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/edu/ - Education

'The weapon of criticism cannot, of course, replace criticism of the weapon, material force must be overthrown by material force; but theory also becomes a material force as soon as it has gripped the masses.' - Karl Marx
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Mao’s Contributions to Communist Theory and Human Emancipation Are Truly Profound—
But the “Mass Line” Is Wrong
The Chinese revolution, and in particular the revolutionary upsurge of the Cultural Revolution in China (a revolution within socialist society itself!) and the role of Mao Zedong as the leader of that Cultural Revolution, in the 1960s and into the early 1970s, had a major positive impact on masses of people around the world. This included large numbers of oppressed people and educated youth in the U.S. The Red Book of quotations from Mao was in the hands of literally millions of people in countries all over the world, including in the U.S., as well as providing basic revolutionary orientation for the masses of people in China itself.

(I am speaking of the actual role of Mao and the essential emancipating character of the Cultural Revolution in China, not the crude distortions of this by people speaking out of gross ignorance and those anti-communist political functionaries engaging in deliberate and systematic distortion. A serious, scientific analysis of the necessity, the objectives, and the course of the Cultural Revolution in China—including the contradictions it was seeking to address and the contradictions characterizing the process of this Cultural Revolution—can be found in works of mine, and others, at revcom.us.)

Mao’s further development of communist theory was expressed in a number of dimensions, most of all in the understanding of the danger and basis for revolution to be reversed and capitalism restored in a socialist country—and the means for combating this, which was given concrete expression in the Cultural Revolution.

One significant aspect of Mao’s thought (and a chapter in the Red Book) was what Mao referred to as the “mass line.” This was taken up as a significant tool by those of us who, in those times, became not just revolutionary-minded in some general sense but revolutionary communists inspired and influenced above all by the Cultural Revolution in China. Yet, as has become clear in the decades since then, this concept of “mass line” is not correct and actually runs counter to Mao’s overall adherence to, and further development of, communist theory.

As I have learned in a continually deepening way, communist theory must be taken up and applied as a scientific method and approach to understanding and transforming reality. It must continually develop as the larger world continuesPost too long. Click here to view the full text.
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the New Communism gave it away. Avakianites are too much of a pussy to even credit the cult leader they follow and his moronic articles.


nice post
I'd also add that it's not only ideas/needs that can come from the masses but also knowledge of struggle. Parallel to the praxis of the mass line laid our by Mao there's a larger point of the merging of communist science with the masses, who are multiple things: they have needs, they are engaged in existing struggles, and they have knowledge of specific oppressions and methods of resistance, as well as local knowledge.

Mao's genius for me is in how he puts fundamental, previously existing ideas within marxism and puts them clearly and concretely. Kautsky and Lenin touched on the relationship between socialism which came from intellectuals and the working class and their struggles. Both touch on a fundamental dialectical relationship, between the knowledge of the working class (and its keepers) and the much larger body of the working class, which will only be in a position to rule society when it's moved by this knowledge.


Touch grass


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>No matter how you twist and turn it, the fact remains that the ideas of the masses—and even the most “advanced” ideas of the masses—are just too narrow a source, and “concentrating the ideas of the masses” too limited a process, for arriving at correct line and policy.
>Tailing, Instead of Struggling Against, Backward Ideas Among the Masses
Way to miss the point of mass line.
When Mao says to systematise the ideas, he means to analyse the grievances, the wishes they have, through the lense of class science, the lense of marxism, and to systematize them means to create new policies and explanations based in marxism. To then "preach it to the masses until they accept it as their own" means to show this more refined, marxist solution to the masses, thereby leading them on the path to the solutions they need for they problems they have. This is explicitly the opposite of tailing. Tailism is just shouting "we express solidarity with XYZ", to support things already happening that you're not involved in.

Mass line or something similar is important because if you do not do this, you have no basis in reality, no basis in the class struggle, you become a detached idealist basing your ideas on your own whims and old books that you do not verify.

And if the ideas of the masses do not fit reality or do not work as they think they would, only trying it out will show it to be so.

Your entire copy pasted article criticises a strawmanned version of the mass line. You explicitly choose to pull it out of context, even going as far as saying "mao actually explains how to do it right, but i am going to take a single sentence describing one tool of many in a simplistic form and say it sucks".

