Marx the Philosopher and Guns

B-29 machine gun ammunition

B-29 Super Fortress machine gun ammunition. 1944.

America is more Marxist than it thinks! Commonly, the response to an idea produces the opposite of the desired or intended effect! The power of these opposites back the powers behind the national fetish with guns: instead of a decrease in guns, only an increase in ownership is seen as safe. In place of background checks and registries, only unrestricted ownership unfurls precious freedom. This clash of opposites is classic Marxism. But it deviates: textbook Marxism says these opposites interpenetrate; they combine and interact to develop something new. This is where the process is being interrupted; the natural evolution and progression of ideas with in society is being severely restrained, esp. when it comes to guns.

This restraint takes two forms: one, legislative and governmental–the resistance to any law or regulation that would reduce the wrongful or accidental misuse of guns (during domestic violence, for example). The other is unspoken inner rush that comes from gun use: pulling the trigger produces changes in body chemistry as the most potent drugs, a wide tunnel enlarges to engulf consciousness and raises an inner level of power that only a gun provides. Gun owners know this sensation, but it is missing in our national conversation and seldom shared.

This power addiction turns a gun owner into an army of one. Like all addicts, their state of denial will not let them adequately assess the risks or the carnage created. “Cars kill more,” they say–missing the point.

Points missed: Marx was a philosopher who put forth a theory of social interaction and power–his ideas were incorporated into an ideology that distorted his work–as conservatism distorted the work of Edmund Burke (expanding individual freedom is inconsistent with restrictions on rights a woman has over her body, for example).

Marx’s contribution to theory, workable and tested, is to provide a model that describes how opposing social forces work; sometimes one dominates, other times a pushback occurs. (Marx’s philosophy is not “for” anything; it’s a model. It actually uses Aristotle’s categories and Hegel’s method, applied to the material world, its structures and functions.)

Gun ownership is quite different, Many democracies and capitalist countries don’t have the right to own guns!

Owning a gun for defense still deflects from the silent secret that gun owners know, one so powerful that police are trained to disregard its effects (my brother is a retired training officer), the adrenaline/endorphin rush associated with fire arms discharge. An exception doesn’t change the rule: the rush occurs, is addictive, and ignored when issues of safe use arise.

Robert Merton, Talcott Parsons, C. Wright Mills (the power elite), Emile Durkheim, and Daniel Bell (his view of the post-industrial world counters the myth of craft jobs returning) all offer models and concepts for thinking about modern problems. Marx works best for describing opposing forces. Advocacy is different.

The Right to Sue the Gun Industry – The New York Times


~~Marx has nothing to do with a mob of people taking the law into their own hands, deciding when and where they shoot, and under what circumstances.

~~Thanks for the physiology lesson. I own firearms and have used them in the course of my employment. I understand exactly why I carry a concealed weapon when I am not working and sometimes when I am. I won’t use vague euphemisms like self defense or liberty. I carry a weapon to kill or inflict serious physical injury on other people or animals if they are a threat to me or the people with me. Its a burden. Its a responsibility because if I am wrong, if I make a mistake I can make an irreversible error that ends life as I know it. The other option is to not carry a weapon and hope that somebody else can come to our rescue. Of course when I’m working that’s not an option.
Not frothing at the mouth over the issue. Not trying to be ugly about it. I don’t have any delusions about the issue. I know there are people that want a firearm because it makes them feel powerful. They now hold a tool that makes them capable of taking a life. Sure you could do the same thing with a rock, but now you can do it with way less effort. The sad fact is that as long as people feel like killing other people this will never stop. The tech that enable a mass shooting has been with us since at least the 1860s. Take away semi automatics and you have revolvers. You feel that there should only be bolt action, single shot rifles? The guy that climbed the tower at UT Austin used just that.

~~The right to own guns is … Marxist?

I give you credit, Walter, at least for originality.

Please show me all the Marxist, communist nations where the citizens own guns, and have a legal Constitutional right to own guns. Then we can discuss.


Make History: Leave A Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s