By John S. Saul
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Extra resources for A Difficult Road: The Transition to Socialism in Mozambique
He was exasperated that materialism - an idea Marx associated with human needs and interests and hence with conflict and action - should be only 'interpretative ' . Marx used the German verb interpretieren here, which is common in the context of musical perform ance, where performers interpret a score, rather than the more philosophical term verstehen, with its stronger association with understanding. Feuerbach had given materialism - traditionally the philo- 24 A N EW MAT E R I AL I SM ( 1 ) : P R A CT I C E sophi cal doctrine that nothing exists except matter - a humanistic infl ection, by emphasizing the place of humanity within nature, and the 'givenness' of the world to the human senses.
There exists a materialist connection between human beings caused by their needs and their mode of produc tion .. that is as old as men and women themselves. This 42 A N E W M AT E R I A L I S M ( 2 ) : H I S T O R Y connection i s ever ta king on new forms and thus presents a ' history' irrespective of the existence of any political or religious nonsense which would especially hold human beings together. The third and final social aspect of this 'materialist connection' identified by Marx con cerns the relations governing the biological reproduction of the species, the relations of procre ation, or the family.
In the context of natural law theory, alien ation had the negative connotation of loss, where an original freedom was given up or estranged. This is grasped by the German translation of alienation as Enifremdung (from fremd, alien) . Enifremdung was first used to refer to theft and to the loss of mental powers, in the sense of a coma or a stupor, but gradually came to stand for a more general estrangement between persons. Nowadays, it is usually rendered into English as 'estrangement' . I n the context of political economy, on the other hand (within which commodity exchange is considered an exchange of equivalents, hence, without loss) , alienation had the more neutral sense of something becoming 'external' to its owner, through divestiture or sale.