A discussion forum for history enthusiasts everywhere
 
HomeHome  Recent ActivityRecent Activity  FAQFAQ  RegisterRegister  Log inLog in  

Share | 
 

 "I am not a Marxist" - Karl Marx. So who was?

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
Go to page : Previous  1, 2
AuthorMessage
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima


Posts : 5262
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: "I am not a Marxist" - Karl Marx. So who was?   Tue 05 May 2015, 14:12

Yes, it is an excellent play/film. When I had a difficult class for GCSE English, I always started with Rita - then led them into Macbeth when they weren't looking: it always worked a treat. That was back in the days when English teachers had some freedom - you couldn't do that today.

I like the idea of a "better song" as the theme for a play. But whose song, what song should we be offering? Freedom to choose her own life was the song Rita learned. That's the best song, I think.

I've just been reading about Louis Althusser who is apparently the latest must-study theorist for Eng. Lit. undergraduates. He went out of fashion after the 1970s, but is now being "rediscovered". An Algerian-born French Marxist philosopher who is responsible for "re-inventing Marxism", the poor chap didn't have a better song to sing, for all his brilliant intellect.

He ended up in a mental hospital, having murdered his wife - he strangled her.


http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/althusser/
Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ
avatar

Posts : 5637
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: "I am not a Marxist" - Karl Marx. So who was?   Tue 05 May 2015, 14:27

He escaped Das Kapital Punishment, then ...
Back to top Go down
https://reshistorica.historyboard.net
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 5262
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: "I am not a Marxist" - Karl Marx. So who was?   Tue 05 May 2015, 17:45

Have a read of this. The most disturbing part of this article from the Independent concerns not the shocking murder of his wife - obviously the terrible personal tragedy of a sick man - but the paragraph quoted below which refers to Althusser's admission of his academic fraud:

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/getting-away-with-murder-its-the-talk-of-paris--how-louis-althusser-killed-his-wife-how-he-was-an-intellectual-fraud-its-all-in-his-posthumous-autobiographical-memoir-gilbert-adair-turns-the-pages-1530755.html


In one astonishing passage, which is likely to have destroyed his reputation for ever, Althusser reveals how ill-read he really was: the possessor of thousands of books of which he now claims to have opened only a few hundred. His expertise in philosophy, in the history of ideas, was sketchy at best: 'I knew the work of Descartes and Malebranche well, Spinoza a little, Aristotle not at all; Plato and Pascal quite well, Kant not at all, Hegel a little.' He was not even particularly conversant with Marx, having read only his early works when he came to write his own seminal Marxist texts. What he was blessed (or cursed) with was an infallible knack for extrapolating from commentaries and occasionally from no more than casual conversations those ideas and intuitions that he knew he would be able to exploit and develop in his own writings. He relates how he contrived to impress his first teacher, the Catholic theologian Jean Guitton, with a paper whose guiding principles he had simply filched from Guitton's own corrections of a fellow student's essay, and how he concocted fake quotations in the thesis he wrote for another major contemporary philosopher, Gaston Bachelard.
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 5262
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: "I am not a Marxist" - Karl Marx. So who was?   Thu 07 May 2015, 08:08

"Academic Marxism is a fantasy world, and unctuous compassion-sweepstakes, into which real workers or peasants never penetrate." - Camille Paglia

When in doubt, consult Wiki:


In its historicism and in its political interpretations, New Historicism is indebted to Marxism. But whereas Marxism (at least in its cruder forms) tends to see literature as part of a 'superstructure' in which the economic 'base' (i.e. material relations of production) manifests itself, New Historicist thinkers tend to take a more nuanced view of power, seeing it not exclusively as class-related but extending throughout society. This view derives primarily from Michel Foucault and his work in critical theory.

In its tendency to see society as consisting of texts relating to other texts, with no 'fixed' literary value above and beyond the way specific cultures read them in specific situations, New Historicism is a form of postmodernism applied to interpretive history.

New Historicism shares many of the same theories as with what is often called cultural materialism, but cultural materialist critics are even more likely to put emphasis on the present implications of their study and to position themselves in disagreement to current power structures, working to give power to traditionally disadvantaged groups. Cultural critics also downplay the distinction between "high" and "low" culture and often focus predominantly on the productions of "popular culture." (Newton 1988). New Historicists analyze text with an eye to history. With this in mind, New Historicism is not “new”. Many of the critiques that existed between the 1920s and the 1950s also focused on literature's historical content.


That's what I was saying in 1985.

Camille Paglia likewise cites "the New Historicism coming out of Berkeley" as an "issue where the PC academy thinks it's going to reform the old bad path: I have been there before they have been, and I'm there to punish and expose and to say what they are doing...a piece of crap." Elsewhere, Paglia has suggested that New Historicism is "a refuge for English majors without critical talent or broad learning in history or political science.  To practice it, you must apparently lack all historical sense."

Harold Bloom criticizes the New Historicism for reducing literature to a footnote of history, and for not paying attention to the details involved in analyzing literature.


That's what I was saying in 1995. Not a typo - I mean 1995. Yes, ten years later I was still fretting...  Shocked

It was all interesting at the time, I suppose. Not so much now we are all so much older. Not wiser, but certainly wearier. And the Eng. Lit. kids have moved on: they are all into ecocriticism now, bless them. But they still don't seem to know what assonance is.

Off to vote. It's going to be an exciting 24 hours - I suppose. But I still think Benjamin the Donkey was right.

"Benjamin was the only animal who did not side with either faction. He refused to believe either that food would become more plentiful or that the windmill would save work. Windmill or no windmill, he said, life would go on as it had always gone on– that is, badly."

So, getting back to the original question: "I am not a Marxist" - Karl Marx. So who was?" - what about George Orwell? I don't think he ever saw himself as a Marxist, did he? But, perhaps like Erasmus being "too good a Protestant ever to become one", Orwell was actually too good a Marxist ever to be one?


Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 5262
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: "I am not a Marxist" - Karl Marx. So who was?   Thu 07 May 2015, 16:35

PS Orwell had a poodle called Marx.
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 5262
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: "I am not a Marxist" - Karl Marx. So who was?   Tue 29 Sep 2015, 14:21

Comrade Corbie is about to speak at the Labour Party Conference. Gosh, this is just like 1974 revisited.

But was he - is he - really a Marxist?

Nothing worse than an old Marxist.  pale
Back to top Go down
 

"I am not a Marxist" - Karl Marx. So who was?

View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 2 of 2Go to page : Previous  1, 2

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Res Historica History Forum :: The history of ideas ... :: Political ideology-