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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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I'm in a pretty big dilemma.

My boyfriend claims he is interested in Marxism, yet has an incredibly negative outlook. He believes there will never be a revolution, all narratives of a grand redemption are a lie. He's also swallowed the western Buddhist bullshit (mixed with absurdism) full force; basically, he believes human existence is inevitably empty and absurd and that any attempts at building something bigger and better than ourselves is a mistake. He has a history of depression so that definitely informs his views as well.

He's also a huge fan of Zizek, whom I despise.

The two of us read books together, mostly on religion (Buddhism obviously) and psychology. I'm looking for Marxist texts that we could read together that would shake him out of (or at least question) his bullshit. Namely, I'm looking for books that have both 1. a generally positive outlook on communist revolution or building the communist project, 2. present a strong case for Marxism against rival/bourgeois ideologies, and 3. is philosophical.

Any suggestions would be great.


I remember The Coming Insurrection being aggressively optimistic and fun, the whole thing is basically a boast. I know it's anarchist but it could be good for lightening the mood.


That might work and I'll add it to the list, but I'm mainly looking for something more lengthy and "scholarly".


>>11467 (me)
Forgot flag.




+1 for the coming insurrection


I was thinking Reading Capital but Althusser might harbor a bit too close to postmodernism.


>he believes human existence is inevitably empty and absurd
Anti-Duehring is the most complete work of Marx and Engels on dialectical and historical materialism and therefore covers philosopical, economic as well as historical matters. I think it is reasonably self-contained.


Perfect! Thanks comrade.


Ten Days That Shook the World


If he denies the possibility of revolution, then he is not a Marxist. The communist project is a central tenant of Marxism. My suggestion is, put him on hold and find an actual Marxist man who shares your values.


This one sounds great too although I'm looking for a philosophy text and not really a history one.

He's extremely clingy so he won't go for this.


From the description he sounds more like an idealist that needs to be put on his feet. Your post reeks of ideological essentialism.


That, and western Buddhism is basically copium for people who deny that any real change can be made in the world. The entire gist of it is simply to accept the fact that the world sucks and be inactive. Perhaps there's revolutionary Buddhists in China, Vietnam, Myanmar, etc, but the way it's marketed to westerners is completely reactionary.


>the way it's marketed to westerners is completely reactionary
True, you might want to look at https://buddhistsocialism.weebly.com/


I'm speaking more to the epistemology at hand. I'm certain there are Buddhist teachings which align with socialism well.


Westerners need a good dose of Mahanya hunh?


Try Lukács. Perfectly Marxist, perfectly philosophical.


Zizek disagrees with Buddhism vehemently, so it's a strange appreciation coming from your boyfriend.


My bf is just a pessimist, honestly.


What’s his critique? Is it Marxist or just more Hegelian blather?


>He believes there will never be a revolution, all narratives of a grand redemption are a lie
that's alright, marx was never an eschatologi-
>He's also swallowed the western Buddhist bullshit (mixed with absurdism) full force


I’d suggest The Wretched if the Earth. Right up your alley.


This is a good one. Thanks.


All right, I'm only going to keep this thread up for another day. I don't want my bf to find it.


You can't delete your own threads on this website unless you're a mod maybe.


Oh shit.


I think he says something along the lines of "Buddhism says that desire is the cause of suffering l, but psychoanalysis teaches us that we want to suffer"
God i fucking hate that guy.


I can't fucking stand Zizek. He's a clown.


Chuang-Tzu, Inner Chapters
i'm 100% serious, just trust me
also, Evald Ilyenkov, any of his essay-books you can get. Intelligent Materialism was good, but it's very much about Hegel and his relationship to Marxism - BUT THE PHILOSOPHY IS REALLY GOOD. I think if your bf can learn to fw dialectical materialism, he can begin to see the light of revolution, subjectivity, history/movement, etc.

