Questions tagged [marxism]

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Do Deleuze and Baudrillard really advocate extracting capitalism's "subversive energy"?

I'm reading Forget Foucault by Baudrillard, or starting to, anyway. Still in Sylvere Lotringer's introduction. He claims that, after the failure of the '68 revolution in France, thinkers like Deleuze ...
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Do any Marxists write about Ulysses' "nightmare of history"

History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake Usually, it seems, associated with the artistic career of Joyce. But yes, it does sound like rich pickings for an aestheticising Marxist. Do ...
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Could a Marxist claim that interpreting the world is all that a Marxist vanguard can do (but that the working class can still change it)? [closed]

Could a Marxist claim that interpreting the world is all that a Marxist vanguard can do, but that the working class can still change it? Marx, quite famously, said that philosophers have only ...
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What did Karl Marx mean by "revolutionary combination due to association"?

In "The Communist Manifesto", it is said that: "The advance of industry, whose involuntary promoter is the bourgeoisie, replaces the isolation of the laborers, due to competition, by the ...
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Could Zen have a chance to "transform" ( aka outbreak ) the Western logos oriented thoughts?

This Saturday I will have a chance to meet someone whose father is a Zen Buddhist. Personal things aside, along with learning Zen, I have found out the similarity that Zen, one of whose main methods, ...
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What is the value of the individual in Marx's writing?

Very obviously, Marx put emphasis on changes to, and the value of, society. But in his writing is he doing away with the value of the individual? Or does it simply go without saying, that individuals ...
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800 views

What is Benjamin saying in thesis VI in On the Concept of History?

What is Benjamin saying in thesis VI in On the Concept of History? I quote it in full from here, having annotated the key points I'm struggling with in bold To articulate what is past does not ...
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254 views

Can the communist revolution be blamed for the violence of the USSR? [closed]

Can the communist revolution be blamed for the violence of the USSR? Obviously communists claim that there was a "counter-revolution", so for the sake of the question, let's assume that Communism is ...
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What's the difference between the "hermeneutics of suspicion" and conspiracy theory?

The term "conspiracy theory" was invented by Karl Popper as a way to describe Marxist theories of history as a collusion of the bourgeoise class against the working class. So, as far as I can tell, ...
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Is Althusser's Marxism a degenerating research program?

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 ...
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Is every mistake or reactionary form of Marxism "substitutionalist"?

Substitutionism is a term in Marxist theory which refers to the relationship between the revolutionary party and the working class, where the former's activity substitutes the latter's. It is seen ...
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Are there forms of capital which are not overtly economic?

Are there forms of capital which are not overtly economic, e.g. political capital? Especially, in what ways is capialism reproduced besides the investment of money into means of production, to extract ...
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How do Marxists explain the failures of the working movement?

How do Marxists explain the failures of the working movement? I don't so much mean the counter revolution in Russia, but the lack of an international working class movement, especially one which ...
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Why is Marxism (not) historicist?

I have been reading bits and pieces on historicism, mostly from Wikipedia and other online publications. In my understanding, it is an ideological evaluation model which emphasizes the context in ...
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If history repeats as farce, then how can Nietzsche's madman prove the truth?

I keep wondering what "farce" really amounts to, in class terms, for Marx, rather than individual. On this question, there was the following comment But, if we look at more class based movements, ...
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Is large scale strike action an essential element of Marxism?

Is large scale strike action an essential element of Marxism? I'm asking because something significant and unforeseen has to occur, I think, to make that at all possible.
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Who are the most prominent post-Marx thinkers within Marxism?

I'm becoming more interested in Marxism, and the ensuing economies that attempted to use Marxist thought. What I wonder is, which post-Marx, modern thinkers have most successfully built on Marxist ...
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What's a good translation for "De" in Dao De Jing?

The Dao De Jing is a classic about how Nature operates (or doesn't operate) to achieve its ever-evolving marvels. Jing here means a classic book. Dao is the Way, the "first cause": to me a fancy name ...
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Guy Debord - society of spectacle - thesis 3

I'm reading the book by Guy Debord, "society of spectacle". I think it's quite known, but it's difficult to read! In thesis number 3, he talks about a so called process of "unification". Can someone ...
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Is Nietzsche's thought primarily a solution on how to classify people?

I was just now doing some super light reading on Nietzsche's aristocraticism. Seems to me that a lot of human history, both intellectual and social, is an attempt to create a stronger class system. ...
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What other defects did Marx think there was to hitherto existing metarialism?

The chief defect of all hitherto existing materialism – that of Feuerbach included – is that the thing, reality, sensuousness, is conceived only in the form of the object Does Marx allege any ...
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What did Marx mean by "revolutionary terror"?

there is only one way in which the murderous death agonies of the old society and the bloody birth throes of the new society can be shortened, simplified and concentrated, and that way is ...
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Was Marx an existentialist?

Obviously someone like Marcuse is often lumped under both 'Marxism' and 'existentialism'. What about Marx? I ask myself a lot how there can be any meaning to life when death is inevitable and ...
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Given Marx's original theory of alienation, why is he interpreted as being anti-individualist?

In a video discussion (starting at 0:59:48), Massimo Pigliucci says that he doesn't like Marx's theory of society because it reduces humans to social insects, devoid of individualism. Similarly, ...
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What would Marx say about liberal identity politics?

