[OPE-L:2091] Re: Jerry's quiz

akliman@acl.nyit.edu (akliman@acl.nyit.edu)
Mon, 6 May 1996 10:25:29 -0700

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Answers to Alan's Steedman quiz:

I'll answer Yes, No, and ICCL (I couldn't care less). Some explanations

(1) No, nothing has been "proved"; the refutations have been refuted.

(2) No. See (1)

(3) Yes. Alternative explanations to Marx's are possible. Some of
them (including "human nature," neoclassicism) are even "coherent" in
their own terms. Strangely, Steedman seems not to care whether they
are right.

(4) ICCL. I have no interest in a "coherent materialist theory of
capitalism," if by "materialist" (and "capitalism") Steedman means what
I think he means. Materialist = physicalist, ahistorical, asocial,
ahuman, technological determinist, "value is a veil." In a long footnote
on the 2d page of _Capital_ I, Ch. 15, Marx tears into the "abstract
materialism" of natural science, which does not know "history and its
process." This, the "active side," he says in his 1st thesis on
Feuerbach, is the defect of all hitherto existing materialism (including
Feuerbach's), so that he has to give credit to idealism here, which
has developed the active side of existence, though divorcing it
from the activity of real human subjects. In the previous year, Marx
had also defined his philosophy as a "thoroughgoing naturalism or humanism
that distinguishes itself from both materialism and idealism, and at the
same time is the truth uniting both."

I don't have much regard for what seems to be the conception of capitalism
implicit in Steedman's work.

(5) ICCL. See (4).

(6) No. Nothing has been "shown." See (1).

(7) ICCL. See (4).

(8) ICCL. See (4).

(9) ICCL. See (4).

(10) ICCL. See (4).

(11) No. Value magnitudes are not derivatives of that which needs to be
explained; they themselves are part of what needs to be explained. I
reject the Sraffian reductionist program.

(12) Again, ICCL about his "materialist account of capitalist societies."
See (4).

Andrew Kliman