Ernst Bloch: The cat falls on its four paws, who has not learned to think falls into eternal yesterday

Anonyme, Thursday, September 18, 2008 - 01:07


A few months ago, on June 18, 2008, in an article "Venezuela: Youth, Students, Education and Marxism", I reminded us that "youth itself, youthful anticipatory daydreams, (form) the concrete, utopian principle of hope (Ernst Bloch)!" In his work, "Marx als Denker der Revolution" (Marx as the Theoretician of Revolution), Bloch (widely seen as the father of the 1968 student movement in Europe and elsewhere) emphasized that "Youth
is driven by a dim presentiment of things to come," of something ahead, of the crimson dawn on the red human horizon. It suspects already what it does not want, however, it does "not yet" know what is to be done, what is to be thought, how to venture beyond this capitalist, terrorist vale of tears.

Already in 1974, at the eve of global fascism, the philosopher of conceptual anticipation, of juvenile fantasy and of youthful imagination has warned us of the possible coming, of a global “Farewell to Utopia".

At this ominous historic moment, in "the darkness of the fleeting moment" (Bloch), at the foot of the light house, we could imagine what premonition of apocalyptic events to come, real true youthfulness should perceive via its 'exvolutionary' antenna, across its 'transhistorical' faculties. Currently hope and utopìa are falling on severe times, on neither the best enlightened nor the worst obscure times. It really seems that global fascism is on its way to shatter all youthful, utopian daydreams of century-old social, religious, bourgeois and socialist utopias. In globalization, Mother Utopia, like Mother Nature, seems to be totally draped in a dark mourning veil.

Nonetheless, since decades, with the youth, ranging from singular adolescence to plural accumulation of youthfulness (to old age), about what are we discussing in our university classes? In our meetings with the common folks, with the workers and peasants of Mérida State and elsewhere? Within our projects of repairing streets, of constructing water pipe-lines, homes, workers' organizations, a socialist party, socialism in the 21st century? Inventing defense measures and mechanisms against death squads, sabotage and coups? About continental solidarity and permanent world revolution and emancipation?

In the article mentioned above, I summarized out local, regional and global contradictory state of affairs as follows:
Many of us are still believing in colonial myths and religious fabrications, are dancing on the sinking imperialist Titanic and are picnicking on a rumbling, already erupting, globalized, corporate volcano, that has been struck by a powerful particle liberated from the nether world. Similarly, mighty earthquakes generated by HAARP in Alaska, using Tesla technology, in chain reaction are now shaking the very foundations of human existence; droughts and famine drive us out of existence. The greenback is in agony, it does not trust in God anymore; oil prices are reaching record heights, millions die of hunger, a terrible world war is being launched, many of us feel nothing, see nothing, think nothing. ...".

Now, according to the Marxist philosopher of hope, Ernst Bloch, in what and in the hands and minds of whom can fundable, sound optimism still be placed, in order to still have a real possibility of global materialization?

Bloch reminds us that Hope is not Confidence, is not triumphalism. Nothing is sure about a hopeful socialist victory in Venezuela, not in coming elections, not in the construction of a socialist party. The serpentine road towards emancipation is besieged with all kinds of dangers. The experiment Bolivarian Revolution, the Experiment (Wo)man, experimentum mundi, all could fail, precisely because planetary life itself is an experiment.

The real heinous crime against humanity, committed by arrogant, racist rulers has its quintessence in this global destruction of planetary existence.

However, Bloch assures us that nothing has been won as yet, but also, not all is lost as yet. Hence, in the zeitgeist (spirit of our era), in the gigantic battle against global barbarism, President Chávez hopefully is still stressing that we do not have any alternative, we have to be victorious! Bloch calls this sound, militant optimism.

In what Marx has defined as an 'epoch of social revolution', Bloch identifies three major revolutionary forces: Times of Radical Social Change, Immense Human Productivity and Creativity and Fiery Youth.

Beyond doubt we are not only experiencing an era of dramatic social contradictions and convulsions, the very old world order is ripping itself apart. A mode of profit production has become a mode of human destruction.

Industrial and military technology has reached 'divine', creative heights; men-gods are becoming micro-, meso- and macro-cosmic scientific invaders and vandals. Genetically, in a biblical sense, soon they will create a new species of sexy female robots with a Miss Universe interface from their very own radio-active ribs.

As far as the fiery revolutionary youth is concerned, gone are the golden sixties. Globally, Murdoch is playing the juvenile tune. The local and national mass media throw some more oil on the burning, suffering of the controlled teenage conscience. Capitalist education and bourgeois socialization infiltrate millions of innocent brains, causing scientific lethargy and ideological inertia. In Venezuela and in great parts of Latin America, like in many countries of the South, as late as in the 21st century, the "opium of the people" is still playing havoc with the minds and souls of the manipulated and indoctrinated youth. By the way, it is important to note, the famous phrase
"opium of the people" was coined by Charles Kingsley, Canon of the Church of England. In those days, in the first half of the 19th century it was the talk of the town in London. There Marx picked it up. The original definitions formulated by Marx were that religion is "the sigh of the oppressed creature", is "the heart of a heartless world".

Although we do not have much time anymore, world revolution is an epoch in itself, in the era of the decay of capitalism. In "Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism", Lenin already made us aware of this fact, also, in 1938, in the Transitional Program of the Fourth International, Trotsky made reference to the agony of capitalism.

Compared to the French, American and Industrial Revolutions, to the heyday of liberal capitalism, really current corporate imperialism has become senile, obsolete and redundant ... in a word, mortal.

A few days ago, on September 15, at the foundation congress of the youth movement of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), held in Bolivar State, President Chávez underlined the necessity of making the Bolivarian Revolution at all costs. He stressed that if we really want peace in Venezuela, then we better start to prepare for war against foreign invasions and internal military coups. Within this context the revolutionary youth has to play a central role.

The anticipatory and emancipatory message of Bloch from the future in the past and in the present is that for a socialist vanguard party revolutionary theory is indispensable and that thinking is venturing beyond. With reference to emancipatory praxis and theory he reiterated the following:

The cat falls on its four paws, the human being who has not learned to think for himself, falls into the oblivion of eternal yesterday.

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