Lecture One A Brief Introduction to the tradition of “Western Marxism

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Lecture One A Brief Introduction to the tradition of “Western Marxism”
(Western Marxism, Spring, 2013)
One, About the concept of “western Marxism”
1, Western Marxism
Karl Korsch, Marxism and Philosophy (1923, 1930): western Communism and the
Russian Marxism (the orthodox Marxism)
Merleau-Ponty, Adventures of the Dialectic
Perry Anderson, Considerations on Western Marxism
2, Neo-Marxism
The 20th Congress of the Soviet Communist Party,
the Neo-Marxism in eastern Europe
Kolakowski, Main Currents of Marxism
3, Western Marxiology
Marx’s manuscripts
The Mega Project
4, the Main Currents of Contemporary Marxism Abroad
Chinese Marxism
Contemporary Marxism Abroad
Two, About the different moments within the history of western Marxism
1, the early Western Marxists (Lukacs, Korsch, Bloch, Gramsci)
2, the Frankfurt School (the first generation, the second generation and the third
generation)
3, French Marxism (the existentialist Marxism, the structuralist Marxism)
4, Analytic Marxism
5, the Contemporary Radical Philosophy
Three, About the origin of “western Marxsim”
1, the common view;
The Failure of the Proletariat Revolution in Europe in the beginning of the 20th
century
The opposition between the western Marxism and the orthodox Marxism
2, the Crisis of the European Civilization and the Origin of “Western Marxism”
A, the Crisis of the European Civilization:
Spingler, the Decline of the West
The Jewish Question
The Neo-Kantian Criticism of civilization and the Modernist Art
B, the October Revolution
The Russian Spirit
The Marxist “October Revolution”
C, the move from Weber to Marx of this group of Jewish European thinkers
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Four, Western Marxism and German Idealism
1, the move from Neo-Kantianism to Hegelianism (Bloch, Lukacs)
Neo-Kantianism: the separation between the world of fact and the world of value
George Simmel: the separation between culture and civilization
Max Weber: the separation between the world of rationalization and the ethics of
responsibility (for the political leaders)
Modernist Art: “Art is for the sake of Art”
Hegelianism: Substance is Subject
Only one world
To make the life given to us intelligible and meaningful
2, the Hegelian Dialectic and the Marxist Revolution
The Hegelian Dialectic: the coincidence of history and genesis
Revolution: the making of history
Thinking: participate in the genesis of history
3, “the Adventures of Dialectic”
The dialectic of subject and object
The dialectic of theory and praxis
The dialectic of intellectuals and mass
From the dialectic of totality to the negative dialectic
From the dialectical reason (Sartre) to the scientific anti-humanism
…
Five, Western Marxism and Religion
1, Marx and Engles’ Criticism of religion
A, from the young Hegelian criticism of religion to the decisive positive
transcendence of religion
the limitations of the young Hegelian criticism of religion
the origin and the dual functions of religion(justification and protest)
the decisive positive transcendence of religion (the abolishment of the state and the
revolution of the civil society)
B, from the criticism of abstract religion to the criticism of commodity fetishism
Judaism (the secular version: the worship of Money) is the spirit of the civil society
The Commodity Fetishism in the Capitalist Society
C, the alliance between religion and Marxism
Engles:
The early Christianity and communism (the history of the early Chrisitianity)
The German Peasants’ War and the Christian Religion (on the German Peasants War)
2, the importance of religion for this group of Jewish European thinkers
A, the Jewish Question
B, Max Weber: the Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism
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3, Marxism and Religion
A, from Weber’s criticism of rationalization to the Revival of Marx’s criticism of
fetishism
B, from Jewish Messianism to the dialectical thinking within enlightenment
Six: The Inherent Tension Within the Tradition of “Western Marxism”
1, the tension within the project of “rational critique of rationality”: totality and
negativity
2, the tension within the project of humanism: disenchantment and religion
3, the tension with the possibility of revolution: revolutionary and conservative
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