It is one thing when a system is young, still forming its boundaries, and when its principal adversaries are outside of it, but quite another when it becomes old enough to have a past containing commitments which it has made and with which it must somehow live. In this chapter, a view in three stages of the evolution of Marxism in the lifetimes of its founders is offered, which devolves around this transition.
Before discussing each of these stages, however, it will be necessary to characterize what I shall call the primary paradigm of Marxism that came to be called "historical materialism." This paradigm constitutes the basic rules of social analysis with which Marxism at first sought to understand information bearing on its central problematics, alienation and capitalism, and other historical developments.
In starkest outline, the paradigm includes the following interrelated elements:
1. A Model of unilinear social development in five stages. Human society is viewed as a progression from (a) the tribal or primitive commune in which land is held in common to class divided societies, i.e., (b) the slavery of classical antiquity, (c) feudal society, (d) bourgeois, capitalist society, culminating in (e) a classless socialist society where once again property will be held in common, but at a higher, industrial level of productivity.
2. The Industrial Revolution as the culmination, but not the cause, of capitalism. The bourgeoisie are seen as constituting a sharp historical break with all previous land-based modes of production. Basing themselves on capital rather than land, the bourgeoisie revolutionize the forces of production continually, thereby laying the basis for overcoming scarcity and for achieving a socialism that will continue capitalism's drive toward abundance, thus making a classless society feasible.
3. A class conflict model in which class struggle is the central driving force of history and takes place between the ruling class, which consists of those who have private ownership of the dominant means of production and the direct producers they exploit. They struggle with one another during slave, feudal, and bourgeois societies, until the proletariat's struggle succeeds in achieving socialism.
4. Revolution as the means through which socialism will be established by the proletariat. It will be a revolution in which the latter violently and forcibly vanquish the bourgeoisie (unless they ruin one another) and brings the old order crashing down.
5. Socialist revolution will also be multi-national, occurring simultaneously in the most advanced nations. Socialism in one country is expressly rejected.1
6. Internal contradictions of capitalism. The proletariat's revolutionary efforts are the active or subjective side of the objective, structural contradictions between the forces and relations of production—the latter blocking the former—which ensure the doom of capitalism.
7. The class state. The capitalist class uses the state to dominate the majority of society for its own class advantage; the state is thus the planning committee and the repressive arm of the ruling class as a whole.
8. Ideological Hegemony. The bourgeoisie maintain themselves and dominate the proletariat not only through the power of the state but, additionally, through their control of the instruments of communication and, generally, because they are able to impose their own ideas, making these dominant in society; they thus have cultural and intellectual hegemony as well as power.
9. Superstructure and infrastructure. The state and the realm of politics more generally, as well as the ideologies of the various groups, constitute a superstructure; this is largely controlled by the social system growing up around the mode of production—the infrastructure—consisting centrally of the forces and the relations of production, in their growing contradiction. Politics, generally, is grounded in economics.
10. Materialism. Consciousness is thus dependent on social being.
11. Expropriation and state control of economy. After the proletariat comes to power and takes over the state, it abolishes private property in the means of production, it nationalizes the means of production, and turns them over to the state to administer.
12. Working class as ruling class. With the expropriation of the bourgeoisie, the working class becomes the ruling class in society.
13. Withering away of the state. Since the state is then no longer needed as the instrument of a minority class to exploit a majority, and since the social revolution will have occurred simultaneously in the world's strongest nations, the state is not needed as an instrument of national defense or class exploitation and it begins to wither away.
I reiterate: this is intended only as the briefest outline of the first paradigm—its elemental rules of social analysis—with which Marx and Engels inaugurate Marxism, and is presented above primarily as a preface to the following three-stage model of the evolution of Marxism during its founders' lifetimes.
Stage 1: Paradigm Coalescence
During this stage there is the emergence of Marxism's first, most elemental analytic rules—regulative and constitutive—outlined above—i.e., of historical materialism. Marx and Engels themselves begin to view these rules as "their own," as identity-defining. During this period they self-consciously distinguish their own ideas from others: they launch a critique of bourgeois society; they differentiate their own views from those of the philosophical idealists and vulgar materialists; they seek to transcend philosophy, moving toward science and empirical study; they seek to transcend "interpretation" with action; they differentiate their own views from those of competing socialists. This, then, is a period of Marxism's most comprehensive character-defining attachments and rejections. The boundaries are formed. This stage was fully in evidence by 1848, having been developed during the period of economic distress culminating in the depression of that year in Marx and Engels's Communist Manifesto; in their earlier The German Ideology (completed in the summer of 1846); in Marx's polemic against Proudhon, The Poverty of Philosophy, published in French in 1847; as well as in Engels s own The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844.
Stage I is also a period when Marx and Engels are both very highly resource oriented, addressing substantial energies to the "critique" of others' views, and focusing greatly on the study of texts. In this seminal period they articulate their most general rules of analysis which are, briefly, in a kind of ''equilibrium.''
Stage II: The Paradigm Applied
This takes two main forms: (A.) Historical journalism such as The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte (1852) and The Class Struggles in France (1852); (B.) Technical work in political economy; e.g., the so-called Grundrisse (1857-59); The Critique of Political Economy (1859); culminating in Capital (1867). This technical work in political economy is done by Marx "alone."
This stage, which runs roughly from 1849 to (possibly) 1871, is for the most part a period of economic development and growth. Intellectually, this is a period of the application of the paradigm to "concrete" historical, journalistic, and "technical" economic studies. In neither journalistic nor technical studies does the primary paradigm itself above become focally problematic. This is a period when the focus is less philosophical, "anthropological," and less centered on their own intellectual "resources" than on their intellectual "topics." It is thus not an identity-defining period of "birth." Much journalism is written during this phase which, too, is largely topic centered (for example, for the New York Herald Tribune) and involves relatively less exegesis or critique of texts.
During this phase Marx is passionately given over to complex, detailed technical work in political economics with which his notes (e.g., the Grundrisse) and even his letters to Engels are saturated. This is not at all an ''empiricist" phase, however, but is at first an effort to fuse their basic paradigm with and apply it to a technical economics, and to the illumination of contemporary events or historical developments. Engels, also, develops his own kind of technical studies: of military history and of various physical sciences. This, then, is a time when the primary paradigm is de-focalized; application, not development, of the paradigm is central; energies center on the critical appropriation of new technical traditions (economics and cultural anthropology), new intellectual resources such as languages and mathematics, and new bodies of concrete historical information and sociological data.
The second stage differs from the first in that Marx and Engels had by now made intellectual commitments which constrained them. In the first period they were heir to others' work—to Hegel, the utopian socialists, the political economists—but now, in the second period, they faced a legacy they could not refuse. They were limited by their own by-now established identity and by the need to be consistent with their own rules. If the first stage had produced their paradigm in a burst of creative intensity, the second seemed to require cooler reflection, facing them with the task of accommodating continued development with consistency and fidelity to their own past. During this period, the paradigm begins to undergo a kind of entropy and several important paradigm anomalies begin to emerge, although not focally defined by them as such:
1. The unilinear model of social evolution begins, partly tacitly and partly overtly, to be undermined both by the political discussion of the prospects of socialism in Russia and by historical studies of the dissolution of the primitive communes and the various forms—including the Asiatic Mode of Production—to which these can lead.
2. The emphasis on the universal importance of class struggles is undermined by their growing research on the primitive (i.e., tribal) commune, and the growing importance it assumes in their studies, as is their idea that the ruling class is the class that owns the dominant means of production.
3. Marx is beginning to doubt that forcible revolution will be necessary in all societies and will express this publicly in 1872, holding that some countries may take a parliamentary path to socialism.
4. Marx's views on the class state grow more complex in the course of his journalistic-historical studies of The Eighteenth Brumaire and The Class Struggles in France which place more emphasis on the state's autonomy, the importance of nationalism and political legitimacy, of politics in general, and of the moral grounding of politics in particular. The state's relative autonomy is asserted even more emphatically in their view of "Oriental Despotism" and the Asiatic Mode of Production.
5. The relative importance of ideological hegemony as a basis of bourgeois control grows in importance and, indeed, much of Marx's political economy focuses on the problem of mystification and concealment of social reality through the hidden extraction of surplus value under capitalism.
6. The assumption of the unambiguous dominance of infra structure over superstructure, of economics over politics and the state, is thus being undermined and challenged as must, indeed the original philosophical materialism. Marxism moves tacitly from materialism-as-contrary to materialism-as-negation of idealism.
