Genuinely curious here, /lit/. Is there any merit to reading Karl Marx?
I was curious because I remember studying him during sociology classes in college and recently, in the UK, due to the success of Jeremy Corbyn, Marx's books have been selling more frequently.
I was just wondering, /lit/: what is your experience with the theorist? Do you agree with him, do you strongly disagree, or are you on the fence? Also I was wondering does anyone strongly disagree with him but still somewhat admire some of his ideas?
Marx is unbelievably important. I am not a Marxist at all, and I think anyone who wants to understand Western intellectual development since the 19th century absolutely needs to understand not only Marx but Marxist thought in general.
People have taken varying aspects and levels of his ideas and created entire, incredibly influential schools with the inspiration. It's not just Marxists. A shock of Marxism runs through the last hundred fifty years of European humanities and social sciences.
historically marx, through his philosophically minded social theory, provided a way in for psychoanalysts, philosophers, and critical theorists to describe sociological phenomena using their particular discourse. marx, freud, and nietzsche have come together to form a 'master theory' of semiotics—anything can be read as a manifestation or repression of desire-social production-will to power. so in that sense the merit to reading marx is that he makes it very easy, if you understand him (or his students) you can churn out a lot of academic writing. on the other hand, if you happen to think that this kind of thinking is the precise kind of bourgeois groupthink that constitutes the grandest betrayal of both marx and nietzsche, perpetuated because of a freudian unconscious that loves to be repressed, then understanding marx is crucial so that you can undermine the prevailing dogma from within. just as deleuze wanted to escape hegel, it's time for someone with the courage to escape marx.
If you are a worker then read him.
If you own a company with workers then dont bother.
If you dont care that mutch about the whole worker/employer relationship or money shit than dont bother with Marx.
no, it's still idealistic. historical materialism was a reaction both to vulgar materialism (the 19th century fedoras like Carl Vogt, Jakob Moleschott and Ludwig Buechner) and oldschool idealism. without going full /his/mode: neo-kantianism had a similar motivation. both hegelians and kantians were trying to salvage a modified form of idealism from the "materialismusstreit" which had been won by STEM fedoras during 1850s by points.
the idealism of marxism was also the reason why Freuds theories werent accepted by most marxist. Freud himself was a pupil of Ernst Haeckel, another popularizer of vulgar materialism.