[Marxism] Just introducing myself

Haines Brown brownh at hartford-hwp.com
Wed Jun 18 19:58:10 MDT 2008

> Let me return to the first point, it's not necessary to choice
> between being "a marxist thinker" and "to activelly support working
> class fight" (I don keep in mind how it was formulated).  You may be
> both a thinker and a militant for the cause of the working class.

No, I understood your point and agree with it. My point was that there
are Marxists of a sort who don't appear to be committed to the working
class, and there are certainly members of the working class who don't
happen to be Marxists.   

> The second point may be what I said tt for me is difficult to
> divorce theory and praxis. So in my perception a marxist involves
> both "activities" 

I'm not so sure. It seems perfectly legitimate for a bourgeois
economist to read Marx and find some of its ideas useful. In fact, I
gather that economists think one of their best courses was their grad
school course in macro-economics, and this might well involve a dose
of Marxism. Einstein was a socialist, but as far as I know did not put
Marxism into practice (class struggle).

I agree that Marxism in its development links theory and practice, but
certainly it is possible to extract some ideas from Marxism, and I am
aware of people who call themselves Marxist, yet have little
undertanding of what Marx was up to. 

> Of course the share of each activity may vary not only by
> individuals but also by specific situations (social, historical,
> cultural, etc). 
> If I could think some criteria, those would be related to just that,
> and tt you took upp then you refered to the 11th tesis. 
> But I don't like to etablish some kind criteria to give a "marxist
> certificate", I prefer the perspective of an "open marxism", there
> even definition of what is "a marxist", may differ. 

I understand that Marxism is diverse, is manifested in different times
and places in different ways, etc. That's why I tried to offer a
definition that avoided this problem. Not sure I succeeded.

But my question remains: do we need to define? Well, probably not in
the way that concerns you. But think about my three criteria and try
to think of a situation that fails to meet one or more of them, and I
suspect you and I would agree.

For example, one was that Marxism is the developed ideology that is
specific to the modern working class. If we doubt this, doesn't
it raise some serious problems? I can think of an anarchist, for
example, thinking of himself as having a working-class ideology. But
we can readily argue why that is not the case, and so the anarchist
would be wrong to call himself a Marxist.


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