Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Luk√°cs

Saturday, December 17, 2005

And now for something completely different...

Occasionally, I worry that some people find their way to this site looking for seriously good Marxist writing about historical philosophy, and so perhaps leave rather quickly, feeling that my blog has definitely broken some sort of trades descriptions act in its title. Yet just because (so far) this blog has not got lots of detailed discussions of the mode of production, the forces and relations of production, base and superstructure, Kautsky and Plekhanov, etc etc. shouldn't make it completely useless. What I propose to do is when I find some hard Marxist theoretical stuff online, to let you know about it with a quick link. So here is James Holstun, author of the excellent Ehud's Dagger; Class Struggle and the English Revolution, defending Marxism in a reply to some Early Modern historians in Early Modern Culture. The rest of the time I will continue to carry on serving up random posts about random things. Just be thankful I have not decided to inflict my vulgar Marxist political analysis of Coldplay on you ('the flaccid liberalism of Coldplay') - as the song I have had of theirs in my head for the last couple of days seems to have finally gone - which is an enormous relief I can tell you.

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At 12:37 am, Blogger saurav said...

May Peace
Hope and Love
be with you
and Always

Merry Christmas!
The Surging Waves

At 1:12 am, Blogger Snowball said...

Er, cheers. And to you too.

There I was thinking by mentioning James Holstun this blog would attract 'harder' 'more theoretical' Marxist bloggers...

At 2:46 pm, Blogger Vitor Guerreiro said...

The question is, precisely, to go back to the root of things, to make philosphy a material weapon or a tool. We must find a way to do philosophy, materialist philosophy, on the things themselves. Materialism doesn't rely on its relation to the history of philosophy in general and materialism in particular, but in its relation to the world. Otherwise, it would be only words and nothing else.

If you happen to know portuguese, please drop by.

At 10:58 pm, Blogger Snowball said...

Cheers for your comments, Zalmoxis - which make good sense. Marxism is a philosophy of revolution - not really about discussing abstract stuff like this blog does.

At 6:37 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A little bird tells me that a certain Marxist blogger will be celebrating a birthday tomorrow. Far be it for me to be unchivalrous and reveal his age, but have a good one Snowball. I will raise a glass of caiparinha to you!

At 4:55 am, Blogger Frank Partisan said...

Thank you for not offering a Marxist analysis of "Coldplay."


At 2:25 pm, Blogger Vitor Guerreiro said...

The problem is not abstraction in itself but:

a) what abstractions are /are not useful in the pursuit of our goals

b) to be able to make the reverse movement, after abstraction, which is to go back to singularity, to concrete material reality.

Without abstraction there is no science, without a mode of thought tools are useless, without world or matter there is no thought. Reason is only the capacity to produce tools. We tend to indentify reason with a certain mode of thought. This is an example of abstraction which is not useful.

Without abstraction we would not be able to comunicate: we would have to throw a table at our friend instead of using the word "table".
Without abstraction we could not be materialists, for materialism needs abstraction:
"Everything refers to the movement, there are no fixed points or "celestial anchors" which can define or justify real movement of things"

Yours Aye

At 9:46 am, Blogger maps said...

Well said zalmoxis. Bertell Ollman's writings on the place of abstraction in the dialectical method are well worth reading for anyone interested in the Marxism:

At 5:34 pm, Blogger Snowball said...

Cheers for the link to Bertell Ollman, Maps, - it looks quite cool.


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