By John P. Gerber
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Additional resources for Anton Pannekoek and the Socialism of Workers’ Self Emancipation, 1873-1960
Such a narrow conception of materialism, he argued, wholly misunderstands the nature of the problem. It fails to take into consideration the fact that parts of the world do not exist separately, but only as interconnected parts of the whole. Matter in the sense of tangible material does not possess the slightest preferential right to be considered more important and more distinct than any other phenomena of nature. To isolate one part of the universe and make it the basis of all other parts, Dietzgen felt, was to ascribe an independent existence to what is essen tially an abstraction.
It would be difficult to imagine a man more temperamentally different from Pannekoek than Gorter, yet together the two men decisively shaped the character of Dutch left Marxis m, giving it its distinctive ideas and style. Whereas Pannekoek's personality was serene and analytical, Garter 's was an unstable compound of deeply contradictory ele ments: gentleness and softness competing with a volatile temper, impulsive ness and exuberance followed by long periods of silence and reflection. Throughout nearly three decades of close friendship and political collabora tion, Pannekoek and Gorter, complemented each other admirably.
A Marxism ossified in the doctrines of Marx and Engels, Pannekoek felt, not only was not, but could never be, a theory of proletarian revolution. 50 In a cognitive sense, Pannekoek felt that the scientific categories of Marx ism could only arise with and be understood by the proletariat since it is the only class that has an interest in discovering the inner laws of society and can look at society in an unbiased manner. Marxism, therefore, was a science which allows the working class to see through the mask of bourgeois ideol ogy and develop an understanding of its own revolutionary possibilities.
Anton Pannekoek and the Socialism of Workers’ Self Emancipation, 1873-1960 by John P. Gerber