[OPE-L:1545] Re: RE: Re: RE: Laws of motion

Jurriaan Bendien (djjb99@worldonline.nl)
Fri, 22 Oct 1999 23:13:27 +0100

Hi Julian

You write:
> My worry about treating Marx's law(s?) of motion as developmental
>tendencies is that so doing invites charges of obscurantism from our
>opponents -- justified ones, in the case of some interpretations of Marx.

Could you explain more about this ? I would like to understand exactly what
you mean. One argument that has been made already is that Marxists talk
about "tendencies" which are counteracted by countertendencies, so that the
argument could go any which way you like because there would always be
another tendency on hand to explain a phenomenon. Is this the type of thing
you have in mind ?

>> Note that he originally wanted to
>> dedicate Cap. Vol. 1 to Charles Darwin.
> If memory serves, this tale has been disputed -- in History of
>Political Economy, about 20 years ago.

I'll check that out one of these days.

> I think here I'd rather say that in such societies the economic
>process first comes to appear to be subject to objective law (i.e. akin to
>laws of nature): indeed, there's an argument that it's only in such a
>society that the modern idea of objective laws of nature comes to be

I think I would rather argue that the economic process in any type of
society is governed by some objective laws, although the laws may be
specific to that type of society it is.

> On the first of the above points there are some interesting remarks
>by Engels in the Anti-Duhring and in Dialectics of Nature -- I've got a
>paper that touches on this, if you're interested (not that Engels' opinions
>are necessarily evidence about Marx's, of course).

Certainly I am interested.

>> more is necessary than for people to "grasp the essence" in order to
>> abolish the "natural force" of that law, i.e. the actual conditions which
>> brought the law into existence must be transcended (which is pretty much
>> science fiction still in our time, since we can only partly transcend
>> market economy).
> [>] Got me bang to rights...my plea is that I took it that once
>people grasp this essence, they'll feel obliged to do something about it
>[>] (and succeed).

My experience of life is that sadly enough this is not necessarily the case.

In solidarity


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