Gerry, Fine and Harris joined the main debate fundamentally after it was over and the divisions between the so-called fundamentalists and neo-Ricardians were such that further discussion of the issues was pointless. I regarded their criticism's as fundamentally dishonest and saw no purpose in responding to them. Their discussion of our view of inflation is typically full of unsubstantiated assertions. They really did not understand our correction of our earlier view on luxury production, which they still argued was produced by unproductive labour etc. As far as the work published in November 1976 in Revolutionary Communist 5 on Women's Oppression under Capitalism by four women comrades in the RCG, which through an analysis of domestic labour under capitalism showed why capitalism could never fully socialise domestic work, it was never taken up by academic Marxists at the time. Perhaps one day someone will look at it again. I didn't read Fine's position in the 1992 book so I have no idea whether he discussed it. For myself I believe Marxism has to be put to the service of a new revolutionary movement and there is little point in forever going over the old debates for the sake of it. As Paul B so rightly said 'we were working to apply Marx's theory to the contemporary scene without qualifying the explanations given in Marx's Capital.' We are still attempting to do that while developing our understanding of capitalism/imperialism today. The point is to change the world. Just in passing in relation to my latest work, Fine dismissed Lenin's position on the labour aristocracy in a recent paper 'Globalisation and Development' (preliminary draft 2002) in the same cavalier way that he dismissed our arguments in the earlier book. This is typical Ben Fine: 'Lenin complemented his study of imperialism with an analysis of the labour aristocracy. In crude form, this suggested both that the worker's of the imperialist powers benefited from the poverty of the colonies and that they were stratified themselves and betrayed by their economistic trade union leaders. Such propositions simply do not stand up to close scrutiny. It is much more appropriate to understand the labour aristocracy as a metaphor. For, what Lenin sought to explain and to criticise was the failure of the working class movements to progress beyond supporting their own national governments in inter-imperialist wars and rivalry. Appeal to the labour aristocracy as decisive influence is little more that a crude, causal proxy - by appeal to vulgar self-interest and running roughshod over the complexity, diversity, composition and content of the working class movement...' How does one criticise a series of unsubstantiated assertions? Are serious standards of debate and discussion not necessary when applied to Lenin etc? One would never know that Lenin was building on the writings of Marx and Engels in the development of this 'crude, causal proxy' argument of the labour aristocracy. I had not intended to get involved in this issue re Fine and Harris until I looked again at their 1979 book and remembered how they made their points against other serious positions. Nothing has changed for Fine given his latest contribution. What happened to Lawrence Harris? David Yaffe David YaffeAt 07:20 15/05/02 -0400, you wrote: >Re Paul B's [7l6l]: > > > For my part I can only say this: F&H seemed to be using this term > > 'Fundamentalists against us <snip, JL> > >That's what I thought. Did David Y or yourself ever publish an answer >to the claims in F&H's book? > >In solidarity, Jerry > >PS re domestic labor: in Fine's Appendix "Reviewing the domestic >labour debate" in _Women's Employment and the Capitalist Family_ >(Routledge, l992) there is no reference to either David Y or yourself.
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