Archive for the »Artículos on-line en inglés«
A meaningful discussion of statism in relation to the Marxist tradition must distinguish between word and concept. For, although the word «statism» itself rarely occurs, the phenomena it connotes have certainly been widely recognised and discussed. The expression «statism» first emerged as such in France around 1880 to describe political doctrines that called for an expansion of the role and responsibilities of the state in all areas of the economy and civil society. The word was also used in Switzerland in the 1890s in the struggle to resist a proposed expansion of federal powers at the expense of the cantons, especially in the economic and financial domains. Nowadays, a usage of «statism» prevails that denotes the dominant position of the state vis-a-vis society, its individual domains, and the individual. This is also how «statism has come to be largely used in the Marxist tradition – albeit with an historical-materialist grounding that relates the state’s dominant position to the dynamic of capitalism, to national economies» place in the international system, and / or to the changing balance of class forces. Read the rest of this entry »
I. Biblical tradition – The demand for justice is for social movements just as self-evident as it is theoretically contested. In everyday struggles about survival and the quality of life, it is experiences of injustice that prompt humans to engage in resistance. Here, the immediate hopes for reparation, for the eradication of injustice and the restoration of law can form the point of departure for the development of a fuller desire for justice as the quintessence of a new society free from oppression, exploitation and exclusion. Moralists and demagogues, however, also set out from this «hunger and thirst for justice» (Mt 5,6), removing justice from struggles and transforming it into an abstract, «eternal» value whose realisation is to be awaited from on high. The polemics of Marx and Engels were aimed above all against such ossification in ideological forms (e.g., MECW 6, 143, 193; 23, 377; 25, 18; 35, 94; 37, 337). The question is how such a necessary critique of ideology can communicate with attempts that seek to make fruitful the utopian-critical potential of ideas concerning justice rooted in the experiences of everyday life. Read the rest of this entry »
Term for a type of pant – and more. The phenomenon of Jeans is paradigmatic of how inseparable an object-history is from the realm of the imaginary Jeans can only be grasped as a node of diverse interests, strategies and attributions that overlap and stand in contradiction with one another. The history of Jeans is at heart a history of acceptance and refusal with respect to Fordist society. The dialectics of the relation becomes particularly tangible in the history of Jeans in the German Democratic Republic. Read the rest of this entry »
The concept of «ideology theory» was coined in the 1970s in order to designate a refoundation of Marxist research into ideology stimulated by Louis Althusser. It was distinguished from three other approaches: 1. the reduction of ideologies to epiphenomena of the economic («economism»); 2. an ideology-critique that focuses on the critique of «false consciousness» from the standpoint of a «correct consciousness»; 3. bourgeois «legitimation theories» from Max Weber to Niklas Luhmann, which pose the question of the capacity of ideological integration in a «social-technological» way, from the perspective of domination and its self-justification.
The expression «absolute historicism» appears only three times in the Prison Notebooks of Antonio Gramsci . It appears for the first time, as a subject for further investigation, in the first note that Gramsci writes with the title «An Introduction to the Study of Philosophy» (Q8, §204). Its second appearance (perhaps the most well known quotation) is in Concept of ‹Orthodoxy›, as a concluding formulation to the important additional passage (note 1) which argues that «it has been forgotten that in the case of a very common expression one should put the accent on the first term – ‹historical› – and not on the second, which is of metaphysical origin. Read the rest of this entry »
As attested by the works of Thucydides and Aristotle, the articulation of history and critique began to develop from the «Greek enlightenment» onwards, receiving impetus from both the story-telling traditions of the popular classes and celebratory poetry in the service of the rulers. Greek and Roman philology and the practice of critical editions of the Renaissance humanists provided formative elements. However, approaching tradition as such in an historical-critical way is an achievement of intellectuals from the early bourgeois period, developed in permanent confrontation with censorship and persecution mainly from the religious apparatuses. This connection appears systematically for the first time in Pierre Bayle’s Dictionnaire historique et critique (1696) which opened the age of Enlightenment as «the actual age of critique» (Kant). History was still understood by Bayle as histories in the sense of oral or written narratives; critique, as its examination in the «natural light of reason». Read the rest of this entry »