The things mao teaches aren't to be looked at in isolation. He does not give us a complete scan of his brain explaining every single thing in relation, every step for every possible scenario. He gives us many easy to grasp tools to use in our work. Mass line is just one tool of many, to be used in combination with all of the other easy to grasp tools. Why? Because this allows a more experienced comrade to instruct his newer comrades with the tools they need in that exact moment and place by pulling out a few quotations. Thats the whole didactic point of the little red book. The more Post too long. Click here to view the full text.


How are you supposed to know that you need to implement a program of combating reactionary ideology among the masses unless you go to the masses and ask what they think and then come back to analyze it?


Why would the vast majority of capitalists benefit from colonialism? They obviously benefit more from decentralized, competitive, non-monopolized supply chains, and keeping costs down isn't their only economic interest. Maybe I can get how the aristocracy and some settlers benefitted from it, but for the bourgeoisie as a whole, it just doesn't make sense. I don't like the vulgar "Marxist" attempt to connect European colonialism to the rise of capitalism, instead of seeing it as a more pre-capitalist historical attempt at accumulating mercantile wealth which was eventually overtaken by industrialization which itself catalyzed the century-long process of decolonization.
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They don't. Capitalists have more complex interests than just getting something for cheap.


>countries deal in dollars because the United States has global political hegemony backed up by violence
That's in the background, but the other person is essentially right. This is from Tony Norfield's "The City":
>Given the fact that most world trade and finance is denominated in dollars, the US can be seen as the provider of ‘global money’, able to decide which policies to pursue based upon its domestic interests and on what it deems viable for the global economic and monetary system.25 However, the mechanism through which this power is exerted is usually discussed in purely political terms, for example by citing the inordinate influence of the US on the regulation of international finance and on the policies of the IMF. The economic mechanism is left to one side. Yet it is this that illustrates most clearly how the financial system is a means of exercising such power.
>An exceptional, but realistic and practical example will illustrate the point. Consider what happens when a company in China needs to pay Venezuela for oil imports. At first sight, no US company, still less the US state, would appear to be involved in this transaction, and neither country has a friendly political relationship with the US. Nevertheless, a US-based company will normally be involved in the deal and US state acquiescence is necessary. This is because oil is priced in US dollars and the payment, for example $50m, will go through the US banking system. The Chinese company does not post dollar cash from Beijing to Caracas in a large envelope! The companies in each country will likely have a US dollar account with their local banks. However, these accounts will be held in the US monetary system, possibly via a US ‘correspondent’ bank with which they have dealings or the US branch of the relevant Chinese or Venezuelan bank, if it is allowed to operate in the US. The Chinese company will tell its bank to credit the Venezuelan company’s dollar account with $50m, either by deducting the sum from its existing dollar account or by asking the bank to exchange the appropriate amount of its local currency into dollars. In either case, it is the US-based bank that will, on behalf of the Chinese company, transfer $50m to the account of the Venezuelan company at another US-based bank. The dollar traPost too long. Click here to view the full text.


>capitalists have interests before accumulating more capital as much as possible
Retard confirmed.


Raw material isn't capital. Please stick to calling people "retards" for insulting your favorite loli rape simulator and leave actual stuff to actual people.


yes, but no

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Another newfag thread. Interact with accordingly.

Their is, unsurprisingly, a large contingent of the worlds population, still hinging on old Red Scare propaganda, that are convinced of many lies about the relationship between socialism and artistic freedom. Too them, socialists are violent fearmongers who will, at the first chance given, desecrate art, destroy art, and attempt to lead a truly bleak life. One confined purely to the factory or work, where 'labor' is everything, where the individuality of life is wiped out in an instant. Of course, we all understand here that capitalism is the force that sucks up our individuality in favor of making productive workers. Art is not something that can be usually seriously pursued: gone are the days when feudal lords used to commission artists for year long paintings, sculptures, and portraits. We live in an atomized society.

