Marxist humanism

The English and French Wikipedia articles on “Marxist Humanist” state that the Frankfurt School (Herbert Marcuse, Walter Benjamin, Erich Fromm), and people related to it like André Gorz, belonged to this school of thought.

Really? I mean, to me, these people are quite anti-science, with their promotion of pseudo-scientific psychoanalysis, existentialism, and a harsh criticism of the industrial society. Walter Benjamin was a mystic, a romantic, an idealist: what is the relation with humanism? :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Reading the book of Lamont The philosophy of humanism (1997), where he states (p. 29):

Finally, we find in the category of naturalistic Humanists the followers of Karl Marx, who call themselves variously Marxists, Communists, or Socialists. On economic, political, and social issues the Marxist Humanists are of course much to the left of the other types of Humanists I have described. Ordinarily they use the formidable phrase Dialectical Materialism to designate their philosophy, though they often talk in a general way about the Humanist civilization of Soviet Russia and of the socialist world. The Marxist materialists disagree sharply on certain philosophic issues with me and with other Humanists, particularly in their ambiguous attitude toward democracy and their acceptance of determinism.
They are, however, unquestionably humanistic in their major tenets of
_rejecting the supernatural and all religious authority,
_of setting up the welfare of humankind in this life as the supreme goal,
_and of relying on science and its techniques

So I feel quite confused. :expressionless:

One of the basic tenet of humanism is that men are ends and not means, are not objects or tools

Another tenet of humanism is the idea of equality of men, beyond everything which separate them !!! all are men without any hierarchy

Marxists share these tenets.

Now Marx was complex and his thoughts have changed during his life.

Young Marx thought that under capitalism men are alienated, reified. Later he played down these ideas. Frankfurt school worked from this basis and has rejected Leninism.

[Frankfurt School - Wikipedia]

The fact the marxism can be a humanism does not surprise me so much.
I know many “traditional” socialists get nuts about the New Left and its irrationality and anti-universality…

But the fact that the Frankfurt School can, is very surprising to me. This school has produced many anti-science books such as The Eclipse of Reason, and the Dialectic of Enlightenment.
André Gorz was personally closed to the Frankfurt School, he was an existentialist and a phenomenologist: not a paramount of Reason and science in my view.

I’m more of a Democratic Socialist than I am a Democrat, so I can see how Marxism and humanism can go together.

Hi mriana. As a humanist, and though I am in favor of free-market economy, I noticed I prefer debating with “traditional” socialists than with liberal conservatives, although I would normally share with them many common conceptions (small government, bourgeois ethics, entrepreneurship, economy over politics, etc.). Debating with liberal conservatives and irrational anarcho-capitalists (I am not an anarcho-capitalists, I believe in the importance of the state and authority) was one of the most frustrating thing I endured in recent years.

This may be because I am a humanist before being a pro free-market. Free-market and small government is just a means for greater individual freedom and material prosperity; it is not an end at all.

I’m not a traditional socialist nor am I a liberal conservative. I’m also not a capitalist.

“Democratic socialism” is what I would consider “traditional” (in opposition to New Left) socialism, together with other forms of socialism.

Capitalism is a word which does not exist in free-market economy theory. Maybe it refers to crony capitalism, to which free-market economists are very opposed.

au contraire, the word free market doesnt exist in capitalism

Frankfurt school leading figures were not affiliated with the Forth International. Their work was antithetical to classical marxism with writings of marx and engels insignificant compared to those of schelling schopenhauer nietzsche and heidegger . It did not see the working class as a revolutionary force and pays no credit for thier role on political events

Which surprises me even more that they are classified as “Marxist humanists”!

In my memory, Francfort school Indeed, retains from Marxism and the Enlightenment ideal of emancipation the main idea that philosophy must be used as a social critique of capitalism and not as a justification and legitimisation of the existing order.

The alienation of the human beings by the system and by the modern world is very strong. This idea is not foreign to Marx.

They are not Leninists or Troskyists, for sure but one can be Marxist without being one.

Thank you very much.

So the Frankfurt School is to be considered humanist in that it endeavors, in the continuation of the humanist project, to free people?

But these Frankfurt guys disdained humanism, right?

Even Marx was a critique of humanism? (tried to find more information about Marx and its critique of the Enlightenment, the bourgeois ethics, and humanism, so if you had any information, they would be very welcome!)

The relationship between Marxism and Humanism is complex.

By humanism, I mean a system of reflection on man for which man is
the supreme good, is an aim and not an object or a tool and a political thought which seeks to ensure to Man the best conditions of

Marxism is an humanism. When i say that, I exclude Leninism such as it was practiced.

But Marxism wants to be a materialism. The Man ideologies are born from the material conditions of existence of different men.

Marxism is a realism. It is interested by the man as it exists in our world, in our society, not by an idea of man, an abstract concept of humanity, even if this concept is born from religion or other ideologies.

And Marxism is a tool to fight to free Man from capitalism and alienation.

For these reasons, Marxism is very far from others humanisms.