[OPE-L:6786] Re: Re: Re: change the world

From: Allin Cottrell (cottrell@wfu.edu)
Date: Wed Mar 20 2002 - 21:08:58 EST

On Wed, 20 Mar 2002, John Holloway wrote:

>     Jerry says "I think that you're asking the right question --
> "How to change the world?" -- but there is no simple answer and
> answers will arise through praxis rather than mere academic
> discourse."
>     I imagine nobody on the list would disagree with that. But what
> has changing the world got to do with Marxist economics?
>     The thunderous silence on the question suggests that most people
> on the list would say that there is no relation. Do most people feel
> that Marxist economics is about studying the world as it is (the
> functioning of the capitalist system) and that changing the world is
> a different matter, a question of political organisation? In other
> words, that praxis and academic discourse are quite separate
> questions, as Jerry seems to suggest (?). This seems to me a
> position that is theoretically and politically unsustainable.

I agree entirely.  Paul Cockshott and I have argued at some length
that Marxist economics should not just be about the analysis of
capitalism (though obviously that's important) but also about the
design of better economic mechanisms.  Developing ideas along these
lines won't of itself change the world (i.e., not in abstraction from
real political struggles), but it's a necessary part of the picture.
"OK, you don't like capitalism: What should we replace it with?"

Allin Cottrell.

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