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/edu/ - Education

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Hey /edu/! A new reading group has recently formed in the /read/ chat rooms. This time dedicated to the works of Louis Althusser. We should be starting soon, our first meeting is planned for March 6, Sunday. The plan is to work through some of Althusser's books, starting with For Marx, which is his most introductory work. We would like to invite anyone on this board to join us for the reading.

>Why Althusser?

We consider Althusser to have been one of the most important Marxists of the second half of the 20th century. His identification of the 'epistemological break' in Marx was a major innovation, and most modern readings of Marx, centered around the discontinuities and ruptures inherent to his work are all in some way indebted to Althusser. We consider that his attempt at reconstructing Historical Materialism during a time of a major theoretical crisis of Marxism, and his innovations towards Marxist science, are of utmost value. But we also recognize that Althusser's interventions were never isolated from practical politics - his consideration that ‘Philosophy represents the class struggle in theory’ being fundamental here. His theoretical work was always conceived as an intervention into not only the politics of the PCF, but of the international communist movement as a whole. As he would later say:

>I would never have written anything were it not for the Twentieth Congress and Khrushchev’s critique of Stalinism and the subsequent liberalisation. But I would never have written these books if I had not seen this affair as a bungled destalinisation, a right-wing destalinisation which instead of analyses offered us only incantations; which instead of Marxist concepts had available only the poverty of bourgeois ideology. My target was therefore clear: these humanist ravings, these feeble dissertations on liberty, labour or alienation which were the effects of all this among French Party intellectuals. And my aim was equally clear: to make a start on the first left-wing critique of Stalinism, a critique that would make it possible to reflect not only on Khrushchev and Stalin but also on Prague and Lin Piao: that would above all help put some substance back into the revolutionary project here in the West.

So, anyone interested?


I'm interested under the condition that the first book we read is Future Lasts Forever.


As mentioned in the OP we will be starting with For Marx (pdf rel), which is the most introductory book. Since it's a collection of essays we can divide it into multiple discusssion sessions, for more in-depth conversations.

I have also attached another book - "Althusser: The Detour of Theory" by Gregory Elliot - which is a popular secondary lit book. Reading this is optional, but the first chapter provides great context into the intellectual and political underpinnings of Althusser's work, and works out how things like de-Stalinization would have affected him and driven him to write what he did.

Why the autobiography? At least to me it makes much more sense to get into his theory first (For Marx, etc) and only then read his later reflections on his own life. Any deeper points made in the autobiography would be missed if you don't have familiarity with his previous works, especially considering his autobio is famous for being theoretical besides personal.


I can't believe you would promote this revisionist lmao read some authentic marxists instead such as hoxha for instance.


Oh, I should've mentioned the reading group is in the /read/ chatrooms! Here is the link to the /read/ space: https://matrix.to/#/#leftyreadmain:matrix.org


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good to see /leftypol/ returning to its brocialist roots


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Nice argument.
One small issue.


No you are not suffocating me you revisionist :xD


Althusser is revisionist shill. You can see that from the end of his life. Read Hoxha instead.




> Since it's a collection of essays we can divide it into multiple discusssion sessions, for more in-depth conversations.
So what's the first week going to discuss?


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We're reading the intro and the first 2 essays.


First meeting went down last night. Great discussion. Next week we will be discussing essays 3 and 4 in the book.

Also here's a bonus article that serves as a brief intro to Althusser (might be useful for anyone wanting to jump into reading): https://thedangerousmaybe.medium.com/an-introduction-to-althusser-9cfe56b63e41


We will discuss essay 5 ("The '1844 Manuscripts' of Karl Marx") and the first 3 sections of essay 6 ("On the Materialist Dialectic") this week (sun, march 20th).



Holy fucking KEK


>So, anyone interested?
Yes but
Do keep the rest of us who have no interest in joining matrix updated w/ .pdfs etc


Here's Monthly Review's version of Lenin & Philosophy. It comes with some other essays included:
< Philosophy as a Revolutionary Weapon (Feb 1968)
< Lenin and Philosophy (Feb 1968)
< < Appendix
< Preface to Capital Volume One (Mar 1969)
< < The Rudiments of a Critical Bibliography
< Lenin before Hegel (April 1969)
< Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses (Notes toward an Investigation) (Jan-Apr 1969)
And in the appendix
< Freud and Lacan (Jan 1964, corrected Feb 1969)
< A Letter on Art in Reply to André Daspre (Apr 1966)
< Cremonini, Painter of the Abstract (Aug 1966)


Next meeting we will discuss the rest of essay #5 in For Marx.


copied from >>10124 (might have thought that was the current thread)
Althusser Corrects Marx by Ernest Mandel: https://www.marxists.org/archive/mandel/1971/01/althusser.html

I recommend people read this.


Since we discussed this current text as a potential introduction to philosophy and Marxism, here is an even more basic introductory text. It outlines the progression of philosophy from classical philosophy through Hegel, Feuerbach, and Marx. It's an accessible primer on the philosophical side of Marxism. It would be good to follow up this text with For Marx I think because the latter helps to correct some of the common misconceptions, including those propagated by Engels in the former.


We finished On Marx and will be starting On The Reproduction of Capital soon! If you'd like to join, now is the time.

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