STALINISM IN THEORY

Louis N Proyect lnp3 at columbia.edu
Tue Mar 21 20:44:01 MST 1995


On Tue, 21 Mar 1995 ECOPAULZ at ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu wrote:

> Ralph,
>
> I like Althusser's work and if you read him carefully you would know that
> he is on your side regarding the non-unity of theory and practice and many
> other points.
>
> Althusser is not a "creep".  He's not a "Stalinist".
>
> I trust you will not call me a "creep", and I know I am not a Stalinist.

Louis Proyect:
For what it's worth, Alma Guilleporto, in an article in last week's New
Yorker, identifies Subcommandante Marcos of the Zapatista as a former
philosophy graduate student who was heavily into Althusser. In fact, his
whole department seemed to be pro-Althusser.

One of these days I may get around to reading Althusser (and Laclau et
al), but I'm having too much fun re-discovering Marx lately.

By the way, does anybody know where this quote from Marx comes from:
"...the weapon of criticism cannot replace the criticism of weapons,
and material force must be overthrown by material force" (but) "theory
becomes a material force when it has gripped the masses."

Maybe I'm missing something, but wouldn't this basic tenet of Marx
render Lukacs, Gramsci, the Frankfurt school, Althusser, and postmodernist
Marxism a bit superflous?


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