Potemkin wrote:I distinctly remember discussing Althusser a few years back, @Wellsy (before your time, I think). Do a search on ‘Althusser’ on PoFo and see what comes up. You just made the mistake of trying to revive a 14 year old thread which had been stillborn. You’re in a hole, but keep digging anyway my friend….
I have a vague recollection of a post or two of yours which I can’t find amidst my searching now.
But it might have been in discussion with Vera Politca about how Althusser’s anti-humanism and scientism was an effort to resist the deformation of Marxism into a kind of liberal abstract humanism.
I perhaps push a little hard against Althusser in part as I imagine myself sympathetic to some humanist readings of Marx amidst the need to emphasize his methodology as a theory of knowledge and results as scientific.
So it may be a case if the times that he pushed against a specific tendency of the times just as Lenin had to fight it out with idealism in Machism.
I personally dislike the extreme emphasis on the objective and indifference to the subjective though think the subjective can be rationally/scientifically explained in its development. I see in a school of thought through Lev Vygotsky (Cultural Historical Activity Theory/CHAT) a trend which is increasingly able to overcome a individual vs structure duality and situate individual actors within activities and give meaning to their actions at both the individual level and macro level.
This tendency puts me at odds with a lot of other Marxists who have perhaps read a few of Marx’s economic texts and a couple Soviet thinkers. They can sometimes come off crude and dogmatic.
I once found myself being hounded in discussion of Ilyenkov’s concept of ideality in which things like value are reflection of human relations and activity. But the word ideal was too much and it was framed as Hegelian objective idealism, but this was in defense of Marx’s characterization of value as being a kind of philosophically material quality, as existing outside consciousness and not dependent on an individuals consciousness.
Instead of Althusser, I am instead looking at summaries of classical political economy through Anwar Shaikh lectures and of Marx’s theoretical development https://www.marxists.org/archive/vygodsky/1965/discovery.htm
-For Ethical Politics