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O trabalhador indígena e a renovação da esquerda: uma conversa com Álvaro Garcia Linera

Nascido em Cochabamba em 1962, Álvaro Garcia Linera era muito jovem quando se aproximou do marxismo e das lutas do povo Aymara.

Já no México, para onde se mudou e se formou em matemáticas no início dos anos 1980, foi influenciado pelos movimentos de guerrilha na Guatemala que lutavam pela causa da população indígena. Após regressar à Bolívia, tornou-se um dos fundadores do exército de guerrilha Túpac Katari, uma organização política que juntava a luta de classes marxista com os princípios Kataristas a favor da emancipação indígena. Esteve preso numa cadeia de segurança máxima entre 1992 e 1997 e foi ensinar sociologia, tornando-se um intelectual influente. Linera aderiu depois ao Movimento pelo Socialismo (MAS) de Evo Morales e é desde 2006 vice-presidente do Estado Plurinacional da Bolívia. Ele é uma das vozes mais originais da esquerda latino-americana, cujas obras incluem Forma Valor e Forma Comunidade (1995) e A Potência Plebeia (2008). A nossa conversa centrou-se na situação das forças progressistas nesta e noutras partes do mundo.

Marcello Musto: O seu compromisso político é marcado pela consciência de que a maioria das organizações comunistas da América Latina não foi capaz de dirigir o seu discurso para o conjunto das classes populares, acabando por ocupar pouco mais do que o lugar de observadores. Na Bolívia, por exemplo, essa dependência em relação ao marxismo-leninismo mais esquemático e economicista impediu-as de reconhecer a especificidade da questão indígena e colocá-la no centro da sua atividade política. Viam os povos nativos como uma massa indiscriminada de camponeses pequeno-burgueses com nenhum potencial revolucionário. Como é que chegou à conclusão de que era necessário construir algo radicalmente diferente da esquerda que existia naquela altura?

Álvaro Garcia Linera: Na Bolívia, a alimentação era produzida por agricultores indígenas, as casas e edifícios eram construídos por trabalhadores indígenas, as ruas eram limpas pela população indígena e a elite e as classes médias confiavam-lhes os cuidados das suas crianças. No entanto, a esquerda tradicional era cega em relação a isto e preocupava-se apenas com os trabalhadores da grande indústria, não prestando atenção à sua identidade étnica. Embora fossem importantes no trabalho nas minas, eram uma minoria em comparação com os trabalhadores indígenas, que eram discriminados e explorados com ainda maior severidade. A partir do final dos anos 1970, a população Aymara organizou grandes mobilizações contra a ditadura, bem como os governos democráticos que surgiram depois dela. Fê-lo orgulhosamente com a sua língua e simbologia própria, funcionando através de comunidades federadas de campesinos e acelerando o nascimento de uma nação sob liderança indígena. Foi um momento de descoberta social.

Como reagiu a isso?

Eu andava na escola nessa altura e essa insurgência índia causou em mim grande impacto. Parecia evidente que o discurso da luta social na esquerda clássica, centrado apenas nos trabalhadores e nos burgueses, era parcial e insustentável. Teria de incorporar os assuntos indígenas e refletir sobre a comunidade agrária e a propriedade coletiva da terra como a base para a organização social. Além disso, para percebermos os homens e mulheres que eram a maioria do país e exigiam uma história e um lugar diferente no mundo, era necessário aprofundar o aspeto étnico-nacional do problema dos povos oprimidos. E para isso o esquematismo das cartilhas marxistas parecia-me completamente inadequado. Isto levou-me a uma busca por novas referências, desde o catálogo de ideias Indianistas até Marx, cujos trabalhos sobre lutas anticoloniais e a comuna agrária na Rússia tinham enriquecido a sua análise das nações oprimidas.

Com o passar do tempo, a complexidade do tema da transformação social — que era tão importante no seu pensamento e atividade política — tornou-se uma questão essencial para todas as forças progressistas. Com o desvanecer da visão do proletariado enquanto única força capaz de derrubar o capitalismo, e com a dissolução do mito da vanguarda revolucionária, qual deve ser o novo ponto de partida para a esquerda?

O problema para a esquerda tradicional é que confundiu o conceito de “condição proletária” com uma forma histórica específica de trabalho assalariado. A primeira alastrou a todo o lado e tornou-se uma condição material generalizada. Não é verdade que o mundo do trabalho esteja a desaparecer — nunca houve tantos trabalhadores no mundo, em todos os países. Mas este crescimento gigantesco da força de trabalho mundial aconteceu numa altura em que as estruturas políticas e sindicais existentes entraram em rotura. Mais do que em qualquer outra altura desde o início do século XIX, a condição da classe trabalhadora é novamente uma condição do, e para, o capital. Mas agora numa forma em que o mundo dos trabalhadores se tornou mais complexo, híbridizado, nómada e desterritorializado. Paradoxalmente, numa época em que todos os aspetos da vida humana foram mercantilizados, tudo parece acontecer como se já não houvesse nenhum trabalhador

Qual é a natureza das lutas sociais hoje em dia? As dificuldades que enfrentam as organizações políticas e sindicais para organizar trabalhadores precários e migrantes são assim tão diferentes daquelas que existiam na altura da produção fordista do século XX?

A nova classe trabalhadora não está principalmente unificada em torno de temas laborais. Ainda não tem a força para o fazer, e talvez não a venha a ter ainda por muito tempo. As mobilizações sociais já não acontecem através das formas clássicas de ação centralizada da classe trabalhadora, mas sim através de misturas de diferentes setores, temas intersetoriais e formas flexíveis, fluidas e mutáveis. Estamos a falar de novas formas de ação coletiva lançadas pelos trabalhadores, mesmo que em muitos casos o que vem à superfície não é tanto uma identidade laboral, mas outros temas complementares como conglomerados territoriais ou grupos que reivindicam acesso à saúde, educação ou transportes públicos.

Em vez de reprovarmos essas lutas porque as suas formas se distinguem das do passado, a esquerda deve estar atenta a este hibridismo ou heterogeneidade — acima de tudo para entender as lutas existentes e articulá-las com outras à escala local, nacional e internacional. O tema da mudança ainda é o “trabalho vivo”: trabalhadores que vendem a sua força de trabalho de muitas maneiras. Mas as formas organizativas, os discursos e identidades são muito diferentes das que conhecemos no século XIX.

Por entre a complexidade social dos nossos tempos, acha que é necessário repensar o conceito de classe?

Classes, identidades, coletivos mobilizados não são abstrações: são formas de experiência coletiva no mundo, construídas em larga escala. Tal como assumiram formas pontuais há cem anos, fazem-no agora de novo através de caminhos e de causas imprevistas e por vezes surpreendentes e muito diferentes das do passado. Não devemos confundir o conceito de classe social — uma maneira de classificar estatisticamente a população com base na sua propriedade, recursos, acesso à riqueza, etc. — com as formas atuais como elas se juntam através de afinidades eletivas, locais de residência, problemas comuns e características culturais. Este é o verdadeiro movimento da construção mobilizada de classes, que apenas coincide excecionalmente com as convergências exibidas nos dados estatísticos.

Cita frequentemente Antonio Gramsci. Qual a importância que o pensamento dele teve nas suas escolhas políticas?

Gramsci foi decisivo para o desenvolvimento do meu próprio pensamento. Comecei a lê-lo quando era muito jovem e as suas obras circulavam entre um golpe de estado e outro. Desde então, ao contrário de tantos textos com análises economicistas ou formulações filosóficas centradas mais na estética das palavras do que na realidade, Gramsci ajudou-me a desenvolver uma maneira diferente de ver as coisas. Ele falava de temas como a linguagem, literatura, educação ou senso comum, que embora pareçam secundários formam de facto a rede da vida no dia-a-a-dia dos indivíduos e determinam as suas perceções e inclinações políticas coletivas.

Desde esses tempos de juventude tenho regressado frequentemente à leitura de Gramsci e ele tem sempre algo novo a revelar-me, em especial no que respeita à formação molecular do estado. Estou convencido que Gramsci é um pensador indispensável para a renovação do marxismo no mundo de hoje.

Das suas palavras parece óbvio que a maneira como se relaciona com Marx — que conhece bem e sobre o qual escreveu tanto — é muito diferente da do marxismo soviético. Acha que recorrer ao Marx das questões e dúvidas, que se encontra nos manuscritos inacabados dos seus últimos anos, pode ser hoje mais frutífero do que nas afirmações contidas nos seus livros e folhetos publicados?

A cartilha marxista sempre me pareceu desadequada. Por isso, tomei a iniciativa de examinar autores inspirados pela ideologia indigenista, bem como outros autores marxistas ou o outro Marx que me falava de identidades sociais híbridas. Desta maneira, descobri um Marx que me ensinou acerca das lutas coloniais, que falava das comunidades agrárias, que continuava a tentar encontrar fundamentos sólidos para o tema das nações oprimidas — um Marx à margem, mais plural e mais cheio de perguntas do que de respostas. Foram essas perguntas que me permitiram, ao longo dos anos, fazer uma leitura diferente dos Grundrisse, dos Manuscritos de 1861-1863 e do Capital, encontrando aqui elementos da lógica genética do capitalismo que outros autores, antes e depois de Marx, não conseguiram compreender.

Nos últimos quatro anos, em quase toda a América Latina, chegaram ao poder governos que se inspiraram em ideologias reacionárias e procuram voltar a impor uma agenda económica neoliberal. A eleição de Jair Bolsonaro no Brasil é o caso mais flagrante. Esta viragem à direita irá durar muito tempo?

Penso que o grande problema para a direita global é que não tem narrativa para o futuro. Os estados que pregavam a liturgia do mercado livre estão agora a construir muros contra os imigrantes e as mercadorias, como se os seus presidentes fossem os senhores feudais dos tempos modernos. Os que exigiam privatizações recorrem agora ao mesmo estado que vilipendiavam, na esperança de que os salve do fardo das dívidas. E os que defendiam a globalização e falavam de um mundo que seria por fim único agarram-se agora ao pretexto da “segurança continental”.

Vivemos numa sociedade de caos planetário, onde é difícil prever como se vão parecer no futuro as novas direitas latino-americanas. Irão optar pela globalização ou pelo protecionismo? Seguirão políticas de privatização ou intervenção estatal? Eles próprios não sabem as respostas a estas perguntas, uma vez que navegam num mar de confusão e apenas podem expressar visões de curto prazo. Essas forças da direita não representam um futuro no qual a sociedade latino-americana possa confiar as suas expetativas a longo prazo. Pelo contrário: elas trazem um aumento das injustiças e desigualdades. O único futuro tangível que conseguem oferecer às novas gerações é um futuro de ansiedade e incerteza.

Em muitas partes do mundo, a queda acentuada dos partidos políticos tradicionais vai a par do crescimento de novas forças políticas que, sob diversas formas, desafiam a globalização neoliberal e a ordem vigente. O “livre mercado” já não é visto como sinónimo de desenvolvimento e democracia, como era erradamente após a queda do Muro de Berlim, e o debate sobre alternativas ao capitalismo está de novo a despertar um grande interesse. O que é que a esquerda latino-americana deve fazer para mudar as coisas e abrir um novo ciclo de envolvimento político e emancipação?

Existem condições para o desenvolvimento de uma nova fase progressista que vá além do que foi conseguido na última década, Neste contexto de enorme incerteza, há espaço para propostas alternativas e um rumo coletivo para novos horizontes, fundados no envolvimento real das pessoas e na superação (ecologicamente sustentável) das injustiças sociais.

A grande tarefa para a esquerda conseguir ultrapassar os limites e os erros do socialismo do século XX é traçar um novo horizonte que dê soluções para as questões que hoje em dia causam sofrimento ao povo. Isso serviria um novo “princípio esperança” — qualquer que seja o nome que lhe dermos — que promulgue a igualdade, a liberdade social e os direitos e aptidões universais como base para a autodeterminação coletiva.

Categories
Journalism

کارگر بومی و تجدیدحیات چپ

گفت‌وگویی با آلوارو گارسیا لینرا

[اشاره]

آلوارو گارسیا لینرا، زاده‌ی کوچابامبا [1] در 1962، هنوز خیلی جوان بود که به مارکسیسم و مبارزات مردم آیمارا [2] نزدیک شد.در اوایل دهه‌ی 1980 به مکزیک رفت و در آنجا در رشته‌ی ریاضیات فارغ‌التحصیل شد؛ تحت‌تاثیر جنبش‌های چریکی گواتمالا قرار گرفت که برای آرمان جمعیت بومی مبارزه می‌کردند. پس از بازگشت به بولیوی، یکی از بنیانگذاران ارتش چریکی توپاک کاتاری شد، سازمانی سیاسی که مبارزه‌ی طبقاتی مارکسیستی را با اصول کاتاریستی[3] که پیشبرد رهایی بومیان را هدف خود قرار داده بود ترکیب کرده بود. بین سال‌های 1992 تا 1997 در یک زندان فوق‌امنیتی محبوس بود؛ پس از آزادی از زندان، جامعه‌شناسی درس می‌داد و به روشنفکری تاثیرگذار بدل شد. بعدها به جنبش برای سوسیالیسم (MAS) ِاوُ مورالس پیوست و از 2006 به بعد معاون رییس‌جمهور دولت چندقومیتی بولیوی شد. او یکی از اصیل‌ترین صاحب‌نظران در چپ آمریکای لاتین با آثاری مانند شکل ارزش و شکل جامعه (1995) و قدرت پلبین (2008) است. گفت‌وگوی ما با او پیرامون وضعیت نیروهای ترقی‌خواه در این بخش و بخش‌های دیگر جهان است.

[گفتگو]

مارچلو موستو: تعهد سیاسی شما با وقوف به اینکه اغلب سازمان‌های کمونیست آمریکای لاتین از سخن گفتن با توده‌های مردم در کل ناتوان هستند و چیزی بیش از عملکرد نظاره‌گران را ندارند، مشخص می‌شود. مثلاً در بولیوی اتکاء آن‌ها به کلی‌ترین و اکونومیستی‌ترین قرائت از مارکسیسم‌ـ لنینیسم مانع از آن شده تا ویژگی مسئله‌ی بومی را تشخیص دهند و آن را در مرکز فعالیت سیاسی خود قرار دهند. آنان بومیان را توده‌های دهقانی «خرده‌بورژوای» ضعیفی می‌دانند که از هیچ توانمندی انقلابی برخوردار نیستند. شما چگونه تشخیص دادید که باید چیزی کاملاً متفاوت با چپی بسازید که در آن زمان وجود داشت؟

آلوارو گارسیا لینرا: در بولیوی کشاورزان بومی خوراک تولید می‌کردند، کارگران بومی ساختمان‌ها و خانه‌ها را می‌ساختند، خیابان‌ها را بومیان نظافت می‌کردند، و نخبگان و طبقات متوسط برای مراقبت از فرزندان‌شان به آنها اعتماد داشتند. با این همه، به نظر می‌رسید چپ سنتی نسبت به این وضعیت نابیناست و ذهنش را فقط کارگران در صنایع بزرگ‌مقیاس اشغال کرده است و به هویت قومی‌شان هیچ توجهی نشان نمی‌دهد. با اینکه بی‌تردید کارگران صنعتی برای کار در معادن اهمیت دارند، در مقایسه با کارگران بومی در اقلیت بودند، کارگران بومی‌ای که در حق‌شان تبعیض اعمال می‌شد و حتی بیرحمانه‌تر استثمار می‌شدند. مردم آیمارا از اواخر دهه‌ی 1970 جنبش‌های بزرگی را علیه دیکتاتوری و دولت‌های دمکراتیک برخاسته از سقوط دیکتاتوری سازمان دادند. بومیان با افتخار این جنبش‌ها را با زبان و نمادهای خود برپا کردند و از طریق جماعت‌های متحد زارعان دهقان (Campesinos) دست به عمل ‌زدند و به زایش یک ملت تحت رهبری بومیان یاری رساندند. این لحظه‌ی کشف اجتماعی بود.

