Horkheimer on Lenin’s “Empiriocriticism” – Max Horkheimer’s 1928–29 reaction to Lenin’s epistemological polemic Materialism and Empiriocriticism
AMONGST HIS MANUSCRIPTS Max Horkheimer left behind an essay, written in 1928 but unpublished during his lifetime, whose subject is Lenin's important work Materialism and Empiriocriticism, which had appeared in German translation the year before. The publication of Horkheimer’s response to Lenin was eventually undertaken by Horkheimer’s pupil and successor, Alfred Schmidt in 1985.
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On April 7, 2017 the Platypus Affiliated Society hosted a discussion at its Ninth Annual International Convention in Chicago on the subject of “Marxism in the Age of Trump.” The event’s speakers were Chris Cutrone, President of the Platypus Affiliated Society and teacher of Critical Theory at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Catherine Liu, Professor of Film and Media Studies at the University of California, Irvine and author of The American Idyll: Academic Anti-Elitism as Cultural Critique; and Greg Lucero, a founding member of the Revolutionary Students' Union and a member of the Chicago chapter of the Socialist Party USA.
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WHEN FIRST ENCOUNTERING the Impeach Bush movement in 2007 I responded, almost flippantly, “Why not impeach the system that gave us Bush?” “Otherwise,” I said, “we risk having someone in the White House who’ll make us long for Bush.” If prescient, my response was admittedly formulaic and evidently deficient. Not surprisingly, whiffs of a new impeachment movement are again in the air since the November 2016 surprise. Those blowing from the Left, however, are again devoid of systemic/structural thinking and, alas, to its peril. It is to those who are wary of being seduced by this crowd that this more substantive response is directed, rather than to the lesser-evil true believers for whom hope springs eternal.
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