Ludwig Gumplowicz on Cyclical Time and Inter-Racial Relations

GDPR

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I discussed Marx and cyclical time in a previous thread:

http://www.politics.ie/forum/culture-community/250692-marxism-aristocratic-philosophy-time.html

We can carry the discussion further by considering the work of Polish sociologist, Ludwig Gumplowicz (1838 - 1909).

The basic thesis of Gumplowicz that I wish to discuss is his idea that class does not come about by one group within a racial or ethnic group accumulating wealth, as Marx would have it, but comes about by one ethnic group invading another and constituting a ruling class over the native population.

However, the relationship between the conqueror and the conquered is not always one of out and out hostility. The conquered ethnic group often regards the conqueror as kind of Gods or as The Dead Returned who live in their midst and who demand sacrifices. The conquerors may see these sacrifices as taxes or tributes, but the conquered ethnic group may see them as a kind of religious sacrifice, and may even come to regard the payment of these sacrifices as a source of self-satisfaction.

This is an interesting point for our current situation in the Capitalist West - regarding the strange fact that the masses don't seem to mind sacrificing surplus value to the ruling class. Could it be that the ruling class may now have come to be regarded as sort of sacred beings - as when tribal society used to destroy surplus production in sacrifice to the gods. It may well be that our modern masses simply continue to live according to a hunter-gatherer or neolithic mindset, but just updated to new linguistic norms. It's clear that many, if not most, young people today regard celebs as gods, and don't in any way begrudge the huge amounts of money they give to their gods. This is a serious question for Socialism. Many of our latterday Leftists are celebrating the demise of Christianity and other traditional religions, thinking that this destruction will usher in a new era of rational thought. In fact, the opposite is happening. The new gods of consumerism are far more irrational and hard to fight than any ancient god. What chance has any rational discourse got against the powerful magic of a Miley Cyrus?

As mentioned previously, one of the main reasons that Liberalism hates National Socialism and Marxism is that they both have an heroic sense of time. Anthropology notes that the aboriginal farming peoples of Europe regarded time as cyclical. So, nothing ever really happened that was new. Time just repeated itself, as the sun rising every morning and the seasons changing. But, the invading Aryan tribes had an entirely different idea of time. They were nomadic pastoralists, who had tamed animals much larger and stronger than themselves. They had already started taking slaves and treating them as cattle. These people saw time as linear - extending from a definite start towards a definite finish. This is the heroic and tragic idea of time, where a man lives for a time and who can only survive his death through his heroic deeds. This is the Cúchulainn Ideal.

Marxism sees the Working Class carrying out this heroic task in time. National Socialism sees the race doing the same. But, Liberalism seeks to return to a cyclical idea of time, where men merely serve a functional task, and nothing ever really changes. We see that with the EU Constitution, which forbids all discussion of the structure of the Liberal economy itself. The Liberal Economy is simply to be regarded as the rising of the sun in the morning is to be regarded. Something beyond human intervention.

There is a paradox in Marxism's heroic ideal of the Working Class's historic mission, in that that mission is to return to a period beyond struggle, i.e. to a post-heroic society that returns to a pre-heroic state of cyclical time, i.e. utopia. In other words, that the time will come when the hero will conquer death. Not only through his deeds living on in the stories of the people, but he will conquer actual death itself - the Real of death. Such a paradox is seen in Greek legends of Orpheus rescuing Eurydice from Hades and in Celtic myths such as Serglige Con gCulainn, where Cúchulainn descends into the Underworld for three days and three nights and then returns to the living world. Such legends were later incorporated into Christian myth.

I suspect that in Marxism, and in National Socialism, this utopia is to be sought and avoided with equal energy, as an actual utopia would signal the end of desire, as Freud pointed out. And that's perhaps why Liberalism is collapsing today - it has left no space for desire. As Francis Fukuyama has pointed out, Liberalism has already come to the end of time.

I would tend to agree with Ludwig Gumplowicz that the first class divisions were the result of inter-ethnic conquest. This would certainly be the Leabhar Gabhála Éireann view of things in Ireland up until the 9th century AD. Then the Norman conquest happened, and a new ruling class of conquerors was formed. Later, many of the Norman Catholic families were displaced by the Elizabethan and Cromwellian invasions.

So, we see that in Ireland at least, ruling classes appeared when one ethnic group was conquered by another. Not by the accumulation of capital from within the same ethnic group. It might, however, be argued from a classical Marxist perspective that the land acts at the end of the 19th century allowed certain families from within the Gael to emerge in the 20th century as a new free state ruling class - however this was a complex process of the selection of a post-colonial comprador ruling class by the colonial power. And this process was then repeated all across the colonized world, so as to maintain de facto colonial power in de jure independent states.

In short, I think the ideas of Marx and Gumplowicz are both necessary for the understanding of the formation and continuation of class structure. The element of ethnic difference and ethnic conquest cannot be ignored, but nor can the element of capital accumulation within the same ethic group - if even under the influence of colonial processes.
 


Accidental sock

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GDPR

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If Cruimh, Carlos Danger and Mitsui would refrain from clicking on any of my threads, I would be very grateful. They are not meant for your level.
 

Accidental sock

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....but, as you're so proud of saying....they're the ones who keep your threads the most popular on p.ie?
 

Accidental sock

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That's true, but the cost of that is that they litter the threads with nonsense. It's too high a price to pay.
Once you start a thread...you have to set it free...it belongs to the forum, to praise or deride as the collective sees fit.

Otherwise, start a diary.
 

GDPR

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Once you start a thread...you have to set it free...it belongs to the forum, to praise or deride as the collective sees fit.

Otherwise, start a diary.
Since I'm not a mod I have no choice but to do that. But I would have thought that removing trolls was the main part of a mods job.
 

Accidental sock

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Since I'm not a mod I have no choice but to do that. But I would have thought that removing trolls was the main part of a mods job.
Ah...they wouldn't have time for that, and to promote abortion.
 

Polly Ticks

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Do you have a random thread generator machine, OP?

"Bit of Marxism+/Bit of religion+/Bit of psychoanalysis + racial identity -(common sense X reason) multiplied by tongue in cheek to the power of dash of lime."
 

GDPR

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Do you have a random thread generator machine, OP?

"Bit of Marxism+/Bit of religion+/Bit of psychoanalysis + racial identity -(common sense X reason) multiplied by tongue in cheek to the power of dash of lime."
I like to include all aspects of human life and experience in my OPs.
 

GDPR

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Since I'm not a mod I have no choice but to do that. But I would have thought that removing trolls was the main part of a mods job.
The thing is lad that the mods have said that they wont act unless people report trolling and/or abusive posts. It is against my nature to tout but I have started doing so today against some worthless abusive posts, not all of them because that would give the mods to much work and so annoy them.
 

Mitsui2

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If Cruimh, Carlos Danger and Mitsui would refrain from clicking on any of my threads, I would be very grateful. They are not meant for your level.
I can't speak for Carlos and Cruimh, but personally I'd have trouble regressing to the level of a ten year old.

With Carlos, though, you wouldn't know - that man has Hidden Powers!
 


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