Thursday, March 29, 2018

From My Notepad


                  What Marx  Really Meant    G D H cole
            ( from the Series of Notes taken by  Pattabiraman)
(Notes of Ch 1… 2nd speaks about Capitalism)
From Hegelian dialectic  Marx built his materilistic dialectic
The world we have to study has grown directly out of the world marx studied.. many of his qns are our qns too
One should Find his method more helpful than his doctrine
No sense was stronger in Marx than the sense of change.. only idiots learn The manifesto and capital by heart and conceive themselves to have unlocked the secrets of the capitalist system as it now exists
Societies are constantly changing collections of individual men and women
Man cannot breathe the breath of life into a dead body, or give concreteness to  admittedly an asbtraction
If we are setting out to understand a thing, we must look directly at the thing itself, and not primarily at men's ideas about it.. The thing is prior to idea men form of it, but ideas formed can exert influence in changing the shape of things
Inorder to become a force in history, the idea must be made flesh and become a thing
For idealists there are no things  there are only thoughts thinking them and they proceed from universal mind
from Hegelian dialectic  Marx built his materilistic dialectic
For Hegel human history was merely a phase in the dialectical self realisation of the idea... idealism in evoultionary terms
For marx the things that we see feel and experience directly with our minds and senses are real, but they are not static.. constantly changing, becoming waning passing into something other than themselves
So Hegelian dialectic is the right method of apprehending reality, but it needs to be applied directly to the world of things
For Hegel the struggle of ideas is fought out again and again in the dialectical form of thesis, antithesis and synthesis and each synthesis becomes a thesis and fresh struggle is to be fought
The outcome of realist conception is not to dethrone the mind of man, and to assert that men make their own history against those who hold that God or the Absoulte makes it for them... Men make their own history.. they make it primarily in the economic sphere
Great men do count, but greatness fits in with the opportunities of their time.. it is not in the least true that in their absence the world would stand still, or that they are only, the principal formative force in world history  20
The causes are not complete until the human beingswhose action makes history have done their part.
Marxism is determinist but not fatalist
If something other than Socialism should succeed to Capitalism as the next historical form of social organisation, that would not at all prove the Realist conception of History to be wrong
It is no doubt possible to hold, as an integral element ina theory of history, that historical epochs do succeed one another in a predestined order, so that there can be more than one possible successor to any given system. But what conceivable ground can there be for such a view? If it is held at all, it must be held simply apriori for it is by its very nature incapable of verification or even of plausible demonstration in the light of the facts
Men's choice is confined to the objectively possible but how vital that choice may be when the alternatives are delicately poised
Marx did think that Socialism would be the next phase in the history.. Marx's rightness or wrongness on this point does not in any way affect the validity of his general theory
In Marx's vies the combatants in social conflict are not things but men, rather groups of men ordered in economic classes in accordance with their differing relations to the non human powers of production and to one another
individual labour individual capitalist all in chain of related process- interrelation of entire economic system is the process of economic socialisation to which political socialism is the counterpart. Capitalism socialising the workers .. socialisation of productive powers of society is laying foundations for the socialisation of ownership- the means of production
 A man may be a detail labourer in a factory, with no isolable individual product of his own, without loosing his individuality as a person, however much he acts and thinks as a member of a group.
An action is in the last resort individual action... in social matters acting in association with others who are similarly placed.. even if they differ, are such as to afford a basis for cooperative action..it is possible for an individual to disassociate and act in opposition to his own group or class
There has never been a human society in which each individual acted by himself without group loyalty or collaboration
class loyalty need not imply class consciousness.. for the upper strata class consciousness of a reasoned and explicit kind is unnecessary -it is a positive danger
For a class which has still to win power, inorder to become a controlling agent of social change, a considerable degree of positive class consciousness is essential.. higher degree of deliberately organised cooperation is needed for changing the face of society than for preserving the status quo
Class consciousness is essentially a matter of degree... turning of class loyalty into class consciousness is largely a matter of propaganda and organisation
The objective situation by itself will not suffice to create a consciously organised class- that is the work of men- leaders
Nothing in human history is ever inevitable until it has happened, not because things happen without a cause, but because no chain of causation is ever complete until it has actually produced its effect.
In marx's view no group plays a dominant role in history unless it appears as the representative of a class
A group which is not the embodiment of a class does not stand for any particular way of arranging the powers of production... groups and associations are not classes but they can and do become in varying degrees the rep of class aspirations and points of view
It is not suggested that the division of society into economic classes is inevitable for all time
World history has to be written in terms not only of the internal evoultion of a number of civilisations, but also their impact one on another
Marx's realist conception of history may be universally valid without his staement of it in terms of class struggles possessing the same universality. There are other posssible dialectical forms besides the class struggle
any institution, whether economic or not in its origin, whether or not an embodiment of a class, can act upon men's minds, upon other institutions and influence the course of history
The worst enemies of Marxism are those who harden it into a universal dogma and thus conceal its value as a flexible method of social analysis. The realist conception of history is a clue to the understanding of social realities, and not a complete explanation of them.
A theory which is to serve as a guide to action can afford least of all to decline into a dogma, or to be formulated rigidly on mechanistic lines
The first essential of successful action is flexibility in the application of principles, a quality often confused with opportunism, but in truth its very opposite. opportunist does not apply principles, he flouts them. But the successful man of action holds fast to his principle, but at the same time understands the need of restating it constantly in relation to changes in the objective  situation
Marxism a living force, not the opium of the socialist orthodox


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