[OPE-L] The Political Economy of Rocks?

From: GERALD LEVY (gerald_a_levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Mon Nov 12 2007 - 09:57:01 EST

>I would not pose things this way at all, since, these way of posing
>things seems to me to start out with a notion that is intially
>problematic and unscientific in its original domain :
>  the cartesian notion of the subject, and applies it to a quite different

Hi Paul C:

The "original domain" of political economy is the real subject
matter -  in this case, capitalism.  That domain has both objects
and subjects, both of which need to be grasped.

The idea that political economy contains object alone is one-sided
and an ahistorical  *fiction*.

Writing fiction is perfectly valid form of activity but it should
not be forgotten that fiction is fiction.

As in the following poem, we could treat *rocks* as if they were
both objects and subjects.  It could be a pleasant enough fiction
and have a positive political message, butr it would remain a fiction
which  would -- if fiction  was accepted as fact -- prevent us from
grasping the subject.  The reason for this is simple enough: rocks
are only an object (thus, unlike the following poem, rocks are not
capable of narration).  People (note plural) are both affected by
objective, material conditions and (unlike rocks) can come to
understand those conditions and, within limits, collectively act to
change those conditions. Because political economy is a _social_
subject, it contains both objective and subjective dimensions.

In solidarity, Jerry



by Erich Weinert

Full hundred thousand years we slept
As granite cold as ice,
Then we were roused by dynamite
And turned into merchandise.

In the quarry, the labourer moaned aloud,
His chisel spurted fire,
The labourer's blood and sweat have we
Drunk down into our core.

We were pounded down in an avenue,
The labourer pounded us down,
His sweat dropped down. His sweat dried up,
But the salt is in the stone.

Then over us rolled all things that roll,
Carts, trucks and limousines,
And yet we felt in our breats of stone
The heart of the working man.

One day a thousand tramping feet
Roarded up in demonstration -
The workers sang, and oh, we clanged -
Our stony foreheads kindled.

Then shots banged into our pitted heads
And dirt and fire rained -
The blood and brains of the workingman -
We dranked down the blood that drained.

They tore us up out of the road -
Then we were barricades!
We heard the worker load his gun
And the clamour of his rage.

And once again dirt rained and fire;
We guarded our brothers - with back's
And stony body's strength
We beat down the attack.

The blood of the workers pounds in stone,
It flows in our hearts; aye, brave
We'll stand, the trophy of victory
Upon our comrade's graves!

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