Marxism: An Historical and Critical Study PDF/EPUB Â

Marxism: An Historical and Critical Study PDF/EPUB Â

Marxism: An Historical and Critical Study ☀ [PDF / Epub] ★ Marxism: An Historical and Critical Study By George Lichtheim ✍ – Marxism presents an authoritative analytic survey of the course of Marxism from its origins in the late eighteenth century through the post World War II period A classic of political history this work Marxism presents an authoritative analytic Historical and PDF/EPUB ¼ survey of the course of Marxism from its origins in the late eighteenth century through the post World War II period A classic of political history this work is the culminating achievement of one of the leading historians of socialism.

About the Author: George Lichtheim

George Lichtheim was Historical and PDF/EPUB ¼ a German born intellectual whose works focused on the history and theory of socialism and Marxism He defined himself as a socialist and stated in a letter to the New York Review of Books that I am not a liberal and never have been I find liberalism almost as boring as communism and have no wish to be drawn Marxism: An PDF/EPUB or into an argument over which of these two.

2 thoughts on “Marxism: An Historical and Critical Study

  1. Ryan Ryan says:

    Lichtheim is an absolute monster of a scholar he is brief he is thorough and he is very judgmental He leaves practically nobody off freely in this history of Marxist thought from Marx himself his own difficulty solving the value price transformation to the abortion of CCCP philosophy in the heyday of the Soviet Union That said he knows what he's doing he can succinctly explain Hegel for one impressive feat of writing and consistently demonstrates mastery of the whole of Marx's thought and method across politics sociology economics and history as well as the subject's even vaster secondary literatureThe book's subtitle is An Historical and Critical Study and those two subjects indeed not only form the nexus of Lichtheim's approach but constitute the fundamental aspects of Marxism Lichtheim interprets the young Marx's writings as a critical theory of society above and before being a science of history or economics yes you should keep in mind that Lichtheim considered himself a Critical Theorist This is significant in that it ameliorates the dated aspects of Marx's work he was critiuing the society of his era with the assumption that a revolution was coming that would change the world This proceeds dialectically the theorists critiue society point the revolution at particular problems the mass of revolutionaries do their thing reshape society theorists critiue that new society and try to point the next revolution in the right direction to get rid of the newly uncovered dangers and so on Historically Lichtheim argues that Marx's critical theory did uite a good job his early work emphasized securing democracy the revolutions that swept Europe in 1848 occurred just after the publication of The Communist Manifesto and these revolutions indeed were to a degree shaped by his critical theory brought democracy to large swatches of Europe Obviously they didn't lead to communism but that's not necessarily a falsification of Marx's theory as we find out Lichtheim interprets young Marx as essentially a theorist of human freedom Men have control over the world but only to the degree that they have control over themselves If your life and environment is not under your own control you do not have free will and you are not free Free will genuine human freedom only exists if humans genuinely have power over what they do and what their environment is like; making man sovereign over his circumstances in Lichtheim's words p 237 Critical thought is only validated insofar as it is coupled to revolutionary action in the same period This is a far cry from the later epistemology of Engels Kautsky Plekhanov Lenin and so on where Marxism is Darwinized and treated as a science which objectively reveals the truth of the world in the past present and future; these men were practicing a science not a theory and considered it essentially historically complete 'Scientific socialism' apprehends the world in its entirety rather than merely the parts that affect humans and their society; it discovered that communism is historically guaranteed rather than just possible; it has already predicted and divined the revolution its goals before there is the slightest sign of any revolution Although Marxist Leninists today deride 'unscientific' 'utopian' and 'idealist' thinking the young Marx found that there are no 'ideals' that cannot be realised for the emergence of new aims is itself an index to the presence of forces which make for their realisation p 239Keeping to his own prescriptions Lichtheim's own critiues of Marxism its later descendants are themselves rather dated a product of this book's being published in 1961 He indulges heavily in the notion of totalitarianism when critiuing official CCCP ideology comparing it to Lukacs Gramsci a concept which has gone out of style today Similarly his interpretation of the shortcomings in Marx's economics are very much the product of a pre neoliberal world in 2019 the bourgeoisie have found new sources of finance that Lichtheim glosses over and have reverted to a classically ruthless increasing rate exploitation that they evidently hadn't found necessary during the Cold War That being said Lichtheim is adamant that the conservative and bourgeois critiues of Marx again minus the price value transformation which he thinks Marx left fragmentary unclear in Capital Vol 3 The Process of Capitalist Production as a Whole have very little merit the pauperization of the working class is neither necessary nor guaranteed by Marx his mature critiue of political economy probably shouldn't let bourgeois economists derive prices since he's interested in making that Not A Thing and if one is interested in explaining how capitalism begins then sociologically functions his critiue still works even if you reject the labor theory of value which Lichtheim views as a handicap of sorts that Marx is saddled with because of his position in the tradition of classical political economy his necessary use of Ricardo Smith so on After the critiue of Marxian economics Lichtheim observes Marx's successors their eventual total abandonment of critical theory its union with revolutionary practice He has lots to say about pretty much every important Marxist from Marx's death to 1917; he's positive towards some like Hilferding Sweezy partly approving with the caveat that they were definitely wrong about X Y and Z like Luxemburg and very negative towards some he really doesn't like Lenin whom he sees as barely even a Marxist These are all of course carefully historically situated then critiued in the light of history like he does throughout the book; such chapters are useful to scholars because they attempt to answer where when and why the uniue Marxian synthesis dissolved He then concludes the book by looking at the sorry state of affairs in the 60s wondering whether we can properly be said to still live in a class society with as clear accurate and sufficient a definition of what class means in Marx's terms as any you'll find and reaffirming the necessity of critiue The triumph of Lenin the modern cold war can be fairly said to have demolished the world of Marx just as Marx was aiming to do but hasn't yet produced anything resembling communism Does this prove Marx was wrong Not at all it shows he saw just what mattered mostIn the sunset of the liberal era of which Marxism is at oncethe critiue and the theoretical reflection this outcome confirms thetruth of its own insights into the logic of history; while transferringto an uncertain future the ancient vision of a world set free p 406 the book's final sentenceTo a certain degree history lets us see that Lichtheim falls prey to his own critical method the book was critical theory meant specifically for use in 1961 his reading of what's still useful or true about Marx is colored both by the circumstances of that period and his own tendentious spats with Soviet Marxists and bourgeois economists Nevertheless the history is thoughtful fair and his argument for Marxism as a critical theory rather than a science is logical and compelling As we know history does not proceed linearly; Lichtheim would be all too happy to learn that Marx is even relevant accurate now than he was in his own time

  2. Kenneth Goodall Kenneth Goodall says:

    Extremely Thorough work on the History and development of the Marxist movement Amazing how contemporary his work feels seeing as it was written only in 1960 He sidesteps no issues and debates up to 1917 Many figures are addressed in a backhanded manner I feel for example how Lichteim treats Engels as some sort of bumbling buffoon and as the starting point for where Marxism all went wrong Surprisingly Lenin isn't totally torn to shreds and Lichteim notices a crucial unity of theory and practice in Lenin He treats Luxembourg in poor fashion and in a footnote ascribes her ideas of spontaneity as typically feminine Has an ending that is both interesting and confronting Both liberalism and Marxism have no real purchase today because Bourgeois society which Marx took for the object of his critiue has crumbled post 1914 and in many ways Marx and Mill both are tied closer together than any of either of the figures followers will admit

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