Mainstream Weekly

Home > Archives (2006 on) > 2018 > Karl Marx’s Scientific Discovery

Mainstream, VOL LVI No 21 New Delhi May 12, 2018

Karl Marx’s Scientific Discovery

Sunday 13 May 2018

The following article is being published on the occasion of Marx’s bicentenary of birth that fell on May 5, 2018.

by Murzban Jal

In the domain of Political Economy, free scientific inquiry meets not merely the same enemies as in all other domains. The peculiar nature of the material it deals with, summons as foes into the field of battle the most violent, mean and malignant passions of the human breast, the Furies of private interest. The English Established Church, e.g., will more readily pardon an attack on 38 of its 39 articles than on 1/39 of its income. 

Karl Marx, Capital, Vol. I.

I should then say that this science (historical materialism) cannot be a science like any other, a science for ‘everyone’. Precisely because it reveals the mechanisms of class exploitation, repression and domination, in the economy, in politics and in ideology, it cannot be recognized by everyone. This science, which brings the social classes face to face with their truth, is unbearable for the bourgeoisie and its allies, who reject it and take refuge in their so-called ‘social sciences’: it is only acceptable to the proletariat, whom it ‘represents’ (Marx). That is why the proletariat has recognized it as its own property, and has set it to work in its practice: in the hands of the Workers’ Movement, Marxist science has become the theoretical weapon of the revolution.

Louis Althusser, Lenin and Philosophy. 

They tell you we are dreamers. The true dreamers are those who think things can go on indefinitely the way they are. We are not dreamers. We are the awakening from a dream that is turning into a nightmare.

Slavoj Žižek speaking at “Occupy Wall Street”, October, 2011.

Marx and the Discovery of the New Galaxy of Knowledge

Probably the best metaphor to explain Marxism as a rigorous science comes from Althusser. In Lenin and Philosophy he talks of Marx discovering a new continent of knowledge, the continent of history, that follows the two prior continents discovered: mathematics and physics.1 Since “continents” signify imperialism and not knowledge, one may have to say that Marx discovered a new galaxy. So let us say that Marx discovered a new galaxy and constituted a new discipline: historical materialism. One may like to have the term “new galaxy”, for imperialism has not yet colonised outer space, despite their great efforts. But one will also like to use this term since Marx uses the metaphor of the telescope to indicate how he has discovered this new site of the human understanding.2

Now with this new galaxy discovered, Marx also discovers a New Physics with a radically new account of understanding space and time. This New Space one will call after the young Marx the space of species being (Gattungswesen) and following Engels’ terminology we call it Gemeinwesen3 (roughly translated as “common essence”, though Engels implies the Paris Commune here). Besides this new space he also discovers a new time zone: the time of dialectics that transcends the old time zone of formal logic—it is where time is understood as everything and humanity as nothing.4 The two distinct time zones is the time zone of historical time and the reified zone, the zone that suppresses history, change and movement. The latter appears as the neurotic time: the time of the neurotic’s compulsion to repeat. Marx calls this “circular movement”,5 which in the last resort is the phantasmagoria of idealist philosophies that restores abstractions, and thereby restores religion and theology.6

Keeping this New Physics in mind and the understanding of the new ideas of space and time I shall bracket our argument here and go to what science in Marxism means. Firstly, one will have to bracket the post-Marx-Marxists’ understanding of science, since quite often than nought they built their theories from Engels’ Dialectics of Nature almost forgetting Marx’s Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844. By “real science” Marx implies the establishment of “true materialism” that is built on the principle of the social relationship of human to human.7 A little note on the history of what we call “science” is thus necessary, since (despite its rigour) manyfold meanings emerge. One must firstly differentiate science from the ideology of the sciences. One must then note that ‘science’ cannot be taken purely as a fetishized ‘objectivist’ perspective, but has also to be considered as a class project. What the scientific revolution since the European Renaissance did was pushed theology away from human imagination and brought in human reasoning. The industrial revolution pushed back theology altogether in the space of pure fantasy. This historical note is of extreme importance since it brings in scientific reasoning as a dominant discourse. The blow that this would give to idealist speculation and to faith would be so severe that it would need only the crises of capitalism to bring in the same theological fantasies back again onto the stage of world history.

One must also note that Marx, whilst keeping an internationalist perspective, writes more often than nought in German (with the exception of his Poverty of Philosophy which he wrote in French). In German, science is Wissenschaft. Hegel, for instance, titles his logic: Wissenschaft der Logik, or the Science of Logic. The Germanic Wissenschaft, especially after the Hegelian philosophical revolution, is not to be confused with the Anglo-American renderings of ‘science’. It is not a positivist ‘science’; most certainly it is not what is known since the Frankfurt school as “scientism”, to be precise it is not reason as instrumental reason, where the will to power subdues the will to knowledge. We shall see that in the past century, at least since the 1917 Bolshevik revolution, there was a sort of a philosophical and ideological game characterising the idea of science, as the very defence of bourgeois private property was necessary.

Consequently in the background of this paper on Marxism as a rigorous science, there lie not only the themes of the French materialists, the English empiricists and Hegelian dialectics, the three distinct themes that characterise the making of Marx’s philosophical and methodo-logical repertoire. One also has the post-Marx debates initiated by the Heidelberg Circle on the radical difference between the human sciences (Geisteswissenschaft) and the natural sciences (Naturwissenschaft)—a theme taken up by Georg Lukács in his History and ClassConsciousness followed by the Frankfurt School (especially by Marcuse and Habermas)—which itself was followed by the debates on scientific positivism, critical rationalism, scientific realism, etc. One therefore has not only Marx speaking along with Engels (who was more vocal on Marxism as a science), Plekhanov, Kautsky, Lenin, Bukharin, Trotsky, Lukács, Gramsci, Lucio Colletti, Theodor Adorno, Erich Fromm, Sartre, Popper, Kuhn, Feyerabend and Roy Bhaskar.

We see that the field of ‘science’ (especially the philosophy of science) is diverse having manyfold streams. What one will attempt is to see whether a dialogical discourse is possible. We will also see how Marxism as rigorous science can come onto the scene of philosophical imagination. We come back to the new continent discovered—history. We see that there are reservations constituted within this newly discovered new continent: the reservations of alienation-reification-fetishism. We call this the black hole of alienation. This black hole will devour humanity.

So we see that Marx discovers a new body, the body of history. But he also discovers a new cell (of this new body), the cell of alienation-reification-fetishism. Now it is well known that thinkers before Marx spoke of alienation, or reification, or fetishism. But no one spoke of all three. No one saw the order of this triad. No one saw that the new cell was composed in this triadic form: alienation-reification-fetishism. Unfortunately, though thinkers after Marx did speak on this theme, the triad as a rigorously defined triad was absent from their analysis. Consequently the new continent relapsed into an older continent. Old Physics came back onto the scene of world history. Not only was the collapse of the Soviet experiment proof of this going back onto the Old Physics, but far back to the Stalinist counterrevolution in 1928, the triumph of this old Physics take place.

