At our British comrades' Philosophy day school, Daniel Morley discussed the accusations of 'fatalism' levelled at Marxism by its enemies. Ironically, it is Marx's accusers who would make human beings passive victims of fate. They say that Marxism is a 'teleological' theory, according to which all of human history is preordained. They even accuse Marxism of being a religion, with the role of God replaced by iron laws of history, leaving no role for active, conscious human beings to change history. This is, of course, a caricature. Marxism is the only philosophy that explains the contradiction between free will and determinism. It is only by understanding the objective laws that govern society that we can change it.
The latest title from Wellred Books, The History of Philosophy: A Marxist Perspective by Alan Woods will be out in only a few days. We publish below an excerpt from the Introduction to the book, explaining why revolutionary Marxists should study the history of philosophy, and the enormous debt that Marxism owes to earlier thinkers, and in particular to the giants of philosophy that lived in the revolutionary, youthful phase of the bourgeois epoch.