baseball bats and fascism

Louis N Proyect lnp3 at
Fri Nov 10 12:27:13 MST 1995

On Fri, 10 Nov 1995, Jon Beasley-Murray wrote:

> This is not true that the figures you cite above fail to analyze class 
> relations, history or economics.  Though perhaps they don't do this in 
> ways that interest you.

Louis: Of course, Western Marxists analyze class relations, history and 
economics. They do so endlessly. The problem is that they approach such 
matters in the abstract. The entire Frankfurt school, for example, only 
becomes specific when it is talking about matters such as jazz, Wagner, 
Thomas Mann, Heidegger, etc. If you wanted to learn about how Nazism arose, 
you'd better look at Trotsky or Guerin. There's not a thing wrong with reading 
Walter Benjamin. It can only enhance your understanding of the period. 
But you're not going to find anything about POLITICAL ECONOMY in 
Benjamin. Marxism, above all, is POLITICAL ECONOMY. Post-marxism, Western 
Marxism, whatever you want to call it, is rooted in PHILOSOPHY. Western 
Marxism is constantly trying to synthesize Marx with one or another 
philosopher, be it Kant, Hegel, Derrida or Lyotard. No harm in this at 
all. The human mind is capable of great wonders. When I step into the 
Barnard bookstore at lunch, I never fail to be impressed by all of the 
new book titles with the word Marx in them. What this has to do with the 
project Marx, Engels, Lenin, Rosemburg, Trotsky, etc. were involved with 
beats me.

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