Bulletin of the Marx Memorial Library

Lecture Report

Bulletin of the Marx Memorial Library (1977), 81, (1), 16–17.


Lecture Report JI31ck Cohen.a member Qf the Bditomi'a1 HoM1d of "Marxism Today", i1e,otUlred ,a,t the Library on 216 Novel111ioor, on the subject iClf "What is Malr.x;;:SI111?" He ernphaeised that inspite of a current tendency to do ISIO ~t is not 'P()j9S~bi1e to iOOPWaroe the ooowitbutionis made by Mar-x and Engels : tlhe work ()f eaeh complemented the 'Work of tlhe ~tlhe[. .Marxism ~s todlay "on: the scene" and Ithe IMJarrxilst method of talCldi::lG Ipirdb1ems iilshiaviil1lg inJa~alSl1ng rnnflueIlJ':e ,Ln the ca,ptita,liist countries and lpalI1bicul!airiIy in "the ,~hiillid wortd" and the nati'O,nla1Lilbenat1on movement. There Iits a Wlitdely accepted, anJd crude, view th,at lMlatrXIiiSlm is an eoonomic detemunist theory wlhEdh lhIo~dis that the economic basis of rt\:1iety determines everything, Another view is that Marxism Iiis sitmpLy :t way of thtinkingahoUlt society. After quoting defmzicns lelf Marxism given by Vlarn:\Oius authors Jack Cohen sasd ,tha,t in Ihis view Marxism Cis ,the ,theory and IPlnactJke of SomlaiLilSt revcdution : th3Jt the explanateon and theory .of :rev:olluitJionlary liideals tj:J\ change socieey is not enough and tJhia,t ,:it ds neoesary to :Link ,tJhoory and pnaeeice. He ~UUlStI1ated how oooia14st lideas' had developed thmu.gh the seven- teenth, ei:glhtee1lltJh amid mineteenth cenruries, There had been some !IJII1imliltive expression IOIf them. ~n the movement of the Diggers ![1 the IBIlIgI1:iSih CiViid ,Wta ICIDi~ty a ,tem/pOI13IIY £0Il1Il1 of 'S1010:ety one !Wlhiil~h can be changed by aeeions ,of the wmklin;g class lin oa!piJtJal1!iJst society. am StreSl~lllng that Marxism was dn ~he maenseream ,of progressive E:UlrOipean \poLi,tic,al1thiou,gtht, he 'went 00 ito OOI1JtI1a'~t ,the views K'f matem:lalli'St 'and ,iideailiust IphilOl!>OiPhiers. But marersadsm la,!cme was not OOOlUgIh: ilt lCiou~d not eX.pl~adln change, He,gel,a:lthoughan .idealist plhlil'os()ipher. snowed the '\\1ary out ()jfthat .palftiJouilJar hLilllld :al:ley with bis discovery of dJillll1.eotJiics, whiah emphasised the IOOnceJpt of process and slhiolWed the interconnect::on land ,intenre~aMlQn ILelaidJilnlg Ito Joontna!didi.oIl!s li'n !alll t1halIl!gs. Mall'X had to tJUim Hegellis !ideas upSinde down ,in onder' to deveilqp ihiits theory ()f Hilsil:()Iriaal1 Matem:laIL~~m ,and ,i~ IP

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Author details

, E.H.D