[OPE-L:4491] Marxist economists

From: Alejandro Ramos (aramos@btl.net)
Date: Fri Nov 10 2000 - 20:33:44 EST


I think Rakesh is essentially right regarding the issue of Marxists

"Marxist economist" is an oxymoron.

>From point of view of the profession, being Marxist today is something that
only a lunatic can be. For the *real economists* Marx is considered an old
fashioned proponent of a *logically inconsistent* theory of capitalism and
then he has no credit at all.

A more learned version of this considers Marx as a sort of Ptolemaian
astronomer --we just heard this comparison on this list!-- and, as no
Ptolemaian can get a post as *astronomer* today, no Marxist can apply to an
*economist* job today. She or he can be "economist" but not in her or his
condition of Marxist. It's the same thing that someone who apply to a M.D.
job whose credentials are being an Astrologer, follower of a XIX century

This is the *real* and widespread appraisal of the profession regarding
Marx. And, I'd add that the so-called "Marxist economists" have contributed
a lot to this situation. I think this is what Rakesh refers to as the
"tremendously destructive role of Marxist economists." They are the people
who permanently have said and "demonstrated" that, in effect, Marx's theory
is logically flawed, that he is a Ptolemaian still waliking in the XX century.

It's quite possible that in rich countries having well funded academic
institutions somebody can get a post as "Marxist Economist" but this is an
exception. In my own personal professional experience as economist I MUST
take out from my Personal History whatever thing looks like Marxism.
Otherwise, nobody would give me any job. In Latin America, it would be
simply crazy to be a "Marxist Economist" outside perhaps some limited
spaces in the academy in Mexico and Brazil.

>From the point of view of Marxism, being an *economist* today would be
crazy too. In the last 30 years, economists have been behind every
unpopular, rich oriented policy. In Latin America, economists were
ideological and practical pillars of dictators as Pinochet and Videla.
Economists are the people cited as *scientific authorities* for supporting
any neoliberal policy and uniformly they do this job. Today, economists are
essentially ideologues of the right wing and institutions such the World
Bank and IMF and all the network they control. This is the real status of
the profession. Besides this, you can survive making very marginal things,
not to speak of being "Marxist Economist"!!!

Alejandro R.

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