7. Any assumption that the old, bourgeois state could be taken over by socialists and used for their purposes is further undermined by the conclusions Marx drew from the Paris Commune in The Civil War in France (1871). Yet this conclusion is in tension, if not in downright conflict, with the assumption (number three above) about the possibility of a parliamentary accession to power. Thus at one level, Marxism is becoming more revolutionary; but, at another, it is becoming more reformist. The internal contradictions grow.
Stage 111: Normalizing the Paradigm
This period, roughly from 1872 to 1883 (Marx's death) and 1895 (Engels's) is largely centered on efforts to curb the vulgarizations of Marxism that grow with its successful spread and the growing interest of a younger generation of socialists. Beginning even in Marx's own lifetime, the problem of maintaining Marxism's identity and boundaries intensifies.
There are two main tasks with which this period is faced: (1) boundary maintenance in the face of the threat of "vulgarization" and (2) coping with growing paradigm anomalies. The first task tends to provoke merely defensive reassertion of the old paradigm; the second, however, requires candid discussion of the paradigm's internal difficulties. The two tasks may thus be mutually inhibitive. In the end, the boundary maintenance and socialization task, that is, the mere reproduction of the primary paradigm, becomes the central commitment Engels makes, after he is left alone by Marx's death. In short, serious critical rethinking of the primary paradigm is put aside in favor of a defensive reassertion which papers over its contradictions. The consolidation of the Marxist paradigm by Engels during this period involves the concise and explicit formulation of elements already in the primary paradigm with additional emphasis on the interaction of super- and infrastructural elements, thus making the paradigm explicit, facilitating its transmission, correcting for tendencies toward vulgarization, yet glossing the inherent difficulties of the paradigm.
Gareth Stedman Jones has noted that Engels's synthesis embodied "a theoretical limit": "The confusions of some of Engels's later texts reflect . . . a theoretical limit to the unfinished work of Marx and Engels." That is, one could not have expected Engels's formalization of the paradigm to be much superior to the materials it synthesizes. This difficulty centers on Engels's contention that the economy is determining in the "final instance" but that, nonetheless, the ideological superstructure reacts back on the economic infrastructure and cannot be reduced to it. The problem is not, as Jones seems to think,2 that Marx failed to specify "the precise structural mechanism connecting" economic base and ideological superstructure, but elsewhere. To acknowledge a role for the ideological, to recognize its reciprocal impact on the economic base, makes the latter, "objective" conditions, themselves conditioned, and that, to an unknown degree. This, therefore, makes problematic the important question of the extent to which "objective conditions" truly limit action. There is a gap here, and it was into this gap that Lenin would later plunge the vanguard initiatives of the Bolshevik Party.
Engels's efforts, then, consolidate and identify the primary Marxist paradigm: in the vast edifice of texts and ideas, Engels selectively points to those he defines as central. Indeed, it is this very pointing which is paradigm defining. For a paradigm is not just some inherently excellent body of work or ideas; paradigms are constituted as such when persons of authority in some intellectual community selectively define what is excellent from among a larger body of work, and their very selection installs their choice as exemplary and thus as a point of orientation for others in their community. It is inherent in paradigm defining that it focuses on some body of work as excellent, highlighting its originality, power, and productivity, and recommending it to others. In such a process of sponsorship, the limits, defects, and contradictions of a work will therefore tend to be glossed over. Thus the very process of paradigm construction tends to be a one-sided dramaturgy, highlighting virtues but remaining discreetly silent about intellectual limits, and thus covering up, protecting, and transmitting the work's limits and contradictions; and, in covering them up, making it difficult to solve and transcend them. To make something paradigmatic, then, is to transmit an achievement and, at the same time, to conceal its Achilles' heel. Yet this is normal in paradigm making anywhere and certainly not, as his detractors would have it, a sign of Engels's second-rate mind or his proclivity to vulgarization. Much of what is called Engels's vulgarization of Marx is little more than Marxism's normal effort to define its paradigm and to center effort on it.
Engels's formalization of the Marxist paradigm thus aims to correct vulgarizations of Marxism which sought to substitute mere invocation of Marxism for empirical historical scholarship, and which had overemphasized Marxism's economistic side, while underestimating the relative autonomy of superstructural elements, perhaps especially the ideological. Engels's formalization of the paradigm accents the reciprocal interaction of infra- and superstructures, nudging the paradigm toward a generalized form of systems analysis. The technical political economy of Capital, however, is not taken as intellectually problematic, but as definitively established and as sufficient to ground the political strategies of the Second International which understood it as proving the necessary and inevitable collapse of capitalism.
Engels's admonitions to the young socialists is not, therefore, to go forth and develop that political economy, as is plain from his last letters, but rather to ponder Marx's Eighteenth Brumaire with its manifest escape from vulgar economism, and its compelling concern with the powerful role of the state and of politics. Engels encourages economic and social history, conceived not as an application of Capital but of the primary paradigm. Engels then largely defines himself as the keeper of the primary paradigm, rather than of the Capital's political economy. This is the part of Marxism which, in one sense, is more fundamental and which, in anlother, is also pretechnical; it is also that part of Marxism in which Engels's own interests and intellectual investments were greatest.
Faced with the task of transmitting Marxism to growing numbers of young socialists with a tendency to "vulgarize" it, Engels is constrained to accept and simplify the primary paradigm, to paper over its difficulties, and to define concisely rather than appraise critically its essentials, thus to facilitate their transmission. This is surely a task that Marx, too, would have faced, had he lived, and we really have little basis for imputing that he would have done it very differently than Engels. Engels, then, selectively defines Marxism as an intellectual and political position after Marx's death; he is its paradigm-definer.
To make an intellectual standpoint paradigmatic is essentially what any textbook does; it is to treat a set of theories as so secured that they then become things to be transmitted to minds less sophisticated than those whose labors formulated them and who are expected to use it as their point of departure. A paradigm, then, is essentially a mechanism stabilizing intellectual hegemony: of founders over epigones, of an older over a younger generation. The paradigm, as is plain from Engels's admonitions to young socialists, is intended as a work-assigning charter, allocating tasks for young apprentice and journeymen intellectuals, constituting them as members of a school who must uphold the collective paradigm as the emblem and property of their community, demarcating the intellectual boundaries which define it and which need to be protected.
The dogmatism which subsequently mushrooms among Marxists is thus already half-prepared by the stasis of critical thought inherent in the paradigm form; but this is only a potential for dogmatism that Marxism shares even with conventional and normal science. If Marxist dogmatism is not a development alien to science itself but a potential it shares with it,3 why does this potentiality blossom so fully in Marxism?
In part this happens because Marxism is not simply an interpretation of the world—as it pledged it would not be—but an effort to change it. Precisely because it is an effort to unite theory and practice to change the world, there is great pressure to present "theory" as a secured basis for action, rather than as problematic and in need of further development. One cannot ask people to undertake great risks on behalf of uncertain theories. Marxist theory tends to be taken as given rather than problematic, all the more because its efforts to change the world proceed uniquely through dangerous conflict against powerful forces, and this induces anxiety in those undertaking the struggle. These anxieties heighten rigidities and increase the need for theoretical certainty to justify the costs suffered.
The theory, moreover, tends to become a doctrinal source of group solidarity—i.e., a set of shared beliefs which hold the group together against external threat and internal anxiety, because they are held in common; but insofar as diversity in belief appears, their capacity to fortify group solidarity is impaired. The very combat setting, then, exerts great pressure to suspend critical evaluation of Marxism, thus freezing it; it fosters a view of the theory as already secured and needing only to be applied, rather than as requiring new researches. If ''normal" academic social science is paralyzed by its need for certainty, never acting because it never knows enough, so that each research ends with a plea for a new one, Marxism satisfies action's need for certainty by declaring itself an already proven product and by canonizing its theory, thereby leading to the gloss of anomalies and thus crippling the theory's capacity for further development. Most members of Marxist combat groups will, moreover, be rewarded for their political successes in winning power, or for their steadfastness, loyalty, and ability to control their anxieties, while struggling for power, rather than for their theoretical sophistication. As Marxism becomes involved in the struggle for power, the theory itself becomes the property of a political party, being a basis of its solidarity, and theory becomes subject to authoritative interpretation by party leaders (who may be but who are often not theorists).
