[OPE-L:3242] Re: Orthodoxy

McGlownet@aol.co (McGlownet@aol.com)
Wed, 2 Oct 1996 23:37:15 -0700 (PDT)

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I'll try to be relatively brief but I do want to reply before too much
time goes by.
1. You asked what is the connection of the "truth/untruth of the categories
themselves: to a) the subjective/objective dichotomy and b) the charges of
"orthodoxy". The connection is that we can investigate whether categories
of the FRP or transformation of value into price are true ( I don't "agree"
with Rorty's view of "truth" obviously). The process of proof involved in
determining what is true in these categories is not a one sided subjective
reading of ratifying our own interpretation nor is the process of proof
simply a trick to point to what is already obviously true in Marx's text.
The subject matter itself has its own "logic" which requires our active,
historical working out the meaning of the argument always checking how the
specific category relates to the "whole" of Marx's work. Perhaps it's not
incorrect to say that orthodoxy is development of a body of ideas, checking
the specific development against the whole doctrine. This may involve faith
for some people, but what we have done with TSS is to take up specific
categories with the specific additive of time, checked them against Marx's
texts, and proved to our satisfaction that in the context of Marx's Marxism
these categories are true. We had an underlying confidence in Marx, but we
discovered the demolishing counterexample and argument to Bortkiewicz that
led to your refutation of the Okishio theorem. Faith really played no role
in the develoment of the argument, itself, hard work did. The discussion of
ideas and our constant criticism of Bortkiewicz and our own ideas led us to
important specific results on Value and the FRP. We then published our
results for others to check and challenge and I'm glad that we have such
serious critics and responses finally on the OPE-L and in Okishio and others.
The fact that TSS rips the ground out from under simultaneism and returns to
Marx is apparently very disorienting after a century of discounting Marx's
own presentation. I think postMarxmarxists took a detour on someone else's
ground (other than Marx's) and got lost. Perhaps some identified Stalinism
and the vanguard partyists with Marxism and believed that an attack on Marx
established room for an alternative to what we would call state capitalism.
Maybe some don't like the revolutionary direction of Marx's thought, are
bothered by it, and seek to contain his argument against capital within the
existing horizon of capitalism. I don't know. I didn't get very far into
your response to my post. One more point, "in and for itself" is one of
Hegel's ways of talking about dialectic method as both objective and
self-reflexive at the same time. I think Hegel is saying that human thought,
for him quintessentially philosophy, comprehends reality. I don't think
there is a litmus test for determining truth in all contexts. Kant asked if
such a criterion for truth was possible and concluded that it wasn't because
of the variety of contexts. But I agree with Hegel that the concept of truth
is meaningful, not trivial. Eclecticism brings different ideas into an
explanation without bringing them into contact with eachother. It employs
an "also" to conjoin contradictory ideas. When some concept is true in
Hegel, it is so in itself, objectively, and for itself, subjectively. There
is correspondence of the subject with the object. And so,
subjectively-objectively, with regard to our work interpreting Marx, the
"scorecard" shows how our conclusions stack up against other interpretations
of Marx and Marx's own conclusions. So far, I'm not aware of anyone
challenging the score, or even the construction of the categories in the
scorecard,--are you? It's fine if they do, but no one seems to want to. Why
is that? I'm just running on, and this is not a brief reply, to be
continued...its too late to be coherent.