[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
[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
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?
On 29/05/2015 12:29 PM, mike cole wrote:
But who talked about "If you want to understand HISTORY
try to change it" ?
The russians went nutso over this question.
On Thu, May 28, 2015 at 6:33 PM, Andy Blunden
<firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com>> 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
namely, experiment and industry. If we are able to
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
the bargain, then there is an end to the Kantian
incomprehensible [or ungraspable,
<em>unfassbaren</em>—this important word is omitted
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
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
- 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.
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
Thanks for the prod, and also thanks for all the
XMCA dots, everyone!
All there is to thinking is seeing something noticeable
you see something you weren't noticing which makes you see
that isn't even visible. N.McLean, *A River Runs Through it*