[OPE-L:3222] Re: Spinoza

From: Paul Zarembka (zarembka@ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU)
Date: Mon May 15 2000 - 23:10:12 EDT

[ show plain text ]


Enormous importance. Spinoza introduces the notion that there is no
"origin" and no "end" (no Subject) to history, no "god" for the origin,
nor "god" for any "end result" (e.g. communism). Did you see the movie
"1900" -- remember the ending with the train moving out with all its red
flags? The train represents "history with a purpose" -- an "end" -- the
traditional CP position; but the opposite of Spinoza.

Put another way, Spinoza helps us give up the notion of a "guarantee",
e.g., a guarantee that left politics or Marxism or whatever will result in
a classless society. It takes the issues OUT of theory INTO political
practice (with no guarantees).

"Negation of the negation", when taken seriously, is another form of
asking for/ expecting guarantees from theory. Basically (this is me
speaking), when taken seriously (not as a metaphor or just having some
fun), it is a trick and a simplistic, nasty one at that!

Now for my question: I still would like to know, John, how you claim that
Marx wanted to "explode" (your word) definitions, when he himself CREATED
definitions (constant capital, variable capital, labor power, surplus
value, mode of production, etc.). I'm not setting up a trap for you; I
simply do not understand. Probably I'll disagree with your reply, but I'd
at least learn from it.

Paul Z.

P.S. I didn't actually say, "Spinoza rather than Hegel should be seen as
the most important precursor of Marx". There are too many for rank
ordering. But we can wonder what of Spinoza is incorporated by Hegel and
what of Hegel is incorporated by Marx which is NOT of Spinozian origin.
(That's too much for me, in any case, so please don't ask.)

******************** http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/PZarembka

John Holloway <104164.2012@compuserve.com> said, on 05/15/00 at 06:15 PM:

>Dear Paul and all,

> Politically, what is at issue in the argument that you (like
>Althusser and Negri) advance, that Spinoza rather than Hegel should be
>seen as the most important precursor of Marx?

> I would be very grateful for an explanation.

> John Holloway

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Wed May 31 2000 - 00:00:10 EDT