[Marxism] Mike Leibowitz: Completing Marx's Project

Jack Cade jack.cade at btinternet.com
Thu Jan 19 10:17:48 MST 2006

Interview with Mike Leibovitz in the latest 'Weekly Worker':


Jack Cade

And somewhere along the way you came to the conclusion that not
only was much of the left 'silly' in its practice, but also
one-sided in its understanding of Marxism itself. How did that
come about?

I didn't think there was anything missing for a long time. I
looked at Marx, and his theory concerned the analysis of
capitalism and an understanding of the nature of capital. Fine.
Then, on the other hand, there was political activity, and in
that I had an entirely different perspective. From my experience
of working with student movements and other campaigns, I saw the
basic truth that people transform themselves through their
struggles. That idea became the central concern of my political
world view - how do you put people into motion; how do you
develop their capacity to self-transform?

In Vancouver, I was very involved in local community organising.
When you bring people together and encourage them to make the
political connections, when they start to picket and adopt other
forms of struggle, you see how they change.

So what I had was a completely compartmentalised conception of
politics. Here is economics, science, the analysis of Capital;
here, on the other hand, is politics. If there was any literature
in politics that I was drawn to, it was to Gramsci with his
emphasis on struggle for ideological hegemony and the need to
create a new common sense.

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