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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Christopher Caudwell, Raymond Williams and Terry Eagleton Das Gupta, Kalyan 1985-12-31

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PRINCIPLES OF LITERARY EVALUATION IN ENGLISH MARXIST CRITICISM: CHRISTOPHER CAUDWELL, RAYMOND WILLIAMS AND TERRY EAGLETON by KALYAN DAS GUPTA B.A. (Hons.), Calcutta University, 1975 M.A., The University of Saskatchewan, 1978 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of English) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE^IVEftSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA MAY 1985 (S) Kalyan/JDas Gupta, 1985 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of English The University of British Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 Date 26 April 1985 -6 C3/81) Abstract Principles of Literary Evaluation in English Marxist Criticism: Christopher Caudwell, Raymond Williams and Terry Eagleton Supervisor: Dr. Graham Good This dissertation politically analyses the principles of literary evaluation (here called "axiology") argued and applied by the English critics Christopher Caudwell, Raymond Williams, and Terry Eagleton. The paradoxical fact that all three claim to be working within a Marxist framework while producing mutually divergent rationales for literary evaluation prompts a detailed examination of Marx and Engels. Moreover, since Caudwell and Eagleton acknowledge Leninism to be Marxism, and, further, since Eagleton and I both in our own ways argue that Trotskyism—as opposed to Stalinism--is the continuator of Leninism, the evaluative methods of Lenin and Trotsky also become relevant. Examined in light of that revolutionary tradition, however, and in view of the (English) critics' high political self-consciousness, the latter's principles of "literary" evaluation reveal definitive political differences between each other and with Marxism itself, centrally over the question of organised action. Thus, each of the chapters on the English critics begins with an examination of the chosen critic's purely political profile and its relationship to his general theory of literature. Next, I show how the contradictions of his "axiology" express those of his politics. Finally, with Hardy as a focus, I show the influence of each critic's political logic on his particular "literary" assessment of individual authors and texts. The heterogeneity of these critics' evaluations of Hardy, the close correspondence of each critic's general evaluative principles to his political beliefs, and the non-Marxist nature of those beliefs themselves all concretely suggest that none of the three English critics is sljLctly a Marxist. I do not know whether a genuinely Marxist axiology is inevitable; however, I do admit such a phenomenon as a logical possibility. In any case, I argue, this possibility will never be realised unless aspiring Marxist axiologists seek to match their usually extensive knowledge of literature with an active interest in making international proletarian revolution happen. And, since it can only happen if it is organised, the "Marxist" axiologist without such an orientation will be merely an axiologist without Marxism. ii Contents Abstract of Dissertation ii Table of Contents iiList of Abbreviations v Acknowledgments x Introduction 1 Nature, Purpose, and Methodology of the Project 1 A Brief Survey of Literary Axiology from the Past to the Present . 10 Marx and Engels: Base-Superstructure, Class, and Partisanship . . 36 Lenin and the Party Question 81 Trotsky and the Defence of the First Workers' State 9Notes 114 Christopher Caudwell 13Caudwell's Politics and His General Theory of Literature 131 Caudwell's Principles of Literary Evaluation 153 Caudwell's Evaluation of Hardy 179 Notes 194 Raymond Williams 20Williams' Politics and His General Theory of Literature 203 Williams' Principles of Literary Evaluation 225 Williams' Evaluation of Hardy 274 Notes • ' 299 Terry Eagleton 310 Eagleton's Politics and His General Theory of Literature 31Eagleton's Principles of Literary Evaluation 331 Eagleton's Evaluation of Hardy . 355 Notes 366 Conclusion 37Notes 380 Bibliography 1 Appendixes 40Appendix AAppendix B 3 Appendix C 6 iii List of Abbreviations and Short Titles Note: Some frequently-used titles have been abbreviated in two different ways. Within a sentence, they have been written as a short title; outside a sentence, or when used parenthetically at any point, they have been written in the form of a letter-abbreviation. Anatomy "Archetypes" Bate "Beauty" Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays, by Northrop Frye. "The Archetypes of Literature," by Northrop Frye. Walter Jackson Bate, ed., Criticism: The  Major Texts. "Beauty: A Study in Bourgeois Aesthetics," by Christopher Caudwell. In FS. BJA British Journal of Aesthetics. 'Breath of Discontent' "The Breath of Discontent: A Study in Bourgeois Religion," by Christopher Caudwell. In FS. CA Capital CC Class and Art: Problems of Culture under  the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, by Leon Trotsky. Capital: A Critical Analysis of  Capitalist Production, Vol. I, by Karl Marx. Same abbreviation used for the book as a separate publication and for excerpts from the book in Marx/Engels. The Country and the City, by Raymond Williams. 'Celine" CI "Celine and Poincar€: Novelist and Politician," by Leon Trotsky. Criticism and Ideology: A Study in  Marxist Literary Theory, by Terry Eagleton. Class and Art Same as CA. iv V "Consciousness" CPGB Criticism and Ideology  CS "Culture" Culture and Society Demetz "D.H. Lawrence" DIB Doyle Draper EN Fischer Fokkema and Kunne-Ibsch FS The Function of Criticism "Consciousness: A Study in Bourgeois Psychology," by Christopher Caudwell. In FS. The Communist Party of Great Britain. Same as CI. Culture and Society: 1780-1950, by Raymond Williams. "Culture and the Soviet Bureaucracy," by Leon Trotsky. Same as CS. Peter Demetz, Marx, Engels, and the Poets:  Origins of Marxist Literary Criticism. "D.H. Lawrence: A Study of the Bourgeois Artist," by Christopher Caudwell. In _S. Drama from Ibsen to Brecht, by Raymond Williams. Brian Doyle, "The Necessity of Illusion: The Writings of Christopher Caudwell." Michael Draper, "Christopher Caudwell's Illusions." The English Novel from Dickens to  Lawrence, by Raymond Williams. Michael Fischer, "The Literary Importance of E.P. Thompson's Marxism." D.W. Fokkema and Elrud Kunne-Ibsch, Theories of Literature in the Twentieth  Century: Structuralism, Marxism,  Aesthetics of Reception, Semiotics. Further Studies in a Dying Culture, by Christopher Caudwell. The Function of Criticism: From The Spectator to Post-Structuralism, by Terry Eagleton. Furbank P.N. Furbank, ed., Jude the Obscure, by Thomas Hardy. Introd. Terry Eagleton. vi Hess Hyman Illusion and Reality Introduction IR JAAC  Lenin "Les Javanais" Lifshitz Literary Theory Long R  LR LT Manifesto Margolies Marx/Engels "Mayakovsky" "Men and Nature" Hans Hess, "Is There a Theory of Art in Marx?" Stanley Edgar Hyman, "Christopher Caudwell and Marxist Criticism." Illusion and Reality: A Study of the  Sources of Poetry, by Christopher Caudwell. Introduction to Economic Manuscripts of  1857-58: A Contribution to the Critique  of Political Economy, by Karl Marx. Illusion and Reality Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism. Lenin on Literature and Art. "A Masterly First Novel: Jean Malaquais's Les Javanais," by Leon Trotsky. Mikhail Lifshitz, The Philosophy of Art of  Karl Marx. Literary Theory: An Introduction, by Terry Eagleton. The Long Revolution, by Raymond Williams. Literature and Revolution, by Leon Trotsky. Literary Theory. The Manifesto of the Communist Party, by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. David N. Margolies, The Function of  Literature: A Study of Christopher  Caudwell's Aesthetics. Marx/Engels on Literature and Art. "The Suicide of Vladimir Mayakovsky," by Leon Trotsky. "Men and Nature: A Study in Bourgeois History," by Christopher Caudwell. In FS. vii "Mirror" ML MLC Morawski "Leo Tolstoy as the Mirror of the Russian Revolution," by V.I. Lenin. Marxism and Literature, by Raymond Williams. Marxism and Literary Criticism, by Terry Eagleton. Stefan Morawski, Introd. to Marx and  Engels on Literature and Art: A Selection  of Writings, ed. Lee Baxandall and Stefan Morawski. MT  NLH "Pacifism and Violence" "Party Literature" PL 'Poet and Rebel' Political Unconscious Poverty of Theory Prawer Preface The Prophet Unarmed "Reality" Modern Tragedy, by Raymond Williams. New Literary History. "Pacifism and Violence: A Study in Bourgeois Ethics," by Christopher Caudwell. In S. "Party Organisation and Party Literature," by V.I. Lenin. Politics and Letters: Interviews with New Left Review, by Raymond Williams. "Tolstoy: Poet and Rebel," by Leon Trotsky. The Political Unconscious: Narrative as a  Socially Symbolic Act, by Fredric Jameson. The Poverty of Theory and Other Essays, by E.P. Thompson. S.S. Prawer, Karl Marx and World  Literature. Preface to A Contribution to the Critique  of Political Economy, by Karl Marx. The Prophet Unarmed: Trotsky: 1921-29, by Isaac Deutscher. "Reality: A Study in Bourgeois Philosophy," by Christopher Caudwell. In FS. viii Romance and Realism Romance and Realism: A Study in English  Bourgeois Literature, by Christopher Caudwell. RR RSDLP _S Schiff "Shaw" Slaughter Romance and Realism. Russian Social Democratic Labour Party. Studies in a Dying Culture, by Christopher Caudwell. "Marxist Literary Criticism," by Terry Eagleton. In Hilda Schiff, ed., Contemporary Approaches to English  Studies. "George Bernard Shaw: A Study of the Bourgeois Superman," by Christopher Caudwell. In JS. Cliff Slaughter, Marxism, Ideology and Literature. Solomon SSFR State and Revolution "The Strangled Revolution' The Stubborn Structure "Tolstoy" "Tolstoy and Labour" Maynard Solomon, ed., Marxism and Art:  Essays Classic and Contemporary. Reply to the Guardian: The Stalin School  of Falsification Revisited. Spartacus Youth League pamphlet. The State and Revolution: The Marxist  Theory of the State and the Tasks of the  Proletariat in the Revolution, by V.I. Lenin "The Strangled Revolution: Andre Malraux's The Conquerors," by Leon Trotsky. The Stubborn Structure: Essays on  Criticism and Society, by Northrop Frye. "L.N. Tolstoy," by V.I. Lenin. "L.N. Tolstoy and the Modern Labour Movement," by V.I. Lenin. Trotsky Leon Trotsky on Literature and Art. Tucker Robert C. Tucker, ed., The Marx-Engels  Reader. 2nd ed. , 1978. ix Walter Benjamin WB Wellek "Wells" Walter Benjamin or Towards a Revolutionary  Criticism, by Terry Eagleton. Walter Benjamin. Rene Wellek, "Marx and Engels." "H.G. Wells: A Study in Utopianism," by Christopher Caudwell. In S. WR Women and Revolution. Acknowle dgment s Dr. Graham Good, my supervisor, and Dr. Herbert Rosengarten, a professor not always directly involved in my particular project, provided many-sided support throughout my programme. Dr. John Doheny and Dr. Fred Stockholder commented usefully on the various drafts. Two friends, Cheryl and Peter, early offered some invaluable advice and joined several other friends in providing crucial material and moral support. And my secretary-friends in the department, especially Ingrid Kuklinski and Rosemary Leach, helped me through many rough times. Finally, I would like to thank my mother for everything by dedicating this dissertation to her, Urmila Das Gupta. x - 1 -Introduction Nature, Purpose, and Methodology of the Project This dissertation is intended as a contribution to the Marxist debate on how to judge literature. It attempts to analyse and systematise, from a Marxist viewpoint, the literary-evaluative principles theorised by certain self-described Marxists in England. The examination here focuses on a number of contradictory political tendencies and conclusions in their work. These are viewed in light of decisive historical lessons, drawn from the tradition of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Trotsky. My purpose is to show—I believe for the first time in synthetic form—the political implications of these contradictions for a Marxist theory of literary value. (For economy, I have extensively used the term "axiology" to refer to the theory of literary and other values.) My dominant presentational strategy is negative and theoretical: I offer what is mainly a critique of the methods of (chiefly) Christopher Caudwell, Raymond Williams, and Terry Eagleton. In part, this is a limited attempt to redress, from a Marxist perspective, a long-standing general academic imbalance. This imbalance was noted even quite recently by, for instance, a prominent non-Marxist critic: "Very little has been done to study the actual process by which great critics have arrived at their valuations of specific works of art."* The overall tenor of this work is polemical, not expository. I make no attempt to trace in detail the development of the various Marxist literary and critical theories across the world through history, but merely use 2 specific concepts from them. - 2 -My focus on (ostensible) Marxists and on (their) theory is important to understand. I aim to verify the claimed Marxism of Caudwell, Williams, and Eagleton, primarily as expressed in the theoretical formulations within the specifically axiological parts of their work. These theoretical formulations are found in two forms: (1) as attitudinal qualifiers implicitly colouring judgments on particular works or authors and (2) as generalisations about literary value explicitly presented as position statements. I examine the internal consistency of these formulations, the overall relationship of each critic's formulations to the experience and logic of revolutionary Marxism from Marx to Trotsky, and the relationship of each critic's axiological formulations to his own political views and logic. That last'enterprise offer's one'way"of • verifying the claimed Marxism of these critics, both politically and axiologically. Though this is not a task of decisive importance to the broader task of social, economic, and political revolution, it is a relevant one: the class struggle does not leave the realm of ideology unaffected, nor does the explicitly political motive of so-called Marxist criticism make it possible for the broader struggle to remain insulated from that ideological realm. Many critics themselves make a political issue out of Marxist "literary" theory and largely articulate their own evaluative principles in terms of it. Williams and Eagleton are two examples of such critics. When Marxist method thus becomes a political issue in such a polemical activity as literary criticism, political clarification acquires a relevance substantially greater than what most "literary" criticism is routinely accustomed to. My motivating premise here has been that,in such explicitly political debates, be they conducted within the "cultural" realm or elsewhere, the Marxist method has the right to be defended against distortions—above all against those perpetrated by self-professed Marxists--before being judged. My immediate objective in this political clarification is therefore to verify the consistency of particular critics who claim, in one way or another, to be working within the framework of Marxism; in the course of this examination, however, and through it, I also hope to re-confirm the relevance of Marxism to the social struggle for proletarian revolution in general,and to "literary" evaluation in particular. One critic who attacks Marxism on the basis of distorted interpretations and avowedly un-Marxist representatives is F.R. Leavis. - 3 -After having sarcastically pleaded "guilty to the familiar charge—I have not minutely studied the Bible," Leavis proceeds to dismember the liberal Edmund Wilson as a "good index" of a Marxist critic. He then continues the quixotic massacre, of everyone from A.L. Morton and Granville Hicks (both apologists for Stalinism, a politics inimical to Marxism) to Prince Mirsky: "We have no illusions. There is a choice; we must speak or die: Stalin or the King by Divine Right?"^ "What are these 'classes,'" he rhetorically asks, challenging a basic analytical tool used by Marxism. And he answers: "Class of the kind that can justify talk about 'class culture' has long been extinct."^ Yet, as one veteran specialist on precisely such questions—E.P. Thompson—has correctly remarked, "As the world changes, we must learn to change our language and our terms. But we should never change these without  reason.I have argued that Marxists have no reason to reject Marx and Engels' use of the category of and specific observations about "class." In defining my task, I have merely sought to extend to a specific theoretical area (axiology) a particular -analytical method geared to specific political interests (Marxism). However, within literary theory, a general connection between "literature" and "politics" has long been recognised. "For to insist that literary criticism is, or should be, a specific discipline of intelligence," says one critic, "is not to suggest that a certain interest in literature can confine the kind of intensive local analysis associated with 'practical criticism'—to the scrutiny of the 'words on the page' in their minute relations, their effects of imagery, and so on: a real literary interest is an interest in man, society, and civilisation, and its boundaries cannot be drawn; the adjective is not a circumscribing one." - 4 -Elsewhere the same critic observes, "The more seriously one is concerned for literary criticism, the less possible does one find it to be concerned for that alone . . .; special duties are not ultimately served by neglect of the more general." If the reader is shocked to learn that this firm advocate of "social" criticism is the same person as our recent derider of class analyses, I can only point out that the apparent contradiction is not mine but that of F.R. Leavis and the particular class—the petit bourgeoisie—he speaks for.^ And, in part, that is precisely the contradiction that, as I hope to show, all three principal objects of this study exhibit as well. At about the same time that Leavis was pinning the liberal Wilson with the latter's own logic, announcing, "There ±s_, then, a point of 7 v x view above classes,"' the Prague semiotician Jan Mukarovsky was stating, "above all the critic is always either the spokesman or conversely the antagonist or even a dissident from some social formation (class, environment, etc.)."^ I believe that the implications of that observation have been scrutinised most thoroughly by Terry Eagleton. From his first major theoretical work, Criticism and Ideology, to his latest, The Function of Criticism, Eagleton has consistently and persuasively argued that "fc]riticism is not an innocent discipline, and never has been"^: "[t] he difference between a 'political' and 'non-political' criticism is just the difference between the prime minister and the monarch: the latter furthers certain political ends by pretending not to, while the former makes no bones about it. . . . It is a distinction between different forms of politics. . . ." Consequently, he points out, "£t]here is no way of settling the question of which politics is preferable in literary critical terms. You simply - 5 -have to argue about politics."10 Specifically, this means that "[tjhe problem of a 'Marxist aesthetics' is above all the problem of a Marxist politics." 