Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Secularised sneering gnosticism

Much of the appeal of Marxism is that it allows one to sneer at entire categories of people--petty bourgeois, lumpenproletariat, bourgeoisie, etc. In particular, by defining capital as the product and operation of exploitation, business folk are both sneered at and what they do is de-legitimised.

So, since capital is the product of exploitation, the more capital there is in a society, the more exploitation. But the more capital there is per worker, the scarcer labour is compared to capital and so the higher wages are and the more prosperous the workers. So, the more prosperous the workers are, the more they are "exploited". At which point, we have reached the insight of Inigo Montoya--you keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means.

But the point is the sneering, not understanding. And the appeal to clerics, intellectuals and academics of sneering at merchants and business folk as morally vulgar goes back to Plato, Aristotle and Kong Qiu (aka Confucius). Indeed, to the original Akademia. Something that has retained its appeal for at least 2,500 years is not likely to go way any time soon.

Much of the rest of the appeal of Marxism is to having a sense of understanding of the hidden workings of society, what lies behind the surface world of phenomena to the "true" driving forces of human action underneath. A secularised gnosticism, in effect.

Thus is Marxism secularised sneering gnosticism.


  1. Is there meant to be a question or exclamation mark at the end of the last sentence?