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You are here: Platypus /The intellectual power of Marxism: An interview with Shane Mage

The intellectual power of Marxism: An interview with Shane Mage

Cam Hardy and Daniel Jacobs

Platypus Review 132 | December 2020

Cam Hardy and Daniel Jacobs interviewed Shane Mage by letter. Mage was an original member of the Revolutionary Tendency within the Socialist Workers Party (SWP, U.S.) which became the Spartacist League and is a contributor to recent debates on Marxist theory in the Monthly Review. What follows is an edited version of their discussion.

Cam Hardy: How were you politicized? What were the questions or issues that got you involved in the Left?

Shane Mage: I was never “politicized.” By the age of four I knew very well who and what Hitler was. A nursemaid’s comment on a May Day in 1937, as a beautiful silver object (that I mistakenly called Graf Zeppelin—I had never yet heard of Hindenburg) crossed the Manhattan sky on its way to Lakehurst, New Jersey: “I hope it blows up and kills all those Nazis.” I learned to read, in part, from the backs of “War Cards” showing scenes from the Spanish Civil War, the Maginot Line, the “impregnable” Belgian fortress of Ebben Emmael, etc. My dentist father’s waiting room was in the middle of our apartment, and its table was always covered with magazines like Life, New Republic, Esquire, National Geographic. We picked up the New York Times every morning, and frequently the liberal/Stalinoid daily PM, or the Left-liberal New York Post, in the afternoon. My family were largely nonreligious socialists, Norman Thomas voters, but not involved with any political organization. Politics was only talked of in Yiddish, and not in front of the children. “Leftism” went without saying. I “knew” that the Republicans were isolationists and the Democrats were Tammany Hall crooks and that Stalin was a friend and ally of Hitler. When Pearl Harbor was hit I rejoiced because we would finally, actually, fight Hitler. But like everyone else, I was submerged by the war propaganda pervading every medium. Especially the Stalinist radio voices of types like Johannes Steel and Elmer Davis, but also right-wingers like H.V. Kaltenborn or Walter Winchell, and the liberal, Drew Pearson.

Once the war was over, with the horror of the atomic bombs, I quickly realized the bad nature of the Truman regime. I was happy when Wallace quit his cabinet and ran for president against the “Truman Doctrine,” his rotten compromises with Democratic racists and Republican reactionaries, and his embrace of Bevin’s British imperialist maneuvers in the Middle East and India. In 1948 I actively supported the Wallace campaign, despite my unease with his increasing dependence on the Stalinists and his failure to condemn the Prague coup. As a post-Shoah Jew, whose family in the old country had been wiped out in the purges but mainly by Hitler, I was entirely sympathetic to the Zionist project, though in listening closely to the UN debates on Palestine I was impressed by the arguments and style of the Saudi representative [Jamil] Baroody equally with those of Abba Eban.

Marxism was of little interest to me in early adolescence, though I did read, superficially, the Communist Manifesto. The first serious Marxist work I read, in 1949, my first year at the University of Chicago (in the Humanities II course), was the "Proletariat and Peasantry” chapter of [Trotsky’s] History of the Russian Revolution; and my immediately following reading of the whole work was such an enormous intellectual revelation that I began to think of myself as a revolutionary Marxist (which, of course, meant “Trotskyist,” though I soon came to regard myself as a “Trotskyite” or “Marxian” in the sense of an intellectual descendant of the tribal head rather than an “ist,” a follower of a defined ideology) and, the next fall, I joined the only Marxist group on campus, the (“Shachtmanite”) Socialist Youth League.

The SYL was an explicitly Trotskyist group affiliated to the Workers’ Party (which was rebaptized the Independent Socialist League in 1949) that had emerged from the 1939–1940 factional split in the Socialist Workers Party. It rejected Trotsky’s “degenerated workers’ state” label for the USSR in favor of Shachtman's label “bureaucratic collectivism," which implied that the Stalinist bureaucracy, having extended itself from the USSR into Eastern Europe and China, constituted a new post-capitalist ruling class. This theory, which turned out to have poisonous pro-imperialist implications, was rejected by a minority headed by CLR James and Raya Dunayevskaya who argued, quite correctly, that Stalinism was a degenerate (“state”) capitalist system and that Marxian historical thought left no room for any “post-capitalist” new ruling class. But the main peculiarity of the ISL was the phrase “Third Camp,” whose sole content was the refusal to support either imperialist “camp,” that of the US or that of the USSR in hope of the emergence of some sort of socialistic “neutralist” camp around figures like Sukarno, Nasser, Nehru, or the al Baath (but not Tito). Anyway, Trotsky in 1940 had said “Camp One: Chamberlain and Daladier; Camp Two: Hitler and Stalin; Camp Three: Shachtman and Burnham.”[1]

