Stefan Molyneux

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Anthropoid

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The video of socialist Ed Sherridan (Scottish Solidarity) made me think of this video.


I generally find this Molyneux guy to be pretty reasonable and intelligent. Have only caught him being an illogical dumbass once so far (his claims that Robin Williams committed suicide because he was so in debt as a result of his predatory ex-wives and the alimony payments, when in fact Williams seems to have been worth tens of millions at his death . . . not sure).

My first experience with him was his analysis of the availalbe facts in the Zimmerman murder trial (Trayvon Martin murder). Honestly my initial response to him was a strange mixture of suspicion and curiousity. On the one hand, he comes across as inteligent, well-spoken, rational, empirical, and reasonable. But then given his dedication and zeal and his seemingly obvious political leanings combined with his strangely 'vsionary' views, one cannot help but be a bit perplexed. I did find his analysis of the Trayvon Martin thing to be very compelling and as I am personally quite critical of 'political correctness' I appreciated his  contribution. (ADDIT: see next post for this video, could only do two Youtubes per post).

He is clearly "libertarian" or some derivation of that, and I'm sure he gets accused of being some kind of sinister white bigot by some. But Rush Limbaugh he is not.


Anyway, I thought he might appeal to a cross-section of guys on here and he does Youtubes on a wide range of topics so a thread to discuss him and the topics he covers seems like a decent prospect.
 

Anthropoid

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Could only do two Youtubes in a post so here is the "Truth About . . " the Zimmerman trial one.

 

Swissky

You might wanna keep in mind that Sweden has been ruled for a liberal-conservative party for the last 8 years (Up until the 14th September this year) and that Norway has got a conservative party, same with Finland.

Denmark and Sweden currently have a Socialdemocratic government.
 

Seff

Cool Hand Luke
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There is a tiny difference at best between the liberal and socialist democratic wings of Danish politics, at least. We're solidly socialist liberals, either way.
 

Jhessail

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Scandinavia is not the Nordic countries, these are not interchangeable titles. Scandinavia is only Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Nordic countries is Scandinavia plus Finland and Iceland. That's his first mistake. Secondly, he completely ignores the reasons behind the massive increase in GDP between 1870 and 1950 - all Nordic countries went through the transformation from agrarian societies to industrial societies during that time which naturally immensely increased measurable GDP. He also ignores that for centuries before that, government had been even smaller and taxes lower, yet there was no marked increase in GDP or anything. And that the quality of living actually increased only after 1950's.

So it's a classic case of an author viewing statistics through the telescope of his/her personal bias.
 

Anthropoid

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Jhessail said:
Scandinavia is not the Nordic countries, these are not interchangeable titles. Scandinavia is only Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Nordic countries is Scandinavia plus Finland and Iceland. That's his first mistake. Secondly, he completely ignores the reasons behind the massive increase in GDP between 1870 and 1950 - all Nordic countries went through the transformation from agrarian societies to industrial societies during that time which naturally immensely increased measurable GDP. He also ignores that for centuries before that, government had been even smaller and taxes lower, yet there was no marked increase in GDP or anything. And that the quality of living actually increased only after 1950's.

So it's a classic case of an author viewing statistics through the telescope of his/her personal bias.
Yeah, I can believe all those critiques are real.

Still, a buddy who had been doing a postdoc in Sweden up until recently came home to LA and I made some joke about "returning from a socialist country." His response was "Sweden isn't a 'socialist' country!" His argument seemed to be that Sweden (and the other uh . . . northern countries  :mrgreen:) are distinctly "free market" economies, but with considerable social welfare instruments in place.

Certainly getting to go to University through as far as your skills warrant for FREE is more 'socialist' than in the U.S. where any 'free ride' will come in the form strictly of highly competitive scholarships or grants.

Gestricius said:
You might wanna keep in mind that Sweden has been ruled for a liberal-conservative party for the last 8 years (Up until the 14th September this year) and that Norway has got a conservative party, same with Finland.

Denmark and Sweden currently have a Socialdemocratic government.
"Liberal-conservative party" !?!  :grin: That sounds like a complete oxymoron to me, but then I'm not Fennoscanadian nor Ugro-Turkic so what would I know.

