Most famous, false ideas in philosophy and social theory are not completely false, but are one-sided exaggerations of the truth. Take Marx's theory of history, for instance: there is a germ of truth in it, as class struggle often has been an large factor in the course of events, and the material forces of production are important. Where the theory goes wrong is in blowing these truths out of all proportion, and treating them as if they were the only truths about history, as if regional conflict and ethnic clashes and ideological struggles and just plain old personal factors meant nothing or next-to-nothing.


  1. In my time at CounterPunch and other radical anarchist web-sites (which I don't habitually frequent, I assure you), I have noticed the same thing.

    In the view of anarchists, every thing is a class struggle against capitalists. Everything.

    The Arab Spring? Class struggle against the capitalist overlords of the Arab world!

    (Notwithstanding the participation of wealthy capitalists in overthrowing Mubarak, such as some elite Muslim Brotherhood members).

    The insurgency against the governments in Ecuador and other parts of Latin America? Class struggle of tribals against urban capitalist government rulers!

    (Notwithstanding that Ecuador's prime minister and ruling party are themselves "anti-imperial" self-styled socialists)

    The struggles between Israel and its enemies? Israeli capitalists vs. the Arab worker!

    [Never mind that Hezbollah is run by wealthy capitalists themselves and that Hezbollah has killed Israel soldiers (some of whom are likely working class).]


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