Re: [OPE-L] Hegel's and Smith's historical materialism?

From: ajit sinha (sinha_a99@YAHOO.COM)
Date: Fri Oct 07 2005 - 05:45:48 EDT

--- Andrew Brown <A.Brown@LUBS.LEEDS.AC.UK> wrote:

> Chris,
> You seem to be saying that Smith was both
> materialist and historical but
> admitted he had the wrong history. Probably requires
> a bit of
> elaboration.
Andrew, Smith had a sense of what is "natural". That
did not mean that it was inevitable. In a similar
sense he also used the word "law", by which he did not
mean "natural law" as it is used in science. He meant
that though the law could be broken or not followed,
but if it is broken or not followed, then some adverse
effect follows-- something like if you break a
criminal law you go to prison and pay a price for it.
Similarly with natural development or
history--societies have a "natural course of
development but that does not mean that societies will
necessarily follow it. But when they don't follow it
then there are consequences to the welfare of the
societies. I think Chris has got Smith quite wrong.
Cheers, ajit sinha
> I'd suggest Smith and classical political economy
> were certainly
> materialist (they had classes based on production,
> they introduce the
> LTV) but not really historical because capitalist
> classes are taken as
> natural and 'history' merely a set of aberrations
> prior to the natural
> (capitalist) order.
> Simon Clarke (Marx, Marginalism and Modern
> Sociology) is interesting on
> this (and on Hegel and on parallels between Hegel
> and CPE from Marx's
> perspective)
> Andy
> -----Original Message-----
> From: OPE-L [mailto:OPE-L@SUS.CSUCHICO.EDU] On
> Behalf Of Christopher
> Arthur
> Sent: 06 October 2005 21:41
> Subject: Re: [OPE-L] Hegel's and Smith's historical
> materialism?
> >Am I off-track here?  Did Smith have a historical
> materialist
> >perspective?  Did Hegel?
> >
> >In solidarity, Jerry
> No.
> Smith gives a theory of history going from
> agriculture to the twons to
> foreign trade and then ruefully admits the real
> development was exactly
> the
> opposite!
> For a study of Hegel's early work see my chapter on
> him in my book 'The
> New
> Dialectic and Marx's Capital' It is true he gives
> more importancce to
> labour in the early work but it is still in the
> interests of the spirit.
> Chris
> 17 Bristol Road, Brighton, BN2 1AP, England

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