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[Xmca-l] Re: Hegel's Headstand

In any case, it's not in Philosophy of Right, although there Hegel does
write about the French Revolution at some length and with considerable

Gramsci is essentially a linguist and not a sociologist. That explains
his sensitivity to "bookish" modes of expression as opposed to
conversational registers in Hegel.

Anyway, we can see from this little example from Chapter Two of Thinking
and Speech just what Vygotsky meant by "mastering the whole of Marx's
method" and "writing psychology's Capital" rather than simply stitching
quotes together.

In the pedology (end of Early Childhood, and also the passage on the
omnirelevance of speech at the end of Crisis at One), Vygotsky refers to
Marx with a certain apophasis, to say that he could cite Marx here--but it
would be out of context and people might assume that it is sufficient proof
of what he wants to say about speech--still, it would show the penetrating
quality of Marx's method. That's what he's doing in Chapter Two: citing
Marx by not citing him. Gramsci does a lot of that too.

David Kellogg

On Mon, Sep 25, 2017 at 7:11 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> While it is possible that Hegel said that, I don't know where and I
> haven't heard that before. I must have missed it in Gramsci.
> Marx was about 11 when Hegel died, so he never heard Hegel speak
> personally, but he was immersed in a milieu of Left Hegelians in a Germany
> in love with Hegel until 1841, when Marx was about 22. So he certainly has
> a "conversational" familiarity with Hegel!
> andy
> ------------------------------
> Andy Blunden
> http://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/index.htm
> On 25/09/2017 6:01 PM, David Kellogg wrote:
> Andy:
> Gramsci has this, on p. 232 of the Complete Prison Notebooks, Vol.1, New
> York: Columbia University Press, 1975.
> “In studying Marx’s Hegelianism one should remember (especially given
> Marx’s eminently practical-critical character) that Marx participated in
> German university life very shortly after Hegel’s death, when there must
> still have been a most vivid memory of Hegel’s ‘oral’ teachings and of the
> passionate discussions about concrete history which these teaching
> generated—that is, discussions in which the historical concreteness of
> Hegel’s though must have stood out much more clearly that it does in his
> systematic writings. Some of Marx’s assertions, it seems to me, should be
> considered in special relation to this ‘conversational’ vivacity: for
> instance, the statement that Hegel ‘has men walking on their heads’. Hegel
> really does use this image when dealing with the French Revolution; he
> writes that at a certain time during the French Revolution (when the new
> state structure was organized) ‘it seemed’ that the world was walking on
> its head or something of the sort (c.f.). I think that Croce asks (search
> the reference) from where Marx derived this image; it certainly is in one
> of Hegel’s books (perhaps the Philosophy of Right, I don’t remember).
> However, it seems to me that, given the persistence with which Marx returns
> to it (I think that Marx repeats the image; check), it seems to me that at
> a certain time it was a topic of conversationi: it really seems to have
> sprung out of conversation, fresh, spontaneous, so little ‘bookish’”.
> The editor of the book remarks that Gramsci seems to have in mind the
> “Postface” to the second edition of Capital. However, this is simply the
> Marx, not the Hegel: it’s the passage Lenin (and Vygotsky) referred to “Sie
> steht bei ihm auf dem Kopf. Man muss sie umstülpen, um den rationellen
> Kern in der mystischen Hülle zu entdecken.” While reading this over, I
> realized that Vygotsky, in Chapter Two of Thinking and Speech where he
> cites this passage in Lenin, cites it for good reason. The whole chapter is
> essentially doing to Piaget what Marx did to Hegel. Vygotsky, more than
> anyone alive at that time, understood Piaget's extraordinary contribution,
> and what Marx says of Hegel could easily have been said by Vygotsky of
> Piaget: "Die Mystifikation, welche die Dialektik in Hegels Händen
> erleidet, verhindert in keiner Weise, dass er ihre allegeminen
> Bewegungsformen zuerst in umfassander und bewusster Weise dargestellt hat."
> Having admitted that Piaget was the first to present the child's thinking
> in its general form of motion in a comprehensive and conscious manner,
> Vygotsky then goes on to stand Piaget on his head, by inverting
> "autism-->egocentrism-->social speech" to "social speech-->egocentric
> speech-->inner speech".
> David Kellogg