Idealism, Materialism, and The Two Sides of Marxism 

An interesting discussion of the idealism/materialism divide: it would not be so surprising in general, but in the context of Marx is shows that changes are happening on the left. My The Last Revolution has been suggesting this explicitly as a critique of Marxism, while maintaining the saga of Marx/Engels as a guide to praxis. Theory is another matter and any hopes of resolving the dilemma of idealism and materialism in a theory that is sound philosophy is probably hopeless. Marx conjoined a brilliant insight in the dilemma of capitalism with a now data materialism that arose in the wake the immense but misleading triumph of Newtonian physics. That triumph was soon cautioned by the Romantic movement, philosophers like Kant and the Hegel generating what unfortunately seems to have added kind of mystification factor that drove the early posivists to a brittle scientism, a milieu that was that of Marx. A dogmatic materialism has been a disaster for the left and in the Stalinist era we seem that mere interest in a Kantian or idealist theme could lead to a the gulag. Socialism does not need to take sides on such a perennial duality. And in the age of Quantum Mechanics and String theory the seeming implications of Newton’s physics (where Newton himself, and no doubt Leibnitz, had very different views of the context of his physics) has away in an almost airy/faerie figure of queer idealist elements. Then again it is not so hard to rescue Marx from his own viewpoint if only one can talk beyond the almost cultic rigidity of the ‘Canon’ with is shibboleths, sacred quotes and holy boilerplate.

Source: Idealism, Materialism, and The Two Sides of Marxism –

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