[Marxism] Do you agree or disagree with the following proposition

Rod Holt rholt at planeteria.net
Mon Mar 27 10:30:26 MST 2006

I only questioned your second sentence: "

    Marx and Engels are looking for _necessity_ to put historical
    on a scientific basis.

I question whether M & E put biological necessity in their thinking 
regarding the scientific nature of their general social/political 
theory. You haven't addressed this question, or I have missed your point.

Charles Brown wrote:

>Rod Holt  
>I question that necessity is the basis for the scientific nature of 
>historical materialism. M & E strove to extract laws from an examination of
>history. These laws they believed could be verified (or falsified) by
>further examination of history, and in particular, by searching out and
>indentifying the forces producing the history (and the forces producing the
>changes in those forces, and the changes in those changes, etc.) It was this
>process -- most distinctly a process -- that justified the use of the words
>"scientific socialism."
>CB; I'm thinking that these laws, yes empirically found and confirmed, are
>explained by finding necessary human activities, or the laws are rooted in ,
>but not entirely shaped by, physical necessities, natural necessity.
>In _The German Ideology_, Marx and Engels asserted an elementary
>anthropological or "human nature" rationale for this conception. In a
>section titled "History: Fundamental Condtions" they say:
>... life involves before everything else eating and drinking, a habitation ,
>clothing and many other things. The first historical act is thus the
>production of material life itself. And indeed this is an historical act a
>fundamental condition of all history, which today, as thousands of years
>ago, must daily and hourly be fulfilled merely in order to sustain human
>Production and economic classes are the starting point of Marxist analysis
>of human society, including in the Manifesto, because human life, like all
>plant and animal life must fulfill biological needs to exist as life at all.
>As far as biological necessity goes, Darwin opened the door to the 
>notion that when the necessary collapses for one life form, it often is the
>opportunity for another life form. I can't imagine M & E questioning this
>line of thinking.
>       --rod
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