Re: (OPE-L) a materialist analysis of the situation in Cuba -- LTV

From: Michael Eldred (artefact@T-ONLINE.DE)
Date: Fri May 23 2003 - 16:06:21 EDT

Cologne 23-Mar-2003

 gerald_a_levy <gerald_a_levy@MSN.COM> schrieb Fri, 23 May 2003 07:01:50 -0400:

> Nicky:
> Of course, there are moral issues under debate in relation to the
> thread on Cuba.  Yet,  from a materialist perspective the precondition
> for such a debate is a comprehension of the *facts* about the
> situation in Cuba.

But Jerry, there is no such thing as a naked fact. Every fact depends upon its
interpretation and ultimately on the way the world is laid out ontologically.

> A debate that proceeds from a moral principle
> yet doesn't attempt to systematically evaluate the empirical evidence
> is both idealistic and futile.
> Put in that perspective, all mention of moral principles in relation to
> comprehending a specific historical development must  presume what
> needs to be first comprehended:  the facts.
> What you have claimed to be factual in this debate, e.g. the credentials
> of the journalists,  is not convincing, imo (don't you think that any
> agent can very easily obtain 'legitimate' press credentials?).  Look
> at the Amnesty International report  ... and attempt to discover the details
> ... they're not there, imo.  Where's the beef?

This seems to be a one-sided attribution of cynicism.

> What made the condemnation of Stalin (and Stalinism) legitimate was not
> an abstract discussion about 'means and ends' and morality: it was a
> comprehension of the actual crimes of Stalin and his associates.
> The Marxist critics of Stalin, indeed, went to great pains to document
> those crimes. This is because they attempted to develop a materialist
> understanding of their period.

This presupposes that only a Marxist materialist analysis is credible. But this
issue of Marxist materialism is an ontological issue which, to boot, is highly
controversial. We come back to the ontological issue of the validity of the LTV,
the foundation stone in Marx's critique of capitalism as a mode of (social)
production and exchange.

_-_-_-_-_-_-_-  artefact text and translation _-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_
_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_- made by art  _-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_ _-_
_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_ Dr Michael Eldred -_-_-

> So should we.  Ironically, it is you,
> imo, who is adopting in relation to the Cuban leadership the principle
> that they are guilty until proven innocent.
> In solidarity, Jerry
> > have you read Koestler's book?  It is relevant to the debate not as a
> > 'metaphore' but because the book develops a coherent (and brilliantly
> > argued) moral position on the old revolutionary question of ends and
> means.
> > It is with Koestler's moral position ON THIS QUESTION that Riccardo, Simon
> > and I explicitly agree.  I suggest to you that the 'study of the facts' in
> > the case of Cuba's recent actions (summary trial and execution, justified
> by
> > reference to external threat) is not separable from this moral debate.
> So,
> > any 'serious exchange' must at least acknowledge (not necessarily agree
> > with) our concerns.

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