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(165) Svarthol

If you flick through a history book you’ll see the common assertion, “The propertied classes were disturbed by the chaos in the towns.” It’s a Marxist presumption, even if the author isn’t Marxist. You could flip it around as follows, “People who acquire property do so because they are ordered and disciplined, when they see disorder in the wider society it disturbs them.” The Marxist assumption is that your property—your relation to property—dictates your world outlook. It conjures up an image of well-dressed people cowering behind the curtains because their property is threatened. The alternative is to imagine a determined person who is resolved to put down anarchy and disorder because it is in their nature to do so.

So the one is passive, the other active—and that fits with Marxist theory; you only think what you think because you own certain property, your views are malleable (Marxists are inconsistent about this fact, though—if it’s just your relation to property then if the state confiscates it you should “become” a worker; yet Marxists often think you need to be executed—at some level they think it’s inherent; they deny the truth to themselves). The Marxist theory is also feminine, you are passive as far as your property goes—really, it “owns you”; it is not something that you acquired—rather, capital acquired you. The left takes the feminine position, even in how it analyses the world.

This viewpoint, an implicit Marxist viewpoint, runs through many mainstream publications and textbooks; it’s supposedly just “how the world is” and you can take up the implicit position almost without thought—it’s the materialist conception of history; and, for many people, it’s the only historical account they know—and yet it’s highly tendentious, to say the least. It’s the same deal with the textbooks in the their very structure, they open and close with the economy—everything is about the economy and how you relate to it. This is a seriously impoverished history.


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1 Comment

Jan 06, 2023

History is a seriously impoverished discipline, even without this. Shit happening.

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