French Marxism: Ideology and the Question of Power
Similar to the Tudeh Party, the French Communist Party made renegade of several dedicated Marxists such Merleau-Ponty and Sartre. Previously, Sartre and Merleau-Ponty argued that the fascist violence was illegitimate because it represented the race and the particular, but Stalin’s practice of violence was legitimate because it represented the proletarian state and the universal. For Sartre, all thinkers and scientists are technicians of practical knowledge who can become intellectuals by discovering the particularism of the seemingly universalist character of the bourgeois discourse and the way it legitimizes exploitation of the majority by a minority through imperialism, colonialism, and racism, and communicating this knowledge to the masses. Hence, the difference between the genuine intellectuals and the technicians of practical knowledge is that the former distinguishes between false and true universalities. Althusser and Foucault discarded this “notion” from a supposedly radical perspective.