-Call for Papers-
Marxism & Sciences: A Journal of Nature, Culture, Human and Society
Volume 1- Issue 2
As stated by many critical scholars and commentators, the Covid 19 pandemic, which still continues to haunt the world, has made capitalism’s political and economic crisis more apparent than ever. An abrupt suspension of the “normal” functioning of the global market mechanisms and the inability of the states and capitalists to develop coherent responses to the situation have unraveled once more the fragility of financial capitalism. The now-conspicuous and immediate repercussions of ecological crisis, which manifest themselves with soaring temperatures, unprecedently enormous wildfires, floods and droughts are observed worldwide. This situation has also demonstrated how capitalism lacks any effective instruments to at least mitigate the imminent catastrophes stemming from its inherent propensity to commodify all of life to the detriment of life itself. Under these circumstances, contemporary capitalism is characterized no longer by economic growth, further globalization, or an ideological triumph over socialism but by rampant ontological insecurity, a gloomy sense of apocalypse, and bleak future scenarios. In search for the foundational reasons for this “total crisis”, even the mainstream intellectuals tend to problematize the intrinsically destructive forces of capitalist production and the devastating consequences it has had on human to human, and, in general, human to nature relations.
As the “totality” of life itself, not only the human life but also the life of the earth in general, is at stake today, there emerged, even among the mainstream thinkers, a tendency to discuss the viability of some total solutions for a potential total catastrophe. The urge of the World Economic Forum, the leading capitalist platform of the world, for a total revision, epitomized by the phrase “Great Reset” is a quintessential and telling example of this tendency. Any Marxist would concede that any quest for developing “total” solutions to the total crisis of capitalism from within capitalism itself is not ony unavailing but also manipulative, as it is impossible to design any solution for such a massive and all-encompassing crisis by remaining within both the material and ideational confines of capitalism.
The totality of the contemporary crisis of capitalism rather invites us to rethink the fundamental premises of Marxism in its totality, as the method of understanding and transcending capitalism and reflecting on the historical, present, and possible future forms of human-human and human-nature relations. In an age characterized by the urgent need for a “new beginning”, the quest for revisiting, rethinking, and clarifying Marxism’s foundational premises in different fields of science is crucial. In this vein, in the second issue of Marxism and Sciences, we intend to include scholarly articles or essays and cultural works that discuss and consider the fundamental premises of Marxism as a scientific method, as an epistemology, as a philosophy and as a revolutionary vision and strategy, and assess the extent of actuality and viability of these premises in the wake of “total” crisis of humanity.
A number of fundamental questions that could be pursued in the submissions, including, but not limited to:
- What are the common foundations of knowledge-production in different disciplines and how do sciences contribute to/challenge the prolongation of capitalism?
- What is a Marxist approach to and a critique of the processes of knowing nature, culture, human and society?
- What are the fundamental premises of the Marxist conception of nature, culture, human and society and to what extent are they actual and pertinent for understanding the crisis today in its totality?
- What are the foundations for a Marxist conception of totality? What could be its promises to challange the recent anti- Marxist theoretical trends such as Material Turn, post-humanism and new materialism?
- What are the fundamentals of Marxist class analysis? How could Marxist class analysis be helpful to understand the contemporary crisis in its totality?
- What are the fundamental propositions and thesis of Marxism in regards to the origins of the state, the characteristics of capitalist state? How are they helpful to understand the contemporary crisis in its totality?
- What are the foundations of a Marxist approach to and critique of contemporary social movements and how can it contribute to their emancipatory potentials?
Announcement: 15 September 2021
Deadline: 01 February 2022
Publication date: July 2022
-Call for Papers-
Marxism & Sciences: A Journal of Nature, Culture, Human and Society
Volume 1- Issue 1
Friedrich Engels, the “second violin” of Marxism as he calls himself, was born two hundred years ago on November 28, 1820 in the city of Barmen in Germany. Together with the “first violin”, Karl Marx, they built a comradeship after 1844 to the effect of meeting in person, if they happen to be in the same city, or exchanging letters, if in different ones, on a regular daily basis. Among the products of these comradeship there not only is The Holy Family, The German Ideology, and Manifesto of the Communist Party that they co-authored, or the books they authored individually on the basis of their mutual discussions but also is the very history of the international class struggle. This is also a comradeship that continued even after Marx’s death in 1883. Even death could not separate them because Engels devoted the rest of his life to arranging Marx’s manuscripts and notes and preparing them for publication as the second and third volumes of Capital and Theories of Surplus Value. As he had delved deeply into working on these manuscripts he wrote that he really felt as if living in the same commune with Marx.
The Actuality of Engels is the actuality of Marxism. Yet, this actuality is of special significance with regard to Engels: He has been chosen as the target by anti-Marxists in their campaign against Marxism, and has been treated as the “scapegoat” of Marxism by Western Marxism. For Western Marxism Engels represents aspects not present in Marx while for anti-Marxists he represents the concretization of the aspects already found in Marx, namely positivism, crude Marxism, mechanical materialism, economic determinism and reductionism, revisionism, and Stalinism.
We believe that Engels acquired this “special” position on the basis of his later elaboration and clear presentation of the most comprehensive thesis of Marxism that he and Marx had formerly expressed in their co-authored work The German Ideology: Although human and natural history can proceed separately, owing to their interaction they form a unified whole and thus become subnet of one single science, namely the science of history.
In other words, Engels got the opportunity to show the unity of dialectics in society, nature, and thinking in such a clear manner that neither he nor Marx had had the chance to do so before. However, he did this neither without Marx’s information nor without his contribution. For this reason we believe that it has become clearer than ever that Marxism’s and Engels’ actuality are identical. Yet, this should not be conceived of as considering Engels as one and the same person as Marx, as was done in the Soviet Union, which in a sense makes Engels invisible.
Although the interest in Engels was particularly developed in the 1970s among a small yet very influential number of Marxist natural scientists it has started to include social scientists as well since the 1980s and 1990s due to the ecological catastrophe. It is not a surprise that Engels’ studies on natural sciences form the basis for the later studies of these sciences and ecology. However, neither Engels’ contributions nor Marxism as a whole can be limited to an exclusive study of social sphere or that of nature as they aim for a totality illimitable by either. As the experience of the ongoing Corona pandemic has shown the catastrophe signifies a complexity that cannot be explained with reference to either purely social or purely natural processes: The “natural” disaster that is rooted in rule of capital and which is turning into a “social” disaster as it is administered in order to contribute to the strengthening on this rule calls for a totality capable of resolving this complexity.
Marxism & Sciences aims to make an issue that embraces the role of Engels in constituting Marxism’s totality. In this context, we expect your contributions elaborating Engels’ actuality in the 21st century.
Announcement: 15 March 2021
Deadline for Submissions: 01 July 2021 extended to 15 August 2021
Publication date: January 2022