Forwarded from Gary Pearce (Marx as Satanist)

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Tue Jan 2 16:25:36 MST 2001

Dear Louis Proyect,

I would just like to add this to the thread on "Was Marx a Satanist?"

Marshall Berman points out that unlike the bourgeoisie, Marx's dialectical
vision was able to show us how to stare in the face of the dark and
destructive forces unleashed by capital. These were the other side of the
expanding potential for creativity and productiveness. The bourgeoisie, of
course, were unable to look into the abyss because they want to present
themselves as the party of order. Thus their terror at "the spectre of
communism". In Berman's own words:

>... Marx's images also express what must accompany any genuine sense of
>wonder: a sense of dread. For this miraculous and magical world is also
>demonic and terrifying, swinging wildly out of control, menacing and
>destroying blindly as it moves. The members of the bourgeoisie repress both
>wonder and dread at what they have made: these possessors don't want to
>know how deeply they are possessed.

Just on this, Monthly Review Press seem to have just published a book by
Bryan D. Palmer called Cultures of Darkness. An excerpt from the first
chapter runs:

>The night is different, its opposition to day marked by darkness and
>danger. But its fears are balanced by its freedoms. Night offers escape
>from the drudgeries of the day, the routines that define humanity in
>specific duties, obligations, and tasks . . . . The dark cultures of the
>night are thus not unified in any categorical history of sameness. Rather,
>they are presented here as moments excluded from histories of the day, a
>counterpoint within the time, space, and place governed and regulated by
>the logic and commerce of economic rationality and the structures of
>political rule. Night can be understood as lowering curtains on these
>domains of dominance, introducing theaters of ambiguity and transgression
>that can lead toward enactments of liberation. But night has also been a
>locale where estrangement and marginality found themselves a home. This
>domicile could be one of comfort and escape or, on occasion, a nursery of

Gary Pearce

Louis Proyect
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