Critical Marxist Reading Group discussion

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marxist openings....

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message 1: by Natalie (new)

Natalie  Martínez (jouissance1978) | 1 comments Mod
I wanted to open this up easily for those feeling more non-committal and suggest checking out James Arnt Aune’s, Rhetoric & Marxism.

The scholar notes that “language, audience, ideology, the formation of class consciousness, even the production of commodities—all are products of rhetorical action in situations of contingency.” Aune goes on to point out that Marxists imported other theoretical discourses to “account for the relationship between structural possibilities and popular struggle.” (43).

I open the discussion up asking, what does marxism open up for you, theoretically? How does it inform your work?

Feel free to pose questions or share your experiences with a particular theorists or line of marxist works.




message 2: by david-baptiste (new)

david-baptiste | 1 comments one of the ways i was drawn to marx's own writings was via anarchist and situationist and "modern leftisms" writings and living in fraance --in arles--in 1968--and again in 69 and 70--
and later on--

what drew my intesrt to begin with in recent years hhas been his writingson the commune of 1871 in paris--
his analyses of the ays in which the media language is contsructiong the roles of the terrorists of the woekring classes the women known as les petroleueses--and the way in which the great heros of the bourgeiousie the army come in and massacre everyone

the lnaguge used is so similar to hat used to day in any conflict in which the good side is the state--the actual founder of terrorism, the state during the french revolution with its motto of "terror" and "purity" as the twin towers--
and the monsters being the proletariat who have dared to choose to fight for their freedom and self determination--

this is an excellent example of marx's understandings of the ways language is used to construct the inevitablity of the GOOD outcome of the necessary extermination of scum from the social body in order for it to recover its health--

ths labaguge allows for the swift covering over of the rebuildingof paris and the start of a new decde in which impressionsim is embraced--

as part of the newly constrcuted safer bourgois scene and its leaisures and consumer enjoyments--

with themeance of the working class having been exterminated for at least a generation as those person benefitting saw it at the time--


message 3: by f (new)

f (waker) what does marxism open up for you, theoretically? How does it inform your work?

marxism, for me, is essentially the theory of the victory of my class, and of the potential for the liberation of humankind. it informs my work as a shopfloor militant, union reformer, movement activist, and revolutionary socialist fundamentally by linking theory and practice -that the self-emancipation of my class needs to be at the center of all tactical and strategic questions in all these areas.

i'm not familiar with Aune, but it sounds like it's in a postmodern tradition, which i've found generally to be anti-marxist in praxis & content. what “language, audience, ideology, the formation of class consciousness, even the production of commodities—all are products of rhetorical action in situations of contingency” means is a mystery to me.


message 4: by f (new)

f (waker) i think the fundamental lesson marx draws from the experience of the commune was that the bourgeois state was incapable of being utilized by working people for their own rule, that it had to be destroyed root and branch, and replaced with democratic organs as closely administered by workers themselves as was materially possible. he also delineates what some of its universally applicable features would be (recallability, equal average pay for officials, workers' militia, etc). i think these are the lessons that urgently need to be relearned by our brothers and sisters today.


message 5: by Dee (last edited Nov 01, 2008 03:42PM) (new)

Dee (dwmichel) Hey all,

As a communist in Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Marx offers a fundamental understanding of how things work in society via historical and dialectical materialism. Marxism serves as a guide to action, and is indispensable as a political activist. I think Marxism can be summed up really well in Lenin's Karl Marx and The Three Sources and Three Component Parts of Marxism.

These sources are a great beginning point for folks interested in Marxism. Although, Lenin's writings at times are a little too philosophically charged and may be inaccessible.

For particular topics of Marxism, I recommend checking out this blog, The Marxist-Leninist, for a pretty good study guide. It has a pretty good break down of the different and relevant topics to U.S. society in today's world.


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