Many activists like to position themselves as progressive in thinking about how to organize society. The inference is that their way is better than what they claim are older ways.

But I see their way as based in old collectivist ideas about humans. In almost all cases they actively believe the economic presumptions of Karl Marx.

Oddly, Marx invented his theories at a time when the Agricultural, Industrial, and American Revolutions were already showing the ability of the human mind to produce more for life. While Marx came from continental Europe whereas the revolution was strongest in England and the US, he did much of his writing from England (having been expelled from Germany for advocating violent revolution). So he was right there where he could observe real progress and interact with thinkers for freedom.

To me, his theories are a combination of tribalism (an old form of collectivism based on genetic similarities or religious beliefs) and his objection to business people. He seems to be thinking of feudal times or earlier, ignoring actual progress being made for human life and freedom. (Strangely, a key theory by Marx - of the relative value of labour and capital, was a corruption or extrapolation of a theory by financier David Ricardo.)

Karl Marx wrote his document applying his theories to an actual political situation, widely published as “A Critique of the Gotha Program”, in 1865. Das Kapital was published between 1867 and 1895. By then, the effect of the founding principles of the United States of America was being seen. (The USA was formed as a result of the revolution of 1776, with the “Declaration of Independence” document of principles recognizing the right of each individual to their own life.) Earlier, the “Magna Carta” recognition of some legal rights not to be over-ridden by the King was promulgated in 1215. Such advances were a major factor in eliminating the old feudal system, for example by fostering worker mobility thus eliminating cheap labour for Lords.

While advocates of Marxist notions talk of democracy and infer freedom, what Marx and they advocate is a “dictatorship of the proletariat”, thus by definition not free – in other words, a regressive approach.

Marx himself did not try hard to justify many of his economic notions, and they are all readily rebutted both in theory and by the reality that they have never worked when practiced to significant degree.

Even his labour theory of value does not pass the practical test of considering a cave-dweller who figures out that a certain shape of stick will help dig roots for food. Investing her time and labour searching for a branch of the right shape and trimming it to size, she is creating capital. If she lets someone else use it in exchange for some of another food they are good at finding she is a trader, a business person - a dreaded “capitalist” as she is earning from possession of a capital asset.

Simple observation of the world shows that freedom feeds humans, and extends their life in other ways such as medical care. (For example, life expectancy has doubled in just a few centuries.) Just by looking out the window of their comfortable shelter activists could see gardens and trees planted and nurtured by humans, yet they claim people are ruining the environment. Why don’t they see reality?

Why do neo-Marxist activists want to regress? While I think the fertilizer on their roots is psychological negativity (note their advocacy of garbage art), I will address the fairness question. Their claimed concern is that it is unfair for some people to be struggling to get food and shelter while others are rich. Their error is assuming a “fixed pie”, a limited supply of food, thus anyone who has a piece got it at the expense of someone else. That error comes from failing to realize that people create and produce.

I’ll also address the dishonesty question. Marxism ignores two factors:
- successful free societies have a justice system to protect individuals against the initiation of force, both directly and through fraudulent mis-representation.
- honest dealings support life, both directly (others will avoid a dishonest person) and indirectly (dishonesty warps the perpetrators own thinking methods that are necessary for life).

Why does Marxism make such errors? Because its view of humans is fundamentally flawed – it ignores the power of the human mind. Without the mind, humans are just animals operating on instinct, killing each other in a food chain (“dog eat dog”), all equal in ability. But even a labourer has to use his mind to know where to put his hands and arms to do the work. Even primitive people had to figure out where to find food (animals and plants are in the meadows, forests, and hills not on dessert plains - and some are poisonous to eat) and shelter (camping on the beach when winter weather comes would be life-shortening).

Marxism then makes a huge leap to believing that a collective of those incapable untrustworthy human individuals is moral and all-seeing. Why? The only explanation I can think of is mysticism, an unreal view of the world that can only be accepted on faith, since it fails both logic examination and comparison with reality.

Marxism’s error in understanding the human mind can be traced back to Plato’s error in understanding concepts, which led him to theorizing the bizarre "mind-body dichotomy". But I’ll stop here by asking those who support neo-Marxist activists like the “Occupy Wall Street” mob why they want to regress to the thinking that leaves North Koreans starving in the dark.

PS: In one sense, "Progressives" sell a "package deal", that the only way to prevent discrimination and other societal ills is to accept their collectivist control, which always leads to tyranny of the collective.

PPS: One way that Marxism hurts poor people is by teaching that individuals cannot succeed - they cannot learn and produce for themselves. That's a self-fulfilling prophecy, people will likely believe they cannot use their mind to produce and improve. (It also assumes that people are not charitable. And of course Marxism in action leads to lack of ability to provide charity - regimes like North Korea can't even produce food for any but a few top elite.)

AND: Why Progressive is anything but.... by Psychologist Michael Hurd

They are Regressive not Progressive.

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