Lukacs – Leninism & the Vanguard Party

In America you probably grew up hearing and believing that Marx, Lenin and Stalin were evil. Rarely is any distinction made between the three, and they are typically described as power-hungry dictators. At best, you heard and maybe said “Communism looks good on paper, but doesn’t work in reality.” This is an idiotic thing to… Continue reading Lukacs – Leninism & the Vanguard Party

Marx – Commodity Fetishism & Surplus Value

Marx is famous for his analysis of “surplus value.” If you’re familiar with business jargon, this is just another way of translating the previously existing term that Marx used, mehrwert, which can also be translated to the more familiar term “value added.” If M is the cost of the wood, and M’ is the amount… Continue reading Marx – Commodity Fetishism & Surplus Value

Marx – The German Ideology

The young Marx was an active member of a radical leftist group called the Young Hegelians. They read Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit as the historical process of emancipation brought about by Western society’s philosophers and thinkers. They saw the philosophers as humanity’s only hope for a just future. Among this group Marx was one of… Continue reading Marx – The German Ideology

Engels – Socialism: Utopian and Scientific

Unless you have read Marx and/or Engels before, forget everything you think you know about Marxism. While there are many valid criticisms to make of Marx, they are probably not the criticisms with which you are familiar. Marx was an important influence in the history of the USSR and Mao’s China, but Marx and “actually… Continue reading Engels – Socialism: Utopian and Scientific

Hegel – Democracy as its Opposite (the French Revolution)

What do we mean when we say “freedom?” Do we mean freedom to live in peace and quiet? Freedom to live under a government with checks and balances? Or do we mean free to participate in the decision-making processes of our government? Hobbes and Hume were concerned with the Utility of government. As long as… Continue reading Hegel – Democracy as its Opposite (the French Revolution)

Robespierre & the French Revolution

WARNING: I am not a historian, and barely know what I’m talking about. I’d love for someone to do some fact checking for me.  Background In the 1780s France was well out of the Middle Ages, but there were many, many aspects of society that retained the “irrational” history of feudalism. For example, laws legitimized… Continue reading Robespierre & the French Revolution

Schelling – Predestination and Freedom (in the Matrix)

Schelling received lots of attention for his exceptional talents as a philosopher, publishing his first essay at 20 years old. At one point he was roommates with Hegel. You could say Schelling was the hare, and Hegel was the tortoise. Schelling’s ideas evolved radically throughout his career, and his popularity wavered throughout his life. Although… Continue reading Schelling – Predestination and Freedom (in the Matrix)