Also i don't wanna interfere too much, but i think what your bf needs is tbh to dive fully into his nihilism. If he believes all this stupid spiritual moral relativistic crap, he's too full of himself. He doesn't yet see the absurdity of positing your own Individual being. He needs to split himself open. Maybe Deleuze is the remedy for this situation, so Thousand Plateaus or AO. His pomo bullshit will mesh nicely with psychoanalytic stuff, and that's just what he needs to stop being so pessimistic from what it looks like to me

Maybe just show him acts of resistance. Anarchists love cataloging that shit. One thing that made me re-invigorated in a dark time recently was
Just goes to show, the fire is still alive in people's hearts. This + real marxism - reading lenin, reading bordiga (and the old boar himself, ofc), finally set me straight. Communist party + people's initiative = revolution.

One final tip - affirmation is the way to change people. Lean into what they already are open to, make them expand on it. Keep in mind identity of identity and non-identity - the opposition within the sphere of non-identity is the opposition you want. Don't focus on the parts which are not contradicted, don't focus on the contradiction between contradiction and non-contradiction (that's false) - extrapolate his worldview until you find the opposition which will drive it forward. Tbh maybe even let him pick the book you guys read. Maybe he'll pull himself out of it. I'd hazard to say that western buddhism, spiritual crap, etc. is NOT the are of contradiction within his worldview, since it's explicitly pragmatist, moral relativist, etc.; i.e. totally malleable and "lmao i dont gotta splain shit". So if he's into zizek, idk maybe get him REALLY into the zizek when you guys read. That's all i can say. I hope you take this seriously tho and not as some woo. I'm only speaking from experience.


>>11503 (me)
btw i only recommend Inner Chapters since ur bf already likes oriental woo. This at least might subvert the way he currently uses it as a cope. It focuses on contradiction, and the intractability of it (in words/ideas), rather than smoothing over contradiction


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I remember quotemongering Che and Mao working pretty fine for me. I basically started seeing communism as personal philosophy which understands the good side of humankind, its capacity for cooperation and its hability to fight for its future. Weirdly enough, i think Walter Benjamin also has an interesting worldview on this matter, so consider checking him out if you want, even if he is… not your usual kind of marxist.


>its capacity for cooperation
I should also add that i've even seen neolib author Yuval Harari (in his book Homo Deus), making this exact 'humanity is superior because of cooperation' argument (even if it was exemplified by Ceaușescu's overthrow). So there's some merit to this reasoning.


report it and just say its ur thread, etc. and i or someone else will delete it
actually, post in this thread too that u want it gone cause someone might just dismiss the report
i'll make sure the thread gets deleted tho


Thanks. I'm a huge fan of Ilyenkov. Has his apocalyptism stuff been translated into English yet?


Sounds like you’re looking for a critique of fatalism.


I found my people. Love Ilyenkov, hate Zizek lol. Can you expand a bit about the apocalyptism stuff you mentioned ?


This basically.


Protip: only learn Marxism from tankies or MLMs/anti-revisionists.

Anything else is fluffy garbage.


Good idea.

So who are some philosophers who are tankies and/or anti-revisionists?

The only ones I can think of are Althusser, maybe also Lukács since he supported the USSR until he died IIRC.


francisco martins rodrigues !!
good anti-revisionist

I like to read theses from congresses too. Mexico's PCM is based af. Idk, First and second congress of the comintern? Is that too old? Cause tbh read Marx, read Lenin, etc. All the cool ppl got cool from understanding and comprehensively studying the classics.


>francisco martins rodrigues
Any recommendations in particular?



Someone give OP a “revolution will happen” text.


>Western Buddhist
I just had to chuckle a bit. I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure Buddhism preaches "right action". That is, true Enlightenment involves getting off your lazy ass and working to relieve the suffering of people around you.
Fucking Angloids stay away from my Dharma.


idk about western buddhism, but absurdism while pessimistic is explicitly anti-doomer. sounds like your bf is misunderstanding it, you should discuss his philosophy with him and give your own interpretation, it might help, maybe idk, people are hard.


I don't know anything about absurdism except that it's pretty fucking bourgeois.


Also, I specifically made this thread to discuss book recommendations, not to hear a defense of Buddhism or absurdism.


except that absurdism was made by a communist turned anarchist, also if you cant pick up on which book i was trying to recommend its the myth of sisyphus and maybe the stranger. your bf has a wrong understanding of things he believes in so i was trying to be helpful not because i was trying to defend absurdism


I fucking hate Camus. No thanks.


