Althusserian and French anti-humanism in general 
is bullshit, the French intellectual's way of, as 
they say, epater les bourgeois. If "humanism" 
alludes to something else, then that should be 
decoded. And I think Tedman is quite mistaken.

At 11:10 PM 2/5/2009, Charles Brown wrote:
>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 nnatural 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 inddividual existence is at the same time 
>a social being. The first positive annulment of 
>private property ­ crudee communism ­ is thus 
>merely a manifestation of the vileeness of 
>private property, which wants to set itself up 
>as the positive community system." 
>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 
><> wrote: > 
>From: Disqus 
><> > Subject: 
>[politicalaffairs] Re: Political Affairs 
>Magazine - The Concept of &quot; Aura&quot; and 
>the Question of Art in Althusser, Benjamin and 
>Greenberg > To: > 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: > 
> > >

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