[OPE] science and scientology

From: Jurriaan Bendien <adsl675281@telfort.nl>
Date: Mon Jun 01 2009 - 06:57:31 EDT

Depending on what the question is, researchers might indeed comb Einstein's
writings hoping to find an answer to it. But I think what you are really
trying to say, is that people comb Marx's writings in order to prove that
"he had the answers already to all of the questions", which is more a
politically or ideologically motivated gambit, than a scientific one (it is
in Popperian terms more concerned with justification than with discovery).

Neverthless I think you should distinguish between the ideological practices
of bureaucratic Marxism-Leninism in the tradition of Stalin and Mao, and the
perfectly valid philological concerns of genuine Marxian scholars and
Marx-specialists, and I think you should also factor in that:

(1) Marx's revolutionary legacy has been bitterly contested. Hal Draper
among others has shown how almost all of the academics imputed ideas to Marx
which he never had, and how almost all the academics falsified or distorted
his real views. All standards of good scholarship are abandoned when Marx is
studied. Consequently it becomes necessary to "comb" through Marx even just
to figure out what he really thought, because both the academics and the
politico's are an extremely unreliable guide.

(2) Marx's conceptualizations were often not exact, in the sense of
empiricist categorization systems, his ideas evolved, and there are many
unfinished strands of thought. In addition, the majority of what he wrote
was never published. Again, it may become necessary to comb his writings, in
order to fix more precisely what he really meant, how that might have
changed, or what the nuances were.

(3) Many of Marx's theoretical texts are difficult to understand, even for
experienced scholars, and rely on interpretation. Even today, there is, for
example, hardly even one commentary which really does justice to Marx's
notion of the "law of value" and the "law of competition". Again it becomes
necessary to comb Marx's writings.


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