To state very briefly, the new continent of knowledge is a rigorous science. This rigour however should not be confused with deterministic theories. Marx was no determinism and as Gramsci had shown this determinism that was initiated by the Second International was nothing but born-again messianic theology of the “weak will”. Marxism as rigorous science makes a difference between two sites: (1) what one call after Marx the model that appears in “pure form”, and (2) the chaotic model. The pure form model is the model that functions at the deep level of scientific inquiry. It operates at the level of everyday life-world in altogether different way. I call this way of the appearance of the pure form, the chaotic form.

Consequently Marx’s theory of history is rigorous, especially his main thesis on the historicity of capitalism and the inability of the capitalist to function when its forces of production has transcended the social structure of society, or in other words transcended its relations of production. This thesis claims (made famous by Marx’s in his ‘Preface’ to his 1859 A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy) that within the base, there occurs a clash between the two levels of the base, that is, between the forces and relations of production, where the latter become fetters to the development of the productive forces, thus creating havoc in society. Since a clash occurs between the two one witnesses the transformation in the social structure. In this deep structure, or the pure form, Marx discovers three sites: (1) forces of production (the level of the sciences and technologies), (2) production relations (the structure of society which are comprised of the ownership of means of production and the class struggle), and (3) the ideological superstructure. The former two are the “base” whilst the third rests on this base. Since quite often there has been a tendency to have a reductionist explanation which gives priority to only the first site (Cohen’s explanation in his magnum opus Karl Marx’s Theory of History is one good example), one must make it clear that the pure form lays only certain methodological guide-lines for understanding this new science. In this pure form we see that the movement of level 1 (forces of production) to the level of say “A” witnesses the likewise movement of level 2 (relations of production) to “A”. When level 1 becomes “A1”, then the level likewise follows the same. This, as we insist, operates at the pure form, or the cell form. It is found in the laboratory of historical materialism. Its mode of appearance in the everyday life-world takes an altogether different form. One therefore has to differentiate the cell form from the body form.

The pure form of science shows what Marx calls the “progressive development” of history from primitive communism, via the Asiatic societies, European slave society, feudalism, capitalism, and the consequent struggle for communism. Since there has been a sort of misunderstanding whether Marx implied a unilinear theory of history (made sacrosanct by Stalin) and since Marx’s Ethnological Notebooks (where he talks of non-European societies and their own concrete course of historical development) has almost been ignored, it must be stated that Marx did not impose a teleological view of history where only the forces of production were seen to determine the development of the course of history. One only has to note Marx’s 1877 letter on the Narodniki misinterpretation of history, where he differentiates the concrete analysis of primitive accumulation of capital in western Europe and the European transition from feudalism to capitalism from what he calls an imposition of this theory onto the whole world, where one has the fantasy of “an historico-philosophico theory of the general development prescribed by fate of all nations”.8 One cannot have, as Marx notes, a “master key” as a “general historico-philosophical theory”, for what in the end happens, is being supra-historical.9

History, and Marx’s account of it, is dynamic and fluid and cannot be kept in the magical jar where the predetermination of theological theories are substituted by some sort of ‘science’. Marxism is not this born-again theology, nor is it the phantasmagorical gin kept in the magical jar. One must here not only bring to attention Gramsci’s reading of theology parading as Marxist ‘science’, but also those of Walter Benjamin. That this theory came into being at the time of the revisionism of the Second International (who did not want to fight for the revolution, but wanted it to ‘inevitable’ happen, and because it did not ‘inevitable’ or ‘magically’ happen one had to support the necessities of so-called history including imperialist wars) is well known. That it was made sacrosanct by the Stalinist counterrevolution should also be noted because the Stalinist bureaucratic state capitalist new class wanted to justify their counterrevolution. Stalin’s last work Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR is an example of this parading of theology as science where he redrafts theology’s “laws” and humanity’s necessary obedience to these “laws” as a “science”.

What one sees, is what one calls after Marx, a “so-called science” which works in a “roundabout way”.10 We call this a ‘duplicate’ science because it seems to imitate the scientific method, whilst in actuality it mimes it in an altogether manipulative way. It is not what one calls “reason” but what we call after the Frankfurt School’s use of the Weberian term an “instrumental reason”. It uses the “authority of science” whilst in actuality invoking “magical formulae”.11 This duplicate scientist attempts to be a utopian, but in actuality becomes a duplicate utopian.

Since Marx calls his science a human natural science,12 and since this vocabulary is by and large forgotten, one needs to conceptualise this very idea, for it is this idea that resolves the contradictions and tensions between the social and the natural sciences. It is also this idea that opens a new framework where not only is this human natural science as dialectical and historical-humanist materialism found its method of operation, but also how the humanisation of the sciences is rendered possible. If we saw that historical materialism, as articulated in Marx’s 1859 Preface to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, articulates the three basic structures of human history in its “pure form” or “cell form”: forces of production, production relations and the political and ideological superstructure; the problematic of human natural science from the Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 activates the dialectics of the natural sciences and philosophy in the genre of “humanity’s essential powers”.13 The ontology of humanity, or human Dasein, that articulates the sciences as springing from “human sensuous essential powers”14 becomes the new basis for the understanding of Marx’s new galaxy of knowledge. Humanity thus stands at the base of Marx’s scientific revolution. The question of seeing history as a “process without a subject” (as done by Althusser) is a fallacy that stems from his reading of Marxism as “theoretical anti-humanism”. One must recall Marx here: “Humanity is the immediate object of natural science...”15

What Marx does is that he radically transforms the ideas of subjectivity and objectivity thus being able to articulate anew the idea of science and philosophy. Nature is thus no longer to be seen an objectivity lying “out there”, independently of human existence. Nor is subjectivity to be seen as dealing with merely ‘consciousness’, the ‘will’, etc. Instead one deals with subjectivity and objectivity as forms of human praxes and thus as “manifestation of human reality”.16 It is class society (and capitalism in particular) that erases human reality and fragments the diverse systems of knowledge. If there was to be a sense of unity between the natural sciences and philosophy it would only be what Marx calls a “momentary unity” that is based on a “chimerical illusion”.17 “The will was there,” as Marx says, “but the power was lacking.”18 This is how Marx comprehends the complex dialectic and also articulates the possibilities of a real unity between philosophy and science:

Historiography itself pays regard to natural science only occasionally, as a factor of enlightenment, utility and of some special great discoveries. But natural science has invaded and transformed human life all the more practically through the medium of industry; and has prepared human emancipation, although its immediate effect had to be the furthering and the dehumanisation of humanity. Industry is the actual, historical relationship of nature, and therefore of natural science to humanity. If, therefore, industry is conceived as the exoteric revelation of humanity’s essential powers, we also gain an understanding of the human essence of nature or the natural essence of humanity. In consequence natural sciences will lose its abstract material—or rather, its idealist tendency, and will become the basis of human science, as it has already become—albeit in an estranged form—the basis of actual human life, and to assume one basis for life and a different basis for science is as a matter of course a lie.19

