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Home / Brad Delong, Berkeley / Grasping Reality with at Least Three Hands 2018-08-06 12:53:49

Grasping Reality with at Least Three Hands 2018-08-06 12:53:49

Summary:
Zeronowhere: On the context of Marx's 'I am not a Marxist' quote: "As far as I know, the MIA cites it as opposing Guesde on the matter of the economic section of the program for the French Workers' Party... ...(the section was written by Guesde, and mainly, though not entirely, approved of by Marx). However, as far as I know, the quote is only found quoted by Engels, and I can only find it in two documents: Now what is known as ‘Marxism’ in France is, indeed, an altogether peculiar product—so much so that Marx once said to Lafargue: ‘Ce qu'il y a de certain c'est que moi, je ne suis pas Marxiste.’ -Letter to Bernstein, 1882. And if this man has not yet discovered that while the material mode of existence is the primum agens this does not preclude the ideological

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Zeronowhere: On the context of Marx's 'I am not a Marxist' quote: "As far as I know, the MIA cites it as opposing Guesde on the matter of the economic section of the program for the French Workers' Party...

...(the section was written by Guesde, and mainly, though not entirely, approved of by Marx). However, as far as I know, the quote is only found quoted by Engels, and I can only find it in two documents:

Now what is known as ‘Marxism’ in France is, indeed, an altogether peculiar product—so much so that Marx once said to Lafargue: ‘Ce qu'il y a de certain c'est que moi, je ne suis pas Marxiste.’ -Letter to Bernstein, 1882.

And if this man has not yet discovered that while the material mode of existence is the primum agens this does not preclude the ideological spheres from reacting upon it in their turn, though with a secondary effect, he cannot possibly have understood the subject he is writing about. However, as I said, all this is secondhand and little Moritz is a dangerous friend. The materialist conception of history has a lot of them nowadays, to whom it serves as an excuse for not studying history. Just as Marx used to say, commenting on the French 'Marxists' of the late [18]70s: 'All I know is that I am not a Marxist.'-Letter to Schmidt, 1890...


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Bradford DeLong
J. Bradford DeLong is Professor of Economics at the University of California at Berkeley and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He was Deputy Assistant US Treasury Secretary during the Clinton Administration, where he was heavily involved in budget and trade negotiations. His role in designing the bailout of Mexico during the 1994 peso crisis placed him at the forefront of Latin America’s transformation into a region of open economies, and cemented his stature as a leading voice in economic-policy debates.

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