Theorists are thus alienated from their theoretical property; they can no longer speak the theory independently of party leaders even though the latter may have little or no theoretical competence. It is notable that Marx and Engels often had sharp differences with the leadership of the German workers parties, and many of their differences with Lassalle may be so interpreted. They refused to accept party discipline and to submit to political considerations in their own theory work, which, as Engels related,4 was why they refused to edit socialist party newspapers.
Party control over the paradigm heightens theory's vulnerability to dogmatism, subjecting it to an icy immobilism. Party control narrows Marxism down to an instrumental technology for mobilizing power, intensifying the paradigm's native impulse to resist critical examination of basic issues. Insofar as the party leadership grounds its authority in its theoretical competence, any critique of theory must imply a critique of its authority and decisions. And insofar as the leadership's authority is grounded in its political success, the theory will either be disregarded or molded to suit leadership purposes. Precisely because Marxism had vaunted theory, noting it gave communism one of its great advantages5 Marxist party leaders have—far more than leaders of other political parties—sought to present themselves as theoretically competent, if not gifted; therefore, they use their party prestige and organizational power to resolve theoretical issues in favor of their own interpretations. Insofar as theorists remain expropriated from theory by party leaders, which means that changes in the paradigm must first be sanctioned by party leaders, then the paradigm will be canonized and stunted, will learn little from historical research, and be closed to cumulative growth and development.6
Our explorations of the early evolution of Marxism have turned up two interesting problems. One is the way the crystallization of Marxism's paradigm was stimulated by the encounter with the younger generation of socialist followers. Like the pearl in the oyster surrounding the irritating grain of sand, paradigm formation proceeded partly in response to that irritation. The problem this confronts us with is "classic." Why do such intergenerational encounters come to be defined (by elders, of course) as evidencing a "vulgarization" (by the young, of course)?
The second problem hatched here is the "anomaly problem." Again, it is classic, recurrently manifesting itself in all manner of ongoing intellectual efforts, including the "real" sciences as Thomas Kuhn has patiently told us since 1962. "Anomalies," we might say, are the bland form contradiction takes within institutionalized intellectual life. Here "anomaly" means differences between the expectations of the primary Marxist paradigm and those other assumptions or conclusions to which Marx later comes when he deals with new materials which are sometimes (and I think too narrowly) called his "research." Anomalies have to do with how we get trapped by our past, by our previous commitments or even learnings, and how these first energizing triumphs of our existence come to hang like an albatross around our necks as we wander off trying to continue our growth, and repeat those successes. The classical site of the anomaly problem in Marxism is, of course, Marx's Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte in which, as already noted, he accents the relative autonomy of ideology and of the political sphere, at some appreciable remove from the more economistic stipulations of the primary paradigm.
It would be wrong though if we made too much of the particularism of that book and isolated it from others. For if we pay attention to dates, we will notice it was written shortly before Marx also developed his studies of Oriental Despotism and the Asiatic Mode of Production (AMP) which, as we have seen, have their own yeasty anomaly and, before that curious letter he wrote to Engels on 27 July 1854. This letter to Engels broached and burrowed toward (but never really tunneled to) the problem of "Civil Society" and how this was implicated in the rise of the bourgeoisie, mulling over Thierry's observation that "the word 'catalla, capitalia'—appears with the rise of the communes.
Marx's anomaly-fertile period thus began (but only began) about the time he started the Eighteenth Brumaire in 1852 and intensified around 1853 to 1854; its lingering resonance may be noticed in the second edition of the Eighteenth Brumaire in 1868, and the changes he made in it. The year that Marx began the Eighteenth Brumaire—this season of illicit intellectual pregnancy—was (we may note) also the year that the Marxes' housekeeper, Helene Demuth, bore and gave birth to Marx's illegitimate son, Freddy. Marx's disruptive illicit thoughts, his paradigm anomalies, were, like his illegitimate son, ordered from his house soon after birth. It was then, in that fertile span, that Marx had a new burst of creativity but then wrenched himself away from its untidy new beginnings.
In his Eighteenth Brumaire, Marx noted that the bourgeois republicans were ''not a faction of the bourgeoisie held together by common interests and marked-off by specific conditions of production," but were united by their republican ideology whose influence was due "above all, however, to French nationalism."7 In short, ample room is allowed here for the impact of political ideology on events, and "idealistic" motives are neither ignored nor repressed. The point is that the importance attributed to them here is distant from the primary paradigm's emphasis (that consciousness does not determine social being but, rather, that social being determines social consciousness), although this, too, is reiterated in The Eighteenth Brumaire. Moreover, people are not simply seen as defending economically grounded material interests but also as seeking power; Louis Bonaparte is presented as driven, not by wealth, but by power hunger. Marx similarly distinguishes between the parliamentary and extraparliamentary bourgeoisie, holding that the latter "appear to act on the basis of pure power interests." While Marx's primary paradigm normally stressed the influence of class position or economic interests on politics, in the Eighteenth Brumaire he amply indicated the linkages between politics and morality, bringing into focus the influence of political legitimacy. In that vein, Marx emphasizes that in contrast to the National Assembly, where votes are divided and the nation's collective will is dispersed, the election of the president concentrates the will of the nation: "In the President this national spirit finds its incarnation";8 being the very embodiment of the principle of popular sovereignty, he is especially powerful: i.e., "he possesses a sort of divine right."
This historical study thus repeatedly exhibits the fact that Marx attributed importance to moral and normative elements for the events he was then attempting to understand. Yet while repeatedly acknowledging them in this concrete empirical context, he also never swerved from emphasizing the priority of the economic when he theoretized explicitly. That is, as Marx pauses to gather in the importance of these superstructural elements, he also attempts to reduce their dissonance with his paradigm's theoretized focus on the priority of the economic, seeking to accommodate and fold the ideological and political back into his theoretical system, accommodating it to the economic: he normalizes the anomalies.
There is one area in this historical study that is particularly dissonant with Marx's theoretical system, and that is the emphasis he attributes to the state and to its vast influence over society. Usually, Marx's theoretized conception of the state's role is that it is derivative of class relations and economic arrangements. In his theoretized paradigm, Marx emphasizes the dependence of the state, of its repressive apparatus and its personnel, on the ruling class. Marxism makes an important contribution by recovering the state as a part of society, by seeing it in its relations with other social forces, rather than treating it as uniquely above societal influence. The rationality of Marx's view of the state resides in his persistent effort to recontextualize it, to see it in its relations to the societa1 whole. Yet rather than accepting the lofty Hegelian view of the state as an embodiment of society's rationality, and as integrating and useful for society-as-whole, Marx recovers the partiality of the state, its interested character rather than its disinterestedness, its special openness to the ruling class and its use against the working class. Above all, Marx seeks to demystify the state in a way that parallels his critique of philosophical idealism. To do this, he relates the state to the class system and insists on its service to the ruling bourgeoisie. "The executive of the modern State," declares the Communist Manifesto,9 ''is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie."
It is therefore essential to the consistency of Marx's theory that the state be a relatively passive, secondary force ill society, reflecting the will, obeying the policies, amenable to the interests, of the ruling proprietary class.
In Paul Sweezy's lucid summary, "classes are distinguished by their differing relations to the means of production and defined by a property system which gives to the society a legally sanctioned and enforceable structure. The primary and overriding function of the state is to maintain and protect this property system, which is equivalent to saying that the state is the instrument of the property-owning class or classes to guarantee the social structure of which they are the beneficiaries . . . the class(es) owning the means of production exploit the propertyless class(es) and are able to do so because of their control of the state.'' 10
Marxism, then, clearly entails a critique of the liberal view of the state as a neutral instrument for maintaining social order. It recovers the private advantage accruing to the state's conduct of public business, focalizing an aspect of the state which the liberal view had repressed, inverting the conventional view not only by denying that the state is lordly master above society, but by insisting that it is the servant of one of the parties to the class struggle, the ruling class. (Marx, it seems, could not withstand the temptation of the contrary.)
