Marxist Ethics, Lukacs & Negri

Jonathan P. Beasley-Murray jpb8 at
Sat Sep 24 17:11:33 MDT 1994

I too am interested in the moral/ontological/ethical in Marxism, and
would like to hear more from Andy about his project.

I wonder what definition of ethics he is using or could be used with
reference to Marxism.  How would one distinguish ethics from (bourgeois?)
morality--which Marx and Engels consistently attacked for its hypocrisy
and as a superstructural effect.

Andy's post seemed to suggest that the only possible mode of ethics is
individual--and his contrast was between the collective (non-ethical) and
the individual (ethical).  I'm not sure how that relates to the
distinction between theory and practice: is theory individual and
practice collective?

I'd be interested in ways of getting beyond these distinctions.  I'm also
thinking in particular of Toni Negri's conception of ethics in his book
on Spinoza, _The Savage Anomaly_.  Here he focusses on the collective
ethical practice of the multitude, located at the level of affect and the
productive forces.  This is at the same time a "constitutive ontology" of
collective power, distinct from the forms of individuation (including the
moral) which are the product of State Power.

How this relates to Lukacs, however, I'm not sure.


Jon Beasley-Murray
Literature Program
Duke University
jpb8 at


More information about the Marxism mailing list