It must be stated that Marx’s idea of science is not the positivist searching of laws that are independent of humanity, Instead it keeps the Feuerbachian concern for sense-perception that is said to be the basis for all science.20 There are four main points that one can draft as Marx’s fundamental understanding of the natural sciences: (1) articulating humanity’s essential powers, (2) of understanding the genesis of nature and human society, (3) articulating sense perception in the twofold forms of sensuous consciousness and sensuous need, and (4) of understanding humanity as humanity and human history as part of natural history.21

Marx thus concludes:

History itself is a real part of natural history—of nature developing into humanity. Natural science will in time incorporate into the science of humanity, just as the science of humanity will incorporate into itself natural science: there will be one science.22

Thus by putting the Feuerbachian idea of human essential powers and the Hegelian idea of truth as a process,23 Marx transcends the sites of human estrangement and the consequent emergence of what he calls “pseudo-questions”, and comes onto the new site of humanity as radical historisation. Marx’s science thus becomes the science of human knowing as well as human emancipation. If “knowing” and “being” are no longer considered as opposites, then “knowing” and “emancipation” are also not regarded as binaries. To transcend this state of binaries is the fundamental point for the scientific revolution. Once one does this then science becomes a material force and literally “grips the masses”.24

But to do that one has to transcend the continent of knowledge that goes right from Aristotle to Kant. And since Hegel is the first one to be involved in this transcendence, one will have to go immediately to him.

On Understanding the Hegelian Revolution

We will see, besides Althusser’s two pre-Marxist revolutions, another tremendous revolution, the revolution set by the European Enlightenment and the French Revolution. This is the theoretical revolution started by Hegel that closed the intellectual history of two millennia that began with Aristotle. If Aristotle was the “great thinker” that Marx attributed him as the master of thought, society and nature,25 then Hegel is the logical and historical successor to the Aristotlean revolution. Yet this revolution appears in the dual forms of mystification and the rational. In mystified form the Hegelian revolution becomes a “fashion” because it transfigures and glorifies the existing state of things, whilst in its rational form it is a scandal and adomination to bourgeoisdom.26 So what is this Hegelian fashion, this mystification that glorifies the inglorious; and how can one transform this fashion into a scandal that rattles the doctrinaire professors?

The answer at first glance seems to be rather simple. One has to understand what the pre-Lenin Russian revolutionary Alexander Herzen called “the algebra of the revolution”. Hegel is this algebra. One has to understand it. To understand Marx’s newly discovered continent/galaxy one needs to briefly understand the differences that Hegel made between the sites of the understanding (Verstand) and reason (Vernunft). To put it very simply, Verstand is the domain of the formal sciences governed by Aristotlean logic (with its dualisms perfected by Kant), whilst Vernunft is the new domain that Hegel discovers, the domain of post-Aristotlean logic. Now we know that Marxists of the last century put this Hegelian discovery at the centre of their discourse. We know of Illyenkov’s Dialectical Logic and Zeleny’s Logic of Marx. We know that Lenin in 1914 and following him Lukács and Gramsci, followed by Raya Dunayevskaya, a one-time colleague Trotsky, and founder of Marxist-Humanism, placed the Hegelian logic at the centre of revolutionary Marxism.

However, at second glance the dialectic between the mystical and the rational is much more complex. At least since Engels’ Feuerbach and the End of Classical German Philosophy the rational was said to be the dialectical method, whilst the mystical was written as the Hegelian metaphysical system. But what Engels did not tell was the relation between the Hegelian “mystical” and the phenomenology of the estranged commodity that Marx outlined in Capital. The “mystical” is not to be understood as merely the idealist gibberish that university professors churn out, or what the media industry continuously propagates. Then what is Marx’s understanding of the Hegelian mystical? What Marx means is that the mystical is that which is predicated to mode of thought that accedes to the mode of thinking that mimes outlines in the theory of value in Capital.

Now what Marx does is that he follows the genealogy of the commodity. He studies how it is a de-humanised process, that it is estranged from humanity, and after this first estrangement, it loses its material character to take an idealized form of value and exchange-value. Marx thus contextualises the Hegelian mystical. He grounds it in capitalism and the phenomenology of the commodity. So estrangement, value and exchange-value do not allow Hegel to fully revolutionise his system. Hegel remains in what Marx calls “the orbit of estrangement”.27 And yet there is the rational that Marx accepts, a rational that Lenin in 1914 with the commence-ment of the first Imperialist World War (and the betrayal of the Second International to the forces of social imperialism) thought it necessary to read the entire Logic of Hegel. This what Marx says about Hegel:

The outstanding achievement of Hegel’s Phänomenologie and of its final outcome, the dialectic of negativity as the moving and generating principle, is thus first that Hegel conceives the self-creation of humanity as a process, conceives objectification as loss of the object, as alienation and as transcendence of this alienation; that he thus grasps the essence of labour and comprehends objective humanity—true, because real humanity—as the outcome of humanity’s own labour. The real, active orientation of humanity to itself as a species-being, or his manifestation as a real species-being (i.e., as a human being), is only possible if he really brings out all his species-powers—something which in turn is only possible through the cooperative action of all of humankind, only as the result of history—and treats these powers as objects: and this, to begin with, is again only possible in the form of estrangement.28

So one reads Hegel not only in the dual sites of the rational and the mystical, but also understands the “one-sidedness and limitations” of Hegel.29 What Marx did was take this logic and discover a New Physics by not applying the dialectical method onto reality, but discovering the mechanisms of world history as they actually function. What marks what we call the rigour of the scientific method is its unconditional materialistic method, or as we may dare to say, the dialectical materialist method. But this science is not merely a study of so-called “objective facts”. It is humanist, or if one may say after Gramsci it is historicist and humanist, or better still one may say after Marx that it is “naturalism and humanism” that is distinct from both materialism and idealism, and yet it unifies the truths of both.30 Marx’s materialism is not to be confused with traditional materialism. Or to go further, it involves what the young Marx called, a human natural science which is also the natural science of humanity.31 And since it is this humanism with passion realised as the “essential power of humanity energetically bent on its object”,32 which is said to be the basis of Marxist science, I had earlier christened it an “irresistible science”.33

We saw above that Hegel breaks out from the domain of the understanding, the domain that the Frankfurt School had called the domain of science as power seeking, as different from reason (Vernunft) which is the critical science of human emancipation. Now what we see is that this “irresistible science” is the dispeller of the phantasmagoria that comes in the way of critical and emancipator thinking. This is what I had once said in my essay on the irresistible character of Marxist science: 

