RE: [OPE] Marxist triumphalism

Date: Sun Feb 01 2009 - 09:27:41 EST

[Jurriaan wrote:]
> I have received or read quite a few comments now from Marxist friends and acquaintances
> along the lines of "we were right all along" - some say they predicted the new
> economic crisis five years ago, or ten years ago, 15 years ago, 20 years ago etc. but
> frankly I am not very impressed by this, because Marxism is always predicting crisis,
> Marxists have been doing that since the 1890s. The question is not really whether you
> were correct before the event, or afterwards, but whether you are correct at the right time,
> when events happen, <snip, JL>
Also, the question is whether your analysis for the cause(s) of a particular crisis
is (are) correct. Unfortunately, that may not been known until some time after a crisis
has started (or even once it's over) because of the lag with the publishing of data (and,
perhaps, limitations of the data itself).
What 'triumphalists' might not grasp is that much of the resistance to their claims about an
upcoming crisis was a response to _them_. I.e. Having heard many Marxians
"cry wolf" for many decades, this caused other Marxians and heterodox economists
to initially react in the same way to the "trimumphalists" as the community eventually
did to the boy who cried wolf ("Oh, there he goes again ....").
At most a "I (or xxxx) predicted this crisis many years ago" stance will only get
you an initial hearing. You still have to convince people that the _reasons_ you gave
for believing that another crisis was coming was correct. And, of course, there
is the big normative question which is on everyone's minds: what should be
done? If all one can say is "we need socialism" then you can expect a long
In solidarity, Jerry

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Received on Sun Feb 1 09:29:44 2009

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