[OPE-L] Note from Cyrus

From: Jurriaan Bendien (adsl675281@TISCALI.NL)
Date: Mon Nov 13 2006 - 13:14:57 EST

Hi Rakesh,

I think your summary is fair enough. But I wasn't aiming to suggest at the
time Dr Bina was pomo, and I said I knew he wasn't pomo. I don't really
think you are pomo either. I have had this experience of intellectuals
stringing together a lot of theories to the point where it's only a sort of
poetical flourish, and I get a bit suspicious of all that.

And you can get quite polemical at times. But you can normally explain quite
well what the theoretical position is about. I usually value your opinion,
because you have read more of the relevant literature than I have. I don't
mind if you get a bit strident, except at a certain point I might have a

As regards the theory of rent, ground rents are one thing, but this
obviously does not include all the kinds of rent there are. I have racked my
brains over it at times, I spent a bit of time with Dr Carchedi studying
that part of Das Kapital once, but I am still not sure if I understand it
correctly. It's on my to-do list. Meantime you have to keep body and soul
together, and have some sort of life. Like I said, I'm not a paid academic,
I'm a postal worker and I don't get to read all I want to read.

And as I said before, I am not very knowledgeable about the economics of oil
production and distribution, and wrote little about it (see for a short
piece I wrote e.g.
http://archives.econ.utah.edu/archives/marxism/2004w32/msg00117.htm ).

My  judgement is that Marx bequeathed us an uncompleted theory, complete
only in providing the basic analysis of the capitalist mode of production
and what makes it tick. But that is not his fault, it's a challenge to other

I don't think it's a sin to quote Francis Fukuyama (I forget what exactly I
said). I don't agree with him much, but I do think he has a respect for
historical truth. As a Marxist, you're probably his intellectual equal,
although you don't sell books like hotcakes!

Like I say, I have nothing against Dr Bina, I don't know him, haven't
sparred with him, and I don't have his expertise. But if I annoy him, he can
write me and give me a piece of his mind, we can get acquainted and argue
this thing out. But if we get upset by annoyance only on account of mooting
a radical or different thought, we might as well be like Voltaire's Candide,
and cultivate our garden.

It is true, sometimes I poke a bit of fun at Marxism's holy cows, but it's
really only to get us back to the real questions that Marx & Engels were
concerned with, which were good questions I think. As far as I can see,
there are almost no credible theories of modern capitalism these days, and
plenty work to do to make sense of it.



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