Marx and Singularity: From the Early Writings to the Grundrisse (Historical Materialism)

Marx and Singularity: From the Early Writings to the Grundrisse (Historical Materialism)

Luca Basso

Language: English

Pages: 226

ISBN: 1608463362

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The productivity of the notion of singularity is argued to be based on the fact that it allows us to highlight the element of individual realisation, simultaneously stressing its distance from the modern conception of individuality. The “correlate” of singularity is the reciprocity, moving and unstable, between the “individual” and the “collective,” which occurs in class struggles.

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society and from his own real empirical reality; for as an ideal political entity he is a quite different being, wholly distinct from and opposed to his actual reality.55 Thus, the Trennung between civil society and the state entails a separation between the individual in the former and the individual in the latter, between the bourgeois and the citoyen. Marx does not use the French terms: he opts for the German: Bürger and Staatsbürger, and treats them as synonymous of bourgeois and citoyen. In

of progress used by absolute critique, and judged as ‘completely inconsistent and abstract’. 93.  See, for instance, Marx 1975f: ‘The classical period of political understanding is the French Revolution. Far from identifying the principle of the state as the source of social ills, the heroes of the French Revolution held social ills to be the source of political problems . . . The principle of politics is the will,’ p. 413. 94.  Hegel 1979. 95.  Hegel 1979; see also Hegel 1991. The Question

Engels 1975b, p. 54. As Guastini suggests, Gewalt in Marx indicates ‘political power in its institutional articulations’, whilst here, whilst retaining its character of obligation, Macht presents a social connotation as the outcome of a Vereinigung. See Guastini 1974, p. 287. On the centrality of the issue of social domination, though with reference to the Grundrisse and Capital, see Postone 1993, p. 162: ‘The structures of abstract domination constituted by determinate forms of social practice

existence and development of individuality. At the same time, it also entails its subsumption under a social power that overarches and almost destroys it. The tendency of the apparent community is to destroy the individual realm, but it can never completely destroy the capacities, faculties, and potentialities of individuals. Marx explains this ambiguity in various ways, not always convincingly. For instance, a ‘classical’ interpretation in the history of Marxism ascribes a central role to the

members of society, that is, expressed in ideal form: it has to give its ideas the form of universality, and present them as the only rational, universally valid ones.’93 However that may be, if a class wants to represent its own interests in the form of universality, it needs the strength [Gewalt] to do so and seize political power.94 From this perspective, the relationship between classes within the capitalist mode of production is driven by a relation of domination of one class over the other.

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