[OPE-L:3194] Re: Orthodoxy

McGlownet@aol.co (McGlownet@aol.com)
Mon, 30 Sep 1996 20:08:01 -0700 (PDT)

[ show plain text ]

Yes, I'd like to discuss dialectics and continue to test out some ideas
I'm developing. It is, I think, a common misunderstanding of Hegelian
dialectics to impute constant progress to the history of thought. Hegel's
shows progression from simple religious faith, as well as the first attitude
of common sense in the objectivity of thought's ability to grasp reality,
through the second attitude which includes empiricism's challenge to faith
(It is in contact with actual experience) and the Kantian critique of Reason
and its categories. The "third attitude to objectivity," however, is
actually a retrogression, a backward move in the historical development of
thought. The third attitude rejects all methods and makes its personal
consciousness the substitute for an intersubjective historical development of
objectivity. Personal intuition, what Hegel again calls a "faith," finds its
"truth" in the mere "fact" that it "finds" immediately in its own
consciousness, sans the mediation of method. It is retrogressive in that
instead of moving forward to the dialectic proper and the creative cognition
of reality, the third attitude gives up the idea that thought can grasp what
is actual. And most interesting is Hegel's criticism that the third
attitude, intuitionalism, is even less than the first attitude because the
first attitude at least had the organizational concept of a body of ideas
that could develop in the church. Now, I'm not for reconstructing any church
dogma, but I think Hegel put his finger on an attitude of resistance to
developing a body of ideas in an organized and objective way. I see this
resistance in some folks who think claiming Marx is internally coherent, not
wrong on the transformation or FRP, is tantamount to a proclamation of
religious faith in Marx. It isn't. It is recognizing Marx's Marxism for
what it is: a whole body of ideas. Finally, yes there is Marx's text,
which is Marx speaking for himself in print, (when unedited or properly
edited) , and also the various "schools" of thought. What seems significant
to me in assessing Marx's Marxism is not the objective pole or subjective
pole in isolation: Marx as objective or living thinkers as subjective.
What is NOT noticed in the issue of "orthodoxy" is the truth/untruth of the
categories themselves which are under discussion. It is critical
appropriation of Marx's categories "in and for themselves" that would mean
the self-development of Marx's Marxism. That doesn't mean Marx can solve
our problems, because only living people can reconstruct the dialectic, but
it does mean to me beginning with the historic objectivity of Marx's body of
ideas, not as fixed point of origin a la Descartes but seriously as a
totality, and because its attitude is thoroughly revolutionary, --as new