That's not the point. What is the point is that to decide that socialism and art are inherently polar and incompatible is a brainwashed way of thinking. This is most often applied, arguably, to our conceptions of the Cultural Revolution in China. We all have heard about the four olds: Old Ideas, Old Culture, Old Customs, and Old Habits. And people who have even a surface level understanding hear alot about the destruction of cultural heritage during the 10 year period. Modern China even refers to the Cultural Revolution as "Shi nian haoji". "Shi nian" means 10 years, referring to the period of which the Cultural Revolution is generally regarded as lasting. "Haoji" is ambiguous, but generally can refer to the term "holocaust" in modern settings: destruction by fire. Images of a human horde (orientalist hogwash) destroying valuable historical pieces of art come to mind and are used today in the US to scare conservatives over the spectre of vague 'modern art'.

The accusation of destruction of culture and tradition during those 10 years, which i'll be examining, is incredibly overblown in face of the massive artistic achievements and leaps in cultural creativity during the event. An excerpt from "The Battle For Chinas Past: Mao and the Cultural Revolution", page 28.

>Take the example of the fine arts. During the Cultural Revolution years of 1972 to 1975 China held four national fine arts exhibitions, with more than 2,000 pieces of art selected from 12,800 works recommended from all over China. The exhibits in Beijing attracted an audien
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Good post. The claim that the cultural revolution was a dark time for popular expression is completely nonsensical anyway, this movement was launched with and accompanied all along by dazibao, people were just writing stuff on paper and posting it everywhere. For the hyperonline grassophobes, imagine if China was a giant and very loosely moderated imageboard. Imagine if you could go outside and just completely legally put up a poem, some propaganda or a shitpost in A2 format almost anywhere.
One could argue that never before a collective of humans experienced a more or less horizontal cultural and social experimentation on this scale.


people generally both understate and overstate the effect of the cultural revolution at this point. they overestimate the physical violence; which certainly, without a doubt, did exist; to an extent which makes it seem like for 10 years china was just a giant warlord state of roaming red guard factions. but then they understate the, y'know, cultural impact; the huge swath of art, literature, and revolutionary cultural projects; that emerged out of the revolution.
i'm not even a maoist or ML and I understand it was one of the greater events in human history, especially in terms of mass mobilization.


Don't be so hard on yourself calling this a "newfag" tier thread. Quite the opposite, it proves by itself that you read; that fact alone places you in the top 1% of the leftypol userbase, most of who simply watch youtube videos and repost shit from Twitter.
But next time post it on /edu/, where it won't be slid off the catalog as easily.
I enjoyed reading it, at least one paragraph relayed information I didn't know about before.


/edu/ is where I was originally going to go, but the posts there are generally one or two liners that ask for PDF recommendations, or starting a reading group, or something else like that. obviously no shame in that; information must be something obtained and must be analyzed in a group; but i've been posting here for the simplicity that it gives some visibility + can be an educational series of sorts. i'll be posting more threads on the cultural revolution; you'll see them crop up here over the next few days

and thanks for the acknowledgement of reading. I had to hand transcript it onto my computer (causing earlier mess up of writing "shi nian haoji" and not "shi nian haojie"). it took some time but I liked how the thread came out


oh, and speaking of which: feel free to post any relevant thread ideas on the cultural revolution. i'd be happy to crawl through them and see what I can find

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Are there any books that are for normies which are nonetheless good to read from a leftist perspective

Off the top of my head:

Good to Great
7 Habits of Highly Effective People
48 Laws of Power
Man's Search for Meaning
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It's not like anyone made the case for those books either. I liked "Understanding How We Learn" because it has a nice structure to it, it goes from science to model to practice, and it is relatively short and easy to read. I did not read "make it stick" but I assume they give roughly the same advice, but that one has twice the length. "Deep Work" is 99% filler, it could have been a blog post. It was really disappointing, a bunch of scattered ideas, maybe the author could have done some more deep focused work to figure out what actually matters. "How to Read a Book" was enjoyable but you won't need to do that synoptic reading stuff unless you are a humanities professor, and the rest is not that useful. If you need to do research, "How to Read a Paper" has all the useful bits in two pages. The parts about reading different genres is fun but not really related to learning. I did not read Atomic Habits but I assume it is the same cue-action-reward Skinner box garbage that every other book about habits parrot, I doubt anyone actually does that in real life.


