Theory and Party Solidarity in the Early 20th Century

This is an interesting bit from the introduction of Martin Jay’s history of the Frankfurt School, The Dialectical Imagination:

The split that divided the working class movement in Weimar between a bolshevized Communist Party (KPD) and a nonrevolutionary Socialist Party (SPD) was a sorry spectacle to those who still maintained the purity of Marxist theory. Some attempted a rapprochement with one faction or another. But as demonstrated by the story of Georg Lukács, who was forced to repudiate his most imaginative book, History and Class Consciousness, shortly after its appearance in 1923, this often meant sacrificing intellectual integrity on the altar of party solidarity.

When, however, personal inclinations led to a greater commitment to theory than to party, even when this meant suspending for a while the unifying of theory and praxis, the results in terms of theoretical innovation could be highly fruitful (4).

I wonder what today’s situation might be in regards to the relationship between theory and practice. For Adorno, he considered his time to be not yet ready to be political. Today, leading members of the Platypus Affiliated Society, like Chris Cutrone, also see the contemporary moment as being pre-political.

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