Materialism & Marx

Our sense of existence as humans is very wide. We were once nothing but mere animals – animals in our life and animals in our thoughts, governed by our day today needs and impulses. But today it is no more so. We have evolved as humans out of that animal existence. This evolution, as it looks outwardly and apparent, is not linear in humans’ inward contents – their thoughts and visions. Our inner world of consciousness – made-up of our senses, desires, emotions, thoughts, speculations or imaginations etc. – is as vast as this objective outside universe. In our inside formation, we are still more animals and less humans. And, we and our science are revealing this hidden mystery of our inner world. In this backdrop of our evolutionary course, we may broadly divide the mankind’s wisdom into two juxtaposition categories: The Eastern Wisdom; and the Western Wisdom.

It is aptly said, “East is east and West is west, and between them they shall never meet.” This juxtaposition of the two views is also summarized by this statement: To the western eye, East is unreasonable in thought and bizarre in deed; to the Eastern eye, West is superfluous in thought and mundane in life. Indeed, mankind is replete with many kinds of striking diversities. Even at any one given place, this diversity among people is amazing. However, this diversity of people has more to do with their internal make-up than their place of residence.

But, despite all these colossal diversities, mankind is essentially similar. This similarity is her endowment with the faculty of mind with its love for truth. Also, our realization of our fragile and unique position that we occupy in this unknown universe creates in us the sense of our unity of purpose and fate.

The leading lights of the Western thoughts include Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Thomas More, Francis Bacon, Rene Descartes, Thomas Hobbes, Voltaire, David Hume, Jacques Rousseau, Immanuel Kant, G. W. F. Hegel, James Mill, Arthur Schopenhauer, Ralph Emerson, H.D. Thoreau, Karl Marx, Herbert Spencer etc. All of these were rationalists in one way or another and those who exerted major intellectual and social impacts were Aristotle, Immanuel Kant, James Mill and Karl Marx. In a way, Karl Marx was alone who has created the greatest impact on the human mind, because he combined together the material reality (Materialism), rationalism (the concept of so-called ‘scientific’ socialism), philosophical elegance (Dialectics) and concerns of daily life (concepts of proletariat, capitalism, revolution and a hope in communism).

The essence of the wisdom of the Western thinkers, by and large, may be put under one word: Rationalism! This wisdom of the Western people is their waking up to the realism of whatever is apparent and which is powered by reason. It is the supreme flight of the human mind. Though this mental flight has many flavors under the aforesaid illustrious thinkers, yet in their essence they all have single approach in understanding Nature and forming single bedrock of their wisdom.

The Western wisdom may be summarized thus:

Mind is the sole light. Reason is the only test of right or wrong. Truth is the object of search but it can only be revealed by reason. Mind uses reason and makes search around us in this universe for uncovering the truth of the existence and gives its judgment.

With the development of science we go on knowing more. Science is based on mind and reason. In its highest flight, mind gives light about itself. Mind tells us that as we depend on body senses to get data of the world around us and the human mind processes this data, what we get is the result of the mind’s processing, and this result may have some part of the subjective adulteration of mind.

There is an unbridgeable gap between the world as it actually exists independen of us and the world, as we know of it as the result of our processing. There is no way to bridge this gap through mental means.

Mind – and science that is dependent on mind – observes and analyzes the world around us. As a result we get the conclusion that what exists is matter and by analysis we get the laws of the working of Nature. These two things are the fundamental truths. Whatever contradicts these two things is false or untrue.

It is legitimate and morally justified to know the world in this manner by the application of mind and act on its conclusions. By using mind, we know that what exists is material. Material world is vast and to know its extent, nature and properties, it is necessary to explore the material world. To know this material world and its working, we should explore outer space, interior of atom, look inside genes and penetrate the Earth, and oceans.

Whatever knowledge we get out of this exploration, we should use in the cause of our – humans’ – convenience and comforts.

