[Marxism] Marxism as Fascism

Jim Farmelant farmelantj at juno.com
Mon Oct 17 13:02:57 MDT 2005

On Mon, 17 Oct 2005 11:21:51 -0700 (PDT) wrobert at uci.edu writes:
>       Syndicalism also comes out of a reaction to the bureaucratic
> reformism that was being advocated within the Second International
> at the time.  It was the almost inevitable response to the almost
> Kantian mechanistic belief in progress that was held by many of the
> key figures in that structure.  I think that that linkage with the
> workers' movement should also be remembered.  

It was in part at least a revolt against the sort of Marxism
that was being championed by people like Kautsky
and Plekhanov.  Remember too in Russia, following
the failed revolution of 1905, there emerged the
"god-building" within the Bolshevik faction that
was promoted by Lunacharsky, Bazrov, and the
novelist, Maxim Gorki, among others.  That too
was a kind of revolt against what was seen
as an overly cerebral version of Marxism that
had been inherited from the Second International.
The "god-builders," like the Sorelians, were influenced
very much by Nietzsche.  This sort of thing was
very much in the air at the time, and manifested
itself in different ways in different countries.

> The Sorel book is
> really odd.  It combines militant Marxism (Sorel remained a marxist,
> and was an advocate of the the Bolshevik revolution), really odd
> religious interpretation, and was engaged in a specific reading of
> Gustav LeBon's The Crowd (the last is a bit more speculative,
> although it was an important work of the period.)  There are very
> interesting moments in the work, and genuinely disturbing ones.  I
> think that Sorel's influence on Gramsci was a bit more long lasting
> than implied here.  I think you can even see it in the prison
> writings.....

I think you are right about all that.  Sorel was, as I said before,
was very much influenced by Bergson, who spearheaded
a revolt against rationalism in philosophy, as well
as by Nietzsche.  He was also intrigued with the work
of the American pragmatists, especially, William James,
and he wrote a book on that subject.  There are certainly
echoes within Sorel's work, of James' "will to believe."
Gramsci too, picked up many of these same interests,
including an interest in American pragmatism, and
there are references to James and to C.S. Peirce in
the Prison Notebooks.  It is also interesting to
note that the father of Peruvian Marxism,
Jose Carlos Mariategui, was very much an
admirer of both Sorel and Gramsci.

>                                  robert wood

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