م.م: واکنش شما به این رخداد چه بود؟

آ.گ.ل: من در آن زمان دانش‌آموز بودم و این شورش‌ بومیان تاثیر چشمگیری بر من گذاشت. به نظر روشن می‌رسید که گفتمان مبارزه‌ی اجتماعی در چپ کلاسیک که فقط بر کارگران و بورژواها متکی بود، یک‌سویه و ناپایدار است. این مبارزه می‌بایست درون‌مایه‌های بومی را در برمی‌گرفت و جامعه‌ی زراعی یا مالکیت جمعی بر زمین را به عنوان پایه‌ای برای سازمان اجتماعی بازتاب می‌داد. علاوه بر این، برای فهم زنان و مردانی که اکثریت جمعیت کشور را تشکیل می‌دادند و خواهان تاریخ و جایگاهی متفاوت در جهان بودند، لازم بود وجه قومی ـ ملی مسئله‌ی مردم تحت‌ستم به نحو عمیق‌تری ‌مورد توجه قرار گیرد. و برای این منظور طرح‌اندازی درس‌نامه‌های مارکسیستی کاملاً ناکافی به‌نظرم می‌رسید. این موضوع سبب شد تا به جست‌وجوی منابع دیگری از مخزن ایده‌های جنبش‌های بومیان سرخپوست تا مارکس که نوشته‌هایش درباره‌ی مبارزات ضداستعماری و کمون‌های روستایی در روسیه موجب غنای واکاوی‌اش درباره‌ی ملت‌های تحت‌ستم شده بود، بپردازم.

م.م: پیچیدگی سوژه‌ی دگرگونی اجتماعی ــ که در اندیشه و فعالیت سیاسی شما اهمیتی وافر دارد ــ با گذشت زمان، به مسئله‌ای اساسی برای همه‌ی نیروهای ترقی‌خواه بدل شده است. با علم به اینکه این دیدگاه رنگ باخته که پرولتاریا به عنوان یگانه نیرو قادر به سرنگونی سرمایه‌داری است و اسطوره‌ی پیشاهنگ انقلابی به پایان رسیده، چه چیزی باید آغازگاه جدید چپ باشد؟

آ.گ.ل: مشکل چپ سنتی این است که مفهوم «شرایط پرولتری» را با شکل تاریخی خاصی از کار مزدی خلط می‌کند. شرایط پرولتری در همه جا گسترده است و به یک شرایط مادی در سراسر جهان بدل شده. حقیقت ندارد که جهان کار در حال ناپدیدشدن است ــ هرگز این تعداد کارگر در همه‌ی کشورها نبوده است. اما رشد عظیم نیروی کار جهانی زمانی اتفاق افتاده که همه‌ی اتحادیه‌های کارگری و ساختارهای سیاسی موجود در هم شکسته شده است. شرایط طبقه‌ی کارگر، بیش از هر زمانی از اوایل سده‌ی نوزدهم، بار دیگر همان شرایط مطلوب سرمایه و به نفع سرمایه است، اما اکنون به طریقی که جهان کارگران پیچیده‌تر، در‌آمیخته‌تر، خانه‌به‌دوش‌تر و با وخامت بیشتری روبرو شده است. در عصری که هر جنبه از زندگی انسان کالا شده است، به نحو متناقضی به نظر می‌رسد که هر چیزی می‌تواند رخ ‌دهد، چنان‌که گویی دیگر هیچ کارگری وجود ندارد.

م.م: امروزه سرشت مبارزات اجتماعی چیست؟ آیا مشکلاتی که سازمان‌های سیاسی و اتحادیه‌های کارگری در ایجاد تشکل میان مهاجران، کارگران ناامن و ناماهر با آن دست به گریبان هستند، با مشکلاتی که در زمان تولید فوردیستی سده‌ی بیستم وجود داشت، خیلی فرق دارد؟

آ.گ.ل: طبقه کارگر جدید اساساً پیرامون موضوعات کارگری متحد نمی‌شود. هنوز قدرت انجام این کار را ندارد و شاید برای مدت‌های مدیدی چنین قدرتی نداشته باشد. بسیج‌های اجتماعی دیگر از طریق شکل‌های کلاسیک کنش متمرکز طبقه کارگر رخ نمی‌دهند بلکه از طریق آمیزه‌ای از کسب‌وکارهای متفاوت، موضوعات متقاطع و شکل‌های انعطاف‌پذیر، سیال و تغییرپذیر شکل می‌گیرند. ما از شکل‌های جدید کنش جمعی حرف می‌زنیم که کارگران با شتاب ایجاد می‌کنند، حتی اگر در بسیاری موارد آنچه پدیدار می‌شود از هویت کارگری کمتری در مقایسه با سایر ویژگی‌های مکمل دیگر برخوردار باشد، نظیر [هویت کارگری کنش‌های] کارگران بنگاه‌های هزار شاخه‌ی منطقه‌ای یا گروه‌هایی که خواهان حق سلامتی، آموزش و حمل و نقل عمومی هستند.

به جای سرزنش این مبارزات به دلیل اینکه شکل‌هایشان با شکل‌های مبارزات گذشته فرق دارد، چپ می‌بایست به پیوندخوردگی یا ناهمگنی توجه کند ــ پیش از هرچیز مبارزات موجود را درک کند و آن‌ها را با مبارزات دیگر در سطح محلی، ملی و بین‌المللی مفصل‌بندی کند. «کار زنده» هنوز موضوع تغییر است: کارگرانی که نیروی کارشان را به شیوه‌های گوناگونی فروخته‌اند. اما شکل‌های سازمانی، گفتمان‌ها و هویت‌ها بسیار متفاوت از شکل‌ها، گفتمان‌ها و هویت‌هایی است که در سده‌ی بیستم می‌شناختیم.

م.م: آیا شما فکر می‌کنید که در بحبوحه‌ی پیچیدگی اجتماعی این زمانه، اندیشیدن به مفهوم طبقه لازم است؟

آ.گ.ل: طبقات، هویت‌ها و جماعت‌های بسیج‌شده انتزاعات نیستند: آن‌ها شکل‌های تجربه‌ی جمعی جهان هستند که در مقیاسی گسترده برساخته می‌شوند. همان‌طور که صد سال پیش شکل‌های تصادفی را برمی‌گزیدند، اکنون بار دیگر از طریق مسیرها و علت‌های پیش‌بینی‌نشده و اغلب شگفت‌انگیزی که بسیار متفاوت با گذشته‌اند چنین می‌کنند. ما نباید مفهوم طبقه‌ی اجتماعی ــ راهی برای طبقه‌بندی آماری افراد براساس دارایی، منابع، دسترسی به ثروت و غیره ــ را با شیوه‌های بالفعلی که در آن برپایه‌ی همبستگی‌های گزیده، محل اقامت، مسائل مشترک و خصیصه‌های فرهنگی گروه‌بندی می‌شوند، مغشوش سازیم. این یک جنبش واقعی برساخت متحرک طبقات است که فقط از سر تصادف با تلاقی‌گاه‌های ارائه‌شده در داده‌های آماری منطبق‌اند.

م.م: شما اغلب از آنتونیو گرامشی نقل می‌کنید. اندیشه‌ی او برای انتخاب‌های سیاسی‌تان چقدر اهمیت داشته است؟

آ.گ.ل: گرامشی برای بسط اندیشه‌هایم تعیین‌کننده بوده است. وقتی خیلی جوان بودم، شروع به خواندن نوشته‌هایش کردم، آن‌هم زمانی‌که این نوشته‌ها در فاصله‌ی بین کودتاها انتشار می‌یافت. از آن زمان به بعد، برخلاف بسیاری متن‌ها که حاوی واکاوی اقتصادی یا صورت‌بندی‌های فلسفی بودند و تمرکزشان زیبایی‌شناسی واژه‌ها بود و نه واقعیت، گرامشی به من کمک کرد شیوه‌ی دیگری از نگریستن را در خودم رشد بدهم. او از مسائلی مانند زبان، ادبیات، آموزش یا عقل‌ سلیم سخن می‌گفت که با اینکه ظاهراً حاشیه‌ای به نظر می‌رسند، عملاً شبکه‌ی زندگی روزمره‌ی افراد را تشکیل می‌دهند و ادراکات و تمایلات سیاسی جمعی‌شان را تعیین می‌کنند.

از همان روزهای نخستین به‌طور منظم سراغ گرامشی می‌رفتم و او همیشه نکات جدیدی را برایم آشکار می‌کرد، به ویژه در زمینه‌ی تشکیل مولکولی دولت. معتقدم که گرامشی متفکری است اجتناب‌ناپذیر برای تجدیدحیات مارکسیسم در جهان امروز.

م.م: براساس آنچه می‌گویید، روشن است که شیوه‌ای که خودتان را به مارکس مرتبط می‌کنید ــ که شما بسیار خوب او را می‌شناسید و مطالب زیادی درباره‌ی آن نوشته‌اید ــ بسیار متفاوت از شیوه‌ی مارکسیسم روسی است. آیا فکر می‌کنید که چرخش به سوی مارکسِ سرشار از پرسش‌ها و تردیدها، که در دست‌نوشته‌های پایان‌نیافته‌ی واپسین سال‌های زندگیش یافت می‌شود، ممکن است سودمندتر از احکامی باشد که در جزوه‌ها و کتاب‌های انتشاریافته‌اش گنجیده است؟

آ.گ.ل: مارکسیسمِ درس‌نامه‌ای همیشه برایم ناکافی بود. بنابراین، دست به این ابتکار زدم که به کندوکاو درباره‌ی نویسندگانی بپردازم که از ایدئولوژی بومی‌گراها سرمشق می‌گرفتند و نیز به مارکسیست‌های دیگر و مارکسِ دیگری رجوع کردم که با من از هویت‌های اجتماعی تلفیقی سخن می‌گفت. به این طریق، مارکسی را کشف کردم که به من درباره‌ی مبارزات استعماری می‌آموخت، از جماعت‌های روستایی سخن می‌گفت و می‌کوشید درونمایه‌ی ملت‌های تحت‌ستم را بر بنیادی استوار قرار دهد ــ مارکسی که در خصوص حاشیه‌های سرمایه‌داری، دل‌مشغول پرسش‌هاست تا پاسخ‌ها. این سوالات بود که مرا در خلال سال‌ها قادر ساخت به نحو متفاوتی گروندریسه، دست‌نوشته‌های 1861ـ1863 و سرمایه را بخوانم و در آن عناصر منطق تکوینی سرمایه‌داری را بیابم که نویسندگان دیگر، قبل و بعد از مارکس، آن را نفهمیدند.

م.م: در چهار سال اخیر، تقریباً در همه جای آمریکای لاتین، دولت‌هایی به قدرت رسیده‌اند که ایدئولوژی‌های ارتجاعی را سرمشق خود قرار داده‌اند و می‌کوشند دوباره برنامه‌ی اقتصادی نولیبرالی را تحمیل کنند. انتخاب ژائیر بولسونارو در برزیل تکان‌دهنده‌ترین نمونه‌ی قابل‌اشاره است. آیا احتمال دارد این چرخشِ تند به راست مدت مدیدی ادامه داشته باشد؟

آ.گ.ل: من فکر می‌کنم معضل بزرگ راست جهانی این است که هیچ روایتی برای آینده ندارد. دولت‌هایی که موعظه‌گر بازار آزاد بودند، اکنون در مقابل مهاجران و کالاها دیوار می‌کشند، گویی روسای جمهوری‌شان اربابان فئودالی مدرن هستند. آنهایی که خواهان خصوصی‌سازی بودند اکنون به هر دولتی متوسل می‌شوند که سابقاً از آنها بدگویی می‌کردند، با این امید که آن‌ها را از بار بدهی‌ها خلاص کنند. و آنهایی که روزگاری طرفدار جهانی‌شدن بودند و از جهانی سخن می‌گفتند که سرانجام یکی خواهد شد، اکنون به دستاویز «امنیت قاره‌ای» چنگ انداخته‌اند.

ما در در وضعیت بی‌سروسامانی سیاره‌ای زندگی می‌کنیم که در آن به دشواری می‌توان پیش‌بینی کرد که راست‌های جدید آمریکای لاتین در آینده چه خواهند کرد. آیا جهانی‌شدن را انتخاب می‌کنند یا حمایت‌گرایی را؟ آیا سیاست‌های خصوصی‌سازی را دنبال خواهند کرد یا دخالت دولت را؟ خودشان هم پاسخ به این سوالات را نمی‌دانند زیرا در دریایی از اغتشاش قایق‌رانی می‌کنند و فقط می‌توانند چشم‌اندازهای محدود را بیان کنند. این نیروهای راست آینده‌ای را نمایندگی نمی‌کنند که جامعه‌ی آمریکای لاتین بتواند انتظارات درازمدت خود را به آنها واگذار کند. برعکس: آنها باعث صعود بی‌عدالتی و نابرابری خواهند شد. یگانه آینده‌ی ملموسی که آنها می‌توانند به نسل‌های جدید بدهند آینده‌ای است سرشار از اضطراب و عدم‌قطعیت.

م.م: در بسیاری از نقاط جهان، زوال شدید احزاب سیاسی سنتی پا به پای ظهور نیروهای سیاسی جدیدی بوده است که هر یک به سیاق متفاوت خویش جهانی‌شدن نولیبرالی و نظم موجود را به چالش می‌کشد. بازار آزاد دیگر مترادف با توسعه و دمکراسی قلمداد نمی‌شود، چنانکه به نادرست پس از سقوط دیوار برلین چنین تلقی می‌شد، و بحث درباره‌ی بدیل‌های سرمایه‌داری بار دیگر علاقه‌ی چشمگیری را برمی‌انگیزاند. چپ آمریکای لاتین چه می‌بایست بکند تا به این وضعیت رونقی بدهد و چرخه‌ی جدیدی از دخالت و رهایی سیاسی را آغاز کند؟

آ.گ.ل: شرایط برای ایجاد یک مرحله‌ی جدید ترقیخواه، فراتر از آنچه در دهه‌ی گذشته به دست آمده، مهیاست. در این مرحله از تزلزل و نابه‌سامانی بزرگ، فضایی برای پیشنهادات بدیل و جهت‌گیری جمعی به سوی افق‌های جدید وجود دارد که متکی است بر دخالت واقعی مردم و غلبه (پایدار از لحاظ زیست‌محیطی) بر بی‌عدالتی‌های اجتماعی.

وظیفه‌ی بزرگ چپ، در غلبه بر محدودیت‌ها و خطاهای سوسیالیسم سده‌ی بیستم، ترسیم افق جدیدی است که راه‌حل‌هایی را برای مسائل بالفعلی که باعث عذاب مردم است ارائه ‌دهد. این افق در خدمت «اصل امید» جدیدی است ــ هر نامی که دوست دارید به آن بدهید ــ که برابری، آزادی اجتماعی و حقوق و ظرفیت‌های جهان‌شمولی را به عنوان پایه‌ای برای خودتعینی جمعی اشاعه می‌دهد.

