File spoon-archives/bhaskar.archive/bhaskar_2000/bhaskar.0009, message 85

Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2000 01:08:44 +0100
Subject: BHA: hegel, dialectics, etc

Hi Carrol,

the same as before, accept my niavety and my narrative. i agree that
there probably is or were a few people who could have taken Marx/Hegel's
place. But i don't know if i agree that everyone of them would have
theorised (however sloppy) the conditions of the time in the same way.
The fact is, they didn't. And, if u want to condition it, there are
probably a million and one conditions (and dependent variables) that
could have influenced a million and one possible outcomes. The French
Revoltion and the 1848 revolutions were exceptional times, Marx wasn't
the only one to notice. 

Like yourself, i 'probably' knew Marx before i read him. Who hasn't? The
point i was trying to make is, does it make any difference? In my mind
this is the bedrock in relation to all the discussions and all the
theorising. As i said to Phil, i recognise the sophistication and the
meaning *behind* theory, u have to believe in where your thoughts are
taking u 100% BUT at what point do we or can we let go of these theories
in order to see what is there, or indeed not there. If someone tells us
they think our talk about class or gender or whatever is not relevant to
them (and yet we think it is), where do we go from there?

I know Bourdieu said something akin to Marx's false consciousness, and i
think the thought is implicit in a lot of 'pro-capitalist' thought
itself. The thing is How do u communicate that without using 'newspeak'

Carrol Cox wrote:
> wrote:
> > hi phil,
> >
> > d. That is, would someone else
> > have stepped in and taken Hegel's/Marx/and so on place,
> I would assume that at any given time there are several 10s of
> millions, perhaps 100s of millions, as 'bright' and 'insightful' as
> an Aristotle or Hegel or Marx. So when we speculate on the
> situation in which Hegel hypothetically didn't exist, we mean
> of the many available hegels none happened to have (or rather
> be) the history which placed 'him' [!] in the right set of conditions.
> But given the history of the 18th century (enlightenment, steam
> engine, Napoleonic Wars) it is rather difficult to imagine that
> set of conditions not existing. And of course as important as
> Hegel was, the French working class was rather more important
> in making Marx Marx instead of just another hegel. Without
> several decades of working class struggle making their impact
> there is no way Marx could have progressed from the 1844 Mss
> to the *Poverty of Philosophy* and *Eighteenth Brumaire*.(For
> one thing, there would have been no Proudhon and no Louis
> Bonaparte and no 1848 uprising to provoke him.
> > and if they
> > hadn't would we actually have had a 'dark ages'. There are plenty of
> > dark ages since Hegel that i can talk about without getting into too
> > much detail.
> Yes. Rosa's prediction has already come true.
> > Whether someone else could have provided another path, who
> > knows?
> Almost certainly others would have provided a similar path. Struggles
> would have developed Marx or no Marx, and the theory might have
> been sloppier but the essential perception that we are rather than
> have our history would have had to emerge to make sense of those
> struggles. I became a marxist without ever having read more marx
> than the first paragraph of the Manifesto a couple decades earlier.
> I became a marxist because I realized that the struggles I found
> myself engaged in would make no sense even if we won, and I
> thought that I'd better examine something that might make sense,
> and given the hell of a fight the Vietnamese were putting up
> marxism looked to be a good possibility. So *first* I became
> a marxist and *then* I begin to read to find out what it was
> that I had become.
> Carrol
> P.S. I thought the panel Engelskirchen, Pinkstone, & Porpora put
> on was tremendous -- I'm sorry Martha and I had to leave early
> to catch our planes. Since Aristotle loomed rather large in the
> papers, perhaps the presenters would enjoy a quip I picked up
> on another maillist a few years ago: "Marx is Aristotle with an
> attitude."
>      --- from list ---

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