The Vietnamese Revolution was occasion for my definitive break with Shachtmanism: while I celebrated Dien Bien Phu, my Shachtmanite comrades, seeing only the Stalinist ideology of Ho et al., were appalled. Emotionally they plainly preferred for the French to win, even though nobody would actually say so. Shachtman even said that I was “infected” by a “Stalinist virus.” Meanwhile the SYL changed its name to Young Socialist League, with more independence from the ISL. It picked up a couple of non-Trotskyists—Bogdan Denitch, who had failed to take over the moribund Student League for Industrial Democracy in a pathetic coup-attempt, and Michael Harrington, whose main background was with the Catholic Worker group. Both became leaders in the Shachtmanite faction within the YSL. Tim Wohlforth and I were their “Left” opponents, and my main political activity in those two years was in “factional” polemics. Shachtman was trying to unite his faction, rapidly ceasing to be Trotskyist in any sense, with whatever was left of the Socialist Party-Social Democratic Federation. By 1957 I had joined the Socialist Workers Party, and for regroupment we founded the Young Socialist Alliance, informally affiliated with the SWP.

Daniel Jacobs: What about Marxism were you drawn to?

SM: Sheer intellectual power. Marx provided the concepts, categories, and structural analyses that were, and largely remain, indispensable for understanding the human historical process over past centuries and in the immediate historical present. Of central importance in this regard is Marx’s critique of ideology, i.e., of the false consciousness always pervading human notions of their political, social, economic, and metaphysical reality—not least because his thought imposes upon itself the requirement to critique all the ideological aspects that contaminate most so-called “Marxisms.” To be revolutionary, and truthful, all social thought must be essentially Marxian. Only two conditions are obligatory: awareness that there is something basically and gravely wrong with the human condition as it exists and has existed throughout the history of class society; and seriousness in the reading and study of Marx’s writings and those of his professed followers. Anyone who fulfills those conditions necessarily starts to think in a Marxian way. But for most everyone this orientation is temporary, quickly submerged in one-or-another ruling class ideology or else reduced to mere dogmatism, unless it continually confirms itself through deep philosophical study and critical analysis of contemporary reality. Anyway, that is how my Marxian orientation began and today my view of Marx places him as central in the tradition (so despised by “scientific” ideologies) of dialectical philosophy expressed in the foundational work of Herakleitos (“This cosmos, the same for all, was not made by any of Gods or Men. It was and is and will be, an eternal fire kindling in measures and going out in measures.”) and his greatest successors: Plato, Nagarjuna, Diderot, Hegel, Marx, Whitehead.

DJ: But isn't Marxism also historically specific? It was a critique of a new phenomenon, capitalism. While Marx may respect the great thinkers you've mentioned in the Heraclitean tradition, is he not also distinguished from them in any manner?

SM: Marx’s approach, like that of any powerful thinker, is and must be historically specific. It must formulate its insights in terms of its actual historical specificity, the basic forms of social, technological, and ideational relations comprising its social reality, with all its internal variations and contradictions: this is what should be meant by the words “concrete” or “scientific” in Marxian usages. To put it a bit differently, to see every human historical situation as contradictory, expressing both the specific “concrete” ways in which the human life process is proceeding at a specific historical moment and the “abstract” lawful processes playing out over a much greater span (ultimately the entire process of planetary evolution), the “causes,” or, to be precisely Buddhist, the originating conditions for every form adopted by that social life process in the course of its evolution.

