For Marx (Radical Thinkers)

For Marx (Radical Thinkers)

Louis Althusser

Language: English

Pages: 259

ISBN: 184467052X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


This is the work in which Louis Althusser formulated some of his most influential ideas. For Marx, first published in France in 1968, has come to be regarded as the founding text of the school of “structuralist Marxism” which was presided over by the fascinating and enigmatic figure of Louis Althusser. Structuralism constituted an intellectual revolution in the 1960s and 1970s and radically transformed the way philosophy, political and social theory, history, science, and aesthetics were discussed and thought about. For Marx was a key contribution to that process and it fundamentally recast the way in which many people understood Marx and Marxism.

This book contains the classic statements of Althusser’s analysis of the young Marx and the importance of Feuerbach during this formative period, of his thesis of the “epistomological break” between the early and the late Marx, and of his conception of dialectics, contradiction and “overdetermination.” Also included is a study of the materialist theater of Bertolazzi and Brecht and the critique of humanist readings of Marxism. Since his death in 1990, Althusser’s legacy has come under renewed examination and it is increasingly recognized that the influence of his ideas has been wider and deeper than previously thought: reading For Marx, in its audacity, originality and rigor, will explain why this impact was so significant.

Labor of Dionysus: A Critique of the State-Form (Theory Out of Bounds, Volume 4)

Capitalism in the Web of Life: Ecology and the Accumulation of Capital

Marx: A Very Short Introduction

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

paradox that the text of the last hours of the night is, theoretically speaking, the text the furthest removed from the day that is about to dawn. (5) The Works o/the Break raise delicate problems of interpreta­ tion, precisely as a function of their place in the theoretical forma­ Theses on Feuerbach, light up everyphilosopher who comes near them, buras is tion of Marx's thought. Those brief sparks, the well known, a spark dazzles rather than illuminates : nothing is more difficult to

discovery so that we can see that he founded a new scientific discipline and that this emergence itself was analogous to all the great scientific discoveries of history, we must also agree that no great discovery has ever been made with­ out bringing to light a new object or a new domain, without a new horizon of meaning appearing, a new land in which the old images and myths have been abolished - but at the same time the inventor of this new world must of absolute necessity have pre­ pared his

promise of its present. That is why the past is never opaque on an obstacle. It must always be digestible as it has been pre-digested. Rome lived happily in a world im­ pregnated by Greece : Greece ' superseded ' survived as objective memories : its reproduced temples, its assimilated religion, its re­ thought philosophy. Without knowing it, as at last it died to bring forth its Roman future, it was already Rome, so it never shackled Rome in Rome. That is why the present can feed on the shades

Logic) for the essence and motor of the process, for ' the self-engendering concept ' ;25 he takes the Generality I which theoretical practice is to transform into a knowledge (Generality III) for the essence and motor of the transformation process itself! Legitimately borrowing an analogy from another practice,26 we might just as well claim that it is the fuel that by its dialectical auto-development produces the steam­ engine, the factories and all the extraordinary technical, mechani­

transforms its object and produces true results (knowledges, a revolution .. . ), such as Marx's and Lenin's theoretical and political practice, etc., then the margin of theoretical tolerance in respect to these categories disappears; the categories themselves disappear. Where a true practice, organically constituted and developed over the years, is concerned, and not a simple application without organic effects, an application which makes no changes in its object (for example, to the practice of

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