[Marxism] Revolution -- was: Admire Colin Powell - Hell No!!!

James Daly james.irldaly at ntlworld.com
Fri Nov 19 07:27:59 MST 2004

Calvin B. quotes one of the most crucial passages in Marx, but uses it, 
especially the word "revolution", to buttress a claim to an "implicit" 
reference to violence, at a tangent to what Marx was talking about. Marx did 
not shrink from violence, but his references to it are not categorical 
absolutes, definitive of revolution.

What that passage and the theses on Feuerbach are about is not violence 
(though it implies the abolition of bourgeois class power by whatever means) 
but about the specific nature of a necessary revolutionary change; *from* 
the bourgeois thinking of the "old materialism" in terms of the hostile 
possessive individualism of Hobbesian /Kantian /Benthamite "man" and his 
"Eden of natural rights", society as a contract, Gesellschaft; and *to* the 
thinking Marx had seen in French Communist workers, of the human race as our 
family, the justice of a new kind of Gemeinschaft (community), which harks 
back to archaic classlessness (analogues of which he was excited to find not 
only in the Russian commune but even in the Rhineland's Hinsrueck). Marx's 
early writings show that he saw the capitalist world as "without 
spirituality", one from which the poor took refuge (one could say, 
sanctuary) in religion. "Implicitly" :-)  he saw communism as an expression 
of genuine human spirituality.

The same thought is behind Marx's critique of the separation of "civil 
society" (economics) from the state (politics) in "On the Jewish Question". 
Soros's "Open Society" of Keynesian-friendly NGO's uses "civil society" in 
an anti-Marxist sense, more like that of the "citizenship" Calvin also wrote 
about. On that subject Ellen Meiksins Wood's *Democracy Versus Capitalism" 
(Cambridge University Press 1998?) has very good stuff. (Thanks, Carroll).

Watch this space for more Marxist platitudes.

James D.

More information about the Marxism mailing list