Getting back to Stefan Molyneux, and referring to his "truth about Stefan Molyneux" video in particular . . . I'm leaning more and more toward skepticism about this guy. I'd say the jury is still out. He is smart, and does have some worthwhile insights. But if he cannot even subject himself to the same rigorous scrutiny for which he has gained fame by focusing it on others, then one has to wonder how much real "wisdom" he has to share. A quick browse through the comments on that video is telling, but here are a couple that I thought cut to the chase:

CJ Holt
This tells Nothing about You. LOL The truth that matters is why you are the way you are. But unlike uncovering someone else skeletons, It's not easy to tell the truth about yourself
Jeff Burke

Oh come on, what kind of a "the truth about" video has no dirt on the subject? This video would have been more effective if Stefan referred to himself in the third person and spilled out the very things that others critique him for in as neutral of a position as possible, with a little bit of uncertainty in the delivery when he feels such judgements are nonsense. But what we get here is  a self-centered piece about how he helps people escape the farm and join the future. Not that this isn't true, I certainly credit Stefan for some of my awakening- but maybe he should try a little harder next time to not show that it's all gone to his head. :wink:
Drudenfusz
Should I be worried that Stefan talks like a sect leader trying to convince people to join his sect? Since he seems to see himself now as some kind of Bodhisattva, who decided to stay in the world with all the suffering just instead of going into nirvana which he claims to have found, that he knows the truth which he is sharing as long as you are cast away every other school of thought, claiming that his view is the truth and not just another shadow on the wall of the cave... for me that seems pretty deluded, especially when I see him talking about the value of open doors and connection, but then the movie that had exactly those things as the moral premise (I am talking about Frozen), he only ranted about it, like a preacher who is not willing to share his worldview with others and claims that only he has the monopoly of truth even when others say the same things.
 

Dogukan

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Sweden is not a socialist country. First of all, this dude has to clarify what he means by socialism since the word has been used in many context. Any person, who uses socialism in such an ambigious way loses credits from me right away.

There are different "abstract" socialisms, there is the 20th century socialist experiences(which all greatly vary btw), there is the socialism as (mostly)Americans use it with their utter ignorance which seems to be the one here.

Anyways, Scandinavian countries had a very unique setting, their development cycles was different(and late) from the other west European countries. Their landowner-peasant-bourgeouisie setting was different when they were establishing their modern state etc.
Education rates were high in these countries pretty early on which has nothing to do with free-market either.

Last I checked(which was a while ago),  Sweden had an almost 30-40% public employment. It is however true that they have a well established insitutional setting for the market. Inequality is among the lowest in the world in Denmark and Sweden.

I don't want to point to "exact" things to solve the mystery but Sweden had a socialist principled(Bernstein's line) regime around 1930s. These social democrats who had close ties to Marxists but hated USSR(and USA for that matter)/ Leninists ruled the country literally for decades until early 2000s.
Their policies were quiet heavy on social WELFARE services and their efficient implementation in a proper institutional setting with a free-market economy. Taxes had been high this whole time.
Since non-social democrats ruled the country in 2000s along with the recent privatizations, there is brewing turmoil in the country which shows itself in the form of anti-immigrant/racist conservatism. Swedish Democrats(the party with racist leanings) apparently got 13% last sunday elections


ps: This does not qualify as socialism in "abstract" terms.
 

Anthropoid

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Well said Dogukan. Socialism is a HUGE bucket, and it tends to get brandished as a boogeyman by some people, and seemingly more out of ignorance and fear than any real understanding of what the history of the political philosophy means, or what real-world contemporary manifestations of those philosophies would look like 'on the ground.'

I am perhaps a bit 'conservative' leaning in some regards, but simultaneously I think that some well-conceived and (most importantly) well-executed 'socialist' measures have an important role to play in any beneficent free market society. Some examples that I can think of:

1. Police = govt forces for the protection of citizens rights and enforcement of law. In a non-democratic society, these are arguably an inherent manifestation of the might of will of the rulers, who ever they may be. But technically, if not literally, in a democratic society, "police" are a civilian institution which we 'the people' consent to empower for our mutual benefit. The police do not reflect a 'free market' principle of operation: everyone who is not breaching the law is (putatively) equally entitled to protection and affordance of the rule of law. When viewed from this standpoint, even a judiciary or legislative branch of a democratic government is arguably an inherently 'socialist' set of institutions.