Amongst the theme of the birth of a “New Science” whether objective and verifiable as in Louis Althusser’s rendering of Marxism or humanist and emancipatory as with Herbert Marcuse,34 or even a debunking of this radical novelty as Jurügen Habermas once suggested,35 science as Wissenschaft is empirical knowledge as distinct from idealist constructs. One has (as Jacques Lacan once insisted) to put the “real object” at the centre of discourse. In this sense Galileo’s physics serves as a paradigm shift in the history of the sciences. His telescope showed that it was not belief that stood at the horizon of human knowledge, but intellect. Modern sciences were thus born, not merely as the European sciences, as Edmund Husserl once suggested, but as objective and universal method. Since Galileo there can be no going back. Galileo showed the cosmos freed from onto-theology and the original sin. One had to the same with the human cosmos. Argumentation and profane reason replaces theology. Dialogical discourse and intersubjectivity replaces monologue. The telescope replaces hysterical blindness. The material world replaces the transcendent “Idea”.36

Along with this material site of analysis, Marx inserts the questions: “What is humanity?” and “How is free humanity possible?” Consequently if Althusser said that philosophy is always linked with the sciences,37 then one also says that the sciences (the science of the material world) are inexorably linked with philosophy. The world is thus linked to the question: “How is free humanity possible?” So if one says that the space that is opened that of the real object as the material for investigation, one now says that science and philosophy are placed under the genre of “critique”. What this Marxist science does is places itself as a “critique”, a point that not only covers the original Kantian concern of the analysis of the conditions of knowledge, but primarily deals with the analysis of human emancipation. Marxist science deals thus with human emancipation. It becomes “scientific dialectics” as Marx called it, that is derived “from a critical knowledge of the historical movement which itself produces the material conditions of emancipation”.38

In contrast to this reading of Marxism as a science, there is another site usually opened by the reactionary ruling classes: that of the anti-sciences that appear as what Marx chided as “apparitions”, “spectres”, “whimsies” and other types of idealist humbug.39 One has to stress on this site because the ruling classes love exploring this site—from the RSS and Jamaat-e-Dawa to the American culture industry. Whilst one wants a “Hindu nation”, another wants the “Islamic caliphate”. The Yanks of course who desire the end of the world (one only has to watch Yankee satellite TV), which is another pop form of their biblical nonsense, could be said to be the biggest producers of the factories of the “apparitions”, “spectres” and “whimsies”. Now one knows that these are being bombed not only in Libya and Afghanistan, but also in Indian universities, under the label of “ancient Indian wisdom”. Scientific temper has not only to confront these apparitions in the age of late imperialism in permanent crisis, it will have to wage a just war of independence. In case India has to remain a secular and democratic society, this scientific revolution has to be the mainstay of the Indian public intellectuals. One only has to see the philosophy departments in India, and one will find the exact parallel that goes on in Pakistan. Obscurantism and superstition govern the South Asian feudo-bourgeois imagination.

But there is another space that is different from both these of the sciences and the organised superstitions. This space is the space called utopia. Engels’s Socialism: Utopian and Scientific sharply divided science from utopia. Science had the essential moments of description, explanation and prediction based on verifiable material principles, whilst utopia is a mere longing for an apparent just or even sometimes a classless society but based more on metaphysical sermons that on material practice. Science occupies a verifiable space, utopia occupies an alien space. In the CommunistManifesto Marx and Engels talked of the somewhat ‘critical’ thinking of the Utopian Communists, but a critique that was tied down by its own metaphysics, a metaphysics that did not want to get involved in the politics of class struggle, but in fact wanted to preach class reconciliation.40 Consider Marx:

The significance of Critical-Utopian socialism and Communism bears an inverse relation to historical development. In proportion as the modern class struggle develops and takes definite shape, this fantastic standing apart from the contest, these fantastic attacks on it, lose all practical value and all theoretical justification. Therefore, although the originators of these systems were, in many respects, revolutionary, their disciples have, in every case, formed mere reactionary sects. They hold fast be the original views of their masters, in opposition to the progressive historical development of the proletariat. They, therefore, endeavour, and that consistently, to deaden the class struggle and to reconcile class antagonisms. They still dream of experimental realization of their social utopias, of founding “phalansteres,” of establishing “Home Colonies,” of setting up a “Little Icaria”—duodecimo editions of the New Jerusalem—and to realise all these castles in the air, they are compelled to appeal to the feelings and purses of the bourgeois.41

They violently opposed the independent political action of the proletariat and transfigured politics in the “blind belief in the new gospel”.42 Their founders were revolutionaries; their followers were founders of reactionary sects.43 The space that they occupy is alien space because their politics is based on the metaphysics of the estranged mind. And it is to this estranged mind that philosophy must turn its attention. One goes thus into the realm of the unconscious. If Marx went into the dual sites of (1) the alienated political economy and class struggles that emanate thereon, along with (2) the study of the estranged mind; one needs a psychoanalytic revolution to proceed further to explicate Marx’s great discoveries.

But how does this scientific discovery of historical materialism operate in actuality? What is this actuality, this necessity that can be labelled as a science? We shall again reiterate. Marx proceeds to explain: if the forces of production are ‘A’, then the relations of production, either tend to be, or almost with a type of iron necessity follows the path of ‘A’. And so if forces of production become ‘A1’, then relations of production too follow this same pattern. From this argument there arose a problem: if necessity is the moving force of history, then what happens to Marx’s main argument—the argument of radical and authentic ethics, the philosophy of praxis? What is the relation between freedom and necessity? Would Engels’s appealing to freedom as the “appreciation of necessity” make Marxism a continuation of Spinoza and thus make historical materialism into the theory of pre-destination and determinism? The anwer of course is that if one does not keep the idea of humanity woven within the genre of class struggle, and if both are abstracted form the above given ‘scientific’ argument then one goes back to the old theories that oppose freedom and necessity.

Marx was not a determinist. The wrong reading of this follows mainly from the Plekhenovean narrative (the father of Russian communism), if not from Engels himself who tended to argue for a positivist type of reading of historical materialism After all, it is well known that Marx was not a determinist and by Bestimmung (in the theorem: the economic base determines (bestimmt) an ideological super-structure) is implied determination which is not a determinism, but closely related to the notion of Gestaltung or formation. What Marx thus asks is: “How are social structures formed and what comprise their essential structures?” What Marx also asks is: “How is the estranged mind produced from the reified base?” It is this structure that one needs to grasp. And since one forgets these questions and also since we find the critique of the scientific method emerging as a critique of Western Reason one needs to look into these questions. That they emerged in the genre of romantic anti-capitalism we all know. That the young Lukács was an advocate of this we too know. We also know that Edward Said kept this critique at the centrel of his Orientalism. But what we forget is that there are also distinct Right-wing echoes of this. Consider this statement from Riza Davari-Ardakani the contemporary of the Islamic Republic of Iran:

Notwithstanding the roots of Westoxication in Greek philosophy and its 2500 years of history, its specific and predominant form has emerged with the Renaissance. With the appearance of Westoxication, the old form of history is abolished and a new man is born who is no longer submissive to the Haqq. (Haqq here in the present Iranian sense is primordial Being in the Heideggerean sense, or to be precise, estranged and despotic Being. It ought not to be confused with the Sufi use age of Haqq (as ‘truth’, ‘right’, ‘authentic’). My insertion. M. J.). He forgets the Haqq so that he can replace Him to expropriate the earth and the heavens.......The freedom of religious beliefs in the Declaration of Human Rights means alienation from religion; it means leaving the individuals to their own devices so that they may do whatever they want with religion in their private lives and have any religion they want... Modern man sees his own image in the mirror of Haqq and instead of entering into a covenant with Haqq,has entered into a covenant with himself. Therefore it is inevitable and natural that such a man would turn his back to religion and cover up his actwith claims to nationalism, internationalism, liberalism, collectivism and individualism.44

Is There Something Wrong with “Western Reason” despite Marx?

