Hello,
Thanks for your response.

Yes, I kinda thought the idea might be that much humanism is philosophical 
idealism ( in Engels famous sense in _Ludwig Feuerbach: The End of Classical 
German philsophy_, two great camps of philosophy,idealism and materialism, 
especially modern philosophy, on the relationship between thought and being, 
and all that). He's probably avoiding being subjective as opposed to objective, 
too.

 But "humanism" as the term is commonly used today in English, is probably part 
of the rational kernel of idealism that we want to extract. Something might be 
lost in the translation from French. But even the French CP paper is name 
_L'Humanite_.

Anyway, I'll try to look at Althusser's essay, because I have become more and 
more a respecter of Althusser over time. And I subscribe to a certain amount of 
Levi-Straussian structuralism from my schooling in anthropology( even with its 
aroma of philosophical idealism ,smile); and Althusser was a structuralist in 
that school. Ideology and all that.

By the way, I think Marx did have a concept of human nature, in his discussion 
of species-being in the _Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844_. He 
expresses an essentialism on the relationship between women and men that knocks 
the socks off the post-modernist anti-essentialists in the following passage:


In the approach to woman as the spoil and hand-maid of communal lust is 
expressed the infinite degradation in which man exists for himself, for the 
secret of this approach has its unambiguous, decisive, plain and undisguised 
expression in the relation of man to woman and in the manner in which the 
direct and natural species-relationship is conceived. The direct, natural, and 
necessary relation of person to person is the relation of man to woman. In this 
natural species-relationship man’s relation to nature is immediately his 
relation to man, just as his relation to man is immediately his relation to 
nature – his own natural destination. In this relationship, therefore, is 
sensuously manifested, reduced to an observable fact, the extent to which the 
human essence has become nature to man, or to which nature to him has become 
the human essence of man. 

From this relationship one can therefore judge man’s whole level of 
development. From the character of this relationship follows how much man as a 
species-being, as man, has come to be himself and to comprehend himself; the 
relation of man to woman is the most natural relation of human being to human 
being. It therefore reveals the extent to which man’s natural behaviour has 
become human, or the extent to which the human essence in him has become a 
natural essence – the extent to which his human nature has come to be natural 
to him. This relationship also reveals the extent to which man’s need has 
become a human need; the extent to which, therefore, the other person as a 
person has become for him a need – the extent to which he in his individual 
existence is at the same time a social being. 

The first positive annulment of private property – crude communism – is thus 
merely a manifestation of the vileness of private property, which wants to set 
itself up as the positive community system."

http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1844/manuscripts/comm.htm

Indeed, the human subject is an ensemble of social relations, cultural beings 
in the anthropological sense of "culture".  But the sexual relationship is a 
natural social relationship, the sexual instinct a social instinct, and thus 
sexual relations are both socially and naturally social. The sexual 
relationship is a special exception to the postmodernist correct idea that 
human subjectivity and individuals are predominantly socially or culturally 
constructed (maybe, ? smile)




Ciao, Comrade

Charles Brown


--- On Fri, 2/6/09, Disqus <notifications-dqukn5y...@disqus.net> wrote:

> From: Disqus <notifications-dqukn5y...@disqus.net>
> Subject: [politicalaffairs] Re: Political Affairs Magazine - The Concept of 
> &quot; Aura&quot; and the Question of Art in Althusser, Benjamin and Greenberg
> To: cdb1...@prodigy.net
> Date: Friday, February 6, 2009, 3:12 AM
> Gary Tedman (unregistered) wrote, in response to bing:
> 
> hello,
> 
> 
> 
> Althusser meant philosophical humanism, which is basically
> mainstream bourgeois ideology, he distinguished it from
> humanitarianism, but there is a lot of humanism in bourgeois
> humanitarianism too (charity for example). Yes, Marx said
> that, and being a 'true humanist' is to go beyond
> classical humanism, as he did for example in his criticism
> of Feuerbach.. A classic humanist belief would be of the
> 'human spirit' or 'Man' with a 'human
> nature' (essence), 'born free' and
> 'responsible' for 'himself'. For Marx the
> human subject is an ensemble of social relations (to be
> brief). See Althusser's essay "Marxism is not a
> Humanism" in the book "For Marx".
> 
> 
> 
>  
> 
> Link to comment:
> http://www.politicalaffairs.net/article/view/8042/1/359/#comment-5848873
> 
> --
> You may reply to this email to post your response. To turn
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