Wednesday, September 29, 2010

On the young Marx in relation to Fichte, Schelling, Hegel et al. Socialism as Freedom realized

An interesting thing about the Young Marx's philosophy, i.e. the philosophy of Marx when he was more Hegelian, is that the idea of radical freedom espoused by some of the idealists as the state of the individual appears to be socialized to society as a whole. Many of these thinkers saw humanity as a sort of self conscious pinnacle of the development of nature, where matter, going through vegetative and animal phases had emerged with full self consciousness and the full ability to determine its own destiny. Individual humans were uniquely free because of the power of self hood and of reflective reason, and human society could be seen as an extension of the powers of self-perfection going from the animal world into the physical world, as history propelled individuals to realize more of their inner potential through creating situations such as cities and economies where such things would be possible. It seems that for Marx the march of economic history was also the progress of mankind towards a state where they could realize this radical freedom through pure self-awareness of the 'I' by the 'I', which he believed happened with the advent of capitalism. The next phase of society would then be that where the lessons of pure self consciousness are applied back out from the individual into the world itself, where the radical self determination possible through all of this is applied collectively to transform the world into a sort of ideal state of affairs for personal and collective self realization. This could only happen with a radical restructuring of the economic system, which serves as a mediator between human beings and nature and therefore defines the ultimate limits of collective human endeavor. Personal motivation in this case can't be abstracted from economic Work, and living in and participating in the economic system, which makes up much of the process of life and living.

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