I made that chart for Luddites who don’t read at all on /lit/. Getting them to open a book at all is difficult. Out of those four Make it Stick really is the best one for all the reasons you mentioned. But I also think your reviews of the others are a little harsh. For the retarded 18 year old kid who never thought about anything and is raised in a world with screens, getting even a few kernels of knowledge from a few hours of reading is probably better for them than most anything else when it comes to developing critical thinking and good habits.


You are recommending more than 1200 pages to read to people "who don't read at all". They are not going to read all that shit. They probably won't even read a single page, just looking at the page count will overwhelm them.


Atomic Habits is skinner box stuff, but it's the best skinner-box ideology pusher that i've read, because it just decides to focus on the idea that if you do a little bit every day it'll show results, so long as you're consistent. Now, does someone need reading a book to know that? Probably not, but sometimes it's helpful to remember that shit takes time to produce results, especially in a society with technological means that produce instantaneous responses. The author is a bit of an interesting figure, since he got hurt pretty bad and had to relearn how to do basic shit, so it's in a sense also a bit of a sum-up of his experiences.

I personally found it a bit useful, and I even got to write a bit of a critique about it that the author was in fact writing about a dialectical process, but since his brain was too lib-pilled he couldn't see it.

Good point. There are audiobooks, though, especially in this genre. They might be helpful for people who got too socialmedia-brained and can't focus on anything for more than a couple seconds.

Though if any comrades feel like that I can say that at least on a personal level I've kinda started regaining my attention span, which has been a very enjoyable sensation, after a while of being quite literally incapable of focusing on anything much.


I can vouch for this being good

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Hey /leftypol/. Why does proletarian organization even matter (except of ethical considerations), if revolutionary development of society is determined by the fact of productive forces expanding and destroying the previously established property relations? I mean, yes, exploitation is horrible, but it's not solidarity of serfs that ended the Middle Ages? By this logic, shouldn't communists focus on pushing technological development to pump the productive forces to drive the bourgeoise property relations to the revolutionary breaking point? Sorry if this is a common question that arises during studies of Marx, just wanted to hear your opinions - or you can just refer me to a secondary source, would be thankful otherwise! Cheers.
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Russian revolution failed, just slowly.


>but it's not solidarity of serfs that ended the Middle Ages
it wasn't about serfs but about merchants and such


You can't say that they truly won.


If only they'd liberated Berlin from the literal Nazis the first time around


The numerical quantity of the working class is one of the main things that distinguishes it enough from previous class relations and makes it possible for the complete dissolution of class relations wholesale.
>if revolutionary development of society is determined by the fact of productive forces
Also this is ideology, economism. Marxism is material forces + social relations.
>yet I firmly declare that in theory productive forces trumps production relations
Good thing scientific socialism doesn't develop by the anecdotal perceptions by some anon dude on leftist politically incorrect then.


newfag thread; engage with accordingly, and point out any level of moronocy

The USSR engaged in huge amounts of primitive accumulation that was no different then what bourgeois governments; especially those of England and France; engaged in. If anything, the parallels are comically striking, especially after the fall of the NEP (New Economic Programme) and the failure to develop a solid alternative. The USSR under Stalin lead arguably one of the largest and most efficient attempts at primitive accumulation in history. And while they arguably helped create the economy that ended up beating the Nazi menace, the path there was mired in nothing but bloodshed.

First, some background: the NEP had offered the USSR a significant rebound from the civil war conditions of War Communism. While richer peasants continued to hoard and manage a significant amount of grain, the ability to sell it on a market let prices generally lower and allowed for some form of access to food, cooling the woes. However, in 1928, the situation fell apart. From PDF:

>In fall 1928, the economic situation grew worse. Harvest collections fell again, and the price of food and grain on the free market shot up. Workers’ riots intensified, and peasants, spooked by earlier confiscations, reduced their sown area. In early 1929, V.M. Molotov and Stalin visited the Urals and Siberia to oversee grain collections, impose delivery quotas on kulak households, and arrest hoarders. These “extraordinary measures”, extended throughout the country, allowed the state to meet its procurement and export targets.

The collectivization campaigned that followed, however, was not just hurt by the clear backwardness of the peasantry (especially the clerics), but by a rushed decision.