I will begin with the idea that the critique of “Western Reason” may turn out to be rather gripping. But in the end not only does it show to be entirely fallacious, since there is nothing really called “Western Reason”, but also it shows to have distinct right-wing strands. After all not only would the RSS and the so-called “Islamic radicals” claim that there is something wrong with this rather strange creature called “Western Reason”, but also one would have industries based on its critique. One does not merely have to go to the works of Ashis Nandy and company to comprehend how this bad and awful “Western Reason” has harmed “Eastern Reason”. One may also go the a number of the departments of the social sciences in Indian universities to see how they have literally “banned” this awful “Western Reason”, only to welcome not merely the writers of anti-secular manifestos but also Yoga, and other spiritual and occult ‘sciences’. That there is a distinct ideological bias one must note. Marx is the villain, Marx the European fellow traveller, Marx who apparently hated Asia. Consider Nandy for this type of ideological reasoning:

Everyone knows, for instance, that Karl Marx thought Asiatic and African societies to be ahistorical. Few know that he considered Latin Europe, and under its influence the whole of South America, to be ahistorical, too. Johan Galtung once told me that he had found, from the correspondence of Marx and Engels, that they considered all Slavic cultures to be ahistorical and the Scandinavians to be no better. If I remember Galtung correctly, one of them also added, somewhat gratuitously, that the Scandinavians could be nothing but ahistorical, given that they bathed infrequently and drank too much. After banishing so many races and cultures from the realm of history, the great revolutionary was left with only a few who lived in history -Germany, where he was born, Britain, where he spent much of his later life, and the Low Countries through which, one presumes, he travelled from Germany to England.45

One needs to point out (contra Nandy) that even what is known as the ‘beginnings of Western Reason’ grew from a very close interaction between the Mesopotamians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, the Medes, Egyptians, Indians, etc., and that Greek philosophy did not emerge only from the womb of the Greek cranium. Clearly Heidegger was wrong in postulating the beginning of western philosophy as a purely Greco affair that did not interact with other philosophies. What we now know (and this is what has recently pointed out by Peter Hudis in his essay on Marx and the Muslims)46 that European rationalism was directly influenced by al-Farabi, Ibn Sina, and Averroes, that Descartes was inspired by al-Ghazzali, and that al-Sijistani influenced dialectical thinking. One should also not forget Hegel’s reference of the Sufi mystic Rumi in his Phenomenology of Mind. Human history is not understood as the ‘Destiny of Being from the European stand point’. Instead one should talk of the humanization of history from what Samir Amin had talked of, namely, the three waves of universalizing humanity starting with the Persians, Chinese and Greeks that culminated in Judaic, Christian and Islamic thought (this is the first wave: the idealist wave) which then proceeded in the European Renaissance (the second wave) and then finally ended in Marxism.47 When Marx talked of communism as being a synthesis of humanism and naturalism, he did not mean that the human was to be solely the European.

 So for one thing there can be nothing really called “Western Reason” because there is nothing really called the “West” and the “East”. Yet, and because, one has to see the dangers of this line of thinking that does not want to comprehend imperialism, but instead claim how “Western Reason” has destroyed Indian life (not to forget how it has destroyed the Iranian mullahs’ lives, besides the lives of other transcendental fascists), one will have to go through these rather rough waters. Now we know that according to a certain line of thinking we live in the grips of Western Reason. We shall now stick to the seriousness of this discourse and not be fooled by the occult-driven Yogis and mullahs.

There are two dominant strands of Western Reason: one stressed by Husserl (and taken over by the Frankfurt School), the other being articulated by Martin Heidegger. In the first articulation, Western Reason begins with the Greeks and is built on the idea of rationality. It culminates in the modern sciences, to be precise technological reason, the domain that Hegel called Verstand (understanding). Verstand is strictly speaking not reason (Vernunft). The second strand of Western Reason is the Heideggerean one, again beginning with the Greeks and this time not culminating in the modern sciences, but in mythopoetics, to be precise European fascism that would, as Heidegger claim, rescue Western Dasein from the dangers of Bolshevism.48 Whilst the first stream of Western Reason ends in the modern sciences, the second one culminates in mythopoetics. There is it seems, a peculiar type of telos, almost a form of an iron law, what Heidegger called the “destiny of Being” which governs both these strands of Reason. We do not exist in the West. Yet we are gripped by this double edge of Western Reason.

And in this response to the double effect of Western Reason we take up the critique of the doubling effects of Western Reason (primarily the humanist critique of the crisis of the modern sciences) based on Marx’s reflections on the relation between reason, the sciences and society. Along with this discovery—called the science of Marxism: historical materialism—we have the philosophy of Marxism: the critique of the estranged mind. The former asks the question: “how is history possible?”, whilst the latter asks: “how is humanity (as emancipated humanity) possible?” It is in this question—how is history-humanity possible?—that the critique of estranged reason finds concrete articulation.

We begin by concluding Marx’s views on the specific understanding of the sciences. For Marx, just as with Hegel’s Phenomenology of Mind, truth lies in the whole. Yet Marx’s holism is distinct from Hegel’s idealist holism. And this nature of dialectical materialist holism Marx outlines in his theory of the sciences whereby he distinguishes himself from both metaphysics as well as the technological rationalists. Now according to Marx, science is not merely a technological enterprise—a will to mere knowing, but a project towards human emancipation—a will to human freedom. Marx outlines this scientific will in two Young Hegelian concepts—Gattungswesen (species being) and das menschliche Wesen (the human essence) where he views existence not in the estranged biblical and capitalist forms of the subject-object, human-nature splits. Marx consequently claims that the scientific enterprise cannot be reduced to an estranged mind studying a reified nature, nor the control of nature by this estranged mind. The double will to knowing and human freedom cannot become a will to power. The very idea of calculation and control (that is at the base of the bourgeois under-standing and practice of the sciences) have to be expunged from the scientific enterprise.

