[Marxism] Marx and Dialectics

S. Artesian sartesian at earthlink.net
Wed Oct 7 12:46:26 MDT 2009

I agree and enjoy much of what you say, Daniel-- but not all, not the part 
where you say Lenin is anti-marxist in the respect that the state should 
deny the working class any say in the managing its own affairs.

First because I don't believe you can find Lenin saying that, or arguing 
that, and if the argument that Lenin actually did that, then my second 
objection kicks-- namely that you are attributing to Lenin what really needs 
to be attributed to history, to the material forces the revolution had to 
encounter, indeed the material forces that while making the revolution 
possible, made that revolution limited without its completion through 
revolution in the advanced countries.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Daniel Koechlin" <d.koechlin at wanadoo.fr>
To: "David Schanoes" <sartesian at earthlink.net>
Sent: Wednesday, October 07, 2009 2:34 PM
Subject: [Marxism] Marx and Dialectics

> Marx was a profoundly nuanced, non-dogmatic thinker.
> His thinking was made up of many strands, his insights into the concrete
> workings of capitalism and its eventual breakdown (or lack thereof) were
> ever evolving.
> Nevertheless, he was deeply aware of the contradictions between
> appearences and reality, between exchange-value and use-value, between
> the capitalist imperative to expand and the resistance of the working 
> class.
> He jeered at the farce of vulgar bourgeois economics, whose real agenda
> has always been upholding the status quo.
> But he never got down to finishing Capital and actually spelling out
> which (out of the many) contradictions of capital, would ultimately lead
> to its replacement by communism.
> I suspect he never had the time to actually formulate a precise theory
> of economic crisis. We are left, in Capital III, with the law of
> diminishing profits due to increases in constant capital ( at the C-M
> level), with a theory of disproportionality between sectors I and II (in
> Capital II), with  an understanding of the struggle over surplus-value
> between  workers and capitalists (Capital I). Marx doesn't seem to have
> seriously subscribed to the underconsumptionist, Sismondian, Keynsian,
> view that wages were insufficient to  realize profits.
> Anyway, Marx was a very subtle dialectician, always careful not to
> ascribe one single, absolute, cause to any single phenomenon.
> I myself find Marx's extant writings (both published and unpublished
> during his lifetime) to be much closer to anti-authoritarian,
> libertarian communism than to so-called Marxism-Leninism. I don't think
> he quite envisioned "proletarian dictatorship" as individuals vying for
> power by manipulating a political party or their influence in the armed
> forces.
> He thought that the working class should become the dominant class, and
> that workers should emancipate themselves from the shackles of class
> oppression. Had Marx had time to complete his work on the State, he
> would probably have lambasted any notion that the State should become
> the overseer of the working class and deny the working class any say in
> the managing of its own affairs. As far as I am concerned, Lenin is
> quite anti-marxist in this respect.
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