battles for dialectics

Image: Alexey Demidov


Beyond appearance, the movement of life is real and biased

Where do you want Leblon, I'm Pernambuco
Where you want yes and no, maybe
And where you see it, I see no reason
Where you want the act, I am the spirit
Where you want a home, revolution
I wanted to want you to love love
Build us a sweet prison
Finding the fairest fit
All meter and rhyme and never pain
But life is real and biased

(Caetano Veloso)

1. Prolegomena

The way in which the Marxian legacy has been assimilated in some contexts has generated – directly or indirectly – a phenomenon that, on the one hand, depreciates Marx’s dense work and, on the other hand, as a consequence, weakens its potential as an interpretation device. and intervention in reality. In this sense, what has happened, for example, how Marx conceived the method is paradigmatic, namely in research manuals and in certain academic works. 

Let's start by going over the basics. The approach to society from the Marxian perspective is, above all, a materialist approach, but it is not derived from a vulgar, mechanical and static materialism.[1]. For this very reason, and simultaneously, the historical-materialist approach to reality is a dialectical approach. Being a materialist approach to history, historical materialism constitutes a scientific methodology of knowledge, seeking to explain the phenomena and processes of social life, considering that its ontological configuration is marked by interrelationships, interdependencies and contradictions (with the sense of insight that art provides, Caetano Veloso versed about this configuration in music want). The aim is to reveal the sources of social processes in their internal objective dialectical paradoxes.

It is a method that requires the analysis of reality in an integrated way, which considers the global development of history, which seeks the specificities of each stage of it and which seeks to place social processes in determined historical contexts. This means saying, for example, that it is not – and could not be – a closed method on itself. Nor, obviously, is it a method that is operationalized in research processes, dispensing with empirical anchorage, despite its immersion in abstraction. Therefore, it is not characterized as a totality of pensée resulting from mere movements of abstraction, that is, from a thought that builds concepts and categories unfolding and sliding only on itself.

What it is about is a method that makes concrete analyzes of concrete situations, knowing that the search for the concrete means the constitution of categories that allow understanding as relationships are structured in the situations in focus, understood by this as both the explanation of the patterns that govern interactions and the process through which relations and structural patterns are configured and metamorphosed in social practice. In other words, what lies behind this understanding is Marx's thesis, contained in the 'Critique of Political Economy', according to which the concrete is concrete because it is the synthesis of multiple determinations, that is, the unity of the diverse.

Thus, if it is true that analyzes of a given phenomenon must start from real social processes, this starting point will reappear in thought as a result, as a synthesis. Methodologically, then, it means an effort to elevate the particular to the general in which the partial relations (that is, particulars) are circumscribed in networks of relations and are specified and determined in such a way that the resulting synthesis does not emerge as a confused amalgamation. and indeterminate, but as a hierarchical and articulated set of relationships. This articulated set of relationships is only apprehended through the production of concepts and categories that uncover the forms of connection between the parts of the set – understood as totalization – and the dynamics of its movement. Moreover, the double determination of the historical-dialectical method cannot be disregarded, as investigation e exposure, with reference to the form of manifestation of the dialectic in The capital, where exposure as a method designates the way in which the object – duly apprehended and analyzed – unfolds into its own articulations, and how thought develops them into their corresponding conceptual determinations. That is to say, the method of exposition in The capital means the way of critical exposition of the categories of political economy, the form of development of the concept of capital from the value, constant in the commodity, insofar as it is the basic category of capitalist production that contains the “germ” of the more complex categories[2].

It is necessary to point out, however, that certain so-called “Marxist” perspectives have incurred an immensity of errors regarding the historical-dialectical method, either by conceiving Marxism as a kind of entelechy, or by superficial understandings about it, or for any other reason. . One of the consequences of this is the disregard, by the agents of these perspectives, of the need to apply the dialectic on themselves, that is, to submit their authorial postures and what they write to historical-dialectical scrutiny. It is not unusual for them to delve into objectification. It is worth remembering then the harsh criticism of Georg Lukács, in History and Class Consciousness, to this: “the dialectical method, at the same time that it rips the veil of eternity of the categories, must also rip its veil of objectification to open the way of knowledge of reality”[3].