2. That example serves to illustrate the tremendous breadth of social institutions which are arguably "socialist" by degree if not in essence, but we could easily include a host of other institutions that I doubt many so-called "libertarians" would wish to forego: something like a Food and Drug Administration; national highways; Federal Aviation Administration; public schooling; Weekends, laws pertaining to worker safety, child labor, overtime pay, etc., etc.

3. Obviously things like social welfare benefits for poor or disadvantaged are what most "anti-socialist" like to focus on. But even these need not be so "communist" that they involve big government much less loss of individual property or wealth rights. Private industry could be contracted to execute the mission of a government "welfare" bureau just as readily as can a state entity.
 

Kobrag

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3. Obviously things like social welfare benefits for poor or disadvantaged are what most "anti-socialist" like to focus on. But even these need not be so "communist" that they involve big government much less loss of individual property or wealth rights. Private industry could be contracted to execute the mission of a government "welfare" bureau just as readily as can a state entity.
Not really, private industries are geared towards personal profit, not the welfare of government initiatives or accessibility by mainly destitute and troubled people.
See the state of  Pharmaceuticals in the US. You have to pay hand over fist for basic medication and can be put into trouble for acquiring the same medication cheaply from other nation-sates...

whilst in the UK...

A very large number of people in the countries of the United Kingdom get prescriptions partly or totally paid for by National Insurance from the National Health Service.[2] In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland prescriptions are free to all citizens. While in England prescribed medicines and medical supplies are free of charge to:

    those under 16 years old;
    those aged 16–18 in full-time education;
    those aged 60 or over;
    holders of a valid Medical Exemption Certificate for a number of chronic conditions such as diabetes, epilepsy, etc.;
    holders of a Maternity Exemption Certificate;
    holders of an HC2 certificate (awarded on the basis of low income);
    those with a War Pension Exemption Certificate;
    recipients of income related benefits including: Pension Credit, Income Based Job Seekers Allowance and Income Support.

For others each prescribed item, regardless of nature or quantity, costs £8.05.
Yes... lines, crowds and adsorbent parking charges and limit access to new drugs until they lose copyright.
Still ****ing cheaper.


And don't even get me started on replacing public sector pensions (our biggest welfare expense) with private services. >:C
 

Dogukan

Banned
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Gestricius said:
Dogukan said:
Sweden is not a socialist country.
Depends if you define Socialdemocracy as socialism or not.
Did you read the rest of my post? I clearly state the tons of meaning socialism could get and that it has to be "clarified" what is being referred to....

Anthropoid said:
I am perhaps a bit 'conservative' leaning in some regards, but simultaneously I think that some well-conceived and (most importantly) well-executed 'socialist' measures have an important role to play in any beneficent free market society. Some examples that I can think of:
This is not exactly the most "original" stance :smile: It is pretty common nowadays. There are no countries in the world where state has compeltely moved itself away from economic activity even in the US. And I don't know of a country where economy is under complete control. Maybe N.Korea is an exception but not much is known about there.

1. Police = govt forces for the protection of citizens rights and enforcement of law. In a non-democratic society, these are arguably an inherent manifestation of the might of will of the rulers, who ever they may be. But technically, if not literally, in a democratic society, "police" are a civilian institution which we 'the people' consent to empower for our mutual benefit. The police do not reflect a 'free market' principle of operation: everyone who is not breaching the law is (putatively) equally entitled to protection and affordance of the rule of law. When viewed from this standpoint, even a judiciary or legislative branch of a democratic government is arguably an inherently 'socialist' set of institutions.
Police is not a socialist institution. From the perspective of most socialist literature, police is the manifestation of  modern "liberalism". It always reminds of Batman and Gotham city with the symbols. Law&Order hand in hand with upper-class corporate guys(including batman himself) against chaos creating lower-class friendly villains.
Socialists view police as the enforcers of law&constitution, these concepts are a product of 18th century enlightment thinking and were pioneered by liberal philosophers. Law initself is, in abstract terms, anti-socialist for it protects transactions and property(mostly). And crime is something that feeds mostly in setting of poverty and inequality(again mostly).

