Applause for Merleau-Ponty

July 21, 2009

 The recognition of the Party by the proletariat is not a pledge of allegiance to certain individuals. It requires, in turn, the recognition of the proletariat by the Party, i.e., not the submission of the Party to ready made opinions of the proletariat, but statutory design of giving them access to political life. This exchange where no one commands and no one obeys is symbolized by the old custom which dictates that in a meeting speakers join their own applause to the applause addressed to them. This happens because they do not intervene as individuals and in their relationship with the listeners there arises a truth which does not belong solely to the speakers, and which they can and must applaud. The Party in the communist sense is this communication, and such a conception of the Party is not a corollary of Marxism but the centre (Merleau-Ponty, “Western Marxism” in Telos, #6, Fall 1970, 140-161).

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2 Responses to “Applause for Merleau-Ponty”

  1. The Universal Singular said

    why is this filed under ‘Lukacs’?

  2. battleofthegiants said

    The paper’s about western Marxism… the ‘father’ of whom is Lukacs…

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