11 Mark Roberts, in The Fundamentals of Literary Criticism (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1974, p. 69), has "extended" the above argument's validity from interpretation to evaluation. I place "extended" in quotes, however, not only because Roberts' book pre-dates Eagleton's Criticism and Ideology but also because his conception of evaluative relativism remains abstractly philosophical: it largely ignores the existence—not to mention importance—of actual social and political interests. Nevertheless, he phrases one logical implication of Eagle ton's argument simply and well: "If my view of the world, its nature and constitution, is radically different from yours, shall I not place a different value from you upon works of literature that deal particularly with those matters upon which our views most noticeably differ?" This dissertation is an attempt to invest this relativism with the specific political dynamic of Marxism, always—implicitly or explicitly—in effective combat with liberal humanism. For, as Fredric Jameson has observed, "the bankruptcy of the liberal tradition is as plain on the philosophical level as it is on the political: which does not mean that it has lost its prestige or ideological potency. On the contrary: the anti-speculative bias of that tradition, its emphasis on the individual fact or item at the expense of the network of relation ships in which that item may be embedded, continue to encourage submission to what is by preventing its followers from making connections, and in particular from drawing the otherwise unavoidable conclusions on the political level."12 - 6 -In setting myself this fairly delimited task, I have obviously rejected, for various reasons, numerous other, related tasks. Of these, perhaps the two most likely to engender dissatisfaction are my refusal here to substantially "apply" my own theory to actual "literary" texts and my principled refusal to negate the logic of my own argument by attempting to posit a more detailed "alternative" axiological model than I deem historically possible at the moment. The refusal to posit a detailed alternative is argued out and defended in the body of my dissertation, especially in the Introduction. The refusal to be a "practical critic" here is motivated partly by space considerations, but also partly by ideological and historical ones, outlined below. I believe that, in general, "pure" theory, within conjuncturally determinate bounds of reason and potential verifiability, can prove rewarding. It can allow one to step back from the frequently hypnotic power of individual words, passages, or texts, to ponder broad structural, ideological, and historical relationships and significances. And it can enable even the "practical critic" to then resume his or her specialty with a qualitatively enriched, more comparative approach. Besides, while I grant the complete legitimacy and importance of empirical projects, I also note that the heyday of "practical criticism"—in the mode of I.A. Richards, F.R. Leavis, and the American New Critics—seems at least for the nonce to be over and to be giving way to generally more theoretical enterprises, even among non-Marxists. Witness, for instance, the rise to eminence of structuralism, phenomenology, semiotics, and deconstruction. Moreover, the work of Terry Eagleton in particular shows that, these days, even so specialised a field as Marxist literary axiology has reached - 7 -sophisticated self-consciousness. The very emergence of that field thereby itself provides grounds for being discussed theoretically—that is, for being discussed at its own level and in its own terms. Finally, with Eagleton, I am convinced that at this point in time, the expected aim of Marxist criticism "to subvert the very ideological apparatuses of class-society ... will not be greatly furthered by yet another Marxist interpretation of George Eliot"hence my self-restriction here to theory. Within this self-restriction, moreover, projects other than my particular one are and were possible but remained unincorporated. These, too, should be adumbrated here, for their deliberate exclusion defines the limits of my actual exercise's goals. As explained above, my aim is to examine the principles of literary evaluation in Marxist critical theory. This means, among other things, that mine is not a "general" theory of any general literary or critical theory or practice as a whole, Marxist or otherwise. It does depend for its self-definition and elaboration, however, on general theories (Marxist and non-Marxist) of literature, criticism, and literary value. Mine is also not a (Marxist) theory of politically heterogeneous evaluations of actual literary texts: I have not set out to judge the empirical validity of the particular judgments on particular authors or texts made, for instance, by Caudwell, Williams, and Eagleton. Though such a concern is valid and even crucial, I have instead concentrated on the political logic of these critics' value theories and judgments, finding that politically more revealing (and formally more manageable) than a primarily factual verification. Of course, certain factual formulations are, in their bias or their error, politically revealing too; but I have - 8 -allowed such . empirical. mechanisms to retain, a subordinate role _in my endeavour, which, in its conscious emphasis remains a theoretical and political one. Finally, I have throughout stressed certain connections between axiological criteria and political values and have recommended a conscious alignment, at an historically unprecedented level, of active Marxist politics and professional Marxist literary evaluation. The basis for my claim to originality, if any, thus lies in my insistence on linking two simple but academically all-too-often oversimplified and ignored distinctions. The first distinction is the political difference between purely discursive protestations of leftist sympathy passing for "commitment," on the one hand, and actively organised revolutionary class-struggle (and the committed orientation stemming from it), on the other. The second distinction is the functional difference between "literary" writing (directly concerned with "life") and "critical/evaluative" writing (directly concerned with "literature"). Granting the relativity of the latter, post-Romantic conventional distinction (between "literature" and "criticism"), I nevertheless believe that its terms capture, however inadequately, a real distinction within modern discursive practice. Consequently, I have argued that any counter-productive limitations that an active, organised partisanship may conceivably be felt to impose on "literary" activity do not . logically betoken an identical effect on "critical" analysis and evaluation. Most "literature" (novels, plays, poems, some kinds of essays) advances no explicit claim to be political: the social attitudes endorsed in it are correspondingly unsystematised, relatively devoid of any unified programme for social change. But quite the - 9 -opposite conditions and tendencies obtain, I would argue, for any considered "criticism" of_ that "iiterature." And this is doubly true of theories whose subject is "criticism" itself and which, moreover, overtly profess allegiance to a definite political framework of interests and methods. Such "metacriticism" cannot evade the imputation of self-consciousness, and any individual "metacritic" has the right to interrogate it accordingly. For axiologists claiming to be Marxist, therefore, their actual attitude towards and active role (if any) in the organised struggle for workers' revolution acquires a decisive centrality. Their authenticity as Marxist specialists is put to the ultimate test over what they say and do about that key political question: over what they politically avow and whether they practice what they profess. Incidentally, self-described Marxist critics themselves invite such testing by explicitly and justifiably broaching the relevance of their political views to the operations of their critical analyses, evaluations, and theories. My main concern here, however, is not with the formal credibility of the "Marxist" axiologists' official self-image. In the first place, my concern is with the internal, substantive genuineness—the political credentials of the assumptions, methods, and conclusions—of the axiology itself. But my point also is that objectively, formal participation in organised struggle is naturally constitutive of and indispensable to any genuinely Marxist credentials. It is difficult enough to remain, in one's theories, unvaryingly true to one's real experiences and impulses. But the task of theorising becomes practically impossible if one has to "guess" what these experiences and impulses might be, from a position exterior and hostile to them. One - 10 -cannot even interpret—much less evaluate or decisively shape—literary phenomena in the declared interests of a collective political goal, if one spurns the organised struggle central to its achievement. If, therefore, particular axiologists wish to insist that they are Marxists, they must clearly seek and demonstrate political consistency, in chiefly two respects: (1) in respect of their ability to analyse and evaluate reality in light of historical lessons, through the framework of interests articulated by Marx and Engels, and (2) in respect of their willingness to act concertedly to change reality in accordance with those interests, analyses, and evaluations. And such consistency, I have argued, is inconceivable today without the shaping and irreplaceable experience of working in an organisation that functions as the collective memory and practical leader of the revolutionary working class. This emphasis on an organised Marxist orientation is what I believe constitutes my specific contribution to the current debate within Marxist literary axiology. A Brief Survey of Literary Axiology from the Past to the Present At least since the advent of Aristotle's Poetics (fourth century B.C.), Western literary and critical theory has always treated, explicitly or implicitly, the issue of literary value and evaluation as an organic part of its general aesthetic discussion.^ However, over the centuries, the treatment has changed in its form, definition, and emphasis, in general acquiring increasing self-consciousness as well as social and political consciousness. To simplify history only a little, one might fairly suggest that political literary axiology in its present - 11 -self-conscious form does not really emerge in conventional critical theory till Matthew Arnold's "The Function of Criticism at the Present Time" (1864) and Culture and Anarchy (1869). Both Aristotle's Poetics and Horace's Art of Poetry (first century B.C.) deal primarily with the internal structure and ingredients of a work of art. The authors do not equally address the problems of literary evaluation, though they do propose individual components of particular genres as bearers of literary value. Thus, Aristotle proposes the concept of a cathartic effect as one index of the genuineness of tragedy. Horace's emphasis on simplicity and unity suggests other indices, incidentally also found in Aristotle. But Horace's work addresses a technical problem in the writing (or "production") of poetry more than it proposes a set of criteria for judging it. Longinus' treatise On the Sublime (first century A.D.) deals more extensively than Aristotle's or Horace's with the emotional components of rhetoric and hence, by association and implication, with the emotional dynamics of literary response. However, his emphasis falls on questions of style and morality, two very limited though important components of evaluation; and his pedagogical aim resembles Horace's. Moreover, his definitions of the sublime are clearly too dependent on the idealist notion of "the soul" to be directly appropriable by dialectical and historical materialism (Marxism). If we pass over what are mostly restatements of these "classical" problematics by the Renaissance critics (such as Philip Sidney and Pierre Corneille) and variations of them by the Neoclassicists (such as John Dryden, Alexander Pope, David Hume, and Joshua Reynolds), we arrive at the Romantics and, with them, at the beginnings of axiological - 12 -problematics as they predominantly define themselves in our era. This is to say simply that many of the individual axiological issues and criteria raised by Western criticism in previous centuries become, in the Romantic period, explicitly politicised within a framework that continues to define Western society and thought to this day. The shift in axiological self-consciousness and analytical approach can be observed in some of the formulations as well as the title of an essay such as William Hazlitt's "Why the Arts Are Not Progressive" (1814): contrast, for instance, Joseph Addison's "The Pleasures of the Imagination" from a century earlier (Bate, pp. 184-87). By the time of S.T. Coleridge, we notice that the self-consciousness of "criticism" signalled in Pope's An Essay on Criticism (1711) is beginning to consolidate itself. One of Coleridge's early essays is entitled "On the Principles of Genial Criticism Concerning the Fine Arts" (1814). In it he asserts the notion, common even today, that " Qfj he Good ... is always discursive" and "[tQ he Beautiful ... is always intuitive" (Bate, p. 375). Clearly, increasing self-consciousness does not automatically entail a materialist philosophy. Thus, on the one hand, the self-consciousness of a Hazlitt produces the materialist distinction between the "earliest stages of the arts, when the first mechanical difficulties had been got over, and the language as it were acquired" and the later stages when "they rose by clusters and in constellations, never to rise again" (Bate, p. 293). On the other hand, the self-consciousness of a Coleridge produces a more subjective, purely idealist counterpart of Hazlitt's distinction, remaining preoccupied with disinterested intellectual contemplation and intuition (Bate, p. 373). Yet both these tendencies—an interest in the actual behaviour - 13 -of art and criticism and an urge to deny the usefulness of that material interest and experience at least to some—combine, though only selec tively, in the critical theory of Matthew Arnold. Arnold is an early and not entirely misplaced testimony to the fact that, just as critical self-consciousness does not guarantee materialism, so "political" self-consciousness does not guarantee Marxism. The particular politics informing Arnold's literary axiology is liberal humanism, a politics that to one degree or another has defined most Western non-Marxist schools of criticism and critical theory since his time.I-* One important difference between Arnold and his ideological peers, however, is the fact that he is, as Eagleton puts it, "refreshingly unhypocritical" (LT, p. 24). In Arnold's critical ruminations, one may observe in their virtually unconcealed form all the political assumptions, interests, and values that mould a liberal humanist's pronouncements on "literary" value. It is this virtual transparency of motive that, as we shall see, worries that other prominent, latter-day liberal humanist critic, Northrop Frye. Liberal humanism is a political characteristic of much post-nineteenth century criticism; methodologically, however, it is neither homogeneous nor all-inclusive. One critical methodology it partly straddles and partly excludes is that commonly and loosely known as "sociological" criticism. Among the early "sociological" critics may be found names such as Mme. de Stael (1766-1817), Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve (1804-69), and Hippolyte-Adolphe Taine (1828-93). The characterisation of these critics' works as "sociological" is a loose one because here again we find each individual critic emphasising different sets of social factors, in keeping with his or her general - 14 -outlook and interest in the world. However, one point at which, even if only in a rough sense, the passive "sociological" method intersects an active historical, dialectical, and materialist engagement with the world is the mature works of Karl Marx (1818-83) and Friedrich Engels (1820-95). The earliest source of my political argument is traceable to the mature thought and practice of these two nineteenth-century revolutionaries. It is their works that are wittingly or unwittingly invoked by the multiplicity of modern critical theorists claiming to be Marxist. And, as such, they will be (selectively) examined in some detail later. As I suggested earlier, political literary axiology in its present form is a relatively recent phenomenon, virtually non-existent before Matthew Arnold. Moreover, a certain spread still exists—narrower among the Marxists, wider among non-Marxist literary theorists—with regard to attitudes towards the possibility, usefulness, and correct mechanics of literary evaluation and value theory. In this Introduction, I have concentrated in general on those modern critics who view axiology as both possible and useful; and, in particular, I have focused on those who address Marxist theory as well. An entire range of chiefly non-Marxist critics argues, with varying mutual consistency, that all systematic evaluation is ultimately pointless and that theorists should simply accept, without analysis or criticism, the plurality of spontaneous evaluative responses induced in them when they read literature. This body of critics ranges politically from conservatives such as Harold Osborne, through liberals such as Northrop Frye, effective social democrats such as Raymond Williams, and ostensible Marxists such as Tony Bennett, to anarchists such as Roger - 15 -B. Rollin.16 while their reasons for advocating abstention from systematisation in evaluation vary, the majority of these critics seem to share a paradoxical conception of literature and criticism as at once decisive and peripheral to society's existence.