Re: [OPE-L] Marxist Political Economy

From: Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM
Date: Mon Apr 11 2005 - 14:42:42 EDT

>  1.  I  agree with the thrust of Simon's comments in the following
>  post:


[Michael H wrote:]
> I agree, that the aim of "Capital" is not "just" a critique of political
> economy but to "reveal the economic law of motion of modern society"
> (and may be that some "bend the stick too far in the opposite direction").
> But the problem is, how is this revelation possible. The questions in
> Simon's comment are interesting and important, but which conceptual
> means are necessary for answering these questions?


Hi Michael H:

What is needed, amongst much else, is to *keep the subject matter in
focus*.  The subject, which we attempt to reconstruct in thought, is not
economics _or_ the critique thereof _or_ Marx.  The subject, the
same subject that Marx attempted to systematically grasp, is

I may be mistaken but it seems to me as if  the project of almost every
contemporary Marxist who emphasizes 'critique of political economy'
is basically  interpreting Marx.  I would agree that this is a worthwhile
field of inquiry, but our focus must be on understanding capitalism, imho.
Of course,  I recognize that a grasp of Marx's perspective, i.e. a critique
*of* Marx's understanding of capitalism, can aid in the formulation of
our own perspectives on capitalism.  But, I think that a good way of
measuring the vitality of different research projects is by examining
the breadth of the questions that they ask and where they lead.  One
can see above what some of Simon's questions are and in what direction
they point in terms of further research.  Suppose -- for the sake of
argument -- that we all agreed to abandon the expressions "Marxist
Political Economy" and "Marxist Economics", then what?  Where would
that get us?  What research questions -- especially what questions beyond
just interpreting Marx -- would that lead us into asking?

In solidarity, Jerry

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