Italienischer Humanismus und Marxismus. Zum Problem Theorie und Praxis ( Fortsetzung und Schluß).Ernesto Grassi – – Zeitschrift für Philosophische. Karl Korsch, Marxismus und Philosophie (Leipzig, C. L. Hirschfield, ). © Telos Press Publishing. «Previous | Next Article» Table of Contents. Buy Marxismus und Philosophie by Karl Korsch (ISBN:) from Amazon’s Book Store. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders.

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Platypus Review 48 July-August In any event, the visible agreement of bourgeois professors and orthodox Marxists of the Second International in this question is a fact. The latter circumstance permits the author to concentrate all his attention exclusively on the first two perspectives. Because both sides come to similar solutions of the question, starting from different points of departure, the author does not consider it possible to present both points of view at once, preferring to set them out separately.

Karl Korsch, “Marxismus und Philosophie”

Nevertheless, he declares, and promises further on to demonstrate, that regardless of all differences, they both coincide in one crucial point: It could certainly be said that this misunderstanding of Marxism from the side of bourgeois professors is a product of their class interests, but the author imagines such an interpretation to be slightly simplified; he tries to find another way, by revealing the underlying socio-historical condition that forced the representative bourgeois philosophy to reject the dialectical method.

The first must be denoted as the limitedness of philosophical arrogance, and is expressed in that philosophy overlooks how the ideal content of philosophy can rather easily have its substance also beyond the limits of the latter, in different kinds of science that also have a place in relation precisely to Hegelian philosophy.


The second limit lies in the patriotic local kinds of German science, brought about because the latter history of philosophy in the 19th century stood still in the amiable walls of the marxiismus of the Vaterland and lost sight of the fact that in the s period, philosophy lived in other countries.

And finally, the third limit ascribed by the same author to bourgeois-philosophy is class kodsch, hindering bourgeois science to correctly evaluate its hostility to society and the ability to correctly determine its reflection in theory. If the first two could still be overcome by bourgeois thought by Dilthey and his schoolthen the last represents its limit, which already cannot be crossed: Scientific socialism, new revolutionary movement, could be properly understood only by those who stand on the principled new position.

Its development runs side by side with the development of the very society. Hegelian philosophy, as also all classical philosophy of German idealism, is none other than the translation of Marxismuz revolution in the language of German speculation.

Up until the day that the bourgeois were philosopgie revolutionary a class,they understood this philosophy. But the further inability for the bourgeois to jorsch a revolutionary role did not at all mean that marxismua this historical situation there are no more actors in that role, but that every actor still entering the stage of his future is the first act following the first performance of the previous actor.

Such was our case as well: Bourgeois revolutionary turned into bourgeois counter-revolutionary, and stepped aside for the revolutionary proletarian.

This gives the key to understanding also those philosophical reversals that shaped the bourgeoisie in the middle of the past century: Counter-revolutionary practice could hardly correspond with a philosophical algebra of revolution: The bourgeoisie fell back, to Kant from Hegel. As it cannot realize the practical-revolutionary value of the class movement of the proletariat inside bourgeois society, so it krosch cannot grasp in the thought of this society the essence of the positions in which this movement finds its theoretical expression.

Believing that the above-cited consideration is enough for elucidating the position of bourgeois philosophy, the author turns to the analysis of positions on the matter in the camp of the Marxists. He begins again by indicating the importance of the problems, having made clear analogue to these philodophie with the problem of Marxism and the State.

Similarly, Marx and Engels do not force us to consider the denial by philosophy of scientific socialism to be fictitious. Will philosophy be abolished as a whole, or is it similar to the abolition of the state, seeming, as sort of period, to be included in the phase of the revolutionary process.


With such a formulation of the problem, in the opinion of the author, not only does it raise the problem to its highest meaning, like the problems of state and revolution, but maxismus allows us to understand the neglect of it by the theoreticians of the Second International: After all, in relation to opportunists, not only do they stand being accused by Marxisjus of forgetting the problem of the state, but also of questions of revolution in general.

It would be superficial to explain this phenomenon through pihlosophie personal qualities of individual Marxists: The dialectical method allows for marxksmus explanation of such facts from the foundation, lying in society itself. In order to illustrate this, the author gives a short essay on the history of Mmarxismus. The revolution is the first such border, and as such the first part of Marxist epoch.

The second part deals with July Proletariat in until the beginning of our time, the new conditions of the capitalist society, ending with the re-awakening of the revolutionary movement.

Finally, the third part of the history of Marxism begins in the 20th century, our day. The first Marxist period coincided with the revolutionary storm of the s, and philodophie its essence reflected the state of this society. After all, arguing that a theory could lead an independent existence outside of the actual movement of kofsch meant leaving the materialist-dialectical point of view and stepping into idealism.

So it could be stated a priori that the new conditions would be reflected in Marxism, changing its physiognomy. In reality, this is exactly what happened: Thanks to this, philosophy takes a back seat to the specialist science, political economy.

In the last part of his article the author also gives an analysis of philosopbie question of the relation of Marxism to philosophy and ideology in general. What is the position of Marxism in relation to philosophy?

The widespread opinion claiming this is a nonsensical question, philosophif the question of the relationship of two incomparable, qualitatively different things, is the answer given by the vulgar Marxists. But this solution in no way corresponds to the actual state of affairs. Neither Marx nor Engels ever saw philosophy as nonsense that had no place in their revolutionary practice.

