Threesology Research Journal
A New Communism
The Next Phase of Development
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~ The Study of Threes ~

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Communism and Societal Collapse

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It is not too uncommon to find references to the influence of Marxist (and Engles) Communism on culture, but that such references do so primarily from a Socio-political perspective... as if they were either Sociologists studying culture from a Political Science perspective or Cultural Anthropologists with a Sociological training ground which emphasized a focus on political and economic concerns as opposed to psychology and biology concerns, very often given the nature-nurture dichotomous attribution. The problem with looking through a Marxist-dominant lens of analysis is that an entire world of culture that doesn't engage in the respective vocabulary becomes overlooked. While the structure of government, religion and economic conditions did have their effects on culture, and many of those effects are particularly deep and long lasting, do we examine the role such influences may or may not have had on Marx, Engels and their contemporaries? In other words, whereas a cultural analysis may use a Marxian-based perspective to analyze post-Marxian eras, what of those preceding and during Marx's time?

Let me say this in yet another way. How much did a pre- Marxian culture have on the development of Marx's ideas, and has there been an unrealistic emphasis on how much Marxian ideology has really contributed to many different cultural aspects, even when such aspects (like film and literature) actively (specifically) spoke of Marx and/or a word or idea commonly attributed to Communist doctrine? Have cultural analysts simply jumped on a bandwagon that is not actually a train with multiple cars, but the riders think it does and will continue to do so, because they are inebriated by the currency of its usage... like the effervescence of a cult and the media's reaction to it because there is nothing more dominant to write about, and it is used as a fall-back position when waiting for something else to punctuate social circumstances with? Instead of a "Red Scare" being spoken of by the media, we have a "Marxian" scratched record?

There is a problem with using Marxian views as a rule-of-thumb to analyze culture because it becomes a set of blinders like the wearing of some tinted glasses that colors a person's world-view. It is difficult for some to imagine what a non-Marxist, or non-Sociology, or non-Psychology, or non-Anthropology, etc., types influences might have had on Marx and Engels. They don't discuss their diets so that we might ascertain what sort of nutrition they had or didn't have and how frequently they had sought out medical assistance. Hence, those who may want to describe themselves as a "Marxist" are only referring to a small segment of the totality of Marx with respect to what has remained of his writings. If we take the era of Marx (May 5, 1818 - March 14, 1883) and Engels (Nov. 28, 1820 - Aug. 5, 1895), and then associate them with the development of other ideas, let us make note of the fact that they all occurred prior to or during or even shortly after the development of Marx and Engels' ideas, and are not customarily interpreted with a Marxist influence, though many countries after Communist revolutions did attempt to use their versions of a communist education as they saw fit to indoctrinate their citizens with. Let us take a very short look at a few ideas:

  • Anthropology- Although it started in deep antiquity, gained prominence in the 19th Century and early 20th Century as a Science. (This reference is concerned with 18th- and 19th-century precursors of modern anthropology.)
  • Biology- The history of biology traces the study of the living world from ancient to modern times. The concept of biology as a single coherent field arose in the 19th century.
  • Cell theory timeline
    1. 1670: Anton van Leeuwenhoek (He could see the single-celled organisms that lived in a drop of pond water. He called these organisms "animalcules," which means "miniature animals.")
    2. 1804: Karl Rudolphi and J.H.F. Link (Were the first to prove that cells were independent of each other and had their own cell walls.)
    3. 1833: Robert Brown (Discovered the nucleus in plant cells.)
    4. From the years 1838-1839, the German scientist Matthias Schleiden proposed the first foundational belief about cells, that all plant tissues are composed of cells. His fellow scientist and countryman Theodor Schwann concluded that all animal tissues were made of cells as well. Schwann blended both statements into one theory which said 1) All living organisms consist of one or more cells and 2) The cell is the basic unit of structure for all living organisms.
    5. In 1845, the scientist Carl Heinrich Braun revised the cell theory with his interpretation that cells are the basic unit of life.
    6. The third part of the original cell theory was put forth in 1855 by Rudolf Virchow who concluded that Omnis cellula e cellula which translates roughly from Latin to "cells only arise from other cells."
  • Sociology; History of Sociology - There is evidence of early Muslim sociology from the 14th century. Some consider Ibn Khaldun, a 14th-century Tunisian, Arab, Islamic scholar from North Africa, to have been the first sociologist and father of sociology; his Muqaddimah was perhaps the first work to advance social-scientific reasoning on social cohesion and social conflict.
  • Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès (1748–1836) - Coined the word "Sociology".
  • Henri de Saint-Simon Saint-Simon published Physiologie sociale in 1813.
  • Auguste Comte (1798 – 1857) - Called the "Father of Sociology" and founder of the academic discipline of sociology as was as positivism.
  • The Greeks made significant Economics contributions, as did the Medieval scholastics, and from the 15th to the 18th century an enormous amount of pamphlet literature discussed and developed the implications of economic nationalism (a body of thought now known as mercantilism, Encyclopedia Britannica: Economics).

