THE GERMAN IDEOLOGY -- SOURCES

Ralph Dumain rdumain at igc.apc.org
Tue Jan 3 21:57:38 MST 1995


jones/bhandari <djones at uclink.berkeley.edu> kindly recommended to
me:

>TA Jackson, 1937. Dialectics--Its Logic and Practice

>I remember as interesting their discussion of the German
>Ideology in the context of Marx's development.

Well, I just read the relevant pages on THE GERMAN IDEOLOGY.  I
fail to see what is especially interesting about Jackson's
discussion.  Could you tell me what I have missed?

Secondly, for those of you who have caveats re the adequacy of
Marx's treatment of ideology, Joe McCarney suggests that THE
GERMAN IDEOLOGY does not even attempt to give an account of
ideology per se:

"It offers no shortcuts to wisdom on the subject but shares in all
the obliqueness and reticence one finds elsewhere.  These extend
in particular to the failure to provide a definition of what is
presumably the key term in the analysis.  When we have worked one
out for ourselves it turns out not to be significantly different
from that implicit in the other writings.  As a chapter of
cultural history the work has to be set in all its concreteness
against the background of the period.  Its concern is not with
ideology as such but with a particular variety, the GERMAN
ideology, through its 'representatives' and 'prophets'.  This
ideology is grounded in a philosophical system, Hegelian idealism,
with which Marx fundamentally disagrees.  It is, moreover, a
system which he regards as peculiarly seductive, which dominated
the intellectual climate of his time and place, and from which he
had only lately succeeded in freeing himself.  THE GERMAN IDEOLOGY
is the settling of accounts with this 'erstwhile philosophical
conscience' through the exposure of quite specific kinds of error
and confusion."

-- McCarney, Joe.  THE REAL WORLD OF IDEOLOGY.  Sussex; New
Jersey: Harvester press / Humanities Press, 1980.  (Philosophy
Now; 9)  pp. 82-83

This whole chapter aims to show that ideology has no
epistemological status in Marx.

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