RE: [OPE] Reply to the thinker

Date: Wed Mar 11 2009 - 09:42:30 EDT

> I reject value-form theory not primarily because it has nothing to do with Marx's

> own theory (although it is obviously parasitic on Marx, constantly referring to Marx),

> but because it is plainly wrong, empirically, logically and historically.






For someone who has been critical of the use of the term "parasitism" in political

economy, that is certainly an odd and misleading adverb here and, moreover, there

is nothing "obvious" about it. One might equally say that Marx was "obviously

parasitic on Ricardo and Smith" since he, also, was at many points "constantly

referring" to those theorists. VF theorists take a stance towards Marx which is the

only appropriate one for scholars, imo: a *critical* stance. In _this_ sense, they have

a lot more in common with Marx's intellectual praxis than those socialists who adopt

an essentially uncritical approach towards the perspectives of KM.

> You will argue for example that there were "no commodities in the Aztec empire",

> ignoring a mountain of evidence to the contrary, [...]




Are you referring to the mountain of evidence that you were able to find in an afternoon's

worth of research in the library?



> These days, however, we have plenty research evidence available from archeologists,
> palaeontologists, anthropologists and historians [...]
There are lots of debates among anthropologists, historians, et al. on ancient societies.
You make it sound, in this post and elsewhere, that those who are familiar with
economic history are in agreement about all of the historical claims you have been
making. As someone who has studied history, I can assure you that is not the case
and, moreover, doesn't have much of an appreciation of the divisions and scholarly
debates among these intellectuals. I'm also very confident in believing that Geert,
Michael W, Tony S and other value-form theorists have at one point or another
studied history even if they are not, strictly speaking, historians.
> half-baked "Marxist philosophies"
I hear the echo here of reactionary faculty and scholars who have sought to purge
universities of radical faculty ... because they are allegedly "half-baked". Of
course, I know you wouldn't support such a purge. But, you might want to
consider why radical philosophers, whether Marxian or otherwise, wouldn't be
taken seriously and/or would be outraged if they referred to people like Tony S as
having a "half-baked philosophy". Just because you don't agree with it and just
because it doesn't agree with your _interpretation_ of "the facts" doesn't make it
> and neither school has a good reply to Marx's intelligent critics. Neither school has a
> convincing theory of capitalist dynamics.
Translation: value-form theory (and its counter, according to you) doesn't have what
_you_ consider a good reply to critics and doesn't have what _you_ interpret to
be a coherent theory of capitalist dynamics. That is you _interpretation_. OK. Fine.
But, please be careful not to claim as fact what is just your interpretation. The
point behind a previous post where I referred to the subject of the _Critique of
Political Economy_ as being relevant for the quotation you cited was to show you
and others on the list that, rather than being the slam dunk that you suggested it was, it
was simply _one_ interpretation of the meaning of that quotation.
In solidarity, Jerry

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Received on Wed Mar 11 09:45:15 2009

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