Re: [OPE] economics is not natural science

From: DGöçmen <>
Date: Sat Sep 05 2009 - 09:09:31 EDT

You should have perhaps said 'structuralist Marxists" rather than "orthodox Marxists". Lukacs described himself as orthodox Maarxist for example.




-----Original Message-----
From: Jurriaan Bendien <>
To: Outline on Political Economy mailing list <>
Sent: Sat, Sep 5, 2009 3:58 pm
Subject: [OPE] economics is not natural science

I have retranslated for you, with literal precision, the famous passage in
Marx's 1859 Critique: 

"At a certain level of their development, the material productive forces
come into contradiction with the relations of production at hand or, what is
just a juridical expression for this, with the ownership relations within
which they have moved until then. From being developmental forms of the
forces of production, these relations themselves are inverted, becoming
their fetters. This inaugurs an era of social revolution. With the change of
the economic foundations, the whole formidable superstructure is slowly or
more quickly overturned. In contemplating such revolutions, one must
consistently distinguish between the material revolution in the economic
relations of production, which can be concluded as a natural-scientific
truth, and the juridical, political, religious, artistic or philosophical -
in brief, ideological - forms in which people become aware of this conflict,
and fight it out. Just as one does not judge what an individual is, by what
he thinks about it
 himself, just as little can one judge one of such periods
of revolution from their consciousness; this consciousness must be explained
much more from the contradictions of material life, from the conflict at
hand between societal forces of production and production relations.' 

- Karl Marx (1859), Preface to A Contribution to the Critique of Political

It can be proved without doubt that the official translations introduce
nuances and completely new ideas into this crucial passage (and the whole
text) which are simply NOT found in the original German. Curiously, Jerry
Cohen based a whole book about Marx's alleged "theory of history" on a
translation of this passage which is scientifically inaccurate. The other
curious thing is, that the so-called "orthodox Marxists" try to base
themselves literally on the fine nuance of Marx's text, although frequently
this involves the use of translations, taken as face value, which are simply
inexact to the point of introducing completely new ideas. 

Heck I should get a Phd for this 




ope mailing list


ope mailing list
Received on Sat Sep 5 09:11:26 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Wed Sep 30 2009 - 00:00:02 EDT