31 March 2015

Socialist Victory Only With Proletarian Woman

No Woman, No Revolution, Part 1a

Socialist Victory Only With Proletarian Woman
Clara Zetkin’s speech at the Party Congress of the Social Democratic Party of Germany at Gotha on 16 October 1896 sets the theme which will provide the backbone of this ten-part course.

Says Zetkin:

“The granting of political equality to women does not change the actual balance of power. The proletarian woman ends up in the proletarian, the bourgeois woman in the bourgeois camp. We must not let ourselves be fooled by Socialist trends in the bourgeois women’s movement which last only as long as bourgeois women feel oppressed.”

“We must not conduct special women’s propaganda, but Socialist agitation among women.”

Zetkin continues:

“Therefore the liberation struggle of the proletarian woman cannot be similar to the struggle that the bourgeois woman wages against the male of her class. On the contrary, it must be a joint struggle with the male of her class against the entire class of capitalists. She does not need to fight against the men of her class in order to tear down the barriers which have been raised against her participation in the free competition of the market place. Capitalism’s need to exploit and the development of the modern mode of production totally relieves her of having to fight such a struggle. On the contrary, new barriers need to be erected against the exploitation of the proletarian woman. Her rights as wife and mother need to be restored and permanently secured. Her final aim is not the free competition with the man, but the achievement of the political rule of the proletariat. The proletarian woman fights hand in hand with the man of her class against capitalist society. To be sure, she also agrees with the demands of the bourgeois women’s movement, but she regards the fulfilment of these demands simply as a means to enable that movement to enter the battle, equipped with the same weapons, alongside the proletariat.”

The German Social Democratic Party was the leading centre of this kind of thinking from before the death of Marx in 1883 until the Russian Revolution in 1917. Clara Zetkin was its principal leader in this field and by 1896 she had been editor of the socialist women’s newspaper Die Gleichheit (“equality”) for five years. We will return to “Die Gleichheit” in the next item.

·        The above is to introduce the original reading-text: Socialist Victory Only With Proletarian Woman, Clara Zetkin, 1896.

30 March 2015

Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State

No Woman, No Revolution, Part 1

Family, Property, State
Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State

Karl Marx was a philosopher by training, and a writer all his life. But the only full work he ever wrote about philosophy was his doctoral thesis on the Ancient Greek philosopher, Epicurus, several years before the birth of Marxism.

Marx’s working life was dedicated to the restoration of humanity to itself. This was the motivation for his greatest work, “Capital”. Marx regarded the relation between men and women to be the essence of humanity. He never wrote a book about it, but in his papers at the time of his death in 1883 were the notes that his friend Engels quickly turned into “The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State”. And this book turns out to be, not only original, but indispensable.

August Bebel’s book “Woman and Socialism” came out five years earlier, in 1879, but it is not a satisfactory starting point. Engels’ “Origin of the Family” on the other hand, has constant relevance. It describes women’s place in society in the complete context of the origin of property, class struggle, and the instrument that defends property and dominates class struggle: The State.

The special contribution of “The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State” is that it shows the common, interdependent origin of private property and the State; the fall of the women into the oppressive condition which they subsequently continued to suffer; and the institutions of money, writing and law. This original, revolutionary break marked the end of pre-history and the beginning of history, which as Marx and Engels had noted at the beginning of the Communist Manifesto of 1848, was from that time on “a history of class struggles”.

The transition from prehistoric communism took place a long time ago in some parts of the world. In Egypt and Mesopotamia (Iraq) it may have happened more than five thousand years ago. In most other parts it was a much more recent phenomenon, and in some places the fall of the women may in some ways still not yet be complete.

The simultaneous nature of the triple catastrophe (property, state and downfall of women) means that the remedy in all three matters will likewise have to be simultaneous, meaning also that:

The urgent abolition or “withering away” of the State is a woman’s issue. The socialist project is a woman’s project.

Communism is a necessity for women. The reversal of the downfall of the women can only be achieved by the simultaneous abolition of property and the State. Likewise, the abolition of property and the State cannot be achieved without the conscious restoration of women to their proper place in human society. All three goals have to be achieved together. The three goals are actually the same goal, and the name of it is communism.

This, the beginning of the course, therefore also provides the conclusion of the course: that there is no liberation available to working women under capitalism. Communism is where the contradictions will be resolved.

