Re: [OPE-L] Truncating Marx's "Capital"

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Fri Aug 31 2007 - 11:49:29 EDT

>     While I am on the subject, I should say something about the "new
> orthodox Marxist" characterization in my article title.  This is due
> entirely to me, and it was coined before the term "TSS" came into use
> (that term is due to Gil Skillman, by the way).  Kliman et al have made
> clear that they do not accept the "new orthodox Marxist" label -- they
> have even replaced the term with its abbreviation, N....O.....M...., on
> a Wikipedia talk page, after the fashion of religionists who write "G-d"
> in place of "God" -- and so I will not use it from now on, following the
> OPE requirement that we use terms that are acceptable to all
> participants in a debate.


There has _never_ been a requirement on OPE-L "that we use terms which are
acceptable to all participants in a debate".  Nor do I think there should
be: it would allow any individual to have veto power over the use of any
terms and that would inhibit the discussion.

On Wikipedia, Andrew Kliman (the author of an allegedly "serious" and
"scientific" book) made a big fuss over "New Orthodox Marxists":
he wrote that "N ...O...M" was the "N word equivalent"!!!!!
(In case you don't know, what this refers to, see:
<> ). Talk about over the top!  It's very
bad politics, I think, to throw around that expression in such a calalier
fashion: those who were active in anti-racist struggles should understand
that this is a very serious accusation (that someone has used the "N-word
equivalent") and Kliman's claim that "N...O...M" is the "N-word
equivalent" trivializes the the use of the "N-word".

> I now think that "new
> orthodox Marxist" is, in a sense, *too generous* a characterization of
> the TSSI.  The TSSI supporters reject the very concept "Marxism"; Marx,
> after all, must be reclaimed from the nefarious Marxists!  And, properly
> defined, there is, I think, nothing wrong with being "orthodox," if this
> simply means serious continuing efforts to derive as much as possible
> from Marx and Engels, and to relate one's current work to the core of
> the tradition begun by those seminal thinkers.

The problem isn't "orthodoxy" per se, it's dogmatism.  (By no means am I
the only one who has come to this conclusion!  Indeed, I think that most
Marxists who are familar with his writings would agree.  They might not
say that publicly - even when they admit it privately - because they don't
want to ruffle his feathers.) Of course, he denies being a dogmatist.  Is
there any Marxist anywhere who admits to being dogmatic? Yet, I think we
_all_ could agree that there are Marxists who _are_ dogmatists and that
dogmatism is a stance which must be confronted and surpassed for the
continuing development of Marxian theoretical development and praxis.

In solidarity, Jerry

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