[Marxism] the need to understand Hegel
michael a. lebowitz
mlebowit at sfu.ca
Tue Jan 17 09:20:00 MST 2006
Myles Sullivan wrote:
>Lenin said that understanding Hegel is necessary for a proper understanding
>I am now trying to understand Hegel, and I do believe my head will implode
>without quick intellectual intervention and assitance.
>Do others agree that Hegel must be understood, especially his Logic, in
>order to develop one's understanding of Marx?
>What secondary texts, Marxist or otherwise, are out there that could help
>me to understand good ol' Hegel.
>Thanks for the help.
I agree completely and emphatically with Lenin on this, and
I think the best place to begin is with Volume 38 of Lenin's
Collected Works (the 'Philosophical Notebooks'), the notebooks from
his reading of Hegel (and from which his statement about the
IMPOSSIBILITY of understanding Marx's CAPITAL without understanding
Hegel's LOGIC comes). When you read those notes, you see that this
emerges as a conclusion, you see these notes as a process of
developing an understanding-- so much so that the statement is almost
anti-climatic; i.e., it is a record of discoveries. (A journal,
Studies on the Left, that I was involved with ran an article on the
text in the early 60s with the section heading, 'The education of
V.I. Lenin'.) What makes it an especially exciting text is to read
Hegel through this revolutionary's eyes. Given the subsequent grasp
of Hegel by Marxists, it is well to remember, too, Lenin's next
statement (which should be understood, too, as self-criticism):
'Consequently, half a century later none of the Marxists understood Marx!!'
Michael A. Lebowitz
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, B.C., Canada V5A 1S6
Currently based in Venezuela. Can be reached at
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