[OPE-L:2524] Re: Marx & Darwin

From: Andrew_Kliman (Andrew_Kliman@email.msn.com)
Date: Wed Mar 15 2000 - 13:28:33 EST

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A reply to Pat Mason's ope-l 2522, in which he writes:

: I take it that an "evolutionary, scientistic, positivist notion of
: 'Marxism'" is to be considered "bad." If so, why?

Yes, "bad" in the sense that I disagee with that outlook. And it wasn't
Marx's outlook, so it is wrong to identify it as "Marxism." A
distinction between post-Marx Marxism and Marx's Marxism needs to be

As I indicated in my response to Alejandro Ramos, I think much more than
a post or two would be needed to do justice to the issues, so I won't
even try. But my response to him may give you at least a whiff of what's
involved. And again, if you want to explore the matter more fully, I
recommend Dunayevskaya's _Rosa Luxemburg, Women's Liberation, and Marx's
Philosophy of Revolution_, which strongly challenges accepted notions of
what "Marxism" is and Marx's own Marxism was.

The only other thing I think I can say *briefly* is that positivism -- as
the term suggests -- was developed in opposition to *negativity*,
particularly the Hegelian dialectic of *negativity* that Marx called the
"moving and creative principle" and the "source of all dialectic."
Positivism self-consciously takes for granted "what is." In contrast,
critical thought is negative thought. As Marx put it in the postface to
the 2d German edition of Capital,

"the dialectic ... in its rational form ... is a scandal and an
abomination to the bourgeoisie and its docrtinaire spokesmen, because it
includes in its *positive* understanding of *what exists* a simultaneous
recognition of its *negation*, its inevitable *destruction*; because it
regards every historically developed form as being in a fluid state, in
motion, and therefore grasps its *transient* aspect as well; and because
it does not let itself be *impressed by anything*, being in its essence
*critical* and *revolutionary.* [emphases added]

Andrew Kliman

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