[OPE-L] Re: Spirito di Bergamo

Alan Freeman (a.freeman@greenwich.ac.uk)
Sun, 01 Feb 1998 12:32:21 +0000

I was encouraged by Jerry's response on this question (24 Jan 1998) and
I too have to apologise for being out of town and hence unable to
respond 'til now.

Picking up the thread with Jerry's final statement, I've got what I hope
will be a constructive suggestion.

Jerry writes:

> Calling oneself a "Marxist" is not a requirement for membership. In the
> most general terms, I believe there is broad agreement on the list that we
> should have a list that is characterized by *diversity*. This means that
> we should have a list that is diversified both in terms of international
> representation and gender and theoretical perspective and "area of
> expertise"/research interests. One consequence of the above, is that we
> most certainly can (and indeed have!) subscribed members who do not
> consider themselves to be Marxist (e.g. former member Steve Keen).

Why not invite specific non-marxists as *guests* for specific discussions?
In that way there can be diversity without raising the volume of posts too
high. Indeed it would impose a welcome discipline on the volume of posts
since, with guests present, list members would have to restrain their
natural urges to respond to every post with their own concerns and
concentrate instead on responding to the guest and her or his

The HES list has an institution whereby it gets one member to write a
regular 'editorial' which the list then discusses: we could do the same
but invite someone external, and for a set period, undertake to discuss
around what they say.

We might have a very different discussion about money if we asked a
Post-Keynesian in to explain Post-Keynesian debates about money. The
question of whether it had to be a commodity would certainly come up,
to say the least, since Keynesians seem very convinced that credit
can serve as money.

Or we could invite, say, Geoff Hodgson to speak about evolutionary
economics, or an institutionalist to talk about institutional economics, or
schedule a wider discussion on monetary circuit theory with some of its
less Marxist protagonists. After all, if we don't invite them, how will we
know what they would say?