Karlstein Heinrich Metz (May 5, 1818 – March 14, 1883) was a Dundorfian 19th-century philosopher, political economist, sociologist, humanist, political theorist and revolutionary.
He founded the socialist thought known as Metzism.
His socialism, known as scientific socialism, differented from the utopic socialism in following:
The utopian socialists only wanted to make small places, if they wanted to make them, but scientific socialists wants to make the whole world socialistic, and they involve the history, the classes and other things in their ideology.
Metz was born in Dundorf on 5th May 1818. He died, aged sixty-four, on 14th March 1883.
Metz's Ideas of RevolutionEdit
Metz was extremely critical of the capitalist economic system; saying it caused alienation, exploitation, and recurring, cyclical depressions leading to mass unemployment. He hypothesised that it would be overthrown by the workers, or proletariat, in the form of a revolution. Through his evolutionary model of history, Metz believed that a trend towards the coercion and dehumanisation of work made revolution an inescapable consequence of capitalism. Metz referred to capitalists as "vampires, sucking worker's blood"
Metz's vision, of a society in which the means of production (meaning all things required in the production process such as land, equipment, tools and so on) were communally owned, was not immediately realised. Metzist thought has led to countless political movements, parties and groups and continues to do so but there is heated debate over the success and legitimacy of the various states which have implemented a socialist/communist system.
Metz was inspired by the philosophical concept dialectics.
Dialectics is about that all changes is an important part of everything, and that it is opposites that makes the changes. Metz formulated three laws of dialectics:
Law of Opposites Edit
Metz started with the observation that everything in existence is a unity of opposites. For example, electricity is characterized by a positive and negative charge and atoms consist of protons and electrons which are unified but are ultimately contradictory forces. Even humans through introspection find that they are a unity of opposite qualities. Masculinity and femininity, selfishness and altruism, humbleness and pride, and so forth. The Metzian conclusion being that everything "contains two mutually incompatible and exclusive but nevertheless equally essential and indispensable parts or aspects." The basic concept being that this unity of opposites in nature is the thing that makes each entity auto-dynamic and provides this constant motivation for movement and change. This idea was borrowed from Jörg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel who said: "Contradiction in nature is the root of all motion and of all life."
This dichotomy is often found in nature. A star is held together by gravity trying to push all the molecules to the center, and heat trying to send them as far from the center as possible. If either force is completely successful the star ceases to be, if heat is victorious it explodes into a supernova, if gravity is victorious it implodes into a neutron star or a black hole. Furthermore, living things strive to balance internal and external forces to maintain homeostasis, which is nothing more than a balance of opposing forces such as acidity and alkalinity.
Law of Negation Edit
The law of negation was created to account for the tendency in nature to constantly increase the numerical quantity of all things. Metz decided that entities tend to negate themselves in order to advance or reproduce a higher quantity. This means that the nature of opposition which produces conflict in each element and gives them motion also tends to negate the thing itself. This dynamic process of birth and destruction is what causes entities to advance. This law commonly simplified as the cycle of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis, or position, negation, and the negation of the negation.
In nature Metz often cited the case of the barley seed which, in its natural state, germinates and out of its own death or negation produces a plant, the plant in turn grows to maturity and is itself negated after bearing many barley seeds. Thus, all nature is constantly expanding through cycles.
In society we have the case of class. For example the aristocracy was negated by the bourgeoisie, the bourgeoisie then created the proletariat that will one day negate them. Illustrating that the cycle of negation is eternal as each class creates its "grave-digger", its successor, as soon as it finishes burying its creator.
Law of Transformation Edit
This law states that continuous quantitive development results in qualitative "leaps" in nature whereby a completely new form or entity is produced. This is how "quantitative development becomes qualitative change". Transformation allows for the reverse with quality affecting quantity.
This theory draws many parallels to the theory of Evolution. Metzian philosophers concluded that entities, through quantitative accumulations are also inherently capable of "leaps" to new forms and levels of reality. The law illustrates that during a long period of time, through a process of small, almost irrelevant accumulations, nature develops noticeable changes in direction.
This can be illustrated by the eruption of a volcano which is caused by years of pressure building up. The volcano may no longer be a mountain but when its lava cools it will become fertile land where previously there was none. A revolution which is caused by years of tensions between opposing factions in society acts as a social illustration. The law occurs in reverse. An example would be, that by introducing better (changing quality) tools to farm, the tools will aid the increase in the amount (change quantity) of what is produced.
Different Kinds of MetzismEdit
After Metz death the Metzian movement was split between the Leonidist faction created by Vladimir Leonid (April 22 1870 – January 21, 1924), and the left communist or Kaminskist faction, created by Leon Kaminski. A third faction was the reformist faction, that advocated reforms instead of revolution, but even many revolutionary communist parties says, that it is hard but possible to achieve socialism through reforms.
His theory was, that the workers needed a vanguard party of professional revolutionaries to lead them to communism. He was killed under the First Dundorfian Civil War, between the socialists and those who prefered capitalism.
Books by MetzEdit
Metz wrote the following books:
The Dundorfian Ideology (1845), The Holy Family (1845), Manifesto of the Communist Party (1848), Capital (1885)