[OPE-L:6877] Change the World

From: John Holloway (johnholloway@prodigy.net.mx)
Date: Wed Apr 03 2002 - 13:16:29 EST

Dear all,

    Nicky says: "Love is an extremely powerful and revolutionary idea, but
how to take it
into the economics discourse in a meaningful way?  How would you do it

    I think my answer would be that it is impossible to take "love" into
economic discourse, precisely because, as Jerry points out, the categories
of economics ("Marxist" or otherwise) - value, capital, money etc -  are
constructed on the negation of love. This is surely why, as David Y. points
out, it does not make sense to speak of Marxist economics but only of a
Marxist critique of economics (or political economy, or anything else for
that matter).

    David says: "Nevertheless as materialists we must understand the
pressures of work in an academic environment is not conducive to a
revolutionary perspective...." 
    I agree. But the problem for all of us who live in a capitalist society
(whether we work in a university or not) is how we live in-and-against, how
we criticise theoretically-practically, in other words. 

    Allin says: "I agree entirely." Thank you very much, Allin, that's
lovely, I think it's the first time it's happened. But there must be
something wrong, mustn't there?
    And he continues: " 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?"
    Isn't the issue the question of the relation between the possible future
and the present, of how we understand the possible future (the Not Yet, as
Bloch would say) as existing now. In other words, isn't the point of the
critique of political economy to show how "love" exists as corrosive force
within value, that this is not an external negation.

    Sorry to be so slow in replying. I'm not grumpy, just slow.

    Love to all, 


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