Whatever one concludes on the question of whether Marx thoughtcapitalism unjust, it is, nevertheless, obvious that Marx thought thatcapitalism was not the best way for human beings to live. Pointsmade in his early writings remain present throughout his writings, ifno longer connected to an explicit theory of alienation. The workerfinds work a torment, suffers poverty, overwork and lack offulfillment and freedom. People do not relate to each other as humansshould.
When I say that the Marxist 'theory' of the State available to us is still partly 'descriptive', that means first and fore-
most that this descriptive 'theory' is without the shadow of a doubt precisely the beginning of the Marxist theory of the State, and that this beginning gives us the essential point, i.e.
Nature, if we subtract our subjectivity, is a matter of great indifference, most uninteresting, neither the mysterious original ground, nor the enigma of the world disclosed the more we dehumanize nature, the emptier and more meaningless it becomes for us.- Art is based entirely on humanized nature, on nature enveloped in and interwoven with errors and illusions which no art can disregard."
Literature is a form of human expression. But not everything expressed in words even when organized and written down is counted as literature. Those writings that are primarily informative technical, scholarly, journalistic would be excluded from the rank of literature by most, though not all, critics. Certain forms of writing, however, are universally regarded as belonging to literature as an art. Individual attempts within these forms are said to succeed if they possess something called artistic merit and to fail if they do not. The nature of artistic merit is less easy to define than to recognize. The writer need not even pursue it to attain it. On the contrary, a scientific exposition might be of great literary value and a pedestrian poem of none at all.
All his major works have been translated into English, yet until now little has been made available on his place in contemporary philosophy. By showing how he situates his work in a contemporary context - the collapse of communism, the Gulf War, and the former Yugoslavia - this outstanding collection reveals how Nancy's engagement with Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Heidegger and Derrida makes him one of the key contemporary continental philosophers.
Besides its theoretico-didactic interest (it reveals the difference between Marx and Hegel), this representation has the following crucial theoretical advantage: it makes it possible to inscribe in the theoretical apparatus of its essential concepts what I have called their What does this mean?
This paper critically analyzes Marx's and Nietzsche's views on freedom, the role of science in society and overall beliefs about the functions of a society as a whole.
The theoretical issue is whether a plausible elaborating explanationis available to underpin Marxist functional explanations. Here thereis something of a dilemma. In the first instance it is tempting to tryto mimic the elaboration given in the Darwinian story, and appeal tochance variations and survival of the fittest. In this case‘fittest’ would mean ‘most able to preside over thedevelopment of the productive forces’. Chance variation would bea matter of people trying out new types of economic relations. On thisaccount new economic structures begin through experiment, but thriveand persist through their success in developing the productiveforces. However the problem is that such an account would seem tointroduce a larger element of contingency than Marx seeks, for it isessential to Marx’s thought that one should be able to predict theeventual arrival of communism. Within Darwinian theory there is nowarrant for long-term predictions, for everything depends on thecontingencies of particular situations. A similar heavy element ofcontingency would be inherited by a form of historical materialismdeveloped by analogy with evolutionary biology. The dilemma, then, isthat the best model for developing the theory makes predictions basedon the theory unsound, yet the whole point of the theory ispredictive. Hence one must either look for an alternative means ofproducing elaborating explanation, or give up the predictive ambitionsof the theory.
Many defenders of Marx will argue that the problems stated areproblems for Cohen’s interpretation of Marx, rather than for Marxhimself. It is possible to argue, for example, that Marx did not havea general theory of history, but rather was a social scientistobserving and encouraging the transformation of capitalism intocommunism as a singular event. And it is certainly true that when Marxanalyses a particular historical episode, as he does in the 18thBrumaire of Louis Napoleon, any idea of fitting events into afixed pattern of history seems very far from Marx’s mind. On otherviews Marx did have a general theory of history but it is far moreflexible and less determinate than Cohen insists (Miller). Andfinally, as noted, there are critics who believe that Cohen’sinterpretation is entirely wrong-headed (Sayers).
All the agents of production, exploitation and repression, not to speak of the 'professionals of ideology' (Marx), must in one way or another be 'steeped' in this ideology in order to perform their tasks 'conscientiously' -- the tasks of the exploited (the proletarians), of the exploiters (the capitalists), of the exploiters' auxiliaries (the managers), or of the high priests of the ruling ideology (its 'functionaries'), etc.
The Marxist tradition is strict, here: in the and the (and in all the later classical texts, above all in Marx's writings on the Paris Commune and Lenin's on ), the State is explicitly conceived as a repressive apparatus.
The State is thus first of all what the Marxist classics have called This term means: not only the specialized apparatus (in the narrow sense) whose existence and necessity I have recognized in relation to the requirements of legal practice, i.e.