Sun, 24 Oct 1999 14:02:48
On 10/24/99 at 11:28 AM, Gerald Levy <glevy@PRATT.EDU> said:
>Unfortunately, I haven't been able to read the paper since it was sent in
I provided the Web site (not encoded)
which unfortunately does not preserve important footnotes. Later I
transmitted the Word97 version, encoded by MIME, and also have Wordperfect
5.1 and AmiPro 3.0. Anyway, Jerry, please tell me how to transmit a paper
to you and I'll try again. I'd of courfse welcome reactions. Thanks.
>> ...Thus, the "rococo ornamentation" comment of Luxemburg--remember
>> rococo means, in part, "superficial elegance", and also means "antiquated,
>> outmoded"-- is an exceptionally apt use of language. I had not heretofore
>> realized a connection between Althusser and Luxemburg. NB: this final
>> note is NOT integral to my reactions to the "missing book" discussion.
>On your NB: I think it might be crucial, though, to the manner in which
>you have interpreted arguments for "missing books".
I have just said it is NOT integral. There are LOTS of Marxisms which are
not looking for "missing books". (And there is more than one reading of
Althusser, e.g., to the extent that I understand some from Amherst, I
would not share certain critical interpretations they offer of Althusser,
but that is for another time--I don't want to start a new thread.)
>On the "epistemological break": As I recall, Althusser noted --
> "Hegelianisms", "Feuerbachanisms", and "Humanisms", oh my!
>in all of Marx's works save a few pages in the "Marginal Notes on
What are you trying to say? Who's (dismissive) "oh my!" Althusser wrote
on the 1882 Wagner notes of Marx: "It reveals irrefutably the direction in
which Marx's thought tended: no longer the shadow of a trace of
Feuerbachian-humanist or Hegelian influence". (Preface to his French
edition of Capital). In any case, the essence of the Althusser position
is that Marx became LESS and LESS influenced by Hegel as he matured
scientifically but even after the break Hegelian residuals remained
(including in Capital) until late in Marx's life.
And Althusser himself realized that he had not gotten to the very bottom
of the problem:
In "The Crisis of Marxism" (1978) Althusser first notes "almost the
impossibility of providing of providing a really satisfactory Marxist
explanation of a history [Soviet history, including its "horrors"] made
in the name of Marxism!" Then he indicates three crisis points in Marxist
theory: 1) the implications of Marx's "arithmetical presentation, in which
surplus value is *calculable*", 2) "the relation of the dialectic in Marx
and in Hegel. There is a lot at stake in this question...concern[ing] the
conception of necessity and of history, and of the forms of history", 3)
there does not *really* exist any "Marxist theory of the State", nor "any
real theory of the organizations of class struggle, and above all of
political parties and trade unions".
I am providing all three for sake of completeness, but for this discussion
I'm only noting the important question Althusser asks concerning the
relation of Marx to Hegel, even as Althusser has promoted the realization
of a very basic change in Marx's scientific thinking as he matures, so
basic that it represents an "epistemological break".
Finally, I just state for myself personally, the legacy of Luxemburg and
Althusser offers an opportunity which should not be squandered for getting
a handle on the extent to which Hegel's right-wing philosophy
("nine-tenths" of which is "rubbish", according to Lenin's 1915 reading of
Hegel) conditioned/was utilized to promote everything that Stalinism has
meant for the exploited class(es) of the world.
P.S. Jerry, Thanks for the tip on trying to find Juan Pablo Perez Sainz
through a Web search. However, it failed.
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