It is almost unnecessary to repeat that Lukács made successive self-criticisms in relation to HCC, and I only repeat that fact here because, sometimes, it is necessary to reiterate the obvious, especially when the issue in question, being close to ideology, tends to be immersed in it. However, if there is something that was preserved in Lukács's self-criticisms, this something concerns the sphere of method in Marxism, which is the inducing sphere of the assertion contained in the quotation made in the previous paragraph: applying the dialectical method to the dialectic's own territory. It is not something else that we find in HCC's 1967 preface, when he talks about the serious marxistsand refers to what he calls orthodox Marxism, whose significance refers to the originality of Marxian thought and the need to ensure its critical-creative development, that is, the renaissance of marxism, according to your words.  

In this sense, Lukács rejects any possibility of thinking/doing Marxist analyzes tied to dogmas and “absolute indisputable truths” at the investigative level. He draws attention to the fact that the Marxian approach is a tour de force based on a research method, and not on discourses, theories or “universal laws”. Thus, the materialist-dialectic critique is, par excellence, a revolutionary critique: it is in its nature, as a movement, to confront/create a rupture with established conceptions (whatever they may be) and to transform the human being.

Orthodoxy, therefore, in the sense used by Lukács, has nothing to do with dogmatic Marxist vulgarity.[4], so common in intolerant postures and superficial approaches (the arrogance of ignorance shaped by pseudo-knowledge). Fundamentally, what background lukacsiano highlights is the issue of method. He is clear about this: “orthodox Marxism does not mean […] an uncritical adherence to the results of Marx's research, it does not mean a 'faith' in one or another thesis nor the exegesis of a 'sacred' book. Orthodoxy in matters of Marxism, on the contrary, refers exclusively to method.[5]

2 – Historical-dialectical method and science

In a relatively recent work, the historian of science Helena Sheehan (Dublin City University) pointed out something about the relationship between Marxism and science around which studies with a credible seal converge in a reasonably broad agreement – ​​of course, right-wing fools do not participate in this convergence. , leftist sectarianism and neither academicism which is limited only to reading the ears of books or searching on Google. Announcing the results of his investigation, Sheehan states that, after historical marches and counter-marches, central concepts of Marxism concerning science have persisted[6]. It is inferred that this occurs because Marxism, as a method, is structured around analytical devices such as: explaining the world in terms of material/natural (non-supernatural) forces; to be dialectical, in the procedural sense; be relational, taking into account what happens inside a web of interactive forces in a given context; to be rationalistic without being philosophically idealistic; combine logical articulation and empirical foundation.

Possibly, an explanatory hypothesis should be considered for the fact that, despite the mishaps faced by Marx's legacy in recent decades, his influence in the scientific universe remains. This is an explanatory hypothesis based on two variables, that is, it would refer, on the one hand, to the centrality of the method in Marx's work and, on the other hand, it would result from a thesis prevailing that polarized attention in a controversial debate among Marxists in the second half of the last century, namely, the distinction, in the Marxian legacy, between science and philosophy, referring the issue to the scope of ideology and to the need, in the production of knowledge, to avoid deviations and biases ideological. Apparently, these are two conflicting variables, insofar as the first, where we find Lukács, is inscribed in the universe of the so-called ontological conception of Marxism, while the second, represented mainly by Althusser, does not subscribe to such a perspective.

By the way, once asked about the distinction he made between science and philosophy in Marxism, Althusser replied:

It can be said [...] that, in the history of the Marxist movement, the suppression of this distinction expresses a shift now to the right, now to the left. The deviation to the right suppresses philosophy: it remains only in science (positivism). The left deviation suppresses science: philosophy remains (subjectivism). There are exceptions (cases of “turnaround”), but they “confirm” the rule. The great leaders of the Marxist labor movement […] have always defended the distinction (science, philosophy) not only for theoretical reasons, but also for vital political reasons. Think of Lenin's Materialism and Empiricism, it's from Childhood Illness [Leftism, Childhood Disease of Communism]. Your reasons are lapidary[7].

