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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 4, No. 2. March 26, 1941

Bourgeois Mysticism

Bourgeois Mysticism.

We meet in the esoteric wilderness of Oxford-Group mysticism the traditional bourgeois distortions of reality, the customary rechauffee of exploded fallacies. We recognise the atomic conception of society, that society is a collection of individuals arbitrarily bound together, instead of a dynamic something above the mere sum of individuals; something self-moving, necessary. An individual considered apart from the rest of society is an abstraction and but part of the truth. Groups of individuals are the only reality—we must work as classes.

Moreover moral change docs not precede and determine social change. Though "men provide their circumstances as much as circumstances product the men" (Marx-Engels), the coincidence of the changing of circumstances and of human activity can only be understood as revolutionising practice. (Marx).

Thus the individual can only transcend his status as an individual by social intercourse. Hence knowledge is obviously social, i.e., discovered as the result of social practice. The forces of production change and develop continually but this fund of social theory, this idealogical superstructure, tends to fall behind and crystallize. It becomes a conservative force and must finally be overthrown by a revolutionary ideology when its upholders are overthrown by a revolutionary class. Practice is primary. "By thus acting on the external world and changing it, he (man) at the same time changes his own nature." (Marx-Canital).