working-class subjectivity

rakesh bhandari djones at uclink.berkeley.edu
Sun Feb 4 19:57:49 MST 1996


There seems to be some interest in the question of how we are to understand
the relationship between subject and object, between freedom and objective
external necessity.  

Aside from the work which has been mentioned so far (Lebowitz, Negri,
Postone, Elster and others), may I include the following works for what I
hope will be future discussions (in no particular order):

Jacques Camatte, 1995. This World We Must Leave. Ed. ALEX TROTTER.  NY:
Autonomedia.

Felton Shortall, 1994. The Incomplete Marx. Brookfield, VT: Averbury, 1994.

John Holloway "From Scream of Refusal to Scream of Power: The Centrality of
Work" and Wener Bonefeld "Capital as Subject and the Existence of Labour"
in *Emancipating Marx*. Ed. Werner Bonefeld, Richard Gunn, et al. London:
Pluto, 1995. 

John Holloway "Crisis, Fetishism, Class Composition" and Harry Cleaver "The
Inversion of Class Perspective in Marxian Theory: From Valorization to
Self-Valorization" in Open Marxism, vol II: Theory and Practice. Ed. Werner
Bonefeld, et. al. London: Pluto, 1992.  (I remain quite confused by this
concept of self-valorization as the expression of worker subjectivity). 

Franz Jakubowski, 1936. Ideology and Superstructure in Historical
Materialism. Intro. Frank Furedi. Reprint. London: Pluto, 1990. 

Alan B. Spitzer, 1957. The Revolutionary Theories of Louis Auguste Blanqui.
New York: Columbia. Are those who now emphasize subjectivity idealists,
disguised inheritors of the tradition of Blanqui?  What was Marx's
criticicism of this tradition?  

There were also the efforts of Lukacs and Korsch both of whom are discussed
in Stephen Eric Bronner's *Of Criticial Theory and Its Theorists* and in
Helena Sheehan's *Marxism and the Philosophy of Science*, which also
includes a discussion of Caudwell's understanding of the subject/object
relationship and how the two major classes experience that relationship
differently and the significance of that differential experience.    

Also, Grossmann and Mattick have beeen criticized sharply in recent years
for their supposed belief that the contradictions of capitalism would
automatically  produce a revolutionary subject.  This is an unfair reading
of them.  See for example Mattick's "Spontaneity and Organization" in
*Anti-Bolshevik Communism*. London: Merlin, 1978.    



 





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