The Gap

The truth is that there’s a vast gap between what we think that the world should be and what it actually is in reality. 


This is what we have been taught to see as the problem. This is what we need to seek a solution for; a way to fill that gap - to bridge it so that we are what we aspire to be. That is the ultimate goal; to make sure that our actual self and ideal self coincide.


It seems simple enough. You identify the problem, plan out a solution, and execute it to obtain the desired results.


But there are too many variables - too many people involved. There are too many factors that are beyond our control. We all want the world to be something, but that “something” is different to all of us. It’s hard to make one thing when there are so many different ideas pulling in so many different directions.


Let’s talk about idealism.


Ideally, kindness and positiveness should get the best results. Good should always win, right?

Wrong. The truth is that a negative or forceful approach would get better and more efficient results. Why? Is it because what we fear is greater than what we ought to love?


Ideally, freedom is what we all ultimately want. We want a world dominated by democracy. Have you ever wondered though, if the majority of the population is even ready to make decisions - the right kind of decisions - for themselves and the world at large? Maybe we are not ready for complete freedom even though we are fighting daily to gain more of it. Maybe too much of it paves the path for anarchy. Maybe freedom is nothing but an illusion, just like free will.


So in the end, where do we rank up in this story line? Where do we fit in? Do we even truly have a choice in making the future or is it already beyond us?


What is the problem really? Could it be the system itself that fuels greed and self-gratification or is it us, for letting such a system reign supreme? Are we the problem?


The gap is always going to be there. We will always want more - more freedom, more change, more rights.

But what is “more” isn’t always a good thing?

It’s difficult…ideals, dreams and cherished hopes rise within us, only to be crushed by grim reality. It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.
It’s sad to witness the idealistic youth, with bright dreams of a better world when in reality all you can see yourself is the earth falling apart, people in pain and growing inequalities.
—  the honest pessimist (n.f.)
Historical Materialism and Idealism

One of the defining features of Marxism is its methodology, or how it goes about analyzing the world. The methodology Marxism employs is Historical Materialism. At its most simple, Historical Materialism is an attempt to look at the development of societies through an investigation of material conditions. Material conditions is a term that refers to the ways that a society produces goods, as well as the technological development that makes this production possible. By looking at material conditions, Marxism is able to analyze the ways that societies attempt to provide food and other commodities for their members. 

As an example of this, Marxism looks at the development of capitalism as a shift in material conditions. Marx used Historical Materialism to examine industrialization as a massive shift in productive capabilities and technologies, controlled by a capitalist class. From this perspective, capitalist society developed around these conditions.

Marxism holds that Historical Materialism is a tool that can be applied to understand pre-capitalist society as well. Marxists look to the organization of production through a serf and peasant class, as the defining material condition of Feudalism, for example.

In short: Historical Materialism is a tool of analysis which looks to material conditions as the basis of a society, and assumes societies develop from those material conditions.

Mod D

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It is important to recognize that Marx’ Historical Materialism is, well, just that: materialism. It developed in response to the Hegelian idealist tradition. In Hegel’s philosophy of history, culture and human society develop as realizations of what he terms the Spirit. We won’t get into the nuances of Hegelian idealism here, but it’s worth bringing up as an example of an idealist philosophy of history: rather than being produced and changed by the material conditions, in Hegel, history is advanced by changes in the Spirit.

In Marx, the communist project is not an ideal to be achieved; Marx’ work did not attempt to outline an alternative, moral or ideal society towards which the workers must strive. In Marxist thought, communism is not the product of some grand realization of the Spirit. The Materialist method instead locates communism as something which emerges from the real material conditions of capitalism.

In other words, the Materialist method of social critique looks at the tensions of capitalist conditions (the wage-form, alienation, and others) and traces the birth of revolutionary fervor from those tensions. It seeks to locate a material basis for radicalism, rather than a moral or ideal basis.

Mod F

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On the right, they treat these people as equals and welcome them into the fold. That has its problems but it shows a much more respectful attitude toward the democratic process. On the left they treat their activists like embarrassing relatives they wish they could lock in the attic. And that’s odd considering liberalism’s alleged affinity for the common man. Maybe they could spare just a little of that famous compassion for the hippies who work their hearts out for the cause once in a while. It might even end up getting some results.

Democrats have been treating idealists like punching bags and scapegoats since the 1960s. Enough.

Chasing for the dream that is what I want to do with my life. Trying to find the thing that I want to do with my life. I have done and will continue to do many things, but I’ve always been seeking a larger vision. There’s a hazy half formed one that I move towards, hoping it will solidify as I chase it.

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