File spoon-archives/marxism2.archive/marxism2_1996/96-07-31.055, message 67


Date: Tue, 23 Jul 1996 00:30:01 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: communist egoism



Ralph,

I appreciate your great outpouring of spleen and reactive emotion in 
response to my post on Stirner. 

Is egoism really the "party line" these days? Doesn't look like it to me. 
The age is, as you yourself observe and wring your hands over, awash with 
the illusions of slave and herd mentality.

Blake and Lenin together? How curious. What would Blake say about those 
Soviet satanic mills where Frederick W. Taylor methods of time-efficiency 
management were being applied? How would he have felt about the poetic 
vision of labor camps, summary executions, and midnight visits from the 
Cheka (none of them invented or patented by Joe Stalin)?

If the subjectivity rediscovered by the hegelian marxists of the 20th 
cent. is important (and I agree with you, it is important), then it is 
Korsch, Lukacs, and the mostly French post-WWII 'revisionists' that 
should stand out. You turn up your nose at the Situationists, fine 
hegelian marxists that they were (at least Debord was), and praise instead 
Lenin and his inchoate notebooks of 1915.

Concerning Marx scientific and Romantic: you say this is a lie. But is 
it? He may never have abandoned his early themes, and indeed, they seem 
to resurface in spades at the end of his life, but the scientist 
'superego' really does seem to be in the saddle for most of his career. 
Perhaps Marx had, like Goethe's Faust, two souls in his breast--a real 
Romantic doppelgeanger. Freud was like that too--a German Romantic in his 
youth, a hard-nosed scientist in maturity. In both cases, the imaginative 
philosopher-poet overlayed by the highly systematic scientist. 


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