Friday, February 5, 2016

Utilitarianism And The Radical Left

In general the Left in Ireland is utilitarian in their moral and political philosophy. It is forever making demands for this and that. Generally its demands are not concerned with the need for the emancipation of the working class together with the need to eliminate alienation. This is because it does not seek the elimination of capitalism. Instead it seeks the Utilitarian increase in pleasure and reduction in pain. The greater happiness principle of Jeremy Bentham. The latter believed that “the greater happiness of the greatest number” was achievable within capitalism. This is essentially the position of much of the radical Left. This Left is not even reformist. Reformists claim that it is possible to incrementally turn capitalism into socialism by means of reforms. This Left’s call for socialism is at most aspirational. It does not dialectically tie it in with its Utilitarian Action Programmes. It's political philosophy is a vulgar version of Utilitarianism. It is not even aware of the Utilitarian moral assumptions underlying its political outlook.

Utilitarianism is a reductionist moral philosophy. For it the unit of society is the individual. Consequently it ignores class division and advocates cross class policies as does much of the Irish Left. It's active leadership of the anti-property tax and anti-water rates campaigns are an example of this. It's support for electoralism is another. The latter means the support of the atomisation of the working class though elections under representative democracy.