(no subject)

jurriaan bendien (Jbendien@globalxs.nl)
Mon, 9 Feb 1998 14:31:30 +0100

In response to Andrew Kliman:

1. I don't think there is a "fatal logical contradiction" in Marx's ideas
about productive labour, and a consistent definition can be provided. But
Marx himself did not provide it, as in many other issues, he at most
suggests one, and that's the point.

2. Marx does indeed modify his definitions in line with his "dialectical
method", which seeks to grasp developmental processes. But for social
accounting purposes we do need a rigorous set of defining criteria.

3. By a dialectical interplay between theoretical tradition and
experiential evidence, or between tradition and innovation, I mean we have
to go backwards and forwards between the two in order to make sense of
current problems, applying the insights of the past but also being aware of
their limitations and being open to novel phenomena. We can neither afford
simply regurgitating what has been said before, venerate the authority of
tradition, or try to assimilate the present to schemas of the past, nor
should we take present evidence simply as a refutation of past theories.

4. I don't think that there is much point in making rules for conduct,
since it is impossible to impose those rules on list-members. At most you
can have some guidelines for what we like to see, or engage in "exemplary
practice", and I take Alan's comments in this spirit. Beyond that, I trust
the list-owner will be able to adjudicate quite well when unpalatable
comments are made.


Jurriaan Bendien