When Does Truth Not Matter? A Study of Marx and Materialism
Over on the "Why Marx Was Right" blog discussion at Bensonian.org, Albert Lee responds to Chapter 6 of Why Marx Was Right, which is Terry Eagleton's response to: "Marx was a materialist."
In the wake of the latest financial crisis of 2008 that brought the largest economies on earth to the brink of disaster and destroyed trillions of dollars in wealth worldwide, the public has been searching for answers in an environment of openness unprecedented in generations. Numerous public intellectuals have been re-thinking the dominance of the economic ideology and system of global capitalism. Literary critic Terry Eagleton has sought to revive the thought of Karl Marx as a counterweight to the prevailing economic order. What should we make of this man’s ideas, which have alternatively been lionized and demonized in myriad cultures for the past century? What are the consequences of bringing Marx’s work to bear on our current situation? This essay examines the popularly misunderstood materialism of Marx. Lee engages this specific idea of Marx and its implications through an examination of the relationship between ideology and practice, noting the ways in which his materialism — properly understood — is a brilliant and essential corrective to prevailing rationalist views of the human person, and yet expressing reservations about the violent assumptions underlying his views and consequences thereof. Finally, Lee suggests a fundamentally more materialist alternative to Marx’s violent ontology.
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