Re: [OPE-L] Marx V. Kliman: Contrasting Prefaces and Aims

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Sat Sep 08 2007 - 07:00:16 EDT

> Surely this is not quite fair to the TSSI school?

Hi Jurriaan:

I think it's fair.  It's not based on presumptions about the TSSI but
rather is an expression of _conclusions_ that most Marxians have come to
who have been critically engaged with the Kliman et al. positions.  By no
means am I the first to make these criticisms!

> They see this as a prologue to developing Marx's
> analysis further

Then let them get on with it!  They make too many promises about what can
be done without delivering on those promises: they need to "walk the walk'
instead of merely "talking the talk".

-> The issue of dogmatism arises in Marxism in the first instance because
> of  the potential conflicts between scientific inquiry and ideology.
> Dogma (δόγμα) refers to a belief that is authorative and not to be
> disputed.

Too much of the history of Marxism has been shaped by Marxists who have
taken certain figures as authoritative.  For some it's just Marx.  For
others, it's M&E.  Others have included Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Mao,
Dunayevskaya, et al. This is reflected in the form of the debates which
have often focused on dueling quotes in order to lay claim that their
perspective is a more faithful interpretation of the Master. Once one
allows the terain to be narrowly moved to the subject of hermeneutics then
one has shifted the locale of the debate to an area that has all of the
historical nutrients required for the flourishing  of dogmatism and
religious-like discussions.  The metaphor of an island that I just made
has another meaning: it is the _isolation_ of many Marxians from wider
political struggles and from the working class (as well as non-Marxian
scholars) which helps to breed dogmatism.  The important question here is
whether one implictly accepts authoritarian visions of Marxism or whether
one develops an anti-authoritarian critical stance towards the
perspectives of _all_ (Marx and other "authorities" included).

In solidarity, Jerry

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