[Marxism] Partisanship and Objectivity in Theoretical Work

Charles Brown cbrown at michiganlegal.org
Thu Mar 16 13:48:35 MST 2006

 Austin, Andrew
Australian Marxist Review No. 37 April 1997

Partisanship and Objectivity in Theoretical Work

by Maurice Cornforth

Marxism...is the guiding theory, or ideology, of the world-wide
revolutionary movement of communism. 
* * *
Historical materialism correctly understood and applied is a science not an


CB: Certainly , Marx and Engels follow your usage as in _The German
Ideology_ where "ideology" is used pejoratively, the infamous "false

I'm sure Cornforth knows this, but I think he is consciously using
"ideology" in a different way than Marx and Engels because of popular usage
at the time Cornforth wrote ( and today). It's like "idealism". We lose its
usage to refer to "inspired thinking to achieve noble aims" when we adhere
rigorously to the meaning "philosophical idealism. "

"Scientific" in the popular sense too often implies no partisanship, as
Cornforth discusses in the essay. For Marxists, the scientific turns
things-in-themselves into things-for-us. It is not a neutral process
relative to "us", humanity, the working class, and its struggle with the
bourgeoisie. "Ideology" popularly , nowadays, implies a partisan attitude. 

More information about the Marxism mailing list