Louis Althusser

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Like every 'intellectual', a philosophy teacher is a petty bourgeois. When he opens his mouth, it is petty-bourgeois ideology that speaks: its resources and ruses are infinite.

Louis Pierre Althusser (16 October 1918 – 22 October 1990) was a French Marxist philosopher.

Quotes[edit]

Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays (1968)[edit]

Lénine et la philosophie (1968) as translated by Ben Brewster (Monthly Review Press: 1971)
  • Like every 'intellectual', a philosophy teacher is a petty bourgeois. When he opens his mouth, it is petty-bourgeois ideology that speaks: its resources and ruses are infinite.
    • p. 2
  • You know what Lenin says about 'intellectuals'. Individually certain of them may (politically) be declared revolutionaries, and courageous ones. But as a mass, they remain 'incorrigibly' petty-bourgeois in ideology.
    • p. 2
  • To become 'ideologists of the working class' (Lenin), 'organic intellectuals' of the proletariat (Gramsci), intellectuals have to carry out a radical revolution in their ideas: a long, painful and difficult re-education. An endless external and internal struggle.
    • p. 2
  • Class instinct is subjective and spontaneous. ... To arrive at proletarian class positions, the class instinct of proletarians only needs to be educated; the class instinct of the petty bourgeoisie, and hence of intellectuals, has, on the contrary, to be revolutionized.
    • p. 2
  • The sciences we are familiar with have been installed in a number of great 'continents'. Before Marx, two such continents had been opened up to scientific knowledge: the continent of Mathematics and the continent of Physics. The first by the Greeks (Thales), the second by Galileo. Marx opened up a third continent to scientific knowledge: the continent of History.
    • p. 4
  • The number-one philosophical battle therefore takes place on the frontier between the scientific and the ideological. There the idealist philosophies which exploit the sciences struggle against the materialist philosophies which serve the sciences.
    • p. 6

Quotes about Louis Althusser[edit]

  • Lewis has written that "man makes history." Althusser unleashes a pamphlet at him maintaining that such is not the case: "Ce sont les masses qui font l'histoire." I challenge anyone to find a social scientist outside the Marxist camp who can seriously pose a problem of this type.

External links[edit]

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