That, at any rate, was the theory. Yet in Marx's historical studies, things are, as we have seen, quite otherwise. If in the paradigm I and theory (and in the historical researches as well) politics and state are derivatives of the class system and obey the ruling class, the historical researches also present the state as dominating society and even the class system. Marx thus holds that in a country like France with a bureaucracy of more than half a million, "the state enmeshes, controls, regulates, superintends and tutors civil society from its most comprehensive manifestations of life down to its most insignificant stirrings, from its most general modes of being to the private existence of individuals; where through the most extraordinary centralization this parasitic body acquires a ubiquity, an omniscience, a capacity for accelerated mobility and an elasticity which finds a counterpart only in the helpless dependence, in the loose shapelessness of the actual body politic.''11
In a statement that applies equally to later collectivizing "socialist" revolutions in the twentieth century, Marx observed that "all revolutions perfected this machine instead of smashing it. The parties that contended in turn for domination regarded the possession of this huge state edifice as the principal spoils of the victor.''12 Alongside of what Marx significantly calls "the actual classes of society," Bonaparte he says, "is forced to create an artificial caste, for which the maintenance of his regime becomes a bread-and-butter question.''13
In the end, Marx makes a valiant effort to normalize the Bonpartist state by relating it to the class system and by seeing it as the representative of a class: "Only under the second Bonaparte does the state seem to have made itself completely independent. . . . And yet the state power is not suspended in the air. Bonaparte represented a class." But which class does Marx claim Bonaparte's state represented'? Not the bankers, industrial magnates, or the big bourgeoisie; indeed, "the same bourgeoisie now cries out against the stupidity of the masses, the vile multitude that betrayed it to Bonaparte." Marx claims that Bonaparte's state represented "the most numerous class of French society . . . the small-holding peasants." In short, here the state is not the representative of a minority class which uses it to exploit the vast majority but, rather, "the Bonapartes are the dynasty of the peasants, that is, the French masses."
Marx's effort at normalizing his own analysis of the Bonapartist state thus only generated a new wave of anomalies for the Marxist theory of the state as agency of a minority exploiting class. Marx's account grows even more confused when he observes that, if the Bonapartist state is actually representative of the masses of peasants, "what about the peasant uprisings in half of France, the raids of the army on the peasants, the mass incarceration and transportation of peasants? Since Louis XIV, France has experienced no similar persecution of the peasants." Marx again veers course now cautioning ''ret us not misunderstand. The Bonaparte dynasty represents not the revolutionary but the conservative peasant... the one who wants to consolidate his holding.... It represents not the enlightenment but the superstition of the peasant."
Marx then reiterates his view of Bonaparte's state as "the executive which has made itself independent," even though representative of some of the peasantry. The confusion of Marx's account of Bonapartism is complete when he drops the peasantry and suddenly claims that Bonaparte is actually representative of the lumpen proletariat: "the representative of the lumpen proletariat to which he himself, his entourage, his government, and his army belong, and whose main object is to benefit himself.''
Marx concludes the Eighteenth Brumaire by observing that "Bonaparte throws the whole bourgeois economy into confusion.'' Apparently, however, it was not only the bourgeois economy but the revolutionary theorist himself who was also thrown into confusion. Indeed, it is not only the Marxist theory of the state, as executive committee of the ruling class, that has here become a shambles, but the entire analysis careens and staggers. Reality had dealt theory a dizzying blow.
The tension between Marx's historical materialism, which plainly assigns a derivative role to the state, and the relative autonomy of the state in society—evident to Marx as political journalist—was never resolved systematically at the level of theory. It remains a troublesome difficulty leading generations of Marxists to attempt to salvage the theory with countless, ingenious but ad hoc glosses.
Thus despite excellent discussions of Marx's analysis of the state in various contexts, Hal Draper's study of Marx's political theory, which offers an exquisite distinction between the "independence" and the "autonomy" of the state, must finally acknowledge the growing "autonomization" of the state executive. The latter, Draper notes, can cut itself free of dependence on ''every other section of society including those . . . dominant economically." The state is finally described as playing "Caliban" to the ruling class's "Prospero"; i.e., the state is akin to the churlish, unwilling slave, Caliban, who seeks his own profit and is able to do so precisely because his master, the ruling class, is also dependent on it. The Caliban-state, while normally kept in check, may in abnormal times get out of hand, rising to power over its former master.
Draper finally attempts to normalize Marx's theory of the state by claiming it is two theories, a general and a special theory, each applicable to different times. The special theory, "the state as the managing committee of a ruling class," applies only in normal times. This operates within a larger "general theory of the State which holds that in abnormal times the state is only the ''executor of the economic necessities of the national situation" (Engels) and "is always the organizer of society in the interests of the class (exploitative) structure taken as a whole." ''The more rapid the change—the more revolutionary the times . . . the more does the special theory begin to warp away from a close match with reality, and the more does the general theory of the state become applicable in order to explain the pattern of political power in the process of social transformation.''14
The state, then, remains the executive committee of the ruling class, except during abnormal revolutionary times. The trouble is, times are so often abnormal. And they are revolutionary precisely when the state is experiencing some sort of political crisis of its own. The state's condition, then, is not simply dependent on revolutionary times, but its own political crises also determine when times may be revolutionary.
Draper's formulation obscures the fact that the state's autonomy in the modern Western world does not simply vary cyclically, going up and down with revolutionary surges and declines, but has also manifested a long-range increase over time, despite cyclical variations. The state thus enters into growing tension with the proprietary class. Marx's focus on the state as part of society, and especially of its dependence on the class system, premised the then relatively limited states in contrast with the gargantuan state apparatuses that subsequently appear. (If early socialists were—according to Marx—"utopians" because they wrote before the full emergence of the modern proletariat, what shall we say of a Marxism written before the appearance of the modern, full grown state?)
Marx's focus on the state's dependence on the class system thus produced a new intellectual repression, it concealed (for some Marxists) the increasing power and autonomy of the state, and hence its systematic tension with the proprietary or any other class. .Marxism thus led to the glossing over of what every political journalist, and even the common sense, knows: that the modern state does not simply serve the proprietary class but often (and increasingly) towers over it. In this case, what might it mean to call proprietors a "ruling class," let alone to call the Soviet working class a ruling class? The modern Western state does not simply serve the ruling (or any) class, but contests with it for resources. The Western state bureaucracy siphons off the economic surplus available to other classes and can do so because it has continually expanding powers of its own, which are not simply delegated to it by a proprietary class. At any rate, the state now competes with the 'actual" classes for economic resources during "normal" times during exceptional times, however, it extracts such resources from the classes by command and sometimes with force and terror. That is the real difference between the state in "normal" and "abnormal'' periods.
Marxism's theoretical distortions concerning the state—the uniquely Marxist form of utopianism—contributed profoundly to the failure of Marxist practice, and nowhere more profoundly than in the USSR. At the very moment of Marxism s success, when it wins the struggle for power and takes control of a state, when it sees itself on the brink of an emancipating socialism, what it is in fact creating is the vastly expanded power of a new state, confirming Marx's statement that "all revolutions perfected this machine instead of smashing it."
In a paradigm that distinguished "actual classes" (including the ruling class) from the state bureaucracy, it is not expected that the latter can become a new ruling class and it is defined as an "artificial" caste. The theory mythologizes that the proletariat is the new ruling class,15 even though the proletariat has never been more thoroughly humiliated than in certain Marxist states. Marxism thus leaves socialists intellectually bewildered before the growing power of the state and, in particular, gives them no purchase on understanding the class character of a Marxist state sucl1 as the USSR. Marxist theory, which entailed an intellectual emancipation from the old mystique of the state, now eventuates in a new "Darkness at Noon."
How shall we understand the failure of this theory'? Of a theory that, starting out to produce emancipation, ends by nourishing a new false consciousness, inferior even to the common sense'? It needs to be emphasized that I am not saying that it was the "logic" of Marxist theory that inevitably produced the political monstrosities of Stalinism and Eastern Europe. Certainly, many factors contributed to that unique catastrophe, not least among them the cultural particularities and industrial backwardness of Eastern Europe. Yet Marxist theory surely, especially its defective theory of the state, did play a role.
For in emphasizing that socialism required the expropriation of private property, it was led to turn the management of that property over to the state. The new state then develops a vast managerial bureaucracy to control both the economic and the political spheres. The bureaucracy effectively becomes a new stand, i.e, a ruling class whose political and personal privileges are united, whose actual power is disguised by an ideology that asserts that a bureaucracy is not an "actual" class, but only a creature of such actual classes, and then decorates this new false consciousness with the outrageous myth that the new ''actual" ruling class (under socialism) is the humiliated proletariat itself.
