[OPE-L:6992] [OPE-L:484] Re: Re: Kliman on Moseley

Gerald Levy (glevy@pratt.edu)
Tue, 23 Feb 1999 12:44:19 -0500 (EST)

Andrew K wrote in [OPE-L:479]:

> In OPE-L:474, Jerry asked, "Andrew: in what sense can it be said
> that Fred is a "simultaneist"?"
> I will be happy to answer this question once it is re-stated without
> the scare-quotes. I do not consider them innocent. They are
> demeaning and serve a suppressive function.

To begin with, as I explained to Andrew on a previous occasion, putting a
term that another author used in quotes is ENTIRELY legitimate and indeed
is common and appropriate practice on the Net. Andrew's continued
characterization of this as "scare quotes" is AT BEST an over-reaction.

How odd it is that Andrew asserts that my use of a term by him in quotes
is not "innocent", yet he asserts that to put "simultaneist" in quotes is
"demeaning" and "suppressive". Is it not "demeaning" to me that we
have to read this entirely illegitimate characterization of my motives?
Is it not an attempt not to "suppress", or at least evade, my questions?

Now let's get down to brass tacks.

Alan and Andrew made the case previously that we should not use the term
"Neo-Ricardians", but should instead use the preferred term of that school
of thought -- "surplus approach". They went on to argue that in general
we should use the terms that schools of thought refer to themselves as
rather than select potentially derogatory (or at least questionable)

It seems now that Andrew has changed his perspective -- at least regarding
Fred's thought.

I don't ever recall Fred referring to his thought as "simultaneist"? Can
ANYONE else?

Why is it not OK to call surplus approach writers "Neo-Ricardians" if we
call Fred a "simultaneist"? This is a double standard.

My own personal opinion is that this term "simultaneism" has been so
OVER-used that it ceases to have any precise meaning.

It seems that if you are a temporalist, there are only temporalists and
simultaneists. This seems to me to be an entirely too simple
characterization of differences in perspective by Marxists writing about
political economy or Marx. The real world of Marxists is far too
complicated for such a simple all-encompassing dividing line.

And, moreover, I think that increasingly people have been characterized as
"simultaneists" in an entirely pejorative way, i.e. as an insult.

> The use of the scare quotes is something Jerry picked up from the
> simultaneists themselves.

Well, if I didn't pick it up in an "innocent" way, then ...

Yes (I confess), it's all part of a global conspiracy against temporalists
and Marx's Marxism.

> By refusing to acknowledge their
> commonality as simultaneists, the simultaneists are refusing to
> acknowledge that their paradigm is ONE PARTICULAR paradigm, not
> The Way Things Are. They are therefore denying our legitimacy.

Rather, by saying that there are either "temporalists" or
"simultaneists", you are denying the right of OTHER "paradigms" in
Marxist thought THEIR legitimacy.

In solidarity, Jerry