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Book chapter

Marx’s Critique of German Social Democracy

I. The Limited Participation of the Germans to the International Working Men’s Association
The workers’ organizations that founded the International Working Men’s Association in 1864 were something of a motley. The central driving forces were British trade unionism and the mutualists, long dominant in France but strong also in Belgium and French-speaking Switzerland. Alongside these two components, there were the communists, grouped around the figure of Karl Marx, elements that had nothing to do with the socialist tradition, such as the followers of Giuseppe Mazzini, and some groups of French, Belgian and Swiss workers who joined the International with them a variety of confused theories, some of a utopian inspiration. The General Association of German Workers – the party led by followers of Ferdinand Lassalle – never affiliated to the International but orbited around it. This organization was hostile to trade unionism and conceived of political action in rigidly national terms.
In 1865, the International expanded in Europe and established its first important nuclei in Belgium and French-speaking Switzerland. The Prussian Combination Laws, which prevented German political associations from having regular contacts with organizations in other countries, meant that the International was unable to open sections in what was then the German Confederation. The General Association of German Workers – the first workers’ party in history, founded in 1863 and led by Lassalle’s disciple Johann Baptist von Schweitzer – followed a line of ambivalent dialogue with Otto von Bismarck and showed little or no interest in the International during the early years of its existence. It was an indifference shared by Wilhelm Liebknecht, despite his political proximity to Marx. Johann Philipp Becker tried to find a way round these difficulties through the Geneva-based “Group of German-speaking Sections.”
While Liebknecht did not understand the centrality of the international dimension for the struggle of the workers’ movement, Marx also had deep theoretical and political differences with von Schweitzer. In February 1865 he wrote to the latter that “the aid of the Royal Prussian government for co-operative societies,” which the Lassalleans welcomed, was “worthless as an economic measure, whilst, at the same time, it serve[d] to extend the system of tutelage, corrupt part of the working class and emasculate the movement.” Marx went on to reject any possibility of an alliance between the workers and the monarchy:
Just as the bourgeois party in Prussia discredited itself and brought about its present wretched situation by seriously believing that with the ‘New Era’ the government had fallen into its lap by the grace of the Prince Regent, so the workers’ party will discredit itself even more if it imagines that the Bismarck era or any other Prussian era will make the golden apples just drop into its mouth, by grace of the king. It is beyond all question that Lassalle’s ill-starred illusion that a Prussian government might intervene with socialist measures will be crowned with disappointment. The logic of circumstances will tell. But the honour of the workers’ party requires that it reject such illusions, even before their hollowness is punctured by experience. The working class is revolutionary or it is nothing.
The critique of state socialism was a common theme in Marx’s political reflections during that period. A few days after the letter to Schweitzer, he suggested to Engels that the position of the Lassalleans in Germany was akin to the “alliance of the “proletariat” with the “government” against the ‘liberal bourgeoisie’” which the two of them had firmly opposed in 1847.
Marx’s critique to the policy of German social democracy continued in 1866. In the Instructions for Delegates of the Provisional General Council, prepared for the Geneva congress, Marx underlined the basic function of trade unions against which not only the mutualists but also certain followers of Robert Owen in Britain and of Lassalle in Germany had taken a stand. Lassalle advocated the concept of an ‘iron law of wages’, which held that efforts to increase wages were futile and a distraction for workers from the primary task of assuming political power in the state. Marx wrote:
This activity of the Trades’ Unions is not only legitimate, it is necessary. It cannot be dispensed with so long as the present system of production lasts. On the contrary, it must be generalized by the formation and the combination of Trades’ Unions throughout all countries. On the other hand, unconsciously to themselves, the Trades’ Unions were forming centres of organization of the working class, as the mediaeval municipalities and communes did for the middle class. If the Trades’ Unions are required for the guerrilla fights between capital and labour, they are still more important as organized agencies for superseding the very system of wages labour and capital rule.
In the same document, Marx did not spare the existing unions his criticism. For they were “too exclusively bent upon the local and immediate struggles with capital [and had] not yet fully understood their power of acting against the system of wages slavery itself. They therefore kept too much aloof from general social and political movements”.
In September 1868, Marx returned to the question of state socialism. In a letter to Engels, he suggested that what von Schweitzer had described the previous month in Hamburg at the congress of the General Association of German Workers as the “summa of Lassalle’s discoveries” – that is, state credit for the foundation of productive associations – was “literally copied from the programme of French Catholic socialism”, inspired by Philip Buchez [1796-1850], which went back to “the days of Louis-Philippe” [1773-1850].
Instead, strong opposition to the government would have been good for the social struggle: “The most essential thing for the German working class is that it should cease to agitate by permission of the high government authorities. Such a bureaucratically schooled race must undergo a complete course of ‘self help’.”
In a letter to Schweitzer, Marx set out at greater length his differences with the Lassallean tendency. The first question was his opposition to the strategy of “state aid versus self-help”, which Buchez, the leader of Catholic socialism, [… had used] against the genuine workers’ movement in France’, and on the basis of which Lassalle himself had later made “concessions to the Prussian monarchy, to Prussian reaction (the feudal party) and even to the clericals”. For Marx, it was essential that the workers’ struggle should be free and independent. “The main thing is to teach [the worker] to walk by himself”, especially in Germany, where “he is regulated bureaucratically from childhood onwards” and believes in the authority of superiors.
The other significant area of disagreement was the theoretical and political rigidity of Lassalle and his followers. Marx criticized the comrade with whom he had been in touch for many years, on the grounds that “like everyone who claims to have in his pocket a panacea for the sufferings of the masses, [Lassalle] gave his agitation, from the very start, a religious, sectarian character,” and, being the founder of a sect, “he denied all natural connection with the earlier movement, both in Germany and abroad.” Lassalle was guilty of the same error as Proudhon: that of “not seeking the real basis of his agitation in the actual elements of the class movement, but of wishing, instead, to prescribe for that movement a course determined by a certain doctrinaire recipe.” For Marx, any “sect seeks its raison d’être and its point d’honneur not in what it has in common with the class movement, but in the particular shibboleth distinguishing it from that movement.” His opposition to that kind of politics could not have been clearer.
In the fight against state socialism, Marx also took issue with Liebknecht. After one of his speeches in the Reichstag in Summer 1869, Marx commented to Engels: “The brute believes in the future ‘state of democracy’! Secretly that means sometimes constitutional England, sometimes the bourgeois United States, sometimes wretched Switzerland. He has no conception of revolutionary politics.”
What disappointed Marx most was that in the North German Confederation, despite the existence of two political organizations of the workers’ movement – the Lassallean General Association of German Workers and the Marxist Social Democratic Workers’ Party of Germany – there was little enthusiasm for the International and few requests to affiliate to it. During its first three years, German militants virtually ignored its existence, fearing persecution at the hands of the authorities. The weak internationalism of the Germans ultimately weighed more heavily than any legal aspects, however, and declined still further when the movement became more preoccupied with internal matters.
The unification of Germany in 1871 confirmed the onset of a new age in which the nation-state would be the central form of political, legal and territorial identity. This placed a question mark over any supranational body that required its members to surrender a sizeable share of their political leadership. At the same time, the growing differences between national movements and organizations made it extremely difficult for the General Council of the International to produce a political synthesis capable of satisfying the demands of all. Anyway, after the end of the International, in September 1872, Marx continued to criticize the path German Social Democracy any time he had a chance.

II. Against the “Gotha Program” and the Social-Democratic Deviation
At the end of 1874, Marx learned from the papers that the General Association of German Workers, founded by Ferdinand Lassalle, and the Social Democratic Workers’ Party, linked to Marx, intended to unite into a single political force. Marx and Engels were not consulted about the merits of the project, and it was only in March that they received the draft programme of the new party. Engels then wrote to August Bebel that he could not “forgive his not having told us a single word about the whole business”; and he warned that he and Marx could “never give [their] allegiance to a new party” set up on the basis of Lassallean state socialism. Despite this sharp declaration, the leaders who had been active in building what would become the Socialist Workers’ Party of Germany (SAPD) did not change their positions.
Marx therefore felt obliged to write a long critique of the draft programme for the unification congress to be held on 22 May 1875 in the city of Gotha. In the letter accompanying his text, he recognized that “every step of real movement is more important than a dozen programmes”. But in the case of “programmes of principles”, they had to be written with great care, since they set “benchmarks for all the world to … gauge how far the party [has] progressed”. In the Critique of the Gotha Programme (1875), Marx inveighed against the numerous imprecisions and mistakes in the new manifesto drafted in Germany.
For example, in criticizing the concept of “fair distribution”, he asked polemically: “Do not the bourgeois assert that present-day distribution is “fair”? And is it not, in fact, the only “fair” distribution on the basis of the present-day mode of production?” In his view, the political demand to be inserted into the programme was not Lassalle’s “undiminished proceeds of labour” for every worker, but the transformation of the mode of production. Marx explained, with his customary rigour, that Lassalle “did not know what wages were”. Following bourgeois economists, he “took the appearance for the essence of the matter”. Marx explained:
Wages are not what they appear to be, namely the value, or price, of labour, but only a masked form for the value, or price, of labour power. Thereby the whole bourgeois conception of wages hitherto, as well as all the criticism hitherto directed against this conception, was thrown overboard once for all and it was made clear that the wage-worker has permission to work for his own subsistence, that is, to live only insofar as he works for a certain time gratis for the capitalist (and hence also for the latter’s co-consumers of surplus value); that the whole capitalist system of production turns on increasing this gratis labour by extending the working day or by developing productivity, that is, increasing the intensity of labour power, etc.; that, consequently, the system of wage labour is a system of slavery, and indeed of a slavery which becomes more severe in proportion as the social productive forces of labour develop, whether the worker receives better or worse payment.
Another controversial point concerned the role of the state. Marx maintained that capitalism could be overthrown only through the “revolutionary transformation of society”. The Lassalleans held that “socialist organization of the total labour arises from the state aid that the state gives to the producers’ co-operative societies which the state, not the worker, calls into being.” For Marx, however, “cooperative societies [were]of value only insofar as they [were] the independent creations of the workers and not protégés either of governments or of the bourgeois”; the idea “that with state loans one can build a new society just as well as a new railway” was typical of Lassalle’s theoretical ambiguities.
All in all, Marx observed that the political manifesto for the fusion congress showed that socialist ideas were having a hard time penetrating the German workers’ organizations. In keeping with his early convictions, he emphasized that it was wrong on their part to treat “the state as an independent entity that possesses its own intellectual, ethical and libertarian bases”, instead of “treating existing society as … the basis of the existing state”. By contrast, Wilhelm Liebknecht and other German socialist leaders defended their tactical decision to compromise on programme, on the grounds that this was necessary to achieve a unified party. Once again, Marx had to face up to the great distance between choices made in Berlin and in London; he had already remarked on it in relation to the scant involvement of German organizations in the International Working Men’s Association.
During the spring of 1875, Marx continued the studies he needed to do for some outstanding sections of Capital. At the same time, he reworked parts of Johann Most’s popular compilation of extracts from Volume One, with a view to the printing of a second edition. Between mid-May and mid-August he composed another manuscript for Volume Three, “The Relationship between Rate of Surplus-Value and Rate of Profit Developed Mathematically” (1875), and in September he was animated once again by the desire to progress as much as possible in his writing of Capital, Volume Two.
In the early months of 1876, having received new books and publications with statistics about Russia, Marx engaged in further systematic research into the social-economic changes taking place there. His study, in 1870, of The Situation of the Working Class in Russia (1869) – a work by the economist and sociologist Vassilii Vassilievich Bervi, known by the pen-name N. Flerovsky – had also given him the political motivation to delve deeper into the reality of the country. Marx’s reading in the mid-1870s also included a little book entitled Revolutionary Conservatism (1875) by the Slavophile thinkers Yuri Samarin and Fyodor Dmitriev, and several volumes of the Proceedings of the Tributary Commission from 1872-73.
During this period, there were significantly less social struggles and Marx, whenever his health allowed, dedicated himself to new theoretical questions. He took the opportunity to expand his range of interests to areas he had little explored before. In the spring, he turned his attention to physiology, both botanical and human. In addition, he planned to read new books on subjects of major interest such as agronomy, landownership and credit, again after he had finished his studies for the completion of Capital.
From the middle of March, Marx returned to his research on forms of collective property. Among the texts he summarized by the end of the year were the very important History of the Village Order in Germany (1865-66) by the historian and statesman Georg Ludwig von Maurer, an Essay on the History of Landownership in Spain (1873) by the lawyer and minister Francisco de Cárdenas Espejo, and Common Abodes of the South Slavs (1859) by the writer and politician Ognjeslav Utješenović.
His new research endeavours were interrupted by the summer break, which his physical problems had made a necessity rather than a diversion. Also, in the autumn of 1876, Marx suffered from several and complicated health issues. Despite these tribulations and the constant work pressure from many sides, Marx made a major effort to find a publisher for the German version of Histoire de la Commune de 1871 (1876) by the French journalist and Communard Prosper-Olivier Lissagaray. Between September and the end of 1877, he invested time and energy in revising the translation of what he called “the first authentic history of the Commune”.

III. Political Battles at an International Level
Despite adversities and poor health, Marx continued to follow all the major political and economic events attentively and critically, attempting to envisage the new scenarios to which they might give rise and how these would affect struggles for the emancipation of the working class.
At the beginning of 1877, Jenny von Westphalen communicated to Sorge that her husband was “deeply in the Eastern question and highly elated by the firm, honest bearing of the sons of Mohammed vis-à-vis all the Christian humbugs and hypocritical atrocity mongers”. In April, Tsar Alexander II declared war on Turkey in pursuit of his expansionist aims, using the pretext of the rebellions against Constantinople by Christians living in the European territories of the Ottoman Empire.
Marx had already been active against the British Liberals’ support for Russia: between February and March, together with the journalist Maltman Barry, he had written three short articles – “Mr. Gladstone and Russian Intrigue”, “Mr. Gladstone” and “The Great Agitator Unmasked” – which were printed in Barry’s name in The Whitehall Review and Vanity Fair (and later in various local English, Scottish and Irish papers). Marx reported to Engels that many papers had “shied away” and that the deputy editor of Vanity Fair feared a “libel action”. To Sorge, he wrote with satisfaction that “English parliamentarians in the Commons and the Lords … would throw up their hands in horror if they knew that it was the Red Terror Doctor, as they call me , who had been their souffleur during the oriental crisis.”
Marx was critical of Bracke, however, since in his view “the workers’ press concern[ed] itself too little with the oriental question, forgetting that the government’s politics gamble wantonly with the lives and money of the people”. With excessive optimism, he wrote to Sorge: “That crisis marks a new turning-point in European history.” He thought that Russia had “long been on the verge of an upheaval” and hoped that the Turks might “advance the explosion … through the blows they have dealt … to the Russian army and Russian finances.” “This time”, he concluded, “the revolution will begin in the East, hitherto the impregnable bastion and reserve army of counter-revolution.” Engels reiterated this conviction to the editor of the Italian paper La Plebe, Enrico Bignami: “Once Russia has been spurred to revolution, the whole face of Europe will change. Until now, Old Russia has been the great army of European reaction. It acted as such in 1789, in 1805, in 1815, in 1830 and in 1848. Once this army is destroyed – we shall see!”
When it became clear in February 1878 that the Russians had been victorious, Marx regretted the fact in a letter to Liebknecht, repeating that defeat would not only have “greatly expedited social revolution in Russia” but also brought about “radical change throughout Europe”. Nevertheless, buoyed up by his confident expectations at the time, he predicted to the English Chartist and publicist Thomas Allsop that there would soon be a “succession of wars , which w[ould] precipitate the Social Crisis and engulf all the so-called Powers, those sham-powers , victors and vanquished—to make room for a European Social Revolution”. In a letter he sent to Engels in September, the horizon was similar: “Nothing Russia and Prussia … can now do on the international stage can have other than pernicious consequences for their regime, nor can it delay the latter’s downfall, but only expedite its violent end.”
From time to time, Marx had to concern himself again with the International Working Men’s Association, in order to defend its name and to recall the esteem that its political line still enjoyed. In July 1878, in answer to George Howell – an old member of the organization who had become a reformist trade-unionist – Marx pointed out in an article for The Secular Chronicle that what had gained the International “a worldwide reputation and a place in the history of mankind” was not “the size of its finances” – as Howell had slanderously argued – but ”the strength of its intellect and its abundant energy”.
Marx also continued to trust in developments on the other side of the Atlantic. In July 1877, he noted in a letter to Engels “the first outbreak against the associated capital oligarchy that has arisen since the Civil War”; it would “of course, be suppressed”, but it might “well provide a point of departure for a serious workers’ party in the United States”. Britain, on the other hand, was a country about which the two friends no longer had any illusions. In February 1878, Marx wrote to Liebknecht that “the English working class had gradually become ever more demoralized, as a result of the period of corruption after 1848, and finally reached the stage of being no more than an appendage of the great Liberal Party, i.e., of its oppressors, the capitalists.” In a letter to Eduard Bernstein, Engels was even more realistic: “A genuine workers’ movement in the continental sense is non-existent here;” there might still be strikes, “victorious or otherwise”, but “the working class makes no progress whatsoever” as a result of them.

