Politics and Philosophy: Niccolò Machiavelli and Louis by Mikko Lahtinen

By Mikko Lahtinen

Gareth Griffiths, Kristina Köhli (trs.)

Louis Althusser’s interpretation of Niccolò Machiavelli hasn't ever relatively been studied in any aspect as an research of political motion and intervention. an identical can be real for Althusser’s thought of aleatory materialism. as a substitute, those have conventionally been studied from the point of view of a philosophical point of view during which politics is excluded. the target of the current publication hence runs opposed to a number of the winning perspectives on Althusser. the following the emphasis is put on Althusser's development of a conception of materialist politics. the most argument recommend is that, for Althusser, it was once necessary to examine how the conjunctural knowing of heritage and fact may possibly supply a theoretical start line for a subversive political process.

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Additional resources for Politics and Philosophy: Niccolò Machiavelli and Louis Althusser's Aleatory Materialism (Historical Materialism Book Series, Volume 23)

Sample text

Althusser 1976a, p. 139; Althusser 1990b, p. 215. 17 From this goal of history, which has an influence already at the beginning of history – as Althusser later characterises the issue18 – it follows that the Hegelian dialectic cannot theoretically justify the actual possibilities of political practice, as Althusser states, sounding somewhat like Baron von Münchhausen: I made the point in passing: no politics have ever been seen in the world which were inspired by Hegel. 19 Thus, the Hegelian dialectic contains the thought of necessity.

A systematic development of such theories, however, is not included in Althusser’s writings published at the end of the 1960s or during the 1970s. 18 On the basis of the above examples, one can surmise that, in the 1980s, Althusser aimed to develop further themes and questions that had been on his mind already much earlier but which he had not spoken about, at least not publicly. Assessed in this light, his writings from the 1980s provide no evidence of any abrupt change in his thinking. 19 15 Cf.

113–36). 39 40 Introductory Comments • 15 was deeply interested in what makes people believe that there are ‘deeper’ moral-religious principles behind the existing world. Seen in this light, Skinner’s interpretation – according to which Machiavelli only abandons Christian morals and virtue ethics but not morality as such – remains incomplete. According to Skinner, the question is not about the contrast between ‘a moral view of politics’ and ‘a view of politics as divorced from morality’, but ‘the essential contrast is rather between two different moralities’.

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