Marx and Freud
Contradictions: A Journal for Critical Thought II, no. 2 (2018): 135–156
Keywords: Marxism, Freud, psychoanalysis, human nature, materialism
We print below the first half of the essay “Marx and Freud,” which forms the second of three chapters of the 1968 book Modern Mental Reality and Marxism by Czech Marxist philosopher, historian, and aesthetic theorist Robert Kalivoda (1923–1989). The chapter is preceded in the book by an essay entitled “The Dialectics of Structuralism and the Dialectics of Aesthetics,” which offers a critique of the Hegelian basis of Marxist aesthetics and attempts to supplement Marxism with principles drawn from Kantianism and structuralism. The book’s third chapter, “Marxism and Libertinism,” presents a genealogy of the Marxian ideal of freedom and equality, the sources of which the author finds – perhaps surprisingly – in the cultural paradigm of Romanticism and in the ideology of libertinism. Throughout the book, Kalivoda pursues two primary goals: to philosophically investigate the meaning of (modern) reality, and to offer a systematic basis for a humanist Marxism. Kalivoda argues that Marxism overcomes the metaphysical conception of human existence and can be used as a robust methodological basis for a general dialectical theory of human existence. “Marx and Freud” appears here for the first time in English, in a translation by Ashley Davies.
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