^ Their dismissal of "extrinsic" judgment goes hand in hand with an exclusive concentration on the "literary" as the vortex of cultural life. This effective underestimation of material social factors reveals their distance from the Marxist conception of the limited self-generating power and social potency of literature and criticism. Perhaps the best-known non-Marxist spokesman for judgmental agnosticism today is Northrop Frye, and his chapter "On Value-Judgment," in The Stubborn Structure (pp. 66-73), is a concise statement of his position.18 strictly, Frye's views on evaluation are inseparable from his general theory of literature, which is in turn an organic part of his idealist philosophy and his aggressively anti-Marxist, liberal-humanist political stance.1^ Frye's general outlook, however, does produce certain flat self-contradictions in his statements on literary value itself which are relatively discrete and hence capable of separate analysis. In its most explicit form, Frye's treatment of the merits or demerits of evaluation is facile, both in methodology and in formulation. Thus, in The Stubborn Structure, he equates all value-judgements with so-called "stock responses," unceremoniously dismissing both (p. 72). Apart from the questionable logic of dismissing any response merely because it is "stock," regardless of whether or not it thereby recognises a certain relatively stable truth about reality, Frye's method leads to a series of similarly dubious - 16 -equations of value-judgment with "the rejection of knowledge" (p. 72) and "anti-intellectualism" (p. 73). Frye's dismissiveness is vividly captured in his statement that " [t] he only value-judgment which is consistently and invariably useful to the scholarly critic is the judgment that his own writings, like the morals of a whore, are no better than they should be" (p. 69). Frye later explicitly acknowledges the phenomenological premise of this statement when he claims that "a writer's value-sense can never be logically a part of a critical discussion: it can only be psychologically and rhetorically related to that discussion. The value-sense is, as the phenomenological people say, pre—predicative" (p. 70). This position in turn merely expresses axiologically Frye's functionalist conception of ideal, disinterested criticism in general: "One of the tasks of criticism is that of the recovery of function, not of course the restoration of an original function, which is out of the question, but the recreation of function in a new context."20 Frye rejects Arnold's particular absolutist method of evaluation, one which judges literary works by measuring them against arbitrary "touchstones." But he does so not because of Arnold's aristocratic, explicitly anti-working-class touchstones, which he merely notes, but because of Arnold's introduction, into his judgment, of any extra-"literary," "social" and class considerations whatsoever: "Arnold's 'high seriousness' evidently is closely connected with the view that epic and tragedy, because they deal with ruling-class figures and require the high style of decorum, are the aristocrats of literary forms. ... We begin to suspect that the literary value-judgments are projections of social ones. ... [A*jnd criticism, if it is not to - 17 -reject half the facts of literary experience, obviously has to look at art from the standpoint of an ideally classless society" (Anatomy, pp. 21-22). The rejection of Arnold's particular (upper-class) criteria therefore leads Frye to adopt the "standpoint" not of what Marxists regard as an historically more progressive class—the working class—but of a "classless society" admitted to be entirely ungrounded in present reality. This purely imaginary transcendence of existng class-society can only be characterised by Marxists as an evasion of reality. It offers no concrete method of engaging with the existing, class-induced qualities of literature today. And it is certainly not the same as the Marxists' own orientation towards a classless society through the social resolution—not evasion—of class conflict. Marxists would argue that Frye's "standpoint" of a "classless society" bespeaks not a programmatic orientation towards achieving such a society, through changing class-reality, but a mental escape from it. Indeed, they might further argue that the charge of "reject [ing]" the "facts" of "experience" assumes dubious connotations when it issues from him: Marxists, too, "reject" many "facts" of their experience, in the sense of striving to better people's existing conditions of living; but Frye here is clearly attributing to all principled evaluation a willful blindness towards reality that is perhaps more properly applicable to his own method. This is the only characterisation I can make of his even-handed and contemptuous rejection of all class-perspectives as "perverted culture" and of all revolutionary action as anti-cultural, precisely in the declared interests of an abstract, Arnoldian liberalism: The social energy which maintains the class structure produces perverted culture in its three chief forms: mere upper-class - 18 -culture, or ostentation, mere middle-class culture, or vulgarity, and mere lower-class culture, or squalor. ... Revolutionary action, of whatever kind, leads to the dictatorship of one class, and the record of history seems clear that there is no quicker way of destroying the benefits of culture. ... It seems better to try to get clear of all such conflicts, attaching ourselves to Arnold's other axiom that 'culture seeks to do away with classes.' The ethical purpose of a liberal education is to liberate, which can only mean to make one capable of conceiving society as free, classless, and urbane. No such society exists, which is one reason why a liberal education must be deeply concerned with works of imagination. (Anatomy, p. 347) Frye obviously believes that this exclusive focus on works of "imagination" inhabiting an utterly non-existent realm does not constitute a blatant rejection of "half the facts of literary experience." This is the familiar, one-sided view and universalist rhetoric of bourgeois, liberal humanism, a combination historically counterposed to the open partisanship of Marxism. Of course, Frye's enjoinments to critical theorists to abstain from partisan evaluation and to reject more than half the facts of class-experience contradict his own practice. Not only does he repeatedly valorise or downgrade particular authors and specific values; the firm absolutism of his personal choices and their arbitrary rationalisations exactly reify in practice the logic of his Utopian, idealist theory. Thus, on the one hand, Frye argues in Anatomy that "[tjhere are no definite positions to be taken in chemistry or philology and if there are any to be taken in criticism, criticism is not a field of genuine learning" (p. 19). He finds "comparisons of greatness" "odious," recommending that they be "left to take care of themselves" (p.27): "criticism has no business to react against things, but should show a steady advance toward undiscriminating catholicity" (p. 25). He - 19 -declares "[tfjhe goal of ethical criticism" to be " trans valuation, the ability to look at contemporary social values with the detachment of one who is able to compare them in some degree with the infinite vision of possibilities presented by culture" (p. 348). On the other hand, proceeding from his abstract and questionable concept of a "pure" literature—which, "like pure mathematics, contains its own meaning" (p. 351) and whose "central myth ... in its narrative aspect . . .[isj. . . the quest-myth" ("The Archetypes of Literature," in Bate, p. 607)—Frye freely counterposes "mediocre works of art" to "the profound masterpiece" ("Archetypes," Bate, p. 604). He contrasts "popular literature which appeals to the inertia of the untrained mind" to "a sophisticated attempt to disrupt the connection between the poet and his environment," such as in Joyce ("Archetypes," Bate, p. 607). And he counterposes "redeemable" to "irredeemable art" (Anatomy, p. 25). He openly states that " [t] he real concern of the evaluating critic is with positive value, with the goodness, or perhaps the genuiness of the poem . . ." (Anatomy, p. 27), and confidently asserts that "[Y]he critic will find soon, and constantly," that Milton simply "is a more rewarding and suggestive poet to work with than [sir RichardJ Blackmore" (Anatomy, p. 25). In a similarly absolutist vein, Frye also asserts that "the poet makes changes not because he likes them better but because they are better" ("Archetypes," Bate, p. 603) .21 Frye is thus caught in the contradiction between his appeals for "undiscriminating catholicity" and his actual practice of selecting particular authors and evaluative criteria on a class-specific—that is, on a consistently bourgeois-elitist—basis. Yet, Frye himself occasionally shows an awareness of his practical absolutism, for - 20 -instance acknowledging that his Anatomy "takes certain literary values for granted, as fully established by critical experience" (Anatomy, p. 20). And indeed, at one point, perceiving the frequently unfeasible outcome of his functionalist logic in practice, yet unable to spell out the methodological alternative to that dead-end, Frye literally leaves his contradiction hanging, between a negation and an uncertainty: "To bring my own view that criticism as knowledge should constantly progress and reject nothing into direct experience would mean that the latter should progress toward a general stupor of satisfaction with everything written, which is not quite what I have in mind" (Anatomy, p. 28). Not surprisingly, we never find out what alternative he does quite have in mind. Yet the example of Frye is, for Marxists, more productive than that of most of his co-thinkers; for, unlike them, he spells out the self-defeating circularity of his own non-Marxist logic. Marxists would neither profess or advocate "undiscriminating catholicity" nor wish to ignore bourgeois society's real, definitive class-polarities in practice. Consequently, even though this would and does ultimately entail difficult practical decisions about revolutionary commitment to class-struggle, Marxists would at least aspire to that crucial seriousness of conviction and consistency of logic that seems to be lacking from Frye's flippant dismissal of all "revolutionary actions." Yet, even in self-contradiction, Frye is superior to most of his co-thinkers. For he recognises and acknowledges—however imprecisely, clinically, and minimisingly—precisely that unity of idea and action that forms the backbone of Marxism (which he dismissively lumps together with Nietzscheanism and certain "rationalisations of oligarchic values"). Thus, there can be few more telling recommendations to abandon Frye himself than his own involuntary tribute to that same object of his contempt—Marxism: If we cut through history at any point, including our own, and study a cross-section of it, we get a class structure. Culture may be employed by a social or intellectual class to increase its prestige; and in general, moral censors, selectors of great traditions, apologists of religious or political causes, aesthetes, radicals, codifiers of great books, and the like, are expressions of such class tensions. We soon realise, in studying their pronouncements, that the only really consistent moral criticism of this type would be the kind which is harnessed to an all-round philosophy of society, such as we find not only in Marxism but in Nietzsche and in some of the rationalisations of oligarchic values in nineteenth-century Britain and twentieth-century America. In all these culture is treated as a human productive power which in the past has been, like other productive powers, exploited by other ruling classes and is now to be revalued in terms of a better society. But as this ideal society exists only in the future, the present valuation of culture is in terms of its interim revolutionary effectiveness. This revolutionary way of looking at culture is also as old as Plato. . . . (Anatomy, p. 346) In contrast to the non-Marxist faction discouraging value theory, typified by Frye, we find a substantial non-Marxist grouping and a smaller pool of self-declared Marxists who favour such theorising. The non-Marxist axiologists are extremely heterogeneous; they range from narrow particularists, discussing the possibility of various single criteria of value, to mere describers of the abstract dynamics of evaluation. Some of them, however, even share much of their empirical observations and logic with the Marxists. Nevertheless, none of them manages to generalise these observations to the point of questioning their own overall, usually rationalist theoretical framework. Even the most sophisticated of these theorists thus remains on a course parallel to or—at best—converging on Marxism.22 - 22 -By far the most thorough, wide-ranging, and cogent statement from this group of non-Marxist axiologists is Barbara Herrnstein Smith's anti-Frye polemic, "Fixed Marks and Variable Constancies: A Parable of Literary Value," in Poetics Today, 1, Nos. 1-2 (Autumn 1979), 7-22. In so far as class-riven society could ever yield a general, trans-class algebra of evaluation, Smith's work offers us a glimpse of it. Indeed, Marxists could well harness, with advantage, Smith's formulations to their own method: they need merely subordinate them to a Marxist overview, crucially by inserting the class-differential as a modification. Smith provides a useful general history, sociology, and psychology of evaluative dynamics in its various forms—implicit and explicit, personal and institutional. She vividly sketches the various situational factors contributing to a text's perceived value, the real principles as well as the external range and internal patterning of all evaluation, and the numerous variables shaping the specific forms of all the (relative) "constancies" of value. While she commences with an account of the complexity and slipperiness of all evaluation, Smith actually concludes with a positive recommendation for cautious evaluation, in explicit opposition to Frye's theoretical agnosticism and its obverse, empirical absolutism. Indeed, the logic of her argument seems ultimately to indicate Marxism as the only productive way forward, and she herself seems far from hostile to that option.23 Thus, Smith begins by pointing out that, in a sense, evaluation is "always compromised, impure, contingent; ... always Time's fool" (p. 8). Evaluation starts with the writer's own acts of creation, alteration, rejection, and approval (p. 8); this is followed by "an - 23 -intermediary history of valuings, also variable, also contingent": "publishing, printing, purchasing and preserving" (p. 9). Acts of suppression (as with the Quarto edition of Shakespeare's Sonnets) and of selection (as with all anthologists) are also implicit acts of evaluation, and so are the acts of teaching, scholarly analysis,and even informal quotation (pp. 9-10, 15). Yet value remains impure; evaluation remains contingent (p. 9). And perhaps nothing illustrates this fact more vividly than the history of all the negative responses to Shakespeare's Sonnets evoked through the centuries, from critics whom Smith respects as "men of education and discrimination": Dr. Johnson, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Hazlitt, Byron, Hallam, John Crowe Ransom, Yvor Winters (p. 10). This is why, to emphasise her theoretical point, Smith herself refuses to offer "her own" practical evaluation of the Sonnets.24 But the conclusion that Smith draws from these observations is neither subjectivist-empiricist nor abstractly absolutist. For she firmly rejects "the well-known social parochialism of academic critics" (p. 15); "experience," she notes, is double-edged: it "not only deepens and broadens us; it also batters, scars, individualises and specialises us; experience is a provincialism of its own, separating us from our fellow creatures" (p. 11). On the other hand, equally out of the ques tion for her is the possibility of absolute—what she calls "object ive"—value (p. 17). Thus, "nothing hits the spot all the time, because the spot is always different" (p. 14); also, perception of value largely depends on "the nature and potency of our own assumptions, expectations, capacities and interests" (p. 16); literary value is thus "radically relative and therefore 'constantly variable'" and contingent (p. 17). - 24 -But, Smith firmly clarifies, "none of the terms here—contingent, relative or variable—is equivalent to 'subjective' . . ." (p.17). Rejecting both traditional "dead-end conclusions" of subjectivist axiology—"either de gustibus non disputandum est ... or the conviction that there exists ... objective value"—Smith argues instead that "the variables in question are limited and 'regular'": that is, "they occur within ranges" and "they exhibit patterns and principles"; and "in that sense, but only in that sense, we may speak of 'constancies' of literary value" (p. 17). Thus, these variable constants "should be distinguished from other kinds and conceptions of invariance that are associated with theories of literary value. ... ^Tjhe constancies are not equivalent to what are sometimes referred to as the 'universals' of human nature" (p. 20). As Smith moves towards her conclusion, she more and more reveals the inadequacies of her seemingly purely rationalist framework. Thus, most crucially, she adds an algebraic corollary that finds no particular, concrete illustration within her article, but which poses her logical problem in such a way as to clearly indicate a concrete, class-defined solution. (And today, as always, it is not the liberal critics of the Frye school but Marxists who stand to gain most by advancing their solution from their own, openly class-partisan point of view). Research, Smith points out, "does not conclude with the discovery of variability: we must seek to account for the variabilities themselves. . . ." And invoking "basic [biologicalJ mechanisms of human perception and cognition" is not enough, for they "will always operate differentially in different environments and interact with a broad range of other variables (historical, cultural, situational, etc.) . . ." - 25 -(p. 20). Similarly, " [t]he attempt to locate invariance in the nature (or, latterly, the structure) of the works themselves" is "misguided," for two reasons: "different features or properties will be valued dif ferently by different audiences, etc., but, more significantly ... £,] the very perception of those presumed properties will vary" (p. 21). Thus, Smith concludes—echoing the phenomenological argument, though never denying the reality and importance of all the relative, contributing factors—that, like all value, literary value is not the property of an object _or of a subject, but, rather, the product of the dynamics of a system. As readers and critics of literature, we are within that system; and, because we are neither omniscient nor immortal and do have particular interests, we will, at any given moment, be viewing it from some perspective. It is from such a perspective that we experience the value of a work and also from such a perspective that we estimate its potential value for others. There is nothing illusory in the experience, however, or necessarily inaccurate in the estimate. From that real—if limited—perspective, at that real—if transient—moment, our experience of the value of the work JLS_ its value. Or, in the terms I should prefer: our experience of "the value of the work" is equivalent to our  experience of the work in relation to the total economy of our existence. And the reason our estimates of its potential value for other people may be quite accurate is that the total economy of their existence may, in fact, be quite similar to that of our own. (P. 21) Smith's above formulations, essentially pointing to the "system" and the evaluator's "perspective" as decisive factors, seem to me to confirm—in their limited, indirect, and negative way—Marx and Engels' thesis that the history of all hitherto existing society since the advent of written records is the history of class-struggle. For, Smith's abstract rejection of subjectivism and absolutism implicitly and'futile-ly begs a concrete resolution, one that can posit a real "variable constancy" in present society. It is here, I believe, that - 26 -the Marxist perceptions about "class" can provide the missing real factor to resolve the dilemma of Smith's abstract algebra. With an article such as Robert Weimann's "'Reception Aesthetics' and the Crisis in Literary History," in Clio, 5, No. 1 (1975), 3-35, the pro-evaluation discussion begins to shade over into the Marxist sideof the spectrum. Weimann's article is a telling pro-Marxist critique of limitless relativism, especially as exemplified by the "reception aesthetics" of Hans Robert Jauss. Yet, I categorise Weimann's article as "pro-Marxist" rather than Marxist, and I do this for a reason. Undoubtedly, his expose? of Jauss's bourgeois-reformist political assumptions employs negative arguments that Marxists themselves would find indispensable; and his concise