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[Xmca-l] Re: Hegel on Action

That remark by Lenin is his only comment on a passage of a hundred pages or so of the Science of Logic, the passage where in his own idealistic way Hegel is discussing effectively the Party question. It is extremely obscure and I gather it went over Lenin's head. Nonetheless, Lenin's notes were where I got started on Hegel and marked the beginning of the return of Marxists to a study of Hegel in the 20th century. Not Lukacs, not Korsch or Horkheimer, but Lenin.

As to Marx's remark in the Afterword to Capital and Engels reference to it in "Ludwig Feuerbach" I always liked it and repeated it to others, too. But it did function as a kind of explanation of why I didn't study Hegel and believed that it was good enough to just read Marx. Once I got started reading Hegel I did not find the aphorism useful. It was kind of obvious that I had to penetrate the hard shell of logical rigmarole to get what I wanted. But how?? The idea of standing it on its head gave me no guidance at all. So I try to dissuade people who might want to tackle Hegel to not use this aphorism as a guide.


On 17/07/2017 7:18 AM, David Kellogg wrote:
In the Philosophical Notebooks, Lenin notes that the Aristotelian syllogism still has a whiff of Platonism about it.

Precious metals don't rust.
Gold is a precious metal.
Therefore gold doesn't rust.

I gather that what he means is that in the syllogism it is concrete, sensuous experience with a particular metal which comes dead last. But when we look at human experience as historical activity, we notice that it comes first: that it is thousands of years of experience with a particular metal, from the ancient Egyptians and their obsession with uncorruptibility onward, which leads to the valuation of gold and its exaptation as money, and then generalization to silver. Lenin says that in its idealist form the syllogism is a game: it is this which must be "turned on its head" to see how the concept arises.


If Marx's remark to that effect was not helpful or clarifying, why do you think Vygotsky and Luria (not to mention Lenin) were so taken with it?

David Kellogg
Macquarie University

On Mon, Jul 17, 2017 at 12:01 AM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:

    I meant specifically that the aphorism about Hegel
    having to be turned on his head is not useful.


    Andy Blunden
    http://home.mira.net/~andy <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy>