Nationalism and Culture [Unduh pdf] - Rudolf Rocker

Ebook Title          : Nationalism and Culture
Ebook Thickness  : 289 Page
Language : English

The will to power as a historical factor. Science and historical concepts. The insufficiency of economic materialism. The laws of physical life and "The physics of society". The significance of conditions of production. The expeditions of Alexander. The Crusades. Papism and heresy. Power as a hindrance and obstruction to economic evolution. The fatalism of "historic necessities" and of the "historic mission". Economic position and social activity of the bourgeoisie. Socialism and socialists. Psychic presuppositions of all changes in history. War and economy. Monopoly and autocracy. State Capitalism.

The deeper we trace the political influences in history, the more are we convinced that the "will to power" has up to now been one of the strongest motives in the development of human social forms. The idea that all political and social events are but the result of given economic conditions and can be explained by them cannot endure careful consideration. That economic conditions and the special forms of social production have played a part in the evolution of humanity everyone knows who has been seriously trying to reach the foundations of social phenomena. This fact was well known before Marx set out to explain it in his manner. A whole line of eminent French socialists like Saint-Simon, Considerant, Louis Blanc, Proudhon and many others had pointed to it in their writings, and it is known that Marx reached socialism by the study of these very writings. Furthermore, the recognition of the influence and significance of economic conditions on the structure of social life lies in the very nature of socialism.

It is not the confirmation of this historical and philosophical concept which is most striking in the Marxist formula, but the positive form in which the concept is expressed and the kind of thinking on which Marx based it. One sees distinctly the influence of Hegel, whose disciple Marx had been. None but the "philosopher of the Absolute," the inventor of "historical necessities" and "historic missions" could have imparted to him such self-assurance of judgment. Only Hegel could have inspired in him the belief that he had reached the foundation of the "laws of social physics", according to which every social phenomenon must be regarded as a deterministic manifestation of the naturally necessary course of events. In fact, Marx's successors have compared "economic materialism" with the discoveries of Copernicus and Kepler, and no less a person than Engels himself made the assertion that, with this interpretation of history, socialism had become a science.

It is the fundamental error of this theory that it puts the causes of social phenomena on a par with the causes of mechanistic events in nature. Science concerns itself exclusively with the phenomena which are displayed in the great frame which we call Nature, which are consequently limited by space and time and amenable to the calculations of human thought. For the realm of nature is a world of inner connections and mechanical necessities where every event occurs according to the laws of cause and effect. In this world there is no accident. Any arbitrary act is unthinkable. For this reason science deals only with strict facts; any single fact which runs contrary to previous experiments and does not harmonise with the theory can overthrow the most keenly reasoned doctrine.

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