “weeded out,” leaving only those who are better at hegemonic manipulation.

However, all is not lost for the Marxist Revolution. If religion is the opiate of the masses — is faith also the opiate of the rich? Marx’s constructivism might allow “irrational” acts by classes, because all of their goals are constructed. Certainly it’s possible in Marxist thought for the rich to be so deluded they ignore material concerns at the same time that the poor are seized by them.

A problem with Marxism in general is its ignorance of linear algebra. The whole concept of dialectical struggle seems ignorant of multivariate optimization theory.

Marxism may be no more retro than Christianity… but such is a post for another time….


[Welcome ZenPundit readers. A post with charts derived from these notes is also available. Likewise, the original walk without rhythm post. — tdaxp]

[today was the best day of this class yet. A recent Iraq War vet is now auditing the class. He and I spent a fair amount of time developing a Marxist-Gramscist Theory of Theological Hegemonic Stability, much to the delight of Prof and the bemuzement of most of our fellow students. I will try to turn that into a blog post — tdaxp]

Socialist and Marxist Approaches to International Relations
circi et panem
Marxist stability theory? Marxist Commercial Pacifism?
(EU/G7 as example of Marxist anti-Leninist “Ultraimperialism” ?)
Schumpater / Marxist uneven growth
what is the cure for “opium addiction”?
why not an “opium for the burgeious”?

Marxist Methods
private property establishes a state system — but what about midaeval Iceland?
“emancipation” — states exist because we say they do – Marx as constructivist?
Marx as anti-economic-reductionist?
dialecticalism as anti object-subject: anti-science? observer as warrior?
Marxist Theological Stability? “religion isn’t the opium of the masses — it is the masses”
– diversion of the diolectic to immaterial
– Lenin: state is the executive committee of the bougeouis — so Marxist Theocratic Stability?
— … unless the cause is endemic, not agreed, by the rich
— applying Gramsci… Marxist Theological Hegemonic Stability?
— Marxist Structural Theories of the State)
— gives the state partial autonomy; for example, Steel Capitalist v. Auto Capitalists
— “capitalist strikes” like during 1970s?
— or even Randist/Objectivist strike?

Marxist-Leninist Theory of War
– (Lenin’s theory of Imperialism “essentially borrowed from British liberal JA Hobbson”)
– raw materials
– underconsumption / overproduction
– external markets

Marxist-Gramscian Theory of Hegemony
– (Gramsci wrote while in prison in Fascist Italy)
– the idea that an elite can exert power only if it exerts cultural power over social classes
– hegemony as soft power?
– so global hegemony isn’t nation based
– an interpretive theory, not prescriptive (?)
– focuses on temporary hegemon — “historic blocs” (financiers are not industrialists, etc)
– Gramscian Communist strategy community-oriented?
– how would gramsci view a “better” religion as cure / partial cure?

Burkey: “International Relations” problematizes Marxism
– (disagrees with Wallerstein)
– “can’t square any units (communes, states, etc) with stateless society”
– so accepting nations implies accepting multi-unit horizontal diversity — so same thing as “states”?
– Marx /assumes/ state-capitalism interreliance, without backing it up
– capitalism could survive in stateless world
– does “stateless society” mean no external compelling unit or no “hegemonic” regime?
– “stateless society in one state”?
– so “voluntary societies” are conflicting states?
– tribal “early communism” as “stateful statelessness”?
– similarity between church “individual poverty” v. “collective property” monastary debates

– capitalism is selling for external markets: “means of production” really doens’t matter too much
– so any form of specialization / division of labor is a form of capitalism?
– any sort of society can be externally capitalist
– similar to Maoist/Chinese Communist criticisms of USSR trade with the west
– Wallerstein’s Core / Semi-Peripherary / Peripherary similar to Barnett’s Core / Seam / Gap?

American Attorney General Blasts Foreign Law

Gonzales Weighs in on International Law,” by Mark Sherman, Associated Press, 19 October 2005,,1280,-5353130,00.html (from The Corner).

I wonder… does this make him an unindicted war criminal too? I hope the universal jurisidction of the Leftist Ulema international law doesn’t catch up to our AG!

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Tuesday joined critics of the use of foreign law in Supreme Court opinions, calling it anti-democratic and unworkable.

Foreign judges and legislators are not accountable to the American people. If our courts rely on a foreign judge’s opinion or a foreign legislature’s enactment, then that foreign judge or legislature binds us on key constitutional issues,” Gonzales said in a speech at George Mason University Law School in Arlington, Va.

My Hero, Alberto Gonzales

“If an American judge wants to find a law consistent with his or her personal opinion, it can be found. Chief Justice Roberts in his confirmation hearing compared this to looking over the crowd and picking out one’s friends. As a practical matter, it may be impossible for even the most conscientious judge to avoid being arbitrarily selective in the use of foreign law,” Gonzales said.

So is Alberto Gonzales part of the lunatic right? Or is he just playing fast and loose with words?