Once again, the obvious: it doesn't take a lot of ink to demonstrate that this Althusserian understanding is in line with his conception of 'scientific continents'. Let's understand each other.

According to Althusser, Marx founded a new science: the science of history. He pointed out that the sciences we know are installed in some great 'continents', and before the author of The capital two continents were open to scientific knowledge: the Mathematics continent and the Physics continent. The first by the work of the Greeks (in the footsteps of Thales of Miletus) and the second by gait from Galileo. With Marx, the continent-History would have been opened to scientific knowledge.

I refrain from using empirical-analytical elements here regarding the test of proof or refutation of the aforementioned hypothesis. I did not mention it in the sense of seeking to submit it to a verification test, but rather as an exercise of analytical curiosity in order to think of some (provisional) explanation for the objective fact described by Sheehan, as a result of the result of his investigation, that is, the persistence of the influence of the Marxian legacy in the scientific universe.

In any case, it should be noted that, in the case of the second variable of the hypothesis, the contribution of the diversity of works that, in recent times, has come to light reinterpreting Althusser – as well as the study of his unpublished writings – offers bases that allow the your appreciation[8]. On the other hand, these new readings of Althusse's work and the new productions regarding his contribution, in a way, "complexify" the traditional perspective that catalogs him as a diffuser of a scientism riddled with positivism, in line with scientistic and positivist Marxism. of the theoreticians of the II International (Kautsky, Plekhanov, Bernestein). In this respect, that is, in the insurgency against the assertive criticisms directed at Althusser, we find in new investigations about him approaches that emphasize that he was the object of questions that ignored the content of his thought, truncating it to the point of making it unrecognizable . Thus, it is severely emphasized that, in the case of the English historian Edward Thompson, for example, “one of the most caricatured and grotesque criticisms of Althusser’s theory” was produced.[9]

The quest to equate the discussion regarding the “ontological tendency” and the “scientific tendency” in Marxism is something of “high caliber”, and any attempt that does not pay due attention to it will only be a superficial manifestation of varnished presumption. It is a question that requires, among many other things, to take into account variables such as the comprehensive program of the so-called Austro-Marxist school[10] and also to consider that there are problems that probably reach at equivalent levels both the “ontological tendency” and the “scientific tendency”, as it happens, as a reflection of zhdanovism[11], in the case of Lyssenko[12]. Furthermore, conceiving the issue as feeding a dichotomy does not seem to be theoretically relevant.

The theme is not my central focus here, and therefore, like the hypothesis I suggested earlier regarding the persistence of the influence of the Marxian legacy in the scientific universe, I will not deal with it. What interests me fundamentally is, going beyond caricatured and lacking-density approaches, highlighting the specificity of the relationship between the historical-dialectical method and science, taking into account what this relationship implies and the devices that configure it. These caricatured and lacking-density approaches – which have, contradictorily, “oaths of allegiance” to the dialectic and vague speeches as a result of a supposed (and imprecise) relationship between the abstract and the concrete – are responsible, in truth, as Henri Lefebvre emphasized, by the eclipse of the historical-dialectical method.

