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[Xmca-l] Re: Understanding/changing "something"



... if you want to know about changing History specifically, i.e., History as something which is *made* (as opposed to "changed"), the main reference would be the famous maxim of Marx in "18th Brumaire":

       "Men make their own history, but they do not make it
       as they please; they do not make it under
       self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances
       existing already, given and transmitted from the
       past."
       https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1852/18th-brumaire/ch01.htm

So I think for Marx it was not a question of "understanding history" by "making history", but rather that he would have interpreted "changing history" as "making history" which meant "overthrowing all existing social conditions" (to use the phrase of the Communist Manifesto) and for Marx this was not something that individuals did or that was done in a "scientific" way at all. The scientific principles could be grasped, according to Marx, only post facto. But I don't know that Marx would ever have said one changed history *in order to understand it*! But I think he did see the experience of the working class as a learning process. Should I try to find something to justify that, or are we already too far away from your original question?
Andy
------------------------------------------------------------
*Andy Blunden*
http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
On 29/05/2015 12:29 PM, mike cole wrote:
But who talked about "If you want to understand HISTORY try to change it" ?
m

The russians went nutso over this question.


On Thu, May 28, 2015 at 6:33 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:

    In "Materialism and Empirio-Criticism" (1908), a book
    by Lenin which Vygotsky quoted from time to time,
    Lenin quotes Engels:

       “The most telling refutation of this as of all other
       philosophical crotchets <em>(Schrullen)</em>is
    practice,
       namely, experiment and industry. If we are able to
    prove
       the correctness of our conception of a natural process
       by making it ourselves, bringing it into being out of
       its conditions and making it serve our own purposes
    into
       the bargain, then there is an end to the Kantian
       incomprehensible [or ungraspable,
       <em>unfassbaren</em>—this important word is omitted
    both
       in Plekhanov’s translation and in Mr. V. Chernov’s
       translation] ‘thing-in-itself.’ The chemical substances
       produced in the bodies of plants and animals remained
       just such ‘things-in-themselves’ until organic
    chemistry
       began to produce them one after another, where upon the
       ‘thing-in-itself’ became a ‘thing for us,’ as, for
       instance, alizarin, the colouring matter of the madder,
       which we no longer trouble to grow in the madder roots
       in the field, but produce much more cheaply and simply
       from coal tar”

    For the original words by Engels, see
    https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1886/ludwig-feuerbach/ch02.htm
    - this little book was always a standard component of
    any Marxist education program and there is no doubt at
    all that Vygotsky had read it.

    Andy
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    *Andy Blunden*
    http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
    <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
    On 29/05/2015 8:40 AM, Annalisa Aguilar wrote:

        Henry, et al,

        I wonder how revolution corresponds to violence if
        the violence is built into a tool, such as the
        case of gun design. After all, a bullet cannot do
        harm unless it is catapulted at a very fast velocity.

        Revolution need not be violent, right?

        Another thought: how does violence and the future
        connect if an adherent of violence as a means of
        production can only see what is an imagined
        freedom, instead city streets full of blood, or
        the maiming of innocents and the emotional
        upheaval of their families and communities and the
        repercussions from all that (which is future
        history). How is this actually freedom, when it
        only creates future enemies?

        Why is the interconnectedness of us all completely
        forgotten in this (imagined) vision of freedom?

        This argument might be offered against any
        adherent of violence (as a means of production),
        which (to me) seems to coincide with the notion of
        disrespect and how disrespect is proffered and
        perceived in extreme forms.

        Is this captured in the tool design?

        Henry, your post has made me consider what it
        means to be a radical vs a revolutionary: both
        seem preoccupied with change and with history, no?
        What is the difference?

        These are questions I have... not sure what the
        answers are...

        Thanks for the prod, and also thanks for all the
        XMCA dots, everyone!

        Annalisa







--

All there is to thinking is seeing something noticeable which makes you see something you weren't noticing which makes you see something
that isn't even visible. N.McLean, *A River Runs Through it*