It is not quite correct to say that Marxism "was a critique of a new phenomenon, capitalism.” That is, capitalism is not essentially a new phenomenon. The basic forms in which capitalists now realize surplus labor extracted from the productive classes, ground rent and interest (and more recently, the swindles called “executive compensation” and international wage arbitrage) were well established in the ancient world, in China and India as well as Europe. The "capital” in “capitalism” signifies that the social power of the ruling class is exercised, to whatever degree, through its monopolization of monetary wealth. What was new about capitalism as it developed through Marx’s time was that it generalized, ultimately everywhere, commodity production and market exchange. That is why Das Kapital is entitled “Kritik," not of capitalism, but of political economy and, above all, of its central concept “value.” It works with a “pure” Ricardian model of market capitalism in which the worker’s productive power cannot be exercised until it has been commodified, rented for a time for monetary wages, alienated to a “moneybags.” That model, abstract as it is, corresponded well to the reality of the capitalist economy of Marx’s living experience. It has corresponded ever less well over the past century, but that is no condemnation of Marx’s model, which specifies very well the oligarchical tendencies (concentration, centralization, oligopolization, imperialism) of development inherent in his model and that have brought the modern capitalist system to what, historically, can only be called a state of collapse.

DJ: But perhaps capitalism necessarily appears like a very old phenomenon and that is part of the crisis of bourgeois society itself? Marx notes in the Grundrisse that while bourgeois society provides a key to the ancient economies—in the same way that human anatomy contains a key to the anatomy of the ape—one should not identify ground rent with a tribute or tithe. Present historical forms tend to present preceding ones as inferior examples of the present but only to the detriment of capturing the “essential difference.” It seems that Marx was trying to grasp how capitalist forms necessarily appear to be founded in ancient societies but that this is part of the ideology. The importance for him of grasping the difference seems to be not just descriptive but also what new potential does capitalism bring.

SM: Marx’s obiter dicta sometimes (not very often) assume the scientific ideology of his time and now appear quite wrong. The line you quote "human anatomy contains a key to the anatomy of the ape” is blind to the fact that humans are merely the latest-appearing of a long line of apes going back to the earliest hominids and their hominin and simian ancestors. That is not merely because so much of our evolutionary history (we now know that the key to the anatomy of every animal is its evolutionary history) has revealed itself only in the 20th century, but because in both the greatest scientific controversies of the 19th century—between geological theories of the uniformitarian Lyell and the catastrophist Cuvier, and between the natural-selectionist Darwinian and the epigeneticist Lamarckian theories of evolution—Marx took the then-orthodox view despite the inconsistency of gradualism with a revolutionary conception recognizing major radical discontinuities of our species, as of our social, history.

It is the same with the “modern” capitalist system. The system evolves the form of its crucial institutions: wage labor, money, debt, landlordism. The sequence of stages slavery–feudalism–capitalism (the notion that forced Marx to declare “I’m not a Marxist”)[2] gives a fairly decent impression of Western European social history only, and even then has no connotation of evolutionary progress. Feudalism was a phenomenon of devolution, of civilizational decline, ideologically perhaps even more than economically. The institutional forms basic to capitalism were pervasive in the Roman Republic and early Empire—they were virtually invisible in the same areas around 1100 CE.

As for what “new potential” modern capitalism brought, the record is more than dubious. Certainly, there have been some advances in scientific understanding of the world and certain technologies (especially in regard to public health and medicine). But the basic tendency of modern capitalism is destructive. The main driving force of its technology has always, from the very dawn of modernity, been military, the perpetual improvement of the means of destruction, though with spillover effects for industrial enterprise. The Military-Industrial Complex is indeed the “highest” form of capitalism, with financialization becoming the dominant form of appropriation of surplus by the ruling class. It is now more than a century, I maintain, since industrial capitalism has become historically reactionary in the plainest sense; it degrades the essential productive forces: the natural productivity of the land and waters, and the culture and skills of the class of productive workers, while poisoning the planet itself to the extent that its continuation manifestly threatens the very existence of the human race and many others.    

CH: What led you to the Socialist Workers Party?

SM: By 1956 it had become evident that the Shachtman leadership faction was determined to dissolve the Independent Socialist League into the Socialist Party, to form what Michael Harrington tirelessly sold as “a Debsian Socialist Party” but which really meant liquidation into the Democratic Party (Harrington becoming an “antipoverty” part of the Kennedy apparatus, while Shachtman went even farther, becoming an ally of the leading Cold War figure, the “Senator from Boeing” Henry Jackson). The SWP, meanwhile, which had affirmed its revolutionary credentials by breaking cleanly (together with the Trotskyist parties of France, the UK, and some others) from the increasingly pro-Stalinist faction (Michel Raptis, Ernest Mandel, Pierre Frank) controlling the “official” leadership of the Fourth International, had taken a clear stand in favor of the Hungarian workers’ revolution of October 1956 and also had been able to recruit a few, disappointingly few, CPers disillusioned by the Khrushchev speech of February 1956. I, Tim Wohlforth, and others in the YSL leadership responded by forming an anti-Shachtman tendency that sympathized with, and soon joined the SWP, (Murry Weiss was the SWP leader working most closely with us at that time), and set up the Young Socialist Alliance as the de facto SWP youth group.

