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Marxism and Hegel Paperback – January 1, 1973

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Editorial Reviews


“The highest standards of scholarship, precision and clarity.”—Philosophical Quarterly

Marxism and Hegel is in many ways the most important single work of Marx interpretation written since Lukács’s History and Class Consciousness. It makes a reappraisal of dialectical materialism imperative.”—Critique

“Colletti skilfully argues that Marx, implicitly using Kant, transformed Hegel on two crucial points: Hegel’s ‘dialectic of matter,’ which sanctified idealism by negating matter, and Hegel’s identification of development in reality with logical development, which nullified man’s natural being.”—Journal of Politics

Language Notes

Text: English, Italian (translation)

Product Details

  • Paperback: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Verso (January 1, 1973)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0902308734
  • ISBN-13: 978-0902308732
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,106,770 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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The best critique of "dialectical materialism" that has ever been written. "Dialectical materialism" is a contradiction in terms, if you understand the Hegelian dialectic. There is not a Marxist alive who understands Hegel and, consequently, they don't understand Marx. Engels and Stalin are a complete philosophical bastardization of Marx and Hegel. You can't stand the Dialectic on its feet, because it has no head nor feet. Both the form and substance of the Dialectic is pure Idea. Yes, Hegel speaks of a "dialectic of matter," but only in so far as matter is embedded within the Idea. pure matter doesn't exist in Hegel's world. If it did, there would be no movement, no life, only dead matter.

Marxists think that "dialectical materialism" means that that there is a "material" base of economic relationships--They don't even understand that relationships are not material things--and then culture and ideology act back on the base to change it and so on back and forth. Somehow they manage to convince themselves that this is a profound form of thought. LOL That has nothing to do with dialectics. That's just Newtonian billiard ball philosophy. Simple-minded nonsense. If this were the true meaning of dialectics, then Willie Mosconi would be the greatest dialectician of all time.

The Western Marxists are not any better on this question. They still adhere to a "base/superstructure" model. Even Althussser is much better than that.

The dialectic is through and through a religious concept, a kind of Augustinian Platonism where Reason and God become melded together. Of course, Marxism itself is a form of Platonism, but no Marxist understands that. Pity.
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Format: Paperback
Very few writers sympathetic to Marxism have been so rigorously anti-Hegelian as Colletti. Althusser of course was the more famous Marxist anti-Hegelian. This book was announced at the time of its appearance to be "almost" the equal of Lukacs' "History and Class Consciousness" in terms of rigor and philosophical depth. It is indeed a rigorous and throughgoing work of philosophy but its unremitting arrogance is its chief fault (Colletti once branded Sartre's philosophy as a "philosophy of the soda parlor"). Its wholesale dismissal of Hegelian Marxism as some kind of idealist mumbo-jumbo (outdoing Lenin in being Leninist)in the name of his own brand of "epistemological naturalism" led him in the end to trash Marxism altogether as a mere continuation of German Idealism. I have no idea where Colletti is now. He apparently hasn't written any books since giving up leftist politics.
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