YA BASTA! - and French & German strikes & other musings

Doug Henwood dhenwood at panix.com
Thu Jun 6 12:11:00 MDT 1996


At 11:50 AM 6/6/96, Rahul Mahajan wrote:

>Also, the political platform invokes civil society far
>more explicitly than it does any movement of workers and/or peasants.

This "civil society" thing needs some serious critical analysis. It's
everydamnwhere now. Didn't it gain currency from the Havelites in the late
1980s, who were using it in a consciously anti-socialist sense? Yet now you
hear lefties using the word with abandon. On the first page of the
Grundrisse, Marx defined civil society as the "society of free competition,
[in which] the individual appears detached from the natural bonds etc.
which in earlier historical periods make him the accessory of a definite
and limited human conglomerate." Now, it seems, c.s. is being used in
exactly the opposite sense - to represent some "community." But the
community of c.s. is the community of the market, no?

Doug

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Doug Henwood
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