The Materialist Conception of Man

The Shawarma Bolshevik
6 min readAug 24, 2022


A Marxist Perspective of the Human Psyche

For years, philosophers have grappled with the age-old question of the human purpose, the consciousness of the individual. Religious thinkers have lent to this conversation a plethora of positions, all of which have divorced the human consciousness and thought from its physical being. The idealist school of thought has subsequently taken this question, and centered it around human existence, effectively rejecting the material existence of a reality not reliant on human presence.

By opting to observe this question from the idealist lens, the old German school of thought has driven the rise of existentialism, among other vulgar ideological forces[1]. Existentialism has stood in the way of analyzing the psyche of the individual and their relation to the material, effectively fostering a position which relies on seeing everything as meaningless, owing to how small humanity is in the grand scheme of the development of the universe.

But we choose to abandon this vulgarity. In its place we shall bring to life the dialectical, materialist conception of the world, and weaponize it in the determination of the answer to the question of existence. The entropic nature of the universe does not frighten us, nor throw us into despair. Rather, it gives us the opportunity to observe the individual as a fragment of what appears to be a glorious expanse of opportunity. The idealist conception has tainted human thought with individualist drivel, instilling the fear of death which paralyzes even the bravest of warriors.

The analysis of life and death, in the dialectical sense, is much more fascinatingly complex than the simplistic conclusion to which idealism comes. The metaphysician determines that man is either living or dead, black or white, either/or. But the dialectician trains themselves to see far more.

The individual is both living and dead, at once one and the other. They either appear to the world as a living entity or a deceased one; but their consciousness is not the sole determining factor. The individual is rather a culmination of a great number of cells, each a living entity on its own, which come together to form the material figure which they embody. The cells do not live or die together; rather, the cells exist as great masses of constantly emerging, living, and dying entities. Each cell proceeds through its lifecycle, but in a manner of coexistence. Thus, at each moment the individual has both living and dead cell matter; they therefore cannot be solely living or dead, but rather living and dead, to varying degrees. For the majority of life, the individual exists as a qualitatively living being, for the sole reason that the living cells act as the dominant aspect in the contradiction between living and dead cell tissue. Thus, the individual is qualitatively “alive”. However, once the individual dies, a grand reversal occurs. Where once their dead cells were a minority, slumbering but ever present, their permanent and irreplaceable cell tissue approaches a point in which its internal contradictions can no longer allow the tissue to resist, forcing it to succumb to the material passage of time. These vital cell regions qualitatively pass into an inactive state, and the physical embodiment of the individual is no more; they pass into what only be described as “death.” Finally the number of dead cells has overtaken that of living cells; the individual appears qualitatively dead…and yet they remain both living and dead, forever feeding the soil on which they lay. From this new life shall form, and the process repeats. And thus is the dialectical conception of life; never-ending, forever flowing and ebbing with the forces of entropy. The passing of one being from “living” to “dead” is but a phase in the spiral, continuous movement of life.

From this we can conclude that life, rather than being an objective conception or entity, as the metaphysical school of thought might determine, is a process. The fear of death must therefore no longer place its heavy hands on our shoulders; it must no longer push us into the depths of existentialism. The process of life transcends all human individuality, and it shall thus persist until it cannot persist any longer.

We mustn’t fear death, for it cannot stop the tide of revolution. Human existence, though it may appear meaningless, is so incredibly meaningful that words alone cannot describe it in its entirety. No, only through actions can this purpose become realized; only through this practice does the individual find their purpose, in serving their brothers and sisters. The individual does not serve their country; they can either serve their masters or their equals.

As we have dispelled the vulgar conception of death, we must now find the path to weaponizing our fearlessness. As the revolutionaries before us have said, time and time again, fear has its opposite in the lack of fear. Fear nestles its head in the comforting embrace of existentialism, fostering inaction and complacency. However, a lack of fear crushes the existentialist position beneath its mighty boot, rendering its venomous head useless.

The individual can find meaning in the weaponization of their ideology, wielding it in the service of their beliefs. However, the individual does not carry ideology alone; the ideology is shared among their equals, sooner or later. It is disseminated, and the expansion of such ideology creates with it a tide of revolution.

While shedding the fear of death, the individual begins to focus their intentions. Now they must find and conquer all new knowledge which shall serve the interests of the exploited masses. The individual acts on the world, and in turn it acts on them. This process civilizes the individual’s mind, refines their ideology, wiping away all dirt and exposing at the core a lethal, glistening weapon. In their daily life the individual learns to become a complete individual.

The individual learns to love, but also to hate. From the hate they reflect, and in turn grow. The individual now knows their friends, but more importantly their enemies.

The individual learns to feel great happiness, but also great despair. From the despair so too they reflect, and so too he grows. The individual now knows what brings them great joy, but also what plunges them into sadness.

Ultimately, the individual falls down, but he ascends once more. If not them, then those who shall follow, or those who shall follow them. The individual no longer fears their death, for it cannot snuff out the progression of history, of life itself. Though he sees themselves first as an insignificant particulate in the great nothingness of the universe, they refines their thought through action, gaining knowledge ever-more, approaching every day their newest mountainous peak.

The individual has found out who they are. They cannot be an individual, for the individual is not the world; the individual is but a fragment of a great mosaic, all forming to create the magnificent ebbing and flowing tapestry of human history. Thus, the individual is at once themselves and all of humanity. Though their body will disappear, never to be remembered, their ideas will persist. The individual knows this, and it can only bring endless comfort.

The individual is now a warrior for themselves and their equals. The individual takes up their ideology, teaches it to their peers, bringing a sweeping, unstoppable tide of change, forever changing the world. The individual might experience great sacrifice, even death; but the individual’s martyrdom does not halt what he has started. Their body, as it feeds the soil on which it shall eventually rest, feeds the motion of history. Just as their flesh shall be consumed by the earth, their ideology shall be consumed by the masses. This shall create, as with the forests that follow from what their flesh provides to the soil, new life. While the individual has individually passed, the movement carries on, a life of its own, fueled by those who carry the torch each day in passing.

Revolution is the soil of history. Just as the individual finds their soul connection to the Earth, serving it even through death, the individual too finds their soul connection to the revolution. Their flesh feeds this movement, both in life and death. Just as the Earth does not perceive the individual differently in their life or death, so too revolution does not perceive the individual in this way.

The individual is the fuel of revolution. The individual maintains the undying flames of revolution, until one day it can serve all of mankind.

The individual is both themselves and all of human society, at once one and the other. The discomfort of their existence can only be done away with once they have found this purpose.

The individual is both themselves and all of humanity.

[1] it is important to note that to put existentialism as its own ideology would violate general defining features of ideologies — namely their revolving around material and ideal conceptions. Rather, existentialism attaches itself to other ideologies, tainting their character; it is, for example, impossible to reconcile the communist position with the existentialist one