[OPE-L:4492] Re: Marxist economists

From: Paul Zarembka (zarembka@ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU)
Date: Fri Nov 10 2000 - 23:03:49 EST

I think Alejandro is perhaps bending the stick too far (conceding "the
profession" to the class enemy).  Earlier today I had occasion to pick up
"Marxian Economics", The New Palgrave, 1990.  A days ago, "A History of
Marxian Economics" by Howard and King (a survey I don't much care for, but
it surely leads one to lots of sources).  Yes, there are controversies and
disagreements contained therein.  But is this not also true in other
sub-disciplines of economics?  And don't forgot the Marx was voted THE
intellectual of the last MILLENIUM (was it Time magazine?)!

Anyway, imagine how Paul Sweezy must have felt through the 1950s and early
60s -- more isolated than we are.  I don't think the problem is "the
profession" but character of the class struggle.  The working class
movement has been weakened substantially (where is 1968 France? -- check
the value of the French franc at borders at that time, 1970 Chile? the
struggles in the Portuguese colonies? Vietnamese anti-imperialism?) so
that the bourgeois and petty bourgeois economists can look at Marxist
economics with comtemptuous disdain.  Of course, for the purposes of
getting and holding an academic position, that is a misfortune and can
lead to certain constraints.  But in that we are looking to the
emancipation of peoples very often very much worse off than we are, it
should not affect our work in the slightest (of course it does, but we
must struggle against it).

Concerning intra-Marxist relations, Rakesh has a point that ought to be
examined, maybe within our individual thoughts (I'm almost tempted to use
the expression "self-criticism" but I don't think this is a useful
formulation in an internet interchange).  I don't expect much change,
however, as we as individuals are mostly whom we are.

Paul Z.

******************** http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/PZarembka

Alejandro Ramos <aramos@btl.net> said, on 11/10/00:

>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.

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