History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Marx’s bungled historical theorizing

June 27th, 2014 · No Comments

The perspective of LFM is not to indulge in futile debates over historical materialism, but to try and find a superset in which the event called ‘historically emerging historical materialism’ has its place as an historical aspect of the modern transition. At that point we can simply summon the ‘dialectic’ to see the larger context of modernity in which ‘histomat’ is a fairly limited perspective.
I think that Marx, summoned up by history to bring some smarts to an early left, flubbed the job with positivistic confusions. The situation is clear from the influence of Hegel, which tended to blind his generation to the vastness of modernity. As a result a simple anti-hegelian tendency overtook everyone in the 1840’s as if Hegel was the summa of modernity. The result cascaded into reverse gear around scientism.
We need to start over and it is easy to find a larger perspective that can do better than the wishywashy reductionism that seemed gospel truth at the time (and to this day the core of such delusive idiocies as the New Atheism). Marx suffered from excessive expectations. He seemed so brilliant in the early period of the 1840’s and was pegged to perform a feat of deliverance that instead became bogged down in a neuroticism that left his work incomplete, unclear, hiding subtle flaws: clearly Marx finally gave up and handed the result to Engels who produced the standard selection. Marx’s career path here is no big deal: we can easily the good part and move on to a new formulation. But the cultic worship of Marx and the myth that Marx was somehow infallible is a ridiculous obstacle to leftist clarity.

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