> That summer, an emboldened Party mobilized 25,000

workers to go into the villages to organize collective farms. The hasty decision, made under pressure of urban strikes and rural disturbances, produced a cascade of unanticipated consequences. Neither Party leaders nor worker activists were prepared for the intensity of resistance. Rumors swept the countryside. Angry, frightened peasants slaughtered rather than collectivize their livestock, and village priests warned that the Apocalypse was at hand.

This isn't totally Stalin's fault; this was well aided by the internal peasant woes by all means; but the fact of the mattePost too long. Click here to view the full text.
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>collectivisation and industrialization be explained and done by the bottom
Why do you think they didn't play a role?

But really such measures can only be undertaken on a large scale. A village can't build a steelworks.


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>A village can't build a steelworks
laughs in GLF


I do not know, what role they played? May be they played some role, but text in OP is discussing state bureaucracy.

There can be a consensus among villages. Like, a village will say: we can give this amount of grain, we need to keep some for village and the planner will use this data for planning, not some blind outside observer data.


I've read
>Communist Party penetration of the countryside remained weak, amounting to an average of 1 rural Communist for every 6 village soviets[8] — a mere 0.52% of the rural population vs. 1.78% of the total population in 1927.

So they did not control all soviets, I was wrong. Why then they did not organize more democratically?

And this
Where he is talking on subsidies for common farms which is soft and nice. But he is insisting on fast industrialization, shows he does not know what is going on in detail.


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>A village can't build a steelworks

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For example, did you know that the Gulag myth (the one of forced labor) originated in the 1920s in Finland and Sweden. Soviet lumber industry outperformed the Scandinavians and out-competed it on the European market. They then slandered the Soviet republic.
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I know Engels did though I don’t know if Marx did. Def possible, both seem to have the same views


Yeah many people don't know remember but in Finland during the 20s depression many people from all the sawmills, paper plants, etc. basically people from all lumber-related industries had to go look for work in soviet russia. Propably half the men in this one sawmill town near us had to go there for employment, the growth was so fast they hired foreigners.


We all argue about the most based and least based communist leaders in history, but who is the most mediumly based?


Wouldn’t this just count as generic corporate-monopoly slander? France claimed similar about Germany and Russia in the coaling industry because both massively out-competed theirs. I don’t see how this is a socialist fact rather than a fact that businesses have always slandered their competitors for monopoly.

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In a capitalist mode of production, scientists are downstream from economics. They are merely workers hired to produce a commodity called research. In capitalism the seller of a commodity (whether that commodity is a good, a service, or labor power) doesn't have the power to tell the buyer (whether end consumer or capitalist) what to do with it. Since it is the capitalist (or their bourgeois representatives in government) who are buying the research (labor commodity) from the scientists (workers), they can use the knowledge in the research however they like. They can withhold it from the public. They can use it to make weapons. Under capitalism, no matter how strictly a scientist obeys the scientific method, or how consistent their personal set of ethics are, they are at the end of the day, merely workers hired in a capitalist mode of production. This is why liberal appeals to "science, logic, and reason." fall flat under capitalism. It is the bourgeoisie who decide what to do with the knowledge (commodity) produced by scientific research (labor).
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>Meanwhile lysenkoists can at least point to epigenetics.
And vernalisation
There are orchards of fruit in Moscow and St Petersberg even now that we're Lysenkos work


I love her


Congrats, you've just rediscovered what posties and anprims were talking about for, like, three decades or so.


Eh, could you link some of this for me I'm surprised anarchists independently discovered it since it's right there in the theory of comrade Stalin among others


As if posties haven't read Marxists themselves.

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Pascal’s Wager is the best argument for Christianity and is only said to be the worst by those who have not read Pascal. Pascal in his Pensées shows why other religions are false and shows why Christianity is the true religion so the common objection against his wager is wrong.

There are too many unanswered questions in the universe to take a chance on eternal hell.

The cosmological argument. Why is there something rather than nothing? The only explanations from atheists are supernatural explanations. Silly reddit sci-fi explanations like multiverses and eternal universes both of which are not shown in nature at all and are just as likely as a creator of the universe existing.

