From The Dublin Review Of Books: ‘Inventing The Working Class’

Full review here.

Our author, Marc Mulholland reviews Jonathan Sperber’s new biography of Karl Marx.

‘Marx was that nineteenth century novelty, the professional revolutionary. Like the Mazzinian Italian nationalist, the Blanquist French republican, the Russian nihilist terrorist, or the Irish Fenian he dedicated himself to working for the overthrow of the established order, in season and out. Two things made him unique: his penetrating and awesomely capacious intellect and his faith in the world-changing potential of a new class, the wage-earning proletariat engaged in modern industry .’

Old dreams die hard.  Here are some possibly useful quotes from a different source:

‘Karl Marx did not have a theory of morality; he had a theory of history. Thus, Marxism was not about right or wrong but about what will happen in history. Marx was contemptuous of people who judged things in moral terms. When diehards say that Marxism has actually never been “tried” (despite what Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro, Ho, and Daniel Ortega thought they were doing), they don’t understand that Marxism was not a rule for behavior or a program for action; it was supposed to be the theory of a deterministic mechanism that will produce the future, a theory of actions that will arise spontaneously because of historical circumstances…’

and:

‘Marx thought that as capitalism had replaced feudalism with a new mode of production, which was more productive and efficient, the same thing would happen to produce a replacement for capitalism. In the end, as the workers were impoverished (when capitalists drove down wages) and the number of capitalists dwindled (as competition was replaced by larger and larger monopolies), the capitalists would end up with no one to sell their goods to and nothing to do with the capital derived from their profits. This would produce increasingly severe credit and banking crises, until the proletariat would easily tip over the whole rotten structure and replace it with a classless society.’

Addition:  How many times have you heard lately, ‘it’s not race, it’s class,”  or wondered about the motives behind all of those cries for equality and income inequality?  Now egalitarians come in all different flavors, but a few really do see history unfolding as a process that leads to impossible ideals.

Related On This Site:…Peter Singer discusses Hegel and MarxFrom Philosophy And Polity: ‘Historicism In German Political Theory’Update And Repost-Adam Kirsch Reviews Francis Fukuyama’s Book At The City Journal: ‘The Dawn Of Politics’

Update And Repost- From YouTube: Leo Strauss On The Meno-More On The Fact/Value Distinction?’

From Darwinian Conservatism: ‘Nietzsche–Aristocratic Radical or Aristocratic Liberal?’

Can Kant do all that heavy lifting…what are some of the dangers of Kantian reason?:  From Bryan Magee’s Talking Philosophy On Youtube: Geoffrey Warnock On KantA Few Thoughts On Isaiah Berlin’s “Two Concepts Of Liberty” …

Brazil’s Roberto Unger In The Chronicle Of Higher Ed

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Categories: Culture, Current Events, Economics, Philosophy, Politics, Public Debate, Radicalism, Religion, The Future

Author:chr1

An independent blogger seeking to discuss deeply while keeping an open mind. I'm mostly on the right, but living in Seattle I have to think about what that means on a daily basis. I like to read philosophy.

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