Re: [OPE-L] class theory

Date: Tue Oct 30 2007 - 14:07:11 EDT

--------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
Subject: Re: [OPE-L] class theory
From: "Dave Zachariah" <>
Date: Tue, October 30, 2007 1:55 pm
To: glevy@PRATT.EDU

If I may interject with a brief comment:

I think it would be more accurate to say that theories -- scientific or
not -- express ideologies rather than class interests. Either because
they are formulated within an ideological framework or because they are
used as means in an ideological struggle.

Here I follow Göran Therborn's analysis of ideologies, which are not
merely systematic doctrines, but rather sets of beliefs about (i) what
exists/does not exist, (ii) what is possible/impossible and (iii) what
is good/bad etc.

A modern example is Keynesianism and Monetarism. They are social
theories intimately linked with social-democracy and neoliberalism,
respectively. And these two ideologies, in turn, expressed the economic
interest of workers and rentiers, respectively.

The principles of historical materialism should be applied in order to
understand the functions social theories aquire in the ideological
struggles of a class society. However, I reckon it is often
counter-productive to invoke the class content of an opponent's theory
in a debate.

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