How much police is necessary changes dimensions when these things get into discussion.

2. That example serves to illustrate the tremendous breadth of social institutions which are arguably "socialist" by degree if not in essence, but we could easily include a host of other institutions that I doubt many so-called "libertarians" would wish to forego: something like a Food and Drug Administration; national highways; Federal Aviation Administration; public schooling; Weekends, laws pertaining to worker safety, child labor, overtime pay, etc., etc.
Libertarians under the spell of Austrian school make no sense to me to be honest. All these things are necessary indeed. The thing is, both various Marxists(I am a Marxist btw) and austrian school minded libertarians have almost religiously based thoughts on how humans would "behave" under different circumstances. These might of course be true, but they might also be wrong.

3. Obviously things like social welfare benefits for poor or disadvantaged are what most "anti-socialist" like to focus on. But even these need not be so "communist" that they involve big government much less loss of individual property or wealth rights. Private industry could be contracted to execute the mission of a government "welfare" bureau just as readily as can a state entity.
Private industry can and does handle these things sometimes in some countries. The problem is, how ethical they are? And of course, the costs.
Private sector thrives in unequal countries due to all corruption/lobbying thing going on, and they also charge a lot more robbing the already poor. This creates a cycle of poverty and low living standards which prevents people from further bettering their conditions.
I think there needs to be a non-private basis where everyone can access services before privatizations go into play. Or at least, private services should not "dominate" the sector. Kind of like in Sweden.
 

Anthropoid

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Kobrag said:
3. Obviously things like social welfare benefits for poor or disadvantaged are what most "anti-socialist" like to focus on. But even these need not be so "communist" that they involve big government much less loss of individual property or wealth rights. Private industry could be contracted to execute the mission of a government "welfare" bureau just as readily as can a state entity.
Not really, private industries are geared towards personal profit, not the welfare of government initiatives or accessibility by mainly destitute and troubled people.
See the state of  Pharmaceuticals in the US. You have to pay hand over fist for basic medication and can be put into trouble for acquiring the same medication cheaply from other nation-sates...

whilst in the UK...

A very large number of people in the countries of the United Kingdom get prescriptions partly or totally paid for by National Insurance from the National Health Service.[2] In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland prescriptions are free to all citizens. While in England prescribed medicines and medical supplies are free of charge to:

    those under 16 years old;
    those aged 16–18 in full-time education;
    those aged 60 or over;
    holders of a valid Medical Exemption Certificate for a number of chronic conditions such as diabetes, epilepsy, etc.;
    holders of a Maternity Exemption Certificate;
    holders of an HC2 certificate (awarded on the basis of low income);
    those with a War Pension Exemption Certificate;
    recipients of income related benefits including: Pension Credit, Income Based Job Seekers Allowance and Income Support.

For others each prescribed item, regardless of nature or quantity, costs £8.05.
Yes... lines, crowds and adsorbent parking charges and limit access to new drugs until they lose copyright.
Still ******** cheaper.

And don't even get me started on replacing public sector pensions (our biggest welfare expense) with private services. >:C
You are a fool if you honestly believe that welfare of the consumer and profit by private industry are somehow mutually exclusive. Its like arguing that there are two genetically or epigenetically distinct sub-species of humans: the compassionate statists who are incapable of self-interest and greedy capitalists who are incapable of rational tradeoffs.

Irrespective of what they claim to be or what labels or trappings in which they choose to shroud themselves, all people cannot be trusted if they are not subject to some form of checks-and-balances.

It is bad enough when governments are complicit with undermining or evaporating checks and balances against abuses by private industry. It is far worse and reflective of far too much left-wing radical rhetoric when it is proposed that the state be put in charge not only of as much of the business of a country as possible, but also in charge of monitoring itself and serving as the only check or balance against its own waste and abuse.
 

