By Lucio Colletti
This selection of Colletti's (1924-2001) significant Marxist essays might be welcomed by means of non-Italian readers. Colletti's situation as a Marxist used to be twofold: to interpret Marxism as profoundly and as flexibly as attainable; and to enquire the relationships among Marx's concept and that of a couple of different thinkers as largely separated in time as Rousseau and Marcuse. His suggestion levels largely via philosophy, background, sociology, politics, and economics, with no pausing at barriers. Colletti's paintings from his Marxist interval tried to put the paintings of Marx in a line of descent that de-emphasizes Hegel, whereas giving a singular concentration to the connection among Marxism and Kant.
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Extra resources for From Rousseau to Lenin: Studies in Ideology and Society
Tubinicn, I911, pp. Io-Ia. Marxism as a Sociology 31 pure thought’ and this, notes Engels, is ‘to fall into the most clumsy empiricism even in the limited experience of the philistines’. For Kautsky, on the other hand, si parva licet . , the result is the famous restoration of ethical idealism. For instance, after arguing consistently on the basis of animal instinct throughout his Ethics, he then postules a S ollen, an ethical ideal, which bears no relation whatever to scientific ‘determinism’,3° and for which, for precisely this reason, he had to pay a high price when he came to grips with the historical roots of bourgeois ‘freedom’.
Similarly, Vorliinder (to take an example at random), discussing the method used in Capital in his Karl Marx, regrets that ‘the scientific analysis of the forms of human life does not begin, as would have been easier both for the author and for his readers . . "" Clearly, there is no understanding here that, if science is to be the science of the real, it cannot aim at the past other than by way of its diferences with respect to the present (which is the only existent) and hence must move from the express categories of the present.
86. , pp. 68-9. , pp. 73-4. , p. 80. Marxism as a Sociology 39 sciences, the independence claimed for scientific historical research from so-called ‘value judgements’, that is from ‘choices’, preferences and so on. We will in due course return to this question. At this point, however, we may note that precisely because of this dualism, the object ‘history’ undergoes a remarkable reduction at Weber's hands — as it had at Rick ert’s — to a history of cultural phenomena alone. " ' Man appears here only in the form of the Sinngeher, the one who extends ‘meaning’ to reality; while reality is itself reduced until it is significant not only insofar as it is exclusively a human product, but insofar as it is a product of the conscious, or cultural, action of man.