The Art of Tetman Callis

Some of the stories and poems may be inappropriate for persons under 16

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Amassing new opiates

December 18th, 2013 · No Comments

“Among intellectuals, Marxism attracted people who like the heroic because of its emphasis on conflict, and it reassured those among them who might have distrusted its purely emotional appeal by the cragginess of its texts. (At this level, it pays to be unintelligible. Ex-party members who have had to study the works, not just of Marx, Engels and Lenin but also of Stalin, can still testify to the stiffness of the ordeal.) For a time, this body of theory seemed to many thinkers to open an intellectual new Jerusalem, not just because it promised a millennium gained by conflict, but because it seemed to back this promise with a scientific status. It seemed like a means of extending the reliability of science over the whole area of practical thinking—a way of spreading it that would be free from doubtful value-judgments, since the theory was impartial, non-sectarian, essentially scientific. The modesty of science was to be combined with the constructive achievement of a new and central moral insight.  This hope appealed to the architectonic intelligence in many bright scientists. It satisfied that urge towards a general, comprehensive understanding which had brought them into science in the first place. It balanced the fragmentation of their specialized studies, allowing them to relate scientific aims to a wider humanitarian idealism. This was not a trifling gain; it was not a luxury. If we find no new way of making that relation—if nothing better now replaces Marxism—the loss will be serious. We are not in a position just to dance on the grave of Marx. We need to learn from his failures.” – Mary Midgley, Science as Salvation

Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Mary Midgley · Politics & Law

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