Friday, 10 February 2012

Trotsky on intelligentsia

Leon Trotsky - from Wikipedia

The idealists and their almost deaf and blind disciples, the Russian subjectivists, thought that mind and critical reason moved the world, or in other words that the intelligentsia directed progress. As a matter of fact, all through history mind limps after reality.
Leon Trotsky. Literature and Revolution

Trotsky was only partly right. We rationalise after the fact but theories often come before the facts that eventually support them. Otherwise there would be no progress.


Sam Vega said...

I'm not sure if he was talking about facts and theories here. Sounds like the standard Marxist view that forms of thought are dependent upon material conditions of production, which is something a bit more subtle.

A K Haart said...

SV - yet Marxism is nothing if not predictive, so presumably exempt from "limping after the facts".

Sam Vega said...

No, Marx would have said that the objective reality of capitalism led to his theory about it.

A K Haart said...

SV - would he? I could never get anything that specific out of Marx, but that may be down to my difficulties with him.