27 February 2012

Tradition vs. Modernity



The thing about tradition, and this might shock and appall some of you neophiles out there, is that a tradition (as opposed to a new revelation) has passed the test of memetic natural selection. The longer a tradition has survived, the more evidence that it has been fit for purpose for actual human beings living in the real world of horrible jobs. Capitalist society has speeded up the process of evolution, but it's still a process of evolution. "Revolution" is simply the punctuation in punctuated equilibrium.

Hence, Chaos Marxism opposes any "Year Zero" nonsense or claims that things can appear out of nowhere with no connection to their predecessors and thus replace them. Which is why - for example - it's important to remember that Marx wasn't the first Marxist, he was the last of the great classical economists, working in the tradition forged by Adam Smith and David Ricardo. And conversely, we 100% oppose "fundamentalism" in the sense of the belief that "the original, pure message of [FILL IN BELIEF SYSTEM HERE] has been lost under useless tradition and we must restore it!" Thence comes nonsense like Wahhabism and all that "Forward to the Rebirth of the Fourth International" stuff.

... which is why Chaos Marxism opposes the efforts to "revive" traditions, or "return to the good stuff", but instead prefers to adapt existing traditions of the here-and-now to new phenomena and occurrences. You've got to build the new world with the building blocks of the old, because, as the history of colonialism tells us, simply attempting to shove a new civilisation down people's throats leads to Bad Mental Health on a mass scale.