[OPE-L:2570] Re: the evolution of the meaning of "critique"

From: Gerald Levy (glevy@PRATT.EDU)
Date: Mon Mar 20 2000 - 21:30:17 EST

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Re the section from Paul Mattick Jr.'s article excerpted by Nicky in

> "Marx's theory of capitalist society is not meant to be a replacement for
> political economy. It aims not just to demonstrate the analytic limits of
> economic theory but also to explain the hold of that theory over the
> inhabitants of the system.

As we all know, the political economy that Marx critiqued is long
gone. Indeed, what few adherents there are to classical (e.g. Ricardian)
theory are treated by mainstream (neo-neo-classical) theory with almost
as much disdain as are Marxists. Like us, they (indeed, all "heterodox
economists") are deemed to be dinosaurs and freaks (and treated
accordingly). So, what hold does that theory (long since repudiated by
bourgeois economists) continue to have over the "inhabitants of the

Even in Marx's time it is questionable whether the propositions of
political economy had a wide influence over the majority (or even a
significant minority) of the "inhabitants" of modern society.

Of course, one could argue that fetischization remains a key component of
contemporary mainstream economic theory. And that would be a valid
observation, imo. The extent to which specific marginalist concepts have
a significant influence over the consciousness and actions of the
majority of inhabitants of contemporary society (the masses) remains

Or, am I challenging too many long held assumptions by Marxists?

In solidarity, Jerry

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