DNA is which is more complicated and structured than you can possibly imagine created out of stardust for the first microbes in the universe. Consciousness. Where does it come from? Quarks? All this created randomly from nothing? It’s a bigger leap to say the Big Bang, DNA for microbes, consciousness, and everything else in the universe came out of nothingness and random chaos. All of it seemingly so perfected crafted where even a centimeter of difference would mean nothing would exist in the universe. Really. How does something so perfectly crafted and complicated as DNA come out of nothingness and stardust for microbes and every living thing on the universe?

None of this means you have to be absolutely 100% sure a God exists. It’s just enough of a doubt that it’s worth trying to find faith in God.

Think of it like percentages. 20% from the cosmological argument. 20% from the teleological argument. 20% from the argument of beauty. All of these arguments combine into a reason to justify having faith without evidence.

If there is a God, He is infinitely incomprehensible, since, having neither parts nor limits, He has no affinity to us. We are then incapable of knowing either what He is or if He is….
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>Why is there something rather than nothing?
there just is, ok?


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The contradictions and incoherence of the Bible are a certainty that it was made by anti-Roman, anti-Assyrian nihilists who had nothing but belief and a negative evil eye to cast upon their enemy.

Furthermore, all theistic arguments - cosmological, teleological etc reduce to ontological arguments, which has no means to distinguish itself from fiction but human assertion. Kant and Hume did this ages ago.

In the Protestant anglo context, belief reduces to a sinner's prayer, which is as cheap as a politician's speech. You can read the Epistle to the Romans, mumble the words Paul tells you to mumble and still FEEL NOTHING.

And finally the wager refutes itself. It appeals to Tychism, that is chance, to appeal to a Reality without chance. Here we return to Parmenides' challenge - what is, is and what is not, is not.


Nothing and pure Being are immediately each other. "Nothing" by definition is featureless, empty, and also is, and therefore is immediately Being. If you say that Nothing does not exist, then you are saying that only Being exists. So therefore Nothing exists, which means it is Being. But pure Being is empty. It has no features whatsoever. Pure being has no determinate features besides the fact that it is. Because Being is featureless then it is devoid of everything, and therefore is Nothing. it is immediately Nothing. And hence Nothing is immediately Being and vice versa.

When Being ceases to be to become Nothing, and Nothing ceases to be Nothing to become Being then this motion is an unraveling of pure Becoming. Nothing becomes Being due to the necessity of its existence and Being becomes Nothing due to the void existence of Being. Becoming is the ultimate essence of Being and Nothing, which means that potentiality and unraveling are a necessary feature of both. Becoming is the tension that brings forth existence.

Also, as shown, you can't have Nothing without Being, therefore Being must exist, but it can only exist in relation to Nothing, so Nothing must also exist.

And that's why there is something rather than nothing.



Has anyone ever in the history of the world ever come to Christ due to Pascal's wager? It seems like something to justify believe only after the fact, and is it really even "belief" if God to you is just a game of chance? It's not like God is retarded and wouldn't know you're just scared of damnation.
The Wager is about belief in a higher deity in general, there is nothing about it that requires it to be the Christian capital-G God. People criticizing the Wager are perfectly justified in bringing up either deities.
Same with the argument from design, first cause etc. If there is a higher deity, a creator, some entity you could call "God", there is no reason it should be involved in human affairs, or desire worship. Every one of these arguments presupposes Christianity is the one true religion, but why would this be the case? Which Christianity, even?

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I have suggested before writing a shorter Edition of Capital aimed at the working class. I was mocked for this idea. People said that Capital is "perfect" and that it cannot be made shorter. People said that I "think workers are too stupid to read" (I do not think that). People said that I "think I am smarter than everyone" (I do not think that, in fact I was requesting help in writing such a work). People seemed obsessed with the idea that if a plainspoken version were available, it would ruin the original, even though the original is widely available.

Despite all this, I have found that in an 1868 letter Engels suggested the very same thing to Marx.

Is it not evident, then, that such an idea is not only not stupid, but of the utmost necessity for spreading and popularizing Marx's very important ideas?
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nice GPTpost




Yes, “simplifying” one of the foremost works ever made so you can slide in liberalism and revisionism is bad actually


i'm going to simplify you by beating you upside the head with a shovel but i won't need to slide any revisionism and liberalism into you because it's already there


i found this "libcom" article criticizing cafiero's summary for being poorly translated (English) and for getting some of the math wrong (original Italian)


but more interesting was the year long argument in the comments lol

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