Our body is made-up of not only the mind but also the sense organs. Body requires its demands to be met. It is morally justified to meet the demands of body. We know by mind’s analysis that it is better alternative to co-exist by meeting demands of maximum numbers of people to the maximum extant than to meet all demands of a single person to the maximum and risk mutual conflict and destruction. So, demands should be met within reasonable limits so as to avoid the conflict. If the conflict may be managed or averted, it is justified to meet the demands of a person or a group of persons to the maximum. To meet the body’s demands of human beings, it is necessary to produce the means of satisfaction of these demands. It is morally justified to produce the means of comfort to the maximum.

For economic development it is necessary, as economic science tells us, to create more demands of people even by artificial methods like advertisements and then to meet such inflated demands by offering them items of comforts (manufactured goods). This creates an interdependent chain of cause and effect of consumption, lower cost of production by producing in bulk, use of technologies so as to reduce dependence of human work-force, elimination of weaker manufacturer by resorting to competition so as to reduce cost of production, and price etc. To create the climate of free demand, free supply, free production of the things needed, democracy is the most suitable political system.

It is morally justified to consume more. It is morally justified to make people aware of their needs that were non-existent or lay dormant by advertisements and to maximize their consumption.

It is reasonable and moral to spread this model around the world so that maximum number of human beings may get the benefit of this comfort oriented model of way of life. It is reasonable that this model should be extended from local areas to national level, from national to international level. All means should be used to ensure that this model defeats the alternative models, if found it contradicting in any part of the world. Therefore, it is reasonable and morally justified for the leaders of society to gear it towards consumerism.

In this pursuit, it is morally justified to resort to technology to reduce dependence on human labor. Advertisements may be resorted to create needs of people that lie dormant.

There is no wrong in elimination of the weak by the strong to make articles of comfort cheaper. Since this is an ideal model of society, there is no wrong in the use of the force, economic or otherwise, against those who do not subscribe or conform to these ideals to make sure that this social model survives at the international level.

Therefore, the use of this force in the cause of this way of life is justified. There is no moral wrong in pursuing a national and global system wherein the entire world’s natural resources may be used in sustainable manner to meet the inflated and insatiable desires of human beings. It is an economic development of men.

Economic well being of humans is the crucial index of the standard of their living. If in the process monopoly of natural resources in the hands of a few individuals is created and war among nations led or influenced by those few individuals is fought in defense of this social order, there is nothing wrong in it so long as the troublesome things are planned and managed by mind.

This is the substance of the Western thought.

This wisdom – the Western wisdom – is founded on the commonsense of human mind.

As the Western wisdom, better termed the Western thought, are only ‘deductions’ that are made out of the Nature’s apparent reality and which deductions are made by mind, these thoughts are no more than ‘speculations’ verified by the method of ‘test and verify the truth’ (which method is called the scientific verification of hypothesis by experiment). The Western thought is speculation only because, as per the scientific definition used in their system for searching the reality, the ‘parametric conditions’, which need to be known, controlled and replicated in this methodology, are almost ‘infinite’ in number available in Nature, ‘unknown’ to us – humans – under which Nature works and ‘impossible to replicate’ by us in our laboratory!

If we do not ‘know’ all the parametric conditions present and working in Nature, if we cannot ‘control’ all such conditions and if we cannot ‘replicate’ those parametric conditions artificially and at your wish in our laboratory, then these ‘deductions’ made by such methodology are only partially true!

In the ultimate essence, these deductions – or thoughts – are only speculations. We may appreciate this assertion by an example of the concept of gravity. Initially, gravity was thought and explained (by Issac Newton) as a force of attraction working between mass “A’ and mass ‘B’; but it was got replaced by another thought and explanation (by Albert Einstein) as the ‘geodesic’ tendency, that is, the tendency to follow a shortest possible distance, of a mass “A’ in the presence of the ‘Curvature of Space’ created by mass ‘B’! Is it the last version of gravity? The commonsense says otherwise. It is all speculation!

As we said, Karl Marx alone was the thinker who created the greatest impact on the human mind. He combined together the elements of material reality (Materialism), rationalism (the concept of so-called ‘scientific’ socialism), philosophical elegance (Dialectics) and concerns of daily life (concepts of proletariat, capitalism, revolution and a hope in communism) in his thought or ideology. Let us have a look at the ideas propounded by him and his followers – ideas in search of a solution to the human miseries!

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