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Spinozist Marx

Wednesday, 22 February 2017 at 20:53

Spinoza and Marx on Dr John Dunn.
















In March to April 1841, at the age of 22, Karl Marx made extensive transcriptions from Spinoza.* These notebooks were published by Dietz Verlag in the GDR in 1976, in two volumes. Volume I contains Marx’s transcriptions in Latin and German; Volume II contains translations from Latin into German, and notes, the “Apparat”.

He prepared his Spinoza notes immediately following the completion of his doctoral dissertation for which he received his doctoral degree in April 1841.

The combination of his work on Epicurus (for the dissertation) and the notes taken from Spinoza had a profound effect upon Marx’s conception of human freedom.

Certainly the combination was also at the root of his realisation that there were two basic and opposite trends in philosophy, the idealist and the materialist.

*Karl Marx (1976) Marx/Engels Gesamtausgabe (MEGA), IV Vierte Abteilung : Exzerpte Notizen Marginalien Band 1(Berlin: Dietz Verlag)


© John Dunn.

USA modelled on France

Sunday, 12 February 2017 at 10:28

Jean-Baptiste Colbert on Dr John Dunn. What were the Pilgrim Fathers really escaping? A Sarpian, Spinozist, Lockean Britain.

The model for the new USA was not the Sarpian ‘Republick of merchants’ with Lockean overtones, but rather the France of Louis the XIV and Jean-Baptiste Colbert (pictured), except that the President undertook the role of an elected ‘king’.

Not surprisingly, the American revolutionaries received the support of France.

Only later was the republic in which happiness was to be pursued turned into a ‘Republick of merchants’.


© John Dunn.

Perfected state of oligarchy

Saturday, 11 February 2017 at 20:55

Isaac Luria on Dr John Dunn. The impact of Lurianic kabbalah was multi-layered, and socio-political in essence.

Isaac Luria (1534–1572) took his followers on a metaphorical journey of Platonic, Eleusian divine light, creation and fall, that left mankind with a neo-chivalric quest for redemption and return to divine perfection. This was ‘secret’ knowledge; a revamped gnosticism.

In the mystical language of gnosticism, Luria wrote down an allegory of exile and return for the Marrano Jews.

From what were the Jews exiled? Not Palestine for a start.

The great and significant exile was from the Renaissance states that were attempting to gain control of their economic destinies, within newly established national borders.

To what did the Jews long to return? To a borderless world of unimpeded trade - sharing the spoils of serf-produced surplus with the landholding nobility and Venetian bankers.

Tikkun was the allegorised process of return.

Ein Sof was the hoped-for perfected state of oligarchy.


© John Dunn.

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