Titel: Marx and Mendacity: Can There Be a Politics without Hypocrisy?
Autor: Martin Jay
As demonstrated by Marx’s fierce defence of his integrity when anonymously accused of lying in 1872, he was a principled believer in both personal honesty and the value of truth in politics. Whether understood as enabling an accurate, `scientific´ depiction of the contradictions of the present society or a normative image of a truly just society to come, truth-telling was privileged by Marx over hypocrisy as a political virtue. Contemporary Marxists like Alain Badiou continue this tradition, arguing that revolutionary politics should be understood as a `truth procedure´. Drawing on the alternative position of political theorists such as Hannah Arendt, who distrusted the monologic and absolutist implications of a strong notion of truth in politics, this paper defends the role that hypocrisy and mendacity, understood in terms of lots of little lies rather than one big one, can play in a pluralist politics, in which, pace Marx, rhetoric, opinion and the clash of values resist being subsumed under a singular notion of the truth.
The Normative Turn from Marxism
2015 (37) Heft 1
Marxism, both as a Western political movement and an intellectual focus of dispute, lost its academic appeal during the 1970s and 80s, foreshadowing the collapse of `actually existing´ socialism in the early 90s. Within what after the Second World War was called `Western Marxism´, there had been growing awareness of Marx’s early philosophy with its suggestive, if somewhat vague, ideas of a universally productive life and an ideal productive society. In contrast, the stock of (not only offici...