Theses on F

Jukka Laari jlaari at tukki.jyu.fi
Mon Aug 15 11:55:20 MDT 1994


On 15 Aug 1994 fin6rs at lucs-mac.novell.leeds.ac.uk wrote:

> Further to the theses on Feuerbach - these are always a pest,
> Benjamins are easier - has anyone any clues on what Marx meant by
> the 'dirty judaical question'? I ask in light of developments in
> identity politics - Queer etc, - and the aggresive rallying behind
> such terms of contempt.
>
> Rob Stone

Marx Engels Werke, Bd. 3, Thesen ueber Feuerbach, #1:

"... waehrend die Praxis nur in ihrer schmutzig-juedischen
Erscheinungsformen gefasst und fixiert wird."

I don't have English translation of Marx-Engels writings, so I can't say,
if first thesis on Feuerbach is the one you are worried about. It's the
only one, where there is something 'dirty'...

"... when praxis is conceived and noticed only in its dirty-judaical form
of appearance."

Feuerbach, according to Marx, thinks, that only theoretical practice is
genuinely human and fails to notice, that *real praxis* - that what we
are doing as loggers, miners, capitalists, teachers, that is; in the
*sphere of economy* - is what distinguishes humans from other species.
Instead Feuerbach, according to Marx, conceives that real praxis only in
the form as it appears, when we look at economy through commerce,
business... That is: Feurbach doesn't *look behind the store or shop*
where there's intense human action going on in the form of production,
distribution etc. - That's not my *official interpretation* but I believe
the point is clear:

Jew is sort of ironical reference to the common-sense consciousness or
form of perceiving. Marx used that kind language quite a lot.

(About ten years ago I was at home, reading Marx. My girlfriend wanted
"us to do something"... because it was saturday evening or at least late
afternoon. I kept reading. Finally she took the book and ran into
kitchen. She opened the book randomly and started to read. After twenty
or thirty seconds, she bursted into laughter: "That Marx is really funny
guy," she said and gave the book back to me. "No wonder you are sort
of giggling almost all the time." And that's a true story. I mean, there's
lots of *jokes* and irony in the writings of Marx and one finds them
easily.)

I don't believe there's much between identity politics (what's that?)
and that particular thesis on Feuerbach. If there was any contempt, it
was Marx's contempt of ordinary petit bourgeois, catholic, jewish or
lutheran...

Jukka Laari


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