[Marxism] Fwd: Karl Marx and hunting animals | Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Sep 15 10:21:46 MDT 2014

Of the three magazines that brandish “Review of Books” in their title, 
Los Angeles’s (http://lareviewofbooks.org/) leads the pack, at least 
from the standpoint of serving as a critic of capitalist society. In an 
epoch of imperial decay, that’s the most important criterion after all. 
At the bottom of the pile is New York’s (http://www.nybooks.com/), a 
publication that was pretty edgy in its early days, to the point of 
publishing Noam Chomsky and putting a David Levine drawing of a Molotov 
cocktail on the front page. Nowadays it is a snoozefest for elderly 
professionals, the print counterpart to PBS. In the center of the pack 
is the London Review of Books (http://www.lrb.co.uk/), a journal that 
was distinguished by a takedown of Christopher Hitchens that was both 
laugh out loud and politically cogent. While it still is a source of 
trenchant social criticism, the LRB has a blind spot on Syria, offering 
its readers Seymour Hersh’s conspiracy theories about rebels gassing 
their families. It was up to the good people at the LARB to publish 
Muhammad Idrees Ahmed’s devastating critique of Hersh, a sign that it 
was not in thrall to pack journalism.

In the most recent issue of LARB, there’s an article by Jedediah Purdy 
titled “Killing It” that is accompanied by a drawing of an aproned Karl 
Marx holding up a bleeding chicken in one hand and a butcher’s knife in 
the other. With such an image, it is no surprise that the article claims:

	Writing 20 years before the first volume of Das Kapital appeared, Marx 
imagined desultory killing as one of the joys of human liberation. In a 
passage that became a touchstone for parts of the 1960’s New Left, he 
urged that a free person should be able to “hunt in the morning, fish in 
the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner […] 
without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, herdsman or critic.” This was 
the ideal of unalienated labor, spontaneous and expressive, exercising 
all human powers without ever turning the worker into the tool of her task.

To start with, I am not sure how much of a grasp that Purdy has of the 
1960s New Left since he was born in 1974. In fact the New Left—strictly 
speaking—was much more into Marcuse than Marx.

full: http://louisproyect.org/2014/09/15/karl-marx-and-hunting-animals/

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