[OPE-L:6788] Re: Re: Re: change the world

From: nicola taylor (n.taylor@student.murdoch.edu.au)
Date: Wed Mar 20 2002 - 20:50:19 EST

If I remember rightly, Umberto Eco included 'Tradition of Revolution' in
his imaginary course in Oxymoronics in 'Foucault's Pendulum' (among other
things like 'Tautological Dialectics' and 'Heraclitean Stasis').  Along the
way he provides a great deal of intellectual fun.  More seriously, there is
a real problem in the connection of praxis to academic discourse in that
academic discourse is always and everywhere within a tradition (even when
it is anti-tradition), while praxis if it is to be 'truely' revolutionary
cannot be.

Love is an extremely powerful and revolutionary idea, but how to take it
into the economics discourse in a meaningful way?  How would you do it
John?  Interestingly, the neoclassical discourse has already seen the need
to appropriate 'love'; albeit in a reductionist way via Gary Becker's and
McCloskey's attempts to economise humanist questions.  They, of course, are
colonists not revolutionaries.

:) love to all

At 12:50  20/03/02 -0600, you wrote:
>    Jerry says "I think that you're asking the right question -- "How to
>change the
>world?" --  but there is no simple answer and answers will arise through
>praxis rather than mere academic discourse."
>    I imagine nobody on the list would disagree with that. But what has
>changing the world got to do with Marxist economics?
>    The thunderous silence on the question suggests that most people on the
>list would say that there is no relation. Do most people feel that Marxist
>economics is about studying the world as it is (the functioning of the
>capitalist system) and that changing the world is a different matter, a
>question of political organisation? In other words, that praxis and academic
>discourse are quite separate questions, as Jerry seems to suggest (?). This
>seems to me a position that is theoretically and politically unsustainable.
>    John
>>From: "gerald_a_levy" <gerald_a_levy@msn.com>
>>To: <ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu>
>>Subject: [OPE-L:6771] Re: change the world
>>Date: Tue, Mar 19, 2002, 6:19 AM
>>Re John H's [6765]:
>>>     The interesting question is then how one sees the relation between
>>> "love" (or dignity or mutual recognition or whatever one wants to call it)
>>> and value. Is value the negation of love? What then is the relation
>>> between  love and crisis?
>>Value is an expression of the dynamic of  capital.  Expressing it
>>differently,  the value relation represents an organizing principle of
>>capitalism and the particular form that class exploitation takes within the
>>cmp.  To the extent  that the value relation transforms human-beings into
>>(only) wage-laborers,  then I think it does represent the negation of love
>>for we can only _truly_  love -- i.e. realize our potential, to the extent
>>that  it is possible under the cmp,  as real (fully) human beings -- when
>>we break beyond the prisons and shackles of  what value and capital
>>(and patriarchy) have reduced us to.   Thus wage-labor  (itself an
>>expression of exploitation) stands in opposition to human being and love.
>>Love and crisis?   Well, I guess it depends on what kind of "crisis" we're
>>talking about.   Love and solidarity by workers are part of the dynamic of
>>struggle by workers to ensure that the crisis is not resolved on terms
>>dictated by capital (here I am thinking of the crisis that accompanies a
>>periodic downturn in profitability and accumulation.)  The more interesting
>>question is how love plays an increasing role in a  *revolutionary* dynamic
>>by workers and in their awareness of their potential to be "gravediggers"
>>and thereby to be (pardon the expression) "born again".   Far too many
>>Marxists, though, seem to me to have a very mechanistic idea of how
>>a  revolutionary dynamic can arise, grow, and succeed and what connection
>>that has to "crisis theory".   In this connection,  I am reminded of the
>>cartoon on listmember Anwar Shaikh's homepage:
>>I think that you're asking the right question -- "How to change the
>>world?" --  but there is no simple answer and answers will arise through
>>praxis rather than mere academic discourse.
>>Well, John  H (and others): what do you think of the above musings?
>>In solidarity, Jerry

Nicola Taylor
Faculty of Economics
Murdoch University
South Street
W.A. 6150

Tel. 61 8 9385 1130 
email: n.taylor@stu.murdoch.edu.au

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