Orthodoxy and working-class subjectivity

Marcus Strom MSTROM at nswtf.org.au
Tue Feb 13 15:04:24 MST 1996


Hi

For more light on the below debate, read Lukacs' article "What is
orthodox marxism?" in 'History and Class Consciousness'.

I don't have it in front of me, but in that article, Lukacs argues
that orthodoxy refers exclusively to *method*.

It's a good read.


> Hugh Rodwell wrote:
>
> > Why did you put quotes around 'Marxist orthodoxy', if you're not referring
> > to Stalinist orthodoxy plain and simple? Does 'Marxist orthodoxy' include
> > Lenin and Trotsky for you, <snip>
>
> "Marxist orthodoxy", I believe, has its origins in German Social Democracy
> and, in particular, the [early] writings of Karl Kautsky. Lenin, Trotsky
> and most of the Bolshevik leadership, I believe, considered themselves
> "orthodox Marxists" as well (although, I don't have any quotes in front
> of me). The original meaning of the term might be best understood as a
> position that defended Marx's revolutionary politics against Bernstein
> (and "evolutionary socialism") and reformist politics in general. I do,
> though, believe it is a term that deserves to be in quotes. It is
> surprising to me indeed that any Marxist would want to be considered
> "orthodox" given the connotations that this term has. In a similar vein,
> in the 1980's there was a grouping of Marxist economists who labelled
> themselves "fundamentalists"? Now, why would a Marxist want to be called
> a "fundamentalist"? (I wrote about these issues in a post in May called
> "Ists, Ites, Ans, and Oids").
>
> Beyond that (reformism vs. revolutionary politics), what can we say that
> "orthodoxy" means? A close, and dogmatic, adherence to the writings of
> Marx? I don't think so. For instance, the crisis theories developed by
> Kautsky, Lenin, Luxemburg, and Bukharin were not "orthodox" in the sense
> that they followed Marx's writings closely (in general, they were either
> underconsumptionist and/or disproportionality theories). On this point,
> see Richard Day, _The 'Crisis' and the 'Crash'_ (New Left Books).
>


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