But besides emphasising on the idea of human emancipation as the core issue of the sciences, Marx also involves a radical critique of the intervention of the capitalist division of labour (and this ideology of the bourgeois misunder-standing of the sciences) into the sciences. One does not have to unconsciously give consent to the fragmentation of the sciences that capitalism drives them to. Instead one has to de-alienate the sciences from this ghettoisation of knowledge, that bourgeois ideology (under the pretext of knowledge) under Corporate Imperialism strives for. One has to argue infavour of a coherent science—a non-schizophrenic science. Marx uses the term “one science”, a “single science” (or a unified science)—a science of history with its “two (inseparable) sides”: of the history of nature and the history of humanity.49

So what Marx does is differentiate the science of emancipation—the historical materialism of Gattungswesen and das menschliche Wesen—the humanist natural sciences from the ideology of the sciences, and thus distinguish the essence from the appearance. The former keeps the humanist and naturalist concern central to its philosophical repertoire, whilst the latter actively negates it. Marx thus keeps both humanity at large and nature in general at the centre of his scientific concern. Marx is thus both a humanist and an environmentalist. What we have in the Marxist landscape is the incorporation of the “science of humanity” (Wissenschaft vom Menschen) intothe natural sciences.50 This new science—historical materialism—is now known as “human natural science” which is at the same time a “natural science of humanity”.51 Historical materialism is not about “iron laws” governing humanity and nature; it is about humanity and nature. We now have the humanization of nature and the naturalization of humanity.52 The biblical-bourgeois spirit of anti-naturalism and anti-humanism has to be exorcised.

Yet Marx claims that leaving the natural sciences (which in fact is the realisation of the labour of Gattungswesen)53 to the spontaneous activity of capital accumulation renders it not only metaphysical and theological but also psychotic and barbaric. Both the natural sciences and the philosophical project governed by the capitalist division of labour turn a blind eye to one another.54 They are the two Faustian souls tearing off the breast of humanity. The “human essence of nature” (das menschliche Wesen der Natur) is divorced from the “natural essence of humanity” (das natürliche Wesen des Menschen).55 And in this great gap between nature and humanity, between the natural sciences and the human sciences, the crisis of the modern sciences first emerged, a crisis that is inexorably woven to the crisis of capital accumulation. And thus one insists that the problem cannot be posed as the mere crisis of the sciences, but the crisis of the capitalist project itself. Not only do society with its warring classes and their infinite ideologies but also science now appears in “estranged form” (entfremdete Gestalt).56 It is at this site that Marx asks: how is “a genuine, comprehensive and real science” possible?57 So if the natural sciences have slumbered into a reified state claiming to have life of its own, and sometimes even taking on the role of theology that it itself had removed from the centre state of world history, then one may say that one needs to psychoanalyse the sciences—one needs to understand its political unconscious, in order to humanise it.

Now besides Marx’s dialectical and historical materialist thesis on scientific holism—human-natural sciences as radical emancipation—there is also the dualist understanding of the sciences, which did not understand the historicity of the scientific method. On one end of the critique of the modern sciences was Husserl who claimed that the European sciences had lost their basic humanist concern and on the other end of the spectrum was Horkheimer’s and Adorno’s Dialectic of Enlightenment which castigated not only the sciences but the entire project of Western Reason as the tyrannical development from Odysseus to Hitler. It seemed thus that fascism and imperialism were culminating moments of Western Reason with the modern sciences seeming to mediate between the ancient Greeks and fascism.

But to understand the history of the problem of the crisis of the sciences one has to understand that the problem is deeply rooted in the neo-Kantianism of the Heidelberg Circle. According to this type of thinking, especially Dilthey, there is a difference between explanation (Erklären) which functions in the natural sciences and understanding (Verstehen) which operates in the social sciences. The latter studies subjective meanings of historical actors, a realm totally missing in the natural sciences. It would thus be a fallacy (according to them) to mime the natural sciences and to raise it to an exemplary status. The natural science (according to the neo-Kantians) studies laws independent of human subjects, the human sciences studies not merely human subjects, but their consciousness, will, etc. But there is another dominant feature which is present in the debate in the methodology of the sciences, a feature that was raised by Georg Lukács in History and Class Consciousness and Husserl in The Crisis in the European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology. Whilst these two texts are rigorously different, there is shared theme—the concern of the loss of the humanist structure of Reason, and the claim that the rise of the modern sciences is responsible for this loss, besides the third claim that the modern sciences have itself an unexamined base which leads to an irrationality. But if the principle theme is the critique of positivism (in the 1894 Rectorial address Wilhelm Widelbland had initiated the critique) the dualism of the neo-Kantian method gave no possibility for a humanist solution. Lukács, as the heir to this Kantian dualism, would transform the idealist dualism of Kant to Hegelian idealism. Remember Lukács was the youngest and latest member of the Heidelberg Circle, who after a period of romantic anti-capitalism typical of late nineteenth and early twentieth century anarchist thought, drawing inspirations from thinkers as diverse as Nietzsche, Kiekergaard, Dostoevsky and Sorel, would by 1917 shift to an ultra-left form of Hegelian Marxism.

For Lukács, Marxism is not a type of a ‘science’ modelled after the natural sciences, as much as it is a type of a radical act. For him all ‘scientific’ mimesis are fallacious, and Marxism, if it attempts to model itself after the natural sciences, would collapse into a quietism, typical of the positivist school of thought. In this sense not only would Karl Kautsky and Plekhanov be mistaken in creating a theology of the natural-scientific school of thought, but also Engels himself was to blame for constructing the ‘dialectics of nature’, the chief fault with this thesis being that it leaves out the fundamental thesis of Marx—revolutionary praxis.58 Not only would this alleged ‘science’ relapse into an ideology, but would become a metaphysic itself.59 The main problem (as we noted earlier) is that it would have an uncritical and unexamined base that would stand outside the ‘scientific’ process itself.

But the main fallacy of the natural sciences, for Lukács (he should have said “the ideology of the natural sciences’ or “the spontaneous philosophy of the natural scientists”) is that it studies supra-historical laws, and thus relapses into a metaphysic of the eternal laws of nature. If history is suspended, then so is the project of revolution. Marxism consequently collapses. There are five points within this argument: (1) loss of totality within the natural scientific model of explanation, (2) rationalised objectivism, (3) pure quantification, (4) the reification of facts, and (5) abstract formalism. For Lukács, none of the above can operate as Marxism. But the chief fallacy is the alleged anti-historical nature of the natural sciences, besides the also alleged theme of the iron laws of nature, where humanity is converted into a tool of this inevitably occurring phenomena in nature. Fatalism is the main principle of the natural sciences. When one talks of necessity, repetition and prediction in the sciences, then life is said to be governed by these apparent fatal laws of nature. Science becomes theology. And humanity has to rebel. Anything other than rebellion is folly. If one has to rebel against God to become a humanist, then now one has to rebel against both the natural sciences—and also against nature itself. The Romanticism in this critique is evident. But then History and Class Consciousness would become a sort of a New Age Bible. For the natural sciences (as well as nature) are not only estrangements, but literally the Biblical ‘Fall’ itself—in Lukács’s words: “a charnel-house of long-dead interiorities”.60 ‘Man’ is condemned not to freedom, but to the reification of the eternal recurrence of estranged nature. ‘Man’ is only matter pure and simple (as Lukács would read the philosophy of the natural sciences). Consequently materialism becomes an “inverted Platonism.61 All scientists are Platonists in the reverse. It only the soul (Lukács’s understanding of the proletariat) that would rebel against this naturalized-reification of humanity.