Anthropoid

Sergeant Knight at Arms
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Dogukan said:
Gestricius said:
Dogukan said:
Sweden is not a socialist country.
Depends if you define Socialdemocracy as socialism or not.
Did you read the rest of my post? I clearly state the tons of meaning socialism could get and that it has to be "clarified" what is being referred to....

Anthropoid said:
I am perhaps a bit 'conservative' leaning in some regards, but simultaneously I think that some well-conceived and (most importantly) well-executed 'socialist' measures have an important role to play in any beneficent free market society. Some examples that I can think of:
This is not exactly the most "original" stance :smile: It is pretty common nowadays. There are no countries in the world where state has compeltely moved itself away from economic activity even in the US. And I don't know of a country where economy is under complete control. Maybe N.Korea is an exception but not much is known about there.

1. Police = govt forces for the protection of citizens rights and enforcement of law. In a non-democratic society, these are arguably an inherent manifestation of the might of will of the rulers, who ever they may be. But technically, if not literally, in a democratic society, "police" are a civilian institution which we 'the people' consent to empower for our mutual benefit. The police do not reflect a 'free market' principle of operation: everyone who is not breaching the law is (putatively) equally entitled to protection and affordance of the rule of law. When viewed from this standpoint, even a judiciary or legislative branch of a democratic government is arguably an inherently 'socialist' set of institutions.
Police is not a socialist institution. From the perspective of most socialist literature, police is the manifestation of  modern "liberalism". It always reminds of Batman and Gotham city with the symbols. Law&Order hand in hand with upper-class corporate guys(including batman himself) against chaos creating lower-class friendly villains.
Socialists view police as the enforcers of law&constitution, these concepts are a product of 18th century enlightment thinking and were pioneered by liberal philosophers. Law initself is, in abstract terms, anti-socialist for it protects transactions and property(mostly). And crime is something that feeds mostly in setting of poverty and inequality(again mostly).

How much police is necessary changes dimensions when these things get into discussion.

2. That example serves to illustrate the tremendous breadth of social institutions which are arguably "socialist" by degree if not in essence, but we could easily include a host of other institutions that I doubt many so-called "libertarians" would wish to forego: something like a Food and Drug Administration; national highways; Federal Aviation Administration; public schooling; Weekends, laws pertaining to worker safety, child labor, overtime pay, etc., etc.
Libertarians under the spell of Austrian school make no sense to me to be honest. All these things are necessary indeed. The thing is, both various Marxists(I am a Marxist btw) and austrian school minded libertarians have almost religiously based thoughts on how humans would "behave" under different circumstances. These might of course be true, but they might also be wrong.

3. Obviously things like social welfare benefits for poor or disadvantaged are what most "anti-socialist" like to focus on. But even these need not be so "communist" that they involve big government much less loss of individual property or wealth rights. Private industry could be contracted to execute the mission of a government "welfare" bureau just as readily as can a state entity.
Private industry can and does handle these things sometimes in some countries. The problem is, how ethical they are? And of course, the costs.
Private sector thrives in unequal countries due to all corruption/lobbying thing going on, and they also charge a lot more robbing the already poor. This creates a cycle of poverty and low living standards which prevents people from further bettering their conditions.
I think there needs to be a non-private basis where everyone can access services before privatizations go into play. Or at least, private services should not "dominate" the sector. Kind of like in Sweden.
Well, you may think you are a "Marxist" but as an "anthropologist" I have my doubts that many who use that term (and including Marx and Engels themselves) honestly knew what they were talking about  :mrgreen:

After all, archaeology, much less ethnology and ethnography barely existed when Marxism was developed.

 

Kobrag

Marquis
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Anthropoid said:
Kobrag said:
3. Obviously things like social welfare benefits for poor or disadvantaged are what most "anti-socialist" like to focus on. But even these need not be so "communist" that they involve big government much less loss of individual property or wealth rights. Private industry could be contracted to execute the mission of a government "welfare" bureau just as readily as can a state entity.
Not really, private industries are geared towards personal profit, not the welfare of government initiatives or accessibility by mainly destitute and troubled people.
See the state of  Pharmaceuticals in the US. You have to pay hand over fist for basic medication and can be put into trouble for acquiring the same medication cheaply from other nation-sates...

whilst in the UK...

