[Marxism] Materialist History of Abraham Religions?

Jim Farmelant farmelantj at juno.com
Mon Aug 15 07:14:25 MDT 2011

On Mon, 15 Aug 2011 08:59:00 +1000 Gary MacLennan
<gary.maclennan1 at gmail.com> writes:
> I imagine Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling may be a more intelligent 
> (which
> > is not necessarily to say valid) defense of Abraham.
> >
> > Wasn't it Kierkegaard's point that we should not try to defend God 
> in this
> transaction? Abraham is a hero to Kierkegaard precisely because he 
> says
> "yes" to what of course is a quite evil request. There is no trace 
> at all of
> rationality in this scenario.  So it is somewhere beyond 
> intelligence.

Apparently for Lukacs the embracing of Bolshevism in
1919 raises similar issues, although Lukacs framed most
of his discussion in terms of Dostoyevsky (although Lukacs
was also quite familiar with and an an admirer of Kierkegaard too).

As Galin Tihanov pointed out in "Ethics and revolution: 
Lukacs's responses to Dostoevsky," Modern Language Review, July 1999
(http://tinyurl.com/3gvhylk), Lukacs in an 1918 essay,
"Bolshevism as a Moral Problem" had seemed to renounce 
Bolshevism and, indeed, revolution generally on the grounds that
Bolshevism presuppoed that the good can be attained through
the use of evil means.  But several months later, Lukacs had
apparently changed his mind on this as reflected in his essay,
"Tactics and Ethics."  As Tihanov puts it:

"Drawing again on the Dostoevsky notes, he recalls Ropshin's 
novel and Hebbel's Judith to present the act of murder as moral 
in a tragic way: the revolutionaries sacrifice for the others not only 
their lives; more important, they sacrifice their moral purity, their
Thus the vagaries of Lukacs's mind, against the revolution and back 
to unconditional support for it, prove to be invariably accompanied 
by the powerful impact of Dostoevsky. The need to give meaning 
to the new order of things confronts Lukacs with the need to keep 
rediscovering Dostoevsky's work for himself."

There is a certain resemblance here between Lukacs interpretation
of the moral meaning of revolutionary commitment and
Kierkegaard's interpretation of Abraham's willingness to
sacrifice his son for the sake of God.

Jim Farmelant
Learn or Review Basic Math

> comradely
> Gary
> ________________________________________________
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