·        The above is to introduce the original reading-text: Engels, Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State, C9, Barbarism and Civilisation.

23 March 2015

Introduction to “No Woman, No Revolution”

No Woman, No Revolution, Part 0

Introduction to “No Woman, No Revolution”

The efforts of women of the privileged classes to acquire rights that were increasingly being gained by the male members of their class, notably the right to own property and the right to vote, are called feminism.

This struggle existed even under feudalism, and it grew stronger as the bourgeois class began to assert itself and to become hegemonic. The feminists put forward reformist demands that bourgeois society was able, and often willing, to concede to bourgeois women.

This course, “No Woman, No Revolution”, is not designed to present a full history of feminism, but rather to pick up the story of feminism at the point where contradiction arises between bourgeois feminism and the interests of the women of the proletarian class.

This contradiction manifested itself in the second half of the nineteenth century, as a consequence of the proletarian revolutionary movements associated in the first place with Karl Marx and Frederick Engels. It is found, not only in the realm of theory, but also in the world of practice, notably in the First and Second Internationals.

This course has been worked on for many years. It now presents a strong view of the historical development of revolutionary thought about women, and of revolutionary organisation among women, from the mid-nineteenth century to the present.

The roots of the course are in the last decade of Karl Marx’s life. The German Social Democratic Party was founded in 1875, Bebel published his “Women and Socialism” in 1879, and Marx was studying Morgan’s “Ancient Society” prior to his death in 1883. Engels took up Marx’s manuscript and worked it into a book, “The Origin of the Family, Private Property and The State”, published in 1884, which is our first and still our greatest text.

The course therefore follows the pioneering development of thought about women and revolution within the parties of the proletarian interest, from the time of Karl Marx, who died in 1883; Frederick Engels, who survived Marx by 12 years until 1895; and Clara Zetkin, who was born in 1857, was already active in the labour movement in 1874 (the year that Charlotte Maxeke was born) at the age of 17. Zetkin lived until 1933.

It then proceeds via the work of Rosa Luxemburg and Alexandra Kollontai, to a high point with Vladimir Lenin, and then to the setback (for women) that was the 3rd Congress of the Third International (the Comintern).

The course then picks up the story in South Africa, where in the same decade that saw the foundation of the ANC, the ICU and the CPSA, Charlotte Maxeke [pictured above] established the Bantu Women’s League in 1918, the fore-runner of many subsequent liberatory and revolutionary women’s organisations.

The course problematises the relationship between attempts to found a mass-membership, dedicated women’s organisation in South Africa, led by the working women; and the countervailing determination of the liberation movement, the ANC, and its Women’s League, to tolerate no potential rival.

The course examines theoretical works dealing with structure and structurelessness, gender and patriarchy, and the close relationship between bourgeois feminism and bourgeois post-modernist philosophy.

The course finishes with writings from the SACP (Jenny Schreiner and Blade Nzimande) and speeches from the ANC (Jacob Zuma).

International Woman’s Day (8th of March each year) was proposed by Clara Zetkin, a contemporary and comrade of Alexandra Kollontai, at the Second International Women's Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1910. The first International Women’s Day was observed in 1911.

Feminism had a considerable history by that time. In 1910 the campaign for votes for women was at its height in some countries. But the bourgeois feminism of those days was being challenged by the revolutionaries, as it still is today. This course, “No Woman, No Revolution”, is motivated by revolutionary considerations like those of Zetkin and Kollontai.

A successful revolution that mobilised only half of the available support would be inconceivable. The half of the population that is female must be as fully involved in any revolution as the men are, or else there will be no revolution. Our series is designed to problematise the question of women as a force in South Africa’s revolution, in the specific conditions pertaining in this year of 2015. It will focus on the necessity of organising working women as a mass.

·        To download the full No Woman, No Revolution course in PDF files, please click here

17 March 2015

Living Communism

Hegel, Part 10a

Corporate image of a collaborative project

Living Communism

Bourgeois propaganda would have everyone believe that communism is an impossible utopia, and that class relations, as we know them now, which Karl Marx referred to as “bürgerlichen Gesellschaft” (“civil society” or more literally, “bourgeois society”) are all-pervasive in human society, to the exclusion of every other kind of social behaviour.

But, on the contrary, the development of class relations and the State (which as Lenin says, is not only the inevitable product of such relations, but also the proof of their irreconcilability) did not expunge all previous forms of human relation.