Like Lefebvre himself, let us be clear and direct in this regard: the caricatured and lacking-density approaches are responsible for transforming the historical-dialectical method into its opposite: from a critic by essence it leads to dogmatism, closed in on itself and repeating a tautological phraseology . Presented as a panacea, it atrophies the movement and promotes a dialectic without antithesis. The corollary of this extreme paradox can be observed, for example, in certain approaches carried out in the human sciences in Brazil, where the following is verified, among other “inconsistencies”,: i) the historical-dialectical method is referred to for undifferentiated use in different types of study, even those that are not of an empirical nature, such as the so-called bibliographic reviews; ii) the method (as a path, analytical paradigm) is confused with the investigation techniques, which are even discarded as specific devices of investigative operationalization; iii) the critical analysis of the dialectical antithesis regarding preferred theories and authors is renounced, and a laudatory posture is then assumed, making only the apology of their perspectives. These are approaches that, on the one hand, “degrade” the historical-dialectical method and, on the other hand, show its deficit of dialectical logic (at most, they are limited to the tautologies of formal logic) and their capitulation from the point of view of the analytical problematization of the studied phenomenon, as a consequence of letting themselves be captured by some ideology.  

In this way, we can affirm, with Lefebvre, that “the dialectical word, that is, the dialectical thought reduced to a word, becomes the support of an ideology that, precisely, de facto liquidates 'negativity' [as an antithesis] and the critical reflection”[13]. This is because, accepting Marx's own definition of ideology, it is a matter of understanding that it is not just an incomplete and mutilated representation of the "real", but is, first and foremost, a representation of that real that inverts it, places it upside down and then hides and disguises its contradictions.

Hence, it is inferred that the distinction, as a reciprocal relative autonomy, between the ideo-political and scientific spheres is pertinent. As Poulantzas emphasized[14], ideologies are, ultimately, related to human experience, without limiting themselves to a problematic of the subject-consciousness. Ideology, constitutively incorporated into the functioning of the social imaginary, carries distortions. Its social function is not to offer agents a credible knowledge of the social structure, but simply to insert them into the practical activities that sustain it. Precisely because of its determination by structure, the social whole remains opaque to agents. Ideology, contrary to the scientific notion of system, does not admit contradiction within itself. In other words, the function of ideology, contrary to science, is to hide real contradictions and build a 'relatively cohesive discourse' to the experience of people on an imaginary plane.

By ignoring this reality, the caricatured approaches to the dialectic are swallowed up by ideology, with this intriguingly occurring, many times, at the same time that they make “emancipatory” proclamations and in favor of “social transformation”, and perhaps, because they do not realize that they are absolutely wrapped in ideological veils, do not realize that not even their speeches are delivered from the founding scope and with its own dynamics, but rather, they are expressions of instituted (either because of the type of sociability they propagate and their agents practice, or as a hegemonic cognitive order, or because they are situated in dominant and “unquestionable” theoretical approaches, or because they vocalize prevailing social and cultural views, etc.).

Oblivious to these issues – or perhaps, in some cases, not so much – the caricatured discourses continue to repeat commonplaces about Marxism. This fact is a problem. In this regard, I agree with João Bernardo in his assertion that the problem with commonplaces is that, because they are repeated so much, they end up seeming obvious, when, on the contrary, they hide what would need to be analyzed or demonstrated.[15], which is what happens with certain assimilations of the dialectic to Marxism. Incidentally, one of the strong reasons for the historical stumbles of Marxism stems from the posture of the caricatured agents who speak in its name. They ignore the fronts where today's society develops[16] and build tomorrow's.  mutatis mutandis, once again, I follow Bernardo: indifferent to the real that pulsates concretely, many of them are refugees in university departments even, unlike the speeches they pronounce, reproducing the modus operandi and the modus vivendi characteristic of capitalism (through the practice of competitive sociability around vanities, positions, ascension, prestige, detracting from those who think differently, behind-the-scenes marked card games[17], etc.); for the rest, talking to each other, and, as happens in a hall of mirrors, seeing only themselves, they think they see everything, and their own image constitutes for them the proof of what they say[18]

Now, there is only dialectical analysis if there is movement, and there is only movement if there is a historical process, that is, continuous history, be it the history of a natural entity (nature), of the human being (social) or of knowledge. It is contradictory, therefore, that self-proclaimed Marxist and dialectical approaches “paralyze” history, with their spokespersons not admitting questions regarding theories and authors that they have as references, nor willing to discuss new perspectives on the subject. .  