From this it follows that the abstract route, the route of pure scientific critique outside revolutionary struggle for this abolition, does not and cannot exist: That, if I succeeded in reporting correctly, is the content of the article of comrade Korsch.

Nevertheless, the interest of the question raised by it does not allow one to pass over some of the positions, advanced by the author, deserving praise in every way for the thoroughness with which the themes are treated, and to a certain extent justifies the resolve in — perhaps somewhat prematurely — speaking out about them.

First of all, one cannot avoid to bring attention to the fact that comrade Korsch admits a certain — if such an expression be permitted — liberty in handling the term philosophy: What content it is invested with in this conception is impossible to say, precisely.

And besides it being indeed difficult to indicate as of yet the sort of conception, which carries such provisional character and is to such an extent defined in reliance on the person employing it, what does one understand by philosophy?

Does not philosophy to this day continue to search its subject, does it not since long wander with a double meaning, here haughtily claiming the royal purple robe of all sciences, there modestly taking on the job of salesman of any science? And between these two opposed roles of philosophy is their not arranged for her a series of intermediate trades? True, comrade Korsch allows one to understand what he has in mind by philosophy, as the expression of the revolutionary movement or as the comprehensive theory of social revolution.

But, after all, one cannot ignore that this is only a figurative expression, and in its precise parts it can escape even the author himself, which, in my opinion, happens in this case. Comrade Korsch asserts that the classical philosophy of German idealism from Kant to Hegel is an expression of the bourgeois revolutionary movement.

Moreover, in fact, the bourgeoisie in the days of its revolutionary youth also took other forms of philosophy, leaving the philosophy of Kant and Hegel. These were not only not idealism, but were also innocent of the field of dialectics.

I imagine that the explanation of this from the point of view of comrade Korsch will not be very easy, and the difficulty in explanting this is not accidental. The reason for it is the idiosyncratic conception of philosophy in passing we remark, additionally, that here the conception of dialectics cannot be without fault: The second thing, which I would not want to leave in silence, is the somewhat — if one can put it this way — cautious relation to science from the side of comrade Korsch.


Contrariwise, any different conception of philosophy, recognition of its specificity, unknown to science, means a step back to the viewpoint of the — so to speak — pre-Marxist period. After all, what constitutes the conception of philosophy on which Marxism in the end depends? Once we hold for philosophy a specific character of understanding, we recognize for it a specific method of searching truth, a method, unknown to science, providing not comparative scientific knowledge, but the very absolute philosophical truth.

And exactly against such conception of philosophy as a sort of super-science presenting a human absolute truth, Marxism directed its blows. With such philosophy, as a science of sciences, soaring above all branches of knowledge and connecting them together,” [2] were finished once and for all, for those who do not want to recognize the mystical ways of knowledge, by Marxism.

Karl Korsch – Wikipedia

But by denying the royal throne of philosophy, Marxism likewise excludes the necessity for it to take on the role of hawker of truth manufactured by another, ensuring it an independent place among different sciences.

The question about the possibility of a special science is best solved in its procedure of studying a specific object, in its subject.

And in this there is not any sort of need for guardianship of revolutionary pureness of Marxism: Finally, I allow myself to stop before one more specific standpoint of comrade Pgilosophie. Understanding philosophy as the expression of the revolutionary action, by adhering to his standpoint, must conclude that the period of social standstill, bringing a corresponding modification in the domain of theory, must inevitably cause the rejection of philosophy, philosopgie denial for it of a right to count as something real.

That, from his standpoint, conjointly finds its expression in opportunism. Actually, he is not even averse to declare that the most authentic Marxism also undergoes new transformation in contingency of changes of the social condition. The opposite could not be, he concludes, because in the opposite case it would turn out that theory breaks from its own basis and hangs in the air.

Therefore he is not inclined to understand Russian Bolshevism as one of the forms of restored revolutionary Marxism. That every practical step brings something new to theory, this is not subject to doubt, because knowledge is always given only in practice; but that every new step forces a review of theory — that is not true.

Indeed the value of theory boils down to the fact that, viewing the tendency of development of reality, it anticipates the latter, providing the possibility for error-free activity itself. In this sense Marxism is not at all a reflecting mirror of that reality from which it grew. It only thoroughly and exactly notes the direction of development of this reality, reflects reality in conception, and so itself insures everyone, by seriously grasping it, against the possibility of remaining fools because of ignorance, existing amidst the development of the same reality.

Therefore Marxism remains a scientific and practical resource to this day so far as, and as long as, the realization of it by the indicated road of development of reality has not become a fact. And in this sense opportunism cannot be understood as a new type of Marxism: To put the matter before oneself so means manipulating with words, designating the phenomenon, but not the substance, the expression of which it appears as.

From this point of view, furthermore, the fact that opportunism usually begins with a critique of the philosophical part of the Marxist worldview becomes clear: For the activity of this social class, the representative ideology of which is opportunism, needs an entirely other guide than dialectical materialism. This is why the fragile boat of opportunism prefers the maexismus backwater of Kantianism to the stormy marxismuus of dialectics.

Historisch-logischen Untersuchungen zur Frage der materialistischen Dialektik. Progress Publishers [].