bourgeois highdomes

Carrol Cox cbcox at
Wed Jan 12 18:38:22 PST 2000

I was browsing over some old posts and came across this remark:

"Daniel F. Vukovich" wrote:

> and with JDs
> claim that "reason" and "liberation" are synonynmous

This is the core spirit of capitalism -- and of what Marx/Engels objected to in the enlightenment ("materialists") in the third of the Theses on Feuerbach -- "dividing society into two parts, in which one is superior to society." The alternative is to see "reason" as merely the label we give to what humans do with their brains, and split the identity of the rational with the true, the false with the irrational, which is behind both Platonic realism and most varieties of psychology. The proposition that "All thinking is rational" is or ought to be seen as a tautology. When thinking leads to error, it must be seen not as irrational (or unconscious) but rather as needing historical explanation, one test of any such explanation being its power to show that all instances of thinking (and acting) are indeed rational, according to reason.

We can say (as most marxists have at one point or another) that *capitalism* (or some institution or other) is irrational, but we must not ascribe that irrationality to the irrationality of individual humans, for that is an oxymoron.


More information about the lbo-talk mailing list