characterisation of "tradition," for instance, reveals his easy grasp of the general Marxist method of dialectical-historical materialism ("As an historical category, 'tradition' ... applies to objective relationships in the literature of the past, but it also applies to a necessary relationship of the literary historian to the past" [p. 16J). However, he never emerges witha positive methodological class-alternative to Jauss's bourgeois-reformism: and his entire polemic lacks this alternative class-axis, so that even his generally materialist discussions of "tradition" sometimes reveal traces of absolutism (as in his sanguine tone in referring to past "masterpieces" [p. 28]). Nevertheless, Weimann's article does provide useful ammunition for the argument that "the dialectic between structure and function, between the history of genesis and the history of effect deserves to be at the centre of a new methodological conception of literary history" (pp. 20-21). While one might question the centrality of this particular dialectic as Weimann - 27 -describes it, depending on one's overall theoretical project, Weimann's attempt to historicise the entire problematic of literary production and consumption is one wholly compatible with and in the interests of Marxism. In its current spate and form, the discussion of literary value among self-declared Marxists almost certainly dates from Terry Eagleton's chapter "Marxism and Aesthetic Value," in Criticism and  Ideology (pp. 162-87). We shall examine Eagleton's argument in detail in Chapter 4. Here, we may merely note that he deplores a certain "theoretical prudery ... in vogue within Marxist aesthetics" which, "£a] t its simplest level ... appears as an egalitarian unease about the 'elitism' of assigning certain works to second-class status" and, " [i]n i-ts more sophisticated form . . . presents itself as a rigorous scientificity hostile to the idealism of 'normative' judgment"; "evaluation," he observes, "is thus evacuated from the realm of literary science, to be furtively cultivated, perhaps, as a private pleasure" (CI, pp. 162-3). Peter Widdowson's "'Literary Value' and the Reconstruction of Criticism," in Literature and History, 6, No. 2 (Autumn 1980), 138-50, offers a thoughtful and suggestive response to Eagleton (as well as to Tony Bennett), outlining certain "pragmatic" empirical projects compatible with Eagleton's theory and salvable from Bennett's extreme conjuncturalism (pp. 139-40). The projects constitute, within the realm of discourse, a virtual emergency programme to stop further bourgeois ravagement of culture (pp. 143-44, 147-48). At the same time,Widdowson acknowledges the overall limits of such purely discursive measures and the need for "a radical restructuring of the education - 28 -system and of the society which sustains it" as the only long-term solution (p. 147). Widdowson's seven broadly-categorised exercises urge more detailed analyses of commonly-discussed literary "traditions" and their individual authors. They call for historical demystification of the institutions of "literature" and "criticism" themselves, for renewed emphasis on the details of literary production (as opposed to Bennett's emphasis on consumption, or response), and for explanations of "the way the 'major' authors of the past are 'produced' (and valued) in our own age" (pp. 147-49). It is a proposition deserving careful consideration. Yet, Widdowson's obvious ability to link the ideal to the real remains within the overall framework of the very academic discourse that he himself acknowledges to be self-defeating. In that sense, he ultimately writes as a critic first, and as a Marxist later, thus succumbing in reality to the same reversed priorities that handicap virtually all non-revolutionary intellectuals formally sympathetic to Marxism. While the present axiological debate within ostensible Marxism seems to date from Eagleton's key chapter in Criticism and Ideology, its immediate pre-history reaches back to the rise of Stalinist ideology, commonly associated with the "thirties" and, in Britain, with such critics as Christopher Caudwell, Alick West, and George Thomson. I shall discuss Caudwell in the next chapter, but a glance at a sample-piece on literary value by West would be useful for introducing that entire mode of critical theory. In his chapter on "The Relativity of Literary Value," in Crisis and Criticism,25 Alick West makes the class-connection between values - 29 -and evaluation that non-Marxists ignore or minimise, though his positive programme is the contradictory, so-called "socialist humanism" of Stalin and his literary co-thinkers, the later Gorky and A.A. Zhdanov. West's formulations on the question are not always self-consistent or clear; but, in fact, they are more sharply focussed than those of his mentor and peer, Caudwell. West proceeds from the materialist premise that the priorities and experiences of life—especially of political life—determine literary theory and evaluative criteria, not vice versa: If we realise in our own lives that we have to contribute to making society, we like the literature which embodies that creation. If we are content to exploit society, we have no possibility of interest in literature. . . . But criticism does not decide whether we were stirred by emotion; our lives do that. (P. 102) As he puts it earlier in the chapter, "We value literature as we value our lives, for it is a part of our lives" (p. 101). Further, West completes the logic of his albeit flawed Marxist orientation by explicitly asserting that "the most creative movement in our society" is none other than "socialism" (as he understands that concept). And from this self-avowedly socialist perspective flows his critical manifesto: "{jr]he criticism of our lives, by the test of whether we are helping forward the most creative movement in our society, is the only effective foundation of the criticism of literature" (p. 102). Thus, " |V]he social organism to which literature has to be related, is humanity in its advance to socialism. The function of criticism is to judge literature, both content and form, as a part of this movement. It can only fulfill this function if it takes part in this movement itself on - 30 -the side of the workers of the world" (p. 103). But West is far from employing that manifesto, in its abstraction, as a catch-all. He wants to explain reality by recognising it, not explain it away by reducing its complexity. Abstract theory, for West, must thus await refinement or face rejection if it cannot explain, in its given form, all the facts of one's literary experience: It should perhaps be pointed out that the analysis of value given here cannot be used as a touch-stone. The theory of value depending on the expression of the alternations in fundamental social experience does not enable us to read a poem with a blank mind, note the alternations, and then pass judgment. The heightening of social energy [which is literature's valuable effect] has to be felt before the means by which it was aroused can be studied. The stir of emotion is prior to analysis, and the condition of it. . . . But criticism does not decide whether we were stirred; our lives do that. And if they are such that we are stirred by what is bad, no critical theory is proof against being twisted into self-justification. (P. 102) Against any such artificial self-justification, West counterposes as the criterion of value "the test of whether we are helping forward the most creative movement in our society" (p.102). "The value of literature," he says, paralleling Caudwell, "springs from the fact that it continues and changes the organisation of social energy" (p. 101). Debatable though this criterion might be, to West it obviously appears to have the "advantage" (over many equivalent but abstract ones) of being practically verifiable. Thus, for West, the dialectics of evaluation are both concrete and complex. They preclude not only absolutism and extreme (subjective) relativism, both of which deny the real but transitory nature of literary experience; they also preclude any view of the work that might deny the ingredients of the work itself by invoking what it presumes to - 31 -be the completely dissimilar and unrelated response of different social classes to it. Hence, says West, "our judgments are not only temporary class prejudices, but contain truth" (p. 101); and "the beauty of literature is the felt truth that we live through organised productive activity" (p. 101). Therefore, the "undertone of scepticism, that we cannot trust our taste, denies the experience of valuing. ... To discuss the relativity of value from the standpoint that we have no reason whatever for believing in ourselves, is useless metaphysics; for we do believe in ourselves" (p. 101). Nevertheless, West admits, "we may be, and often are, wrong," and therefore must evaluate literature through the objective criterion of its impact on "the organisation of social energy" (p. 101). With the "thirties'" school of Marxists, as exemplified by West, we touch contentious claims to and interpretations of Marxism that form a major area of concern in the rest of my dissertation.^6 These conflicts are best illuminated and resolved by reexamining the theories and practical histories of the classical, revolutionary Marxists themselves—Marx, Engels, Lenin, Trotsky. Certain important similarities as well as differences mark all the chief figures who are the objects of this study, including the revolutionaries. Thus, Marx and Engels' specific concerns are "different" from Lenin's and Trotsky's, in so far as they are separated by a world-historic event: the only successful and healthy workers' revolution in history—the October 1917 Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. Furthermore, the chiefly political concerns of these four active revolutionaries are in turn distinct from the primarily cultural preoccupations of Caudwell, Williams, and Eagleton. And finally, - 32 -Caudwell and Eagleton both openly claim to accept and even advocate Marxist theory, whereas Williams tries to maintain an explicit, sceptical distance from it. Yet I have compacted all seven of the above individuals in a single dissertation. My main basis for doing this is their common theoretical engagement with Marxism, shown in the seriousness of their attempts to examine the relevance of that theory to literary phenomena. Of course, I also note the fact that all three English critics claim to be working, with varying consistency, within the framework of Marxism. The revolutionaries from Marx to Trotsky constitute, in my view, an historically-vindicated political gauge for assessing the claimed Marxism of the professional critics. And Caudwell, Williams, and Eagleton out-qualify an obviously larger galaxy of similarly oriented professionals simply by being British, mutually near-contemporaneous, and well-known—decisive delimiting credentials for a study this size. The common engagement of these seven critics with Marxism has tended to reveal and clarify a central problem in Marxist axiology: the nature of revolutionary commitment, or the determining effect of building (or rejecting) the revolutionary workers' party on Marxist critics' criteria for judging literature. It seems to me that a damaging hiatus has long existed between two areas of ostensible Marxist commitment—the directly political and the cultural (the latter including, of course, the literary and the critical). Marxist political commitment is, logically, incremental, concentric, and (ultimately) comprehensive; and it presupposes consistency. Thus, a committed Marxist cannot seriously fight imperialism on the battlefield and simultaneously write sincere paeans to it in the press. Yet, with the - 33 -general exception of the revolutionary Marxists, this is almost precisely the anomaly characterising much ostensibly Marxist critical theory. This is not to say that, as in my above, self-evidently absurd example, everyone from Marx to Eagleton at some point or other practises in culture the exact opposite of what he preaches in politics; the problem is a little more complex, as we shall see in the section on Lenin in this Introduction. Put simply, however, it reduces itself to the question of the changing Marxist notion and practice of what has often loosely been termed "commitment."27 After Lenin, I have argued, a Marxist critic's commitment to revolution can only be ultimately tested and confirmed by his or her seriousness about building a revolutionary workers' party. One measure of seriousness would be the general priority that is accorded to this task; another measure would be the orientation, even within one's own sphere of specialisation, resulting from such commitment: that is, one's seriousness as a Marxist critic would ultimately depend on whether one approached Marxism primarily from the point of view of literary and critical interests, or whether one approached every particular sphere of activity, including literary criticism, primarily from the standpoint of a revolutionary, organisation-oriented Marxist.28 T have maintained that the latter approach is a logical prerequisite—though never a guarantee—for any further, consistently Marxist advancement of literary axiology. Yet, in much so-called Marxist aesthetics, a virtual political indifferentism pervades attitudes towards evaluation. "Culture" is somehow deemed close enough to "life" to benefit from radical glossing but too far from "politics" to be affected by the organisational - 34 -question. To a large extent, such a dichotomy between Marxist politics and "Marxist" aesthetics has been historically inevitable, for the socio-political revolution today logically constitutes a much more urgent, fundamental, and demanding task than its cultural consolidation. But this "dichotomy" between politics and culture is more a question of immediate practical priorities than of a strategic ideological orientation. This is why I see no reason why self-avowed Marxist "critics," whose specialty is literature, should have to be blind to the need for sharing with other Marxists the political direction of the revolution, in particular as streamlined through the revolutionary workers' organisation. The mere objects of one's special professional interest need not, by their sheer existential variety, impose a correspondingly inconsistent and directionless evaluative approach to them—least so among people claiming to be conscious Marxists. Instead, I have argued, Marxist critics should begin the struggle for genuine revolutionary consistency. That is, they should tackle, in its concrete complexity, the problem of squaring the production and appreciation of literature with the overall needs of the socio-political revolution, at a steady though cautious pace. This has been my principal theme in this dissertation. It suggests that, for Marxists, the conditions for a dialectical resolution of the anomaly between systematised politics and arbitrary literary assessments can only be provided by the interpenetration resulting from synchronised activities in a workers' revolutionary organisation. The surrealist Andr£ Breton, though speaking here chiefly about art and not criticism, put the matter well: "From where we stand, we maintain that the activity of - 35 -interpreting the world must continue to be linked with the activity of changing the world. ... 'Transform the world,' Marx said; 'change life,' Rimbaud said. These two watchwords are one for us."29 We now return to the areas of controversy mentioned earlier. I will first explain my pro-Marx position on the categories of "base" and "superstructure," "class," and "partisanship"—categories arousing much controversy, especially among the political theoreticians of the so-called New Left. I shall then explain my pro-Lenin stance on the related question of the revolutionary workers' ("vanguard") party, distinguishing it from both modern social democracy and Stalinist bureaucratism and seeing its continuity in the programme of Trotsky's presently-defunct Fourth International. In a suggestive comment on all class societies, Marx and Engels noted in The Manifesto of the Communist Party that "the social consciousness of past ages, despite all the multiplicity and variety it displays, moves within certain common forms, or general ideas, which cannot completely vanish except with the total disappearance of class antagonisms."30 More than half a century later, another Marxist, Rosa Luxemburg, amplified that cryptic observation: We are often told that our movement lacks the persons of talent who might be capable of further elaborating Marx's theories. . . . It is pure illusion to suppose that the working class, in its upward striving, can of its own accord become immeasurably creative in the theoretical domain. ... [XJctive participation of the workers in the march of science is subject to the fulfilment of very definite social conditions. The utmost it can do today is to safeguard bourgeois culture from the vandalism of the bourgeois reaction, and create the social conditions required for a free cultural development. . . . Not until the working class has been liberated from its present conditions of existence will the Marxist method of - 36 -research be socialised in conjunction with other means of production, so that it can be fully utilised for the benefit of humanity-at-large, and so that it can be developed to the full measure of its functional capacity.31 The argument in this dissertation has been advanced in view of the above paradox, and yet precisely with the intent of facilitating its eventual methodological resolution. Marx and Engels: Base-Superstructure, Class, and Partisanship From the well-known fact that Marx left no coherent and comprehensive treatise on literary theory, ostensibly Marxist critical specialists have drawn one of two seemingly opposed conclusions: (1) either that "the views of Marx on art and its function" can be "deduced" exclusively from his "numerous internally connected statements" or (2) that " [i]t is the materialist method of the Grundrisse and Capital, not hints gleaned from the 'literary criticism,' which must form the basis of anything worthy of the title of a 'Marxist criticism.'"32 This is a false counterposition that damagingly ignores the real unity of Marx's developing theory with his changing revolutionary practice. It is crucial for Marxists to remember that Marx (like Engels) wrought his theories in close connection with his practical revolutionary activities, first as a radical-democratic disciple of the Jacobin communists (such as Babeuf and Blanqui) and then as a pioneering organiser of the modern proletariat and its early leadership, the First International.33 Now, scholars have long established that, in aesthetic matters, Marx was "a creature of his own age";34 the ma-jor philosophical components of his aesthetic theory are usually recognised to be German (Hegelian) classicism and the broader, European Romanticism, in the tradition of Rousseau.