RE: [OPE] conference on 'crisis of financialization?'

Date: Sat May 03 2008 - 06:50:55 EDT

>  It just seems extraordinary that the important scholarly work this conference represents is underresourced...
Hi Jurriaan:
I don't think it's extraordinary; I think it's par for the course.
There are, after all, not a lot of sources for funding for 
conferences on Marxian and heterodox economists. The 
'resource' which keeps conferences like this, and other activities
of and by heterodox economists going, is human. I.e. it's not the
money but the time and effort of dedicated scholars (from
URPE, CSE, and other associations) which reproduces these
events.  IMO, Fred Lee deserves special recognition and appreciation.
In the '70s there were more sources of funding. This was, in 
large part, a reflection of the radicalization of the times. The
decline is funding for conferences is but one manifestation of 
what has happened in recent decades. The decline in radical
economics departments, and radical students who want to 
take courses and study for degrees in those departments is 
another (and it is this which fueled the radical  departments 
There is an irony here, though, because of the 'time lag' 
that is required to produce Marxian scholars, Many (if not
most) of those scholars were radicalized in the 60's and/or
70's, but the radicalization ended long ago: so, in some
ways, these scholars are the 'flowers' of another period 
who have come to bloom when other intellectual life 
had wilted.  But, having bloomed, these flowers must 
express themselves: hence the plethora of articles, books,
conferences, - and even a mailing list (or 2) - for self-expression.
Ultimately, I think that the only thing that will infuse lots
of 'new blood' and significantly more financial resources is 
another radicalization.  But, while the economy is slumping
and/or crashing (depending on your perspective) there are
scant indications internationally of another radicalization.
Perhaps the best hope for that in the next few years is in 
Latin America.
In solidarity, Jerry

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