Re: [OPE-L] class theory

From: GERALD LEVY (gerald_a_levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Mon Oct 29 2007 - 14:41:40 EDT

>Jerry, some questions for you:
>1. Do you think that social theories can purport to represent
>universal interests when in fact they represent the particular
>interests of economic classes?

Hi Ian:

That is possible.  One has to _show_ this, however, rather than
relying on the "implications" of a particular perspective.

>2. If so, do you think it an important part of scientific work to
>uncover such states-of-affairs?

I gave my answer to that previously, I thought.  To the extent that
bringing to light such "state-of-affairs" is a valid endeavor, it must be
demonstrated rather than merely asserted and must be a component
part of a scientific critique. The presentation of such claims therefore
presumes that one has already conducted the critique.

I have no problem with attempting to locate a issue in terms of history,
including the history of thought.  It was _precisely_ for that reason that
I reacted strongly to the suggestion which was made about the class
basis of surplus approach theory.  I would argue that this form of
debate has been a big part of what has been wrong with Marxist
debates from Marx's time on: I can think of dozens of such examples
including (mis-)characterizing anarchism as petty-bourgeois and Stalinists
and Trotskyists each accusing the other of being petty-bourgeois. It
is a form of debate which we need to surpass.

In solidarity, Jerry

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