Marx's rejection of philosophy

Juan Inigo jinigo at
Tue Jun 13 12:13:04 MDT 1995

Through a couple of posts, Ralph Dumain has formulated the theory that
Marx's writings can be seen as a collection ("his (Inigo's) myriad
citations of Marx") of "catch-phrases" that "are all non sequiturs". Of
course, this is what all anti-Marx theorists believe. But coming from a
Marxist it sounds rather funny.

It happens that this grotesque is the only way that Ralph has to avoid
facing in Marx's own words Marx's absolute rejection of philosophy and
logic as necessarily alienated, and therefore historical, forms; Marx's
absolute opposition of conscious action to interpreting the world; Marx's
discovery that science has as its immediate object the regulation of
conscious action; Marx's discovery that alienation inherits in the form
itself of the representations of reality; Marx's discovery of the
reproduction of the concrete in thought as the necessary way of overcoming
the appearances of representation and, therefore, of interpretation.

Ralph's arguments are really grotesque:

>Now, why do I
>name his myriad citations of Marx and Lenin as invocations of
>authority rather than taking them as challenges to which I must
>respond?  Because these citations are all non sequitors: none
>serve as steps in nor do they support Juan's argument, hence I can
>only conclude that they are weapons of more-Marxist-than-thou
>intimidation, not arguments at all.

In the first place, I have never presented a quotation as an argument. I
have always started by presenting my own development of the subject at
stake, and then shown through a quotation how this development followed
from Marx's discoveries.

Concerning Lenin, I have pointed out before Ralph's reply that

>Had Ralph thought a little more, he would have noticed that someone that is
>pointing out how Marx discovers the limited scope of logic to appropriate
>in thought the real determinations and how he overcomes it in Capital by
>reproducing the real necessity instead of representing it through a logic,
>would never seek for support in Lenin.

Still, I must make a correction here: where I said "Had Ralph thought a
little more ..." it would have been obviously more realistic to say "Had
Ralph known a little more ..."

Concerning my "myriad citations of Marx ... are all non-sequitors": this is
the poorest possible non-argument to avoid facing what Marx specifically
says concerning his scientific method not as a representation but "as the
reproduction of the concrete through the path of thought" and concerning
philosophy as inherent only in alienated consciousness. No wonder Ralph has
tried to cover the ground from the opening of his very same post, by
calling my posts "installments of evasion." Here we have just another of
his unfortunate tricks to elude rational discussion.

Concerning "invocations of authority" or "intimidation" I have formulated
the following invitation, previously to Ralph's reply (and, of course, I
renew it now):

>It would be really enlightening if Ralph or anybody else could present
>quotations from Marx himself (not second-hand interpretations, even those
>by Engels) where he says something concerning he is doing philosophy, using
>a logic (dialectical or just in general), or that any of these fit into his
>dialectical method, or that the result he obtains is a representation of
>reality, or a way of interpreting reality.

Concerning "weapons of more-Marxist-than-thou":

Since Marxism is the conception of Marx's reproduction by thought of the
specificity of present-day society as a representation by thought of this
specificity and, consequently, as a conception of the world, Ralph should
already know that he will never find me claiming being
"more-Marxist-than-thou." The only weapon I bring to this list is my
unconditional  attachment to critical reasoning.

Besides, it was Ralph who started to introduce quotations into the
discussion. Of course not Marx's, but second-hand references, where Marx's
critique to philosophy as such has been turned down to a "critique of
German philosophy only" just because Carver declares that Capital deals
with qualitative and quantitative determinations, and everybody knows that
"quantity and quality" are philosophical forms by nature!

So why should I now avoid presenting a further quotation from Marx's writings?

"That which, in general, is the essence of philosophy, _the alienation of
man that cognizes itself_, or the _alienated_ science that thoughts about
itself_, is captured by Hegel ... (1844 Manuscripts).

Juan Inigo
jinigo at

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