Humans already had language, and language is a powerful, stateless system. It has no fixed centre. It is communistic.

There are many other examples of communistic human relations which have survived, like language, and which remain as the bulk of our social fabric. There are even some apparently new kinds of communistic, stateless social structures coming out, such as the Internet, and Bitcoin.

What Andy Blunden has done is to begin to theorise the communistic patterns of social activity, mediated by artefacts that characterise human social existence in general.

This is the on-going body of humanity upon the back of which the class struggle is carried, for the time being, like the cross of Christ, until capitalism’s Judgement Day comes.

Andy Blunden’s book (from which these excerpts, downloadable via the link below, are taken) is called “A Critique of Activity Theory”. It is concerned in part with Cultural-Historical Activity Theory, or “CHAT”, but we can pass over the specifics of “CHAT”, and look at what Andy means by “collaborative projects” in these chapters.

Collaborative Projects and Artefacts

Collaborative Projects are how people do stuff. Even capitalist companies are collaborative projects.

One characteristic that Andy Blunden identifies is that a collaborative project is always mediated by an artefact, or artefacts. Artefacts are things made by people; but words are also artefacts, by the way.

What Andy therefore begins to theorise is the social place of things, or goods, made by people. This is somewhat different from the understanding of such goods as being commodities for exchange, which is all that capitalism can manage to do.

Andy’s insight includes the way that collective agency is both expressed, and also formed, within collaborative projects. We may say that we are humanists, believing in the rational free will of social beings. But how does this actually proceed? Andy provides a description, rooted in politics, philosophy and educational theory.

In the bourgeois concept of exchange, the commodities are standardised or otherwise limited by contract. In the collaborative project, its intention and purpose remains under negotiation and development. The bourgeois contract excludes human change and on the contrary, presumes that human beings are not subject to change. The collaborative project presumes constant human development and is in fact the location of such development.

Our own method, following Paulo Freire, is to have dialogue involving two or more people, centred on a “codification’, which is an artefact (text or image). This conforms to the structure of a “Collaborative Project”.

But the aim within this course on Hegel is not necessarily to follow Andy into educational theory. The aim within this particular course is to consider what may already exist under the shell of the class-divided bourgeois State, so that what will remain, if and when that State withers away, can be apparent to us now, today.

What is the living communism of today? This is the question that is being answered by Andy Blunden’s writings sampled here.

·        The above is to introduce the original reading-text: Collaborative Projects, 2011, Andy Blunden.

16 March 2015

New Tools for Marxists

Hegel, Part 10

Polynodal semi-chaotic social-system diagram

New Tools for Marxists

This is the last part, and the second last item, in our series on Hegel’s Logic. It is the late SACP stalwart Ron Press’s article “New Tools for Marxists” (see the download linked below) on the application of Chaos Theory to revolution, written in the heat of the post-1994 election moment.

History has not actually ended. Closure of this course is therefore not appropriate.

Hegel’s theories have served us well and will continue to serve. There are not two branches of philosophy. We live in a Hegelian world, no matter what the reactionaries and the post-modernists may wish to think. The unity of human history is a hegemonic idea. Science is well established and universally revered, if not always for the right reasons.

If, because of the collapse of the Soviet Union a generation ago, we are forced to conclude that the Bolsheviks failed in their revolution three generations earlier, then it is more than likely that the reason they failed was lack of philosophy.

Philosophy and the withering away of the State

The revolutionaries must have a clear philosophical theory of how the coming classless society is going to work without a state.

In “New Tools for Marxists”, Ron Press wrote:

‘“…the standard Marxist idea that society passes in a linear manner from primitive communism via class struggle to the ultimate victory when the working class replaces capitalism with a classless society is an unattainable myth. Especially when a classless society was taken to mean the establishment of order and stability, in fact stasis. The theories outlined above indicate that stasis means the inevitable sudden crossover into chaos and collapse.’

Ron Press is saying that the theory of the State, and of the “withering away” of the State, in Marx, Engels and Lenin is not wrong, yet these three did not have sufficient theoretical means to appreciate in full how “stateless” systems can, and already do, work in nature and in human society.

The revolutionaries of today need a Hegel for today: a Hegel up-to-date.

Let’s finish this introduction with two short quotes from our late comrade Ron Press:

“In the Soviet Union the “Soviet” i.e. committee system was destroyed by restricting the bandwidth of communication, and making one node all powerful.

