Name: Andy Blunden
Political Party: Currently without political affiliation
Union: National Tertiary Education Union
General Notes: (from my Home Page)
Born 11 October 1945. My parents Betty and Ralph Blunden were advertising people, and members of the Artists Branch of the Communist Party of Australia. I went to Balwyn State and Balwyn High Schools and began Engineering at Melbourne Uni. in 1963. In 1966 I was drafted, and with two others, we were the first in this State to burn our draft cards. I Left for Britain just before the 1966 election and thus avoided the Vietnam War. Did my PhD at University College London during which time I began studying Marxism. In 1973, I began work as a teacher in Brixton, and the same year became Branch Secretary of the local school branch of the N.U.T., and soon after joined the "Healyite" WRP. I remained an active member of the WRP in East London until 1985. I was also Secretary of the ASTMS sub-branch at North East London Poly where I worked as a technician in the Physics Department. After supporting the expulsion of Gerry Healy from the WRP, I returned to Melbourne where I went back to the University of Melbourne to work in the Buildings Department where I later joined the Committee of the General Staff Association. After amalgamation of the GSA with the State Public Services Federation, I became a State Executive member of the SPSF, but in June 1995 I resigned the SPSF, along with about 500 others in the Victorian Higher Education section, and joined the NTEU (National Tertiary Education Union).
Currently, I live in the inner Northern suburb of Melbourne, Brunswick, with my friend since 1989, Vonney; I worked at Melbourne University, responsible for development of teaching spaces, until retiring in December 2002 to concentrate on study. I currently belong to no party.
I first studied Hegel in 1980, to try to make sense of Lenin's Annotations in the Philosophical Notebooks, which were the centre of Healy's orientation at the time. After returning to Australia and after the final collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, which to my surprise affected the Trotskyist movement just as negatively as it affected the Stalinists, I spent a couple of years studying the history of Stalinism, and this is contained in my book Stalinism: Its Origin and Future. It was then only in 1996, struggling to understand the obvious inadequacy of Marxist theory as I knew it, that I returned to a study of Hegel's Logic. Unable to find anyone to discuss the material with, I started the Hegel-by-HyperText web site and advanced both my own study and the promotion of Hegel study via the Internet.
The outcome of that first year of study was the little book The Meaning of Hegel's Logic and the Understanding Hegel's Logic Summer School in February 1997. This work approaches Hegel in a "Leninist" way, that is to say, focussing on the logic, interpreting it in the spirit of a materialist theory of knowledge.
Following this then, I began reading my way through Western Philosophy from Galileo to Derrida, and this study led me to a broader understanding of what I thought were relatively cut-and-dry questions, and the second Summer School in February 1998 was based on this study and is reflected in the Value of Knowledge web site. Discussions on the Internet also caused me to face the fact that Hegel himself was motivated also by political and social questions, and after reading The Philosophy of Right and Marx's critique of it, I began to see the way in which thinking reproduces social relations and the role Hegel played in elaborating this view. This then led me to a series of papers on Capital and Labour, which suffered from being somewhat chaotic methodologically, but laid the basis for a more systematic consideration. My reading of Hegel further developed, as written up for the 2000 Hegel Seminar: Getting to Know Hegel
The Summer Schools have continued each year, with the February 2003 seminar entitled: Hegel & the Clash of ideals, and recently published a book: For Ethical Politics.
Joined MIA: 1999
MIA Responsibilities: MIA Secretary, Maintainer of Hegel Reference Archive, the Philosophy Subject Reference Section, the Marx-Engels Archive; Section Director of the Reference Archive, "Link-Nazi" for the MIA, helping to keep the number of bad links in check across all archives, co-editor of the glossary, the drop-down menus and the Cross-Language Authors Index and Cross-Language Marx-Engels Index, and maintainer of numerous smaller archives: dietzgen, dunayevskaya, ilyenkov, james-clr, leontev, lukacs, luria, mikhailov, pilling and vygotsky; the reference/subject archives, subject archives for alienation, anarchism, ethics, philosophy, psychology, war, workers; history archives for international.