Saturday, September 04, 2010

SPGB Meeting: Hunter, Fisherman, Shepherd and Critic

One for your diary:

And the accompanying blurb:

Hunter, Fisherman, Shepherd, Critic: Karl Marx's Vision of the Free Individual

A lot of nonsense is talked about Karl Marx, most of it from people who have never read him.

Many consider his work to be discredited by the dictatorial regimes that were set up in his name. But what did Karl Marx actually have to say?

Was he in favour of dictatorship? Did he think that the state should impose dull uniformity, rigid regimentation and boring work on its citizens? Did he think that human nature and talents should be suppressed in the name of equality and altruism and for the benefit of a collectivity?

No. In fact, Karl Marx's driving passion his whole life was the free development of the individual. Karl Marx was not opposed to the capitalist ideas of choice, liberty and individual freedom. He supported the ideas, but opposed the society that prevented them becoming a reality.

He wanted to be able "to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner, just as I have a mind, without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, herdsman or critic".

In this talk, we will consider whether Karl Marx's vision of the free individual is just an idle dream, or something that could actually be achieved. And if so, how?

Speaker: Stuart Watkins

All welcome.

Free entry. Free discussion. Free refreshments.

I'm sure it will be an excellent talk. The speaker at the meeting is an excellent writer for both the Socialist Standard, and his personal blog, Big Chief Tablets.


Anonymous said...

From The German Ideology... I've lost count of the number of times that I've used that quote myself, and I credit that part of that book, more than anything else, with changing me some dozen or so years ago from thinking I was an anti-Marxist "anarchist" or "democratic socialist" (depending on the month) to realizing that, deep down, no matter what political faction I hung out with, I had to be some kind of a Marxist. :)

Imposs1904 said...

It's a nice quote.

For some reason I always attributed it to Engels.

Londonsocialist said...

Was that because of the hunting in the morning? Anyway, parts of the German Ideology were written by Engels but I suppose Marxologists know who wrote what from the handwriting.