05 December 2008

on the masses

It is hard to think that the dictatorship of the prols....or even democracy is the right option when the night is spent with a large group of idiots....I want social justice but how to make this mesh with spending time with a group of people who lack basic social awareness. I am conflicted between feeling that dictatorship is totally wrong, with feeling that the "average" person does not have the capacity to govern them self in a very basic sense....I know this is a pure example of intellectual elitism and I hate myself for it, but I feel that I know better than the masses...does this make me ignorant? a horrible asshole? or just a "realist"?
I want equality and justice on a basic level but that doesn't change that people in this "culture" suck.
It is becoming ever clearer to me that the true revolution needs to come through education. Without class awareness people will not act in a class conscious way. Educating the masses has to become a key priority. There is much at stake in theory but only if the theory is known in the general sense.


shaun.kgsa said...

Now my response to this may be not very well backed up and a little all over the place but I am in a rush to get to work.

This post does not sound like a reflection of a Marxist. This is the reflection of, yes you said it, a horrible asshole. Yes you do sound like an elitist, but not an intellectual elitist. I'm not sure if you sound more like a Trot or a liberal, but these days I'm not sure if there is much of a difference between the two. Both feel they have the interests of the masses in mind and don't support the free creative capacity of the working class. I find the way that you speak of the masses to be offensive. As a cook I take Lenin's statement that any cook can govern maybe a little bit too personal; yet see that the essence of what Lenin is saying is in direct opposition to your statement that "the "average" person does not have the capacity to govern them self in a very basic sense".

If you are interested in revolution don't worry about educating the masses. That is the last thing the masses need. I suggest rather that you search for a better dialectical understanding of the world. I think Hegel would say that you have not even reached synthetic cognition never mind a dialectical one. But while you are worried about the "social awareness" of the masses we will be moving on. Yes we are constantly moving. In a shape that you will not understand not only because your head is so far up your ass, but also because you are not attentive to the contradictions.

What culture is it that you find that sucks? The culture of the academy where you have been taught a lot of Marxist theory and post modern theory that you have interpreted the wrong way and it has left with hollow politics. Or is it the culture of the working class that disgusts you?

James Miehls said...

I appreciate the thoughts. I need to stipulate a personal defense first. My horrible mood and the "culture" that I was so disgusted with and feel needs enlightenment is that of the petty bourgeoisie. To me these people represent the masses because I am so far isolated from the actual working class of society. Given partially to my own social decisions and partially due to the area of the country in which we live. The sense of entitlement and privilege displayed by people with no personal awareness of the complex reasons for which they have that privilege is what I found so horribly offensive. This point was made stronger for me as I was forced to deal with a lot of this shit for an entire evening of what was supposed to be a “dinner for charity”.

Personal defense aside your point about personal awareness and examination of the contradictions present is well taken. There is no easy path to successful revolution as history as made abundantly clear. Without alliance between theory and action there is no hope.

And yes I won’t argue that a lot of the time my head is up my own ass. I only hope that it can find its way out when the moment is right. I debated taking this post down this morning (my original, not your reply) when I woke up with a cooler head than I had when I wrote it, but I think dealing with my own ignorance and on some scary level, fascist tendencies when I am angry is important enough to open myself up to the kinds of (very valid) criticism that you have left.