Re: [OPE-L] SV: [OPE-L] Karl H. Niebyl

From: Jerry Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Fri Dec 08 2006 - 10:47:46 EST

"Did you get the impression, though, that it was a Marxian critique?"
I'll say this much, it is a critique with some marxist influence. The
terminology is his own, and you find not many explicit references to the
works by Marx. He regards the development of money in a historical way (role
of money develops in accordance with development of industrial society) -
however, he completely avoids the dialectical framework, for him money is
not a real abstraction it seems to me. He doesn't analyze value, or its
subsequent forms from which money develops. Not even on the level of
Ricardian theory.

Hi Martin:

Thanks for your fuller explanation.  This raises the issue of what is the
meaning of *critique*  from a Marxian perspective.  Here I'm not
thinking of whether there are or are not explicit references to Marx,
a criteria which is not meaningful in my view unless the critique that
one is discussing is a critique of Marx or a critique of some author's
interpretation of Marx.

"Devastating critique", or "ruthless criticism", means to many
a *negative* task only: i.e. the intellectual destruction or annihilation
of another perspective.  This, however, is a one-sided perspective.
From a Marxian perspective, though,  critique has several other

1) it grasps those elements of thought that one is critiquing which
have merit.

2) it seeks to consider a perspective in terms of not only
its logical consistency, but also its material and class roots.
This embraces an attempt to locate thought and social realities
themselves in terms of  historical origins (something that you say
was part of Neibyl's book.)

3) there is systematic critique, rather than merely a
critique of one author or school of thought.  In other words,
the critique of an individual perspective is really a sub-critique:
i.e. part of a larger project and understanding.

4) Critique is not merely negative.  Indeed, the major aspect
of the critique of political economy is to develop a systematic
comprehension of the subject matter of capitalism.  Thus,
critique is far more than simply a critical exercise in the
comprehension of the history of thought.  The _real_ subject
matter -- capitalism -- must be grasped.

Do you and others agree?  Do I leave out something?

In solidarity, Jerry

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