The Transformation page, admirably edited by Michael Edwards for the impressive openDemocracy website, kindly published my journalistic effort (linked above) to promote an idea I had for promoting a version of Marxism which has, I think, been deeply buried. It came to me in the late 2010s while writing the concluding chapters of the book on Big Flame that I’m producing with Keven McDonnell.
I call it ‘sensuous materialism’. At first I called it ’emotional materialism’ but I thought people would laugh (overtones of excessively excited leftists crying over the class struggle?). I took ‘sensuous’ from Karl Marx’s early philosophical writing where he is breaking with idealism and positing everyday human activity — as humans everywhere make their material and social world — as the fundamental building block of society.
If you want to read a longer and more academic version of this argument, here’s an extract from what was intended as a chapter in the book that will hopefully appear in 2024: Max Farrar & Kevin McDonnell, Building the Movements: The Big Flame Story, London: Merlin Press. The original manuscript of this book was deemed far too long, so that chapter was dropped. What follows provides my ideas ‘in progress’ which I might try and get published somewhere else: Sensuous materialism from BF book