Brenner, C. L. R. James, & José Carlos Mariátegui

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at
Thu Oct 26 12:37:22 MDT 2000

>Empiricism and a rigorously historical approach (as one part of an
>approach that
>includes also theory, even theory at a very high level of abstraction) are not
>the same thing! Empiricism carries with it certain specific
>epistemological and
>ontological commitments that history need not. In fact, empiricism
>is often, if
>not always, ahistorical.

Yes, but most people -- many Marxists included -- seem to think that
they are doing history when they are actually doing empiricism.  An
effect of commodity fetishism, Marx says, which makes us unable to
see emergences & discontinuities in history.  This has especially
been a major problem when it came to questions of sex, gender, &
sexuality in Marxism.  In this area, Foucault, for all his professed
anti-Marxism, thought more like a historical materialist than most
Marxists of his generation did, for sure.


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