This thesis would be in a way both utopian and radical, radical in the sense that it would challenge, if not the very basis of the legitimation of capitalist societies, then at least its instrumental reason—the modern-bourgeois sciences themselves. The modern sciences (one should say: “the bourgeois sciences”, or better still: “the bourgeois ideology of the sciences”) are both at the same time said to be rationalized and reified. And when it was said (as Marcuse insisted) that science is the concrete project of society, he would be taking up the Marxist theme of the base superstructure dialectic. On the one hand the sciences are read as objective, being grounded in the site of productive forces of society, and on the other hand, they are understood as ideological projects. In this setting what happens is that the sciences in the double occurrence of techne and ideology mime not only the dominant class position, but also the ontological structure of the commodity which is fetishising at its very essential nature. So when the Frankfurt School, following Lukács, claimed that pure quantification and the negation of qualities (along with the negation of humanity) forms the core of the natural scientific method, then they were emphasising Marx’s claim in Capital. Marx in Capital had said that commodity production negates use-values and consequently also negates qualities. In the quest for realizing exchange value it posits pure quantities. What we are left is with nothing but spectres: Alle seine sinnlichen Beschaffeneiten sind ausgelöscht—all sensuous conditions are extinguished!62 After peeling off all materiality, there is only one residue left: “ghostly reality” (gespenstige Gegenständlichkeit).63 And this ghostly reality will dictate not only the political ideology of capitalist societies but also its technical apparatus. The five points of Lukács’s critique of the natural sciences that we noted above are understood in the ontology of the ghostly commodity. The ghostly commodity not only possesses the capitalists but also the scientists. They have become the high priests of the capitalist mode of production.

It is thus that one is able to understand the critique of rationalisation as reification of the Frankfurt School. The crisis of the modern sciences would not only be based on what Husserl called the inability for science to tell us anything,64 but also on the will to power—”the need to be authoritative”, in Nietzsche’s words, “the need not to ‘know’, but to subsume, to schematise, for the purpose of intelligibility and calculation”.65 Because humanity and nature are split up in the act of commodity production, the will to calculate and control becomes now the leitmotiv of the modern sciences. It also becomes the ideology of societal modernisation. The inherent logic of the modern sciences grounded on commodity production and the accumulation of capital is the logic of violence. It is not only the techne of the modern science and the telos of Western Reason. It is the theoria itself. To question this very basis of western rationality is now the essential part of radical philosophising. If the sciences have erased the very telos of humanity, then the point is to put this humanity in the very centre of philosophy. When it seemed that Platonism and the philosophies of the transcendent “Idea” had been banished by the modern sciences, then it was a mistake, because the mathematization of nature initiated by the modern sciences created a “purely rational, ideational system....the dream”, as Marcuse called it, “of all Platonism”.66 This ironic return of idealism was also an ironic end to Western Reason—the fulfilment of its telos as well as its betrayal,67 because reason and theoria develop only as the positive sciences, whilst philosophy which “was supposed to give the ends, the objectives, the meanings of science” moves into the background.68 Reason is now divorced, as Marcuse says, from “that rational humanitas envisaged in the original philosophical project, scientific, technological rationality becomes reason Kath’exochen”.69

Now not only is the original project of philosophy betrayed, but so are the projects of modernity and the Enlightenment. Modernity is now rationalised modernity—‘rationality’ now meaning not Reason per se, but capitalist economic activity, bourgeois private law, and bureaucratic authority.70 So if reason and theoria are reduced to techne, if reason becomes only instrumental reason and if the original idea of philosophy that raised the ideas of truth, beauty and goodness are lost then what we have is the betrayal of the original project of reason—reason exists only in the “name of rationality” which is in the last resort nothing but political domination.71

So reason as technological reason or scienticism is strictly speaking neither scientific nor philosophical. Rather it is ideological, ideological because it is conceived as a social project.72 What we get now is technology and technique as independent realms, independent not only from philosophy, but from the sciences themselves. In fact technological reason pretends itself to be ‘science’.

For Marxism, the critique of technological reason as the leitmotiv of Western capitalist rationality is not focussed on the critique of science, but the regression of the sciences under this ideological project of late imperialism in permanent crises. If scienticism, appearing as the reified spectre is critiqued, then one ought not to fall back on the mythopoetical attack on the sciences themselves. For when one is attacking the crisis ridden domain of the modern sciences and so-called “Western Reason” (it is best to use the term “Bourgeois Reason”), one cannot turn to a fictitious “Eastern Reason” (or any other variation of romantic anti-capitalism) for a mythical solution. For Marx, every society has a tremendous accumulation of the sciences, and as he records in his lesser read Ethnological Notebooks, the non-capitalist societies has had a history of scientific reasoning. Yet this uncanny “Eastern Reason” that almost inevitably may arise from the critique of Western Reason, ought to be seen merely as a return of the spectre and delusion haunting class societies. This type of reasoning is the ideology of what Marx preferred calling the ideology of the Asiatic Mode of Production—the economic world of the periphery of international capital accumulation who have lost out to the west, because the west with its most grotesque discovery of capital accumulation colonized it. Colonisation is the most important ‘scientific’ discovery’ of the west. Not only is colonisation its ideology, but also its theology. If we claimed that Western Reason, as Bourgeois Reason, has two main epistemic points (modern sciences/mythopoetics) then it also has two main geo-political locations: the centre and the periphery. Now this ideology-theology of the west claims that what lies outside its own realm (the ‘rest’) has to be occupied. In this pyramid made by Bourgeois Reason, the elites of the west stand on top of the pyramid. And most certainly not any form of Eastern Reason, and most certainly any form of idealizing “Indian philosophy” is going to destabilize it.

In anti-thesis to this west/east, science/philosophy, materialism/idealism divide one must recall the symbolic interactive world of Habermas’s communicative action. For it is this symbolic interaction that would be able to bridge these great divides. Or else, one will have to “drum dialectics into the heads of the mushroom-upstarts of the new, holy Prusso-German empire”,73 whereby not only the hegemony of Bourgeois Reason would collapse, but also the hegemony of brother mullah and sister yogi. And that is why I had earlier said that human passion is the basis of Marxist science where we have the following historical reading:

According to Hegel, all sciences are woven by the thread of the aufheben—the logic which raises them at a higher level of existence. Hegel thought (and falsely so) that his science, his Wissenschaft, the Wissenschaft der Logik, would be the culminating moment of all the sciences and remain at the centre stage of world history. Little did he know that history would propel a certain Karl Marx who would be waiting in its wings. And with the discovery of the continent of history, he was literally knocking at the doors of world history. It is then that one understands, that at each stage in world history, it is not utopia which is either waiting in the wings, or knocking at its doors, but revolutions, for revolutions (whether in the history of theory or material practice) are simply irresistible.74 


1. Louis Althusser, Lenin and Philosophy trans. Ben Brewster (London: Monthly Review Press, 1971), pp. 15, 38, 39, 42, 72, 99.

