The claim of this article is to argue that the main thrust of Karl Marx’s philosophy was neither a critique of political economy, nor a critique of the bourgeois political system, but an anti-theistic raid of a metaphysical nature, and that this drive gave him the impetus that motivated his intellectual activity from the time when he had not yet had any economic theory and when the proletariat had not yet played a major role within the purview of his interests. Marx’ rebellion led him to a condemnation of the entire creation as a product of an evil Demiurge, who – to exacerbate the situation even further – was nothing else than a product of human false consciousness, manifesting itself politically as a division of any populace into friends and foes, who were subsequently conglomerated into antagonistic social classes but could be transformed in appropriate conditions into stateless community of friends.
The author believes that one all-inclusive assessment of Marx’s philosophy is inevitably misleading. Although Marx constructed one theory that has a texture of a uniform fabric, the fabric has been woven with threads of two very different qualities. His presentation of capitalist instability, exploitation and alienation has the quality of scientific explanations. But his treatment of dialectic, economy formulated in terms of priceless commodities and his vision of communism is fantastic and arbitrary.
The author champions the belief that Karl Marx offered a theory of capitalism, and not a theory of socialism. This explains, she argues, why we cannot find a detailed and well-constructed conception of human society that will exist in the future. Marx continued, however, to draw prognostic conclusions from his diagnosis of the capitalist status quo, and his numerous manuscripts are replete with social predictions. They were different at different times, and as the capitalist system tended to change in his lifetime, so changed Marx’s expectations about the future course of events. One thing remained unchanged, however. He always proclaimed the coming of a classless community based on the principle that a free development of each is a necessary prerequisite of a free development of all.
This article looks at the record of the activities of Poland’s Women’s League, first registered in 1945 under the name Social and Civic League of Women, presented in its two magazines, Kobieta Dzisiejsza [Today’s Woman] and Kobieta [Woman] published in 1946–1947 and 1947–1949 respectively. Their approach and choice of stories were to demonstrate the new organization’s concern with the lives of their readers. The magazines offered advice on how to cope with problems of everyday life, both at home and in the workplace. The broad range of themes was intended to appeal to a broad audience from all walks of life, including those that were not members of the new organization.
This article looks at a character of Jakub Frank, the 18th-century Jewish Messianic leader, in Andrzej Żuławski’s book of idiosyncratic essays Moliwda (published in 1994). Żuławski, a controversial fi lm-maker and writer, whose historic musings are usually focused on an individual who embodies the spirit of the age in this case turns his attention to Jakub Frank. Moliwda is typical of the early phase of Żuławski’s writing career characterized by a radically revisionist explorations of the Age of the Enlightenment in search for parallels with the modern age and his own life. Jakub Frank is presented as a trickster, religious charlatan, political fraudster and fateful ancestor of 20th-century tyrants, but at the same time as a rebel against the idea of God and history enshrined in the Judaic tradition. The article views Żuławski’s interpretation as an attempt to appropriate certain elements of the history of religion to create an authoritarian vision of modernity and its historical roots, based on mechanisms of self-aggrandizement, sexualization of power and subversion of all hierarchies.