Weberian marxism

Greg Schofield g_schofield at dingoblue.net.au
Sun Jun 24 21:23:49 MDT 2001


John Landon's post is really exceptional I could not let this pass without comment.

He is a far more precise thinker than myself, and far less wordy. But these sentances had me tickled pink and I repeat them here:

"The question is like a ball and chain for Marxism. If you reject Hegel, then you steer clear of Kant. But if the dialectic means something, then Kant trails you, not because he was dialectical but because he wasn't!! "

I think you have hit the nail on the head why no-one actually claims to be neo-kantian anymore!! Excellent!

Now normally I would be running around shouting at the next bit:

"Hegel, it is not a cut and dried question. In any case, there is, to my view,  a lack of plain realism in Hegel, that surrounds his claims for absolute knowledge, surely Marxists would be better off with a bit of Kant to steer clear of that mystique of Hegel that seeps into the subject even as you denounce it.  Tough questions, perhaps hopeless questions. But Hegel will pursue Marxism like a horse of the apocalypse. Use a bit of Kant to be free of it."

Within the context of:

"At any rate, Kant was not an idealist in the sense of Hegel, but a combined 'transcendental idealist' and 'emprical realist', and these dreadfully confusing terms have closed the whole question behind a veil of obscurity."

And in the context the top quote.

What can I say but very sound advice. Indeed Hegel is not to approached without a lot of caution - history is littered by examples that have been lured and then captured by his idealism, in fact to understand Hegel you must give yourself over to his idealism and then battle all the way back to Marx, not a course that is easy or without intellectual danger, and one I have but barely tested the waters.

Now this makes sense also:

"Weber judged as a Neo-Kantian is almost meaningless. I can't find any Kantian concerns explicit there ( I am sure they are there) and judging his work is little reflection on Kant."

I think the post I just sent, prior to reading this one will appear very underdeveloped and wrong headed. You are very right about this aspect of neo-kantianism (it has very little explicit Kantian connection). The view I just outlined (in that previous post) suffers from just such a misconception (that is using Kant as a stamp on things that are very unkantian and have no philosophical roots to Kant as such).

However, I think I am justified just a little by taking Kant as a the highest product of pre-hegelian philosophy and thus using him for what he represents to philosophy as a whole. I say I think I am justified because in doing so I readily admit that everything that is distinct in Kant is lost and this is a serious problem (solved only a little by saying two different answers to too very different questions).

What you said about Hegel and Kant is fundemental, not only is it true that Hegel cannot be understood without understanding Kant, it is also true that this connection is part explanation of the outrageous idealism of Hegel and the very sound, essential, materialism (realism is perhaps a better term) of Kant.

As you have just got me thinking along these lines, I am unsure how much further to take it, but your post as far as content to words used ration carries more punch than any I have read and I both thank and congradulate you as I retire to ponder the implications.

Greg Schofield
Perth Australia


From: John Landon <nemonemini at yahoo.com>
To: marxism at lists.panix.com
Date: Sun, 24 Jun 2001 19:51:29 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Weberian marxism




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