<<Back Causes and reasons.

For ‘a’ to be said a cause of ‘b’, there must be, between ‘a’ and ‘b’, a constant relationship having some proprieties such as, among others, the asymmetric propriety: ‘a’ precedes ‘b’ and it never happens that ‘b’ goes before ‘a’. Let’s say that ‘R’ is the reason of ‘a’, when ‘R’ is a concept under which ‘a’ falls. So, for instance, certain facts concerning the dispute between the King of England and the King of France are the cause of Hundred Years War. The reason of Hundred Years War consists in its falling under the concept: "the reinforcement of national monarchies".

When one mistakes reason with cause, one is also apt to attribute to the former the same kind of existence which belongs to the latter (note that the word ‘reason’ is so dangerously close to the words ‘motive’, ‘intention’), as if a Rational Will was actually driving the world according to a plan and could really yield, one by one, the whole series of events which history is made of.

Am I wrong, if I say that Marxism has often (and largely) nourished itself with this mistake ?

Moreover: wouldn’t it be odd, for such a Marxism, to consider its XX century history as if it was just a question of causes (of concrete historical circumstances ) ;as if these causes didn’t involve the concept under which all of them fall (their ‘eidos’), i.e. the same concept of ‘communism’ ?