Works of Karl Marx 1843
A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right
Written: December 1843-January 1844;
First published: in Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher, 7 & 10 February 1844 in Paris;
Proofed: and corrected by Matthew Carmody 2009.
". . . . the criticism of religion is the prerequisite of all criticism."
[. . . . to the sea-waves in which were scattered the ashes of Engels]
"Idealism and metaphysics are the easiest things in the world, because people can talk as much nonsense as they like without basing it on objective reality or having it tested against reality. Materialism and dialectics, on the other hand, need effort. They must be based on and tested by objective reality. Unless one makes the effort one is liable to slip into idealism and metaphysics."
Introductory note to "Material on the Hu Feng Counter-Revolutionary Clique" (May 1955).
Antonio Gramsci Italian Marxist
" . . . . everyone is a philosopher . . . . is it preferable to 'think' without having critical awareness, in a disjointed and irregular way, in other words to 'participate' in a conception of the world 'imposed' mechanically by external environment? .. . . or is it preferable to work out one's own conception of the world consciously and critically, and so out of this work of one's own brain to choose one's own sphere of activity, to partipate actively in making the history of the world, and not simply to accept passively and without care the imprint of one's own personality from outside? . . . .The beginning of the critical elaboration is the consciousness of what one really is, that is, a 'know thyself' as the product of the historical process which has left you an infinty of traces gathered together without the advantage of an inventory. First of all it is necessary to compile such an inventory." *
---"The Modern Prince, "The Study of Philosophy and of Historical Materialism."
pages 58-59, "The Modern Prince and other writings."
* Last line not in Gramsci's "Prison Notebooks"
Let me add to my Post of some Marxist "thought experiments" that while the Founders of scientific socialism were writing their greatest works (1844-43), thousands of people were sitting on their rooftops in "glory robes" awaiting the "Second Coming" of Jesus (cf. the history of the Seventh-Day Adventists under Wm. Miller). Today, even the "Jehovah's Witnesses" are proclaiming a Paradise earth to come. Who were wiser? My money is on Marx and Engels, in spite of the perversions of their political states in the 20th century. As Marx wrote succinctly, "the criticism of religion is the prerequisite of all criticism." When will we (humankind) ever learn about the falsity of "saviours"?
|When will we (humankind) ever learn about the falsity of "saviours"? |
Even "Saviors" like Lenin, Stalin, Mao-Tse-Tung, Castro, Tito etc.?
Absolutely! Just as in any philosophical theory, the "cult of personality" is still the problem---even in Theosophy where Besant is set against Blavatsky, etc. However, also as in Theosophy, the in-fighting of the adherents does not obviate the reality of the theory. I take much from the historical Marxists as to philosophy, just as I do from the historical Theosophists. HPB taught altruism as the highest expression of Theosophy (q.v "The Key to Theosophy"). Who among us has attained to that high ideal? Even so, Marx and Engels taught scientific socialism---who has yet attained that high ideal? But we, Theosophists and Marxists alike, still keep trying to attain those ideals.