More from Bhaskar on anti-capitalism and libertarian socialism

Continuing from this post, chapter one of Reclaiming Reality (Routledge, 2011) is called “Critical realism, social relations and arguing for socialism.” It ain’t no form of capitalism. 

“We need to take philosophy seriously because it is the discipline that has traditionally underwritten both what constitutes science and knowledge and which political practices are deemed relevant” (1).

As to some concern on philosophy’s relationship to our more immediate, mundane concerns, as well as its real and false reason foundations, here’s more:

“Philosophies can confuse as well as enlighten. Two crude philosophical distinctions, between mind and body and reasons and causes, have done untold damage here. […] Related to the crude dichotomy of nature and society is a crude distinction between basic, bodily (physical) or natural needs such as for food or housing, and higher-order psychological (mental) or spiritual needs such as for respect or self-development. These latter needs are not the object of a separate set of practices, but are intrinsic to the way so-called basic needs are met” (6-7).

And as to the issue of the relationship of individual consciousness to social structure (and tetra-arising), more from the above citation:

“On the relational view a person’s individuality is primarily constituted by his or her social particularity. In other words, what they are is mainly a product of what they have done or what has been done to them in the particular social relations into which they were born and in which they have lived. What they do or have done to them must be understood in terms of their historically and socially conditioned capacities, powers, liabilities and tendencies.

“The task of socialists must be to work for the development and release of our underdeveloped and repressed capacities and for the transformation and dissolution of existing oppressive and repressive tendencies. It must also be to struggle for the social and natural (e.g. environmental) conditions for their fulfilment or transformation. These capacities and tendencies, as the Marxist and socialist tradition has correctly stressed, are inherently social” (7).


About theurj

Also known as theurj. I've contributed some essays to Integral World and co-founded Open Integral blog, now defunct. I continue to participate in Integral Postmetaphysical Spirituality forum.
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