On an Activistic Form of Materialism and on the Class and Partisan Character of Science

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Author : Karl Korsch

Text :

Karl Korsch, 1931

1) There is little use in confronting the subjectivist doctrine of the decisive role of the individual in the historical process with another and equally abstract doctrine that speaks of the necessity of a given historical process. It is more useful to explore, as precisely as possible, the antagonistic relations that arise from the material conditions of production of a given economic form of society for the social groups participating in it.

2) Much light is thrown on history by countering every alleged necessity of a historical process with the following questions: a) necessary by the action of which classes? b) which modifications will be necessary in the action of the classes faced by the alleged historical necessity?

3) In the investigation of the antagonistic relations existing between the various classes and class fractions of an economic form of society, it is advisable to consider not only the material but also the ideological forms in which such antagonistic relations occur within the given economic form of society.

4) The content of a doctrine (theoretical system, any set of sentences and operational rules used for the statement and application of a theory or belief) cannot be clarified so long as it is not connected with the content of a given economic form of society and with the material interests of definite classes of that society.

5) There is no need to assume that the objectivity of a doctrine will be impaired by its methodical connection with the material interests and practical activities of definite classes.

6) Whenever a doctrine is not connected with the material interests of a definite class by its own proponents, one will often be justified in assuming that the proponents of such doctrine aim at defending by it the interests of the ruling classes of the society in question. In these cases the theoretical uncovering of the class function of a given doctrine is equivalent to a practical adoption of the cause of the classes oppressed in that society.

7) From this state of affairs, and from its theoretical recognition, springs the objective and subjective partizan nature of science.

From : Marxists.org.

Chronology :

March 01, 2021 : On an Activistic Form of Materialism and on the Class and Partisan Character of Science -- Added to https://www.RevoltLib.com.

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