2. Karl Marx, ‘Preface to the First German Edition’, Capital, Vol. I, trans. Samuel Moore and Edward Aveling (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1984), p. 19..

3. Fredrick Engels, ‘Letter to Bebel’, March 18-25, 1875, in Marx. Engels. Selected Works (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1975).

4. Karl Marx, The Poverty of Philosophy (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1978), p. 52.

5. Marx, Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1982), p. 100.

6. Ibid., p. 127.

7. Ibid.

8. Karl Marx, ‘To the Editorial board of the Otechestvenniye Zapaiski, London, November, 1877’, in Marx-Engels. Selected Correspondence (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1975), p. 293.

9. Ibid. 

10. Karl Marx, ‘To J.B. Schweitzer, London, January 24, 1865’, in Marx-Engels. Selected Correspondence (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1975), p. 145.

11. Ibid.

12. Karl Marx, Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844, p. 99.

13. Ibid., p. 98.

14. Ibid., p. 99.

15. Ibid., p. 98.

16. Ibid., p. 94.

17. Ibid., p. 98.

18. Ibid.

19. Ibid.

20. Ibid.

21. Ibid.

22. Ibid.

23. Ibid., p. 99.

24. Karl Marx,’ A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right’, in Karl Marx. Early Writings, trans. Rodney Livingstone and Gregor Benton (New York: Vintage Books, 1975), p. 251.

25. Karl Marx, Capital, Vol. I, pp. 64-5.

26. Karl Marx, ‘Afterword to the Second German Edition’, in Capital, Vol. I, p. 29.

27. Karl Marx, Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844, p. 133.

28. Ibid., p. 132.

29. Ibid.

30. Ibid., p. 136.

31. Ibid., p. 99.

32. Ibid., p. 137.

33. Murzban Jal, ‘The Irresistible Science of Karl Marx’, in the Social Scientist, Vol. 38, No.s 5-6, May-June 2010.

34. Herbert Marcuse, Reason and Revolution. Hegel and the Rise of Social Theory (New York: Oxford University Press, 1964), One-Dimensional Man. Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society (Boston: Beacon Press, 1991), An Essay on Liberation (London: Allen lane, 1969), ‘On Science and Phenomenology’, in The Essential Frankfurt School Reader, ed. Andrew Arato and Eike Gebhardt (New York: Continuum, 1985).

35. Jürgen Habermas, ‘Technology and Science as Ideology’, in Toward a Rational Society, trans Jeremy J. Shapiro (London: Heinemann, 1971).

36. Karl Marx, Afterword to the Second German Edition of Capital’,Capital, Vol. I, p. 29.

37. Louis Althusser, op. cit, p. 15.

38. Karl Marx, ‘To John Baptist Schweitzer, London, January 24, 1865’, in Marx. Engels. Selected Correspondence (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1975), pp. 144-5.

39. Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels, The German Ideology (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1976), pp. 51, 61.

40. Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels, ‘The Manifesto of the Communist Party’ in Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels. Selected Works (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1975), p. 61.

41. Ibid.

42. Ibid.

43. Ibid.

44. See my The Seductions of Karl Marx (Delhi: Aakar Books, 2010), p. 208. Riza Davari-Ardakani, Inqilab-I Islami va Vaz’-I Kununi’ Alam [The Islamic Revolution and the Current Conditions of the World] (Tehran: Markaz-e Farhangi-I Alame Tabatabai, 1982). Quoted in Farazin Vahadat, ‘Post-Revolutionary Islamic Discourses on Modernity in Iran: Expansion and Contraction of Human Subjectivity’, in International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 35, Nov. 2003, No. 4, pp. 605, 610.

45. Ashis Nandy, ‘History’s Forgotten Doubles’, in History and Theory, Vol. 34, No. 2, Theme Issue 34: World Historians and Their Critics. (May, 1995), p. 46.

46. See Peter Hudis, ‘Marx Among the Muslims’, in Capitalism, Nature, Socialism, Dec 2004.

47. See Samir Amin, Capitalism in the Age of Globalization. The Management of Contemporary Society (Delhi: Madhyam Books, 1994), pp. 80-90. See also my The Seductions of Karl Marx, p. 25, 81.

48. Martin Heidegger, ‘To Herbert Marcuse, January 20, 1948’, in Herbert Marcuse, Technology, War and Fascism, ed. Douglas Kellner (London: Routledge, 1998), p. 265..

49. Karl Marx, Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1982), p. 98; Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels, The German Ideology, p. 34, n.

50. Karl Marx, Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1982), p. 98.

51. Ibid., p. 99.

52. Ibid., p. 92.

53. Ibid., p. 97.

54. Ibid., pp. 97-8.

55. Ibid., p. 98.

56. Ibid.

57. Ibid., p. 97.

58. Georg Lukács, History and Class Consciousness (London: Merlin Press, 1983), p. 3.

59. Ibid.

60. Georg Lukacs, The Theory of the Novel, trans. Anna Bostock (London: Merlin Press, 1994), p. 64.

61. Ibid., p. 202.

62. Karl Marx, Das Kapital, Erster Band (Berlin: Dietz Verlag, 1981), p. 52.

63. Ibid.

64. Edmund Husserl, Crisis of the European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology, trans. David Carr (Evanston. I.U.: Northwestern University Press, 1970), p. 6.

65. Friedrich Nietzsche, The Will to Power, trans., Walter Kaufmann (New York: Vintage Books, 1968), p. 278.

66. Herbert Marcuse, ‘On Science and Phenomenology’, in The Essential Frankfurt School Reader, p. 469.

67. Ibid.

68. Ibid.

69. Ibid.

70. Jürgen Habermas, ‘Technology and Science as Ideology’, in Toward a Rational Society, trans. Jeremy Shapiro (London: Heinemann, 1971), p. 81.

71. Ibid., 82

72 Ibid. See also Herbert Marcuse, ‘Industrialization and Capitalism in the Works of Max Weber’, in Negations. Essays in Critical Theory, trans. Jeremy Shapiro (Boston, 1968).

73. Karl Marx, ‘Afterword to the Second German Edition of Capital’,Capital, Vol. I, p. 29.

74. See my ‘The Irresistible science of Karl Marx’.

Prof Murzban Jal is the Director, Centre for Educational Studies, Indian Institute of Education, Pune.

Notice: Mainstream Weekly appears online only.