Marx inherited the ideas of class and class struggle from utopian socialism and the theories of Henri de Saint-Simon. These had been given substance by the writings of French historians such as Adolphe Thiers and François Guizot on the French Revolution of 1789. But unlike the French historians, Marx made class struggle the central fact of social evolution. "The history of all hitherto existing human society is the history of class struggles."

  • The Rev. Henri Chambre- Professor, Institute of Social Studies, Catholic Institute of Paris, 1947–78. Associate Director of the Laboratory, College of France, Paris, 1968–73. Author of De Karl Marx à Lénine et Mao Tsé-toung and others.
  • David T. McLellan- Professor of Political Theory, University of Kent at Canterbury, England. Author of Marxism after Marx and others.

"Marxism." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite, 2013.

Influences on Karl Marx are generally thought to have been derived from three sources, namely German idealist philosophy, French socialism and English and Scottish political economy. Influences on Karl Marx:

  1. German Idealist philosophy - What enabled 19th-century culture to pursue the scientific quest and regain confidence in spiritual truth was the work of the German idealist philosophers, beginning with Immanuel Kant.
    • Kant: Kant took up Hume's challenge and showed that, although we may never know "things as they are," we can know truthfully and reliably the data of experience. The reason for this certitude is that the mind imposes its categories of time and space and causation on the flowing stream and gives it shape. Science, therefore, is not a guess, nor is human knowledge a dream. Both are solid and verifiable. Indeed, certainty, according to Kant, extends as far as morals and aesthetics. The essence of morals is the commandment not to perform any act that one would not want to become a precedent for all human action and always to consider an individual as an end in himself, not as the instrument of another's purpose. The fusion in Kant of ideas stemming from Rousseau and the Enlightenment with ideas fitting the needs of the coming century (Kant died in 1804) made him the fountainhead of European philosophy for 50 years.
    • Kant's disciples:
      • His disciples—Fichte, Hegel, Schopenhauer—twisted or amplified his teachings. Coleridge in England and Victor Cousin in France adapted to home use what seemed fitting. The school as a whole was known as German idealism because it relied on the distinction between the thinking subject and the perceived object; "idea" and "thing" were unlike, but idea (or the mind) played a role in shaping the reality of things, from which derived all stability and regularity in the universe.
      • Stability was desirable as a guarantor of natural science, but in the social world it was obviously contradicted by events, especially by those since the French Revolution. By 1840 many historians had told the story of the past 50 years, and the lesson they drew from it was almost uniformly that of pessimism. Deprived of Providence and the explanation it used to supply by its "mysterious workings," history seemed neither morally rational nor humanly tolerable.
      • The German philosopher Hegel, however, drew a different conclusion. Coming after Kant and having witnessed Napoleon's victory at Jena in 1806, he conceived the world as ruled by a new logic, no longer a logic of things static but of things in movement. He saw the forces of history in perpetual battle. Neither side wins, but the upshot of their struggle is an amalgam of their rival intentions. Hegel called the pros and the cons and their survivors thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. Human affairs are ever in dialectic (dialoguing) progression. At times a "world-historical figure" (Luther, Napoleon) embodies the aspirations of the masses and gives them effect through war, revolution, or religious reformation. Yet throughout the succession of events, what is taking place is the unfolding of Spirit or Idea taking on itself the concrete forms of the real. Hegel's was another version of evolution and progress, for he foretold the extension of liberty to all men as the fulfillment of history. It is interesting to note that until 1848 or 1850 Hegel was generally considered a dangerous revolutionary, a believer in an irresistible progress that mankind must earn by blood and battle. Karl Marx, as a younger Hegelian, was to carry out Hegel's unspoken promise on a different base.
      • Other branches of the all-powerful German philosophy deserve attention but can be spoken of only as they relate to high Romantic themes. Fichte's modification of Kant made the ego the "creator" of the world, an extreme extension or generalization of individualism. At the other extreme, but more in tune with contemporary science and art, Schelling made nature the source of all energy, from which individual consciousness takes off to become the observer of the universe. Nature is a work of art and man is, so to say, its critic, and because human consciousness results from an act of self-limitation, it perceives moral duty and feels the need to worship.
  2. French Socialism (Recall Marx's and Engles' time periods: 1818-1883 and 1820-1895, respectfully. To what extent the following thinkers had on Marx and Engles is known in some cases, in others, one can only speculate unless there is some directed evidence);