IV. The Critique of “Armchair Socialism”
Marx never lost sight of the main political developments in Germany. After the major tensions surrounding the Gotha congress had passed, he continued his attempts to orient the Socialist Workers’ Party of Germany in an anti-capitalist direction. However, other tendencies were developing that would create fresh occasions of conflict. From 1874 Eugen Dühring, an economics professor at Berlin University, began to receive significant attention from Party intellectuals. Articles in support of his positions appeared in Der Volksstaat (The People’s State), which had been the organ of the Social-Democratic Workers’ Party of Germany. Therefore, having been asked by Liebknecht to get involved, and having listened to Marx’s view that it was necessary “to criticize Dühring without any compunction”, Engels decided to write a full-scale critique of the German positivist. This task, which extended from late 1876 until July 1878, ended in the book Anti-Dühring (1877-78), whose publication was preceded by excerpts in the columns of Vorwärts [Forward], the daily paper of the Socialist Workers’ Party of Germany born out of the Gotha fusion congress.
Marx played an active part in the Anti-Dühring project: in the winter 1877, he wrote the key chapter “On ‘Critical History’”, both on Engels’s behalf and in his own name, conceiving it as a response to attacks contained in Dühring’s Critical History of Political Economy and Socialism (1871). Marx shows that “by value Herr Dühring understands five totally different and directly contradictory things, and, therefore, to put it at its best, himself does not know what he wants.” Moreover, in the German economist’s book, the “‘natural laws of all economics’, ushered in with such pomp, prove to be merely universally familiar, and often not even properly understood, platitudes of the worst description.” The “sole explanation” he gives of “economic facts” is that “they are the result of “force”, a term with which the philistine of all nations has for thousands of years consoled himself for everything unpleasant that happens to him, and which leaves us just where we were.” For Marx, Dühring does not try to “investigate the origin and effects of this force”, and, when compelled to elucidate the capitalist exploitation of labour, he “first represents it in a general way as based on taxes and price surcharges” à la Proudhon, then “explains it in detail by means of Marx’s theory of surplus-labour”. The result is totally implausible: “two totally contradictory modes of outlook, … cop[ied] down without taking his breath.”
In the elections of January 1877, the Socialist Workers’ Party of Germany won nearly half a million votes, raising its share above 9 per cent. But despite this success, the state of the party continued to trouble Marx. Writing to the German doctor Ferdinand Fleckles, he ridiculed the “short pamphlet” entitled The Quintessence of Socialism (1879) of sociologist Albert Schäffle as “fantastic, truly Swabian … picture of the future socialist millennium as … the kingdom come of your cosy petty bourgeois”. In this context, when asked by the journalist Franz Wiede to take a prominent role in founding a new review, Marx commented to Engels: “It would certainly be very nice if a really scientific socialist periodical were to appear. This would provide an opportunity for criticism and counter-criticism in which theoretical points could be discussed by us and the total ignorance of professors and university lecturers exposed, thereby simultaneously disabusing the minds of the general public.” In the end, however, he had to accept that the shortcomings of its contributors would have precluded “the prime requirement in all criticism”: that is, “ruthlessness”. Marx also directed sharp comments against Zukunft [Future], deriding its “endeavour to substitute ideological catch-phrases such as “justice”, etc., for materialist knowledge [and …] to peddle phantasms of the future structure of society”.
In October, Marx complained to Sorge of a “corrupt spirit” spreading in the party, “not so much among the masses as among the leaders”. The agreement with the Lassalleans had “led to further compromise with other waverers”. In particular, Marx had no time for “a whole swarm of immature undergraduates and over-wise graduates who want[ed] to give socialism a “higher, idealistic” orientation”. They thought they could substitute for its “materialist basis” (which “calls for serious, objective study if one is to operate thereon”) a “modern mythology with its goddesses of Justice, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity”.
What lay behind these criticisms was never feelings of jealousy or rivalry. Marx wrote to the journalist and parliamentarian Wilhelm Blos that he did not “care a straw for popularity”, reminding him that “such was [his] aversion to the personality cult that at the time of the International , when plagued by numerous moves … to accord [him] public honour, [he] never allowed one of them to enter the domain of publicity”, nor “ever repli[ed] to them, save with an occasional snub”. This attitude had sustained him ever since the political commitments of his youth, so that when the Communist League was born in 1847, he and Engels had joined “only on condition that anything conducive to a superstitious belief in authority be eliminated from the Rules”. His only concern had been, and continued to be, that the nascent workers’ organizations should not blur their anti-capitalism and – in the manner of the British labour movement – adopt a moderate, pro-bourgeois line.
A major event in the late 1870s was the attempted assassination of Kaiser Wilhelm I by the anarchist Karl Nobiling in June 1878. Marx’s reactions were later recorded by Kovalevsky: “I happened to be in Marx’s library when he got news of [the] unsuccessful attempt …. [His] reaction was to curse the terrorist, explaining that only one thing could be expected from his attempt to accelerate the course of events, namely, new persecutions of the socialists.” That was precisely what ensued, as Bismarck used the pretext to introduce the Anti-Socialist Laws and get them adopted by the Reichstag in October. Marx commented to Engels: “Outlawing has, from time immemorial, been an infallible means of making anti-government movements ‘illegal’ and protecting the government from the law – ‘legality kills us’.” The debate in parliament took place in mid-September, and Bracke sent Marx the stenographic record of the Reichstag sessions and a copy of the draft legislation. Marx planned to write a critical article for the British press and began to compile extracts and notes for that purpose. In a few pages, he outlined the difference between the mass Socialist Workers’ Party of Germany and the anarchists: the former constituted “the genuine historical movement of the working class; the other … a phantom of a dead-end youth intent on making history, [which] merely shows how the ideas of French socialism are caricatured in the declassed men of the upper classes.”  In rebutting the argument of the Prussian interior minister, August Eulenburg, that the workers’ aims were violent, he made his position quite clear: The objective [is] the emancipation of the working class and the revolution (transformation) of society implicit therein. An historical development can remain “peaceful” only for so long as its progress is not forcibly obstructed by those wielding social power at the time. If in England, for instance, or the United States, the working class were to gain a majority in Parliament or Congress, they could, by lawful means, rid themselves of such laws and institutions as impeded their development. […] However, the “peaceful” movement might be transformed into a “forcible” one by resistance on the part of those interested in restoring the former state of affairs; if (as in the American Civil War and French Revolution) they are put down by force, it is as rebels against “lawful” force.
For Marx, then, the government was “seeking to suppress by force a development it dislike[d] but could not lawfully attack”. That, necessarily, was “the prelude to violent revolution” – “an old story which yet remains eternally true”, he added, quoting Heinrich Heine (1797-1856).
In a letter to Sorge from September 1879, Marx described the new tendencies emerging in the German party. He stressed that people like the publisher Karl Höchberg, “nonentities in theory and nincompoops in practice”, were “seeking to draw the teeth of socialism (which they have rehashed in accordance with academic formulae) and of the Party in particular”. Their aim was “to enlighten the workers, … to provide them, out of their confused and superficial knowledge, with educative elements” and, above all, “to make the party ‘respectable’ in the eyes of the philistines”. They were, he concluded, “poor counter-revolutionary windbags”. With subtle humour, he suggested that Bismarck had “done a lot of good not to himself, but us”, by imposing selective silence in Germany and allowing such windbags “a chance of making themselves plainly heard”.
In a French police report from London, an agent claimed that, “following the death of Lassalle, Marx [had become] the undisputed leader of the German revolutionaries. If the socialist deputies in Germany [were] the official leaders, the divisional commanders, Marx [was] the chief of the general staff. He devised the battle plans and watch[ed] over their implementation.” In reality, Marx’s criticisms of the party often went unheeded, and from his study in London he observed “the depths” to which “parliamentary representatives” had “already been brought by parliamentarism”.
Another polemical focus was the question of who should edit the new journal of the Socialist Workers’ Party of Germany, Der Sozialdemokrat [The Social Democrat], publication of which began in Zurich in September 1879. Marx and Engels, disagreeing with the proposed stance of the paper, felt obliged to send another letter (drafted by Engels) to Bebel, Liebknecht and Bracke. In this “Circular Letter” (1879), as it became known, they denounced the growing consensus in the party behind the positions of Höchberg, the main source of finance for the undertaking. He had recently published an article in the Jahrbuch für Sozialwissenschaft und Sozialpolitik [Annals for Social Science and Social Policy], a reformist journal under his direction, in which he called for a return to the Lassallean spirit. In his view, the Lassalleans had given birth to a political movement open “not only [to] the workers but all honest democrats, in the van of which [should] march the independent representatives of science and all men imbued with a true love of mankind”.
For Marx, all these were views he had firmly rejected since his early years and the Manifesto of the Communist Party (1848). The “Circular Letter” underlined the dangers of one of Höchberg’s statements: “In short, the working class is incapable of emancipating itself by its own efforts. In order to do so it must place itself under the direction of ‘educated and propertied’ bourgeois who alone have ‘the time and the opportunity’ to become conversant with what is good for the workers.” In the view of this “representative of the petty bourgeoisie”, then, the bourgeoisie was “not to be combated – not on your life – but won over by vigorous propaganda”. Even the decision to defend the Paris Commune had allegedly “put off people otherwise well-disposed towards” the workers’ movement. In conclusion, Engels and Marx noted with alarm that Höchberg’s objective was to make “the overthrow of the capitalist order … unattainably remote” and “utterly irrelevant to present political practice”. One could therefore “conciliate, compromise, philanthropize to one’s heart’ s content. The same thing applie[d] to the class struggle between proletariat and bourgeoisie.” The disagreement was total.
Marx’s tenacious opposition to what he called the “armchair socialist riff-raff” was akin to his view of those who confined themselves to empty rhetoric, however concealed beneath radical language. Following the launch of the journal Freiheit [Freedom], he explained to Sorge that he had reproached its editors not for being “too revolutionary” but for having “no revolutionary content” and “merely indulg[ing] in revolutionary jargon”. In his view, both these positions, though stemming from very different political tendencies, were no danger to the existing system and ultimately made its survival possible.
Marx’s idea of socialism was very different from State socialism and reformism that emerged in the German Social Democratic Party and that became hegemonic after the foundation of the Second International. The Marx revival underway today will be much more effective if Marx’s writings will be re-examined not only for an understanding of how capitalism works but also of the failure of socialist experiences until today. It goes without saying that we cannot today simply rely on what Marx wrote a century and a half ago. But nor should we lightly discount the content and clarity of his analyses or fail to take up the critical weapons he offered for fresh thinking about an alternative society to capitalism.

