Potemkin wrote

I've always thought that rural, agricultural people (the peasantry historically), in particular, got a bad wrap from authoritarian communists, who labeled most of them Kulaks and dismissed them as reactionary. Yet history shows that, while rural people are often more conservative (as in the US today), there is a rich history of proud, radical, anarchic sentiments among rural and agricultural people (Makhno's movement is perhaps the most prominent example).

In fact, Murray Bookchin observed that most of the revolutionary agency of the industrial proletariat was a result of first-generation proletarians, whose radicality was the result of having been peasants and being forced (economically, etc) from the fields to the factories. This first generation was always the most radical, because they had direct experience of a different way of life. Fast forward a generation or two and, contrary to Marx's idea that industrial discipline would also discipline workers for revolutionary struggle, it overwhelming broke their spirit and integrated them into the system, rather than set themselves against the system.

Given this, I've always maintained a supportive, rather than dismissive, attitude toward the revolutionary potential of rural, agricultural peoples. They haven't received enough credit historically for carrying the revolutionary torch to the extent that they have.


Potemkin wrote

Hmm... I originally thought not, but then more thoughts followed. Haha.

If the statement "classical logic is to paraconsistent logic" is synonymous with the statement "analytic logic is to dialectical logic," then I think we have problems in formulation before we even begin. My understanding is that it is controversial, even among dialecticians, to suggest a dialectical logic separate from, or in violation of, formal logic.That being said, theorists like Murray Bookchin have suggested or implied that a dialectical logic was separate from the analytic. I guess also I'm wondering if we mean the broader "formal logic" of which "classical logic" is a part, or if we can juxtapose a "dialectical logic" to a "classical logic" without violating the larger "formal logic?"

That being said, I think there is a substantive sense in which we can see parallels between the breakdown in the relation between classical and quantum physics with that of the difference between analytic and dialectic modes of investigation. If things like Schrodinger's cat are explanations of quantum mechanical processes, this can obviously be seen as parallel to a dialectical method of inquiry. And definitely there is a dialectical approach to science that can be pursued (and has been, see particularly Levins & Lewontin's The Dialectical Biologist, for instance).

So on the other hand, yes, there are definite parallels between the "logic" (I use this here in a general, informal sense) of dialectic and quantum physics. And I think we can see parallels in the classical senses of logic and physics. Without looking it up, I would imagine both of these "classical" concepts came about in the West at around the same time, perhaps from the same "logic" or ideology.

In conclusion, I'm not sure. Haha. This particular area isn't my expertise, so this could all be incorrect, but I think I understand what you're asking. And I think, dialectically, there are substantive senses in which we can say it is a valid analogy, and substantive senses in which we might not. Maybe we should just put it in Schrodinger's box, with his cat, and all will be satisfied. Until it's opened.


Potemkin wrote

Yes, I agree. I think that's at the root of action and movement-building. For me, it starts individually--trying to develop myself in ways that give me a good basis and get my own house in order. From there, I have a solid foundation for neighborly or community-based action, and from there out into national and international solidarity and mutual aid. I envision it a bit like concentric circles. We have to start where we are, but I don't even think that's from selfishness. It's just the natural starting place for anyone to become a contributing and beneficial neighbor or community member or human generally.


Potemkin wrote

I think anarchists especially are not nationalists, and generally practice an internationalism rooted in "modernist" concepts of unity and solidarity. I think this position is also a natural extension of anarchism's utopian elements, as well as in the belief of a need for revolution (which ideally would be global and coordinated, though not necessarily simultaneous).

I don't think that acting locally while creating international solidarity are mutually exclusive. I think that it would be a problem if local action was at the expense of international solidarity--these two concepts need not be opposed or antagonistic to one another. The phrase "think global, act local" embodies this complementarity.


Potemkin wrote

(All links go to Wikipedia for reference)

Yes, I think that both idealism and materialism are equally important and basically two sides of the same coin.

As for introductory texts regarding some of these topics, I would start with the small book titled, Hegel, as part of the Past Masters series from Oxford University Press. It's written by Peter Singer, perhaps the foremost Utilitarian philosopher living. I would pair this with another book in the same series, Marx, also written by Singer.

Hegel's work is known to be dense, obscure, and difficult. I was in a group with three others to read Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit. It was very slow going, but felt profound. It was laced with frustration, but once understanding was reached about what he was trying to say, it was very rewarding. To help us, we paired it with Alexander Kojeve's Introduction to the Reading of Hegel: Lectures on the Phenomenology of Spirit. The Phenomenology is seen as Hegel's largest work in terms of impact.

As for other work, I don't have specific titles, but I would try to find books or discussion about the Young Hegelians generally, and the ideas they explored.

