The need for a critical marxism

Is marxism too complicated? I have to wonder if it is not the case. Below is one of the classic often quoted passages from Critique of Political Economy, brilliant in its own way. But the general group of ‘marxist leftists’ are in reality paralyzed by the later Marx with books like Capital, Critique of Political Economy, followed by Engels’ effort to rescue something from disaster.

In the end the claims in this chestnut from CPE is a very dubious generalization. The correlations indicated aren’t really so fixed.

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The numero uno chestnut of the histomaticists…
June 2nd, 2018 •

The quote re: the essay A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy is the numero uno chestnut of historical materialists, quoted obsessively over and over (i am almost sick of it): if Marxists would simply study relations of production empirically and not try to create a pseudo-science out of it they would be far more successful…

Karl Marx uncovered the hidden mainsprings that lie behind the development of human society from the earliest tribal societies up to the present day. As he explains in a celebrated passage from his preface to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy:
“In the social production which men carry on they enter into definite relations that are indispensable and independent of their will; these relations of production correspond to a definite stage of development of their material powers of production…The mode of production in material life determines the general character of the social, political and spiritual processes of life. It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but, on the contrary, their social existence (which) determines their consciousness.”
This is the numero uno chestnut of historical materialists: if Marxists would simply study relations of production empirically and not try to create a pseudo-science out of it they would be far more successful…

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