[OPE-L:6532] Re: * poll: who has advanced political economy since Marx? *

From: Andrew Brown (Andrew@lubs.leeds.ac.uk)
Date: Thu Feb 07 2002 - 14:24:19 EST

Jerry [6527] wrote,

> So, in summary, there have been a number of material conditions which have
> conspired to retard the advancement of heterodox and Marxian political
> economy. NONETHELESS,  a very major reason imo for that lack of progress
> is (as I suggested previously) that so few Marxians have even attempted to
> extend our understanding of capitalism beyond Marx.

I think Jerry's summary fills out a little bit my earlier statement that 
the separation of intellectual and manual labour, and more 
generally the perverse appearances of capitalism lie at the heart of 
the 'problem' re development of Marx. However, I disagree with the 
'NONETHELESS' Jerry adds above. You cannot go beyond what 
you don't understand. The 'problem', from my perspective, is that 
Marx is little understood. A rather more concrete reason for this 
than I have suggested so far, is that there has been a general 
antipathy towards materialist dialectics, across 'the Western 
world'. This has mitigated against the grasp of value, I would 
suggest. For once, I can refer to somebody prominent who has put 
forward this view in print: Geoff Pilling's seminal 'Marx's Capital' 
was centrally concerned to promote materialist dialectics, and to 
argue that the lack of materialist dialectics lies at the heart of the 
malaise re Marxist economics, and social theory more generally. 
This defining feature of his work seems to be missed, these days, 
as he is remembered as an instigiator of the value-form school, 
rather than as a strong advocate of a 'materialist dialectics-based' 
grasp of Capital.

Best wishes,


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