[OPE-L:2585] Re: the evolution of the meaning of "critique"

From: Gerald Levy (glevy@PRATT.EDU)
Date: Wed Mar 22 2000 - 01:07:28 EST

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---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2000 20:31:15 -0500
From: "Duncan K. Foley" <foleyd@cepa.newschool.edu>

Sure. But I must say as a teacher that reading Marx for the first time
still packs quite a wallop. I don't think Marx, in writing to transcend the
classical political economists, had any lack of respect for them or their
intellectual achievements, either. How else would he have got to where he


>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

Duncan K. Foley
Department of Economics
Graduate Faculty
New School University
65 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10003
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e-mail: foleyd@cepa.newschool.edu
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webpage: http://cepa.newschool.edu/~foleyd

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