    English and Scottish political economics

    • The Scottish philosopher Adam Smith, published An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations in 1776.
    • One generation after the publication of Smith's tome, English Economist David Ricardo wrote "Principles of Political Economy and Taxation" (1817).
    • In 1848 John Stuart Mill's restatement of Ricardo's thought in his "Principles of Political Economy" brought it new authority for another generation.
    • After 1870, however, most economists slowly turned away from Ricardo's concerns and began to reexamine the foundations of the theory of value—that is, to explain why goods exchange at the prices that they do. As a result, many of the late 19th-century economists devoted their efforts to the problem of how resources are allocated under conditions of perfect competition.

The last of the classical economists, Karl Marx:

The first volume of his work Das Kapital appeared in 1867; after his death the second and third volumes were published in 1885 and 1894, respectively. If Marx may be called "the last of the classical economists," it is because to a large extent he founded his economics not in the real world but on the teachings of Smith and Ricardo. They had espoused a "labour theory of value," which holds that products exchange roughly in proportion to the labour costs incurred in producing them. Marx worked out all the logical implications of this theory and added to it "the theory of surplus value," which rests on the axiom that human labour alone creates all value and hence constitutes the sole source of profits.

To say that one is a Marxian economist is, in effect, to share the value judgment that it is socially undesirable for some people in the community to derive their income merely from the ownership of property. Since few professional economists in the 19th century accepted this ethical postulate and most were indeed inclined to find some social justification for the existence of private property and the income derived from it, Marxian economics failed to win resounding acceptance among professional economists. The Marxian approach, moreover, culminated in three generalizations about capitalism (with the first being the linchpin of all the others):

  1. The tendency of the rate of profit to fall.
  2. The growing impoverishment of the working class.
  3. The increasing severity of business cycles.

However, Marx's exposition of the "law of the declining rate of profit" is invalid—both practically and logically (even avid Marxists admit its logical flaws)—and with it all of Marx's other predictions collapse. In addition, Marxian economics had little to say on the practical problems that are the bread and butter of economists in any society, such as the effect of taxes on specific commodities or that of a rise in the rate of interest on the level of total investment. Although Marx's ideas launched social change around the world, the fact remains that Marx had relatively little effect on the development of economics as a social science.

  • Mark Blaug- Visiting Professor of Economics, University of Exeter, England. Emeritus Professor of Economics, University of Buckingham, England. Emeritus Professor of the Economics of Education, Institute of Education, University of London. Author of Economic Theory in Retrospect.