Most likely (making an analogy with Marx's response book to Proudhon[19]), The misery of the dialectic widespread by caricatured approaches results, in part, from its deficit in logic, or rather, in logic as an exercise in dialectical thinking. As indicated in the following diagram, it is central to the formal logic to identity, since its general abstraction around the law of non-contradiction it is conditioned to the idea that each thing is equal to itself (A = A). The same is also true for the law of excluded middle, given that one is conceived as being only true or false, with no third alternative. Going further, from dialectical logic, “dual and more concrete relationships depend, such as reciprocity, complementarity, double determination and also recurrence, symmetry, repetition, difference, etc”[20].

As a result of the above, the materialist analysis anchored in dialectical logic requires a way of proceeding that, for example, allows highlighting the contradictions and their hierarchy, problematizing them in two dimensions: as essential contradictions and as subordinate contradictions. In this way, the historical-dialectical method reveals the meaning and implications of contradictions entangled in reality and allows “unveiling ideologies as such, including those that meddle in logic and dialectics”[21].

By way of conclusion: Historical-dialectical method and research techniques

Science produces knowledge of objects whose existence is located in a certain region of ideology. In this way, scientific work represents the transformation of an ideological generality into a scientific perspective. For this understanding, in the path of the theoretical journey that I have been following here, the attempts to attribute to science a status equivalent to that of ideology becomes a nonsense  (unless, due to positivist bias, science is transformed into scientism or else, due to ideological manipulation, there are situations like the one sponsored by Stalinism with the Lysenko case). After all, if science is a process of transformation, ideology (of any kind), when the unconscious is formed and fixed in it, is a process of repetition.[22].

In the historical-dialectical method, the materialism represents the theory aspect and the dialectic, on the other hand, refers to the methodological aspect. Similarly, materialism expresses the principles of the conditions of practice that produce knowledge, namely: i) the prevalence of the real over its knowledge, that is, the prevalence of the to be sobre or your thought; ii) the distinction between the part (the being) and your knowledge, that is to say, it is a distinction of reality correlative of a epistemological correspondence between knowledge and its object.

Obviously, scientific knowledge is not born and developed in a closed context that would free it from conditioning (not even in the physical-natural sciences). The influences on him are diverse, like political and social influences, which are more visible, but there are others that are less visible, often going unnoticed, and which, however, become even more pernicious: they are the ideological influences. Given this, the question of objectivity in research processes arises. Objectivity, of course, is something different from neutrality, just as rigor is different from rigidity. In order for the knowledge produced to have a seal of reliability, properly equating the relationship between method and investigation techniques is a requirement.

That said, it is important not to confuse the method of approaching a phenomenon with the specific techniques of investigation and scrutiny to be used in the study of that phenomenon. The method, as a way, provides the conceptual guidelines for – in the case of the historical-dialectical method – to place the object of study, to make a concrete examination of its concrete situation and the appreciation of the problem that gave rise to the investigation. The techniques make it possible to obtain empirical material and its treatment, to provide bases for the analysis that seeks an answer to the problem under study, this analysis being, of course, guided by the conceptual framework of the method. Interviews, questionnaires, observation, content analysis, thematic analysis, statistical procedures, etc., obviously belong to the field of research techniques. Wanting to make the method, by itself, a specific empirical operationalization technique is, to say the least, nonsense.

For the rest, let us always bear in mind that the operationalization of the historical-dialectical method constitutes an analysis of the movement, being marks of continuity and discontinuity, the appearance and clash of contradictions, “qualitative leaps” and overcoming. As Lefebvre rightly highlighted, the practical procedures of the historical-dialectical method can be synthesized in a set of steps, some examples of which are the following: i) going to the phenomenon of study without useless analogies, which means carrying out an objective analysis; ii) seek to apprehend the set of internal relations of the phenomenon, its aspects, development and movement; iii) seek to apprehend the contradictory moments and aspects of the phenomenon, its unity and contradictory completeness; iv) not forgetting that any phenomenon is linked to other phenomena; v) conspire the transitions through which the phenomena pass; vi) bear in mind the implications of the Hegelian motto according to which the magnitude of the loss of a spirit is measured according to what satisfies it, with this meaning assuming the need to seek to deepen knowledge as an imperative; vii) in the movement of thought itself, do not forget that there are times when it is necessary to modify its form, overcome perspectives and re-elaborate its contents.