CH: What was your impression of the SWP as a young member? How did the controversies within the party appear to a new recruit?

SM: I originally felt quite at home in the YSA/SWP because the party seemed to have broken quite decisively with the Pabloite[3] orientation toward Stalinism of the “Official” Fourth International, and had been split from after the Hungarian Revolution by the openly tankist “Marcyite” Workers’ World Party. The only major internal opposition was that from Arne Swabeck (one of the founders, together with Jim Cannon, Max Shachtman, and Maurice Spector), who saw Maoism and Mao’s China as a supportable revolutionary force, but had very little support in the party. All of us were enthusiastic supporters of the Cuban Revolution, which we saw as holding the promise of a proletarian democratic and revolutionary breakthrough in the Western Hemisphere. I myself have always backed Cuba against US colonialism, and after considerable internal evolution in Cuba I still regard it, despite my sharp criticisms of Castroite policies, as more actually democratic and socialistic than any other in the world (with the possible exception of Bhutan, the only country to reject the fraudulent GDP concept in favor of an ecological “Gross National Happiness” index).

The SWP was instrumental, was the leading force, in the formation of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee which was an important act of solidarity. My break with the SWP leadership began after the Bay of Pigs, when the party not only started to become uncritical supporters of the military-nationalist Castro regime (which had responded to US aggression by an all-sided deference and submission to the Stalinist USSR) but also began efforts to restore unity with the Pabloite International Secretariat of the Fourth International. These issues soon divided us sharply from the party leadership. The SWP resolved that a true proletarian revolution had taken place in Cuba, even though Castro never permitted any form of workers’ democracy in his party (the 26th of July Movement) or state, let alone soviets in any form. We saw this as a direct challenge to the Marxist view of proletarian revolution as requiring leadership by a proletarian (as distinct from military-nationalist, however populist) party and being (in Lenin’s words) “more democratic than the most democratic bourgeois republic.”[4]

It soon became clear that this line was part of a general adaptation to the Pabloite view that the post-Stalin USSR and such “colonial revolutionary” movements as the Algerian FLN (Front de Libération Nationale), despite their leaders being “petty-bourgeois”, i.e., anti-working class authoritarian bureaucrats, were going to be the actual leaders of a worldwide socialist transformation that they themselves would eventually take over because of their supposed revolutionary brilliance.

We [in the oppositional Revolutionary Tendency] quickly found out that the vaunted internal democracy of the SWP was, for its leadership faction, a sham. Newly-recruited elements (e.g. Jack Barnes, who like a cuckoo’s egg grew up to take over, and essentially, destroy the SWP including its traditional leadership) were inserted into the YSA to seize the youth-group and place it firmly under party control. By the fall of 1962 we had been “suspended” from party membership and in 1963, despite protests from respected long-term leaders like Myra Weiss, Richard Fraser, and Arne Swabeck, we were expelled from the party on a vague and totally unsupported charge of “indiscipline.” Tim Wohlforth, however, was persuaded by the British leader Gerry Healy to sign a capitulation to the SWP leadership in order to stay in the party and serve as Healy’s factional agent within it (Wohlforth, David North, and others were later themselves thrown out of the SWP—their group, with which I have never been involved in any way, now is called "Socialist Equality Party” and runs the World Socialist Web Site).

CH: Why did the SWP come to see Castro's nationalist guerrillas as proletarian revolutionaries, and why did they decide to look for unity with the Pabloites less than a decade after a bitter international split? After holding the line for so long, what made the American Trotskyists look for new revolutionary forces in the 1960s?

