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Is there a Class Struggle on Religious Forums?

Discussion in 'General Debates' started by Laika, Nov 5, 2020.

  1. Laika

    Laika Well-Known Member
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    Karl Marx and Fredrich Engels began The Communist Manifesto of 1848 with the sentence; “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles”. For the purpose of this thread, I would like to propose that Religiousforums.com is itself an arena of class struggle and that various classes are engaged in forms of class struggle on the forums itself.

    I appreciate that this will seem somewhat absurd when taken at face value. Describing the interactions we have on religiousforums.com as a “class struggle” or interpreting them as part of human history is fairly grandiose. However, each of us are participants and makers of history in our own small way and the discussions we have on here are part the process of the realisation and struggle of ideas by which people make decisions that determine their behaviour. We all make history, even if none of us are going to end up on the cover of history books.

    Additionally, there may be specific objections to the reference to “class” and “class struggle” if only because we experience the forums as the process of individual users debating ideas in discussions. These individuals do not identify themselves consciously with a class, nor do we understand the struggle over ideas necessarily as a struggle between classes, of which we ourselves are a part and our ideas are a product.

    It should be clear that, for the most part, the content of the forums, the ideas expressed by its users and the discussions that takes place, are a reflection of many of the discussions that occur offline. Simply because these discussions take place on a relatively new medium, the internet, does not mean it is independent of the political and economic realities that exist offline.

    In the same way we might understand books, newspapers and television as often expressing the views of the capitalist class who own the means of production in the printing presses and the broadcasting stations. Importantly, most of the discussions that occur on religiousforums.com are essentially discussing particular forms of media, such as a news article on currents published by the media and the recent publication of a new book and the controversies surrounding it. The forum acts as a means to debate the products of a corporate-capitalist media and what we discuss is usually only a reflection of what is in the news.

    Whilst we may recognise ourselves as part of an online community, it remains ultimately the private property of the site owner and the staff ultimately have to work within the legal relations of a capitalist society in determining what content is permissible on the forums, balancing the need to maintain activity with the standard of that activity to maximise advertising revenue and profits for the site owner. Religiousforums.com is ultimately part of an online capitalist economy, based upon legal relations of capitalism, which transforms our voluntary contributions in to the site in to a marketable commodity that can make money through advertising.

    If you are an older member of the forums, you’ll typically recognise that the forums goes through extraordinarily repetitive processes of discussion and counter-discussion based on topics that generate particular controversy and activity. Whether we like it or not, we exist in an online environment where we are compelled to line up with people who are sympathetic to our views against those who are in opposition to them, or else remain relatively quiet because we hold a position that does not “fit” into the mainstream divisions within a controversy.

    This is particularly self-evident during American elections, where people ultimately endorse one of the two major-party candidates and a minority support third-parties or otherwise refuse to vote at all. It would be only a small step to argue that the struggle over ideas, in this context, reflects particular class interests and that the battle of ideas on the forums, is itself part of the battle between classes in wider society.

    Do you think this is a fair interpretation of how the forum works or am I just a "commie space dog" barking up the wrong tree? Are there specific objections you have in mind that need to be clarified, or is it simply the very notion of “class struggle” that raises objections?
     
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  2. Eddi

    Eddi eddifying

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    An interesting post!

    "Is there a Class Struggle on Religious Forums"?

    Three things come to mind:

    1) I think religion is a factor in class conflict, therefore RF has something to do with class struggle

    2) And that instead of being active on RF people could be activley engaged in class struggle

    3) It serves to reproduce certain ideologies/world views that work to favour the ruling class

    So therefore yes :D

    But it is a place in which the ruling class's discourses can be contested - just as we are doing in this thread!
     
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  3. Secret Chief

    Secret Chief Meghalayan Ape

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    Interesting OP.
    The world is much changed and fractured since the time of Marx and Engels. One can still identify "class" but is there still a "struggle" ? Or has there been a victor?
     
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  4. Estro Felino

    Estro Felino Believer in free will
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    I do believe every voice deserves to be heard.
    Because, in Economics every social class has to play a role and be able to cooperate within the economic system, or as some Economist would say in the monetary circuit.

    Everyone's interest has to be satisfied. This harmoniously.
     
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  5. Eddi

    Eddi eddifying

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    I think it is impossible for the capitalist class to be victorious as it requires the existence of subordinate classes in order to exist, it is parasitic in nature - if by "victorious" one means to totally overcome the influence of the opposing class and to quell its resistance

    On the other hand, the working classes can do without the capitalist class, therefore theoretically it could "win" class struggle by doing away with the capitalists... or making them a subordinate class!
     
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  6. KAT-KAT

    KAT-KAT Well-Known Member

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    I'm not really seeing it.

    RF reminds me more of just a two party political system that kind of functions more as a left wing site yet has a ring wing name. Socialism, getting something for free, happens through frubals. And capitalism exists too, in the way that you said Laika.
     
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  7. Secret Chief

    Secret Chief Meghalayan Ape

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    Could you explain this?
     
  8. Estro Felino

    Estro Felino Believer in free will
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    For example...I have criticized many times the Banking System of Europe and the US...
    There might be bankers here among some RF member who might have felt targeted...