Overstating its valuable insight into the class-state nexus, Marxism forgot the common sense of its time. Narcissistically dwelling on the limited circle of illumination it had contributed, Marxism let the learning of—and the common sense—of its time lapse into a darkness penetrable only in an ad hoc way. The capacity of theorists to remain in touch with and to articulate the rules they actually employ in working is here impaired by a background rule peculiar to the theorist's community. This tacit rule discourages the speaking of the commonplace, defines this as banalization and as evidencing a lack of creative originality. Even though that commonplace may actually refer to something decisive, if it is already known it is given less emphasis than something less important but less widely known. To this extent, then, the needs of theorists are at variance with that of theory.
It should now be plain that there are crucial anomalies in Marxism which, in part, center on its analysis of politics in general and the state in particular. The primary paradigm presents the latter as superstructural elements dependent on the proprietary class and the mode of production, while the analyses of the Eighteenth Brumaire and of the Asiatic Mode of Production present the state and the political sphere as relatively more autonomous and even dominant.
Such differences are, needless to say, given very different interpretations by Marxists and their critics. The former self-righteously define them not as anomalies but as "proof" that Marxism is not a narrow, economistic theory. Marxism's critics, however, interpret such differences as true anomalies and as evidence that Marxism is self-contradictory. Having presented their "verdict' they then retire. Each view, I believe, has elements of value but each is somewhat sterilized by its polemical animus.
The Marxists are correct in that Marxism, especially in stage two of the paradigm, does indeed increasingly manifest an effort to go beyond economism and to give new weight to the state, to the political and to ideological elements—i.e., to the "superstructural." But they are also wrong in that, while this is found in Marx's scholarship, it is not present at the theoretical level. The new role of the superstructure is not really theoretized; the paradigm, rather than really being changed to accommodate the anomalies, is only normalized. Thus it is often argued in the Eighteenth Brumaire that this newly accented role of the superstructure actually fits into the old paradigm. This is "normalization." (It is rather like the good magician who encourages his audience to think that he has accidentally allowed them to glimpse how he does his trick, but who then finishes by showing them that this solution, which he had in any event put in their minds, was wrong, and they are doubly "tricked.") In brief, the anomalies are not defined as anomalies. The contradiction is denied and the theorist can "show" that he has taken account of what is not in his theory while still adhering to it. Basically, this theoretical maneuver is managed by glossing over the differences between "showing" and "telling," and pretending that the two are equal. The theorist in effect shows the reader that he does, indeed, take account of what his theory omits, thus insinuating that this is actually incorporated in what his theory expressly "tells," although it is not.
As for the anti-Marxists: they are right in sensing an inconsistency (if not worse) between what Marx shows in the Eighteenth Brumaire and what he tells (in his theory), but wrong in viewing this "showing" as a mere inadvertence that will not be repeated, or in implying that this difference between showing and telling is a vice peculiar to Marxism. Marxists are surely wrong in denying the difference or in making light of it; anti-Marxists are no less wrong in noting it but simply using the occasion to score points. What is happening here deserves to be understood better, precisely because it is not peculiar to Marxism and because it tells us something generally important about theory construction.
To begin with, we need to work our way toward a deeper understanding of what theory is (and, therefore, what it is not). In short, we need a meta-theory about theory and we can best develop this by contrasting theory with something frequently mistaken for it, which I call, "analysis.'' All theorists, indeed all thinkers, have their characteristic ways of processing information, their typical intellectual modus operandi. To know a thinker is (at least) to know his analytic, his modus operandi. Analytics are the ideal types (or typifications) of the rules—regulative and constitutive—of problem solving and of information processing, employed by different theorists or schools of theory.
Analytics have an interface in two different directions: on the one side, they rise toward theory itself, which is the salient prominence of the analytic plain; on the other side, an analytic embodies the deeper, less articulate elements—i.e., the background assumptions and the infrastructure of sentiments held by a theorist. Both of these—assumptions and sentiments—link him to the subculture of some social group and to the culture of the larger society. An analytic, then, encompasses both latent background assumptionsl6 and articulate theory.
Theory consists of those analytic rules—rules of procedure and constituent rules (ontologies)—which are only (1) part of the rules and typifications constituting the analytic; they are some but not all the rules a theorist uses in analyzing something and (2) of which the theorist is focally aware. Other rules, not part of his theory but still part of his analytic, are viewed with (what Michael Polanyi17 has called) auxiliary awareness. The theory, then, is the explicit part of the analytic; background assumptions are the tacit infrastructure of theory. Theory is articulate analysis; background assumptions are silent partner in the analytic. Theory is the head of the hammer; background assumptions are the handle on which the hammer's head rests, without which it could not be wielded but of which we have only tacit awareness.
The distinction between theory and background assumptions offered here is partially, but only partially, convergent with the distinction that Jean Piaget makes in his Development of Thought between the "scheme" and the "accommodations" of the scheme. For Piaget, the scheme is the most basic pattern by means of which a system assimilates—i.e., destructures and incorporates—its environment, or, here, by which a theoretical system assimilates information. A scheme has a momentum of its own, and tends to absorb and rework material in its environment to reproduce itself; like it, a theory is not simply reactive or responsive to the information flow passing through it. A theory resists information. In order to be applied, a scheme, being very general, must be "accommodated" or customized to cope with the diverse, concrete materials it encounters, thereby opening the scheme to pressures that may change it. While scheme-versus accommodation thus parallels theory-versus-background assumption, it omits the crucial distinction I have stressed between the two, the focalized awareness of theory and the auxiliary awareness of background assumptions (which, together, constitute the analytic). It is precisely that distinction in awareness that led Alfred North Whitehead to make his famous observation that "to come very near to a true theory, and to grasp its precise application, are two very different things, as the history of science teaches us. Everything of importance has been said before by somebody who did not discover it."
Put another way, a theory never actually describes theory work, never describes the theorist's actual modus operandi, because theory is only the theorist's self-understanding, i.e., a selective, limited part of his modus operandi of which he is aware and for which, presumably, he will take responsibility. If theory is the theorist's self-understanding, it is also, however, his self-misunderstanding. That is, theory is also the ''false consciousness" of theorists, premising as it does that they are acting only in conformity with the rules to which they say they conform, when, in fact, they also and always follow other rules as well—implicit and tacit rules, their background assumptions.
Theorists, then, follow and use many more and different rules (procedural and constitutive) than those they can articulate as "their" theory. Theory is only a limited set of the rules of analysis used. There remain other, inarticulate rules of consequence: the theoretical silence, the theoretical subtext, the theoretical other: the tacit background.
Theory, then, is articulate analysis, is analysis that knows and can say what it is doing. As such, it is precisely the paradigm of rationality with which we began this trilogy in The Dialectic of Ideology and Technology,18 and was there called the "culture of critical discourse.'' That is, this historically emergent notion of the rational, insists that an analytic should be capable of speaking the rules it follows. Rationality thus prizes "theoreticity." Rationality like theory, then, is also in part always something of a false consciousness, pretending to know the rules it follows, pretending it has only followed rules it can and has spoken, when it must always follow other unspeakable rules as well.
The view of theory to which we have been led here differs from that held by many theorists who, precisely when operating against a dominant positivism, conceive theory only in its relationship to "research" and to "fact." While Talcott Parsons attempted to show that social facts and social science depended on theory, he ignored the analytic of which theory was only a part. Parsons had made theory problematic only within the context of theory-and-research but failed to explore theory's relationship to more tacit parts of analytic.19
Waging war against an empiricism which imagined that it could be theory free, Parsons (and other functionalists) took the tack that even empiricists have a "tacit" theory. This had the effect of conflating the distinction between theory and analytic. In centering his critique on the limits of empiricism, Parsons never systematically explored the limits of theory. Focusing on theory's connection with research, with the latter's factual findings, Parsons's central thesis was that the historical development of social theory converged because of its relation to research, and that this nexus controlled theory's evolution. Social theory, then, came to be defined only in its relationship to science, while its other linkage, never systematically clarified, remained a conflated set of "extrascientific" factors.
The more that the focus came to be on what, during the late 1930s and '40s, sociologists expectantly called "the marriage of theory and research," theory's other involvements were treated as illicit liaisons. Theory's relationship to the analytic, to deeper background assumptions, to structures of sentiment, and to society and culture more broadly, became occluded; the practice and practitioners of the sociology of knowledge came to be suspect and philosophy was ignored.
