Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I had started a longer reply to this, but am going on a trip and don't have time - which seems wasted anyway as you pay little attention to evidence that shows how wrong you are and you just bluster on.

The bit from the Communist Manifesto does not support your general point about the supposed lack of interest in what may broadly termed "spiritual" matters such as the arts. Try actually reading what Fromm wrote if you can't be bothered to read Marx :

Suffice it to say at the outset that this popular picture of Marx's "materialism" -- his anti-spiritual tendency, his wish for uniformity and subordination -- is utterly false. Marx's aim was that of the spiritual emancipation of man, of his liberation from the chains of economic determination, of restituting him in his human wholeness, of enabling him to find unity and harmony with his fellow man and with nature.

It certainly doesn't support your absurd suggestions that Marx is supposed to reject such things as "free speech" - he was all for it.

Regarding morality and religion he was primarily referring to existing morality and religion which reflected capitalist society and helped to support it. But he also wanted to emphasise his disagreement with those who thought moral urging was the way to bring about change.

This opposition to the ineffectiveness, as well as the illusions, of morality and ethics can be found throughout Marx's writings -- from his early essays and poetry, through The German Ideology to Capital. Needless to say, it is a criticism that he brings not simply against morality and ethics, but against all theories and social institutions. Religion, political economy, as well as the sciences in general were the objects of such criticism. With regard to moral philosophy, Marx's well-known eleventh thesis on Feuerbach captures his view perhaps most succinctly: `The philosophers have only interpreted the world; the point, however, is to change it' (Theses on Feuerbach). As opposed to the moral philosophers and moralists of his time, Marx insisted that any creditable critical theory of man and society must clearly distinguish between appearance and reality. It must relentlessly pursue and analyse `the common wisdom' for the realities it conceals. Furthermore, such an account must show how human society really operates, how it can be and must be changed. In short, any critical science must be illusionless and effective.

Marx, however, did not hold that the world could not be changed, or that thinkers (if not critical philosophers) always come upon the scene too late. Indeed, it was the view that philosophers could only interpret the world, not change it, that he criticised in his eleventh thesis on Feuerbach. Rather, Marx's refusal to deal directly with the traditional moral questions which occupied Kant, J.S. Mill, and other moral philosophers was due, in part, to his view that such individual questions are secondary to questions concerning the social systems within which people ask these questions. Only if we understand the nature of social systems -- how they can and morally should be changed -- can we proceed to answer concretely moral questions of a personal and individual nature.

[Marx]Only within the community has each individual the means of cultivating his gifts in all directions; hence personal freedom becomes possible only within the community. (MECW, 5:78)

In place of the old bourgeois society, with its classes and classes antagonisms, we shall have an association, in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all. (MECW, 6:506)


Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Sun Jun 7th, 2009 at 07:07:19 PM EST
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