Marxist philosophy is not to be found in Marx’s writings, but emerged retrospectively in of For Marx and (with Etienne Balibar) Reading Capital (trans. ETIENNE BALIBAR. “Succinct and informative”. Fredric Jameson. “A trenchant and exciting analysis of the philosophy of Marx”. Immanuel Wallerstein. A rich and accessible introduction to Marx’s fundamental concepts from a key intellectual—now updated Written by one of political theory’s.

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Re-entering the world of studying socialist, anarchist, and other leftist thought one often ends up reading French texts released by Verso press quite a bit. So this brings me to Etienne Balibarstudent of the infamous anti-humanist and structuralist Marxist Louis Althusser. balibad

So far so good, right? So your implying its obtuse? Slow down, gentle reader.

The Philosophy of Marx – Étienne Balibar – Google Books

This book while marked as an introduction to the Philosophy of Marx has two functions: It is vital, however, to notice that philosophy is specific here. While it does touch on this points as each element is intertwined with the others, it is specifically about philosophy in the narrow sense.

Secondly, Balibar is not just introducing the material, he is making a sustained argument about Marxist philosophy itself. The book is quite excellent in discussing the background of the Marx especially in compared to a lot of what you would get og a dismissive mxrx theory textbook. Furthermore, the block inserts on Gramsci, Althusser, Lenin, Benjamin,etc are all excellent in their concision and aid to the controversies of Marxist philosophy.


Marx is more important for philosophy than ever before. Furthermore, he makes this almost argument entirely on conflict between dialectics of history and critical theory being at an aporia.

This is particularly true in the last bapibar, which, despite the clear and generally readable translation of Chris Turner, comes off as muddled.

What is even not interesting is that Balibar makes this claim without any reference to Marxist historical practice. So Balibar does seek to place Marx in his own historical context but denies the importance of practiced Marxism: This kind of argument has been thd in far less obtuse ways by Isaiah Berlin or even Noam Chomsky.

Balibar reads this as an aporia:. Yet, even if I agree with Marx, can we say that there is actually a real dialectic there? What if the problem that Marx was trying to reconcile resolves itself in practice. There is a lot of modern psychological studies to confirm bbalibar.

On this, I am not sure if I agree, but it seems to be that the difference between ideology and fetishism is descriptive focus. He is accusing Marx of having somehow sublimated a theory of progress. I think this is a misunderstanding of what an evolutionary view is.

It is a common mistake made from Herbert Spenser onward that evolution implies teleological process towards some absolute goal. Indeed, Hegel also has this latent teleology. Marx, however, seems to indicate unsure of this: Indeed, you would have to familiar with the primary texts and a good bit of post-structuralist and post-Marxist jargon to get past parts of the last chapter. For a better introduction to Marxist thought, read Marx.


‘The Philosophy of Marx’ by Étienne Balibar

For philosohy more textually inclined: If you want a ready an interesting and provocation, but brief philosophical treatise on Marx, do read Balibar. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account.

Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. Menu Skip to content Home About C. Originally written in Re-entering the world of studying socialist, anarchist, and other leftist thought one often ends up reading French texts released by Verso press quite a bit.

Balibar reads this as an aporia: Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter oof comment here Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Email required Address never made public. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: