From the Diary of an Antimarxist

From Karl Polanyi
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[1] Scrolling through yellowing manuscripts struck a strange idea. Or they could have been in office for forty years. Contemporary people paid a high price for their flame-discovering discoveries.

The blood circulation was barely discovered by Harvey when it was already used by the medical world for an emergency treatment. Fever, after all, is nothing but a symptom of rubbing - the walls of blood vessels heated by the rushing blood must be freed from the pressure of the thick liquid in order for the trouble to subside. The healing effect of vascular cutting should be promoted by abundant watering so that the diluted fluid runs more smoothly in the blood vessels. Thousands of patients have died from this kind of scientific medical expert.

The fashion of modern medicinal mechanics was followed by even more scientific medicinal chemistry. Vomiting, laxative, and sweating to the point of fainting served the right mix of "fluids." An army of purging medics in Moliere competed in the human race with the bloodthirsty doctors of "Gil Elas".

Of course, the manuscript was not a collection of mere curiosities. He thought to see a strict analogy between the natural sciences of the seventeenth [2] century and the failed applications of later social sciences and later social sciences.

The discovery of social laws through the works of a Robert Owen, Auguste Comte, Quetelet, Herbert Spencer, or Karl Marx has been interpreted by contemporaries as finally holding the key to the future. Then only obscurantist Kurds ________ liberate humanity from the curse of misery. Of course, your medicine was selected! Owen from the immediate complete abolition of religions, Comte from a sociological ecclesiastical hierarchy, under his own papacy, Spencer from the inhumanities of free competition to the knife tip, Quetelet's social physics from the disciplining power of moral statistics.

I learned the lesson with a gesture: - Marx's scientific policy is nothing more than the entanglement of intellectual achievements in the temptation of frequency. His ingrained sociology could not be directly transposed into politics, nor could the great discovery of a Harvey into the medical practice of the age.

Obviously, later, I had my doubts. I came across another manuscript, which already seems to have started my self-drinking anti-Marxism. Didn’t I perhaps even get myself involved in the hasty exploitation of my own “discoveries”? And does the adjective "scientific," clinging to socialism, not hide more catchy questions than I am prepared for?

All of this was recalled in a recent article in The Literary Newspaper, which raised related issues under the title "Science and Tyranny" [3], somehow similar to what I myself had long ago.

Marxism, of course, is much more relaxed today by the scientific public than it was then. But also antimarxism, the results of which are now also beginning to filter. Locke-Ricardo-Marx's theory of labor value failed. Lewis used the time of Henry Morgan's anthropology. The positivist philosophy has taken place. The dialectical method was supplanted by the natural sciences. The social sciences, on the other hand, ignored, in their entirety, Ricardo-Hegel'Marx's analysis of a society attacked almost entirely by the Industrial Revolution, including the phenomenon of class harness. Although world history is not a “history of class struggles,” the history of European societies in the nineteenth century is largely. While Orthodox Marxism is predominantly outdated and obsolete, much of today’s historical science and serious pubicism has drawn its perspectives, horizons, and questions from Marxist influence, no matter how often altar in its answers. The little cat of the Communists is, of course, just as reluctant to accept this simple fact as the grand cat of the antimarxists.

But where did we leave the question of scientific policy in the meantime? Fanaticism and tyranny, beyond the general human scale, of the backward / recurring essence of our Western civilization. These are inherent alternatives to a mindset that knows no radical patience. Where and from whom did this inexhaustible legacy come to us, who could tell? Religion, state or philosophy - which heated the boiler of impatience more abundantly? Churches and sects, peoples [4] and nations, parties and classes, scholars and artists who breathe only the air of the West, sift through death the holy war of their own spirituality with the camp of otherness.

But what are we to keep in mind, if we are already researching the contingent, in the fierce totalitarianism of our own age, in the devastating conformism, precisely about the political impact of knowledge, the liberating role of science?

We need to establish a few facts, albeit negligible, but perhaps that is why it is motivating new paths.

