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Re: [xmca] "The psyche of proletarian children" and language andthought

Otto Ruehle had been in the German Social Democratic Party and one of the two SPD Reichstag members (the other was Karl Liebknecht) who opposed the First World War in parliament. He then became a leading member of the Spartacus League. As Achilles states, he came to see the Soviet Union as state capitalist and became a 'left communist' opponent of Leninism.

I found a number of references to his work with children and interest in psychology in the 20s here - http://rcswww.urz.tu-dresden.de/~stecklin/ruehle/leben.html .


1917-19: Aufbau des Kindererholungsheimes "Waldpark" in Mulda (bei Freiberg/ Sachsen), Leitung des Heimes: Johanna Rühle
[Setting up children's home / sanatorium]

ca 1922/ 23 Gründung des Verlages ‚Am andern Ufer‘ (gemeinsam mit Alice Rühle-Gerstel)

Veröffentlichungen im Verlag (u.a.):

‚Am andern Ufer. Blätter für sozialistische Erziehung.‘ Alice Rühle-Gerstel; Otto Rühle (Hrsg.). 1924; 1-5
['On the other river bank. Writings for socialist education']

‚Das proletarische Kind. Monatsblätter für proletarische Erziehung.‘ Alice Rühle-Gerstel; Rühle, Otto (Hrsg.) 1.1925/26; 1-12.; 2.1926; 1-6.
['The proletarian child: monthly journal for proletarian education']

Schriftenreihe: Schwer erziehbare Kinder. Band 1-20. 1926/ 1927. Alice Rühle-Gerstel; Otto Rühle (Hrsg.)
[Series: 'Difficult to educate children']

Ruehle was still in Germany at this time. By the mid-30s he ended up in Mexico where he was in contact with Trotsky, serving on the Dewey Commission which examined the charges made against Trotsky in the Moscow Trials. I have an interesting memoir of this time by Ruehle's wife, Alice Rühle-Gerstel, where she describes how Ruehle tries to persuade Trotsky that Adler provided an approach to psychology more compatible with Marxism than Freud, while Trotsky sticks to his old admiration of Freud as more scientific.

There is a full bibliography at http://rcswww.urz.tu-dresden.de/~stecklin/ruehle/beitrag.html#start which shows Ruehle interested in children and education as far back as the mid 1890s. There are two books which sound like they might have been the subject of LSV's review:

Die Seele des proletarischen Kindes. Dresden [Buchholz-Friedewald] 1925
Das proletarische Kind. München 1911; völlig neu bearb. und erweiterte Aufl. München 1922

Bruce R

----- Original Message ----- From: "Achilles Delari Junior" <achilles_delari@hotmail.com>
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
Sent: Monday, August 31, 2009 7:25 AM
Subject: RE: [xmca] "The psyche of proletarian children" and language andthought

Thank you, very much David.

It's very instructive.

I will see the quotations at the Works.
Seems to be interesting that Vygotsky was
open to Rühle, even he was agaist Leninism,
and saw Soviet Union as a form of State
Capitalism... (I don't know if that information
is reliable)... But, the point is just about
relationships between social class position
and social formation of mind. I agree with
the opposition to Zalking thinking in terms of
"class character"... I wonder that in "Socialist
alteration of man" the relation of personality
formation and class struggle seems to be more
in dialectical terms... The entire society is
not homogeneous, then the social formation
of personality is not homogeneous too... But
I really don´t know yet if Rühle thank like
Zalkind. Do you think so?

Thank you very much David... My friend tell
me that she already find a Spanish version from
the Rühle's book reviewed by Vygotsky... and
them this seems to be very useful. There was
yet some pedological works about soviet children
valuation about class struggle, expropriation,
relations between money and work, etc. There
is a list of questions for interview with children
from Mikhail Basov, that contains this kind of
questions, together others about "physical
causality", etc. This is reported by Valsiner,
but I don´t know if this is the same. Can we
call soviet children exactly "proletarian children"?
In a social context in that people believe that
there are no more "classes"? But we will see
that pedologists studies too, if we could...

Oh. Thank you very much... You help me too think
broader than before...

Best wishes.

Date: Sun, 30 Aug 2009 22:03:53 -0700
From: vaughndogblack@yahoo.com
Subject: Re: [xmca] "The psyche of proletarian children" and language and thought
To: xmca@weber.ucsd.edu

Dear Achilles:

As you probably know, there are a few references to Otto Ruele in Volume Two of the Collected Works on defectology, and some of these are to "The psyche of proletarian children".

Overall, LSV takes a positive view of the work, which is a little surprising because of his hostility to the ideas of Zalkind on "proletarian character".

Ruele seems to have been close to Adler, and a critic of Freud (or so says the notes on Ruele in Volume Two. LSV has generally nice things to say about Adler too.

David Kellogg
Seoul National University of Education

PS: Mike, I wasn't trying to put either you or Meltzoff on the spot; I was really just writing fluff along the lines of something-I-read-on-the-way-to-work-this-morning-that-I-thought-you-might-find-interesting.

I guess the most interesting thing about it for me has to do with Greg's rather Whorfian letter which argues that thinking and speech have to be a lot closer than the longitude and latitude metaphor suggest, and that in particular phasal and semantic aspects of speech are really one and the same thing, linked but not distinct. When two things are linked but not distinct, it is hard to see how they can develop each other.

Of course, SOMETHING happens in the brain when we read, and it may happen in different parts of the brain when we read different scripts (just as we may recover memories from different parts of the brain). But sometimes structural differences really can be "uncoupled" from ffunctional differences, and I think this is one of them.

David Kellogg
Seoul National University of Education

--- On Sun, 8/30/09, Achilles Delari Junior <achilles_delari@hotmail.com> wrote:

From: Achilles Delari Junior <achilles_delari@hotmail.com>
Subject: [xmca] "The psyche of proletarian children"...
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
Date: Sunday, August 30, 2009, 7:01 PM

How are you?
I wish fine.

Please, I'm asking you for a help, one more time.
There is a friend of mine, working with expropriated
children, fighting against "child work expropriation" in the
North-east from my country. And she is looking for a particular
text from Vygotsky, and I suppose that there is no publication
of it, even in Russian. This is the title, seems to be only
the manuscript

Review of The Psyche of proletarian Children by Otto Rulle
(Moscow-Leningrad, 1926). Private archives of L. S. Vygotsky.
Manucript, 3. pp.
на кн.: Отто Рюле. Психика пролетарского ребенка. М.; Л.: ГИЗ, 1926 // Семейный
арх. Л.С. Выготского. 1926. 3 с. Рукопись.

But this indication that there is only the manuscript is from 1996'
Lifanova's paper. Then, who knows if there is any publication after...
Do you have any notice about this work, or some general suggestion
of reading something about this subject (the psyche of children
in terms of social classes, and class struggle)?

Thank you very much about your attention and help.

Best wishes.
>From Brazil.
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