References
1. At this time, the German party had about 5000 members.
2. Karl Marx to Johann Baptist von Schweitzer, 13 February 1865, quoted in Karl Marx, “Marx to Engels, 18 February 1865,” in MECW (New York: International Publishers, 1987), 42: 96.
3. Karl Marx, “Marx to Engels, 18 February 1865,” in MECW (New York: International Publishers, 1987), 42: 97.
4. Karl Marx, “Resolutions of the Geneva Congress (1866),” in Workers Unite! The International after 150 Years, ed. Marcello Musto (London: Bloomsbury, 2014), 86.
5. Karl Marx, “Marx to Engels, 19 September 1868,” in MECW (New York: International Publishers, 1988), 43: 105.
6. Karl Marx, “Marx to Engels, 26 September 1868,” ibid., 115. Although he declined an invitation to the Hamburg congress, Marx nevertheless found some signs of progress. To Engels he remarked: “I was glad to see that the starting points of any ‘serious’ workers’ movement—agitation for complete political freedom, regulation of the working day and international co-operation of the working class—were emphasised in their programme for the congress. […] [I]n other words, I congratulated them on having abandoned Lassalle’s programme”, Karl Marx, “Marx to Friedrich Engels, 26 August 1868,” ibid., 89–90.
7. Karl Marx, “Marx to Johann Baptist von Schweitzer, 13 October 1868,” ibid., 133–5. The actual letter has been lost, but fortunately Marx preserved his draft.
8. Cf. also Marcello Musto, Another Marx: Early Writings to the International (London: Bloomsbury, 2018), esp. chapters 7, 8 and 9.
9. Karl Marx, “Marx to Engels, 10 August 1869,” in MECW (New York: International Publishers, 1988), 43: 343.
10. Cf. Jacques Freymond, ed., Études et documents sur la Première Internationale en Suisse (Geneva: Droz, 1964), x.
11. Cf. Marcello Musto, “Introduction,” in Workers Unite!, esp. 42–51.
12. Frederick Engels, “Engels to August Bebel, 18–28 March 1875,” in MECW (New York: International Publishers, 1991), 60.
13. Ibid., 66.
14. Ibid., 64.
15. Karl Marx, “Marx to Wilhelm Bracke, 5 May 1875,” in MECW (New York: International Publishers, 1991), 70.
16. Ibid.
17. Karl Marx, Critique of the Gotha Programme, in MECW (New York: International Publishers, 1989), 24, 84.
18. Ibid.
19. Ibid., 92.
20. Ibid., 93.
21. Ibid., 94.
22. Ibid., 93.
23. See Karl Marx, “Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Law,” in MECW (New York: International Publishers, 1975), 3, where he writes, concerning “the antithesis of state and civil society”, that “the state does not reside in, but outside civil society” (ibid., 49). “In democracy, the state as particular is merely particular. The French have recently interpreted this as meaning that in true democracy the state is annihilated. This is correct insofar as the political state … no longer passes for the whole” (ibid., 30).
24. Marx, Critique of the Gotha Programme, 94.
25. In the calmer waters of 1877, Engels returned to the argument in a letter to Liebknecht: “The moral and intellectual decline of the party dates from the uni!cation and could have been avoided had a little more caution and intelligence been shown at the time” (Frederick Engels “Engels to Wilhelm Liebknecht, 31 July 1877,” in MECW (New York: International Publishers, 1991), 45, 257). Years later, Liebknecht recalled that “Marx, who could not survey the condition of things from abroad as well as we in Germany, would not hear of such concessions.” And he claimed: “That I did not make a wrong calculation in this respect has been brilliantly demonstrated by the consequences and the successes.” In McLellan, Karl Marx: Interviews and Recollections (New York: Barnes & Noble, 1981), 48.
26. After the printing of the programme rati!ed at Gotha, Engels noted that “not a single critical text” appeared in “the bourgeois press”. Had there been one, it might have noted “the contradictions and economic howlers … and exposed … [the] party to the most dreadful ridicule. Instead of that the jackasses on the bourgeois papers have taken this programme perfectly seriously, reading into it what isn’t there and interpreting it communistically”. He went on to stress that “the workers [were] apparently doing the same” and that this had “made it possible for Marx and himself not to disassociate [themselves] publicly from the programme” (Frederick Engels, “Engels to August Bebel, 12 October 1875,” in MECW (New York: International Publishers, 1991), 45: 98). Marx’s Critique of the Gotha Programme was published only in 1891, the year in which the Erfurt programme, much closer to his own principles, was adopted. Cf. Boris Nicolaevsky and Otto Maenchen Helfen, Karl Marx— Man and Fighter (London: Methuen, 1936), 376, who argued: “The split, which Marx regarded as inevitable, [did not] occur. The Party remained united, and in 1891, at Erfurt, adopted a pure Marxist programme.”
27. Johann Most, Kapital und Arbeit: Ein Populärer Auszug aus “Das Kapital” von Karl Marx (Chemnitz: G. Rübner, n.d. [1873]). The second edition came out in 1876.
28. Karl Marx, “Mehrwertrate und Pro!trate mathematisch behandelt,” in MEGA2 (Berlin: Dietz, 2003), II/14: 19–150.
29. In a letter dated 12 February 1870, Marx wrote to Engels that Flerovsky’s “book shows incontestably that the present conditions in Russia are no longer tenable, that the emancipation of the serfs of course only hastened the process of disintegration, and that fearful social revolution is at the door”, Karl Marx, “Marx to Engels, 12 February 1870,” in MECW (New York: International Publishers, 1988), 43: 429–30.
30. For a recent edition in English, see Prosper Olivier Lissagaray, History of the Paris Commune of 1871 (St. Petersburg, FL: Red and Black Publishers, 2007).
31 Karl Marx, “Marx to Wilhelm Bracke, 23 September 1876,” in MECW (New York: International Publishers, 1991), 45: 149. The English translation was done by Eleanor, who at the time, against her father’s wishes, was emotionally attached to the French revolutionary.
32. Jenny Marx, “Jenny Marx to Friedrich Adolph Sorge, 20 or 21 January 1877,” ibid., 45: 447. The main reference was to the British Liberal Prime Minister William Gladstone, author of the highly successful pamphlet The Bulgarian Horrors and the Question of the East (London: William Ridgway, 1876), who, like “all the freemen and stillmen and merrymen”, had depicted the Russians as “civilizers” (ibid.).
33. See Maximilien Rubel, Bibliographie des oeuvres de Karl Marx (Paris: Rivière, 1956), 193. Also, of interest here are two letters to Liebknecht (4 and 11 February 1878), composed in the form of articles, which the Social Democrat leader eventually published in an appendix to the second edition of his pamphlet Zur orientalischen Frage oder Soll Europa kosakisch werden? (Leipzig: Commissions, 1878).
34. Karl Marx, “Marx to Engels, 7 March 1877,” in MECW (New York: International Publishers, 1991), 45: 209.
35. Karl Marx, “Marx to Friedrich Adolph Sorge, 27 September 1877,” ibid., 277–8.
36. Karl Marx, “Marx to Wilhelm Bracke, 21 April 1877,” ibid., 223.
37. Marx, “Marx to Friedrich Adolph Sorge, 27 September 1877,” 278.
38. Frederick Engels, “Letter to Enrico Bignami on the General Elections of 1877, 12 January 1878,” in Marx and Engels, Lettere 1874–1879 (Milano: Lotta Comunista, 2006), p. 247. This letter was lost and the only parts we know are the ones included by Bignami in an article he published on La Plebe on 22 January 1878.
39. Karl Marx, “Marx to Wilhelm Liebknecht, 4 February 1878,” in MECW (New York: International Publishers, 1991), 45: 296.
40. Karl Marx, “Marx to Thomas Allsop, 4 February 1878,” ibid., 299.
41. Karl Marx, “Marx to Engels, 24 September 1878,” ibid., 332.
42. Karl Marx, “Mr. George Howell’s History of the International Working-Men’s Association,” in MEGA2 (Berlin: Dietz, 1985), I/25: 157.
43. Karl Marx, “Marx to Engels, 25 July 1877,” in MECW (New York: International Publishers, 1991), 45: 251.
44. Karl Marx, “Marx to Wilhelm Liebknecht, 11 February 1878,” ibid., 299.
45. Frederick Engels, “Engels to Eduard Bernstein, 17 June 1879,” ibid., 361.
46. Karl Marx, “Marx to Engels, 25 May 1876,” ibid., 119.
47. On the importance of this text, see Karl Kautsky, “Einleitung,” in Friedrich Engels’ Briefwechsel mit Karl Kautsky, ed. Benedikt Kautsky (Vienna: Danubia, 1955), 4, where the German Party theorist recalls that no book did more to advance his understanding of socialism. H.-J. Steinberg, showed that “both Bernstein, who studied Anti-Dühring in 1879, and Kautsky, who did the same in 1880, became ‘Marxists’ through reading that
book,” in Sozialismus und Deutsche Sozialdemokratie (Hannover: Verlag für Literature und Zeitgeschehen, 1967), 23.
48. Frederick Engels, Anti-Dühring, in MECW (New York: International Publishers, 1987), 25: 242.
49. Ibid.
50. Ibid.
51. Karl Marx, “Marx to Ferdinand Fleckles, 21 January 1877,” in MECW (New York: International Publishers, 1991), 45: 190. Few years later, in a letter to Karl Kautsky, Engels wrote of the numerous inaccuracies and misunderstandings that the German economist Albert Schäf”e and other “armchair socialists [Kathedersozialisten]” displayed in relation to Marx’s work: “to refute, for example, all the monstrous twaddle which Schäf”e alone has assembled in his many fat tomes is, in my opinion, a sheer waste of time. It would #ll a fair- sized book were one merely to attempt to put right all the misquotations from Capital inserted by these gentlemen between inverted commas”. He concluded in peremptory fashion: “They should first learn to read and copy before demanding to have their questions answered”, Frederick Engels, “Engels to Karl Kautsky, 1 February 1881,” in MECW (New York: International Publishers, 1992), 46: 56.
52. Karl Marx, “Marx to Friedrich Engels, 18 July 1877,” in MECW (New York: International Publishers, 1991), 45: 242.
53. Ibid. Engels was certainly in agreement with Marx about this. As he put it in a letter to the zoologist Oscar Schmidt, “ruthless criticism … alone does justice to free science, and … any man of science must welcome [it], even when applied to himself”. Frederick Engels, “Engels to Oscar Schmidt, 19 July 1878,” ibid., 314.
54. Karl Marx, “Marx to Wilhelm Bracke, 23 October 1877,” ibid., 285.
55. Karl Marx, “Marx to Friedrich Adolph Sorge, 19 October 1877,” ibid., 283. Steinberg had convincingly demonstrated the theoretical eclecticism among German Party activists at the time. “If we take the mass of members and leaders,” he wrote, “their socialist conceptions may be described as an ‘average socialism’ composed of various elements. The view of Marx and Engels that the Party’s ‘shortcomings’ and theoretical ignorance and insecurity were the negative consequence of the 1875 compromise was only an expression of the Londoners’ warnings about members coming out of the General Association of German Workers,” Steinberg, Sozialismus und Deutsche Sozialdemokratie, 19.
56. Marx, “Marx to Friedrich Adolph Sorge, 19 October 1877,” 283.
57. Karl Marx, “Marx to Wilhelm Blos, 10 November 1877,” ibid., 288.
58. Two years later, Engels wrote in similar vein to Bebel: “You know that Marx and I have voluntarily conducted the defence of the party against its opponents abroad throughout the party’s existence, and that we have never asked anything of the party in return, save that it should not be untrue to itself.” Using diplomatic language, he tried to get comrades in Germany to understand that, although his and Marx’s “criticism might be displeasing to some”, it might be advantageous to the party to have “the presence abroad of a couple of men who, unin!uenced by confusing local conditions and the minutiae of the struggle, compare from time to time what has been said and what has been done with the theoretical tenets valid for any modern proletarian movement”, Frederick Engels, “Engels to August Bebel, 14 November 1879,” ibid., 420–1.
59. McLellan, Karl Marx—Interviews and Recollections, 131.
60. Karl Marx, “Marx to Engels, 17 September 1877,” in MECW (New York: International Publishers, 1991), 45: 322. Marx wrote the “nal clause in French—la légalité nous tueharking back to the words used by Odilon Barrot, brie!y prime minister in 1848–49 under Louis Bonaparte, in a speech he gave to the Constituent Assembly in January 1849 that defended the outlawing of “extremist” political forces.
61. Marx, “Marx to Engels, 24 September 1878,” 332.
62. Karl Marx, “The Parliamentary Debate on the Anti-Socialist Laws (Outline of an Article),” in MECW (New York: International Publishers, 1989), 24: 247.
63. Ibid., 248.
64. Ibid., 249.
65. Karl Marx, “Marx to Friedrich Adolph Sorge, 19 September 1879,” ibid., 413.
66. Ibid.
67. Enzensberger, Gespräche mit Marx und Engels, 490.
68. Marx, “Marx to F. Sorge, 19 September 1879,” 413.
69. Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, “Marx and Engels to August Bebel, Wilhelm Liebknecht and Wilhelm Bracke (“Circular Letter”), 17–18 September 1879,” in MECW (New York: International Publishers, 1991), 45: 402.
70. Ibid., 403.
71. Ibid., 406.
72. Marx, “Marx to Sorge, 19 September 1879,” 412.
73. Ibid., 411. Cf. Frederick Engels to Johann Philipp Becker, 10 April 1880,” in MECW (New York: International Publishers, 1992), 46: 7: “Freiheit [wants] to become, by hook or by crook, the most revolutionary paper in the world, but this cannot be achieved simply by repeating the word ‘revolution’ in every line.”

Bibliography
Engels, Frederick. “On the Socialist movement in Germany, France, the United States and Russia.” In MECW. Vol. 24, 203-6. New York: International Publishers, 1987.
Engels, Frederick. “Letter to Enrico Bignami on the General Elections of 1877.” In Marx and Engels, Lettere 1874-1879, 246-8. Milano: Lotta Comunista, 2006.
Engels, Frederick. “Anti-Dühring.” In MECW. Vol. 25, 5-309. New York: International Publishers, 1987.
Enzensberger, Hans Magnus. Gespräche mit Marx und Engels. Frankfurt: Insel Verlag, 1973.
Freymond, Jacques. Études et documents sur la Première Internationale en Suisse. Geneva: Droz, 1964.
Gladstone, William. The Bulgarian Horrors and the Question of the East. London: William Ridgway, 1876.
Kautsky, Karl. “Einleitung.” In Friedrich Engels’ Briefwechsel mit Karl Kautsky, edited by Benedikt Kautsky, 1-55. Vienna: Danubia, 1955.
Liebknecht, Wilhelm. Zur orientalischen Frage oder Soll Europa kosakisch werden? Leipzig: Commissions, 1878.
Lissagaray, Prosper Olivier. History of the Paris Commune of 1871. St. Petersburg, FL: Red and Black Publishers, 2007.
Marx, Karl. “Mr. George Howell’s History of the International Working-Men’s Association.” in MEGA². Vol. I/25, 157. Berlin: Dietz, 1985.
Marx, Karl. “Mehrwertrate und Profitrate mathematisch behandelt.” In MEGA². Vol. II/14, 19-150. Berlin: Dietz, 2003.
Marx, Karl. “Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Law.” In MECW. Vol. 3, 3-129. New York: International Publishers, 1975.
Marx, Karl. Critique of the Gotha Programme. In MECW. Vol. 24, 81-99. New York: International Publishers, 1987.
Marx, Karl. “The Parliamentary Debate on the Anti-Socialist Laws (Outline of an Article).” In MECW. Vol. 24, 240-50. New York: International Publishers, 1987.
Marx, Karl, and Frederick Engels. Correspondence. In MECW. Vols. 41–46. New York: International Publishers, 1985-1992.
Marx, Karl. “Resolutions of the Geneva Congress (1866).” In Workers Unite! The International after 150 Years, edited by Marcello Musto, 83-8. London: Bloomsbury, 2014.
McLellan, David. Karl Marx: Interviews and Recollections. New York: Barnes&Noble, 1981.
Most, Johann. Kapital und Arbeit: Ein Populärer Auszug aus “Das Kapital” von Karl Marx. Chemnitz: G. Rübner, n.d. [1873].
Musto, Marcello. “Introduction.” In Workers Unite! The International after 150 Years, edited by Marcello Musto, 1-68. London: Bloomsbury, 2014.
Musto, Marcello. Another Marx: Early Writings to the International. London: Bloomsbury, 2018.
Nicolaevsky, Boris, and Otto Maenchen Helfen. Karl Marx – Man and Fighter. London: Methuen, 1936.
Rubel, Maximilien. Bibliographie des œuvres de Karl Marx. Paris: Rivière, 1956.
Steinberg, H.-J. Sozialismus und Deutsche Sozialdemokratie. Hannover: Verlag für Literature und Zeitgeschehen, 1967.

