[OPE-L:508] Politics and science

glevy@acnet.pratt.edu (glevy@acnet.pratt.edu)
Sat, 18 Nov 1995 15:23:13 -0800

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Paul C. wrote in #495 [951116]:

> We should not be in the business of performing a philosophical analysis
> of the existing order of things, but of putting forward a new political
> economy that says not only that things can be changed but how they
> can be changed. In this I agree with Bordida that Capital was not so
> much a work of political economy as a manifesto for communism. If
> we forget this, if we do not inform every aspect of our analysis of
> the existing society with a contrast with a possible socialist society
> then we can never continue the work begun in Capital.

I would certainly agree with Paul C. that the political element of Marx's
analysis can not be forgotten and that _Capital_ was not intended solely
as a "scientific" work. What I can not understand, though, is how the
above interpretation of _Capital_ ["not so much a work of political
economy as a manifesto for communism"] squares with Paul C's oft-stated
interpretation of political economy as a _science_ (e.g. see #465:
951110). In other words, if we argue that Marx's political economy is a
science which needs to be understood using tools that are used in other
[natural] sciences, how can we then say that Marx's theory was mainly a
[political] "manifesto"?

In OPE-L Solidarity,