There was, therefore, a tacit endorsement of theory's self-understanding that it can be value free, free of all but technical interests' and independent of societal pressures. In short, social theory's struggle against empiricism put it in the position of dwelling upon its own scientific credentials, of stressing the scientific character of theory itself, thus assimilating social theory to science, making it a "science-thing." This endorsed social theory's consciousness that it (like science) was situation free, field independent' a virgin birth untouched by society. The struggle against empiricism, then, had the unfortunate effect of scientizing theory, even antipositivist theory, of oversimplifying theory, and of reinforcing theorists' false consciousness. Ironically, the more theory ingratiated itself with science, the less it was capable of the very autonomy that it prized.
We may now return to the two specific questions with which we began discussing theory as articulate analytic, beginning with the problem of "vulgarization," i.e., the difficulties in transmitting theory to a younger generation. Here we must remember that theory is no isolated island; it rests on a variety of infrastructures, background assumptions, and is linked to structures of sentiments—ultimately the larger society and culture. It is inherent in socializing a new generation into a paradigm that the theory communicated to it will inevitably focus on only a limited part of the previous generation's modus operandi. To transmit a theory, then, is not to transmit the whole working modus operandi (i.e., the analytic) but only its most visible part. The next generation will, inevitably, not be given all it needs to proceed. The younger generation will have to customize the theory it receives to fit new conditions and will have to improvise new background assumptions. Since the analytic is linked to the larger society and culture, it shifts and changes with new historical developments so that young theorists must either improvise new background assumptions, to make an older theory workable, or "reinterpret" the theory it inherits, to make it fit new background assumptions it has developed.
In the last case, the younger generation may be seen (by the older) as "distorting" the theory, where this means adding something improper to it. When, however, a younger generation attempts to understand a theory literally, that is, by limiting its interpretation to the articulate theory offered, and without adding the usual (but to them often unknown) tacit elements in the analytic, they are then seen as "vulgarizing" the theory—i.e., oversimplifying, omitting something proper. This was essentially Engels's charge against the younger generation; they had not, he complained, given sufficient weight to superstructural elements and had omitted the reciprocal interaction of these elements with the infrastructure.
Theory thus gets vulgarized precisely because it is only part of analysis, the articulate part, and precisely when other, tacit elements lodged in the analytic—and on which theory is grounded—are somehow not simultaneously conveyed. Insofar as Marxism was bent on "abolishing" philosophy, some of its own deepest premises became enshadowed, as Louis Althusser has correctly seen. These were thrust into the tacit analytic which was, nonetheless, available to Marx and Engels who had devalued it. Younger socialists, however, who accepted the masters' injunction to "abolish" philosophy as sanctioning their avoidance of it, were then radically cut off from access to much of the analytic background on which historical materialism was grounded, and without which it became a mechanical and, indeed, vulgar project.
Where theory is bound up with a practice of "research" that entails highly explicated behaviors—i.e., "operations"—under controlled conditions, many of the inarticulate elements in the analytic get transmitted informally without either side, transmitters or receivers, knowing it. There is here both a telling of the theory and a showing of the analytic in the course of a working "apprenticeship," so that the gap between showing and telling is reduced, even if not eliminated.
It is in these terms we may develop our interpretation of the problem of anomalies in Marx's work, that is, of the differences between his theory and what is usually called his "research." Actually, the differences are not between his theory paradigm and his "research" but between the assumptions tacitly exhibited in the course of his research; in short, the difference is between his theory paradigm and his background assumptions. In this perspective, then, works such as Marx's Eighteenth Brumaire which show the importance he attached to the autonomy of the political, the state, and to ideological elements are best understood as exhibiting more tacit elements in Marx's analytic. These are shown in the course of his investigations but are not told as elements in his theory paradigm, historical materialism. From our perspective, then, this difference exemplifies the inevitable gap that exists between all theory and analytic; it implies no special culpability in Marx's work. If our view of such differences "normalizes" them, it should not, however, tranquilize our curiosity about them. For it leaves an important question unanswered: which analytic rules come to be articulated as ''theory" and which remain silent, locked into the analytic only as a tacit presence.
In this context I can only sketch a few of the more obvious factors that affect this: an element is moved from the silence of background assumptions to the speech of the theory if an author defines it as his literary property. An author is more likely to articulate a rule if he defines it as "his," as exhibiting his originality; in this instance, articulating the rule is a way of protecting his property in it. To anticipate: theory-making is the generation of cultural capital; it is an effort to capitalize an analytic, transforming parts of it into private property. For Marx, the crucial consideration here is that the dominant tradition in political theory, in German philosophy (and, indeed, in political journalism) tended to stress the autonomy of the political, of the state, and of ideologies and ideas. The alternative, dominant view of politics and ideologies was, in short, already someone else's property. Moreover, allowing these elements that are shared to remain in the inarticulate analytic, while focusing theory on the unshared elements, sharpens the differences between the new paradigm and its older competitors, overemphasizing its own originality and drawing identity-clarifying boundaries around it more strongly. Repressing shared rules into the analytic allows the theorist to draw a line between his own and competing paradigms and to establish the difference his theory makes, thus justifying the intellectual war to be launched against the others. If the former consideration bears on the economics of theory, this latter bears on its politics.
One also suspects that any rule that provides a clearer view of relatively new historical events or research findings will, more than rules enabling the understanding of long-familiar events or findings, more likely surface from tacit assumption to explicit theory. Again, rules enabling anomalies to be accounted for—i.e., explaining things at variance with the expectations of already "appropriated" theory—will also more likely become focal and be installed in theory.
It must not be supposed, however, that rules remain tacit simply because they have never been brought into focus in one of the above ways. The problem is not only what raises elements of tacit analytic up into focal theory but also what keeps them down; in short, what prevents them from being raised into focal theory? Elements of an analytic may under certain conditions be actively repressed, rather than simply ignored. Most basically, analytic elements will be repressed, and kept at the level of the tacit, to the extent that they are dissonant with components of the articulated theory.
Insofar as a theory is grounded in an interest that is not universal, i.e., is linked more closely to the interests of some social groups rather than others, then it has an interest that it will refuse to put into question and will resist making focal. It thereby generates a silence concerning itself and about the limits that curtail its Own rationality. Unable to recognize and make problematic its own grounds, such a theory has ideological elements. Elements in the tacit analytic dissonant with the theory's presentation of itself as autonomous or neutral—i.e., which embarrass and exhibit the theory as someone's ideology—are more likely to remain tacit within the analytic.
Marxism is interesting in this regard because it confronts this issue head-on, dealing with it not by denying that it is committed to the interests of some special group, the proletariat, but by affirming that this group's interests are universal, and hence that its commitment to the proletariat does not subvert its knowledge interests; therefore, that it—unlike its adversaries—is presumably ideology free. Actually, however, as I will show in a later volume on the social origins of Marxism, this "candid" view of Marxism as the theory of the proletariat is, at least, a much oversimplified self understanding; for Marxism, like other social theories, is silent about at least some of the groups for which it speaks: Marxism's group alliances go beyond the proletariat and these generate the symptoms of all ideologies: an inability to speak and make problematic its own grounding. To some extent, then, analytics remain inarticulate when they have an ideological character that, if visible, would generate dissonance with theory's presentation of itself as "autonomous."
Finally, elements may remain in the analytic not only because they are at variance with a theory's portrayal of itself but also with its portrayal of the world. The tacit analytic is left tacit when it differs from or contradicts claims made expressly in the theory. This is essentially the case with the kinds of tacit assumptions that were made in the Eighteenth Brumaire about the importance of the political. Victor Perez-Diaz puts the matter succinctly. Noting that Marx developed no "explicit, complete, fully coherent theory of politics and bureaucracy under capitalist conditions," he explains that "the reason for this lies deeper than in a mere lack of attention to the subject on the part of Marx. To make explicit and develop the theory which was implicit in his political analysis would have run counter to some of Marx's basic generalizations and also to some key points of his economics, and this inhibited Marx from developing such a political theory . . . the absence of a fully explicit political theory should be treated as a 'lapse'—that is as a symptom of an internal theoretical conflict."20
Perez-Diaz notes that, in the Eighteenth Brumaire, Marx was thus led to normalize the importance he there attributed to political and ideological considerations, which is to say, ultimately accommodating the background assumptions of his analytic to the postulations of his explicit theory paradigm: "Marx certainly looks at the strictly political and cultural developments included in the process of production of the Bonapartist Regime. But he tends to consider this outcome as a 'necessity' arising out of a given set of economic and social conditions."
