Re: [OPE] Dialectics for the New Century

From: Dave Zachariah (
Date: Sat Apr 05 2008 - 04:26:17 EDT

on 2008-04-05 00:16 paul bullock wrote:
> Marx demonstrated through a dialectical method, why money came into 
> existence and what it represented. Then he demonstrated why a concept 
> of price at one stage in the development of commodity production had 
> to give weay to another concept ie 'simple price' to 'price of 
> production'. Here I use the term concept as an idea that actually 
> properly grasps a real process.

Paul, I think you need to be careful with the word 'demonstrated' here. 
You can demonstrate logically, i.e. deduce certain consequences, and you 
can demonstrate things empirically. They are not the same thing. It does 
not matter if the logical demonstration was consistent and elegant, if 
it is contradicted by empirical evidence one discards the theory in the 
search for a better one.

Marx deduced the origin of money, but it is a prediction that lacks 
empirical support. Money did not emerge from commodity production but 
from pre-capitalist states.

> (Incidentally since Marx died when my own grandfather was already 16, 
> I feel you should play down the 'too many years ago' bit as if it were 
> an argument ;-)

It was just a reminder that Karl Marx was a human being in a long line 
of great thinkers but with knowledge and concepts conditioned by the 
historical circumstances of his day. If you put Marx at par with other 
great thinkers of that century, such as Darwin and Maxwell and compare 
how their scientific theories were refined with time as empirical 
evidence accumulated and new theoretical concepts were introduced, then 
you will have a sober reading of Marx, the social scientist.

//Dave Z
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