Saturday, January 10, 2009


Thomas Riggins

Lets see what Marxists think about the two following (and very famous) propositions. Are they true or false and what are the consequences if they are true? If they are false? Can you have one without the other?

Proposition One:” Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains. Those who think themselves the masters of others are indeed greater slaves than they.” True or False

Proposition Two: “In order then that the social compact may not be an empty formula it tacitly includes the undertaking, which alone can give force to the rest, that whoever refuses to obey the general will shall be compelled to do so by the whole body. This means nothing less than he will be forced to be free.” True or False

We might also wonder if these ideas are compatible with Marxism or not. That is should Marxists say “yikes!” that’s not what we are about? Or should they say. “Right On!” you are not a Marxist if you don’t agree with this?

We often complain that we don’t have a lot of theoretical clarity, so lets see if we can be clear about this? I hope we don’t get a flood of ideological toxic sludge.