Re: [OPE-L] Gareth Stedman Jones

From: michael a. lebowitz (mlebowit@SFU.CA)
Date: Wed Apr 06 2005 - 23:38:52 EDT

Sounds like the poster child for If you've fallen (as did
GSJ) for the story about Marx's dalliance with Freddy Demuth's mother, be
sure to check out the site. The latest addition is Hal Draper's essay on
the dictatorship of the proletariat.
         in solidarity,

At 23:09 06/04/2005, Rakesh wrote:
>I heard Gareth Stedman Jones lecture today on Marx. There was very
>superficial dismissal of Lukacs and Althusser (on whom he has
>written), Marx's putative half hearted attempts at a deterministic
>and economistic theory of  history, the auto destruction of Marx's
>theory of history in GA Cohen's attempt to defend it.
>Stedman Jones focused on the question of why Marx did not finish
>Capital. I think he was saying that Marx could not find i. any real
>limits to capital and ii. admit to himself that communism could not
>possibly rival capital in its ceaseless productivity advances and the
>creation of new needs. (I think Meghnad Desai has presented such
>arguments much more rigorously.) Rather than admitting theoretical
>defeat, Marx pretended that only pressing political struggle in
>Russia prevented him from completing his work. Marx thus welcomed the
>opportunity to lose himself in meaningless politics in a
>precapitalist setting and in illicit sexual relations with his maid.
>Moreover, Bohm Bawerk annihilated Marx's price value theory. That was
>asserted, not argued.
>Stedman Jones was most impressed with Marx's work on precapitalist
>social formations, but he thinks this had the unfortunate consequence
>of revealing to Marx how superior and perhaps unsurpassable market
>society really is.
>In his introduction to the new Penguin edition of the Communist
>Manifesto, Stedman Jones seems to argue that Marx's idea communism is
>best understood as a new form of religion, a hidden theological
>solution to the conflicts that divided the Young Hegelians. Jacob
>Stevens wrote a critical review in New Left Review of this 100pp.
>I don't know the details of Stedman Jones' departure from the
>editorial board of the New Left Review. I imagine there is a good
>story here.

Michael A. Lebowitz
Professor Emeritus
Economics Department
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, B.C., Canada V5A 1S6

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