As far as I know the main post-Marxist criticism of identity politics is that it is divisive, and so prevents the association of the proletariat. This seems to me to not take liberalism seriously ...
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Was Marx an antisemite?

Marx wrote about Jews quite a bit, despite having Jewish blood or ancestors. Was Marx an antisemite?
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What would Marx and his dialectic claim happens when both classes have been ruined?

Marx famously, in his communist manifesto, said Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master(3) and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant ...
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Marx's Alienated Labor in Relation to Man

Recently I have been reading Marx's manuscripts of philosophy and communist ideals. He explains alienated labor in a capitalist society as being degrading to the laborer and thereby rendering the ...
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If religion is the opium of the masses, are the masses self-medicating or is someone drugging them?

I've always assumed that when Marx said "Religion is the opium of the masses", he meant that religion is a tool used by the ruling classes of the time to dominate the lower classes. But when ...
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Can cruelty and suffering be justified if it might lead to social transformation?

Slavoj Žižek is generally viewed as controversial. But in watching a recent video made by him, he had a good point about us lengthening the pain of others. For example, he argues that "good" slave ...
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Did Marx ever consider that some work alienation is inevitable for the greater good of society?

Not everyone can be a cutting edge researcher or a successful singer/song writer. Some people are bound to be stuck in jobs they don't like, and which don't allow for any form of self-fulfillment. ...
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What would Marx say about Lenin?

I know enough "good" Marxists (basically, ones with anarchist sympathies that take most of their history from opposition to other Communists, including Trotsky, beginning with Luxemburg): they say e.g....
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How can "Diesseitigkeit" be understood in Marx' Theses on Feuerbach?

Man must prove the truth, i.e., the reality and power, the this-sidedness [Diesseitigkeit] of his thinking, in practice Thesis two of Marx's very short Theses on Feuerbach. I'm no scholar: does ...
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Intentionality and emergentism in Marxist theories?

This question came to mind when reading about Adorno and Horkheimer's Culture Industry, but it might apply to any Marxist theory where the bourgeoisie/capitalist class performs some action to defend ...
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Why did Karl Popper criticize Karl Marx's ideas?

Karl Popper believed that Karl Marx's ideas lead to dictatorship. Why did Karl Popper believe in this idea?
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Does Marx view the establishment of a Communsit society as an intellectual evolution?

In reading the Marx-Engels Reader, I have come to the general understanding that Marx views capitalism as a necessary precondition for the establishment of communism. Moreover, it seems that Marx ...
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Has Marxism been refuted as philosophy?

"For understandable, if philosophically frivolous, reasons the collapse of the Soviet Union has been taken - especially in the media - as signaling the defeat of Marxism qua philosophy", so writes ...
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Is the "Continental Philosophy" dependent on Marxism?

I saw this: Why is Ayn Rand's Objectivism philosophy dismissed by academics? "However, her well-documented ideological struggle against Marxism undermines her own argument again here; the Marxist ...
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Was the Communist Manifesto actually representative of Marx's ideology?

The Communist Manifesto (TCM, from here on) has become the most well-known work by Karl Marx - even more so than Kapital. However, I'm wondering if it is it correct to call the points laid out by the ...
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What would the situationists think of this rule?

Do what one will to maximize ones own sense of overcoming mundane life. I understand their ideas about the situation were meant to prod people out of their mundane lives. The situation being, IIRC, ...
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The culture industry and division of labour

The division of labour is the specialisation of cooperating individuals who perform specific tasks and roles. It is thought of as perhaps supremely alienating by Marxists, though I never found out ...
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What is an example of human labour being the exclusive source of surplus value

Marx's labour theory seems to define surplus value as being produced exclusively from human labour. One discussion of this concept stated: Machinery, and tools of production do not create surplus ...
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Was Marx a defender of capitalism?

I have studied Marx in a lot of subjects in the school, such as History, Sociology, Economy and Political Sciences. The bad side of this is that each professor told me different things about Marx. ...
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What is the relationship between the rhizome and the body without organs?

I am in the middle of A Thousand Plateaus and considering the relationship between rhizome and body without organs. One thought I had is that they both take part in the constitution of relationships ...
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What is the difference between 'hegemony' and 'interpellation' in Marxism?

I thought that hegemony explains how one class exerts influence over another, and interpellation explains how one class allows the other class to exert influence over them. But then the two seem so ...
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Identifying base/superstructure using Marxist theories in Coriolanus?

How does the base/superstructure and ideology or hegemony work in the play Coriolanus by Shakespeare? I mean what is the base and the superstructure? I know that the superstructure is basically the ...
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Whats the difference between fixed and constant capital?

Rosa Luxembourg in The Accumulation of Capital describes & investigates the constant and fixed capital of Marx & Smith respectively. With Marx, she says Constant capital is the value ...
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How to contextualise reading Friere's Pedagogy of the Oppressed?

I've been asked to read Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Friere; I know very little about the subject of critical pedagogy. Which other texts should be read alongside it? Someone has suggested Fanon'...
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Which Analytic philosophers have a positive engagement with Marxism?

I generally associate Marxist thought to be generally associated with the Continental tradition, however one supposes there are philosophers in the Analytic tradition that have critically evaluated ...
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How is Maoism differentiated from classical Marxism Ideology?

Is this because China hads then a predominantly rural economy so the standar suppositions about the proletariat (and lumpen-proletariat) didn't hold? If this is right how did Mao modify the theory?