Philosophy

Lukács: another view

Published on: Thu, 25/07/2019 - 03:23
Author

Martin Thomas

According to John Rees and the Counterfire group (a splinter from the SWP), Georg Lukács was "the most important Marxist political philosopher since Marx".

He was "the great theorist of revolution in the 20th century", and his writings were "the most sophisticated development of the classical Marxist tradition that anyone has developed".

John Cunningham's presentation (Solidarity 511) is more sober. But generally Lukács has enjoyed high repute in a wide range of the left since the early 1970s, and with many Third Camp Marxists since Michael Harrington made the first English translation from

The life and work of Georg Lukács

Published on: Sun, 16/06/2019 - 20:45
Author

John Cunningham

Georg Lukács (pictured above in 1919) was one of the best-known Marxist writers of the 20th century.

He joined the Hungarian Communist Party in December 1918 and was a People's Commissar in the short-lived Hungarian Soviet Republic of March-July 1919. After fleeing to Vienna, he published History and Class Consciousness (in 1923, but collecting texts written since 1919).

He lived in the USSR between 1929 and 1945.

He was a minister in the reforming Nagy government in Hungary in 1956, survived the Russian invasion and the repression, and died in 1971.

John Cunningham talked with Martin Thomas

A new humanist politics?

Published on: Wed, 05/06/2019 - 11:02
Author

Matt Kinsella

Paul Mason’s latest book, Clear Bright Future, is written as a defence of humanism and human-centred politics, against the resurgent threat of the far-right, from Trump to Bolsonaro, Le Pen to Salvini. The title is a reference to Leon Trotsky’s testament. Mason entreats us to fight “all evil, oppression, and violence”, and shares Trotsky’s optimism for the future.

Mason draws a convincing link from the financial crash in 2007-08 to Trump’s election. Mason emphasises how the monopolisation of information (think Google and Facebook) has led to systems outside our control, for example, of online

Letters

Published on: Wed, 08/05/2019 - 12:45

Let's be honest. Even if Labour had a good line on Brexit, a better leadership, a PLP not out to sabotage it, and all the rest, a majority Labour government will be hard to win. Unless other fronts are opened in the class struggle to break the barriers.

There is a long term decline in the Labour vote in: 1. Depressed de-industrialised small cities and towns with declining populations, especially those not in the orbit of big diverse cities. 2. The unfashionable working-class suburbs, owner occupied but by skilled or semi skilled working class people rather than the well-off. Or the dormitory

Letters

Published on: Wed, 01/05/2019 - 12:44

One of the people who joined us on our 18 April protest at the Israeli Embassy against Netanyahu’s plan to annex Area C on the West Bank queried some of the text on our leaflet.

She didn’t dispute that the “right of return” to Israel of all six million descendants of the 1947-9 refugees is neither workable nor just (since it could not happen without the conquest and displacement of the Israeli Jews). But, she said, we should uphold the “right of return” *to the West Bank*.

Part of the call for a real independent Palestinian state alongside Israel is a demand for that state to have sovereignty

Letters

Published on: Wed, 17/04/2019 - 10:57

We should advocate the revoking of Article 50 by Parliament. A second referendum was a tactic that has outlived its usefulness.

The point of a second referendum was that it was thought a more acceptable, less divisive way of stopping Brexit than revoking Article 50; and that since both parties are officially for Brexit, it took it out of Parliament’s hands.

But now the second referendum is less popular in many polls then stopping Brexit. People are tired of the division and focus on this issue. A referendum will sharpen the divisions and suck up all politics and news.

Anecdotally, plenty of

Letters

Published on: Wed, 10/04/2019 - 08:20

As Aristotle is one of the “giants” on whose shoulders Marx stands, we should take an interest in issues of distortion or vulgarisation of Aristotle’s key ideas. It might be that Martin Thomas’s comments on Aristotle (Solidarity 499) carry a “trace” of this process.

One thing Marx and Aristotle certainly have in common is their having been subject to sustained vulgarisation and distortion. The vulgarisation of Marx is a part of our inheritance and that demands we are scrupulous and forensic in our approach to classic texts (comrades might find useful the work of Michael Heinrich on the

Letters

Published on: Wed, 20/03/2019 - 10:24

Janine Booth (Solidarity 494) writes that ″[t]he brain wiring that is now called dyslexia has probably existed for thousands of years, but it did not become a problem and was not labelled “dyslexia” until written language became widespread.″

She does acknowledge that this ″so-called impairment, [this] disability, is constructed by something that has developed socially i.e. the form that language takes.″

I′m not convinced that dyslexia can be reduced to a ″brain wiring″, nor that particular ″wirings″ are given, that just the problem and label arise from social factors.

I have been diagnosed

Letters

Published on: Thu, 07/03/2019 - 08:30

Mike Zubrowski's letter in the last issue of Solidarity makes a strong case for the importance of reading long texts.

I agree with the main thrust of what Mike writes, and would agree with it as a critique of my article if I had actually argued what he claims that I did. But I didn't.

My article argued that "We can not just rely on a text-heavy newspaper any more." I did not write that reading long texts is not important, nor that other media could replace newspapers.

Mike partly acknowledges this by stating that my article 'implied' these things rather than claiming that it actually argued

Letters

Published on: Wed, 20/02/2019 - 12:10

Japanese language not more socialist

Janine Booth’s article on neurodiversity and socialism (Solidarity 494) was valuable and interesting, but I want to query one (maybe unintended) implication.

Janine cites an individual “severely dyslexic in English and not dyslexic at all in Japanese” and takes that as showing that capitalism develops language in a form that “does not suit”. To build anything on a single case is dubious. So far as I can see from scanning the research, there is some indication that dyslexia may be less with ideographic languages (where symbols correspond to meanings rather

This website uses cookies, you can find out more and set your preferences here.
By continuing to use this website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.