SM: I think the main factor was the failure of the party over some twenty years to become a mass movement, combined with the habits of bureaucratic conservatism (which Shachtman already noted in 1939–40). Ever since the murder of Trotsky, the SWP’s political perspective had been the expectation of a post-war upsurge of U.S. working class struggle in which it, like the Bolsheviks in 1917, would quickly grow from a small group to become a mass party and contender for leadership. Of course, that was far from the case. It thus became a very natural form of opportunism for a small party (which, moreover, had been largely driven out of the labor movement by the “Red” purges of Truman, McCarthy, et al.) that was never strong theoretically (after August 1940) to look away from the industrial proletariat as its hope for rapid growth. The enormous prestige of the Cuban Revolution, in the context of growing colonial revolutionary movements, offered such hope and the SWP, via Fair Play for Cuba, jumped in enthusiastically in support of the Castroites as carrying out a socialist revolution. Unfortunately, the most basic doctrine of the party, the theory of permanent revolution, insisted that a socialist revolution in a backward country could develop out of a “national” revolt only through institutions of proletarian democracy (“soviets”) and leadership of a Bolshevik-type party—and this was plainly not the case for Cuba. It tried to solve the problem by downplaying the increasing Stalinification (under the combined pressure of US and Russian empires) of the Castro leadership while suggesting that a new situation in the 1960s—the colonial revolutionary upsurge—required a more flexible interpretation of permanent revolution. Since the Pabloite “Official” Fourth International leadership had by then totally embraced the notion of "Third World revolution,”—especially in the form of the Algerian Front de Libération Nationale (FLN)—the bitter split (never felt as such by the SWP leadership, who always felt themselves as more American than internationalist) was quickly set aside in favor of reconciliation. Later in the decade, with the emergence of a massive youth and pacifist anti-Vietnam War movement, the SWP took a leading role in that movement (in contrast to its minor role—being largely an all-white party—in the civil rights struggle led by Martin Luther King). These tactics, however, failed to increase the party’s membership very much and the new members soon left as the party fell apart in the 1970s.

CH: Describe the Revolutionary Tendency and later Spartacists' relationship to Dick and Clara Fraser, and to Murry and Myra Tanner Weiss in more detail.

SM: I was always personally on good terms with the Weisses, but had no contacts with Dick Fraser. But James Robertson’s[5] attitude was rather hostile, and in the absence of real political discussion in the party (we were “suspended” in order to keep us out of the pre-convention discussion) there was never the chance to bloc on those issues where we agreed (feminism, gay rights, internal democracy).

CH: How did the Spartacists' self-understanding change in their transformation from an opposition, the Revolutionary Tendency, to an independent propaganda group? What were the immediate tasks they faced in 1964?

SM: Robertson was always oriented to becoming a proto-party, and he dominated. My orientation was always primarily educational.

CH: Why did you leave the Spartacists?

SM: I certainly delayed leaving longer than I should have, mainly because I still felt I could make a theoretical contribution in that forum. But I felt steadily more alienated from Robertson. We never had a formal debate on the issue, but I really should have left when Robertson, like Chomsky (neither recognizing that JFK in November 1963 was no longer the “ignorant and illiterate millionaire” whom Fidel had branded as such in 1960, as the forcible replacement of Diem with the pro-negotiation Buddhist general Duong Van Minh proved) went along with the 1963 coup d’état by endorsing the deep state’s “lone nut” theory of Oswald being the assassin rather than the patsy, whereas I had had no doubt of the truth from the moment that the Mafia gunsel Yakov Rubinstein (“Jack Ruby”) liquidated him.

DJ: You mention that Marx's thought “imposes upon itself the requirement to critique all the ideological aspects that contaminate most so-called ‘Marxisms’.” How is this insight related to your work on the law of the falling tendency of the rate of profit, especially in your 1963 dissertation?

SM: In 1916, with the great parties of the Second International having abandoned all their principles to support the imperialist war and with the antiwar “Left” reduced to small, disunited groups, Lenin devoted himself to close study of Hegel’s Logic. His conclusion, in his Philosophical Notebooks was: “It is impossible to understand Das Kapital without having studied and mastered The Science of Logic. Hence, a half-century later, none of the Marxists have understood Marx.”[6]

Take as an example the commodity, whose “exchange value” (supposed ultimately to determine its market price) almost all “Marxists” define dogmatically as a definite quantity of “socially necessary labor time” while ascribing to it a "use value” quantitatively defined, if at all, in number or weight, merely as a physical quantity. “Exchange value” and “use value” thus are presented as fixed, entirely different categories (which, for a dialectician, is the very definition of “dogmatism”). For Marx, though, “use” and “exchange” values are the contradictory sides of a single dynamic process: the capitalist undergoes the cost of production. It purchases produced objects and labor-power to produce other objects that only interest it on account of their salability: i.e., the object as pure exchange value. But that salability depends absolutely on the social demand—the uses to which various consumers expect to put that object, and their valuations relative to the usefulness of other objects. Thus, the market prices of every commodity are determined in their levels and changes through interplay between demand and cost of production.Marx thus defines "the law of value” as the mechanism through which a market-economy distributes social labor over its various uses (Letter to Kugelmann).[7]

