Other People’s Ideas

Socrates – Question everything

Plato – The Platonic world

Aristotle – All knowledge comes from the senses

Xenophon – “From the beginning the gods did not reveal all things to us, yet through searching we may learn and know things better. But as for certain Truth, no man has known it, nor shall he know it, neither of the Gods nor yet of all the things of which I speak. For even if by chance he were to utter the Final Truth he himself would not know it, for all is but a woven web of guesses.”

Francis Bacon (1561-1627) – Lord Chancellor under James I; His biography of Henry VIII insisted on a causal explanation of history rather than a divine one

Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) – The Social Contract; The Leviathan; supported the absolute power of monarchs

John Locke (1632-1704) – ‘tabula rasa’; Treatise on Civil Government (1690); Essay Concerning Human Understanding – argument against innate ideas was taken as a blow against religion

Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677) – Opposed dualism

Isaac Newton (1642-1727) – theory of gravity

Voltaire, [François-Marie Arouet] (1694-1778) – Separation of church & state

David Hume (1711-76) – A Treatise of Human Nature; scepticism: he saw the human mind divided between impressions& ideas. Our ideas represent, resemble, or are caused by external objects. We have no way of standing outside our perceptions, & so we are unable to carry out a comparison between them & the real object which they are supposed to represent.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)
“The first man who, having fenced in a piece of land, said “This is mine,” and found people naïve enough to believe him, that man was the true founder of civil society. From how many crimes, wars, and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not any one have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows: Beware of listening to this impostor; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody.”  (Discourse on Inequality, 1754)

“Man is or was born free, and he is everywhere in chains. One man thinks himself the master of others, but remains more of a slave than they.” (opening lines of On the Social Contract)

Denis Diderot (1713-1784) – co-founder of the first encyclopedia

Claude Adrien Helvétius (1715-71) – denied the existence of free-will

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) – Critique of Pure Reason

Tom Paine (1737-1809) – Common Sense; The Rights of Man

Hegel (1770-1831) – Science of Logic; Elements of the Philosophy of Right; History of Philosophy; the dialectic

Simondi de Sismondi (1773-1842) – ‘Father’ of underconsumption theory (‘general gluts’)

John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) – Utilitarianism

Max Stirner (1806-1856) – The Ego & It’s Own

Proudhon (1803-1865) – Anarchist; The Philosophy of Poverty 1840; “Property is theft”

Blanqui (1805-1881) – Use of force by a small group

Mikhail Bakunin (1814-1876) – collective/social anarchist

Karl Marx (1818-1883)

Engels (1820-1895)

Kropotkin (1842-1921) – Anarcho-communist; Mutual Aid

Antonio Labriola (1843-1904) – Argued Marxism was to be understood as a “critical theory“, in the sense that it sees no truths as everlasting; Essays on the Materialistic Conception of History (1896)

Eduard Bernstein (1850-1932) – Reformist

Eugene Bohm-Bawerk (1851-1914) – Austrian School economist. Karl Marx and the Close of his System (1896)

Karl Kautsky (1854-1938) – Social Democrat

Eugene Debs (1855-1926) – Socialist Party of America

Georgi Plekhanov (1856-1918) – Critical of Lenin as didn’t believe Russia could skip capitalism & go straight to communism; “Marxism is a complete, integral world outlook, cast from a single sheet of steel”.

Herman Gorter (1864-1927) – The World Revolution (1923)

Mikhail Tugan-Baronovsky (1865-1919) – No limit to capitalism as long as proper relationship between Dept I & II

Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924)

Rosa Luxemburg (1871-1919)

Martov (1873-1923) – Leader of the Mensheviks

Alexander Bogdanov (1873-1928) – Bolshevik until expelled in 1909; Empirio-Monism (1904-06)

Anton Pannekoek (1873-1960) – Council Communist

Otto Rühle (1874-1943) – Anti-Bolshevik; The Revolution is Not a Party Affair (1920)

Rudolf Hilferding (1877-1941) – Finance Capital (1910)

Josef Stalin (1879-1953) –  Foundations of Leninism (1924); Dialectical & Historical Materialism

Trotsky (1879-1940)

Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

Ludwig Von Mises (1881-1973) – Right-wing libertarian of the Austrian School who thinks gold should be the basis of money; Socialism (1922); Human Action: A Treatise on Economics (1949)

Sylvia Pankhurst (1882-1960) – Communism and its Tactics

Grigory Zinoviev (1883-1936) – Bolshevik & leader of the Communist International, executed by Stalin

John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) – The General Theory of Employment, Interest & Money (1936)

Georg Lukács (1885-1971) – History & Class Consciousness (1923), Lenin (1924)
“The workers’ council spells the political & economic defeat of reification.”
“The Soviet [Commune] system always establishes the indivisible unity of economics & politics, by relating the concrete existence of men – their immediate daily interests, etc. – to the essential questions of society as a whole”
“the unions tend to take on the task of atomising & depoliticising the movement & concealing its relation to the totality,” whereas reformist parties “perform the task of establishing the reification in the consciousness of the proletariat both ideologically & on the level of organisation.”

