‘The concept that society must necessarily be divided into “leaders” and “led”, the notion that there are some born to rule while others cannot really develop beyond a certain stage have from time immemorial been the tacit assumptions of every ruling class in history.
Alfred Sohn-Rethel (1899–1990), who in his major work Intellectual and Manual Labour, completed in 1951 but published two decades later, argued that the ‘real abstraction’ of exchange is the true origin of abstract (mathematical) thinking and, through that, of scientific thought more generally.
Ali Shari‘ati (1933–1977).
Erich Fromm (1900–1980), German-American social psychologist and philosopher, and a fine exemplar of the Weimar psychoanalytic Left.
Evald Ilyenkov (1924–1979), the brilliant Russian philosopher whose suicide in March 1979 was directly linked to his growing isolation and ostracism in more orthodox academic circles in Russia. One source refers to a ‘witch hunt’ against him.
In 1865 Marx had a passing fit of pedological materialism. The French naturalist Pierre Trémaux published a treatise explaining human variety in terms of soil characteristics.
Jacek Kuroń (left; 1934–2004) and Karol Modzelewski whose arrest, trial and imprisonment in Poland in 1965 contributed to the radicalisation of a whole generation of Polish students in the sixties and to the student strikes of 1968.
Marc Bloch (1886–1944) - with the glasses - who was professor of history at the universities of Strasbourg (1931–1936), the Sorbonne (1936–1939) and Montpellier, and among the most fascinating historians of the twentieth century.
Maxime Rodinson (1915–2004), the great French Orientalist, Marxist sociologist, author (most famously) of Muhammad (1961) and Islam and Capitalism (1966). Born in Paris to radical Jewish working-class parents, Ashkenazi Jews, who were among the earliest members of the French Communist Party in 1920.
Paul Mattick Sr. (1904–1981), who left Germany for the US when he was 22, shown here with Chomsky’s mentor, the linguist Zellig Harris (to his right).