Like a reasonable group of interpreters of the Marxian legacy, I am convinced that it is in the direction indicated in the present text that the historical-dialectical method contributes to advancing what was outlined by Marx in his eleventh thesis on Feurbach: knowing the world and transform it. I believe, as do others, that, in the transition between ideology and science, there is the same and contradictory movement through which both history and knowledge are produced. Hence it can be said that both knowledge is its history and history can only be apprehended through the concepts that systematize it.

It should not be overlooked that the 'social process' disseminates signs that, when transmuted into ideology, point out the contours of the constituents of life in society and its phenomena. However, understanding the historical process requires objective and autonomous theoretical-intellectual production. Only a degraded dialectic, which paralyzes history and rejects contradiction (the misery of dialectics), can deny this fact and commit such an absurd error. After all, it is a dialectic that makes a profession of faith around ideas and concepts in a similar way to Ulysses when tying himself around a mast to avoid the persuasion of the sirens' song. In practice, its agents seem to be “dialects” who refuse the historical-dialectical method, as they behave as if the concepts of theories and preferred authors were “immutable truths”, essences always present in the void of the lack of analytical imagination. They ignore the implications arising from the fact that concepts and categories have a movement and are the result of a socio-historical construction.

As Michael Löwy pointed out[23], with the 'lookout allegory' of his differential sociology of knowledge, science has a degree of relative autonomy and a set of principles that are common to all scientific areas. Some of these principles are, for example: i) the intention-to-truth, the pursuit of knowledge as an objective in itself, the refusal to replace this objective with extra-scientific purposes; ii) freedom of discussion and criticism, permanent and public confrontation of scientific theses and interpretations. Without this condition, of course, science – in whatever area it may be – will be condemned to obscurantism or unidimensionality, as occurred in the former Soviet Union, under the aegis of Stalinism, or in the United States, under the dark times of Marcatism.

Moreover, other principles are proper to each science. “They establish, in relation to a specific object, the procedures that allow the gathering, control, analysis and interpretation of empirical data. These principles are objective and must be respected by all scientists, whatever their social worldview.”[24]. In this sense, a professional historian, regardless of his class position and his socio-political point of view, knows that he must be able to prove his assertions by a certain type of documents, that an isolated testimony is insufficient and must be confronted with others, that he must respect chronology in the study of causality, etc.  

Finally, in the case of the social researcher who uses the historical-dialectical methodological approach, theoretical-conceptual qualification is required in order not to fall into the sycophantic cage of the promoters of dialectic misery. He and she will be all the more prepared to exercise their craft the more they understand the degree of relative autonomy of science and understand Diversity of concepts, categories and historically systematized approaches. Thus, he and she will be able, going beyond the mystification of ideologies, to perceive, as Marx stated[25], that criticism has plucked the imaginary flowers from the shackles, not so that the human being can continue to bear them without fantasies or consolation, but so that he can throw off the shackles, and the living flower will sprout. The flower of wanting. So that the future does not take too long. But without ever forgetting that the movement of life is real and biased.

*Ivonaldo Leite is professor of sociology of education at the Federal University of Paraíba (UFPB).


