Re: [OPE-L] rosa luxemburg

From: Dogan Goecmen (Dogangoecmen@AOL.COM)
Date: Wed Apr 04 2007 - 15:33:20 EDT

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?
Rakesh, I am not sure whether I understand you here. May I ask you to  
explore on this a bit. What writing(s) of Althusser's do you refer  to? 
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.
Rakesh, I was just checking Luxemburg's letters on Kant. In a letter to  Kurt 
Eisner she says Kant has nothing to do with socialism. If we take this in  
its most specific sense I would agree with her. I usually differentiate between  
two fundamentally different traditions in European philosophy: Cogito and  
Mirror. The relationship between Cogito tradition and socialism is more indirect 
 than direct. It employs a methodological individualist approach. The  
relationship between mirror tradition and socialist philosophy is more direct.  It 
employs a intersubjective  approach. In classical German philosophy  the former 
is employed in Kantian epistemology, though it is reduced to pure  
consciousness. The latter is employed by Hegel. In Hegelian view than there is  no such 
thing that can be called "asocially social". That is to say consiousness  is 
always social. 

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)  (0021CAD7)

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 

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 
Currents of Marxism, vol II.


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