[Marxism] Just introducing myself

Haines Brown brownh at hartford-hwp.com
Tue Jun 17 04:59:36 MDT 2008


I'm happy for you that you have been drawn to such a fascinating area
of study and now will be participating in the Marxism list. I look
forward to your contributions.

I'd suggest, however, that you make a kinda existential decision: are
you primarily a Marxist thinker or are you primarily seeking to
promote the interests of the working class?

These are not, I believe, the same thing. Yes, Marxism is the only
ideology specific to the modern working class; yes, class struggle
would be impoverished without it. But that does not mean all Marxists
act as members of the working class any more than all militant workers
are Marxists. Marxism is a broad and very diverse field of
intellectual exploration, while being a class member means that one's
intellectual life serves the needs and addresses experiences of one's

Is there a difference? One might hope not, but unfortunately it is
very easy to see. For a member of the working class, with the
exception of the capitalists and their allies in the petit
bourgeoisie, everyone is your brother and you approach them as
such. However, in non-working class intellectual life, one's own
particular views are a private possession that brings personal
satisfaction or even prestige in the eyes of others, and as such is
essentially in competition with with the views of others. In the
former case, an idea with which you disagree is a valuable opportunity
for self-development; in the latter, you grasp at all the means at
your disposal to discredit the views of others.

Haines Brown 


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