“But if there is a lesson to be drawn from the study of complexity it is that a complex system given a very “simple” goal (in our case the well being of humankind) develops its own best methods of operation and organisation. Solutions emerge from the system itself.”

Solutions emerge from the system itself.

Hegel could have said that.

The diagram represents a system in which no single node is all-powerful.
·        The above is to introduce the original reading-text: New tools for Marxists, 1995, Ron Press.

10 March 2015

Lenin on the Theory of Knowledge

Hegel, Part 9a

Pablo Picasso, 1937: “Guernica”

Lenin on the Theory of Knowledge

The Criterion of Practice in the Theory of Knowledge

Lenin’s 1908 “Materialism and Empirio-Criticism” is a full-length book, but a difficult one to include under any particular category. It is a polemic against Ernst Mach and his Russian followers, whom Lenin said had little to distinguish themselves from the 18th-century subjective idealist Bishop Berkeley. This controversy does not seem quite so important today as it appears to have been in 1908, but it is still useful.

Our text from Lenin’s book is “The Criterion of Practice in the Theory of Knowledge” (download linked below).

It begins: “We have seen that Marx in 1845 and Engels in 1888 and 1892 placed the criterion of practice at the basis of the materialist theory of knowledge.” This shows up some of our difficulty in the field of Marxian philosophy. As the footnote says, Lenin is referring to Marx’s “Theses on Feuerbach” (1845) and to the works by F. Engels: Ludwig Feuerbach and the End of Classical German Philosophy” (1888) and the “Special Introduction to the English Edition of 1892” of his “Socialism: Utopian and Scientific”.

The latter pamphlet is made out of excerpts from Engel’s “Anti-Dühring”, while the “Theses on Feuerbach” are part of “The German Ideology”, a book written between 1845 and 1847 by Marx and Engels and then abandoned “to the gnawing criticism of the mice”.

Karl Marx had a Doctorate in Philosophy but he did not, as a “Marxist”, write a book of philosophy as such, except insofar as his long “Capital” project could be taken as philosophy, and there are indeed some overtly philosophical statements here and there among the preparatory works and in the three originally-published volumes of “Capital”.

So, what is linked from this post comprises the major part of the overt philosophical work of Marx, Engels and Lenin. It is a tiny amount when compared to the world’s literature on philosophy.

It is therefore clear that the classical Marxist literature does not provide us with a full, exclusively Marxist exposition of philosophy. Perhaps this is fitting, because Marxism is after all not outside of the main stream of learning. As we have seen, it is a continuation of, as well as a reaction to, Hegel’s work, while Hegel’s work stands in a similar relation to Kant’s, and so on.

Taken together, all of this means that for the kind of philosophy that is necessary for revolution, the revolutionaries will have to go beyond Marx and Engels, and study the full discipline of philosophy, its history, its development and its meaning. This is exactly what Lenin began to do in the early 1900s.

In “Materialism and Empirio-Criticism” Lenin quotes Hegel several times in passing, and briefly, though not in this particular chapter. It would seem that Lenin’s interest in Hegel really only got going later, at about the time (1914) when he prepared his ‘Conspectus of Hegel’s book “The Science of Logic”’. The Lenin Philosophy Archive on MIA is here.

Lenin is saying in this short chapter that that the test of truth is practice, and this provides us with a continuity in relation to our previous instalment, from Ilyenkov.

The next part will be the last in this Hegel series.

Picture: Pablo Picasso’s “Guernica”. Picasso was the most distinguished painter of the 20th Century, and a communist. His famous mural depicting the fascist aerial bombing of the Spanish village of Guernica is now at the United Nations.

·        The above is to introduce the original reading-text: The Criterion of Practice in the Theory of Knowledge, Lenin, 1908.

09 March 2015

Ascent from Abstract to Concrete

Hegel, Part 9

Pablo Picasso, 1908: “Three Women”

Ascent from Abstract to Concrete

There is no a priori humanity, or presupposition of humanity. There may be a God, or not. What is human is not given, but is made, by humans. We are made as humans by the knowledge that we continue to get, through labour, and to share, socially.

The knowledge that humanity has accumulated, altogether, is science. Objective things-in-themselves that are parts of the universe become known through labour and are thereby brought into that sphere which is humanity. So, the Object becomes part of the Subject.

