[Marxism] Quiting Marxism, embracing what?

Haines Brown brownh at hartford-hwp.com
Sat Dec 2 07:23:57 MST 2006


I don't understand why a simple little distinction remains so
difficult for us to resolve.

> Haines Brown writes, "Stan Goff's remarks were very brief and
> referred explicitly to his discouragement with Marxist institutional
> forms. How did ideology get in here?"
> Stan wrote what is close to a 5,000-word essay on his blog, the
> essence of which, unless I completely misunderstand it, is not just
> to sever the sorts of ties he had had before with a specific group,
> but also to present a sweeping critique/summation of the experience
> of the organized Marxist left in this country.

Does not "organized Marxist left in this country" by definition refer
to institutions? It seems to me there are three possibilities: a)
Marxism as an ideology, b) political organizations that identify
themselves as being Marxist, c) organized movements that are not
political but nevertheless identity themselves as being Marxist. An
example of category (c) might be a Marxist union. Which of these three
do you believe Stan now shuns?

I've not read Stan's blog essay, but I'm quite willing to accept your
interpretation of it. I suggested that Stan's brief statement
indicated his discouragement with Marxist institutional forms; you
counter that it really indicated his discouragement with Marxist
organizational forms. What's the difference?

You are objecting to making a fetish of class, and I believe that in
principle an objection of this kind must always be taken
seriously. That is why I offered a counter argument to the effect
that, unlike various empiricist social categories (like gender), class
in Marxist terms is not empirically defined, but is a process that
explains social development. For that reason it should be made
primary. I still await a counter argument.

       Haines Brown, KB1GRM
   	 Dialectical Materialist        

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