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The Inevitability
of Communism (4)


The reformist identification of "science" with "Marxism," which Hook regards ( page 25 ) as one of the reasons for the turning away of the old labor movement from true Marxism, has its origin not in "misunderstanding" or in the false interpretation of Marxism, but in the actual fact of the increasing capitalization of the old labor movement. It is really not a question here of an identification, but of the acceptance of bourgeois science, together with the acceptance of the bourgeois relations in which one fought with other groups for one's share of the surplus value. Marxism was not converted into a science but, first practically and then also theoretically, completely abandoned. Since capital released the forces of production and also developed science, and at the same time made life, in so far as "Official Marxism" was concerned, a continual feast, reformism identified itself with this development. The capitalist world was also the world of reformism, which saw in the development of this capitalist world and of its science the developing "absolute consciousness" which one day would usher in socialism through the mere change of place between private capital and the bureaucratic state, and which saw in historical development nothing but the adaptation of the true relation through the spirit. This ideology was historically bound up with the upgrade period of capitalism and was only the intellectual expression of the economic counter-tendencies which delayed the rapid collapse of the capitalist system.

In the capitalist crisis, the identification of Marxism with science is not only the subjective class expression of the proletariat but actually, really the only science, for only Marxism admits any longer of a progressive social practice. Whether a thing is "true," ( not for eternity, but for the time-conditioned process of material interaction between man and nature, a process whose form is continually changing ), is revealed only by practice. So long as science furthered the forces of production and these in turn promoted science, this ( bourgeois ) science was objective and "true," since it enabled a practice and was at the same time a result of this practice. Even though change occurred with false consciousness, since class society sets ideology in place of consciousness, change occurred. And if reality was changed, so necessarily also consciousness, which expresses itself in the weakening of capitalist ideology. The level of the productive forces in capitalism, the capitalistic relation of production, bourgeois science in all its aspects, that was "objective" science : science proper. It is faced by the proletariat as its antithesis. For the proletariat in the advancing stage of capitalism, there was no science at all, the proletariat still had no practice of its own. The "class struggle," which was held in leash by reformism, lent vigor only to bourgeois science, because that struggle too served as an incentive to the further development of the productive forces under capitalism. If the wages of the workers increased, the exploitation increased faster. This practice, too, was a thoroughly bourgeois practice. But this practice was necessary in order to develop the capitalistic productive forces quantitatively to such an extent that the productive relations are obliged to assume other forms. And first at the point which marks the limit of capitalist development of the productive forces, only then is the class struggle divorced from bourgeois practice and hence, because the class struggle through this divorce does away with every bourgeois practice, it becomes the only practice : the class struggle becomes science. And at this point, nothing outside of this struggle is science any longer. The negation of the negation determines, with the disappearance of bourgeoisie and proletariat and their conversion to human beings, also the disappearance of "objective" and "subjective" concepts of science and their conversion to "science," the rational elements of which then form its natural and obvious content.

If the means of production in capitalism appear in the form of capital, if labor power appears as capital, so no less does science. The task of the proletariat consists in throwing off the capital relation. Even in their fetishistic, their capitalistic integument the forces of production, and hence also science, are thorough going realities, the fetishism being of course only the objectified relation between persons who make no difference in the material character of the actual elements of life. The proletariat opposes nothing to these realities, but merely releases them from their fetishistic integuments. "Its own social movement," says Marx, speaking of capitalist society, "seems to it to possess the form of a movement of things by which it is controlled instead of controlling them." Communism, the proletariat, abolishes this fetishism, which, in fact, was capable of developing the productive forces only for an historical period and which, through the accumulation of this process, is converted into its opposite, into a hindrance to the further development of the productive forces.

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