Similarly, thoughts and decisions become facts of a social and political kind and become objects of science, including Scientific Socialism. In this way, Subject becomes Object.

These reversals, inversions (or “reciprocal actions” as Clausewitz might have called them), are critical transformations and are noticed and incorporated into the philosophy of Hegel and of Karl Marx.

We cannot say that everything is thought, and we equally cannot say that everything is matter; and to say that reality is an unqualified mixture of thought and matter is only to enter a hall of mirrors.

Hegel creates an escape from this maze into a better, and dynamic, form of understanding.

Hegel’s solution is to demonstrate how the movement takes place, not once and for all, but constantly. In the previous part of this course, Andy Blunden’s lecture explained it like this:

“The categories of Being which come into being and pass away, continue to come and go indefinitely. The succession of oppositions which overtake one another in Essence continue to generate polar opposite pairs of determinations. As these unfold, a new form of social practice develops self-consciousness, with a succession of new qualities, new entities, new relations, both incidental and necessary, registered in thoughts and purposive activity and representations, and judged, and people may draw from these experiences a more concrete understanding of the new social practice as it develops. So in terms of time, all these relations are happening at the same time, although there is a logical dependence of the later categories on the former.”

This movement is an ascent from the abstract to the concrete.

What is “concrete”? It is the unity and interaction of the parts of a system. It is a dialectical unity-and-struggle-of-opposites. In philosophy, “concrete” has nothing to do with being fixed, hard or permanent. In philosophy this word has a special meaning.

Our main document in this part is “Hegel’s Conception of the Concrete” from Chapter 2 of Evald Ilyenkov’s “Dialectics of the Abstract and the Concrete in Marx’s Capital”. Ilyenkov (1924-1979) was a first-class Soviet philosopher. The full Ilyenkov Archive on MIA is here. Here are a couple of quotes from Ilyenkov:

“As we know, Hegel was the first to understand the development of knowledge as a historical process subject to laws that do not depend on men’s will and consciousness. He discovered the law of ascent from the abstract to the concrete as the law governing the entire course of development of knowledge.”

“In reality, the immediate basis of the development of thought is not nature as such but precisely the transformation of nature by social man, that is, practice.”

Picture: Pablo Picasso’s “Three Women”. “Cubism” in visual art was a conscious attempt to represent the relationship of the abstract and the concrete on a two-dimensional surface.

·        The above is to introduce the original reading-text: Hegel’s Conception of the Concrete, Evald Ilyenkov, 1960.

02 March 2015

Subject, Object and Idea

CU Course on Hegel, Part 8

Subject, Object and Idea

Our course on Hegel is in ten parts. It is not exhaustive. It is designed, like all the Communist University Courses, to stimulate dialogue, in the belief that the kind of learning that we seek is the social and political kind of learning that happens in groups.

This part will contain only one item, which is the eighth of Andy Blunden’s ten 2007 lectures on Hegel's Logic. It contains several quotations from Hegel, and there will be more in this post, below. We are not abandoning the main CU principle of relying on original writing and (as a rule) avoiding secondary commentators.

Hegel is indispensible because, among other things:

·        Without knowledge about the historical Hegel, Hegelianism, and some of Hegel’s philosophy, it could appear as if Marx and Engels came from nowhere, whereas the development, and history, of ideas (as Hegel showed) is continuous, and dialectical
·        Without knowledge of Hegel’s way of thinking, and in particular his Logic, some of Marx, especially parts of Capital, appears obscure, incomprehensible or even weak and “illogical”
·        Modern philosophy all descends from Hegel or from reactions to Hegel. Not only Marx, but all of Hegel’s successors are incomprehensible without Hegel
·        The revolutionary battle must be won in philosophy as much as anywhere else, if not more so
·        Hegel’s is the philosophy that we need for our revolutionary practice.

Hegel is difficult for us because:

·        His work appears at first sight to be voluminous, self-contradictory and obscure
·        The body of scholars that maintain Hegel’s position in public thought is too small, and conflicted
·        Hegel offers real transformation, which is in itself a difficult thing to accept and to internalise

The last line of Andy Blunden’s lecture Subject, Object and Idea (download linked below) contains the following:

“No-one else has produced anything that can rival [Hegel’s] Logic; and he left no room for imitators.”

