Marx Myths & Legends

INDEX....................
INTRODUCTION
introduction to "Marx Myths & Legends"
TEXTS
essays on Marx mythology
CRITIQUES & REJOINDERS
view or contribute serious responses & criticisms to texts published in "Marx Myths & Legends"
CONTACT
Rob Lucas

AUTHORS....................

Christopher J. Arthur
Terrell Carver
Paresh Chattopadhyay
Harry Cleaver
Hal Draper
John Holloway
Z. A. Jordan
Joseph McCarney
Humphrey McQueen
Maximilien Rubel
Cyril Smith
Peter Stillman
Francis Wheen
Lawrence Wilde



Marx Myths & Legends

Z.A. Jordan

The Origins of Dialectical Materialism

The myth that Karl Marx formulated a fully worked-out method and philosophical system called “dialectical materialism” is the core claim of Marxism, but it has no basis at all in the writings of Karl Marx and but a slim basis in the writings of Frederick Engels. It is widely recognised now that Marx was not a philosopher and the term “dialectical materialism” was invented after his death. Cyril Smith, for example, has written along similar lines in "Marx at the Millenium". However, Zbigniew Jordan was one of the first to call this myth into question. Jordan also deepened the intensifying debate over the role of Frederick Engels in creating rather than just transmitting, the Marxist canon.

Critiques & Rejoinders for "The Origins of Dialectical Materialism"

-Brian Basgen

Submit a rejoinder

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Source: From Z.A. Jordan’s book “The Evolution of Dialectical Materialism,” published by Macmillan, 1967. This chapter of the book is reproduced for non-commercial, educational purposes only, and no permission is granted to reproduce the text.

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Biographical information

Professor Zbigniew A Jordan was co-author in 1963 of Philosophy and Ideology: The Development of Philosophy and Marxism-Leninism in Poland since the Second World War, a monumental work tracking the first movement to publicly criticise the orthodox Stalinist reading of Marx from within the Soviet Bloc. His 1967 article The Origins of Dialectical Materialism, reproduced here, was one of the first to challenge the core claim of Marxist orthodoxy. Jordan died in 1978.

See also: Philosophy and Ideology: The Development of Philosophy and Marxism-Leninism in Poland since the Second World War and Marxian Naturalism.

Each author retains the copyright for their contribution, which is reproduced here with permission. The texts on this site cannot be reproduced without permission of the author.