In Marx’s Manifesto of the Communist Party, he draws the battle line distinctly between the oppressor and oppressed. While he notes that there have been many revolutions over the centuries, the system that creates oppressors has never been abolished; but rather has been adopted and perpetuated by the new powers. “The modern bourgeois society that has sprouted from the ruins of feudal society has not done away with class antagonisms. It has but established new classes, new conditions of oppression, new forms of struggle in place of the old ones” (Marx 204). The bourgeois, in Marx’s view, has rid itself of “natural superiors” (feudal, patriarchal, and ideological) but replaced these superiors with a single, unconscionable exploitation in the form of “cash payment” and Free Trade (Marx 206). In turn, this monetary system has converted lawyers, priests, poets, and scientists into paid wage laborers (Marx 206).
As discussed in the prior post on alienation, the bourgeois have turned the weapon of capitalism upon themselves and are bringing death to itself through the exploitation and objectification of the working wage paid class—or the proletariats. The proletarians are the class of bourgeoisie, the modern working class, “who live so long as they find work, and who find work only so long as their labor increases capital” (Marx 211). These workers sell themselves as a commodity, in a highly competitive and shrinking marketplace—a model that is unsustainable.
Exploring Daniel Dennett’s From Bacteria to Back and Back, we’re left with a peculiar takeaway; words and language are but a virus preying upon our brains from birth. However, this virus is symbiotic and the backbone of human culture–and culture is the foundation of our intelligence.
On the surface, language seems to mimic top-down intelligent design. We humans are the creator of our language so therefore we are in control of it. However, Dennett inverts the paradigm and ties the phenomenon to evolution, demonstrating how language is as organic as natural selection. “Children acquire this natural language by a quasi-Darwinian process, achieving the competences that are the foundation for comprehension by a process that is competent without comprehension” (197). The child becomes immersed in language from birth and bootstraps themselves into comprehension through a massive and unconscious process of trial and error (197).
Marx is an atheist and highly critical of the illusion or affects created by religion. He views religion as the “ghostly realization” of the state and society, and a struggle against religion is a direct struggle against the state.
To overcome religion, the people must “demand to give up conditions that require illusions” (Marx 116). Illusory happiness must be replaced by true happiness, and a critical examination of heaven naturally leads to a critical examination of earth (Marx 116); “the critique of religion into the critique of law, the critique of theology into the critique of politics” (Marx 116). Marx calls for a war on the conditions of society and to use criticism as a weapon to not simply refute these conditions, but to utterly destroy them (Marx 117). He calls for those to be ruthless in their pursuit of correction and demands that people move beyond idle discussion and aggressively apply the critical theory.
These two categories can be traced back to the origin of life itself and to understand Daniel Dennett’s cryptic statement, “Natural Selection is thus an automatic reason-finder,” you first must understand how Dennett views reasons.
Reasons provide answers to the questions of why? However, the question why? is subdivided into two categories of what for? and how come? (38). When someone asks “why are your eyes blues?” they are really asking “what causes you to have blue eyes?” or rather, “how come you have blue eyes?” How come? questions seeks the process that explains the occurrence / observation, i.e. a kind of continuity. Understanding how come? questions is the first step in reasoning’s evolution and do not attempt to explain purpose or function (38).
The correlation between concepts of human spirit, soul, heaven, and God presented by Greek philosophers and the fundamental principles of Christianity is awing. If there were such a thing as copyright laws at the time, Christianity would be battling a tough legal case. While the parallels are evident, Christianity’s perversion or adaptation of the soul, building upon Platonists’ intent of abstract concepts (Forms), morphed the religion into a new way of life and perspective of the soul and world.
The Old Testament is largely a creation story and description of God. God is a single true reasonable being (relatable to the embodiment of Parmenides’ cosmic heaven and Plato’s Forms), existing as a perfect conception unlimited by the material / empirical world. God created heaven and earth; the reasonable and empirical. Man is introduced upon earth and created in God’s image, but having no knowledge, or need of knowledge. Man is then stricken with peril as he becomes aware of himself through sin—disobeying God by eating from the tree of knowledge and gaining an understanding of “good” and “bad” (reasonable and empirical). This self-awareness hints of an “I”, consciousness, or spirit.