Bollettino Filosofico – Marx Again: History, System, Revolution

For about two decades, around the end of the twentieth century, Marx was considered by European philosophical culture «als “toten Hund”», like a «dead dog», to use the expression that Marx himself employed in the Afterword to the Second German Edition of Capital (1873) regarding Hegel (and Spinoza). In recent years, at least since the resumption of the MEGA2 in 1998, interest in his legacy has grown significantly, to the point of talk of a «Marx revival» and a «new Marx», with a significant international dissemination of his writings and original interpretations. Philological acquisitions, such as the publication of new versions of his works, manuscripts, letters, notebooks, are particularly important for an author who is largely “posthumous”; and even more so are the questions that his thought has once again posed to contemporary philosophical reflection. Marx’s work is increasingly recognized as a fundamental contribution to the understanding of modernity and, in particular, of our historical time, from a perspective capable of unifying history and politics, theory and practice. Moreover, Marx’s thought (appropriately reconsidered, without ancient and outdated dogmatisms) seems to represent an indispensable key to interpreting the social and political conflicts that traverse the current world, addressing old and new forms of exploitation and responding to a growing demand for justice. 

The task of reading and interpreting Marx (thinking Marx) and that of understanding (and transforming) the present world starting from his categories (thinking with Marx) can indicate a fruitful intersection of planes, in many ways characteristic of the entire history of theoretical Marxism. Philosophically, recent criticism has overcome the tendency to restrict Marx’s contribution to his texts alone, particularly the early ones, where the theoretical problem is more directly addressed (consider the exemplary cases of the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right of 1843 and the Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844), to seek the coordinates of his thought throughout the development of his production, with particular regard to the more mature texts, starting with Capital. Marx’s juxtaposition with the philosophical tradition begins with the Theses on Feuerbach and The German Ideology, where he outlines the program of a new theory, a «real knowledge», that transcends both abstract idealism and old materialism, and continues, with significant discontinuities, up to the pages of the Grundrisse and Capital, preceded by the synthetic attempts of the 1857 Introduction (unpublished) and the 1859 Preface (published in A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy). Here emerge some of the most controversial aspects of Marx’s paradigm, such as the relationship between base and superstructure, the concepts of «social relations of production» and «productive forces» (introduced in The Poverty of Philosophy and developed dialectically in the 1859 Preface), and the interpretation of forms of consciousness – which Engels, in his review of A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, defined as «Spiegelbild», a reflection of the base, but which in the Preface are indicated as the place where the conflict between productive forces and relations of production becomes conscious and is resolved. 

Considered as a whole, Marx’s reflection allows us to rethink the major issues that have engaged and divided the history of Marxism. Not only the relationship with the Hegelian heritage and the need to criticize and transform his model of the dialectic, beyond the «mystifying side», but also the attempt to unify theory and practice, history and politics, and the historically concrete redefinition of the system in terms of socio-economic formation. On one side, there is a line that connects the eleventh thesis on Feuerbach to the consideration of the teleological structure of concrete labor in the first book of Capital, with the inclusion of knowledge in praxis, and the consideration (between the first and third book) of the relationship between science, technology, and the developmental tendency of capital. On the other side, the constitutive link between system and revolution, between structure and negativity, emerges, which the thought (Marxist and non-Marxist) of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries tried repeatedly to dissolve, considering a system without dialectics and without revolution (sociology, structuralism) or a revolutionary process deprived of an objective foundation in the science of history. All these above-mentioned issues call to mind the theoretical problem of the constitution of revolutionary subjectivity, in a sequence that, in Marx’s work, articulates between the concepts of proletariat, class, social group, party, and appears mediated by a renewed function of critical science, understood as the illumination of the genesis of ideal forms (critique of ideologies), against any form of metaphysical fixity, and as the elaboration of the consciousness and real situation of the class producing social wealth.

The relevance of Marx’s thought also emerges in relation to some fundamental problems of our time, which engage philosophy and social sciences, such as, to name a few, the issue of colonialism and non-Western societies and, on the other hand, the ecological issue. After the 1850s (also in relation to his activity as a journalist for the “New York Daily Tribune”), Marx focused on non-Western societies, their historical destiny, and interactions with the capitalist world. The notes on natural sciences, being published in the MEGA2, show the centrality, in his thought, of the relationship between man and nature, both in theoretical terms and in relation to capitalist agriculture and the progressive depletion of soils.

Bollettino filosofico suggests some possible themes, in a non-exhaustive list:

– Open questions in the major currents of Marxist history.

– The fate of philosophy in Marx: overcoming or transforming philosophy as critical knowledge.

– Marx and the history of philosophy: the relationship with ancient thought, Machiavelli, Spinoza, Rousseau, Hegel, the Young Hegelians.

– Social relations of production and productive forces.

– Theory of needs and the concept of nature: Stoffwechsel and the prospects of humanity.

– Colonialism, non-Western societies, and peripheral capitalism.

– Proletariat, class, party: the construction of subjectivity and the theory of exploitation, alienation, and fetishism.

– The theory of labor and praxis.

– Marxism and feminism: convergences, divergences, intersections.

– Marx and the sciences: technology and the issue of machinery.

– Superstructures: theory of the State and critique of religion.

– Marx and the social sciences.

Authors interested in publishing their works are invited to send them via email attached in WORD and PDF format to the Editor of the journal, Prof. Pio Colonnello ( and to the Editorial Office (

Please attach both an anonymous version of the contribution titled «Manuscript» and a separate «Cover Page» indicating the full names of the Authors, a brief bio-bibliographical note, the University or Institute of affiliation, and contact details.

Articles may be written in Italian, English, French, German, and Spanish, and should not exceed 60,000 characters; the manuscript should also include an abstract in Italian and English not exceeding 900 characters, and a list of 5 keywords. Any properties of the file that could identify the Author must be removed to ensure anonymity during the review process.

Contributions will be sent to one or more independent reviewers according to the double-blind peer review procedure. Reviewers may request the Author to modify or improve the contribution if accepted for publication. For the initial selection process, there are no guidelines regarding formatting. If the contribution is accepted for publication in Bollettino Filosofico, the Author will be asked to produce a final version that complies with the guidelines downloadable here:

The deadline for submitting articles is April 30, 2025. The journal issue will be published by December 2025.

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