Categories
Journalism

Mitos ‘Marx Muda’ dalam Penafsiran Naskah-naskah Ekonomi-Filsafat tahun 1844 (Bagian I)

Dua edisi dari 1932
Naskah-naskah Ekonomi-Filsafat tahun 1844 (Economic-Philosophic Manuscripts of 1884) adalah salah satu di antara tulisan-tulisan paling terkenal Marx, dan yang paling banyak diterbitkan di seluruh dunia.
Tetapi meskipun buku ini telah memainkan peran utama dalam interpretasi keseluruhan pemikiran Marx, namun untuk waktu yang lama, buku ini tidak dikenal hingga kemudian terbit hampir seabad setelah penyusunannya.
Penerbitan naskah-naskah ini sama sekali bukan akhir dari cerita. Sebaliknya, penerbitannya telah memicu perselisihan yang panjang tentang karakter dari teks tersebut. Beberapa menganggapnya sebagai karya yang belum matang dibandingkan dengan kritik Marx selanjutnya tentang ekonomi politik. Yang lain menilainya sebagai landasan filosofis yang tak ternilai untuk pemikirannya, yang kehilangan intensitasnya selama bertahun-tahun saat ia mengerjakan penulisan Kapital. Oleh karena itu, bidang penelitian menyangkut hubungan antara teori-teori ‘muda’ dari Naskah-naskah Ekonomi-Filsafat tahun 1844  dan yang ‘matang’ dari Kapital bergantung pada pertanyaan-pertanyaan berikut: Dapatkah tulisan-tulisan ‘Marx Muda’ dianggap sebagai bagian integral dari ‘Marxisme’? Apakah ada kesatuan inspirasi dan realisasi organik di seluruh karya Marx? Atau haruskah dua Marx yang berbeda diidentifikasi di dalamnya?
Konflik penafsiran juga memiliki sisi politik. Para sarjana Marx di Uni Soviet setelah awal dekade tiga puluhan, juga sebagian besar peneliti yang dekat dengan partai-partai Komunis di dalam atau terkait dengan ‘blok sosialis’, menawarkan analisis reduksionis dari Naskah-naskah Ekonomi-Filsafat tahun 1844. Sedangkan mereka yang ada dalam tradisi kritis Marxisme, menetapkan nilai yang lebih tinggi pada teks-teks ini dan menemukan di dalamnya argumen yang paling kuat (terutama dalam kaitannya dengan konsep alienasi) untuk menghancurkan monopoli penafsiran yang dilakukan oleh Uni Soviet atas karya Marx. Dalam setiap kasus, pembacaan instrumentalis menjadi  contoh yang jelas tentang bagaimana konflik-konflik teoretis dan politik telah berulang kali mendistorsi karya Marx guna melayani tujuan yang tidak berkaitan dengannya.
Edisi lengkap pertama dari Naskah-naskah Ekonomi-Filsafat tahun 1844 diterbitkan pada tahun 1932, dalam bahasa Jerman. Bahkan, dua versi terbit pada tahun yang sama, dan ini menambah kebingungan tentang teks tersebut. Para sarjana Sosial Demokrat seperti Siegfried Landshut dan Jacob Peter Mayer, memasukkan naskah-naskah itu ke dalam koleksi dua jilid berjudul Historical Materialism: Early Writings. Versi kedua dari Naskah-naskah Ekonomi-Filsafat tahun 1844 yang muncul pada tahun 1932 adalah yang diedit oleh Institute Marx-Engels (IME) di Moskow dan diterbitkan dalam volume ketiga Bagian Satu dari karya-karya Marx dan Engels (Marx-Engels Gesamtausgabe). Ini adalah edisi ilmiah lengkap pertama, dan yang pertama-pertama menggunakan nama yang kemudian terkenal sebagai Naskah-naskah Ekonomi-Filsafat tahun 1844.

Satu atau dua Marx? Perselisihan tentang kesinambungan pemikiran Marx
Dua edisi tahun 1932 memunculkan banyak kontroversi karakter hermeneutik atau politik, di mana teks Marx sering terjepit di antara dua penafsran ekstrem. Yang pertama memahaminya sebagai ekspresi semata dari teori anak muda yang secara negatif diilhami oleh konsep-konsep dan terminologi filosofis, sementara yang lain menganggapnya sebagai ekspresi tertinggi humanisme Marx dan inti mendasar dari keseluruhan teori kritisnya. Dengan berlalunya waktu, para pendukung dari kedua posisi ini terlibat dalam debat yang hidup, menawarkan jawaban yang berbeda mengenai ‘kesinambungan’ dari pemikiran Marx. Apakah sebenarnya ada dua pemikir yang berbeda: Marx muda dan Marx tua? Atau apakah hanya ada satu Marx, yang keyakinannya tetap sama selama beberapa dekade?
Pertentangan antara kedua pandangan ini menjadi semakin tajam. Yang pertama, menyatukan ortodoksi Marxis-Leninis dengan orang-orang di Eropa Barat dan di tempat lain yang berbagi prinsip teoretis dan politiknya, meremehkan atau sama sekali mengabaikan pentingnya tulisan-tulisan awal Marx; mereka menyajikan karya-karya awal itu sebagai sepenuhnya dangkal dibandingkan dengan karya-karyanya kemudian dan, dengan demikian, mengembangkan konsepsi yang jelas anti-humanis dari pemikirannya. Pandangan kedua, yang diadvokasi oleh kelompok penulis yang lebih heterogen, memiliki isu bersama yakni penolakan terhadap dogmatisme Komunisme resmi dan korelasi yang ingin dibangun oleh para eksponennya antara pemikiran Marx dan politik Uni Soviet.
Kutipan dari dua protagonis utama di tahun 1960-an berikut ini memberikan contoh yang paling mendekati untuk menjelaskan pengertian dari perdebatan itu. Bagi Louis Althusser, sebagai proponen pendekatan pertama mengatakan:
Pertama-tama, setiap diskusi tentang Karya-karya Awal Marx adalah sebuah diskusi politik. Perlu kita ingatkan bahwa Karya-karya Awal Marx (…) yang ditemukan oleh Sosial-Demokrat dan
dieksploitasi oleh mereka dengan maksud menghancurkan Marxisme-Leninisme? (…) Inilah lokasi dari diskusi ini: Marx Muda. Hal yang benar-benar dipertaruhkan di dalamnya: Marxisme. Ketentuan diskusi: apakah Marx Muda sudah dan sepenuhnya Marx.
Iring Fetscher, di sisi lain, berpendapat:
Tulisan-tulisan awal Marx, intinya secara tegas  menyatakan pembebasan manusia dari segala bentuk eksploitasi, dominasi dan alienasi, sehingga pembaca Soviet harus memahami komentar-komentar ini sebagai kritik terhadap situasinya sendiri di bawah dominasi Stalinis. Karena alasan ini, tulisan-tulisan awal Marx tidak pernah diterbitkan dalam edisi besar dan murah dalam bahasa Rusia. Mereka dianggap sebagai karya yang relatif tidak signifikan dari Marx muda yang Hegelian yang belum mengembangkan Marxisme.
Kedua belah pihak yang berselisih ini telah mendistorsi teks Marx tersebut dengan berbagai cara. Kalangan ‘Ortodoks’ menyangkal pentingnya Naskah-naskah Ekonomi-Filsafat tahun 1844 (meskipun sangat diperlukan untuk memahami evolusi pemikiran Marx) dan dengan teguh memegang  keyakinan ini sehingga mereka mengeluarkan naskah-naskah tersebut dari edisi Rusia dan Jerman pada karya lengkap Marx dan Engels. Di sisi lain, banyak perwakilan dari apa yang disebut ‘Marxisme Barat’, serta sejumlah filsuf eksistensialis, mengambil sketsa yang belum selesai dari seorang mahasiswa muda yang tidak mahir dalam teori ekonomi dan melabelinya nilai yang lebih besar ketimbang Kapital, produk yang dihasilkan setelah melalui lebih dari dua puluh tahun penelitian.

Categories
Reviews

Erick Kayser, Revista de Historia

Resenha do livro: MUSTO, Marcello. O velho Marx: uma biografia de seus últimos anos (1881-1883). São Paulo: Boitempo, 2018.

 

Karl Marx seguramente figura entre os autores mais debatidos e analisados nos últimos cem anos.

A vasta bibliografia que toma o pensamento de Marx por objeto poderia sugerir que falta pouco a ser dito de forma original. No entanto, a produção intelectual em torno de Marx parece escapar a este itinerário lógico e surge como uma fonte inesgotável de reflexões que, de diferentes maneiras, segue instigando e propiciando um renovado debate. É esta capacidade de constante atualização que alimenta as diversas tradições no âmbito das culturas marxistas e, mesmo, o renovado (e variado) interesse do pensamento crítico de forma geral. Se é inegável, por um lado, que a vida e obra de Marx jamais deixaram de ser objeto de pesquisa ao redor do mundo, por outro, no período aberto após o fim da União Soviética e o ocaso do chamado “socialismo real”, o legado do pensador alemão parecia encontrar-se numa encruzilhada fatal. A crise econômica de 2008 mudou sensivelmente este cenário, renovando o interesse em Marx e o afirmando como um dos autores mais debatidos no século XXI. Não apenas suas análises e elaborações teóricas ganharam um novo impulso junto ao grande público, mas também sua trajetória de vida desperta curiosidade, como atesta o sucesso do filme O jovem Karl Marx, dirigido por Raoul Peck e lançado em 2017. Neste contexto, o livro O velho Marx: uma biografia de seus últimos anos (1881-1883), escrito por Marcello Musto e publicado em 2018 pela editora Boitempo, surge como uma importante contribuição na busca por preencher lacunas e por aprimorar a nossa compreensão do legado de Marx. Por se tratar de uma biografia intelectual, a obra se coloca o duplo desafio de explorar tanto os aspectos da vida privada de Marx quanto suas reflexões teóricas. O resultado do trabalho de Musto foi, em larga medida, exitoso ao enfrentar estes desafios. Amparando-se em uma vasta documentação, composta por manuscritos que vieram a público apenas recentemente e cuja maior parte ainda não tem tradução do alemão nem foi publicada em livro, a obra de Musto configura um importante acréscimo editorial no Brasil. Através de sua pesquisa cotejando correspondências de Marx com seu amigo e parceiro intelectual Friedrich Engels, bem como de familiares e companheiros de luta política, é composta uma rica imagem sobre os derradeiros anos de vida do Mouro, apelido que foi dado ao pensador alemão ainda em vida por amigos e familiares. Esta reconstituição nos permite vislumbrar quem foi Marx com maior precisão e complexidade, desfazendo mitos há muito difundidos. Um destes equívocos era afirmar que Marx, em seus derradeiros anos de vida, deixou de produzir intelectualmente. Estando imerso em dramas familiares, como a doença que ceifaria a vida de sua esposa, Jenny von Westphalen, em dezembro de 1881, ou ainda as debilidades físicas que assolavam o Mouro, especialmente seus graves problemas respiratórios, que
supostamente o teriam feito abandonar a atividade teórica. Porém, esta percepção cai por terra ao observarmos os manuscritos escritos no seu último período. Longe de ser alguém cuja curiosidade intelectual estivesse saciada, vemos Marx ampliando suas áreas de estudos para, por exemplo, a Antropologia, dedicando atenção às sociedades pré-capitalistas e, principalmente, à comuna agrícola russa, motivo que o levou a aprender russo. Continuava um leitor atento dos principais acontecimentos da política internacional, seja através da grande imprensa ou através da imprensa operária e das correspondências que trocava com intelectuais e militantes políticos de diferentes países. Também o acompanha um contínuo estudo da matemática que, desde fins da década de 1870, recebera uma dedicação mais sistemática que daria origem a algumas centenas de páginas que, posteriormente, viriam a ser conhecidas como Manuscritos matemáticos.1 O livro de Musto também nos traz Marx preocupado com a repercussão de O Capital, que ele considerava a sua magnum opus e cujo primeiro volume ganhara uma nova impressão na Alemanha, ao mesmo tempo que era publicado em fascículos na França e já havia sido traduzido para o russo (MUSTO, 2018, p. 85). O projeto de Marx era publicar O Capital em três volumes, no entanto, o caráter exaustivo de sua pesquisa e certa dose de perfeccionismo na produção textual mudaram os planos iniciais. Sobre este aspecto, Musto aponta que “Marx jamais publicou ‘nada que não tivesse reelaborado várias vezes, até encontrar a forma adequada’, e afirmou que ‘preferia queimar seus manuscritos a publicá-los incompletos’” (MUSTO, 2018, p. 23). Além disto, as inúmeras interrupções por motivos pessoais protelaram a conclusão de O Capital, motivo de inúmeras aflições para Marx, como vemos em suas cartas para Engels. Desafortunadamente, ele não concluiria em vida sua principal obra, cabendo a seu fiel amigo Engels o trabalho de compilar e publicar os dois volumes, lançados em 1885 e 1894, respectivamente. Ao contrário do que poderiam supor alguns, o estudo do último Marx revela, como aponta Musto (2018, p. 11), “uma figura completamente diferente da esfinge granítica de Marx colocada no centro das praças pelos regimes do Leste europeu, que indicava o futuro como certeza dogmática”. No período final de sua vida, o pensador alemão manteve a inquietação e a ousadia intelectual. Como exemplo de seu perfil e de sua postura intelectual, cujo rigor não se confunde com dogmatismo, há o famoso caso, com ares de anedota, de que Marx, quando confrontado pelos admiradores que se afirmavam “marxistas” após lerem sua obra – mas que efetivamente não conheciam suas ideias –, teria respondido, com reprovação, que “tudo que
sei é que não sou marxista”. A frase de Marx ficaria eternizada em uma carta de Engels de 1882, em que narra o caso para Eduard Bernstein, sendo depois
reproduzida, com significativas alterações, por diversos autores e em contextos distintos (MUSTO, 2018, p. 129). Na maturidade, Marx lamentava “o que é terrível é estar ‘velho’ o bastante para poder apenas prever, em vez de ver” (MUSTO, 2018, p. 29). Num despretensioso exercício de imaginação, talvez possamos pensar que, caso Marx tivesse vivido tempo suficiente para presenciar a forma majoritária como suas ideias foram interpretadas no século XX, possivelmente voltaria a afirmar que não era marxista. De fato, a leitura hegemônica da sua obra foi apresentada quase como uma ciência exata, com altas doses de economicismo e positivismo, segundo aquilo que, grosso modo, se denomina “marxismo científico” e com o conceito de revolução fortemente arraigado em determinismos históricos. Porém, o exame pormenorizado dos escritos de Marx, principalmente do período final de sua vida, afasta-os deste tipo de leitura. Como aponta Löwy (2018) na orelha do livro de Musto, esses textos revelam “um Marx extraordinariamente ‘heterodoxo’, isto é, pouco conforme com o marxismo pseudo-ortodoxo que tanto estrago fez no curso do século XX”. O estudo das obras do “último Marx” sugere variadas possibilidades de renovação dos estudos marxianos e, mesmo, marxistas, com maior riqueza metodológica, de objetos, campos de estudos e, em decorrência, com novas possibilidades políticas. O exame do velho Marx também nos permite revisitar uma antiga mas ainda viva polêmica: a relação de Marx com o eurocentrismo. Trata-se de um debate inaugurado em parte ou de forma mais relevante por Edward Said em seu livro Orientalismo, de 1978, no qual, em um trecho muito comentado, Said debate alguns artigos jornalísticos de Marx dedicados à Índia. Escritos na década de 1850, nestes artigos Marx expõe uma mal disfarçada
perspectiva eurocêntrica com relação ao “atraso” da Índia e aos efeitos “benéficos” da presença colonial do Império Britânico para o desenvolvimento indiano. Said afirmará que estes trechos manifestam o orientalismo contido no pensamento de Marx e, em decorrência, os limites inerentes à sua teoria crítica (SAID, 1996, p. 161-163).2 Pode-se argumentar, com boa dose de razão, que estas passagens de Marx sobre a Índia não constituem parte de sua obra teórica, ocupando um lugar menor no conjunto de suas reflexões. No entanto, não é muito difícil encontrar outras passagens em Marx que atestam uma concepção eurocêntrica do mundo, para além de possíveis vícios de linguagem oitocentistas. Como em A Ideologia Alemã, de 1846, escrito junto com Engels, no qual se lê que, para poder existir o socialismo, as sociedades deveriam passar por um capitalismo plenamente desenvolvido (MARX; ENGELS, 2014, p. 39), inviabilizando conceitualmente a possibilidade do socialismo para além das fronteiras do Ocidente; ou no Manifesto Comunista, de 1848, quando, ao apontar para a ascensão do mercado mundial capitalista, Marx e Engels (2012, p. 22) afirmam que este “arrasta para a civilização todas as nações, incluindo as mais bárbaras”. Este é um tema cujo conteúdo crítico exige um aprofundamento que transcende os objetivos e possibilidades desta resenha, ainda assim, tentaremos apontar pistas que auxiliem a esboçar um melhor entendimento sobre a questão. A obra de Marx, em seu conjunto, não nos permite apontar para um pensador eurocêntrico stricto sensu, havendo pontos substanciais de inflexão que apontam, mesmo em seus escritos juvenis, para um processo de superação deste paradigma.3 O principal vetor de distorções eurocêntricas identificáveis nas reflexões de Marx deriva da Filosofia da História de herança hegeliana, com sua noção de uma História Universal – tendo a Europa por paradigma e sinônimo de Universal – e sua distinção arbitrária entre “povos com história” e “povos sem história”. Nesta questão específica, Marcello Musto (2018, p. 73-74) aponta que os escritos de Marx sobre a Índia, criticados por Said, efetivamente expõem “uma reflexão parcial e ingênua sobre o colonialismo”, reconhecendo a mudança de postura do Mouro sobre o tema no fim de sua vida. No entanto, Musto peca por não explorar esta mudança filosófica, pelo contrário, ele a minimiza, destacando possíveis elementos de continuidade (MUSTO, 2018, p. 76-77). Ainda que falar em “ruptura filosófica” entre o jovem e o velho Marx seja exagerado (e até mesmo indevido), esta mudança não pode ser menosprezada. O paradigma hegeliano da história foi paulatinamente superado por Marx a partir da década de 1860, quando se defronta com a questão da Irlanda – onde percebe que a luta de emancipação nacional irlandesa poderia ser condicionante para uma revolução inglesa –, da Polônia e da Rússia.4 Nos anos seguintes, Marx aprofundaria seus estudos sobre a Rússia, em particular sobre o campesinato russo, bem como sobre os povos asiáticos, consolidando uma perspectiva da História que rompe com aspectos unilineares e evolucionistas do materialismo histórico. Com implicações metodológicas e políticas significativas, a partir desta mudança filosófica, Marx aprofunda uma percepção dialética e policêntrica que admite formas variadas de transformação social e que abre a possibilidade teórica das revoluções socialistas irromperem na periferia do sistema capitalista, o que viria a se comprovar empiricamente décadas depois. O livro de Musto demonstra que a inquietação intelectual de Marx ainda estava em curso em seus últimos anos de vida. Exemplar, neste sentido, é o capítulo destinado à controvérsia sobre o desenvolvimento do capitalismo na Rússia, no qual o exame das correspondências com socialistas russos e, em particular, com Vera Zasulitch expõe importantes conclusões a que Marx havia chegado. As principais seriam que a obstchina (comunidade rural
russa) não deveria necessariamente ser dissolvida e incorporada ao capitalismo, podendo a transformação socialista ocorrer diretamente (MUSTO, 2018,
p. 74-77). Esta conclusão é importante pois, ao contrário de certas leituras apressadas ou distorcidas de Marx, ela reafirma que seu instrumental crítico não assume um caráter supra-histórico e alheio às especificidades de ambientes históricos distintos. Como Marx explicita ao ser indagado pelos russos sobre a necessidade de terem de passar pelas mesmas etapas do desenvolvimento europeu para alcançarem uma revolução comunista, respondendo que “só levo em conta esse raciocínio na medida em que ele se baseia nas experiências europeias” (MUSTO, 2018, p. 72). Além do debate acerca do papel do campesinato russo para a transição ao socialismo, outra questão relevante relacionada aos povos não europeus trazida pelo livro de Musto são os estudos antropológicos e etnográficos empreendido por Marx no fim de sua vida. O Mouro dedicaria especial atenção ao livro A sociedade antiga do antropólogo estadunidense Lewis H.
Morgan, legando um conjunto de notas que posteriormente seria compilado nos Cadernos etnológicos. Musto (2018, p. 31) aponta que, ao contrário do título
dado pelo editor Lawrence Krader, o conteúdo desses manuscritos pouco versa sobre etnologia, concentrando-se preferencialmente na Antropologia. Entre os objetos investigados, destaca-se a análise da propriedade comunal nas sociedades pré-capitalistas e a preocupação de Marx em compreender as transformações nas relações de gênero e no nascimento do patriarcado, historicamente mais recente do que até então se supunha. As conclusões contidas nos Cadernos etnológicos seriam utilizadas, em parte, por Engels em seu livro A origem da família, da propriedade privada e do Estado, lançado em 1884 e no qual completaria a análise de Marx (MUSTO, 2018, p. 34-35). No quarto capítulo, Musto nos traz um quadro geral sobre um dos episódios menos conhecidos e estudados da vida de Marx: o período de dois meses em que viveu na Argélia. Único momento transcorrido longe da Europa, Marx buscaria em solo africano um clima mais propício para superar sua grave enfermidade respiratória. Deste período legaria algumas reflexões sobre o mundo árabe e a presença da ocupação francesa neste território. Uma observação final sobre O velho Marx diz respeito ao desfecho do livro. Num texto vívido e com uma carga de emoção dosada de forma elegante, é difícil o leitor ficar indiferente. O impacto assenta-se na descrição da sequência de infortúnios vividos por Marx: as dores pelo falecimento da esposa e pela inesperada morte de sua filha mais velha; seguido pelo agravamento de sua doença pulmonar e, como consequência desta, a peregrinação
em busca de climas amenos na França, Mônaco e Argélia e, por fim, seu retorno a Londres, onde falece em 14 de março de 1883. Nestas páginas, o personagem mitificado, cujas ideias inspiraram tantas pessoas ao redor do mundo, cede lugar a uma figura de maior complexidade e envolto, como todos nós, na tragédia da vida e da morte. Musto nos faz lembrar que antes ou, acima de tudo, Marx foi um homem.

