Remarks On Dr. Johann Plenge’s “Marx and Hegel”. Tübingen, 1911

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Plenge fails to understand how “ma-

terialism” can coincide with revolu-

tionism (calling the latter “ideal-

ism,” etc.) and waxes angry over

his lack of understanding!!!


A good example of how bourgeois

professors vulgarise the fundamentals of

Marxism, its theoretical fundamentals!!

Ad notam of the imperialist economists[1]

and Co.!!
After a pretentious introduction (How I,

I, I “read” Hegel and Marx) follows an

essay of the Hegelian “doctrine” that is

extremely shallow (idealism is not distin-

guished from “speculation,” very, very few

things have been grasped; still there is

some good in this essay as compared with

Kantianism, etc.). Then, comes a critic-

ism of Marx which is altogether nonsens-



aspect of


has been


Marx is being accused of “pure ideology,”

when by “actual” proletarian he means

a representative of a class. (82)
Marx =


“Now the strong language of the apos-

tate, who decisively renounced any sort

of idealism ... now the ideal demand of

the political enthusiast—such is the actual-

ity of Karl Marx.” (81-82)
“It is passing strange that this Jewish

radical healer should have known all his

life just one universal remedy for all social

conditions that are in need of cure; critic-

ism and political struggle.” (56)
...Marx’s historical materialism is ac-

tually “nothing but ... a pathetical gesture,”

“an extremely rationalistic doctrine,” “in

its most profound basis an idealist examina-

tion of society,” etc., etc. ... (83)

“did not



97 et al.

...“agitational motives”... (84) (id. 86,

92 et al.) (115 et al.)

Marx borrowed “this natural-scientific

empiricism” (88), “Marx naturalises social

science (ibid.).

...“His” (Marx’s) “path is not that of the

thinker, but ... of the prophet of free-

dom....”!!! (94-95)
Socialist revolution = subjectivist hope

to present it as “an objectively scientific

cognition” is an illusion of an ecstatic

dreamer, an illusion which degenerated into

charlatanry” (p. 110).
...“Marx ... was dominated by the passion-

ate will of a radical apostle of freedom....”

Marx “agitationally whipping up all the

instincts of hatred....” (115)

inde ira!![3]
“Marxism ... becomes ethics of abstract

negative, fanatical enthusiasm” (just like

Mohammedanism according to Hegel!)....


...“Temperament of a fanatic” of

Marx (and his “hot head”)—that’s the point.


And more of such vulgar gibberish!

Whence this quotation? The author did

not give chapter and verse.[4]

“Without revolution socialism cannot

be realised. It stands in need of a polit-

ical act, inasmuch as it stands in need

of destruction and dissolution. But wher-

ever its organic activity begins and its

end-in-itself bares its soul, socialism casts

off its political integument.”
—After quoting this passage without

giving its source Plenge continues: “‘The

political integument’ that will be hurled

aside is of course the whole of Marxism.”

How Plenge seeks out “contradictions”:

Marx, he says, wrote in Rheinisehe Zei-

tung[5]: “‘The same spirit which con-

structs railways with the help of industry,

constructs philosophical systems in the

minds of philosophers’ (p. 143). And

then these means of production are eman-

cipated from the spirit which created

them and begin, in turn, sovereignly,

to determine the spirit.”

Example of how Plenge criticises


“By its gross exaggeration it brings to
a white heat the hard fact of capitalism

that the urge for profit lowers wages and

worsens working conditions. But then it

suffers from the elementary mistake of du-

plication of concepts veiled by the termin-

ology used....” (157) .

..“Agitational requirements dictate that

the inflammatory theory of surplus-value

be given the most prominent place in the

entire system....” (164)
...“Marx is a revolutionary Jew of the

nineteenth century who has re-tailored the

garment borrowed from our great philos-

ophy to suit his ends.” (171)

a pearl!!
This Plenge is an extreme vulgar-

iser; the scientific value of his

trashy book is zero.
  1. Imperialist economists—Lenin’s designation for the opportunists Bukharin, Pyatakov and Bosh in the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party (Bolsheviks) during the First World War. The “imperialist economists” demanded that the Party delete the programmatic statement on the right of nations to self-determination. They also came out against the entire minimum programme of the RSDLP, which envisaged a struggle for democratic reforms that would facilitate the preparation and transition to the socialist revolution. Lenin laid bare the opportunistic essence of the position of Bukharin and those sharing his views, its kinship with “economism”—the opportunistic trend in Russian Social-Democracy at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. Like the old “economists,” who could not understand the need for the political struggle of the working class under conditions of capitalism, the “imperialist economists” did not understand the significance of the struggle for democratic reforms under conditions of imperialism.
    Certain views of the “imperialist economists” were shared by Left Social-Democrats of Holland, America, Poland, etc. That is why Lenin called “imperialist economism” an “international disease” (Vol. 35, letter to Inessa Armand of November 30, 1916).
    A number of articles by Lenin are devoted to a criticism of “imperialist economism”: “On the Incipient Trend of ‘Imperialist Economism’” (pres. ed., Vol. 23, pp. 10-15); “A Caricature of Marxism and Imperialist Economism” (pres. ed., Vol. 23, pp. 16-64).
  2. just”!!—Ed.
  3. hence the ire!!—Ed.
  4. See Critical Notes on the Article “The King of Prussia and Social Reform. By a Prussian”, the ¶ beginning: The “Prussian” must choose between....KCG.
  5. The reference is to the Rheinische Zeitung für Politik, Handel und Gewerbe (Rhine Gazette on Problems of Politics, Trade and Industry)—a daily newspaper that appeared in Cologne from January 1, 1842 to March 31, 1843. It was founded by representatives of the Rhineland bourgeoisie who were opposed to Prussian absolutism. Marx joined its staff in April 1842 and became one of its editors in October of the same year. During Marx’s editorship, the revolutionary-democratic character of the newspaper became more and more marked. The newspaper was ultimately banned by the Prussian Government.
  6. theory of surplus-valueEd.