[Marxism] What is wrong with positivism?

Mark Lause MLause at cinci.rr.com
Fri Aug 3 10:34:04 MDT 2007

I would answer this question a little differently.....

Comte's idea grew largely from Fourier's concept of passional attraction or
an innate mutualism that created natural human communities, as opposed to
what the market did.  He wanted to establish a religion of science and a
science of religion...what he called a "Church of Humanity."  The notion
that social development, like science would be predictive and that, like
religion, it would redefine all morality in its image.

As an aside, this really got off the ground in places.  Henry Edgar, the
chief American positivist lived at the Modern Times Community in Brentwood
and there was a large working-class religious movement in NYC, particularly
popular among seamen and seafront workers.  It turns up periodically in
contemporary accounts of movement meetings, etc.

Seen as a variant of "utopian socialism," we should realize Lenin's insight
in his article on "revisionism," that Marxism, as it developed incorporated
utopian ideas and that these resurface within the broader context of

>From Lenin's perspective, if you want to see positivism, look around within
the movement that calls itself "Marxist."  Is there a mobilization of
religious zeal on behalf of the church?  Is there an insistence that its
positions represent the result of science?

I'd suggest that all these things apply to much of organized Marxism,
wouldn't you?  I've seen "Marxist" organizations make 180 degree turns while
claiming an absolute consistency and no change whatsoever.  This applies to
groups that may be at each others' throats continually over all sorts of

In the end, religion doesn't change...and consistency was popularly
understood as a fundamental feature of science at the time.....


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