 

1. Este texto ganharia uma edição russa, editada por Sofya Yanovskaya e publicada em 1968, e teria também uma tradução em inglês de 1983 e, mais recentemente, em 2005, uma edição em italiano.

2. Para um exame pormenorizado dos limites das críticas de Said a Marx, ver Ahmad (2008, p. 221-242).

3. Como demonstrado por Anderson (2010).

4. Para um exame da virada de Marx e da superação da Filosofia da História de Hegel, ver Dussel (1990).

Referências Bibliográficas

AHMAD, Aijaz. In theory: classes, nations, literatures. London: Verso, 2008.
ANDERSON, Kevin. Marx at the Margins: on nationalism, ethnicity, and non-western societies. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2010.
DUSSEL, Enrique. El último Marx (1863-1882) y la liberación latinoamericana. México, DF: Siglo XXI, 1990.
LÖWY, Michael. [Orelha]. In: MUSTO, Marcello. O velho Marx: uma biografia de seus últimos anos (1881-1883). São Paulo: Boitempo, 2018.
MARX, Karl & ENGELS, Friedrich. A Ideologia Alemã. São Paulo: Boitempo, 2014
MARX, Karl & ENGELS, Friedrich. El manifiesto comunista. Madrid: Nórdica Libros, 2012.
MUSTO, Marcello. O velho Marx: uma biografia de seus últimos anos (1881-1883). São Paulo: Boitempo, 2018.
SAID, Edward W. Orientalismo: o Oriente como invenção do Ocidente. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 1996.

Categories
Reviews

Francesco Ricci, Trotskismo oggi

Una monografia imperdibile
Il Karl Marx di Marcello Musto

 

Il bicentenario della nascita di Marx, caduto l’anno scorso (1818-2018), ha riempito gli scaffali delle librerie con nuovi saggi, biografie, ristampe di testi di Marx e di libri a lui dedicati.

Purtroppo, per quanto ci è stato possibile vedere, da questa gran quantità di carta emergono non più di una manciata di titoli davvero interessanti in lingua italiana (tra questi segnaliamo l’antologia curata da Stefano Petrucciani, Il pensiero di Karl Marx, Carocci editore, con saggi di Sgrò, Cingoli, Fineschi, ecc.); e forse altri quattro o cinque pubblicazioni in lingue estere (vogliamo consigliare in particolare: Gustavo Machado, Marx e a historia, Editora Sundermann, in portoghese).
Tra i pochi titoli meritevoli, spicca sicuramente, per profondità, erudizione, qualità della scrittura, il lavoro di Marcello Musto: Karl Marx, Biografia intellettuale e politica. 1857-1883 (Einaudi, 2018).

Una lettura contro-corrente

Pur avendo ricevuto alcune recensioni di peso (un elogio da parte di Umberto Curi sul Corriere della Sera, Corrado Augias sul Venerdì e in tv, Guido Liguori su Critica Marxista), questo libro non ha evidentemente attirato le simpatie né della critica borghese né di quella riformista. E il motivo è presto detto: Musto presenta un Marx militante rivoluzionario quale punto di riferimento imprescindibile per chi voglia cambiare il mondo; un recupero possibile solo liberando Marx dalle tante deformazioni dei tanti che si sono richiamati al suo nome; sottraendolo in particolare alla vulgata stalinista che ha imperato nel secolo scorso. «Provarci ancora»: a battersi per realizzare la dittatura del proletariato che Marx indicava come via per la liberazione dell’umanità. Quel «provarci ancora» con cui Musto chiude il suo libro spiega il silenzio o l’insofferenza con cui è stato accolto in certi ambienti. Esemplificativa la recensione del Giornale: «Di fronte al fallimento catastrofico del comunismo persiste nell’area degli studiosi che si richiamano al marxismo l’incrollabile convinzione (… sulla) purezza benefica della dottrina elaborata da Marx. (…) Per carità, lasciamo stare, non è il caso».(1)
E’ chiaro che i critici borghesi, così come le loro code riformiste, preferiscono i libri in cui si presenta un Marx passato per le forbici del barbiere, ridotto a innocua icona, il Marx «filosofo utopista» o il Marx «che ha scritto cose interessanti sull’economia, purché siano separate dal progetto politico del comunismo». In definitiva, appunto, un Marx opposto a quello che presenta Musto, che invece coniuga lo scienziato col rivoluzionario.

L’uso scrupoloso delle fonti

Ma ciò che rende importante questo libro di Musto, così come i suoi lavori precedenti, non è ovviamente il fatto che sostenga una tesi molto prossima alla nostra: sono le profonde conoscenze della materia, l’analisi intelligente e fuori da ogni stereotipo, il rigore filologico. Rigore che questo giovane ricercatore ha già dimostrato producendo una fitta lista di titoli su Marx, tradotti in svariate lingue. Italiano, professore presso la York University di Toronto, Musto è tra i collaboratori della Mega 2, cioè del progetto, ripreso nel 1998, dopo l’interruzione prodotta dal crollo dello stalinismo, di pubblicare l’opera intera di Marx, che per quasi una metà (essenzialmente appunti e quaderni di studio) è ancora inedita. Da questi inediti, come precisa Musto, non escono scoperte che stravolgono quanto già si sapeva (o meglio: si poteva sapere) su Marx: ma certo aiutano a demistificare le false ricostruzioni con cui ci hanno sommersi liberali e stalinisti.

Gli altri importanti lavori di Musto

Tra i libri precedenti a questo, suggeriamo in particolare la lettura di Ripensare Marx e i marxismi (Carocci, 2011) e L’ultimo Marx. 1881-1883 (Donzelli editore, 2016). Nel primo dei due, una raccolta di saggi pubblicati su varie riviste, Musto prendeva in esame in particolare il periodo 1818-1860, cioè dalla nascita di Marx al periodo antecedente la battaglia nella Prima Internazionale. Nel secondo, riportava alla luce le riflessioni dell’ultimissimo Marx (gli ultimi tre anni di vita) su temi come il «dibattito russo» (su cui poi torniamo), il colonialismo e più in generale faceva emergere la falsità del mito di un presunto «eurocentrismo» di Marx. Un sentiero poco battuto dagli studiosi (perché contrasta tanto con la lettura liberale come con quella stalinista), eccezion fatta per gli importanti lavori di Michael Lowy (The politics of combined and uneven development, 2010) e di Kevin B. Anderson (Marx at the margins, 2010).(2)

Un Marx di carne e non di marmo

L’ultimo lavoro di Musto, per i tipi di Einaudi, di cui ci occupiamo qui, prende in esame il periodo che va dal 1857 (l’avvio del lavoro di Marx per i Grundrisse)(3) fino al 1883 (la morte). Costituisce cioè una specie di congiunzione, con alcuni periodi sovrapposti, dei due libri precedentemente citati.
Si tratta di un libro di piacevole lettura: Musto rifugge dal tipico linguaggio degli accademici, perché si rivolge non agli accademici ma piuttosto – in coerenza con la sua comprensione di Marx come imprescindibile strumento di emancipazione rivoluzionaria – al lettore comune, ai giovani, ai militanti. Il libro coniuga l’analisi delle opere di Marx di quel periodo con la descrizione dell’attività politica militante, inserendo qui e là anche gustosi aneddoti che oltre a rendere gradevole la lettura ci consegnano un Marx uomo e non statua di piombo, vivo, con i suoi limiti e difetti, con il suo genio, i suoi molti malanni e disgrazie familiari, la sua povertà, i suoi sigari, le sue letture enciclopediche, la sua grande passione per la letteratura.
Ma le parti più interessanti, come dicevamo, sono quelle che Musto riserva a dimostrare che la plumbea statua di Marx scolpita dallo stalinismo è, come tutto quello che lo stalinismo produsse, un falso.

