[Marxism] Re: Marxism and Sociology

Waistline2 at aol.com Waistline2 at aol.com
Thu Feb 12 10:25:40 MST 2004

In a message dated 2/11/2004 10:04:57 PM Central Standard Time, 
kranney at rogers.com writes:

>Marx, in my opinion, was right to point out the exploiting tendencies of 
capitalism and political implications such as: "The capitalist ruling class is 
that class which owns and controls the means of production and which is able, by 
virtue of the economic power thus conferred upon it, to use the state as its 
instrument for the domination of society." Ralph Miliband - THE STATE IN 
CAPITALIST SOCIETY page 23 QUARTET  BOOKS,1969. Because Marx was right about some 
things, does  that mean that we should blindly follow all of his ideas?<

Ken Ranney


Marxism - the standpoint of Marx and Engels, is not a doctrine as such or a 
set of propositions one apply and follow in their daily life. What is called 
Marxian economics - like Christian economics, can mean virtually anything. 

Marxism or the standpoint of Marx and Engels, describes the motive forces 
underlying changes in the material organization of people as they reproduce 
themselves as a species. As such Marx examines the impact of the material power of 
production and changes in the technological regimes that compels society to 
leap forward to a new political basis. And the property relations within. 

There is no such thing as a Marxist approach to baseball or Janet Jackson's 
breast. There is not such thing as a Marxist sociology or Marxist art or 
Marxist music. There is of course a materialist conception of sociology and a 
materialist approach to art and literature of an era or epoch.  

Engels was one of the most consistent materialist of his era. He was also 
skillful at explaining to the masses of proletarians a new doctrine of combat. 
The doctrine of combat was not derived from grand historical narrative but an 
assessment of existing political forms of insurgency. The politics of economic 
relations - political economy, is not a doctrine of combat. 

One cannot apply and blindly follow a theory conclusion as a practical guide 
to action. It simply is not possible. Communist are always accused of blindly 
following "someone" because we insist upon conscious organization of thinking 

Melvin P. 

More information about the Marxism mailing list