Marxism, History and Socialist Consciousness

By David North

This polemical essay defends the foundations of scientific socialism against pseudo-Marxist conceptions influenced by the Frankfurt School and contemporary neo-utopianism. Among the topics covered are the significance of the philosophies of postmodernism and pragmatism, the implications of modern irrationalism's assault on the heritage of the Enlightenment, and the critical role of a historically-directed consciousness in the cognition and understanding of objective political reality. David North also offers perceptive evaluations of the works of such representative figures of neo-utopianism as Ernst Bloch, Hendrik de Man, and Wilhelm Reich.

Marxism, History and Socialist ConsciousnessThe WSWS serialized this work, which can also be purchased online from Mehring Books.
Parts 1-3
Parts 4-7
Parts 8-10
Parts 11-13
Parts 14-16
Parts 17-19
Parts 20-22


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The “Hegel renaissance” and other questions

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By Alexander Fangmann, November 5, 2009

Last year saw the publication of The Cambridge Companion to Hegel and Nineteenth-Century Philosophy. The volumes of the Cambridge Companion series contain collections of essays by scholars working on a particular philosopher or subject area.

Hegel, Marx, Engels, and the Origins of Marxism—Part One

A review of Marx After Marxism: The Philosophy of Karl Marx by Tom Rockmore

By David North, May 2, 2006

A two-part review of a recent attack on Marxism by Tom Rockmore, philosophy professor at the Duquesne University in Pennsylvania. This is part one.

Hegel, Marx, Engels, and the Origins of Marxism—Part Two

Science, religion and society: Richard Dawkins’s The God Delusion

By Joe Kay, March 15, 2007

In his new book, Dawkins has done us a service, if only in making more acceptable the general proposition that religion and science are at odds with each other, and that it is science that should win out.

A closer look at Kierkegaard

By Tom Carter, April 17, 2006

Søren Kierkegaard: A Biography, by Joachim Garff, translated by Bruce H. Kirmmse. 867 pages, Princeton University Press, $35

Spinoza reconsidered

Jonathan Israel, Radical Enlightenment: Philosophy and the Making of Modernity 1650-1750 Oxford University Press

By Ann Talbot, August 26, 2003Spinoza

I last reviewed Jonathan Israel’s Radical Enlightenment on this site in 2001 just after it came out in hardback. Why return to it now? The bookitself would justify another review since it is a large and rich work that delves deeply into early Enlightenment history and repays reading and rereading.

Spinoza revisited

By Ann Talbot, August 7, 2001

To talk favourably of the Enlightenment has become something of a taboo in recent years. Some writers deny its existence, while others present it as a reactionary development. It is therefore refreshing to find a serious treatment of the intellectual trends of the late 17th and early 18th century that is not afraid to identify the Enlightenment as a progressive movement, which is associated with the rise of rational thought and a belief in equality and democracy.

Investigating the foundations of equality

LockeGod, Locke and Equality by Jeremy Waldron

By Ann Talbot, June 16, 2003

Professor Jeremy Waldron’s latest book is an examination of the theory of equality put forward by the seventeenth century English philosopher John Locke. This is a subject that is highly relevant today as the widening social gulf between the super rich and the rest of the population increasingly undermines the political institutions that have been based on the maintenance of at least a measure of social and economic equality.

The post-modernist wonderland: Intellectual Impostures by Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont

By Stefan Steinberg, July 1, 2000

Intellectual Impostures should be read by all those who have an interest in modern ideological trends, in particular, the various somewhat nebulous schools of thought included under the hybrid term “postmodernism”.

An exchange with a reader on postmodernism

December 4, 2000

We received the following letter on the article “The post-modernist wonderland: Intellectual Impostures by Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont”

NietzscheOne hundred years since the death of Friedrich Nietzsche: a review of his ideas and influence—Part 1

By Stefan Steinberg, October 20, 2000

A three-part series examining the life, philosophy, and influence of German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.

Part 2 | Part 3

The Case of Martin Heidegger, Philosopher and Nazi

Part 1: The Record

By Alex Steiner, April 3, 2000

A three-part series on the life and work of twentieth century German philosopher Martin Heidegger.

The Case of Martin Heidegger, Philosopher and Nazi

Part 2: The Cover-up

The Case of Martin Heidegger, Philosopher and Nazi

Part 3: History, Philosophy and Mythology

A letter on "The Case of Martin Heidegger"

April 15, 2000

The following letter was received in response to the series "The Case of Martin Heidegger, Philosopher and Nazi," which appeared on the WSWS April 3-5.

A postmodernist attack on science

The End of Science, Facing the Limits of Knowledge in the Twilight of the Scientific Age by John Horgan, Little Brown and Company, 1996

By Chris Talbot, May 18, 1999

John Horgan is a science journalist who writes for Scientific American. His book's main significance is Horgan's attack on science from a postmodernist standpoint. It is symptomatic of an anti-science trend which has emerged in the last decade or so.