Article Information

TO TRANSFORM MARXISM BY FOLLOWING MARX

Nikolai Rozov (nrozov@gmail.com)

Institute for Philosophy and Law of the Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Novosibirsk, Russia

Novosibirsk State University, Russia 

Citation: Rozov N.S. (2018) Preobrazovat' marksizm, sleduya Marksu [To transform Marxism by following Marx]. Zhurnal sotsiologii i sotsialnoy antropologii [The Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology], 21(5): 24–43 (in Russian). https://doi.org/10.31119/jssa.2018.21.5.2

Abstract. Marxism remains a living doctrine, and therefore it must change. The main intellectual strategies of K. Marx and F. Engels are highlighted: 1) criticism of the current mainstream, well-established and popular beliefs; 2) a bold combination of ideas, intellectual traditions that previously seemed incompatible, 3) usage, inclusion in the theory of the latest scientific concepts. Applying these strategies to Marxism itself implies criticism of its philosophical and theoretical foundations, combining Marxist ideas with models and theories of other macrosociological traditions that seemed incompatible with Marxism (primarily Weberianism and Durkheimianism); usage of the latest scientific knowledge, in particular, in the areas of social evolution, economic exchange and markets, the theory of the genesis and development of states, social crises, and revolutions. The importance of material production for social processes and historical dynamics is not denied, but along with this factor there are always others, no less, and sometimes more powerful ones. Dühring argued rather naively in favor of his thesis of the primacy of power and violence. The Engels' counter-arguments are smart and sometimes sophisticated but should be revised. The analysis of social relations implicitly hidden in ‘property’ shows the fundamental nature of not only order, power and violence relations that reinforce property, but also the importance of normative cultural patterns and psychological attitudes. Technological progress loses the status of the main driver of historical dynamics and social evolution, it remains a very important factor, but only among other no less significant drivers of change. Social revolutions quite often eliminate the political forms that have become inadequate, but they are by no means the only, or the main, factors of such changes. The state is not at all an "instrument" of the class of exploiters (feudal lords, capitalists). The state and the state class (officials) are almost always an independent subject with their own interests, world vision, and resources. Marxism is firmly associated with the struggle for social justice, against class inequality, against the exploitation of man by man, against enslavement. As far as people continue to strive to improve their social status, class polarization, this or that measure of exploitation, social injustice always take place, and break through all attempts at restrictions and equalization. This means the inescapability of the demand for justice, which nourishes and will always nourish the high posthumous reputation of Marx, the emergence of more and more devotees of Marxism.

Keywords: marxism, social ontology, economcentrism, political economy, basis and superstructure, property relations, the role of violence in history, the essence of the state, technological progress, social justice.

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