[OPE-L:4292] re: Marx's unpublished writings

Michael_A._Lebowit (mlebowit@sfu.ca)
Fri, 7 Mar 1997 00:15:34 -0800 (PST)

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In message Tue, 4 Mar 1997 06:21:37 -0800 (PST),
Paul Zarembka <zarembka@acsu.buffalo.edu> writes:

> Mike, please elaborate on the connection to dialectics and Hegel. I
> wouldn't have thought one needed Hegel to make the point you are making.
> In fact, I have undestood Engels as more, not less, Hegelian (how high a
> quality I don't know) than Marx. Thanks, Paul
> *************************************************************************
> Paul Zarembka, supporting the RESEARCH IN POLITICAL ECONOMY Web site at
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> On Tue, 4 Mar 1997, Michael_A._Lebowitz wrote:
>> What is clear is that Engels did not understand the concept of an
>> organic system and how one grasps that (which Marx insists is not the
>> historical order), which suggests further that he didn't understand
>> dialectics and Hegel--- or at least, that his understanding of these
>> was lower than Marx's, far lower.

I'm not entirely certain what the problem is here, Paul, except that I
suspect that Hegel is not on your list of favourite sources. My reference to
Hegel here, which was pretty peripheral (just wait, because more is probably
coming!), was mainly to stress the centrality of the concept of an organic
system in Hegel. Here, I guess that behind your point that we don't need
Hegel for this is your sense that anyone who ever read Althusser would have
no problem grasping this without Hegel. If so, I grant you this point.

In 4287, Jerry made a quite interesting passing remark (perhaps with this
very issue in mind):

>E.g. despite the *very deep* differences in perspective on method and
>value, I think that Althusserianism and Hegelian-Marxism *share* a common
>rejection of certain "diamat" perspectives popularized in the USSR. My
>feeling is that this should be noted so as not to forego a possibility of
>constructive engagement between these schools.

On the question of organic systems and overdetermination, I think this is
one of those areas of congruence. On the other hand (because there is
another hand), you won't find any concept of the self-development of the
Idea/ the self-valorisation of workers/ revolutionary practice --ie., the
focus on that which transcends-- in Althusser (I think). What do you think,
do you see any common elements?

in solidarity,
Michael A. Lebowitz
Economics Department, Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, B.C. Canada V5A 1S6
Office (604) 291-4669; Office fax: (604) 291-5944
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