Under what conditions will anomalies surface, become salient and be made "theory"? It is certainly not just because of their intrinsic intellectual worth. It is not simply that anomalies—being at variance with prior expectation—become visible and this visibility is then stabilized as explicated theory. For when anomalies diverge from, impair, or threaten the value of intellectual property held by some group or persons they may normalize it, impugn its intellectual validity, importance, relevance, or interest. The career of an anomaly, then, depends importantly on its implication for the existing distribution of cultural and intellectual property.
Correspondingly, discovery of something anomalous has different consequences, depending on whose theory it violates. When an anomaly threatens our intellectual competitor's theory, far from being suppressed or neglected, it will be seized upon and paraded triumphantly. Scientific development, then, is not a form of progress in which new facts, theories, or anomalies are always given ready and generous acceptance. We would, rather, expect a mean resistance to new facts and theories that are anomalous to some established theory precisely because it belongs to someone and is intellectual, career-fostering property.
The most common form of this resistance is to make a methodological counterattack, impugning the procedure employed by those whose work generated the imputed novelty, thus tacitly arguing that the anomaly is only seemingly such and denying its reality. Theories thus do not collapse at the drop of an anomaly. It commonly takes repeated and cumulative anomalies to discredit an established theory, not simply because it has so much in favor of it, though this is certainly a factor, but also because there are so many having property interests in it.
Nor do anomalies speak for themselves. If anomalies are to shake or overturn paradigms, there must also be those, an agent or agency, who identify the anomalies as "theirs" and who struggle on their behalf because their career prospects and property interests are advanced by them. If a theory without an advocate is a flimsy thing indeed, an anomaly without an advocate is an embarrassment that soon passes. In both cases, such advocacy is bound up with the advocates' property interests or prospects in some cultural intellectual object. The crucial agent of much intellectual creativity or theoretical novelty, then, is those to whom the established theory does not already belong, a group having few or no property interests in the dominant paradigm.
Paradigm rebels, then, are not Prometheans storming the intellectual heavens in the service of mankind, but intellectual guerrillas seeking to rearrange an existing system of intellectual property to their own advantage. The decisive agent of intellectual development, therefore, is not the theory itself but some specific group who speaks on its behalf; giving it a sociological mooring, because the theory advances its own property interests. This agent, of course, is most commonly the younger cohort of theorists. It is they who are often an intellectual proletariat, supporting anomalies even when they do not discover them.
A view of theory as cultural property not only helps explain what happens to anomalies once discovered, but how and why they are generated, who is more likely to do the kind of work that yields anomalies, and who is more open to them once they are produced, readier to see, as well as to speak on their behalf: In our own historical period, intellectual creativity is produced in the course of a struggle about cultural property within the framework of a zero-sum game; for the property and repute of a younger generation necessarily undermines that of the paradigm patriarchs. The younger generation's milestones are the older's tombstones. Intellectual life, in our time, is a contest for the protection or reallocation of cultural and intellectual property between competing generations.
The older generation seeks to muffle and defuse this contest by controlling the education and careers of the younger, by advancing only those whose work promises to support the property and career interests of the older generation, winnowing out doubting Thomases who resist the old paradigm. Here, of course, are those whose careers may be mangled because of their very intellectual originality, for this may threaten the older generation's property interests in the established paradigm.
This system of property in knowledge, however, has the seeds of its own destruction or, more accurately, of the destruction of any established paradigm allocated as property. For the more that the younger generation succumbs to the pressure of the paradign1 patriarchs, the more the former grow as a mutually competitive cohort, more or less indistinguishable from one another—or only marginally so—and the more the value of their own intellectual holdings and career chances is impaired. Each additional recruit successfully socialized into the swelling ranks of the conformers undermines the motivation of later recruits to conform to the pressures of the paradigm patriarchs. This, then, is another source of the gap between intellectual generations. Having less or no property in the established paradigm, having little or nothing to lose but their f:aceless anonymity, and a world of creativity to win, they are motivated to stray from the paradigm in search of greener pastures and to keep a sharp eye open for signs of more remunerative intellectual action elsewhere. Anomalies and their fate, then, do not just depend on their phenomenological interest to some group—whether technical or lay. For this "interest" in itself is grounded in groups advocating or opposing anomalies, in part because of the implication they have for the existing distribution of intellectual property and the incomes, power, and repute of the groups involved.21
Theory, I have argued, is part (but only part) of a larger, more encompassing set of rules for processing information and, indeed, for defining what information is. Theory, in short, is only part of the analytic and rests on other more tacit rules—also part of the analytic—the background assumptions. It is in these terms that our distinction between Critical and Scientific Marxisms may be formulated: both are part of Marxism's analytic, but Scientific Marxism was (at first) Marxism's theory, while Critical Marxism then became lodged in its background assumptions. It is thus relevant to note that the texts most typical of Critical Marxism were never published by Marx, i.e., the philosophical and economic manuscripts of 1844, the theses on Feuerbach, and the Grundrisse. Marx's public life as a scholar was increasingly "scientific' although he remained a critical theorist at a different, perhaps deeper part of his intellectual life. The rules of social analysis came, during Marx's lifetime, increasingly to center on the display and proprieties of science, while other analytics, including those of philosophy, came to be defined as premodern, became enshadowed, and sank into his analytic's background assumptions
So both Scientific and Critical Marxisms are, indeed, part of and basic to Marxism. Nevertheless, the way they were inserted at different levels of the Marxist analytic is not a universal, true in all periods of Marxism's development. Marxism at first established itself in competition against other theories, bourgeois and socialist, by repressing millenarianism, utopianism, idealism, philosophy, interpretation, and art, not to speak of the importance of the voluntaristic component of politics and social life generally. They are, indeed, all part of Marx's analytic, but they are not part of his theory. In repressing them, they are not then without consequence; their presence is felt in the strains they sometimes produce but, more than that, their presence is required in order to make "scientific" Marxism work, so that although dissonant and contradictory they cannot be expelled.
Marxism, then, at first matured and lived at two levels. There was Marxism's manifest level as theory, as technical and extraordinary language, focused on working class self-emancipation. Marxism, however, also lived at another, deeper level, which was at first not easily spoken in its own community. It lived at the level of the background assumptions of an analytic in which there remained an abiding commitment to the importance of the voluntaristic element, of philosophy, of theory, of ideology, of consciousness and rational persuasion, and beyond these to the social strata whose special work they are, the intelligentsia.
It is precisely the simultaneous existence of these two levels that aided Marxism to survive failures of its manifest, technical theory and to accommodate to falsified predictions—e.g., the expectation of revolution in the advanced capitalist nations of the west—without a demoralizing sense of its inauthenticity. Marxism's archeology as a symbol system at first involved a specific hierarchy: an articulate theory of Scientific Marxism superimposed on and repressing the latent analytic of Critical Marxism, yet also grounded in and depending on the latter as background assumption If at some point this deeper level in Marxism becomes infrastructure that cannot be self-reflected upon, it is also Marxism's final survival system, containing the last immanent code for interpreting messages on the technical level of articulate theory, for resolving ambiguities churned up there, and for dealing with dissonance that could not be resolved on that technical level. In short, the background assumptions were the analytic of last resort, unscrambling, by-passing, or devaluing the manifest's theory's cumulating anomalies and historical surprises.
The successful Marxist revolutionaries—Lenin, Mao, Castro— are all commonly characterized by their ability to get beneath the manifest theoretical level of Scientific Marxism, to work their way down to and recover the latent, repressed elements of the Marxist analytic, and to establish a revitalizing contact with its background assumptions. Most especially they mobilize the latent voluntarism of the Marxist analytic, reassert the strategic importance of ideas and ideology, and the potency of the subjective. In effect, successful Marxist revolution is made only by those who broke with Marxist theory, with Scientific Marxism, who began to elaborate articulately the dissonant voluntarism of the once repressed Marxist analytic and to generate Critical Marxisms, which are most systematically elaborated by Georg Lukacs and Antonio Gramsci. But they and their doctrines must wait for another volume.