    I am aware of it
    I just expressed my personal opinion...
    I think everyone is entitled to.:)
     
  9. KAT-KAT

    KAT-KAT Well-Known Member

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    Socialism isn't all about getting something for free. But it can be. In modern day at least.

    Basically, the community has something they tend to exchange. Frubals. That's socialism. The fact that people are receiving something for free fits even better with socialism, because in socialism, sometimes people do get things without great hardship.
     
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  10. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    You get frubals for free? Why the heck am I tithing ten percent to @Quagmire for? He told me 'no money, no honey', so I assumed he meant...

    Oh.

    Wait.

    *Blushes*

    Nevermind
     
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  11. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    I think it's an interesting perspective, and worthy of thought/discussion.

    However I think it takes a conclusion and stuffs the evidence into it, rather than following the evidence wherever it might lead.
     
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  12. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    I think this is a bit ridiculous.

    To conclude, from the "ownership of the means of production" of print and electronic media, that the content must be capitalist is rather absurd. Most news content is neither "capitalist" nor "socialist, nor anything -ist in particular: it is just news. While all news reports have some bias, because that is human nature, one can get a fairly good impression, most of the time, by consulting several sources.

    Furthermore, most of what we discuss here is not current affairs at all but ideas of various sorts.

    If one does not accept that the subject matter we discuss here is class-based, then the rest of your argument falls to bits.
     
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  13. Eddi

    Eddi eddifying

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    But Frubals are acquired by producing good content for RF...

    They are awarded in exchange for producing good content, a reward for making the site better

    (people love acquiring points, that's human nature)

    So that more people come to RF and stay for longer - thus increasing advertising revenue

    That's capitalism :D
     
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  14. Stevicus

    Stevicus Veteran Member
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    I agree that much of what is discussed here might be seen in other media, as well as in offline discussions throughout society. Most of the topics we see here can be found in any number of forums - religious, political, or otherwise. The issues and lines of argumentation seem to follow similar patterns, regardless of which forum it's in.

    So, whatever class struggle or political struggle may exist in society overall will likely be reflected here. On the other hand, it's not as if everyone is at each other's throats. The demographics of the forum may also be interesting to note. I get the sense that many, if not most, of the members here are more mature, more seasoned, and perhaps a bit more mellow than forums which appeal to the younger crowd.

    I'm thinking that there may be a larger class struggle on the internet in general. Some websites, forums, and social media seem to get more attention and carry more influence than others. Someone can post on Twitter and make national news, whereas someone posting on RF might get a few frubals.
     
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  15. KAT-KAT

    KAT-KAT Well-Known Member

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    Shoot! They're making money off everything I do!
     
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  16. Laika

    Laika Well-Known Member
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    I would only add to @Eddi 's comments that "class struggle" refers to the struggle between classes and not a specific method of struggle. We tend to think of class struggle as a violent struggle (i.e. wars, revolutions, civil wars, dictatorships) but actually it has a broader definition which includes non-violent methods (e.g. peaceful protests, civil disobedience, strike actions by unions and workers, and the discussion of ideas).

    I think it goes without question that the capitalist class is extremely dominant right now, but the class struggle with the working class isn't over. Rather, it is being waged by non-violent methods and could, once again, adopt violent methods in the future depending on the circumstances.
     
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  17. bobhikes

    bobhikes AntiRepublican
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    The problem I have is that I don't see any class alinement. Most of the posts are individual and as someone that be on for several years these individuals keep their same thoughts through out the years. The only struggle is to get others to believe in your thoughts not to a group of similar thinkers. Even within Groups such as Catholics, Atheists, or Muslims there is extreme individuality.

    As to the owners/moderator's they only enforce rules not content and even engage with the content of all others and let all others engage in there content.

    The RF is not how I understand a class struggle. I would label the RF more as a Philosophical Forum than any type of government.
     
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  18. Secret Chief

    Secret Chief Meghalayan Ape

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    I sure hope revolution comes from the 3.5% spoken of. I appreciate struggle is/can be non-violent but my experience of working class people (I am working class) is that their outlook is broadly non-socialist. They're not taking part in a class struggle of any kind imo. (My values are probably also different in some ways to the thinking of Marx).
     
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  19. Hermit Philosopher

    Hermit Philosopher Selflessly here for you

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    Dear Laika

    I think you’d get further analysing the interaction on this forum from a structuralist perspective. Instead of Marx, look into Bourdieu and terms relating to social capital. They may be more valid than those measuring economic capital, in this particular case.


    Humbly
    Hermit
     
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  20. Laika

    Laika Well-Known Member
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    My experience is the same honestly. Even though Capitalism has been in deep trouble for many years (since the financial crisis in 2008 for example), people are not receptive to Marxist ideas at all and are quite hostile to it. This includes the working class and most of the membership of far-left parties in Britain or America these days is from young people (primarily students) and maybe a much older group left over from the 1960's and 70's. People of working age don't typically engage with the philosophical, political and social question Marxism raises, partly because they don't have the time, but also because most of them don't care that much either.
     
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