[1] As Marx himself said, when dealing with the subject in the discussion about Feubarch: “the main defect of all materialism hitherto (including that of Feuerbach) consists in that the object, reality, sensibility, is apprehended only under the form of object or intuition, but not like with sensitive human activityas praxis, not subjectively. Here's why the look active, as opposed to materialism, was developed by idealism, but only abstractly, for idealism naturally ignores real, sensible activity as such” [emphasis added]. Cf. MARX, Carl. Theses on Feuerbach, in MARX, Karl & ENGELS, Friedrich. the german ideology. São Paulo: Hucitec, 1996, p. 125. Henri Lefebvre dealt with the subject, and pointed out, from the point of view of the relationship between Marxism and knowledge, the need to recognize some properties of idealism, stating that, “in the history of knowledge, one cannot think of rejecting all the idealist systems, simply because we classify philosophies into two categories – materialism and idealism – and affirm that only materialism responds to the demands of scientific knowledge!”. Cf. LEFEBVRE, Henri. Formal logic and dialectical logic. Madrid: Siglo XXI, 1970, p. 68.

[2] The reliability of sources around The capital is always up for debate. Having said that, insofar as I made an inference about it, being, moreover, its central method in the present text, it is appropriate to make a note here, pointing out my reference options for The capital and their motivations. Since his youth, he has worked with the systematic study of this masterful work of Marx, in Brazil and abroad. Well then, regarding the “question of reliability” of the sources, allow me to say the following: The capital It consists of three volumes, the first being edited while Marx was alive and the other two (posthumous) coming to light as a result of the work of organizing the manuscripts left by him. The translation of the book first into French was revised by Marx himself, as he went so far as to say, upon recognizing the pertinence of the translation, that it had a scientific value independent of the original and that it should be consulted even by readers familiar with the German language. Thus, there are no doubts about the reliability of this translation. The second and third books were edited by Engels, who was responsible for selecting and systematizing the innumerable manuscripts left behind by Marx. More contemporaneously, the historian Maximilien Rubel carried out a new edition of the two books, but, in general, what he did was to exclude manuscripts appearing in Engels' edition (including others). There is therefore no reason why Engels' edition should not be regarded as the basis for the systematic study of The capital, considering, of course, for comparison purposes, also Rubel's edition. In Portuguese, on both sides of the Atlantic, there is more than one translation of The capital. For my part, I have opted to use the pioneering translation of the Brazilian economist Reginaldo Lemos de Sant'Anna, carried out entirely from German, and also including the translation of the volumes relating to the so-called Book IV, that is, The Theories of Surplus Value. It was initially published by Civilização Brasileira publishing house, being later published by other stamps.  

 [3] LUKÁCKS, Georg. History and class consciousness. Translation: Telmo Costa. Porto: Escorpião Publications, 1974, p. 30. 

 [4] In a significant proportion, the aforementioned categorization will be used, from the point of view of theoretical premises, taking into account Alain Badiou's focus on what he called 'vulgar variants of Marxism' and 'totalitarian Marxism', responsible for subjecting the concept of science to a strictly schematic treatment. Cf. BADIOU, Alain. L'aventure de la philosophie française: after the years 1960. Paris: La Fabrique Editions, 2012.

 [5] LUKÁCKS, Georg, op. cit., p. 368.

 [6] See SHEEHAN, Helena. Marxism and philosophy of science: a critical history. London: Verse, 2018.

 [7] Cf. ALTHUSSER, Louis. Positions – 2. Rio de Janeiro: Graal, 1980, p. 156.

 [8] The new approaches to Althusser have shown hitherto unknown formulations and categories of his, such as those elaborated around the so-called encounter materialism, so that a typology has even been produced on the phases of his thought, discussing whether there is continuity or ruptures between them. See, for example, MOTA, Luiz Eduardo. In favor of Althusser: revolution and rupture in marxist theory. São Paulo: Countercurrent, 2021; SOUSA, Lucília M. Abrahão & GARCIA, Dantielle Assumpção. Read Althusser today. São Carlos: EDUFSCar, 2017; NESBITT, Nick. Althusser today: in defense of theoreticism (Roundtable with Alain Badiou and Bruno Bosteels). Princeton: Princeton University, 2016. 

[9] Cf. MOTA, Luiz Eduardo, op. cit., p. 4.