My 1963 dissertation was devoted to a vindication of Marx’s “law of the falling tendency of the rate of profit” as both a theoretically consistent working out of his value theory, as what Marx called “the economic law of motion of modern society," and as an empirically validatable description of a real capitalist economy (that of the USA, 1900-1960). The argumentation, starting (as above) with the dialectical analysis of the commodity, is rather complex and, in part, mathematical. But at least one of its key concepts: that original monetary investment-cost is a crucial factor in the ongoing valuation of the physical capital stock (which is the denominator of the Marxian “profit rate") understood as the ratio of aggregate surplus-value (what the physiocratic founders of political economy called “le produit net”) to the value of that stock; is becoming better accepted in Marxian discussions of that topic.

DJ: In your dissertation, you mention that while the facts of the modern US economy confirmed the “law of the falling tendency of the rate of profit” in a “general sense,” what Marx did not foresee was the falling rate of surplus-value or exploitation. What did you see as the political implications of this finding? Has this continued to hold? If not, what has changed?

SM: Marx did not foresee a falling rate of exploitation, nor did I. His model assumes a constant [surplus] s’, and talks of external “counter tendencies” to raise s’ and thereby counteract in part the falling rate of profit p’. A central part of my thesis was the demonstration that, even though a rising organic composition of capital must (in Marx’s model) increase labor productivity, that increase, no matter how great, necessarily involves a fall in the profit rate—thus refuting one of the most important objections to Marx’s falling-rate-of-profit theory. It was and is a theoretical controversy at a very high level of abstraction, and so it would be wrong to draw any concrete political implications from it.

DJ: How did your work on Marx’s “law of the falling tendency of the rate of profit” relate to your participation in the Socialist Workers Party? What did you see as the political stakes at the time with respect to the “law?”

SM: There was in fact no relation; indeed, I had been expelled well before my dissertation had been completed. As I said, this was theoretical work at a high level of abstraction so there could not be any political stakes except for whatever benefit to Marxism itself came from the validation of the Marxian theory.

[1] “... Here is one camp: France and England. There’s another camp: Hitler and Stalin. And, a third camp: Burnham, with Shachtman. The Fourth International turns out for them to be in Hitler’s camp (Stalin made this discovery long ago). And so, a new great slogan: Muddlers and pacifists of the world, all ye suffering from the pin-pricks of fate, rally to the ‘third’ camp!” Leon Trotsky, “Petty-bourgeois moralists and the proletarian party” from In Defense of Marxism (New York: Pathfinder Press, 1995), 277. 

[2] “Now what is known as ‘Marxism’ in France is, indeed, an altogether peculiar product — so much so that Marx once said to Lafargue: ‘Ce qu'il y a de certain c'est que moi, je ne suis pas Marxiste.’ [If anything is certain, it is that I myself am not a Marxist]” from “Engels to Eduard Bernstein in Zurich” (1882), Marx and Engels Collected Works Vol 46, trans. Peter and Betty Ross (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1975), 353-358. Available online at the Marxists Internet Archive,

[3] “Pablo” was the party name of Michel Raptis.

[4] “Proletarian democracy is a million times more democratic than any bourgeois democracy; Soviet power is a million times more democratic than the most democratic bourgeois republic,” V.I. Lenin,

“The Proletarian Revolution and the RenegadeKautsky” (1918), Lenin Collected Works Vol 28, trans. Jim Riordan (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1974), 227-325. Available online at the Marxist Internet Archive,

[5] James Robertson was a leading figure in the SWP’s Revolutionary Tendency and after its expulsion became the leading figure in the Spartacist League from its founding in 1966 until his death in 2019.

[6] V.I. Lenin, “Conspectus of Hegel’s Science of Logic: Book III (Subjective logic or the doctrine of the notion” (1914-1916), Lenin Collected Works Vol 38, trans. Clemence Dutt (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1976), 167-237. Available online at the Marxists Internet Archive,

[7] Karl Marx, “Marx to Ludwig Kugelmann” (1868), Marx and Engels Collected Works Vol 43, (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1988), 67-69. Available online at Marxists Internet Archive

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