Introduction to Marx's early writings - Lucio Colletti

The late Lucio Colletti discusses the content of Marx's early writings and how their late emergence influenced Marxism and the reinterpretation of Marx.

Written as an introduction to the Early Writings volume of the Penguin Marx Library; London, 1975.

Submitted by Red Marriott on February 28, 2009



15 years 4 months ago

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Submitted by Entdinglichung on March 2, 2009

a strange (and sad) story: Colletti was one of the leading non-dogmatic marxist thinkers in Italy in the 1960ies but than abandoned marxism, moved to the right and died as an MP for Berlusconi's Forza Italia in 2001:


14 years 10 months ago

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Submitted by RedHughs on September 10, 2009


Colletti may have been "non-dogmatic" in a number of ways but what evidence is there that he saw communism as anything distinct from the state capitalism of the Lenin and the vanguardism of the traditional communist parties? Before he rejected Leninism entirely for mainstream capitalist politics, he had exited Stalinism only to flirt with Trotskyism - but, apparently did not go as far as even Trotsky in the sense that he failed to admit that Stalinist parties the world over had agents of counter-revolution for many years at the time

Steve Redhead Article quoting Perry Anderson interview

My membership of the party was an extremely important and positive experience for me. I can say that if I were to relive my life again, I would repeat the experience of both my entry and my exit. I regret neither the decision to join nor the decision to leave the party. Both were critical for my development. The first importance of militancy in the PCI lay essentially in this: the party was the site in which a man like myself, of completely intellectual background, made real contact for the first time with people from other social groups, whom I could
otherwise never have encountered except in trams or buses. Second, political activity in the party allowed to overcome some forms of intellectualism and thereby to understand somewhat better the problems of the relationship between theory and practice in a political movement. My own role was that of a simple rank and file militant. From 1955 onwards, however, I became involved in the internal struggles over cultural policy in the PCI

Sure, join Communist Party, meet exciting, interesting people and ... lead them down the road to Stalinist counter-revolution...

I would note that Colletti also seems to blame the excesses of the Stalinists on their adherence to Hegelianism. It seems like their class interests as members of a ruling party would be a much clearer force. Colletti's anti-Hegelianism is considered the epitome of philosophical perfection. Without claiming that I have any monopoly on effective practice, I say this kind of thing seems inherently removed from practice.