Summary of Dr. Darren Staloff, Alvin Gouldner

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In the video, Dr. Darren Staloff discusses the work of Alvin Gouldner, a critical Marxist sociologist. He explains how Gouldner's work sheds light on the limitations of Marxism and its effects on society. Dr. Staloff also discusses the implications of the asiatic mode of production on Marxist theory, and how this could impact the idea of revolution.

  • 00:00:00 Darren Staloff, an academic sociologist, discusses the late Alvin Gouldner and his work on critical Marxist social theory. Gouldner argued that traditional academic sociology is biased and that Marx's theory is full of contradictions. He writes three books in the late 1970s, "The Dark Side of the Dialectic", "I Love the Title", and "The Dialectic of Ideology". These texts explore the limits of Marxism and its effects on society.
  • 00:05:00 In the 18th century, a communications revolution led to the proliferation of cheap newspapers and journals, which in turn allowed for the diffusion of ideologies. This revolution, which was based on the development of cheap rag paper and the mode of production of print media, was particularly important in the context of the overthrow of the asean regime. Social science relies on this same revolution to provide commands and reports, while ideology relies on it to supply a venue for the diffusion of ideologies.
  • 00:10:00 Darren Staloff discusses how ideology can be revealed as biased and class-based, and how this can be a problem for ideologies. He then goes on to discuss how the proletariat is not usually the main player in social revolutions, and how the vanguard party is a key part of this. Finally, he discusses how the rise of the new class may be a sign of the limitations of ideology.
  • 00:15:00 In the video, Dr. Darren Staloff discusses the "new class" of professionals that have grown in numbers in the last 100 years. He explains that this class is the beneficiary of post-industrial society, the information age, and the "information superhighway." He also discusses the traditional humanistic intellectuals, which he believes are the real clash struggle of the modern period. The moneyed and the educated classes are in conflict, as the former benefits from the latter's rise. However, this traditional theory of clash struggle does not fit with Marx's writings, which describe class struggles between an old elite and a new rising elite. In fact, when one looks at actual class struggles in history, they are always between an old elite and a new rising elite. This sheds light on the Marxist claim that present capitalist societies are flawed because the bourgeoisie can make the same claim about present socialist regimes.
  • 00:20:00 Darren Staloff, a doctor and professor, discusses the differences between the two classes in American society, the new class and the old class. He argues that the new class is better qualified and rational than any of the other classes that have come before it, and that it is destined to win in the long term.
  • 00:25:00 Darren Staloff, a traditional moxologist, discusses two forms of Marxism-critical and scientific. Critical Marxism is found in Marx's early Hegelian and romantic writings, while scientific Marxism is found in Marx's later writings and is associated with Das Capital. Goldner argues that the division of Marxism into these two camps reflects different interests within the Marxist project as well as different interpretations of Marx's writings. The second phase of Marxism-the attempt to apply the new paradigm to cases-is ignored in traditional marxology.
  • 00:30:00 Darren Staloff discusses the possible implications of the asiatic mode of production on Marxist theory. He points out that while Marx did theorize about property classes and the state, his theory might not be exclusive to Europe. Additionally, he discusses the possible existence of non-property classes in eastern Europe, and how this could impact Marxist theory.
  • 00:35:00 Darren Staloff and Alvin Gouldner discuss the history and meaning of Marx's theory of the proletariat, which has a hidden "nightmare" at its heart. They argue that Marx's theory of revolution is dependent on the existence of private property and proprietary classes in industrialized societies. If this is not the case, revolution is not possible. The legacy of this project is the understanding that Marxism is not a science, and that it can lead to a new form of Oriental despotism.
  • 00:40:00 Darren Staloff discusses how Alvin Gouldner's work has implications for sociology, political science, and cultural history. Gouldner argued that intellectuals, or those who have assimilated high culture, are a new class in history and that they may be the oldest class in the world. He also discusses the relationship between moral philosophy and the Plato complex.
  • 00:45:00 Dr. Darren Staloff, a psychiatrist, discusses the concept of oriental despotism, which he defines as a form of government in which one person or group exercises complete control over a population. He states that this type of government is common in Southeast Asia and East Asia, and is often associated with poor quality of life and low levels of freedom. Dr. Staloff argues that the concept of oriental despotism is important because it helps to understand the relationship between government and society, and how this relationship can be changed.

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