Nikolai Bukharin (1888-1938) – Bolshevik executed by Stalin; The ABC of Communism (1919)

Karl Korsch (1889-1961) – Communism & Philosophy (1923)

Amadeo Bordiga (1889-1970) – Equated the ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ with the ‘dictatorship of the party’

Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937) – Hegemony & consciousness; Prison Notebooks

Mao Zedong (1893-1976) – Leader of the Chinese Revolution

Herbert Marcuse (1898-1973) – Frankfurt School; Eros and Civilization (1955) and One-Dimensional Man (1964)

Piero Sraffa (1898-1983) Showed that marginalism has its own ‘transformation problem’ in the Cambridge Capital Controversy (against Paul Samuelson); The Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities (1960)

Friedrich Hayek (1899-1992) – The Road to Serfdom

Michael Kalecki (1899-1970) – Essentially a Keynesian

C.L.R. James (1901-1989) – USSR was ‘state capitalism’

Theodor Adorno (1903-1969) – Frankfurt School; supporter of the dialectic

Paul Mattick (1904-1981) – Council Communist; Economic Crisis and Crisis Theory (1981)

John-Paul Sartre (1905-1980) – Existentialism

Raya Dunayevskaya (1910-1987) – Trotsky’s secretary; Marxist-Humanism; USSR was ‘state capitalism’; Marxism & Freedom (1957)

Paul Sweezy (1910-2004) – Monthly Review journal; ‘underconsumptionist’; Theory of Capitalist Development (1946); Monopoly Capital (1966)

Hal Draper (1914-1990) – The Two Souls of Socialism (1966)

Tony Cliff (1917-2000) – founder of the SWP (in Britain); USSR was ‘state capitalism’

Louis Pierre Althusser (1918-1990) – Anti-humanist; Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses: Notes Toward an Investigation

Murray Bookchin (1921-2006) – Ecologist; Communitarianism

John Rawls (1921-2002) – A Theory of Justice; “veil of ignorance”

Ernest Mandel (1923-1995) – Long waves (falling rate of profit)

Gilles Deleuze (1925-1995) – Capitalism and Schizophrenia: Anti-Oedipus

Arrigo Cervetto (1927-1995) – Theses of 1957; Class Struggles & the Revolutionary Party

Cyril Smith (1928-2008) – Marx at the Millennium

Noam Chomsky (1928- ) – Anarchist

Jean Baudrillard (1929-2007) – Post modernist/structuralist

Jurgen Habermas (1929- ) – Frankfurt School

Guy Debord (1931-1994) – Situationist

Antonio Negri (1933- ) – Autonomism; Empire (the end of imperialism)

David Harvey (1935- ) – Limits to Capital

Joel Kovel (1936- ) – The Enemy of Nature

Robert Nozick (1938-2002) – Right-wing libertarian; Anarchy, State, and Utopia

Ian Steedman (1941- )  ‘Neo-Ricardian’ who rejected Marx’s theory of value; Marx After Sraffa (1977)

John N. Gray (1948- ) – Critical of humanism; Straw Dogs (2002)

Sam Williamshttp://critiqueofcrisistheory.wordpress.com/

Chris Harman (1942-2009) – SWP; Economics of the Madhouse (1995)

Anwar Shaikh (1945- ) – Capitalism: Competition, Conflict & Crisis (2016)

John Holloway (1947- ) – Change the World Without Taking Power

Loren Goldner  – Fictitious Capital & the Transition Out of Capitalism

Andrew Kliman – Reclaiming Marx’s “Capital” (2006) – Temporal Single System Interpretation (TSSI) of Marx’s labour theory of value; The Failure of Capitalist Production (2011)

John Bellamy Foster (1953- ) – Monthly Review School; Monopoly and Competition in Twenty-First Century Capitalism (2011)

John Rees (1957- ) – Counterfire (ex-SWP);
The Algebra of Revolution (1998)
“The speed with which the connections between partial struggles & partial gains in class consciousness can generalise into more complete revolutionary consciousness depends, not exclusively but nevertheless to an important degree, on the depth of the economic crisis. The more ruthlessly the capitalist class is obliged to attack the wages & conditions of the working class, the more likely it is that the contradictions at the heart of the productive process will reveal the true nature of capitalist society to those who have to sell their labour-power.”

Strategy & Tactics (2011); video talk ‘Lukács on Lenin‘ (2009)

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