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New Left Review I/60, March-April 1970

Lucio Magri

Problems of the Marxist Theory of the Revolutionary Party

It would be useless to try and find in Marx’s writings a complete and systematic theory of the proletarian party, its nature and characteristics, just as it would be useless to seek a fully worked-out notion of the concept of class. These are two important points of Marx’s thinking that were never fully developed. This should not, however, be taken to mean that there is not implicit in Marx’s work a definition of these concepts, which are essential to the logic and scientific fertility of his thought. Interpreters of Marx have often rightly said that the cornerstone of his thought is to be found in his critique not of a single philosophy but of all philosophy, not of a single utopia but of all utopian thought, admirably demonstrated in the Theses on Feuerbach. The object of this critique is the division between truth and history, being and thought, which after having dominated the whole history of man still remained undestroyed in the Hegelian system. Simultaneously, Marx’s critique bridged in principle and in fact all dichotomies between the facticity of history, left to its own immobility or contingency, and absolute ideals pursued independently of it (religious alienation) or abstractly superimposed upon it (enlightened utopianism).

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Lucio Magri, ‘Problems of the Marxist Theory of the Revolutionary Party’, NLR I/60: £3

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