Diet Soap Podcast #157: Real Abstract Robots?

The guest this week is Brendan Cooney and we discuss his Law of Value youtube video series (I play the soundtrack for his second video), and discuss real abstractions as explained in Marx’s bestselling book Capital. We start off discussing whether Data from the television show Star Trek the Next Generation would generate value if he time traveled to this current Capitalist economy.

I am still planning on canceling the Podomatic feed for Diet Soap and moving the podcast to If you subscribe to podcast through podomatic you’ll need to change over to the new feed by the end of the month, that means that the next podcast will be the last podcast on the podomatic website. In that episode I’ll try to explain just how to find the Diet Soap RSS feed from Blubrry. When I make the switch I’m also going to restart the Diet Soap philosophy workshop and that workshop will continue weekly, or at least it will be a part of every episode. That means that while I’ll continue on discussing Hegel once a month, I’ve decided to expand the workshop to a weekly format. After each Diet Soap episode subscribers to the podcast will get a chance to participate in a conversation about that episode. So, yes, there will be regular Hegel episodes, but subscribers will also get a chance to discuss all the different subjects that we cover or bring up their own ideas. Finally, I am also going to start a monthly podcast with C. Derick Varn called Pop the Left. We’ll take a critical look at the politics of the Left from a Leftist perspective and, at first, that’ll be hosted through the same RSS feed as Diet Soap, but if a few more people donate or subscribe I’ll start a second feed for Pop the Left on its own. So, you can help me start a new podcast by donating today.

Hegel does in fact find social practice that embodies an abstract pattern. It’s in Philosophy of History; the process of Spirit unfolding into the world and eventually finding its ultimate expression of Freedom (the ability to do, not merely caprice) in the German monarchy.

14 Sep 2012, 3:48pm
by douglaslain


According to Johann B Stallo “The ultimate goal of Hegel’s history is true, subjective freedom of man as an individual and as a universal being. Hegel divides history into several distinct stages (namely, the Oriental, the Persian, the Greek, the Roman, the German, and the Modern). Each of these civilizations is defined by its relationship to Spirit; from the Oriental to the Modern stage, this relationship with Spirit has expanded and become more subjective. Each civilization undergoes a dialectical clash with the next; for example, the Romans took the unrestrained individual subjectivity of the Greeks and subjugated it to the political objective Universality of the Roman state. The result of this dialectical opposition was a new relationship with Spirit that was more complex than it had previously been, but had not yet reached the ultimate peak of complete subjective individuality. Not until the German world, with the Catholic Church bringing individuals back to a contemplation of the subjective relation to Spirit while also promoting the objective Universal through its ecclesiastical structure, did true freedom become a possibility.”

So, while it’s clear Hegel saw the German world as a necessary step on the road to Freedom, is it really true that he saw the German Monarchy as the end of the line?

18 Sep 2012, 10:08pm
by Paul Gregory


I loved the answer to Brendan’s orthodox view on Hegel, ie Zizek’s explanation which I think is spot on. This is crucial, and why I think theory is important, as both Marx and Lenin understood. I hope the next poscasts get’s into a conversation about this issues. I’m at the beginning of ‘Theory’ but I know Hegel is not something I can ignore if I’m serious about understanding Marx. Keep up the good work. P.S. I’d love a podcast on Humanism.


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