^5 But it would be a mistake to explain Marx's views on literary and artistic value merely in light of his philosophico-cultural training, ignoring their proven imbrication with his economic analysis and political values and practice. After all, as Marx and Engels themselves pointed out as early as The German Ideology (written in 1845-46) , "not criticism but revolution is the driving force of history, also of religion, of philosophy and all other types of theory."36 It is this view of the objective dynamic of history that doubtless confirmed Marx in his famous thesis that while philosophers have only interpreted the world, the problem is how to change it. The materialist premise of this programme was the analytical model of "base" and "superstructure," first elaborated by Marx in his 1859 Preface to _A Contribut ion to the Critique of Political Economy (henceforth cited as Preface): In the social production of their life, men enter into definite relations that are indispensable and independent of their will, relations of production which correspond to a definite state of development of their material productive forces. The sum total of these relations of production constitutes the economic structure of society, the real foundation, on which rises a legal and political superstructure and to which correspond definite forms of social consciousness. The mode of production of material life conditions the social, political and intellectual life process in general. It is not the consciousness of men that determines their being, but, on the contrary, their social being that determines their consciousness. At a certain stage of their development, the material productive forces of society come in conflict with the existing relations of production, or—what is but a legal expression for the same thing—with the property relations within which they have been at work hitherto. From forms of development of the productive - 38 -forces these relations turn into their fetters. Then begins an epoch of social revolution. With the change of the economic foundation the entire immense superstructure is more or less rapidly transformed. In considering such transformations a distinction should always be made between the material transformation of the economic conditions of production, which can be determined with the precision of natural science, and the legal, political, religious, aesthetic or philosophic—in short ideological forms in which men become conscious of this conflict and fight it out. Just as our opinion of an individual is not based on what he thinks of himself, so can we not judge of such a period of transformation by its own consciousness; on the contrary, this consciousness must be explained rather from the contradictions of material life, from the relations of production. No social order ever perishes before all productive forces for which there is room in it have developed; and new, higher relations of production never appear before the material conditions of their existence have matured in the womb of the old society itself. (Marx and Engels, Selected Works, Vol. I, Moscow: Progress, 1973, pp. 503-504; excerpted in Marx/Engels, pp. 41-42) Marx here is attempting to capture a complex relation between structure and process, both of which he sees as also being internally complex. The positive aim of the description is to suggest a genuinely dialectical and materialist model of social life which will be concrete enough to counter the idealism of Hegel but general enough to marginalise the particularities of national, cultural, and other variants. The social structure itself is regarded as internally differentiated between two main realms: the "real foundation" and the "superstructure." The foundation consists, in its turn, of two chief components: the "material productive forces" and the social "relations of production"; the superstructure consists of "legal, political, religious, aesthetic or philosophic—in short ideological forms." These different components interlock, and even interpenetrate, in a changing relationship, as the social structure as a whole passes through various - 39 -"transformations," from birth to death. Now, some of these components and realms are subordinate in overall power, and secondary in the chronological order of their appearance, to others. Thus, the social relations of production are "definite," "indispensable," and "independent" of people's "will": but they in turn merely "correspond to a definite state of development of their material productive forces." Together, however, these mutually complementary productive forces and relations constitute "the economic structure of society, the real foundation. . . ." The superstructure, on the other hand, "rises" on these foundations, and "definite forms of social consciousness" "correspond" to it. In this sense, the economic infrastructure, or base, "conditions" the ideological superstructure; existence "determines" consciousness and its products and cohabitants. But all this determination, correspondence, construction, domination, and subordination operates within a (changing) relationship. The first phase of any overall structural change witnesses a "conflict" within the base, between the economic relations and the economic forces. This is a contradiction primarily of "material" life. However, this primarily infrastructural, material contradiction induces a corresponding superstructural change as well, though the overall appearance of the latter can only follow the overall appearance of the former, and may do so "more or less rapidly." I should emphasise here that Marx suggests not only that the superstructural change is contingent on the economic, but also that the superstructure is necessarily transformed. Obversely, he does not set a time-limit on this conditional but (given the pre-condition) ultimately - 40 -inevitable superstructural change. And while he voluntarily admits the relative difficulty of "determining!" a revolutionary transformation in that sphere, he does not make such determining the test of the transformation's reality or of its dependence on the economic contradictions. (This is clearly the point behind Marx's quip that "Don Quixote long ago paid the penalty for wrongly imagining that knight errantry was compatible with all economic forms of society" fCapital: A Critique of Political Economy, Vol. I, ed. Frederick Engels, tr. Samuel Moore and Edward Aveling (1867; tr. 1887; rpt. New York: International Publishers, 1967); cited in Marx/Engels, p. 265].) Finally, we may note that—for good reasons (as he explains at length in Capital)—Marx does not specify the exact economic relations, forces, or products that may be considered indispensable to any one society at any given point in time: for, the model of "base-superstructure" expresses an algebraic  relationship, whose actual quantities will reveal wide fluctuations internationally and periodically while confirming in each individual case the validity of that same configuration. Now, as the political revisionists testify, this view and interpretation has its opponents. Jameson perceptively describes the general political psychology of revisionism as "the act of making a theory comfortable and palatable by leaving out whatever calls for praxis or change, whatever is likely to be painful for the purely contemplative intellectual consumption of a middle-class public" (Marxism and Form, p. xv). Certainly, in its incidental characterisation of the objective political effect of revisionism, Jameson's primarily psychological description seems to fit both the - 41 -early revisionists, such as Eduard Bernstein, and the New Left revisionists, such as Herbert Marcuse, as well as their literary-critical co-thinkers, such as Peter Demetz and Raymond Williams. The specific terms of the debate currently centring on "base" and "superstructure" are rightly associated with Marxism. But one.component of it—the debate over the relationship between "matter" and "consciousness" in general—goes at least as far back (in the West) as Plato and Democritus, known in philosophy as the proponents of idealism and materialism, respectively. In its philosophical aspect, Marxism is the modern continuator of Democritus' materialism: it believes that, in the objective scheme of existence, matter is primary and consciousness secondary. E.P. Thompson provides a simplistic but vivid illustration of this materialistic view when he observes that "the wood cannot determine what is made, nor whether it is made well or badly, but it can certainly determine what can not be made ..." (Poverty of Theory, p. 18). But Marxism is more than just a philosophy: it is also a guide to social change. And the "base-superstructure" model is one that addresses the complex dynamics of general social change, without, relegating all matter to the base and all consciousness to the. superstructure alone. This is why the concept of modes, forces,.and relations of production together as constituents of the base becomes crucial to an understanding of Marx's model. The revisionists are unable to grasp this difference between mere "matter" and Marx's economic "base," which latter requires for its own perpetuation a complementary—though distinct, often deformed, and contingent— consciousness. While a detailed refutation of the revisionists belongs more - 42 -properly to another subject and project, certain key points can be discussed here. Eduard Bernstein (1850-1932), the German Social Democrat, was the major initiator of theoretical revisionism, but even he did not chiefly attack the "base-superstructure" model (or, for that matter, the concepts of "class" and "partisanship"). More centrally, he began to advocate, after Engels' death, the programme of gradualism, or slow, evolutionary, reformist "growth" into socialism.^ The so-called New Left revisionism, stemming from the nineteen-fifties, is much more thoroughgoing. A random but typical example of a New Left revision of Marx's "base-superstructure" model would be Ellen Meiksins Wood's "The Separation of the Economic and the Political in Capitalism."38 Wood simultaneously acknowledges a "differentiation" between economics and politics in practical life and attacks a certain conceptual "separation" between them which she misattributes to Marx (and Engels). In self-imagined opposition to those theorists, she argues that the (capitalist) economy is indeed affected by political decisions. But in thus stressing their obvious interaction, Wood denies the decisive centrality of economic power in relation to its matching political ideas and practices. She analyses the relationship between economics and politics as a static, unhistoricised, co-equal, conjunctural intersection, thereby misrepresenting their existential simultaneity as a balance of determining power. In attacking Marx and Engels on this question, therefore, she not only brings against them charges that are factually misplaced; she commits a category-mistake, missing the exclusively interventionist perspective motivating Marx and Engels' particular analytical methods. (The divergence in aim and method between the - 43 -Marxists and Wood becomes especially clear if we compare her definition of the state to Engels1 or Lenin's.) Nor is Wood alone in thus revising and attacking Marx. Indeed, more germanely, an entire school of literary critics, including ostensible Marxists as well as explicit anti-Marxists, misreads Marx's Preface and indulges in similar, misdirected criticism. One of the most concise and forthrightly hostile of such criticisms issues from Rene Wellek. Wellek, a critic not particularly concerned with Marxism, dismisses Marx's view of social change as "rigid economic determination" that has been decisively, "totally belied by history."39 Falsely charging that Marx and Engels "deny that ideology has any history or development" (Wellek, p. 234), Wellek quotes and then tries to parody what he misconstrues to be Marx's idea of a communist society: "'In a communist society there will not be any painters, but at the most men who, among other things, also paint' (men apparently like Churchill and Eisenhower)" (Wellek, p.235). Wellek obviously and wrongly believes that history has ended. Similarly, Fokkema and Kunne-Ibsch (p. 87) claim that, in his 1857 draft of the Introduction to A Contribution to  the Critique of Political Economy (to be discussed below), "Marx departs from the deterministic concept that developments in the superstructure, notably in the realm of aesthetics, must necessarily follow from changes in the economic basis." Their basis for this claim is merely that, in the Introduction, he "emphasises that there may be an unbalanced development of artistic and material production." And from this distorted construction, these critics conclude that "if Marx's theory of unbalanced development is applied to modern times, it follows that a socialist society does not necessarily give rise to a superior - 44 -literature." Again and again, at the hands of most revisionists, Marx's model is vulgarised: his careful qualification about the "more or less" rapid transformation of the superstructure is ignored, as is the never-denied though contingent role of conscious activity in ensuring that the superstructure is necessarily transformed. "Necessarily" is symptoma-tically misread as "automatically" and "immediately," and the. self-centredness and passivity of much academic speculation and hindsight are falsely projected onto the distinctively interventionist and active nature of Marxism. Marx's Preface is its own best standing defence against the. distortions of revisionists and anti-Marxists. But even earlier, in their German Ideology, Marx and Engels had acknowledged that "ft]he production of ideas, of conceptions, of consciousness, is at first directly interwoven with the material activity and the material intercourse of men—the language of real life," although " [i]t is not consciousness that determines life, but life that determines conscious ness" (Marx/Engels, pp. 42-43). Moreover, effective clarifications and defences on the question have existed at least since the later Engels and appear frequently today.^ My own interpretation of Marx's Preface is obviously another such undertaking, carried out in the belief.that his model, when accurately and sympathetically understood, argues.its own continuing validity. For, though the logic of the revisionists and idealists of various kinds may imply otherwise, it remains impossible to write novels while freezing to death in the open on an empty stomach. And, in one sense, Marx's Preface merely elaborates this practical bottom-line. Of the many clarification offered since Marx's publication of his - 45 -views on "base" and "superstructure," one particular set may be singled out because of the authority behind them: Engels'. In at least three letters to different correspondents (see Appendix A), Engels sufficiently clarified the implications of Marx's model to obviate charges such as Wellek's. In one particular letter (to Conrad Schmidt), Engels wrote, "The ultimate supremacy of economic development is for me an established fact in these philosophical and literary spheres too, but it operates within the terms laid down by the particular sphere itself ... Here economy creates nothing new, but it determines the way in which the thought material found in existence is altered and further developed and that too for the most part indirectly, for it is the political, legal and moral reflexes which exert the greatest direct influence on philosophy" (Marx/Engels, p. 60). It then seems perfectly logical to assume, as well, that "exceptional" intellectual forays by individuals are at least partly and indirectly—if not wholly and directly—made possible by their own, specific material circumstances. For, Marx in his Preface speaks not of some mythical homogeneous material base but of the real "contradictions" of material life, which include the "matur [ing]" of the "new" relations of production and their material conditions of existence "in the womb" of the older social (economic and cultural) order. "When people speak of ideas that revolutionise society," observe Marx and Engels in their Manifesto, "they do but express the fact, that within the old society, the elements of a new one have been created, and that the dissolution of the old ideas keeps even pace with the dissolution of the old conditions of existence" (Marx/Engels, p. 73). In an abstract way, this Marxist position will long remain a - 46 -subject of debate, precisely since its conclusion (like that of its critics) is generically incapable of empirical verification under controlled, laboratory conditions; it is a conclusion operationally inseparable from particular socio-political interests. But also precisely because this is so, this not entirely abstract question will be concretely resolved if and when the working class captures state power and the means of production globally, long before the world is able to glimpse anything resembling even the shoots of socialist culture. Meanwhile, revisionists and anti-Marxists might ponder the fact that it was not Marx but Freud who stated, "The motive of human society is in the last resort an economic one" (Introductory Lectures on P sychoanalysis y.f^ But, one may still ask, what is the relevance of the Marxist concepts of "base" and "superstructure" to the problems of Marxist literary axiology? The short answer is that both Marxist social analysis and Marxist literary evaluation ostensibly aim to change society in the same direction and that the latter explicitly professes allegiance to the former. Therefore, they can ill-afford a self-contradictory world-view and programme that would imply mutually counterposed values, priorities, and methods of analysis and evaluation. This debate is thus part of the struggle for all-round consis tency within Marxism. And the contradiction of the New Left is that it claims to be Marxist while revising some of Marxism's most crucial, definitive perceptions, representing hard-won historical lessons, sometimes paid for by the working class with their lives. Related to his concept of a distinction-cum-interaction between the ultimately determining economic base and the ideological superstructure is Marx's awareness that all subject-object interaction (and, hence, all - 47 -evaluation) is both real and relative. Value in general, therefore (and Marx speaks of "economic" value only as his immediate concern, not his only one) , is value both for somebody and _in something outside the mind of the perceiver, at a particular conjuncture. Thus, in an early characterisation of the social dialectic involved in aesthetic evaluation, Marx suggests that " [tj he object of art, as well as any other product, creates an artistic and beauty-enjoying public. Production thus produces not only an object for the individual, but also an individual for the object" (Introduction to A Contribution to the  Critique of Political Economy, in Marx/Engels, p. 129; this key piece is henceforth cited as Introduction). From this, it follows that the criteria of evaluation can only be historically and socially relative. And in Marx and Engels, the explicit term that is used as an index for these relative criteria is the historical/temporal "period." Thus Engels, in a letter to Lassalle (18 May 1859), notes his own varying responses to "things of inferior value" between the "first reading" and any subsequent ones (Marx/Engels, p. 102). More generally, Marx notes in his Introduction the temporal continuities and discontinuities of specific "elements" of social "production," presumably with their attendant values (Solomon, p. 34); and, as we have seen, Marx and Engels note the lag in "the social consciousness of past ages, ... which cannot completely vanish except with the total disappearance of class antagonisms" (Marx/Engels, p. 74).