Re: [xmca] Historical Development

From: Martin Packer <packer who-is-at>
Date: Tue Feb 19 2008 - 07:24:07 PST

Thanks, Paul

I agree that within the terms of Vygotsky's project, class was irrelevant.
My point (and I'm sure you understand this) was that if he has been working
in the West, class would have been a central part of his psychology.

Your suggestions for rethinking social evolution are welcome. I'm still
thinking through this issue - I mentioned a while back that I've been
reading about the ethnographic notebooks Marx was keeping late in life,
where he seemed to be exploring a very different kind of history.


On 2/15/08 10:04 PM, "Paul Dillon" <> wrote:

> In the conclusion of the finished half, you indicated two problems with
> Vygotsky's general psychology:
> "The first is his treatment of cultural differences as historical
> differences, and in particular the characterization of ≥primitive≤ forms of
> consciousness. The second is the abstract character of his account of child
> development, and specifically its lack of attention to social class."
> The second problem disappears if we assume that Vygotsky was working with
> the presupposition that class distinctions were not a factor in the
> development process since he was working in a new, socialist, supposedly
> classless society (state bureaucracies aren't, classes in any sociological
> sense) or in a society at least moving in that direction, and in the society
> itself, the classes based on capitalist relations of production were in fact
> non-existent or disappearing ..
> The first problem, Vygotsky's identification of culture with historical
> periods, (modes of production?) that represent a process of social evolution,
> clearly isn't a problem within marxist social theory in which human history is
> precisely a process of the development of productive forces, an increasing
> expansion of the realm of human freedom, although in the form of class
> societies, in which that increased freedom was concentrated in the minority
> dominant classes..

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