Here, however, we reclaim our topic, the distinction between Scientific and Critical Marxisms, but now move beyond our initial formulation to a more archeological view and see them as occupying different positions in this archeology at different times. As Marxism achieved its first paradigm and perhaps until the Second International, these different layers had a distinct relationship to one another. In that structuring of Marxism, Scientific Marxism was the dominant layer and served to impose a repressive silence upon Critical Marxism. That—i.e., both layers and their hierarchy—was Scientific Marxism. With the emergence of Leninism—and our fuller discussion of this must also await a later volume—that specific structure of Marxist theory began to crack. By the time of Mao's China and Castro's Cuba, the bottom rail has become the top, Critical Marxism surfaces, becoming the controlling and dominant theory, especially in less developed nations, and there is then a new zone of analytic silence; some of what had earlier been Scientific Marxism's salient theory is now thrust into the background assumptions of Critical Marxism's analytic.
It needs remembering, however, that Scientific Marxism itself had a history. It grew out of the inhibition—not the removal—of a still earlier problematic, utopianism-idealism-voluntarism. Critical Marxism, then, has an archeological ambiguity. In Some perspectives, it is late Marxism or neo-Marxism—Marxism2—that succeeds Scientific Marxism, i.e., Marxism1. In another historical perspective, however, Critical Marxism, or important elements of it, precedes Scientific Marxism, is a kind of Marxism0 or even a pre-Marxism. At its center there is the very socialism that Marx and Engels had patronizingly termed "utopian."
Our archeological perspective on the Two Marxisms also helps explain how they are able to survive the contradiction each represented for the other. Scientific Marxism—Marxism1 on which most discussions of Marxism had traditionally centered—always consisted of a hierarchical ordering of two layers: (1) a dominant focalized theory centered on the constraints imposed by socioeconomic structures, which is superimposed upon (2) a lower layer, a more voluntaristic analytic that allowed for political persuasion and tacitly premised that persons' commitments did indeed matter. It is precisely because these two different aspects of Marxism1 were on different levels—one atop the other, the theory on the background assumptions—that they did not come into continual, open tensions. Their mutual dissonance could be managed, and Marxism1 could for a while live with its contradictions.
1. "United action of the leading civilized countries at least, is one of the first conditions for the emancipation of the proletariat." Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, authorized English edition of 1888, supervised by Engels, published by Charles H. Kerr, Chicago, p. 38; ''Can such a revolution take place in one country alone? Answer: No. Large-scale industry, by creating a world market, has so linked up the peoples of the earth, and especially the civilized peoples, that each of them is dependent on what happens in other lands. . . . The communist revolution will, therefore, not be a national revolution alone; it will take place in all civilized countries, or at least in England, America, France and Germany at one and the same time." F. Engels, "The Communist Credos," in The Birth of the Communist Manifesto, ed. D. J. Struik (New York: International Publishers, 1971), p. 182. "Empirically, communism is only possible as the act of the dominant peoples 'all at once' or simultaneously." Marx and Engels, The German Ideology, trans. W. Lough and C. P. Magill, ed. R. Pascal (New York: International Publishers, n.d.), p. 25. This rejection of socialism in one country was so well known and taken for granted among all socialists, including the Bolsheviks, that when Stalin adopted Bukharin's policy of "socialism in one country" he never attempted to deny that he was departing from the original formulations, but proceeded rather in two other ways: first, by adopting a rationalist antitraditionalist tone, namely, by arguing that one should not adhere rigidly to the formulae of the past under new conditions, and, second, by intimating that the policy against socialism in one country was largely Engels's. Stalin, too, was attempting to make a scapegoat of Engels. See, for example, J. V. Stalin, "The Social Democratic Deviation in Our Party," in which Stalin argues that "in the fifties and sixties of the last century . . . all of us, Marxists, beginning with Marx and Engels, were of the opinion that the victory of socialism in one country was impossible." Stalin then goes on to discuss Engels's "Principles of Communism', (found in Birth of Communist Manifesto) and stresses this was written before the era of monopoly capitalism, that Lenin adapted it to the postmonopoly era, and that his greatness "consists precisely in the fact that he was never a slave to the letter of Marxism." J. V. Stalin, On the Opposition (Peking: Foreign Languages Press, 1974), pp. 395ff. While acknowledging Marx s concurrence, Stalin never, as far as I am aware, actually quotes something he authored or coauthored that rejected socialism in one country. Engels alone is cited and quoted. Later, on p. 443, Stalin mentions only Engels as the author of the policy rejecting socialism in one country, and quotes extensively from him. See also pp. 446-47 where, by now, this policy has become Engels's alone.
2. See Gareth Stedman Jones, "Engels and the End of Classical German Philosophy," New Left Review, May/June, 1973. On the contradiction itself, see also the neglected but still very useful piece by Robert V. Daniels, "Fate and Will in the Marxian Philosophy of History," Journal of the History of Ideas 21 October/December, 1960.
3. For an interesting and close study of dogmatism in science, see Robert McAulay, "Velikovsky and the Infrastructure of Science," Theory and Society, November 1978, pp. 313-42.
4. F. Engels, Briefe an Bebel (Berlin: Dietz Verlag, 1958). See especially the letter of 18 November 1892 in which Engels remarks: "It is a barren position for anyone with initiative to be the editor of a party journal. Marx and I always agreed that we would never accept such a position and could only work for a journal financially independent even of the Party itself'." For fuller development of my position on the autonomy of the theorists' community, see my "Politics of the Mind," in For Sociology: Renewal and Critique in Sociology Today (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1975), esp. pp. 120-23.
5. Communist Manifesto, p. 30, where it is noted that theory enables communists to have a superior understanding of ''the line of march."
6. This means there is no way of protecting the cumulative development of Marxist social theory, nor of any other, than by setting it in a specific group context, i.e., a relatively autonomous community of theorists. Again, see my "The Politics of the Mind." And one must add immediately that even the university today is only a faint and unsatisfactory semblance of what is needed, for the university itself is subject to political and market pressures. It thus seems likely that Marx's own eccentric career and marginal life, his failure to get the university post he had coveted, his refusal to take a routine job to make a living, and the lifelong help of his friend Engels— contributed powerfully to his escape from the intellectual conventions of his time.
7. Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte (New York: International Publishers, 1964),
8. Ibid., pp. 32-33.
9. Communist Manifesto, p. 15. Here once more, Engels is trying to make Marx less vulnerable; the original German had not referred to the 'executive" but to the "modern state power."
10. Paul Sweezy, "Is There a Ruling Class in the USSR?" Monthly Review, October, 1978, p. 2.
11. Marx, Eighteenth Brumaire, pp. 61-62. See also p. 18.
12. Ibid., p. 122.
13. Ibid., p. 129. Italics added.
14. Hal Draper, Karl Marx's Theory of Revolution, Part I: The State and Bureaucracy (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1977), vol. 2, p. 587. See also vol. 1, pp. 318ff.
15. Since the revolution is defined by Marxists as the proletariat's seizure of state power and the destruction of the old ruling class's economic base, then, following such a revolution, the proletariat has presumably taken power in the state itself. As Paul Sweezy summarizes: "Since, however, there could be no question of dividing up the means of production among individual workers, the new property system would necessarily have to be collective. And since the only institution representing the working class as a whole would be the new state, this meant the erstwhile private property of the bourgeoisie would become the property of the state. Thus, the proletariat would become the new ruling class." Sweezy, "Is There a Ruling Class," p. 4.
16. Since I have analyzed these at length in my The Coming Crisis of Western Sociology (New York: Basic Books, 1970), I shall not repeat that discussion here. See especially pp. 29ff.
17. See Michael Polanyi, The Tacit Dimension (New York: Doubleday Co., Anchor Books, 1967).
18. See my The Dialectic of Ideology and Technology (New York: Seabury Press, 1976), especially
chap. 2, "Ideological Discourse as Rationality and False Consciousness."
19. The classical locus of Parsons's position on this remains his Structure of Social Action (New York: McGraw Hill & Co., 1937), esp. chap. 1. Although fundamentally mistaken in its main thesis about the origins of voluntaristic theory, this book emancipated American sociology from empiricism, as much as any one book could.
20. Victor Perez-Diaz, State, Bureaucracy and Civil Society: A Critical Discussion of the Political Theory of Karl Marx (London: Macmillan Publishers, 1978), pp. 86ff.
21. For an excellent discussion of factors contributing to the phenomenological interest of some theory, see Murray S. Davis, "That's Interesting!" Philosophy of Social Science, 1971 1:309-44.
From Alvin W. Gouldner, The Two Marxisms. New York: Oxford University Press, 1980, Chapter 10 - "Anomalies and the Evolution of Early Marxism" p. 289-323.
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