^2 The general temporal and consumptional continuity and discontinuity of values are thus both real. But, as that last quotation clearly suggests, their socio-historical patterns still cannot be easily explained or predicted through a simply "temporal" but "classless" - 48 -sociology. A more precise tool of analysis is called for. This tool is the notion—not originating in Marxism but merely finding a permanent place in its analytical method—of "class." One non-Marxist critic working with a philosophical approach to literary evaluation has simplistically but tellingly complained that the "search for criteria has been going on for a long time, but without any results that all sides agree to be successful."^3 Marxists have an explanation for that. As the decreasingly Marxist historian E.P. Thompson concedes in the course of warning against any "improperly hardened" use of "a category as generous as 'the working class,'" that "without the (elastic) category of class—an expectation justified by evidence—I could not have practised [writing history] at all" (Poverty  of Theory, p. 57). I believe that the same law obtains for Marxist literary axiology. If the temporal category of "period" explicitly dominates the evaluative terminology of Marx and Engels, the socio-economic criterion of "class" at least implicitly underlies their entire view of modern history and society. "The history of all hitherto existing society," wrote Marx and Engels in 1847, "is the history of class struggles." Explaining the sub-heading of this section ("Bourgeois and Proletarians," referring to the two modern classes), Engels wrote, "By bourgeoisie is meant the class of modern Capitalists, owners of the means of social production and employers of wage-labour. By proletariat, the class of modern wage-labourers who, having no means of producti on of their own, are reduced to selling their labour—power in order to live" (English ed. of Manifesto [i.888], in Tucker, p. 473, n. 5). The specific relation of dominance and subordination between - 49 -these two classes within the superstructure was early indicated by Marx and Engels in their comments on "the ruling ideas" in any given society. In The German Ideology, they pointed out that " [t]he ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas: i.e., the class which is the ruling material force of society is at the same time its ruling intellectual force . . ., so that the ideas of those who lack the means of mental production are on the whole subject to it" (Marx/Engels, p. 70). Here, the general, temporal category of the "epoch" clearly undergoes an internal class-differentiation; and the differentiation is a sophistication of the analytical model, not a negation. Hence it is actually able to prefigure the writers' later comment, in the Manifesto, about the dependence of lagging "social consciousness" on "class antagonisms" and "the old conditions of existence." , With the appearance of the proletariat as a self-conscious class, bourgeois society is decisively polarised; the dominant bourgeois values face an increasingly systematised challenge; and the question of the writers' and critics' class-allegiance is explicitly posed. Marx and Engels themselves intersected this conjuncture and allied themselves with the working class and its historic interests. It is from this position—a position of partisanship for the proletariat—that they addressed all questions of value, literary or otherwise. Thus Marx and Engels warned the bourgeoisie in their Manifesto: "don't wrangle with us so long as you apply, to our intended abolition of bourgeois , property, the standard of your bourgeois notions of freedom, culture, law, etc." (Solomon, p. 49). And Engels, in his 26 November 1885 letter to Minna Kautsky, noted the dilemma of trying to write a "socialist problem novel" for an audience composed predominantly of "readers from - 50 -bourgeois circles," in the process coming up with an explicit (though negatively conceived) criterion of literary value: "under our conditions novels are mostly addressed to readers from bourgeois circles, i.e., circles which are not directly ours. Thus the socialist problem novel in my opinion fully carries out its mission if by a faithful portrayal of the real conditions it dispels the dominant conventional illusions concerning them, shakes the optimism of the bourgeois world, and inevitably instils doubt as to the eternal validity of that which exists . . ." (Marx/Engels, p. 88). Clearly, Engels here speaks from a particular class point of view—that of a proletarian ("anti-bourgeois") socialist.^ But it is not only that. Once the question of a writer's merely passive class "sympathies" is settled in favour of the proletariat, the issue of active partisanship in literature—"tendenzpoesie" in Marx and Engels and (in a different context, discussed below) "partiinost" in Lenin—is logically posed. For, the proof of one's sympathies lies in one's willingness to fight actively and effectively for one's side. Now revisionists, non-, and anti-Marxists usually challenge this conclusion, often falsely pitting Lenin—and even Marx—against Engels.^ yet the two key letters by Engels (to Minna Kautsky, 26 November 1885, and to Margaret Harkness, April 1888 fMarx/Engels, pp.87-92]) that they usually quote from themselves provide telling proof of Engels' sympathy for partisanship in literature. This is true despite the fact that these letters are primarily critical and cautionary notes (addressed to acknowledged fellow-socialists); for it is those novelists' apparent technical unsubtlety, and not "obvious political bias," that in this case worries Engels.jjor should this be - 51 -taken to mean that Engels values "technique" separately from and above content. The revisionists' case against bias per se, then, has no basis in Engels (or in any other revolutionary Marxist); and the following quotation from Engels strongly confirms that interpretation: You obviously felt a desire to take a public stand in your book, to testify to your convictions before the entire world. This has now been done. ... I am by no means opposed to partisan poetry as such. Both Aeschylus, the father of tragedy, and Aristophanes, the father of comedy, were highly partisan poets, Dante and Cervantes were so no less, and the best thing that can be said about Schiller's Kabale und Liebe is that it represents the first German political problem drama. The modern Russians and Norwegians, who produce excellent novels, all write with a purpose. (Letter to Minna Kautsky, 26 November 1885, in Marx/Engels, p. 88) As for Marx's admonition to Lassalle, in his letter of 18 April 1859, that "I regard as your gravest shortcoming the fact that a la Schiller you transform individuals into mere mouthpieces of the spirit of the time" (quoted approvingly by Wellek, p. 236; see Appendix B for fuller text of letter), we should note that Marx is objecting to propagandising at the expense of individualisation of character, and not to propagandising as such. Marx and Engels' general evaluative criteria thus remain historically relative and class-partisan, for the proletariat and for socialism. This last, positive and active orientation towards socialism (however indirect or negative some of its incidental formulations) crucially determines a number of Marx and Engels' specific authorial preferences. Most relevantly, it explains Marx's evident preference of the perceived social orientation of a Shelley to the historically retrogressive orientation of a Carlyle. Nevertheless, a certain formal - 52 -contradiction does exist between Marx and Engels' methodological stress on proletarian progress as a positive value and their actual choice of historical example or analogy to illustrate and explain that criterion. The single most quoted and misinterpreted source of confusion on i this count is Marx's passage, in his Introduction, on the continuing ("eternal") "charm" of Greek art.^8 in a curious way, it presents what might superficially seem merely like an odd combination of Classical tastes and Romantic criteria; but this would be to mistake the sheer form for the idea, which is complex and sketchy but nevertheless merits a closer look. Here is the passage in question: As regards art, it is well known that some of its peaks by no means correspond to the general development of society; nor do they therefore to the material substructure. ... The difficulty we are confronted with is not, however, that of understanding how Greek art and epic poetry are associated with certain forms of social development. The difficulty is that they still give us aesthetic pleasure and are in certain respects regarded as a standard and unattainable ideal. An adult cannot become a child again, or he becomes childish. But does the naivete of the child not give him pleasure, and does not he himself endeavour to reproduce the child's veracity on a higher level? Does not the child in every epoch represent the character of the period in its natural veracity? Why should not the historical childhood of humanity, where it attained its most beautiful form, exert an eternal charm because it is a stage that will never recur? There are rude children and precocious children. Many of the ancient peoples belong to this category. The Greeks were normal children. The charm their art has for us does not conflict with the immature stage of the society in which it originated. On the contrary its charm is a consequence of this and is inseparably linked with the fact that the immature social conditions which gave rise, and which alone could give rise, to this art cannot recur. (Marx/Engels, pp. 82, 84) In this early passage, one which it is important to know he withheld from publication, Marx introduces a concern we have not yet encountered in our discussion of him: what are the laws of aesthetic - 53 -response and of the continuity of perceived value across long stretches of time? This is his main concern in the passage as I have quoted it. But note, even here, how he actually foreshadows the "base-superstructure" analytical model of his published 1859 Preface, thereby pre-confirming its status within his overall scheme (Greek art and poetry clearly "are associated" with certain forms of social development). Significantly, therefore, he characterises his question as a "difficulty," not as an insoluble contradiction, and attempts to answer it as a materialist. The passage itself is a combination of two main parts: the statement of the problem ("the difficulty") and the positing of a series of mutually related answers, half of them in the form of rhetorical questions. The "difficulty," as Marx puts it, is that "some of . . . (art's]. . . peaks by no means correspond to the general development of society." Thus, ancient Greek art and epic poetry "still give us aesthetic pleasure and are in certain respects regarded as a standard and unattainable ideal"; they "exert an eternal charm." Marx's strongly suggested explanation is that, in the case of ancient Greek art, this continuing potency results from two characteristics. One is Greek art's truthful portrayal of the external reality of the time ("veracity" about the objectively "immature social conditions"). The other is the less explicit, more self-revealing, truthful effect of Greek art's own, child-like mode of perception, applied to and arising from that early history. The connecting thread is truthfulness—a representational "veracity" and a perceptual "naivete." And this indicates to Marx that, as modern society's historical predecessors, "ft]he Greeks" were neither "rude" nor "precocious" but simply, in terms of their objectively - 54 -ordained limitations, "normal children" corresponding to the overall conditions of their life. Now it is true that, especially when quoted out of context in the above fashion, Marx's passage reveals certain inadequacies from the point of view of consistent dialectical-historical materialism. Thus, traces of idealist absolutism exist in formulations such as "most beautiful form" ("peaks") and "eternal charm," as well as in the lack of class-differentiation within "us" and "ft] he Greeks"; and they also exist in the assumption of a unanimous aesthetic response flowing from such homogeneity ("they still give us aesthetic pleasure" and, in certain respects, universally and undeniably "are regarded" as an ideal). All this may well indicate the legacy of Schiller and resemble the "Golden Age" conceptions of Freud and Proust, as Hans Robert Jauss claims.^ Moreover, the representational "veracity" is left undifferentiated from the perceptual "naivete," and, consequently, these and other words such as "charm" and "normal" seem to convey both psychological modalities and behavioural expressions and effects. Finally, Marx's attempted answer addresses—albeit materialistically— chiefly his personal love for ancient Greek art: its materialism is empirical. Thus, the general, theoretical question posed at the beginning of the passage may well be regarded by some as unanswered. But such a view can be challenged, and clarifications appended, as I shall try to do below. However, even within the quoted passage itself, there are many signs that should make critics pause before they, try, on the basis of it, to dismiss the argument about economic base and ideological superstructure in Marx's 1859 Preface. Here, the qualifying, - 55 -speculative, and cautiously "negative" thrust of Marx's formulations is crucial. The reasons why ancient Greek art continues to charm people in the nineteenth century are not incomprehensible, merely difficult to understand. Greek art and poetry are a standard ideal, but they are so only "in certain respects" and are, moreover, "regarded" as such by possibly—but not necessarily—everyone. In fact, one presumes, the undefined subject must be culturally and politically akin to "us"—a definable and almost certainly non-inclusive group, of whom Marx himself is one. Moreover, Marx's notion of "our" pleasure in ancient Greek art does not claim the status of a permanent prescriptive dictate to all people for all times but rather presents itself as a mere observation of reality, one at least personally verifiable by Marx himself. And finally, the alleged charm results from the negative fact that the effective impression created by the ancient Greek artists "does not conflict" with the evaluator's knowledge of its social conditions of production and from the certainty that those primitive but intriguing precursors of the modern age "cannot recur." In positive terms, then, for the Marx of 1857, classical Greek art seems valuable chiefly for its truthfulness. This truthfulness consists, in the first place, in that art's very choice of object—a real though irrecoverable society (slave-holding Athenian democracy) which, despite its historical limitations, affords us a glimpse of the possible future, its subject being "the historical childhood of humanity." In the second place, this truthfulness consists in Greek art's and artists' very mode of perception, resembling (for Marx) a child's naivety. Finally, it might be interesting to speculate about whether or not Marx also sees the truthfulness manifesting itself in the - 56 -artists' mimetic mode of depicting the "natural veracity" of that historical "child" ("reproduce ... on a higher level" [my emphasis]). If it does, especially in an absolute way, Marx here might conceivably be accused, by some, of "failing" to anticipate the problematic, twentieth-century unfolding of the fate of "realism." But we shall return to this issue later. Marx's above-quoted passage from the Introduction thus attempts simultaneously to address three different aesthetic phenomena: (1) the (socio-)economic determination of art, (2) the assimilation and elevation of "certain" perceived aspects of art in one era to the aesthetic ideals of another, and (3) the response of some people to these perceived qualities across a span of centuries. As we know, the general problematics relevant to these concerns seem to have been roughly anticipated in the Manifesto's remark about lagging social consciousness in class-societies (Marx/Engels, p. 74). Marx's passage in the Introduction thus suggests an abiding theoretical concern on his part and constitutes a theoretical cornerstone that cannot be ignored and should not be facilely distorted. Yet, this is precisely what happens when, disregarding Marx's actual formulations, Hans Hess (for instance) pronounces that "what he fMarx] calls 'charm' is really prestige" (Hess, p. 11). Interestingly, however, Marx in his Pre-Capitalist Economic Formations anticipates and obviates Hess's superficial conjecture, clarifying the relativity and partialness of the classical world's "charm" for him. " [l]n one way," he admits, "the childlike world of the ancients appears to be superior; and this is so, in so far as we seek for closed shape, form and estab lished limitation"; but, he adds, " [t] he ancients provide a narrow - 57 -satisfaction, whereas the modern world leaves us unsatisfied, mean" (Solomon, p. 57; also quoted in Prawer p. 288n). That is, the ancients are not perfect, though the modern world is positively bad. Indeed, early in his career, Marx satirised the anti-historicist conservatism of Emperor Julian and "the Alexandrine school, . . . which believed that it could make the newly developing spirit of the times disappear by keeping its eyes closed so as not to see it," thus striving "to prove by force the 'eternal truth' of Greek mythology and its complete agreement 'with the results of scientific research.'"^0 Moreover, as Lifshitz significantly observes about the "left-Hegelians" (of whom, of course, Marx was one), the "new barbarism of capitalist Germany is identified [by them] with the barbarism of old [as in the Old Testament]," while the "defence of Greek art was at the same time an attempt to restore the [egalitarian, radical] ideals of the French Revolution"(Lifshitz, pp. 34, 49). Any misreading of Marx on this question, therefore, must necessarily ignore the concrete political programme in whose ultimate service he was, as a Jacobin-derived communist, trying to answer it. The result will tend to become vulgar-materialist or metaphysical, not dialetical-materialist and historical. Since Marx's passage in his Introduction has, for various reasons, come to signify different things to different people, a brief critical reckoning with four fairly symptomatic readings of it would be useful here. Roughly, the first one represents a flatly anti-Marxist approach, the second a "history of ideas" approach, the third a simplistic, "vulgar materialist" approach, and the fourth a dialectical-materialist and historical (Marxist) approach, in so far as one exists on this question. Of course, these approaches sometimes overlap; and, moreover, - 58 -all of them often have valid insights to offer. Hans Robert Jauss in "The Idealist Embarrassment" asks some useful questions about when exactly the famous "alienation" (described by the young Marx as the omnipresent bane of life under capitalism) is supposed to enter into the actual process of production. For, from that moment on, "beauty" must surely become more and more difficult to ensure, in the face of increasingly commodity-oriented market demands (p. 198). Moreover, by selecting some straw men for his false counterpositions and illustrations of "Marxism," Jauss is easily able to demonstrate that some ostensibly Marxist critics underestimate the role of the reader, that is, of reception dynamics (pp. 204-05).^1 However, the wording of his article's title, his use of conventional anti-Marxist codewords and epithets ,^2 ancj his claim that the distinction between idealism and materialism is not valid "in the field of aesthetics" (p. 207) all bespeak a qualitative dearth of political understanding and a distinct unfriendliness of intent issuing from the right. Jauss's thesis is that "a materialist aesthetic ... cannot get along without a central core of idealism" (p. 192), that Marx believes that "we scarcely know how standards arise," unless they do so through sheer ideas (p. 203). To prove his thesis, Jauss must largely restrict himself to the young, Hegelian Marx and then misrepresent some of Marx's key positions into the bargain. Thus, for instance, Jauss early makes the claim that "Marx's high esteem for Greek art ... breaches the principle of the prior economic determination of all artistic production and confers on the relation of substructure and superstructure a nonsimultaneity of the necessarily simultaneous . . ." (p. 192). But where did Jauss find in Marx the proposition that "the relation of - 59 -substructure and superstructure" is "necessarily simultaneous"? Certainly in our own scrutiny of Marx's Preface, we found "simultaneity" to be explicitly precluded by the "more or less" rapid transformation of the superstructure (following economic change); and, much earlier, even the Manifesto talks about historic lags in social consciousness and views "the dissolution of old ideas" as being contingent on "the dissolution of the old conditions of existence." Yet, while egregious in its misrepresentations of Marx, Jauss's article remains indispensable for one pedagogical purpose: to show how the debate over "base" and "superstructure" impinges directly on literary axiology and how idealism as a philosophical trend, when allowed free rein, readily places itself at the service of unabashed anti-Marxism. Relatively subsidiary inaccuracies, self-contradictions, and questionable interpretative methods abound.-^3 one could dissect a sentence such as the following, for instance, to reveal the same shallowness of Jauss's critique as we have seen above: "And it makes it impossible to overlook the embarrassment that in sum the art of a slave-owning society should also still rank as a 'standard and model beyond attainment' for an emancipated mankind" (p. 102). Merely at a factual level, we might pose to Jauss certain questions: where "in sum" does Marx view the problem in terms of a classless "art" of a slave-owning "society" and its reception by an equally classless "mankind"? Where "in sum" does Marx state or imply that "us" represents "emancipated" mankind? Where "in sum" does Marx revise his view that ancient Greek art still constitutes an ideal model only "in certain respects" and not "in sum"? Where, even "in sum," does Marx pose the - 60 -perceived residual power of aspects of ancient Greek art as a question of moralistic or psychological "embarrassment"? If ("in sum") Jauss's use of that word is not meant ethically but only methodologically, to point to the above extension in artistic effectivity, how does he rationalise his application of "embarrassment" to the obvious fact that it was Marx himself who first noticed the extension (and the apparent dislocation between economic base and artistic peaks) and attempted to address it? Further, if his thesis is that "base" is irrelevant to "superstructure," why does Jauss deflect the relevant and crucial comparison of the two economies (ancient Greek and modern) into the primarily political question of slavery and emancipation, thus forefeiting an opportunity to debunk Marx on his own terms? Beyond the quoted sentence itself, one could pose many equally germane questions: in their Manifesto, Marx and Engels welcomed the positive achievements of the bourgeoisie in their historically progressive phase;-^ why, then, in view of the authors' professed proletarianism, does Jauss not regard that as an "embarrassment" as well? Lenin repeatedly insisted that socialists must intelligently assimilate and build on the contradictory cultural heritage of the bourgeois past;^^«why, then, in view of Jauss's hazy but correct perception of Leninism's claim to Marxism, does that critic not regard Lenin's advice as another such "embarrassment"? "In sum," provided he is held accountable for the authenticity of every paraphrase he offers of Marx or Engels or Lenin, Jauss simply cannot pretend to have an answer. The next two commentators on this issue are less overtly contrary. They are also more generalist in their approach. Michael McKeon, in "The Origins of Aesthetic Value," Telos, No. 57 (Fall 1983), 63-82, - 61 -usefully lays bare in Aristotle the likely historical roots of the idea of "aesthetic value" and argues its differential implementation among literary consumers. The overall effect is one of destroying any absolute notions of aesthetic value or valuation. McKeon articulately insists that the issue of value is distinct from the issue of sub- and superstructural relationships (p. 64) and that, moreover, economic "exchange"-value in Marx is a quantitative concept, having little to do with general "use"-value, which is a qualitative concept directly relating to society's physical and mental needs (pp. 69-70). Marx's "difficulty" in the Introduction, then, McKeon implies, arises not from Marx or from his model of base and superstructure but from the arbitrary and conventional notions of "aesthetic value" and "aesthetic pleasure" through which Marx uncritically views Greek art and its effect on him (pp. 63-64, 65). Instead of applying to these notions his usual array of demystificatory, historical analyses, observes McKeon, Marx naturalises them in the prevalent manner of his contemporaneous aestheticians (p. 66). Marx thus becomes inconsistent in terms of his own methodology, though this empirical incongruity naturally does not theoretically undermine the ignored methodology itself. The solution remains, according to McKeon, the "dialectical" one of uniting the continual re-production of the non-absolute text with the continual re-evaluation of its varied and changing effects on different consumers (p. 82). "Aesthetic value" thus stands revealed as an historically-produced, arbitrary construct—as a "mode" or "counterpart" of exchange-value (pp. 80, 91)—that can be circumvented with the aid of historical consciousness. In its historicising and relativising thrust, McKeon's argument can - 62 -be generally valuable for a Marxist axiology. However, in its specific manner of applying these methods to axiology, McKeon's article tends to disappear the problem rather than solve it. Chiefly, all the problems with his argument may usefully be traced to one particular philosophical characteristic: McKeon's premises are those of idealism, and his method of analysing and solving the practical problem of evaluation is largely restricted to that of a "history of ideas." Thus, for instance, McKeon typically asserts that not only were "aesthetic value" and "poetry" .each "a mental category ... conceived in the Greek Enlightenment" but that "'capitalism' itself emerged as a mental category during the European Enlightenment, coinciding with the re-emergence of poetry and aesthetic value as abstract universals, now to be embraced as widely and as enthusiastically as the ideology of capitalism would be" (p. 79). In the beginning—as well as in the middle and at the end—was the Idea. Thus, claims McKeon, Aristotle's "abstraction of 'poetry' as an autonomous category two thousand years before the rest of Western culture was interested in listening . . . is an . . . individual anomaly, testimony to the will of a supreme intellect to pursue, in, solitude, the logic of a radically innovative method as far as it would go" (p. 80). Obversely, Marx's failure to historicise the problem of "eternal charm" is merely "testimony, perhaps, to the formidable power of received mental categories ... to resist the self-critical act of understanding by which they may be transformed from natural 'things' into historical products" (p. 81). To axiologists seeking a purely, psychological explanation and solution, McKeon's argument may seem self-sufficient. To Marxists, however, it is not. McKeon, as a professed Marxist scholar, is aware of this. He - 63 -therefore elaborates, as his main hypothesis, Marx's suggestive speculations (in the Introduction) about the relation of specific literary genres to specific technological forces of production.-*6 AS in Marx's Introduction, this line of enquiry yields some of McKeon's most detailed "materialist" results. Briefly, McKeon argues that although Marx's comments "direct our attention to the typographical revolution of the Renaissance, the more pertinent• technological change must be the revolution which transformed the oral, 'archaic' culture of Homeric antiquity into the literate culture of the Greek Enlightenment. . . . [l]t is to this great historic transformation that we owe ... the invention of that mental category of aesthetic value under which Marx himself occasionally, as here, may be seen to labour" (p. 66). McKeon identifies in Aristotle's theory of "catharsis" (the latter's putative index of a genuinely unified plot in tragic "poetry") the first conceptualisation of an autonomous "aesthetic pleasure" (pp. 72, 74, 76). Yet, for all the technological history and analysis, two key questions keep nagging a Marxist: is "technology" all there is to the Marxist concept of economic base? And what are the material reasons for such apparently abstract and arbitrary concepts as "aesthetic pleasure" and "aesthetic value" taking hold in a mind as self-reflexive and critical as Marx's? Other, related questions soon follow. If "aesthetic pleasure is nothing but the dissolution of pleasure through its indeterminate expansion, the temporal expression of which is perpetuity" (p. 81), is this dissolution self-generating and uniform across classes, cultures, and ages? If it is, how would McKeon's model accommodate and explain dissenting evaluations such as those advanced by - 64 -the string of critics of Shakespeare's Sonnets that Barbara Herrnstein Smith mentions? Furthermore, what is Marxist about limiting one's social categories to "individual" and "trans-individual," as McKeon does (e.g. p. 82), if one is at the same time discussing the "capitalist age" (p. 82)? Finally, does not McKeon's attempt to explain "aesthetic value" almost exclusively through an incremental "analogy between economic and cultural production" suggest a fundamental distrust in any real and active inter-relation between those two spheres? These questions, and the answers already encoded in McKeon's article, lead one to appropriate his contribution to Marxist axiology with caution. In many ways, Marc Shell's tack in The Economy of Literature (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1978) closely resembles that of McKeon's. Both attempt to read real, material connections into what are initially presented as mere analogies (McKeon with "culture" and "economy," Shell with "language" and "money"); both concentrate on a history of (classical, especially Greek) ideas; both pay substantial attention to the young Marx; and neither evinces much sense of the shaping influence of active social struggle on the consciousness embodied in art. However, Shell exemplifies, more than does McKeon, the empirical literalism (otherwise known in Marxist philosophy as vulgar materialism) that is the obverse of McKeon's type of abstract idealism. If McKeon traces the origin of the present problematic of "aesthetic value" back to the "literacy" revolution and the Greek Enlightenment, only to deny then that it is a real problematic at all, Shell's particular fixation is "numismatic semiology" (p. 68), seeking "to understand dialectically the relationship between thought and matter by looking from the formal similarities between linguistic and economic - 65 -symbolisation and production to the political economy as a whole" (p. 152). "The economics of thought, set down by Greek dialecticians at the origin of critical thinking," he claims, "has not ceased to influence us" (p. 62). His advice is that coins "should be studied as semata at once artful and economic. In this sense, numismatics not only counts coins but also accounts for the significance of and the relationship between economic and aesthetic signs" (p. 88). However, the decisive relevance of Greek ideas about money—an item that is an imperfect quantitative general index of (economic) exchange-value—to the qualitative criteria of literary evaluation remains, even after a hundred-and-fifty-odd pages of exposition, perfectly obscure. Quite simply, Shell's methodology uncritically accepts an artifact's projection of its own "value." This attitudinal impressionism is then aggravated by a conceptual blurring. Shell does not adequately distinguish between kinds of value—centrally, between (real) use-value (measured solely by criteria of felt social needs) and (ostensible) economic value in a capitalist market (measured ultimately by the relation of the profit-oriented terms of exchange to the conditions of production, and inconsistently expressed through pricing, usually in the "language" of currency, or money). Thus Shell is able to endorse Nietzsche's argument in The Genealogy of Morals that "the price-making of early man was not so different from our own" and that "[mjodern man returns to Greek philosophy with nostalgia, but he finds therein described only the origin or discovery of himself" (p. 62). Differing from Melville in his attitude towards the symbolism of the doubloon in Moby Dick, Shell asks, rhetorically, "is one kind of exchange (economic), like the other (aesthetic), endlessly tropic and - 66 -infinitely hermeneutic?" (p. 85). His implied answer, which actually challenges Melville's apparent separation of the two kinds of roles, is in the affirmative: "Melville's numismatic semiology is a biting theory of language and economics in which the ontological status of the world itself is threatened with annihilation" (p. 85). This is a philosophical way of saying that the difference does not matter. For dialectical historical materialists, however, it does. For, it is precisely arguments such as Shell's that, by collapsing discourse into "money," allow impressionistic anti-Marxists to lump vulgar and dialectical materialists together, to be the better able, then, to accuse the latter (Marxists) of "reductionism." That vulgar materialists such as Shell routinely swear by dialectics does not, of course, simplify matters in this regard. It is therefore unfortunate that Shell blurs the line separating him from Marxism by situating his project in the context of "chang ("ing] the tyranny of our world" (p. 10) and even goes on to offer an unexceptionably "orthodox"—if meaningless—tautology: "Artistic production, perhaps, is a superstructure, and material production a substructure. If so, however, they correspond to each other not mimetically but dialectically" (p. 149). To help us see through that terminological formalism and grasp the narrowness of Shell's numismatic interest, a sentence such as the following, praising Rousseau, is more instructive: "He does, however, exemplify how political and ideological theory must study money and discourse together, whether or not they are structurally similar The most one might say in defence of Shell's thesis, then, is that components of society" (p. 126; emphasis and remark added). - 67 -some people may indeed be enticed by a book's price or the self-advertising blurb on its cover to buy and read it; indeed, their evaluation of it may well be decisively shaped in its favour by these machinations of numismatic semiology. But these are hardly the kind of readers serious Marxists would hope to work with consistently as either data or forces particularly central to literary axiology or to the socialist cultural revolution. And these are certainly not the kind of readers whose evaluative psychology would help illuminate Marx's broad, considered remarks on the relative dislocation of artistic "peaks" from their matching base. Superficially, Max Raphael's critique of Marx's Introduction, in The Demands of Art,57 may appear identical to Jauss's. But a closer look reveals their diametric opposition. Both critics focus on the apparent contradiction between Marx's sociological model and his concept of "eternal charm." Moreover, Raphael is indeed much more direct and relentless in his criticism than is Jauss. Yet, Raphael's purpose is exactly counterposed to that of Jauss. For, whereas Jauss seeks to use Marx's supposed "embarrassment" to generalise his assault on Marxism, Raphael deplores the perceived problem as an instance of Marx's failure to extend the valid logic of his activist, interventionist general motto to the particular sphere of aesthetics. Here is a graphic contrast between constructive, Marxist and destructive, anti-Marxist political motivation in critical theory: while Jauss seeks to use the occasion to drive a wedge through a commonly-perceived gap, Raphael seeks to close that gap in the face of its enemies.. Marx's answer to his own question in the Introduction, Raphael believes, "has nothing whatever to do either with historical materialism - 68 -or with Communism as a guide for changing the world" (p. 451). Indeed, he elaborates, it "sounds petty bourgeois . . ." (p. 451). He characterises the phrase "eternal charm" as "doubly untenable, both as 'eternal' and as 'charm,'" and claims that it "shows how far Marx was from having solved the problem he raised so astutely" (p. 452). "We repeat," he asserts, "the problem remains unsolved" (p. 452). But, as Raphael goes on to explain, from a Marxist point of view, "there are good reasons for this" (p. 452): A transitional epoch always implies uncertainty. ... In such a period two attitudes are possible. One is to take advantage of the emergent forces of the new order with a view to undermining it, to affirm it in order to drive it beyond itself: this is the active, militant, revolutionary attitude. The other clings to the past, is retrospective and romantic, bewails or acknowledges the decline, asserts that the will to live is gone—in short, it is the passive attitude. Where economic, social, and political questions were at stake Marx took the first attitude; in questions of art he took neither. (P. 452) While Raphael's reading of that passage is clearly at variance with mine (which in turn stems partly from the historical insights provi ded by Lifshitz, for instance), his theoretical solution anticipates at a stroke the general direction of my own: "Had he been able to show that an active attitude toward art also exists, he would have brought the understanding of art up to the level of his revolutionary position(in other spheres of life}" (p. 452). Thus, it will be my argument that a knowledge of the (possibly hitherto largely unknown) history of "aesthetic value"—whether ideological or technological or numismatic—is a factor ultimately subordinate to one's own, specific orientation to social struggle, in determining Marxist criteria of literary evaluation. We speculated, over the excerpt from Marx's Introduction, about - 69 -whether the criterion of truthfulness may well be seen to apply to the artifact's formal role ("reproduce") as much as to its perceived content. And Engels, we recall, in his 26 November 1885 letter to Minna Kautsky, advocated among other things "a faithful portrayal of the real conditions" of bourgeois society (Marx/Engels, p. 88). These formulations legitimately raise the question whether or not Marx and Engels ever conceptualised and consciously advocated that particular eighteenth- and