>>11542 (me)
Jackass supported French colonialism in Algeria ffs.


>communist turned anarchist
Absolutely disgusting


Your bf sounds like a bad absurdist



Or just read Lenin on imperialism.


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You just demonstrated identity politics. Shameful display.


I've taken note of all of them.

>just read Lenin

Might just do that.


Sartre > Camus


Comrade gets it.


Since your bf sounds like a liberal, get him to read Liberalism: A Counter-History by Domenico Losurdo.


Does he critique postmodernism or just political liberalism?


fulfillment is not the same as happiness. in buddhism you can meditate and maybe feel better about yourself, but under capitalism you will never be properly fulfilled and sitting in some isolated room meditating is never going to change that. maybe zizek obscures this point with idealism, but it is ultimately correct. either way being a buddhist and simping for zizek is such an unbelievably cringe combination


So why does Zizek say Buddhism is good for capitalism or whatever?


Why are you with this guy? Go find a man who shares your revolutionary hopes.


Why would you say that?


Zizek and Buddhism are both reactionary af and your boyfriend sounds like he is too.


I'm scared that if I leave him he'll be devastated. I can't do that to someone.


Zizek is only 'reactionary' in the same way that a 'vanguard' appears reactionary to a leftcomm, so maybe you're just a leftcomm.
If fear is the primary reason for your being with someone, the relationship will slowly & inevitably corrode.


But would Lacanian psychoanalysis be against communism and think its undesirable/impossible?


Based on that Zizek quote i mean


communism will fill the void perpetuated the Real, anon


*by the real


I know Zizek says some bad things and has bas takes but there's nothing wrong with liking him for the memes, zizek can be an entryway into proper marxism


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I like when people start whining about leftcoms completely unprompted, it signals that you can skip the rest of the post


Zizek sets you on a path to pseudo-socialism: destination "edgy" reformism.


It was wholly prompted, but you can continue to miss the point if that makes you feel better.


Communism isn't about a pristine finality in which all matters resolve, it isn't a utopian ideal or some state of affairs… wait a minute… it's the real movement which sublates the present state of things.
Communism is todestrieb, communism is free time, communism is the socio-economized recognition of the void engendered by historical self-consciousness set into practical deliberation (the riddle of history solved), communism is an economic system which really only reflects antecedent social tendencies, a deeper primacy. Communism is drive, indefinite, delimited, empowered, no promise of a fulfillment which appends itself upon stabilized solubility (communism is NOT harmony, the idyllic return, conditions of ahistorical prescripts demanded through economy). Communism is the no-longer-estranged-condition-of-humanity for its first time since agriculture's advent, and where we go with that is the substantive ambiguity which is most definitive of communism inhered.

"Healthcare pls" etc. types are well meaning in their sincerity insofar as this relates to issues within reality, but they would be better suited to ceding into socdem territory, as they lack the theoretical base to relate their adversity.


>you're hating on a thing I like, this is just like the leftcom boogeyman in my head!!
outstanding point


once again, missing the point


There is no point, it's incoherent babbling with no logical reasoning behind it lmao. "you don't like X, and Y doesn't like Z, so you are Y" with Y being the spooky leftcom ghost you have flying around in your head. And even then it still doesn't make sense because leftcoms ARE vanguardists (the slogan is "More Leninist than Lenin"), while Zizek's relationship with Marx and Lenin is more aesthetic than anything, as his politics have been picking the liberal position at every turn. He even denies being a Marxist, instead claiming his analysis comes mostly from Lacan and Hegel (which should be obvious, seeing as his books are drawn-out incoherent garbage)


Buddhism's epistemology and emphasis on "middle path" goes against Marxism entirely.


>>11695 (me)
Wanted to also add that Buddhism's main teaching is to be indifferent to the world and to focus all of your energy internally. The goal isn't to change the world but to change yourself so you can move throughout the world without being bothered by it. It's no wonder so many western Buddhists end up becoming total narcissists.


Yes. Lacan was a full-blown reactionary.


Could you elaborate? i know jack shit about Lacan


Capitalist Realism by mark fisher

Hopefully he can self diagnose after reading it.


He's already read that one.

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