[OPE] Prof. Furedi mentions Marx

From: Jurriaan Bendien <adsl675281@tiscali.nl>
Date: Tue Oct 21 2008 - 14:33:53 EDT

Marx's fundamental insight into the transient character of society's arrangements has been pretty well demonstrated by recent events and the shifting contours of European history. In many respects what he saw was the co-existence of powerful destructive forces with powerful constructive forces within the capitalist system. But one must remember that he's a 19th-century thinker who, along with other important thinkers - Adam Smith among them - provided important signposts on understanding our society. They're of limited use in the capacity to find your own way in the world, and younger generations must rethink problems for themselves. The danger is that people such as Marx provide answers to the questions that we're all asking, but we shouldn't begin with the answers: we must begin with the right questions. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article4981065.ece

Cf. Marx:

"A question of the day shares a common lot with any other question justified by its content, and hence rational; namely, that not the answer but the question itself is the chief difficulty. True criticism, therefore, analyses the issues and not the answers. Just as the solution of an algebraic equation is given as soon as the problem is posed in its purest and sharpest conditions, so every question is answered as soon as it has become an actual question. World history itself has no other method than answering and disposing of old questions by posing new ones. The riddlewords of each epoch are therefore easy to discover. They are questions of the day, and while a gicen individual's interests and insights play an important role in the answers, and it takes a practised eye to separate what belongs to the individual from what belongs to the era, the questions, on the other hand, are the frank, uncompromising voices of the era, embracing all individuals; they are its signposts, they are the most practical proclamations of its own frame of mind." http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1842/05/17.htm (I've altered the translation a weebit)


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Received on Tue Oct 21 14:36:46 2008

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