Examining the spiritual history of your mult tail, we come to a surprising result. It does not stand, as the public belief holds, that as Ujkor he lived and grew up in the spirit of science. This insidious overthrow of the prestige of science is the birthplace of the legend formation of our own age. The truth is that the magic of the science of nature, which Marx and Engels reflect in the second half of the nineteenth century, was unknown even at the beginning of their own centuries. Hegel, from whom they were descended, was a researcher of society, not nature. Only with the success of organic chemistry, agronomy, engineering and medicine did natural sciences become the ideology of the age almost explosively. Even the Communist Manifesto did not refer to scientific substantiation, on the contrary, it accused the utopians of scientific reasoning. But thirty years later, Engels himself christened the new doctrine "scientific socialism." By then, the spirit of the age that had shaped the worldview had declared the survival of energy in the person of Robert Mayer and Darwin’s discovery had brought a Copernican turn and Darwin’s discovery had brought a Copernican turn to the question of human descent. The century since 1859 was then truly marked by the exact sciences until their accelerating pace flooded the world with a flood of discoveries and inventions. But in the peculiar friendship of science in the twentieth [5] century, the centuries of Copernicus and Newton, Darwin, and Einstein came together in their superstitious effects. They have all been elevated to the throne of exact research, the halo of which, according to the eik mentioned above, is nothing but "perfect hair accuracy and scientific consistency."

But not one of the four, as we know, was made immortal by these neutral possessions, but by their almost literally overwhelming ideas.

Even in the eighteenth century, the credit for stuttering was so great that even great advances in research took the prestige of philosophy where we would speak of physics or chemistry today. The exception was England, but only apparently. The popular "scientific" adjective referred to ideas that rationalize public administration and are full of writings by thinkers and statesmen. There was so much credit for social policy and administrative techniques that first economics and then science gained the name "science."

Whether, in the later stages of Marxism, it drew great strength from the almost superstitious reverence of science of the nineteenth century, it is no doubt another question whether it will not suffer harm from this very pseudo-origin today?

What we call the history of the natural sciences represented neither material unity nor one-way force in the development of modern spirituality. There may have been secret traffic between successive stages of knowledge through underground flows, but its hidden channels, if any, cannot be scanned.

In fact, in spite of all the efforts of our economic historians, we have not been able to derive the outbreak of our own time, the industrial revolution of the eighteenth century, from the development of the natural sciences. [6] The weaving and then the crucial spinning machines were made by simple workers, and we can't thank the later inventions either, after using a James Watt steam engine, we managed to marry science and technology, and never science and politics.

We need to look for the sources of today’s rooted complaint and lawsuit against society in a completely different way.

The industrial revolution of the eighteenth century has been the watershed for centuries. Measured on a historical scale, it involved traditional society with an artificial technical fabric from day to tomorrow. The financially brilliantly successful nineteenth-century market capitalism was only the first stage in this new technological civilization that is plunging us into more unexpected perils. Although this technology has drawn its strength from the practical branches of the natural sciences, it is not the prestige of science but the actual technical fabric that has completely transformed our environment. Our society, wired through artificial forces and materials, could be said to have changed its state; from its former loose structure it seemed to have undergone an increasingly rigid crystallization. It is in vain that we hide from ourselves that a physically focused world holds mind-blowing fear and the power of a tyrannical public opinion. The planned economy initially increases this rigidity, but it is certain that the conformism of advanced market capitalism is nourished from the same source as the freedom-shrinking effects of five-year plans. And the violence of great power that subjugates the independence of the peoples is ultimately exacerbated by the same organizational factors.

From this technological civilization comes the crisis, from the furnace of which tendencies, but also enormous moral forces [7], emerge to save the human nature and content of life.

Science, technology and economic organization - these ideas are being industrialized in our East today even faster than perhaps more than in our home countries on more than one model. Both capitalism and socialism are Western ideas.

Socialism itself is a step forward from a morally indifferent market level to a humanly conscious everyday life. Early capitalism paid for machine production for a long time with a lower, heartless and lying public spirit. The brilliant devotion of the first stage of socialism was turned into the defeat of a cunning mad mass murder, apparently.

A Vision only. Because from this perspective, appearances are merely man's inability to do with technique. In the technical civilization that developed under its own law, there are still the moral factors that inspired the original objectives.

History calls morally forces the deeply bursting passions that sometimes provide the basic human conditions for our existence with dazzling beauty.

Humanizing a technical civilization is a world-saving task. But what is this other than saving the human content of socialism?

A major intellectual history event took place in Hungary almost two years ago. Knowingly or unknowingly, it was an attempt by an entire people to express the living power of these truths.

We are also proud in our grief that the rebellious communists of Budapest belonged to this leading group in the direction of humanity. The deeper and more sincerely we immerse ourselves in the ideological legacy of the martyr Imre Nagy, the more this simple lesson is given.

Hand-written transcription in English

[8] Reading through the yellow line-worn pages of manuscript the illusion came ___ the spell of {value} a curious trend of thought. People who was loving in ____ of brilliant discoveries – to the argument __ -


Text Informations

Original Draft: “Egy ‘antimarxista’ naplójából
KPA: 37/10 (7 typed p.; 2 manuscript p. translated in English)
Other Languages:

Lg Name
FR D'après le journal d'un antimarxiste