 [10] Marxist school of thought that developed in Vienna between the end of the 1930th century and the beginning of the XNUMXs, but mainly in the period before the First World War. Among its most prominent representatives are Max Adler, Otto Bauer, Rudolf Hilferding and Karl Renner. The main theoretical and conceptual bases of Austro-Marxism were formulated by Max Adler, who related Marxism to a system of sociological knowledge as a science of social life and causal development.

 [11] Doctrine developed by Andrei Zhdanov, general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and which, in an extremely mistaken way (but serving the interests of Stalinism), established an absolute, mechanical and static class outline in all spheres of society. social and cultural life. Hence, a vulgar and dogmatic state orientation was established, defending, dichotomously, the opposition between proletarian music and bourgeois music, proletarian poetry and bourgeois poetry, proletarian humor and bourgeois humor, proletarian biology and bourgeois biology, etc. It is an immeasurable nonsense covered by the fraudulent interests of Stalinism, which attacks the Marxian legacy, but which made history, and it is still possible to find remnants of it today, for example, in the context of the debate on education in some Latin American contexts. An emphatic critical analysis of an unwarranted size was carried out by Michael Löwy in Paysages de la verité: introduction to une sociologie critique de la connaissance (Paris: Economica, 1985).

 [12] The Lysenko case concerns an episode that took place in the then Soviet Union with the agronomist Trofim Lysenko as its central character. It was a paradigmatic case of political and ideological manipulation, with him defending a “theory” that denied the biology of heredity based on Mendel's laws, which was developed with the discovery of its genetic bases and linking to Darwin's theory of evolution. In this way, genetics was consolidated in the scientific world, in the second half of the 1920th century and especially in the 1960th century. At the height of the XNUMXs, however, in the Soviet Union, research work inspired by this perspective was prohibited, under the allegation that it represented a bourgeois and capitalist science, because it came from the West. As a consequence, scientists who disagreed with this understanding were accused of being “Trotskyist saboteurs” and traitors (who “crawl on their knees” in the face of foreign reactionary ideas), being persecuted and arrested. At the head of this crusade, with Stalin's support, was Lysenko (based on the ideas of the Russian arborist Ivan Michurin). However, the supposed “theory” was far from scientific and caused great damage to biological investigations in the Soviet Union. In the XNUMXs, the country abandoned the Lysenko doctrine and returned to conventional genetics.

 [13] – LEFEBVRE, Henri, op. cit. P. 19.

 [14] POULANTZAS, Nicos. Pouvoir politique et social classes. Paris: Francois Maspero, 1968.

 [15] BERNARDO, John. Saint Marx, pray for us. 3) Amen, in Word of mouth, 18/06/2020. Available in:

 [16] The caricatured approaches to Marxism are very far, therefore, from realizing basic dimensions of the 'new spirit of capitalism'. Regarding this, see BOLTANSKI, Luc & CHIAPELLO, Ève. Le nouvel esprit du capitalisme. Paris: Galimard, 1999 [mainly the third part: Le nouvel esprit du capitalisme et les nouvelles fromes de la critique, p. 425-576].

 [17] Such “adventures”, to a large extent, constitute the scope of the plot of interests in the search for the accumulation of power and upward mobility in the 'academic market', as well analyzed by Bourdieu when dealing with the scientific field. See BOURDIEU, Pierre. Le champ scientifique. Actes de la Recherche en Sciences Sociales, n. 2/3, 1976.  

 [18] BERNARDO, João, op. cit.

 [19] I refer to the book The misery of philosophy, by Marx, in response to Proudhon, based on the work Philosophy of misery.

 [20] LEFEBVRE, Henri, op. cit., p. 30.

 [21] Idem., p. 33.

 [22] Cf. BADIOU, Alain, op. cit. 

 [23] LÖWY, Michael, op. cit.

 [24] Idem, p. 215.

 [25] MARX, Carl. Introduction to the critique of the philosophy of Hegel's right. Buenos Aires: Claridad, 1968.

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