[OPE-L:6546] Re: Re: * poll: who has advanced political economy since Marx? *

From: paul bullock (paulbullock@ebms-ltd.in2home.co.uk)
Date: Sun Feb 10 2002 - 12:42:30 EST

I note the fact that no one seems to think Lenin developed and applied
Marx's contribution.

Is this taken for granted?

Paul Bullock?

-----Original Message-----
From: gerald_a_levy <gerald_a_levy@msn.com>
To: ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu <ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu>
Date: 08 February 2002 12:24
Subject: [OPE-L:6534] Re: * poll: who has advanced political economy since
Marx? *

>Re Andy B's:
>> Jerry [6527] wrote,
>> > So, in summary, there have been a number of material conditions which
>> > conspired to retard the advancement of heterodox and Marxian political
>> > economy. NONETHELESS,  a very major reason imo for that lack of
>> > is (as I suggested previously) that so few Marxians have even attempted
>> > 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.
>Brief questions:
>1)   If the problem is as you say that "Marx is little understood", then:
>      a) do you think you understand Marx? If you think you do, then
>          why do you think you have developed that understanding when all
>          but a handful of others by your reckoning have failed?
>      b) if you are not sure you understand Marx, how do you know that
>          so few others have understood him?
>2) If Marx is so 'little understood' can at least part of the reason why
>      be something with what and how he himself wrote?  How is it even
>      conceivable that a writer who wrote clearly and without being self-
>      contradictory can not be substantially understood 119 years after his
>      death -- especially given the thousands of scholars who have poured
>      over those writings?
>3) Since you want to talk about how the perverse appearances of
>     capitalism have affected the way in which Marxists conceive of that
>     subject, wasn't Marx presented with  those same perverse appearances?
>     Let us consider Marx's material conditions.  How is it possible that a
>     'Young Hegelian' with a PhD turned revolutionary socialist who for
>     of his life was supported by  the charitable contributions of a
>     wealthy revolutionary who was a capitalist (FE) could penetrate those
>     appearances when all else  -- before and since -- have failed?
>4) Could it be that Marx had a distinct advantage over Marxists in
>    that he could create a theory without reference to a Marx-figure?
>    That is, he showed  intellectual deference to no one. Can the
>    same be said for the Marxists or don't they often (habitually even)
>    defer to Marx?   Thus, perhaps it is the 'Specter of Marx' which
>     haunts many Marxists and inhibits forward movement?  Perhaps you
>     have then suggested a very good reason for _not_ studying Marx --
>     after all, if so few have attained that understanding might it not be
>     Utopian quest -- a  search for the 'Revolutionary Holy Grail' so to
>     speak?
>5) An idealistic thought experiment:
>     You get a job as a TV script writer. You are asked to develop
>      a plot along the following lines:
>     Suppose that Marx came back from the grave and joined OPE-L
>     (assuming he was recommended for membership, invited, and
>      accepted). What do you think he would say to us now?  What do
>     you think he would say to the suggestion that low these many years
>     after his death we are still trying to understand wtf he said and
>     attempt to move beyond his understanding until we come to appreciate
>     that understanding?
>     Sounds like an amusing plot for 'Mad TV', doesn't it?
>In solidarity, Jerry

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