Main Currents of Marxism
Volume 1: The Founders

Kolakowski, Leszek
Publisher:  Oxford University Press
Year Published:  1978  
Pages:  434pp   ISBN:  0-19-285107-1
Library of Congress Number:  HX21 78-40247   Dewey:  335.4'09'034
Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX6362

Kolakowski gives his interpretation of the origins of Marxism, and analyses the development of Marx's thought and its divergence from other forms of socialism.


Table of Contents



I. The Origins of Dialectic
1. The contingency of human existence
2. The soteriology of Plotinus
3. Plotinus and Christian Platonism. The search for the reason of creation
4. Eriugena and Christian theogony
5. Eckhart and the dialectic of deification
6. Nicholas of Cusa. The contradictions of Absolute Being
7. Bohme and the duality of Being
8. Angelus Silesius and Fenelon: salvation through annihilation
9. The Enlightenment. The realization of man in the schema of naturalism
10. Rousseau and Hume. Destruction of the belief in natural harmony
11. Kant. The duality of man's being, and its remedy
12. Fichte and the self-conquest of the spirit
13. Hegel. The progress of consciousness towards the Absolute
14. Hegel. Freedom as the goal of history

II. The Hegelian Left
1. The disintegration of Hegelianism
2. David Strauss and the critique of religion
3. Cieszkowski and the philosophy of action
4. Bruno Bauer and the negativity of self-consciousness
5. Arnold Ruge. The radicalization of the Hegelian Left

III. Marx's Thought in its Earliest Phase
1. Early years and studies
2. Hellenistic philosophy as understood by the Hegelians
3. Marx's studies of Epicurus. Freedom and self-consciousness

IV. Hess and Feuerbach
1. Hess. The philosophy of action
2. Hess. Revolution and freedom
3. Feuerbach and religious alienation
4. Feuerbach's second phase. Sources of the religious fallacy

V. Marx's Early Political and Philosophical Writings
1. The state and intellectual freedom
2. Criticism of Hegel. The state, society, and individuality
3. The idea of social emancipation
4. The discovery of the proletariat

VI. The Paris Manuscripts. The Theory of Alienated Labour. The Young Engels
1. Critique of Hegel. Labour as the foundation of humanity
2. The social and practical character of knowledge
3. The alienation of labour. Dehumanized man
4. Critique of Feuerbach
5. Engels's early writings

VII. The Holy Family
1. Communism as a historical trend. The class-consciousness of the proletariat
2. Progress and the masses
3. The world of needs
4. The tradition of materialism

VIII. The German Ideology
1. The concept of ideology
2. Social being and consciousness
3. The division of labour, and its abolition
4. Individuality and freedom
5. Stirner and the philosophy of egocentrism
6. Critique of Stirner. The individual and the community
7. Alienation and the division of labour
8. The liberation of man and the class struggle
9. The epistemological meaning of the theory of false consciousness

IX. Recapitulation
X. Socialist Ideas in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century as Compared with Marxian Socialism
1. The rise of the socialist idea
2. Babouvism
3. Saint-Simonism
4. Owen
5. Fourier
6. Proudhon
7. Weitling
8. Cabet
9. Blanqui
10. Blanc
11. Marxism and "utopian socialism"
12. Marx's critique of Proudhon
13. The Communist Manifesto

XI. The Writings and Struggles of Marx and Engels After 1847
1. Developments in the 1850's
2. Lassalle
3. The First International. Bakunin

XII. Capitalism as a Dehumanized World. The Nature of Exploitation
1. The controversy as to the relation of Capital to Marx's early writings
2. The classical economic tradition and the theory of value
3. The double form of value and the double character of labour
4. Commodity fetishism. Labour-power as a commodity
5. The alienation of labour and of its product
6. The alienation of the process of socialization
7. The pauperization of the working class
8. The nature and historical mission of capitalism
9. The distribution of surplus value

XIII. The Contradictions of Capital and their Abolition. The Unity of Analysis and Action
1. The falling rate of profit and the inevitable collapse of capitalism
2. The economical and political struggle of the proletariat
3. The nature of socialism, and its two phases
4. The dialectic of Capital: the whole and the part, the concrete and the abstract
5. The dialectic of Capital: consciousness and the historical process
6. Comments on Marx's theory of value and exploitation

XIV. The Motive Forces of the Historical Process
1. Productive forces, relations of production, superstructure
2. Social being and consciousness
3. Historical progress and its contradictions
4. The monistic interpretation of social relationships
5. The concept of class
6. The origin of class
7. The functions of the state and its abolition
8. Commentary on historical materialism

XV. The Dialectic of Nature
1. The scientistic approach
2. Materialism and idealism. The twilight of philosophy
3. Space and time
4. The variability of nature
5. Multiple forms of change
6. Causality and chance
7. The dialectic in nature and in thought
8. Quantity and quality
9. Contradictions in the world
10. The negation of the negation
11. Critique of agnosticism
12. Experience and theory
13. The relativity of knowledge
14. Practice as the criterion of truth
15. The sources of religion

XVI. Recapitulation and Philosophical Commentary
1. Marx's philosophy and that of Engels
2. Three motifs in Marxism
3. Marxism as the source of Leninism

Selective Bibliography


Subject Headings