A very large number of people in the countries of the United Kingdom get prescriptions partly or totally paid for by National Insurance from the National Health Service.[2] In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland prescriptions are free to all citizens. While in England prescribed medicines and medical supplies are free of charge to:

    those under 16 years old;
    those aged 16–18 in full-time education;
    those aged 60 or over;
    holders of a valid Medical Exemption Certificate for a number of chronic conditions such as diabetes, epilepsy, etc.;
    holders of a Maternity Exemption Certificate;
    holders of an HC2 certificate (awarded on the basis of low income);
    those with a War Pension Exemption Certificate;
    recipients of income related benefits including: Pension Credit, Income Based Job Seekers Allowance and Income Support.

For others each prescribed item, regardless of nature or quantity, costs £8.05.
Yes... lines, crowds and adsorbent parking charges and limit access to new drugs until they lose copyright.
Still ******** cheaper.

And don't even get me started on replacing public sector pensions (our biggest welfare expense) with private services. >:C
You are a fool if you honestly believe that welfare of the consumer and profit by private industry are somehow mutually exclusive. Its like arguing that there are two genetically or epigenetically distinct sub-species of humans: the compassionate statists who are incapable of self-interest and greedy capitalists who are incapable of rational tradeoffs.

Irrespective of what they claim to be or what labels or trappings in which they choose to shroud themselves, all people cannot be trusted if they are not subject to some form of checks-and-balances.

It is bad enough when governments are complicit with undermining or evaporating checks and balances against abuses by private industry. It is far worse and reflective of far too much left-wing radical rhetoric when it is proposed that the state be put in charge not only of as much of the business of a country as possible, but also in charge of monitoring itself and serving as the only check or balance against its own waste and abuse.
Fool?
An example in a different sector would be your lovely prison system, where people are paid by how many people they have locked in their cells, raking in billions when misdemeanor crimes have people landed with decades of time instead of making them able to cope in society without needing to resort to crime.



That is a prime example where profit is prioritised before the good to society and the nation as a whole.

I could also just name drop Comcast...but that would be to much of a groin blow for my taste... I mean, imagine a system where people intentionally sabotage national development for personal gain...oh wait..we don't have to.
 

Dogukan

Banned
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Anthropoid said:
Well, you may think you are a "Marxist" but as an "anthropologist" I have my doubts that many who use that term (and including Marx and Engels themselves) honestly knew what they were talking about  :mrgreen:

After all, archaeology, much less ethnology and ethnography barely existed when Marxism was developed.
David Harvey is an anthropologist and he is a hard-core Marxist.
Just as socialism having  lots meanings, so does Marxism. A lot of people interpret Marxism in one way or another.
I am of the Hegellian tradition, that is, Marxism is the dialectical view of the world i.e, it is a philosophical window, and ontological&epistomological guide or a guide to ontology&epistomology and partially to ethics.
 

Anthropoid

Sergeant Knight at Arms
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Dogukan said:
Anthropoid said:
Well, you may think you are a "Marxist" but as an "anthropologist" I have my doubts that many who use that term (and including Marx and Engels themselves) honestly knew what they were talking about  :mrgreen:

After all, archaeology, much less ethnology and ethnography barely existed when Marxism was developed.
David Harvey is an anthropologist and he is a hard-core Marxist.
Just as socialism having  lots meanings, so does Marxism. A lot of people interpret Marxism in one way or another.
I am of the Hegellian tradition, that is, Marxism is the dialectical view of the world i.e, it is a philosophical window, and ontological&epistomological guide or a guide to ontology&epistomology and partially to ethics.
Well, I'm probably also a "Marxist" but I don't like to say it. It scares the children. Well . . . that and I think Marx was only about "half" right.

Human nature is not inherently 'selfless' as full-blown Marxism requires one to conclude. And in truth, if one is only "half a Marxist" what does that amount to?

Also, "Dialectics" is at least as old as Socrates, probably much, much older, so I'm a bit loathe to put my money on the German guy who lived in London simply because some modern revisions of his thinking are big on 'talking through' logical conundrums :lol: