[OPE-L:6295] Re: Impact of Marx & M-critics on the "common p

Mon, 16 Mar 1998 16:45:24

Reply to the PIAF:

> Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 14:00:14 -0500 (est)
> From: Gerald Levy <glevy@pratt.edu>
> To: Multiple recipients of list <ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu>
> Subject: [OPE-L] Re: Impact of Marx & M-critics on the "common people"

> Alejandro R asked on Mon, 16 Mar:
> > Did you read Cassidy's article?
> I was challenging what *you* (Alejandro) wrote re the impact of of the
> charge that Marx was "internally inconsistent" on the "common people."

Jerry: I do know that, and I am *not* trying to avoid the points you
raised. As I explained you in a private letter yesterday, today I
don''t have so much time to spend in this. (You surely understand
that, for me, to write in English is not easy, so I need time.)

To clarify a couple of points:

a) My limited knowledge of English vocabulary prevented me to explain
what I meant for "common people", words that have mislead you and
certainly are mistaken... my fault, sorry.

Actually, I was thinking in intellectuals, economists, etc, but not
having a profound knowdledge of Marx''s work. So, David Laibman
or Duncan Foley are NOT "common people" (They are specialists in
Marx). A graduate student in social sciences IS "common people",
perhaps interested in Marx''s work (and maybe frequent reader of the
New Yorker!). In the 70s I was such kind of "common people" and, in
the University, I heard 1000 times that Marx was a nice guy but,
unfortunately, he didn''t know mathematics, so his "model" lacks of
logical coherence. I heard the same story in Cuba, this time coming
from people more "common" than the kind of above-described
intellectuals. (I''ll write more on this, which is a very interesting


You wrote:

> No, I havent read Cassidys _The New Yorker_ article (btw, even in New
> York, most "common people" dont read the up-scale liberal magazine, _The
> New Yorker_).
> *Whatever* he wrote, unless he furnishes evidence concerning the
> influence of Marxs alleged "internal consistency" on the
> (mis)understanding by workers of Marxs writings, is irrelevant to the
> point I raised.

I strongly recommend you to read the article. If I have time this
week I will post parts of it on the list. The reason I think it is
important is that many of the points you mention are considered by
Cassidy, precisely, as an "outdated" vision of Marx''s work. The
neoliberal policies worldwide are producing a capitlism nearer to
that described by Marx.
A couple of pieces:

i. Big photo of Marx and text: "Was he right all along?"

ii. "Communism may be dead but Karl Marx''s critique of capitalism
suddenly makes perfect sense -- and even right-wing economists
can be heard praising his views."

According to Cassidy, the ONLY point is that, unfortunately, Marx''s
theory is "internally incosistent".