"economics." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite, 2013.

(John Stuart Mill might well be viewed as a copycat (opportunist) writer, like many motion picture producers who create sequels to capitalize on the interest of those who were fans of the 1st edition.)

The 17th, 18th, 19th and early 20th Centuries brought to the fore many progressive thinkers both in and out of Germany, but let me centralize the discussion on a topic of Education with respect to the German system, though I do not cover all of it, in particular, the development of the Kindergarten; which is one aspect that has become culturally standardized in most of the world.

The new German universities

Unquestionably one of the greatest worldwide influences exercised by German education in the 19th century was through its universities, to which students came from all over the world and from which every land drew ideas for the reformation of higher education. To understand this, one must be aware of the state of higher education in most countries in the 19th century. Although the century witnessed a steady expansion of scientific knowledge, the curriculum of the established universities went virtually untouched. Higher education followed a single dimension. This was the century of the scientists:

  • Otto von Guericke (1602-1686): German physicist, engineer, and natural philosopher who invented the first air pump and used it to study the phenomenon of vacuum and the role of air in combustion and respiration. (Reference: "Otto"-mobile, and the 4-stroke cycle as the "Otto"-cycle.)
    • Leonardo da Vinci considered the idea of a self-propelled vehicle in the 15th century. In 1760 a Swiss clergyman, J.H. Genevois, suggested mounting small windmills on a cartlike vehicle, their power to be used to wind springs that would move the road wheel. Genevois's idea probably derived from a windmill cart of about 1714. Two-masted wind carriages were running in the Netherlands in 1600, and a speed of 20 miles (30 km) per hour with a load of 28 passengers was claimed for at least one of them. The first recorded suggestion of wind use was probably Robert Valturio's unrealized plan (1472) for a cart powered by windmills geared to the wheels.
    • Other inventors considered the possibilities of clockwork. Probably in 1748 a carriage propelled by a large clockwork engine was demonstrated in Paris by the versatile inventor Jacques de Vaucanson.
    • The air engine is thought to have originated with a 17th-century German physicist, Otto von Guericke. Guericke invented an air pump and was probably the first to make metal pistons, cylinders, and connecting rods, the basic components of the reciprocating engine. In the 17th century a Dutch inventor, Christiaan Huygens, produced an engine that worked by air pressure developed by explosion of a powder charge. Denis Papin of France built a model engine on the vacuum principle, using the condensation of steam to produce the vacuum. An air engine was patented in England in 1799, and a grid of compressor stations was proposed to service vehicles. An air-powered vehicle is said to have been produced in 1832.
    • Most authorities are inclined to honour Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler of Germany as the most important pioneer contributors to the gasoline-engine automobile. Benz ran his first car in 1885, Daimler in 1886. ("automobile." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite, 2013., Ken W. Purdy: Free-lance writer. Author of Kings of the Road and Motorcars of the Golden Past. & Christopher G. Foster: Automotive historian and writer. Author of The Stanley Steamer: America's Legendary Steam Car.)
  • Georg Simon Ohm (1789-1854): German physicist who discovered the law, named after him, which states that the current flow through a conductor is directly proportional to the potential difference (voltage) and inversely proportional to the resistance.
  • Michael Faraday (1791-1867): English physicist and chemist whose many experiments contributed greatly to the understanding of electromagnetism.
  • Hermann von Helmholtz (1821-1894): German scientist and philosopher who made fundamental contributions to physiology, optics, electrodynamics, mathematics, and meteorology. He is best known for his statement of the law of the conservation of energy. He brought to his laboratory research the ability to analyze the philosophical assumptions on which much of 19th-century science was based, and he did so with clarity and precision.
  • James Prescott Joule (1818-1889): English physicist who established that the various forms of energy—mechanical, electrical, and heat—are basically the same and can be changed, one into another.
  • Charles Darwin (1809-1882): English naturalist whose theory of evolution by natural selection became the foundation of modern evolutionary studies. An affable country gentleman, Darwin at first shocked religious Victorian society by suggesting that animals and humans shared a common ancestry. However, his nonreligious biology appealed to the rising class of professional scientists, and by the time of his death evolutionary imagery had spread through all of science, literature, and politics.
  • Gregor Johann Mendel (1822-1884): Austrian botanist, teacher, and Augustinian prelate, the first to lay the mathematical foundation of the science of genetics, in what came to be called Mendelism.
  • Louis Pasteur (1822-1895): French chemist and microbiologist who was one of the most important founders of medical microbiology. Pasteur's contributions to science, technology, and medicine are nearly without precedent. He pioneered the study of molecular asymmetry; discovered that microorganisms cause fermentation and disease; originated the process of pasteurization; saved the beer, wine, and silk industries in France; and developed vaccines against anthrax and rabies.
  • James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879): Scottish physicist best known for his formulation of electromagnetic theory. He is regarded by most modern physicists as the scientist of the 19th century who had the greatest influence on 20th-century physics, and he is ranked with Sir Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein for the fundamental nature of his contributions.
  • Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920): German physiologist and psychologist who is generally acknowledged as the founder of experimental psychology.
  • Joseph Lister (1883-1897): British surgeon and medical scientist who was the founder of antiseptic medicine and a pioneer in preventive medicine. While his method, based on the use of antiseptics, is no longer employed, his principle—that bacteria must never gain entry to an operation wound—remains the basis of surgery to this day.
  • Robert Koch (1843-1910): German physician and one of the founders of bacteriology. He discovered the anthrax disease cycle (1876) and the bacteria responsible for tuberculosis (1882) and cholera (1883). For his discoveries in regard to tuberculosis, he received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1905.

