Thursday, March 08, 2018

Karl Marx as ‘‘‘Psychohistorian’’’.







Karl Marx as ‘‘‘Psychohistorian’’’.







Dear Readers,

The Special Council for the Encyclopedia recently discovered an interesting internet interview, reachable via the following URL:  http://www.thenorthstar.info/2013/02/18/marx-was-a-neuroscientist/ .

 

The following is an excerpt from that interview --

 

“The coherence of Marxism rests upon an attempted synthesis of materialism and the Hegelian dialectic.  What exactly is meant by such a synthesis has been a subject of great debate.  A particularly problematic character in this debate has been Lenin. Lenin’s philosophy, as expressed mainly in Materialism and Empirio-Criticism and his Philosophical Notebooks, is quite ambiguous and perhaps contradictory — he seems never quite able to resolve the synthesis between the Hegelian dialectic and materialism.  At Lenin’s worst, his philosophy reduces to a “reflection theory,” and what Axelrod called “naive realism.”  At his best, Lenin wrestles with the attempt to “apply dialectics to… the process and development of knowledge,” but the issue was never really resolved in his writings.  Due to the eventual canonization of these problematic texts, these ambiguities would lead to great disputes in Soviet Marxism, and consequently in Marxism more generally, ranging widely from the metaphysical to the positivistic.  Eventually, Soviet “dialectical materialism” would largely be reduced to mechanistic materialism, with the “dialectic” a mere superficial stylistic ornament, the ambiguity of which could be deployed for political purposes.  Partially in response, much of the academic work of “Western Marxism” moved in the other direction, abdicating claims to the natural sciences, eventually leading to what you call “proto-postmodern relativism”...”


I posted the following comment to this interview, aiming to open a dialogue with the interviewee:

“It might be interesting to consider, in regard to the topic of this interview, the work of a project for the resurrection and renaissance of Marxian theory.  This project involves the derivation of a dialectical progression of systems of ‘dialectical ideography’, i.e., of “mathematics of dialectics”, via the immanent critique of the ideological vitiations prevailing in modern mathematics.  This project sees Karl Marx, certainly not as a “neuroscientist”, but as “the greatest psychohistorian that Terran humanity has so far produced”, using the term '“psychohistorian”' in a critical, Marxian re-visioning of its Asimovian meaning.  Per this project, Marx’s theory should be characterized as a ‘psychohistorical materialism’, and decidedly not as any kind of pseudo-materialist actual Idealism of the Abstract Idea of “Matter”.  Also per this project, Leninism and its various offspring should be regarded as predictable degenerations -- predictable via Marxian theory -- of Marxian theory itself into an ideology in support of neo-Jacobinist putschist parties, and of the totalitarian state-bureaucratic national ruling classes to which their “successful” coup d’etat lead, in the semi-periphery of core capitalism, in the form of state-capitalist nation-states, as a new pathway for the “primitive accumulation” of industrial capital.  This work is available for free download via http://www.dialectics.org .” 







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