Contro l’invenzione del Marx evoluzionista

Smentendo la gran parte delle letture ancora oggi circolanti, Musto dimostra che Marx non cessò mai, fino agli ultimi mesi di vita, né di fare militanza né di studiare né di sviluppare la sua teoria, che non era per niente quel sistema «chiuso» e dogmatico che ci viene in genere presentato. Ancora negli ultimi anni Marx avanzava nella elaborazione a partire dallo studio della realtà, approfondendo decine di discipline diverse, inclusa l’antropologia, l’algebra, le scienze naturali, ecc.
Anche il Marx «eurocentrico», determinista-meccanicista, viene demolito come un falso inventato da critici in malafede (e spesso pure ignoranti). Lo confermano gli studi dedicati da Marx alla Russia (per compierli apprese in pochi mesi, nell’autunno 1868, anche la lingua russa); la famosa lettera del 1881 a Vera Zasulich; il dibattito coi populisti russi (in cui compare il concetto di «sviluppo diseguale e combinato», poi rielaborato da Trotsky come base della teoria della rivoluzione permanente); la lettera alla rivista populista Otiecestvennye Zapiski (1877) in cui Marx chiarisce di non avere nulla a che fare con una teoria storico-filosofica per cui a ogni popolo sarebbe imposto un uguale cammino. Tutta una elaborazione, su cui Musto si sofferma, che evidenzia come il Marx dagli anni Settanta e seguenti ha conosciuto una evoluzione delle proprie posizioni rispetto agli anni Quaranta (sempre dell’Ottocento). Come sottolinea Musto, non si tratta di una «svolta» rispetto al Marx precedente – che già non aveva nulla a che fare col determinismo meccanicistico – ma certo è uno sviluppo importante.
Si tratta di questioni fondamentali non solo per respingere l’idea falsa del Marx (inventato dalla Seconda Internazionale nell’epoca del suo declino) sostenitore del colonialismo come «progresso»; ma soprattutto perché su questo presunto Marx «fatalista», teorico della storia come inevitabile successione di tappe, si poggiarono i menscevichi per definire «prematura» la rivoluzione socialista in Russia e in seguito si appoggiarono gli stalinisti per avanzare la loro politica tappista, base ideologica per sostenere la collaborazione di classe con la cosiddetta borghesia «progressista».
Tutta questa importantissima elaborazione di Marx lo condurrà, insieme ad Engels, a pronosticare, nella prefazione del 1882 alla seconda edizione russa del Manifesto, la possibilità che la rivoluzione russa «serva come segnale a una rivoluzione operaia in Occidente, in modo che entrambe si completino (…)». Non è certo la teoria trotskiana della rivoluzione permanente ma, come ha giustamente osservato Lowy, ne costituisce una parziale ma geniale intuizione. Senza per questo – è fondamentale la precisazione di Musto – pensare che l’ultimo Marx abbia anticipato in qualche modo posizioni «terzomondiste»: Marx non pensa a un comunismo della povertà; e continuerà, fino all’ultimo, a vedere nella classe operaia industriale il motore della rivoluzione socialista (v. il capitolo 9).
Musto demolisce, pagina dopo pagina, il Marx evoluzionista, pura invenzione di studiosi che ben poco conoscono di Marx. Scrive Musto: «A siffatta impostazione ritenuta da tanti “scientifica”, in cui si riconoscevano sia quella già affermatasi di natura borghese sia quella che iniziava a emergere nel fronte socialista, Marx seppe opporsi senza cedimenti a coloro che annunciavano il corso univoco della storia. Egli conservò il suo peculiare approccio: analitico, duttile e multilineare. Al cospetto di tanti oracoli darwinisti, Marx seppe sfuggire alla trappola del determinismo nella quale caddero, invece, molti dei suoi seguaci e dei suoi presunti continuatori» (p. 193). Sul tema, cruciale, insiste anche più avanti: «Per Marx il futuro restava nelle mani della classe lavoratrice e nella sua capacità di determinare, con le sue lotte e attraverso le proprie organizzazioni di massa, rivolgimenti sociali e la nascista di un sistema economico-politico alternativo» (p. 227). Ecco ben distrutta ogni pretesa di addebitare al povero Marx una concezione del socialismo come «inevitabile».

L’elaborazione del Capitale

Ma questi temi (che costituiscono in realtà la terza sezione in cui è diviso il libro), di un Marx meno conosciuto, non sono gli unici ad impegnare Musto. Altrettanto interessante è il percorso con cui veniamo accompagnati (prima sezione del libro) nel lavoro di elaborazione dell’opera principale di Marx, Il Capitale. Studi, idee, lavori preparatori, ripensamenti, tutto questo ci viene raccontato quasi fossimo lì presenti, seguendo la corrispondenza di Marx. E reso ancora una volta comprensibile proprio grazie all’intreccio con la vita politica e quella privata, le difficoltà gigantesche che Marx dovette scavalcare per proseguire il suo lavoro (che peraltro, come noto, rimarrà incompiuto, essendo pubblicato in vita solo il primo dei libri previsti; mentre gli altri saranno pubblicati da Engels).

Un Marx militante

La seconda sezione in cui è diviso il libro è dedicata prevalentemente alla militanza politica di Marx, alla Prima Internazionale, alla sua battaglia di frazione in essa, e a quell’evento capitale (nella vita di Marx così come nella storia dell’umanità) che fu la Comune.
Qui Musto ricostruisce i fatti, rifiutando la vulgata del «Marx fondatore» dell’Internazionale: ne divenne il principale dirigente, ma dopo una lunga battaglia di frazione. Ne scrisse il programma fondativo (l’Indirizzo inaugurale), ma a esso guadagnò la comprensione cosciente della maggioranza dell’Internazionale solo dopo anni di lotte, solo dopo la Comune del 1871. E’ quanto per parte nostra, su questa rivista, abbiamo in vari articoli cercato da anni di dimostrare, scontrandoci con le interpretazioni prevalenti. Per questo concordiamo pienamente con il giudizio di Musto: «(…) nel tempo, a volte anche attraverso scontri e rotture, grazie all’incessante tenacia del suo operato, il pensiero di Marx divenne la dottrina egemone» (p. 96).
Le dimensioni relativamente contenute del libro (circa 300 pagine) impediscono tuttavia a Musto di approfondire ulteriormente questa parte. E’ un peccato perché di conseguenza risulta un po’ debole la parte sulla Comune di Parigi (p. 122-128) e sui suoi effetti nello sviluppo del marxismo e delle organizzazioni rivoluzionarie. Qui la necessità di sintetizzare, ma forse anche uno scarso uso delle migliori fonti disponibili, induce Musto, a nostro avviso, a ripetere qualche luogo comune sul tema, pur in un libro che, come abbiamo detto, rifugge dai luoghi comuni. Ad esempio poco precise sono le annotazioni sulla composizione politica della Comune e sull’influsso politico che ebbe in essa la Prima Internazionale. Qui Musto usa, come fonti secondarie, i testi di storici come Haupt, Rougerie, ecc. Ma ci sarebbero fonti più aggiornate e che vanno più in profondità, basandosi su ricerche degli anni successivi. Ciò lo conduce a una interpretazione del dibattito successivo alla Comune che ci sembra non sempre condivisibile. Basandosi soprattutto sull’interpretazione di un vecchio libro di Molnar (Le déclin de la première internationale, 1963) e sui testi del «marxologo» (con lenti anarcoidi) Rubel, Musto vede nelle Conferenze di Londra (settembre 1871) e dell’Aja (settembre 1872) essenzialmente una «crisi dell’Internazionale». Mentre ci sembra più corretto affermare che in quelle due conferenze, grazie alla Comune, Marx vinse una delle battaglie più importanti, quella che (come spiegò anni dopo Engels), consentiva di sciogliere l’Internazionale per avviare la costruzione di una nuova Internazionale e di nuovi partiti basati integralmente sulle concezioni marxiane. Tutto ciò fu possibile grazie alla Comune: che in questo senso fu certo una «sconfitta» ma che contraddittoriamente portò al maggior sviluppo del marxismo e alla grande diffusione delle opere di Marx (lo stesso Manifesto del 1848 iniziò a conoscere traduzioni e una diffusione di massa appunto dopo e grazie alla Comune; come ricorda Dommanget fino ad allora era sconosciuto persino ai dirigenti comunardi).
Notevole e acuta è invece la sintesi che Musto fa del dibattito tra Marx e Bakunin: anche qui contribuendo ad eliminare tutta una serie di luoghi comuni che vengono ripetuti da decenni (tipo quelli sullo “scontro di personalità”, la “rivalità rancorosa”, ecc.). Le ragioni politiche e programmatiche della rottura tra marxismo e anarchismo sono analizzate con grande chiarezza.

Il socialismo degli utopisti e quello di Marx

Di grande interesse è pure la quarta e ultima sezione del libro, dedicata a ricostruire la teoria politica di Marx, a partire dalla sua critica alle varie concezioni utopistiche del socialismo, evidenziando la differenza di fondo con il socialismo «scientifico» (ricordiamo che Marx stesso aveva precisato che con questa espressione andava inteso solo che si trattava di un socialismo contrapposto appunto a quello utopistico, senza pretese di comparire tra le scienze matematiche…). Peccato solo che, immaginiamo sempre per ragioni di spazio, non venga qui sviluppato adeguatamente lo studio sull’importanza che ebbe per Marx (e per tutto il movimento operaio) la Congiura degli Eguali di Babeuf (Musto vi dedica solo una paginetta, nel cap. 10). Appare nel libro come un semplice episodio, tra le fantasie di Cabet (Viaggio a Icaria) e quelle di Dézamy (Codice della Comunità). In una nota Musto chiarisce correttamente che Marx distingueva in realtà Babeuf (e Weitling) dagli utopisti, perché i primi identificavano la classe operaia (o la nascente classe operaia, nel caso di Babeuf) come soggetto del cambiamento: ma sottovaluta la conclusione del ragionamento di Marx: proprio perché costruito nel vivo delle lotte operaie, come partito di militanti, centralizzato, d’avanguardia, quello di Babeuf era stato (a detta di Marx) il «primo partito comunista realmente operante». Non a caso ad esso si ispirerà la Lega dei Comunisti (e, aggiungiamo noi, a questi due precedenti si ispirerà Lenin nella costruzione del Partito bolscevico).

Un libro da non perdere

I pochi limiti che ci sembra di aver individuato nel libro di Musto – è bene precisarlo – sono contenuti in un libro di grande valore. Un testo di cui raccomandiamo la lettura e anche lo studio a ogni militante marxista, insieme alle altre opere di Musto, oggi di gran lunga uno dei pochi studiosi seri e profondi dell’opera, scientifica e militante, di Marx.

Note

(1) G. Berti, «A volte purtroppo ritornano, la seconda carriera di Marx», Il Giornale, 17/01/19.
(2) Sull’importanza di questi studi, anche per meglio comprendere il legame (continuità e sviluppo innovativo) tra Marx, la successiva elaborazione di Trotsky (teoria-programma della rivoluzione permanente) e il Lenin che «riarma» il Partito bolscevico con le Tesi di aprile, ci permettiamo di rimandare al nostro: «Il programma e il partito che vinsero a Ottobre. Il filo rosso da Marx ai bolscevichi», Trotskismo oggi, n. 11, ottobre 2017.
(3) Segnaliamo che Musto è anche curatore, per le Edizioni Ets, 2008, di una interessante antologia di saggi di vari autori sui Grundrisse (cioè i Lineamenti fondamentali di critica dell’economia politica, scritti da Marx nel 1857-1858).

Categories
Reviews

Paula Rauhala, Das Argument

Diese intellektuelle Biografie beschäftigt sich mit einigen marxschen Frühschriften (wobei die Feuerbach-Thesen vernachlässigt werden), der Entstehung des Kapital und den politischen Aktivitäten in der Internationalen Arbeiter-Assoziation.

Musto, der an der York University in Kanada lehrt, hat bereits zuvor zu diesem Themenkomplex publiziert (Karl Marx, L’alienazione, 2010; Workers Unite! The International 150 Years Later, 2014; Der späte Marx. Eine intellektuelle Biografie der Jahre 1881 bis 1883, 2018).
Im ersten Teil des jetzigen Buchs geht es um die gesellschaftlichen Verhältnisse, die einen »Studenten aus einer jüdischen Familie in der deutschen Provinz« darauf vorbereiteten, »ein junger Revolutionär mit Kontakten zu den radikalsten Gruppierungen der französischen Hauptstadt« zu werden (32). In Paris machte sich Marx mit der Politischen Ökonomie vertraut.
Dies führt zum Thema des zweiten Teils, der Entstehung des marxschen Hauptwerks von den frühen Londoner Notizbüchern zu Beginn der 1850er Jahre bis zum letzten Manuskript von Band 2 des Kapitals (1881). Musto verknüpft Marx’ theoretisches Ringen mit dem Kampf gegen seine Gesundheitsprobleme. Die Geschichte, die so entsteht, ist interessant, und die theoretischen Probleme werden ausgewogen diskutiert.
Im Unterschied zu anderen Marx-Biografien unterstreicht Musto im dritten Teil die Bedeutung, die Marx’ politischen Aktivitäten und seinem Organisationstalent zukommen. Er zeigt, wie Marx dafür sorgte, dass verschiedenste Strömungen sich »in derselben Organisation auf ein Programm« einigten, »das von den Ansätzen, die sie zu Beginn vertreten hatten, stark abwich« (173). Die frühe Internationale war »bunt gemischt« (174). Britische Gewerkschaftsbewegung, französischer Mutualismus oder Anarchismus, Utopismus sowie Strömungen, die mit der sozialistischen Tradition nichts zu tun hatten, trafen dort auf den Kommunismus von Marx und seinen Verbündeten. Marx und Engels, die an der »Sektenbewegung« die »Elemente des Fortschritts« betonen für jene Frühphase, »in der das Proletariat sich noch nicht hinreichend entwickelt hat, um als Klasse zu handeln« hatte, wie sie rückblickend schreiben (1872, MEW 18, 32ff), gelang es, »das scheinbar Unvereinbare miteinander in Einklang zu bringen« (174).
Doch war bei diesem Sieg der kommunistischen Linie gegen den Mutualismus Marx’ energisches Vorgehen ebenso wichtig wie die Wirklichkeit der proletarischen Kämpfe, insbesondere der Streik. »Es waren wirkliche Männer und Frauen, die die kapitalistische Produktion zum Stocken brachten, um ihre Rechte und soziale Gerechtigkeit einzufordern, und die damit das Kräfteverhältnis in der Internationalen und – wichtiger noch – in der ganzen Gesellschaft veränderten« (190). Mehr noch als die theoretischen Debatten waren es diese Ereignisse, die die französischen Anführer der Internationalen von der Notwendigkeit überzeugten, »das Land und die Industrie zu vergesellschaften« (ebd.). Musto zeigt, dass es Marx in der Internationalen stets darum ging, eine gemeinsame Linie gegen die feindliche Klasse zu finden (194). »Die Sekte [dagegen] sucht ihre raison d’être und ihren point d’honneur nicht in dem, was sie mit der Klassenbewegung gemein hat, sondern in dem besondren Schibboleth, das sie von ihr unterscheidet.« (MEW 32, 569) – Eine Lehre, die angesichts der geschwächten internationalen linken Bewegung heute ernst genommen werden sollte.
Hinlänglich bekannt ist, was Musto am Briefwechsel mit Vera Sassulitsch aufzeigt, dass es nämlich zu Marx’ Lebzeiten noch möglich war, den in Diskussionen praktizierten Rückgriff auf Marx als autoritative Instanz zu hinterfragen. Sassulitsch schreibt, in der Debatte um die russische Dorfgemeinde werde oft gesagt, sie sei eine »archaische Form […], die die Geschichte […] zum Untergang verurteilt hat«; ferner behaupteten jene, die das prophezeien, sie seien »Ihre Schüler« (MEW 19, 572, Fn. 155). Marx antwortete hingegen, die »historische Unvermeidlichkeit« des Übergangs zur kapitalistischen Produktionsweise sei »ausdrücklich auf die Länder Westeuropas beschränkt« (MEW 19, 242). Eine sozialistische Entwicklung ausgehend von der obschtchina sei nicht auszuschließen. Musto unterstreicht damit, dass nach Marx die sozioökonomische Entwicklung keineswegs »eine feste Abfolge bereits definierter Stadien« durchlaufen musste. Stattdessen betont Marx »die Spezifizität historischer Verhältnisse und die Zentralität des menschlichen Eingreifens bei der Gestaltung der Realität und der Verwirklichung des Sozialismus« (248).
Warum noch eine Marx-Biografie? Warum nicht, wenn man es so wie dieses Buch schafft, Marx’ intellektuelle Entwicklung in ihren sozialen und politischen Kontexten unterhaltsam darzustellen und gleichzeitig Themen und Debatten hervorzuheben, die ihre Relevanz für die Gegenwart haben. In dieser Hinsicht ähnelt Mustos Biographie der von Sven-Eric Liedman. Beide zeigen im Unterschied etwa zu den Biografien von Jonathan Sperber und Gareth Stedman Jones (vgl. Klaus Webers Besprechung in Arg. 329, 646–660), wie grundwichtig Marx auch für heutige Kapitalismuskritik ist.