And in the first line of his second-last section of this lecture, “Hegel’s critique of the individual/society dichotomy” Andy Blunden writes:

“So what we have seen is that Hegel presented a critique of all aspects of social life by an exposition of the logic of formations of consciousness, which does not take the individual person as its unit of analysis but rather a concept. A concept is understood, not as some extramundane entity but a practical relation among people mediated by ‘thought objects’, i.e., artefacts.”

Quite so. Hegel presented a critique of social life. All of Hegel’s “Beings”, “Essences”, “Notions” et cetera, all the way up to and including “The Idea” and “The Spirit”, are ways of understanding people as social creatures (or political animals” as Aristotle called them).

This is from the “Shorter Logic”:

“The Idea is truth in itself and for itself - the absolute unity of the notion and objectivity. Its ‘ideal’ content is nothing but the notion in its detailed terms: its ‘real’ content is only the exhibition which the notion gives itself in the form of external existence, while yet, by enclosing this shape in its ideality, it keeps it in its power, and so keeps itself in it. The Idea is the Truth: for Truth is the correspondence of objectivity with the notion - not of course the correspondence of external things with my conceptions, for these are only correct conceptions held by me, the individual person. In the idea we have nothing to do with the individual, nor with figurate conceptions, nor with external things. And yet, again, everything actual, in so far as it is true, is the Idea, and has its truth by and in virtue of the Idea alone. Every individual being is some one aspect of the Idea: for which, therefore, yet other actualities are needed, which in their turn appear to have a self-subsistence of their own. It is only in them altogether and in their relation that the notion is realised.

“The individual by itself does not correspond to its notion. It is this limitation of its existence which constitutes the finitude and the ruin of the individual.” (Shorter Logic, §213)

Not only does Hegel produce a thorough working-out of the relation of the individual to society, but he also unifies the Subject-Object dichotomy with the rest of the social logic. Without Hegel such unification would be impossible, and we would be left with nothing but nonsense like this cartoon:

To conclude this opening-to-discussion, let us return to something we have quoted before. It is from an afterword of Karl Marx’s, concerning the very work “Capital” that Lenin says cannot be understood without Hegel’s “Logic”:

“My dialectic method is not only different from the Hegelian, but is its direct opposite. To Hegel, the life process of the human brain, i.e., the process of thinking, which, under the name of “the Idea,” he even transforms into an independent subject, is the demiurgos of the real world, and the real world is only the external, phenomenal form of “the Idea.” With me, on the contrary, the ideal is nothing else than the material world reflected by the human mind, and translated into forms of thought.

“The mystifying side of Hegelian dialectic I criticised nearly thirty years ago [but although] I openly avowed myself the pupil of that mighty thinker… with him [dialectic] is standing on its head. It must be turned right side up again, if you would discover the rational kernel within the mystical shell.”

The great Marx was arguing against Right Hegelians and anti-Hegelians at that stage, and in defence of Hegel. Unfortunately this saying of Marx is sometimes taken to mean that Marx had somehow “refuted” Hegel, demolished him and sent him into the dustbin of history, whereas the opposite is the case. Marx “openly avowed [himself] the pupil of that mighty thinker”, and he certainly followed Hegel in believing that such “refutations” do not happen. In the Marxian as much as in the Hegelian world, the past is contained in the present, and is not lost.

Marx’s remark could lead to another error. It is clear that Marx is not saying here that he, Marx, stood Hegel on his head. He says that Hegel stood dialectic on its head. In fact, as we have seen, Hegel’s method involves constant reversals and Marx follows Hegel in that respect. So Marx might have better confined himself to saying that Hegel stood dialectic on its head once too often. We cannot say that all the reversals must be taken out of Hegel because it is largely in this way of reversals that Hegel is able to achieve the unprecedented transformations that he does undoubtedly achieve; and likewise with Marx himself. What we can say is that sometimes Hegel makes mistakes and offers a reversal that we may reject. But even then we should not be too hasty. Andy Blunden says:

“We should take [Hegel] at his word when he says that Spirit is the nature of human beings en masse. All human communities construct their social environment, both in the sense of physically constructing the artefacts which they use in the collaborating together, and in the sense that, in the social world at least, things are what they are only because they are so construed. The idea of spirit needs to be taken seriously. It may seem odd to say, as Hegel does, that everything is thought, but it is no more viable to say that everything is matter, and if you want to use a dichotomy of thought and matter instead, things get even worse.”

·        The above is to introduce the original reading-text: Subject, Object and Idea, 2007, Blunden.