nineteenth-century mode of fictional writing known to us today (albeit within certain limits of controversy about definitions) as realism. And the answer would seem to be a guarded yes. Morawski (p. 30) notes that the "term 'realism' does not appear in any text by Marx," but he believes that "Marx agreed with the general conception formulated by Engels in his letters to Minna Kautsky and Margaret Harkness." Marx's comments on specific writers, as well as his choice of favourite authors (both of which we will look at later) would seem to bear out Morawski's second assertion. What, then, were some of the general features of realism as Marx and Engels apparently envisaged them? Prawer (p. 19), in a useful encapsulation, observes that Marx, in his critiques of his own literary fragments, clearly valued "'form, measure, concentration,'" though he had no use for what Prawer calls "pure formalism." Without entering at this point into a controversy about the meaning of that last phrase, which in any event is a negative criterion of value for Marx, we may look to Engels to supplement the positive criteria spelt out by Marx and to learn his (Engels') own explicit definition of realism. "Realism, to my mind," writes Engels to Harkness (April 1888), "implies, besides truth of detail, the truthful reproduction of typical - 70 -characters under typical circumstances" (Marx/Engels, p. 90). And his letter to Lassalle (18 May 1859), besides providing perhaps the most complete enumeration of his criteria for realism, also connects significantly with similar specific criteria spelt out by Marx, in his independent comments on the same text, the play Franz von Sickingen. Engels calls the play "too abstract, not realistic enough for me" (Marx/Engels, p. 105); Marx complains that Sickingen is "much too abstractly depicted" (Letter to Ferdinand Lassalle, 19 April 1859, in Marx/Engels, p. 100). Engels explains, further, that "my view of drama consists in not forgetting the realistic for the idealistic, Shakespeare for Schiller . . ." (Marx/Engels, p. 105). His letter also establishes that, within the realistic mode, the most valued feature for him is dramatisation, with "clever development of the plot" and the "full fusion" of profundity of thought, "conscious historical content," and "Shakespearian liveliness and fullness of treatment" as its chief components (Marx/Engels, pp. 102, 103). Finally, in what is perhaps the most complete enumeration of positive realist criteria anywhere in Marx or Engels, the latter, while warning against undramatised propaganda, commends Lassalle's class-principle of "representative" characterisation: Your Sickingen is on absolutely the right track; the main characters are representatives of definite classes and trends and therefore of definite ideas of their time. They find their motives not in petty individual lusts, but in the historical stream which is carrying them along. But . . . the action itself should bring these motives more vigorously, actively and, so to speak, elementally into the foreground, while the debates . . . become more and more superfluous. (Marx/Engels, p. 103) At the hands of other critics, Marx and Engels' notion of realism - 71 -has, of course, undergone changes, as have the specific terms of their advocacy of it. To a larger extent, the changing literary practices going by that name have themselves been instrumental in effecting this, but there is also another factor. In the nineteen-thirties, the German experimental writer and critic Bertold Brecht clashed with the Hungarian academic critic Georg Lukacs, essentially over the Stalinised conception of realism (in its ostensibly socialist form called "socialist realism"). The history of this debate is fairly involved and the sides are not clearly mutually exclusive.^8 The gist of the matter, however, is the following. Challenged, as ostensible Marxists, by the reality of fascism, but unable to break decisively from a purely cultural strategy for defeating it, Brecht and Lukacs sought to resolve *the±r political-tactical differences strictly within the realm of critical theory. In the ensuing confrontation, conducted within the equally discursive illusions of Stalinist cultural theory, Brecht declared for exposing reality through ceaseless practical (cultural) experimentation and subversion, the latter including subversion of the conventionally accepted differences between art and reality. Lukacs, on the other hand, pressed for an expose of reality through explicitly theoretical, polemical demystification. Thus, for Brecht, any strategy in art— particularly modernism—that facilitated the exposure of reality was essentially realism, or at least was the only desirable kind of artistic strategy. For Lukacs, on the other hand, any strategy in art— particularly modernism as he understood it—that did not analytically expose reality, but instead pretended to merge into it, was a strategy ultimately in the service of fascism, not against it. To counter this allegedly pro-fascistic obfuscation perpetuated by modernism, Lukacs - 72 -upheld the "typical" and "rounded" characters of nineteenth-century European "realism," along with its integrative, "totalising" plots and structures, which enable the reader to see the individual characters in their historical context. Thus, for Lukacs, realism always evinced identifiable, discrete, textually intrinsic properties; for Brecht, realism was a specifically unpredictable strategy that could be judged only by its revelatory effects or otherwise. As Eagleton puts it, "One might say quite simply of his practice, to adapt one of his own adages: realism is as realism does" (WB, pp. 88-89). In Eagleton's own literary theory, we eventually arrive at one possible resolution of the problem. He offers a detailed definition and assessment of realism "in general," as an historical and conjunctural mode and criterion of literary value. And he argues that realism is neither technically limited to unmediated "reflection" of reality nor inevitably useful (or harmful) to the interests of socialism and its culture: It might be argued, for example, that in an earlier stage of industrial capitalist accumulation, where the dominant ideological experience was one of fragmentation and nuclearity, literary realism fulfilled a progressive role in revealing covert inter-connections—in demonstrating, in short, the power and character of something like a system. It might then be argued that, once that system was indeed fleshed within ideological experience—once industrial capitalism had passed into its monopoly forms—modernism in art arrived upon the agenda as a resistance to precisely all that, exploiting the fragment, the private and the unspeakable, the agonised and irreducible moment, as the lone necessary negation of the apparently "monolithic" society it confronted. (WB, pp. 89-90) But such retrospective relativisation of realism's changing character and role does not, I would maintain, either invalidate Marx and Engels' (albeit unelaborated) notion of it at the time or contradict one iota - 73 -their view of its ideological role up to the time of their writing about it. On the contrary, it actually confirms, in the particular, the unity of their general criteria for evaluation—of truthfulness and partisanship in the service of social emancipation. Marx and Engels' judgments on specific literary traditions, authors, and texts are relevant here primarily only as empirical verification of what I have said about their general evaluative criteria, although one could as legitimately grope one's way through to those general criteria by starting from these specific judgments. In their limited way, the individual evaluations also afford us a glimpse of certain interesting aspects of Marx and Engels' literary world: whom they read, what common literary modes characterised their choices, what perceived particular qualities endeared particular authors and works to them, exactly how much attention they paid to technique, and so on. Besides, their engagement with nineteenth-century English prose and continental fiction links them to one dominant concern and empirical focus shared by Caudwell, Williams, and Eagleton. Yet, in the last analysis—not just methodologically but factually, given what Marx and Engels actually say in them—these judgments neither contradict nor shape but at most confirm in the particular, with varying emphases, the general criteria of literary value elsewhere argued by their authors. But even if they did not, to Marxist axiologists, it is the general criteria behind these judgments that would be relevant, because theoretical, not their consistent or inconsistent applications to specific authors and works. Only this order of priorities, unlike its reverse, could make it meaningful to discuss, say, the pro-Balzac Marx and Engels within the same theoretical framework as Rosa Luxemburg, who - 74 -is known to have had no particular admiration for that same novelist (see Solomon's biographical note in Solomon, p. 144), or to discuss the anti-Byron Marx within the same theoretical framework as the pro-Byron Trotsky (see my section on Trotsky, below). From among the particular authors whom Marx and Engels incidentally comment on, Goethe and Carlyle emerge as the only currently well-known writers to have earned extended literary analyses, with Balzac and Shakespeare attracting the next greatest—though mainly socio economic—attention. One other author, Eugene Sue, actually draws an extensive critique for his The Mysteries of Paris (in The Holy Family, excerpted in Marx/Engels, pp. 298-313), but most of that critique is really an ironic recounting of the novel's principal episodes, occasionally interspersed with the critics' early philosophical polemic against Hegelian idealism. And between Goethe and Carlyle, it is of course the latter whose works span much of the period dealt with by Caudwell, Williams, and Eagleton. I shall therefore end this section with a brief look at Marx and Engels' critique of Carlyle's Latter-Day  Pamphlets, after first noting the implications of Engels' well-known comments on Balzac. That Marx and Engels' premium on truthfulness by no means.excluded sympathy for pro-socialist partisanship, is most graphically borne out in their explicit admiration for writers such as Shelley, Cobbett, and Georg Weerth and in their effective favourable counterposition of the perceived trend represented by these writers to that represented by Byron and the later Carlyle.^ Yet, as I have pointed out, many critics, in their efforts to "free" literature and criticism from class-partisanship, vainly attempt to use the authority of Engels - 75 -against the Leninist refinement of that concept. Most frequently cited or alluded to in various ways is Engels' praise of the royalist Balzac, in his letter to Margaret Harkness (April 1888): Balzac whom I consider a far greater master of realism than all the Zolas passes, presents et 3_ venir, in La Comedie  Humaine gives us a most wonderfully realistic history of French "Society". ... Well, Balzac was politically a Legitimist; his great work is a constant elegy on the irretrievable decay of good society, his sympathies are all with the class doomed to extinction. But for all that his satire is never keener, his irony never bitterer, than when he sets in motion the very men and women with whom he sympathises most deeply—the nobles. And the only men of whom he always speaks with undisguised admiration, are his bitterest political antagonists. . . . That Balzac was thus compelled to go against his own class sympathies and political prejudices, . . . that I consider one of the greatest triumphs of realism, and one of the grandest features in old Balzac. (Marx/Engels,pp. 91-92) First, it is curious how critics who really want to argue against conscious partisanship in literature almost universally light on the above passage and miss what would at least appear to be a much more conducive and explicit admonition for their purpose—Engels' comment on Goethe: "We criticise him not from a moral or from a party point of view, but at the very most from the aesthetic and historical point of view; we measure Goethe neither by moral nor by political nor by 'human' standards" (Marx/Engels, p. 356). Perhaps they do so because Engels equally explicitly points to lack of space as the reason: "We cannot here involve ourselves in a description of Goethe's relationship to his whole age, his literary precursors and contemporaries, his process of development and his station in life. We therefore restrict ourselves simply to noting the facts" (emphasis mine; Marx/Engels, p. 356). At any rate, this brings us back to the comment on Balzac. To - 76 -begin with, any use of that passage to justify smuggling genuinely reactionary writers into Marxist respectability must necessarily ignore the fact that Engels singles out only specific features in Balzac as positive values and praises their truthfulness precisely in spite of the novelist's reactionary official politics: "That Balzac was thus compelled to go against his own class sympathies [my emphasis] and political prejudices, that he saw the necessity of the downfall of his favourite nobles, and described them as people deserving no better fate; and that he saw the real men of the future where, for the time being, they alone were to be found—that I consider one of the greatest triumphs of realism, and one of the grandest features in old Balzac" (Marx/Engels, p. 92). Thus, not Balzac's general royalism but his specific, observational truthfulness in spite of it ("for all that") is Engels' criterion for his overall assessment of the novelist.60 Furthermore, I think we may assume that Engels lends more weight to Balzac's specific truths because the latter's official politics occupies a spatially marginal niche in his Human Comedy as a whole, anyway. Next, we should note that, in his formulations, Engels describes what is clearly not a simple conflict between a homogeneous, internally consistent mass of prejudices and a separate, equally homogeneous set of observations. Rather, it is a contradictory, conflicting set of dramatised sympathies and professed loyalties most closely corresponding to the "material" contradictions in contemporary ("republican") society outside the novelist's mind: "And the only men of whom he always speaks with undisguised admiration, are his bitterest political antagonists, the republican heroes of the Clottre Saint-Me"ry . . ." (Marx/Engels, p. 92). In effect, therefore, Engels in this letter illustrates, rather -77-than contradicts, the base-superstructure model of social analysis posited by Marx. The contradiction between Balzac's "old," general, royalist ideals and his "new" admiration for the republicans is manifestly the superstructural expression^* of the more basic, social contradiction between the old "womb" of France's aristocracy and the embryonic, "maturing" heroes of the bourgeois republic. Above all, however, we should note that Engels' comment on Balzac's contradictory works and value is, obviously, only a description of a specifically materialised rift within the camp of an enemy class, not a prescriptive exhortation to all contemporaneous and future socialist writers to go forth and be consistently self-contradictory. Proof that Engels never thought political inconsistency to be intrinsically valuable can be amply seen in his devastating critique of Goethe's liberalism (Marx/Engels, pp. 359-67); and perhaps that is a more likely reason (than Engels' note about the lack of space) why liberal critics prefer to stick to the "Balzac letter." Finally, we might wonder whether Balzac himself saw his political beliefs as something distinct from his dramatised, literary slices of life and, if he did, whether he saw them as being actually counterposed. However, it is true that Balzac's own views in this regard need not prevent us from advancing our own, retrospective characterisations of his works, as long as such characterisations are germane to our critical purpose and based on reasonable evidence. Marx and Engels' review of Carlyle's Latter-Day Pamphlets is relevant here for two main reasons: it is their only extended evaluation of a nineteenth-century English writer, that century being a central - 78 -empirical focus for Caudwell, Williams, and Eagleton; and in some ways, it combines the evaluative criteria employed by Engels in judging both Balzac and Goethe. (All quotations used here are from Marx/Engels, esp. pp. 326-39). In their review, Marx and Engels perceive in Carlyle's Latter-Day  Pamphlets "the decline of literary genius in the face of the current acute historical struggles, which it attempts to confront with its unrecognised, direct, prophetic inspirations" (p. 326). The reviewers acknowledge that Carlyle once wrote "in a manner which is at times even revolutionary," as in his history of the French Revolution, in his "apology for Cromwell," and in Past and Present, confronting the bourgeoisie "at a time when its views, tastes and ideals held the whole of English literature in thrall" (pp. 326-27). Nevertheless, they note that, even in these radical pieces, "the critique of the present is closely bound up with a strangely unhistorical apotheosis of the Middle Ages . . ." (p. 327). However, the Latter-Day Pamphlets are "a remarkable step backwards" even compared to those contradictory writings (p. 327). In these latest pamphlets, Carlyle adopts a "pantheistic standpoint," in which all real, historically produced class-conflicts are metaphysically resolved "into the one great, eternal conflict"; Carlyle thereby depicts class-distinctions as "natural," and "class rule is thus sanctioned anew" (pp. 333-34). Marx and Engels aptly characterise this idealist and reactionary feat as a "[b] rilliant return to the 'Night of the Absolute" in which all cats are grey!" (p. 335) and expose the thoroughly bourgeois bias underlying Carlyle's ostensibly non-partisan, "class-transcendent" posture: - 79 -Thus after Carlyle has time and again in the first forty pages vented all his virtuous fury against selfishness, free competition, the abolition of feudal bonds between man and man, supply and demand, laissez-faire, cotton-spinning, cash-payment, etc., we now suddenly find that the main exponents of all these shams, the industrial bourgeoisie, are not merely counted among the celebrated heroes and geniuses but even constitute a vitally indispensable part of these heroes, that the trump card in all his attacks on bourgeois relations and ideas is the apotheosis of the bourgeois individual. It appears yet odder that Carlyle, having discovered the commanders of labour and the commanded, in other words a certain organisation of labour, nevertheless declares this organisation to be a great problem requiring solution. If the English bourgeoisie equated paupers with criminals in order to create a deterrent to pauperism and brought into being the Poor Law of 1834, Carlyle accuses the paupers of high treason because pauperism generates pauperism. . . . This pamphlet is distinguished from the first only by a fury much greater, yet all the cheaper for being directed against those officially expelled from the existing society, against people behind bars; a fury which sheds even that little shame which the ordinary bourgeoisie still displays for decency's sake. (Pp. 336, 338) Moreover, say Marx and Engels, "Carlyle's style corresponds to his ideas" as a "remarkable step backwards" (p. 327). The critics imply a real link between the "pompous cant" of "C