(Albert Einstein [1879-1955]: German-born physicist who developed the special and general theories of relativity and won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921 for his explanation of the photoelectric effect. Einstein is generally considered the most influential physicist of the 20th century. He published his most important papers in 1905)

Yet, until the end of the century, most of the significant research was done outside the walls of higher educational institutions. In Great Britain, for instance, it was the Royal Society and other such societies that fostered advanced studies and encouraged research. The basic curriculum of colleges and universities remained non-technical and nonprofessional. The English cardinal John Henry Newman, lecturing in Dublin on The Idea of a University in 1852, stated that the task of the university was broadly to prepare young men "to fill any post with credit, and to master any subject with facility." The university ought not to attempt professional and technical education.

While Newman's words epitomized the views held in most of Europe and America, some of the new universities in Germany were moving toward the expansion of the educational enterprise. In 1807 Fichte had drawn up a plan for the new University of Berlin, which Humboldt two years later was able to realize in its founding. The school was dedicated to the scientific approach to knowledge, to the combination of research and teaching, and to the proliferation of academic pursuits; and its ideal was adopted in the founding or reconstitution of other universities—Breslau (1811), Bonn (1818), Munich (1826). By the third quarter of the 19th century, the influence of German Lernfreiheit (freedom of the student to choose his own program) and Lehrfreiheit (freedom of the professor to develop the subject and to engage in research) was felt throughout the academic world. The unity of the universities, for better or worse, was more and more dissolved by the fragmentation of subjects into different branches. Some critics would eventually condemn what they considered to be the excesses of the free elective system and the extreme departmentalization of research and curricula. Much of the debate, however, would centre on the general education of undergraduates. In the meantime, the conviction, fathered in Germany, that research is a responsibility of universities was to inspire the founders of universities in the United States in the late 19th century.

  • J.J. Chambliss - Professor of Education, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey. Author of Educational Theory as Theory of Conduct.

German Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, byname University of Berlin, formerly (1810–1949) Friedrich Wilhelm University

University of Berlin: Coeducational state-supported institution of higher learning in Berlin. The university was founded in 1809–10 by the linguist, philosopher, and educational reformer Wilhelm von Humboldt, then Prussian minister of education. Under Humboldt's guidance the university, originally named after Frederick William III of Prussia, developed into the largest in Germany. It enrolled more than 1,750 students by 1840 and became a leader in teaching and research. The University of Berlin attained world renown for its modern curriculum, its impartial and non-dogmatic spirit of intellectual inquiry, and its specialized scientific research institutes, in which many basic techniques of laboratory experimentation were pioneered. The university's foremost professors in the 19th century included the philosophers G.W.F. Hegel, J.G. Fichte, and Arthur Schopenhauer; the historians Leopold von Ranke, Theodor Mommsen, and B.G. Niebuhr; the scientists Hermann von Helmholtz and Rudolf Virchow; the theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher; and the folklorists Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm.

In the 1930s the university underwent a decline when its faculty and curriculum were Nazified and many of its academic figures fled abroad. Under control of the German Democratic Republic after World War II, it was renamed Humboldt-Universität after its founder and given a Marxist-Leninist orientation in much of its curriculum.

"Humboldt University of Berlin." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite, 2013.

Let us ask an important question: Did the advent of Karl Marx mark a downward trend in German intellectualization, given the fact that his ideas do not measure up to the level of insightful prowess that other German thinkers have become so noted for? Is this the case for other societies as well? Since there are statistics on the increase and decrease of other productions in a variety of areas (mental illness, commodities, industrial production, consumer consumption, births, deaths, Gross National Product, crime, education scores, etc...), is Marx part of what today may be described as the Autistic Spectrum? What Marx a high functioning Autistic? Then again, how many professors, scholars, doctors, lawyers, etc., are not also high functioning Autistics or schizophrencs or some other "spectrum" of personality? Does all of this suggest an indication that the effects of a prolonged exposure by modern humans (beginning somewhere in the 200,000 to 30,000 years ago range), to the incremental deterioration of the planet is creating a saw-tooth chart of smartness and dumbness, where smartness can come to dominate awhile and then be overtaken by dumbness, both on an individual basis and collective basis; selectively isolated or a selectively enlarged area? And if dumbness comes to dominate, will we have enough smart people to assist humanity in getting off the planet, or will the dumbness come to dominate in social "programs" like a practice of Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist-Maoist, etc., Communisms which effect education systems to teach people to think just as stupidly as Marx did and subject intellectuals to a retraining program used by the Chinese? Is the dumbing-down of all education systems an inevitability and the people of the world to be subjected to more and more idiots in business, government and religion?

The attitude of the Chinese communists toward intellectuals is, in large measure, influenced by their ideology. While workers and peasants were raised to the top position, the intellectuals were downgraded because they were considered products of bourgeois and feudal education and perpetuators of bourgeois ideology. The communist policy was to "absorb and reform" the intellectuals.

The intellectuals were made to undergo thorough thought remodeling to be "cleansed" of bourgeois ideas and attitudes. The remodeling began with relatively mild measures, such as "political study" and "reeducation." The policy became increasingly oppressive in the 1950s when intellectuals were pressured to take part in the class struggle of the land reform and in orchestrated attacks on university professors, writers, artists, and intellectuals in different walks of life. The intellectuals—especially those who had studied in Western schools or had been employed by Western firms—were forced to write autobiographies giving details of their reactionary family and educational background, pinpointing their ideological shortcomings, and confessing their failings.

  • Oskar Anweiler- Professor of Education, University of the Ruhr, Bochum, Germany. Author of Geschichte der Schule und Pädagogik in Russland, vom Ende des Zarenreiches bis zum Beginn der Stalin-Ära.

"education." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite, 2013.

Date of Origination: Sundday, January 26th, 2020... 9:21 AM
Initial Posting: Saturday, February 1st, 2020... 12:36 PM
Updated Posting: Thursday, February 20th, 2020... 2:15 PM

Your Questions, Comments or Additional Information are welcomed:
Herb O. Buckland