Wrestling with Marx- Negations, Continuity and change- Help!

January 2021

Forums General discussion Wrestling with Marx- Negations, Continuity and change- Help!

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    Book Review: Interpreting Marx

    Interpreting Marx He must read and studied like a scientific  critiquer of capitalism without any myth ,  mysticism or complications


    Ceaseless Self-Movement: Dunayevskaya’s Interpretation of the Dialectic of the Absolute

    According to these intellectuals ( who also unify materialism with idealism and vice-versa ), you must understand Hegel mysticism and Hegel Mumble Jumble to understand Marx, and Marx capital, it would be  like studying pre-law or pre-medicine to become a lawyer or a medical doctor, and there are some countries and university who do not require that prerequisite

    The thing is that most works of Hegel are written in German and English, and they are difficult to be found in other languages and you must depend on second hands sources, and I do not think that Karl Marx depended on Hegel to write capital. Many years ago I learned a lesson from a member of this party and it was that we can not depend on second hands, and it was in the case of Feuerbach which forced more to read his works directly from his own writings, but Feuerbach is totally different to Hegel because he was a materialist philosopher, he was not an idealist philosopher

    This intellectual who is an academic and an economist said that it was difficult for him to understand Hegel, what about the simple workers of a factory, or agriculture workers? Do they have to spend their whole life studying Hegel to understand that they are exploited and that capitalism is an exploitative system, they do not even need to read capital to understand that either? There is also a book about the negation of the negation ( negativity )  which is very difficult to be understood, do we have to read it to understand Marx and Engels? I do not think so

    The best way to understand Marx is by reading his works, Engels was very popular because of the simplistic of his writing style. If anybody does not have too much free time to read their works, the library of a university known as the SPGB/WSM is more than enough to understand them.

    Robbo wrote an article on Marx concept of the labour law of value which is a good compendium of this concept and it was written in simple term, as well the book written by Adam on the alternative to capitalism is another good choice to understand Marx economic writing

    L.B. Neill

    I am currently reading Material Basis of Society,

    Once I let go of reading with a post Structural filter, traced back to a naturalist and science centre of meaning, it just flowed.

    I am appreciative of your advice!



    Outline for studying Capital Volume 1. Just remove the Hegelian hogwash


    Prof David Harvey Karl Marx volume 1 online


    MS – why all this prejudice towards the dialectic? Dialectics are fun and give us extraordinary insights that Marx used in his analysis. Understanding the dialectic is not difficult and once the basics are understood it helps to understand Marx’s method which many find inaccessible otherwise. I recommend you read Bertell Ollman’s Dance of the Dialectic which helps demystify the philosophical tradition.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by Wez.

    I have read all that, and I have read and studied one of the best dialecticians and Hegelian which was Raya Dunayevskaya and I do not think that I need dialectic, and I do not need philosophy and philosopher, and we do not need dialectic to understand Marx writings,  and I think that Marx abandoned dialectic, it is only applicable to the realm of the ideas, and it was one of the biggest mistakes of Engels to apply dialectic to nature. I think we had a long discussion about this subject on this forum, and we invited a person who has a website on dialectic


    MS – what is your evidence for saying that: ‘Marx abandoned the dialectic’? He certainly had a contempt for the contemporary idealist philosophers of his time but his method was always dialectical.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by Wez.


    I do not want to go into the whole detail of the subject matter because it is not part of this thread, but the above-cited link shows that we have a discussion about this topic. Marx considered philosophy as a useless tool, and dialectic is all idealistic philosophy, it only can be applied to the realm of the idea. The whole idea is in that thread. It was also indicated the dialectical materialism is not a creation of Marx either and Adam Buick wrote an article about known as the Workers Philosophers and it is not the creation of Georgi Plekhanov either

    L.B. Neill

    Wez and MS,

    There are heterogenous processes at work in Marx narratives, and from what I have read so far-, that it seems known and familiar. As Robbo said, that the post modern is conversations with Hegel in some way.  something newer can be made know.

    I appreciate thesis/antithesis continuously generating syntheses…

    However, reading Marx in and of Marx has been somewhat really helpful- good for a first reading, and then redouble in a closer analytical second read.

    You see I had learned Marxian ideas from secondary sources in social science: views on what Marx wrote- or ‘their’ take on its utility. Reading Marx as a primary text is so much more informative and flexible… Marx for his time… and hermeneutic for ours.

    That said we may all have our critique, and that is what makes it more robust- reading the ideas of others, differing and yet the same!

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by L.B. Neill.
    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by L.B. Neill.
    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by L.B. Neill.

    Marx and philosophy

    Personally, I do not think Marx was a philosopher,  ( he was a dr in philosophy )I think  he was an anthropologist


    Karl Marx: Anthropologist

    Karl Marx Anthropologist


    MS – As I suspected, you have no evidence for your assertion that Marx abandoned the dialectic. I’m well aware of comrade Buick’s thoughts on the subject and he has every right, like you, to be mistaken. Even if Marx had thought that philosophy was of no further use the science to which he aspired was the child of philosophy in terms of its materialism, empiricism and, in Marx’s view of science, in its dialectical analysis.


    Adam Buick and I are not the only ones who are mistaken on that topic, thousands of Marxists have the same opinions and I know several of them

    Matthew Culbert

    I can’t separate Marx the polymath, into discreet sections from the philospher, dialectician, anthropologist etc et al.

    Fortunately I don’t have to do so from a political standpoint, as we make clear in our A to Z.of Marxism#M

    The Socialist Party has made its own contributions to socialist theory whilst combating distortions of Marx’s ideas. In the light of all the above, the three main Marxist theories can be restated as:

    • The political theory of class struggle

    • The materialist theory of history

    • The labour theory of value

    These are tools of analysis, which have been further developed and modified by socialists, to explain how the working class are exploited under capitalism. Marxism is not only a method for criticising capitalism: it also points to the alternative. Marxism explains the importance to the working class of common ownership, democratic control and production solely for use and the means for establishing it. And while it is desirable that socialist activists should acquaint themselves with the basics of Marxism, it is essential that a majority of workers have a working knowledge of how capitalism operates and what the change to socialism will mean.

    Reading Terrell Carver (ed), The Cambridge Companion to Marx, 2008 Keith Graham, Karl Marx, Our Contemporary: Social Theory for a Post-Leninist World, 1992 Marx online

    As for our take on the Dialectic this link takes you to a short sumnation. A to Z of Marxism#D

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