Anarchism owes a bit less to Hegel and his dialectic than does Marxism. Indeed, many anarchists I find aren't keen on dialectical methods of investigation. Anarchists such as Peter Kropotkin rejected dialectics as pseudo-scientific. However, Mikhail Bakunin, whose ideas won Kropotkin over to anarchism, was at least peripherally a Young Hegelian and would've had a dialectical orientation. And some of the most interesting anarchists today utilize a dialectical understanding, it's just less prevalent. It should be noted that there are also Marxists that reject dialectics, making them "analytical Marxists," I guess. I find it all very interesting, as I'm interested in radical thought and philosophy generally.

In western philosophy, Hegel basically created a split. Philosophy that rejects dialectical notions and Hegel's work is typically considered "analytic" philosophy, practiced primarily in the United States and the UK. However, Hegel still is a prominent figure in so-called "continental" philosophy, or philosophy practiced on the continent--Germany, France, etc. These distinctions weren't made clear to me at first, and caused a great deal of confusion for me.

For more information on the dialectical method generally, which will probably always include discussion of Hegel, I would look at the work of philosopher John P. Clark from Loyola University. He has posted almost all of his work for free to Academia.edu.

I would also look into the Frankfurt School, which were a group of German unorthodox Marxists with a heavy interest in philosophy. Martin Jay wrote a great overview and history of the Frankfurt School titled, The Dialectical Imagination: A History of the Frankfurt School and the Institute of Social Research, 1923-1950.

Pretty much anything involving early Marx, such as his Philosophical and Economic Manuscripts of 1844 most acutely show the intersection of Hegel and radical political theory, so that would be a good focus, as well.


Potemkin wrote

Due to the nature of Stirner's thought and argumentation style, he can be difficult to place. Indeed, John Clark and others have seen Stirner's work as "a process of egoistic enjoyment for the author." Yet, Stirner does at times make metaphysical claims that can open themselves to discussion and critique.

If you're interested in this sort of discussion on Stirner, I would highly recommend John P. Clark's essay from the 1970s called "Max Stirner's Egoism." It is a critique, but NOT a polemic, of Stirner's work.

In searching for a link for that essay, I also found an article by Jason McQuinn reviewing Clark's critique of Stirner. I haven't read this second work yet--I didn't know it existed until a moment ago-- but I think that would give you a pretty good view of both sides of the philosophical debate surrounding Stirner.

Lastly, I would argue that, as metaphysics is "the branch of philosophy which deals with the ultimate nature of things and seeks to formulate the most basic categories of explanation" (from Clark's essay), that nothing would ultimately fall outside of the metaphysical. Though Stirner may be primarily concerned with the aesthetic and the pleasurable, "being" and "nothing," material and immaterial, materialist and idealist are the basic, fundamental contradictions into which all thought falls. To me, as Stirner's thought, and the conception of ego itself, are inherently abstract, I would consider Stirner to be within the broad container category of "idealism." But this is just my understanding. I'm certainly no expert, and certainly not regarding Stirner. I always thought he had interesting things to say, though!


Potemkin wrote

Some interesting thoughts! I think I can understand some of what the OP is getting at. I'd like to address a couple of the points.

Firstly, we need to draw out some unspoken ambiguities. Corporate, monocultural crop production has many problems, some of which were already named--chemicals, destruction of land for monocultures, genetic engineering, etc. However, when comparing the ecological affects of corporate agriculture when compared to the corporate meat industry, agriculture is always MUCH less polluting and resource intensive.

The next thought is the difference in ecological impact and ethical consideration of the individual versus these large industries. One of the issues we should have with moderate liberalism generally is a lack of class consciousness. Liberal environmentalists will fault individual working-people for environmental degradation without holding corporations to account. Yet, even the most polluting individual has less environmental impact than one CEO that can choose to dump industrial waste into freshwater systems, for example.

I choose to not eat meat, and I don't think that will ever change for me, as a personal choice. However, I would not advocate this to people that have worked out their own, sustainable, relationship with the natural environment. I would never preach veganism to Native Americans, for instance, as they already have a working relationship with nature. So therefore, I don't see a problem with someone choosing to hunt for subsistence--it certainly is less impacting on the environment than any big corporate polluter. I personally would never do this, however.

When discussing issues like these, I think it's very important to keep these distinctions in mind and not get lost in ambiguity. We can't say, for example, that "humans" are polluters. Of course we are, but we must be more specific. The fact is, there are certain people in our society that have more power, and more ability to impact the environment than most working-people will ever have. It's not humans per se that are the issue, it's primarily CEOs making decisions for shareholders and profit. Not the wage worker that tosses their candy wrapper on the ground (though out of personal responsibility, I would argue we should still try to throw away and recycle and all that).

Corporate agriculture will always be better than the corporate meat industry. Individual horticulture will always be better than individual animal slaughter. However, an individual that chooses to hunt for subsistence will always have a lower environmental footprint than buying corporate meat. It's all a matter of degrees.

My argument is that, until the corporate agriculture and meat industries are done away with (in favor of alternative, sustainable methods), we should not point our fingers at the subsistence hunter, especially at the expense of holding these hugely polluting corporations to account.