His essay "Marxism and Humanism" is a strong statement of anti-humanism in Marxist theory, condemning ideas like "human potential" and "species-being", which are often put forth by Marxists, as outgrowths of a bourgeois ideology of "humanity".

And, also from wikipedia

For Althusser, the humanism of Marx's early writings—influenced by Hegel and Feuerbach—is fundamentally incongruous with the "scientific", structure-concerned theory found in Marx's mature works such as Das Kapital.

Does this later, scientific, Marxism really make sense, given the relative obscurity of Marxist ideas?

Seems to me that it's only in a blend of the so called "humanist" and "scientific" Marx, that we can say that Marx's communism may be realisable, as that would rely on different forms of argument, and observation -- is the working class still a potential catalyst for revolutionary change in humanistic terms.

  • Is the question whether Althussers reworking make prior or other interpretations less "realisable"? Or are you looking to make sense of his project? Mar 23, 2017 at 0:07
  • You seem to be applying Lacatos's falsificationist label to something that does not come even close to being a research programme (in his sense) in the first place. The use of "scientific" as applied to either early or late Marx can only be read metaphorically.
    – Conifold
    Mar 23, 2017 at 2:24
  • @Conifold i would be more sympathetic to it bineg a metaphor if popper hadn't had used his flasification principle to argue it was pseudo science
    – anon
    Mar 23, 2017 at 15:16
  • 1
    But that is my point. To be a degenerating research program Marxism would have to be a (scientific) research program first, which, according to both Popper and Lakatos, it isn't.
    – Conifold
    Mar 23, 2017 at 17:50
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    @ClearMountainWay Lakatos attaches specialized meaning to the term related to testability, not the loose colloquial one, you can look under the link in my comment. If I recall correctly, Friedman's monetarism does not meet his requirements either. Previous version of your comment indicated that even Marx himself did not see his work as "scientific" in the usual objectivist sense, "The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it" is one reason why.
    – Conifold
    Mar 23, 2017 at 20:40


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