Re: [OPE-L] rosa luxemburg

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@BERKELEY.EDU)
Date: Thu Mar 29 2007 - 14:30:07 EDT

>Dear Rakesh,
>Luxemburg, like Marx and Engels, regards 
>Hegelian logic absolutely necessary as a method 
>of thought. But it must be put on a rational 
>basis to overcome Hegel's reversal of subject 
>and object.

Not sure whether Marx's dialectic has even this 
negative identity with Hegel's. Althusser did 
raise some interesting questions here, no?

>Luxemburg rejects any approach to Marx from 
>Kantian point of view - to his epistemology as 
>well as to his social and political theory.

To quote out of context, Kant's theory of 
transcendental consciousness is curiously 
"asocially social". It's social in the sense that 
it's shared and it makes social relations and 
even objectivity of a kind possible (this was 
Lucien Goldmann's point in his dissertation on 
Kant, inspired by Adler) but it's not itself the 
result of social relations (Marx Wartofsky wrote 
about this somewhere), and inherent in the pre 
social subject. Which also gives his theory of 
consciousness a fixed character and critical 
anthropology and philosophy have been 
relativizing the a prioris ever since--Boas in 
anthropology, Foucault in genealogy and Michael 
Friedman in physics.

The asocial sociality Kant seems to have found in 
emerging bourgeois order can be found in 
transcendental consciousness.

Look forward to your comments, Dogan.
Thanks much for sending the paper.


>Sorry fro keeping short. But I am on my way to 
>the conference. Thank you for your questions. On 
>my return I will reply properly.
>Yours, Dogan
>-----Ursprüngliche Mitteilung-----
>Von: bhandari@BERKELEY.EDU
>Verschickt: Do., 29. Mrz. 2007, 17:35
>Thema: Re: [OPE-L] rosa luxemburg
>>Hi Ope list memebers,
>>as promissed some time ago please find attach 
>>my paper on Rosa Luxemburg. It is mostly a 
>>translation of an early German version with 
>>some aditions.
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>>Attachment converted: Macintosh HD:rosa 
>>luxemburg confe#21CAD7.DOC (WDBN/MSWD) 
>Hi Dogan,
>Just reading your most interesting paper. 
>Questions already coming to mind especially in 
>light of the excellent (yet controversial) paper 
>on Marx and Hegel I just read in the latest 
>Science and Society by Sean Sayers (his work on 
>contradiction is also of enduring significance).
>A couple of quick questions:
>1. How does Luxemburg understand Marx's critique 
>of the Hegelian dialectic--its idealism (which 
>Grossman, Chris Arthur and Tony Smith all see as 
>mirroring both the delusions and rapacity of 
>'self-expanding' value), its delusive resolution 
>of contradiction (e.g. universality or 
>bureaucracy resolves contradiction between 
>particularity or people and monarchy or 
>generality), its insistence on identity rather 
>than unity of opposites (Godelier insists on 
>2. What do you (and did RL) make of not the 
>epistemological nihilist or ethical neo 
>Kantianism but the social scientific neo 
>Kantianism of Max Adler? Kant did in a limited 
>way break out of atomistic ontology at least in 
>Adler's reader. This shared aspect of classical 
>German philosophy was important for Marx.
>Here's an example:
>Marx believed "that the content of every 
>individual consciousness was necessarily 
>socialized; language itself, in which that 
>content is expressed, is of course a social 
>inheritance. Kant's theory supplies this idea 
>with an epistemological basis. There is a 
>profound analogy between
>Kant's refutation of the apparent substantiality 
>of the self, and Marx's critique of commodity 
>fetishism and reject of the 'reified' 
>appearances of social phenomena. The life of a 
>society is nto secondary to that of the
>individuals composing it, but is a network of 
>relationships comprehending those individuals. 
>Man is a social being in his very essence, and 
>not simply because he associates with others for 
>reasons of instinct or calculation. Just as, in 
>Marx's analysis, the apparent objectivity of 
>commodities resolves itself into social 
>relations, so the appearances of
>personal consciousness resolve themselves into a 
>general consciousness (das Bewusstein uberhaupt) 
>linking individuals with one another. Whether we 
>know it or not, in communication with others we 
>relate our thought to
>transcedental consciousness. A reality which 
>cannot be directly perceived, but is accessible 
>to critical analysis  is manifested in the 
>relations between human beings, just as value is 
>manifested in exchange value." P. 263-4 of Main
>Currents of Marxism, vol II.
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