New PDF release: Anton Pannekoek and the Socialism of Workers’ Self

By John P. Gerber

ISBN-10: 0792302745

ISBN-13: 9780792302742

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Extra resources for Anton Pannekoek and the Socialism of Workers’ Self Emancipation, 1873-1960

Example text

Although primitive societies are characterized by various forms of theoretical knowledge, science in the real sense of the word can arise only at a higher stage o f civilization, with the invention of script, which enables prac­ tical knowledge to be transformed into scientific knowledge by establishing relationships between concepts. Through script, conceptions acquire an in­ dependent existence of their own, which allows them to be handled, stored, compared , and connected with each other. 27 As conceptualized by Pannekoek, science was not only a special form o f human thought activity, b u t also an integral part of the general social and economic process ofa particular epoch.

The scientific importance of Marxism as well as of Darwinism, ' he wrote, ' consists in their following out the theory of evolution, the one upon the domain of the organic world [ . . ] ; the other, upon the domain of society. '54 What this meant was that Marxism and Darwinism were completely independent of each other and should re­ main in their own domains. To carry a theory from one domain to another where different laws are applicable would necessarily entail wrong con­ clusions. This did not mean that they were opposed to each other, but that they supplement each other in the sense that according to the Darwinian theory of evolution the ani mal world develops up to the stage of man : and from then on the Marxian theory of evolution applies.

Once again, Pannekoek played a central role by serving on the board of directors, advancing a substantial loan, and on many occasions working late nights in the bakery. 45 Although soft spoken and lacking in histrionic gifts, Pannekoek also dis­ tinguished himself as a lively polemicist and orator by championing the cause of Marxism in Leiden in numerous public forums, courses, and de­ bates. In this activity, Pannekoek's constant preoccupation was with de­ veloping a Marxist pedagogy grounded in the praxis of everyday life.

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Anton Pannekoek and the Socialism of Workers’ Self Emancipation, 1873-1960 by John P. Gerber

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