Re: [OPE-L] ad hominem

Date: Mon Jul 17 2006 - 09:50:45 EDT

>I have no real quarrel with
> what you say, except that of course people should be accountable for their
> actions in almost any situation, no matter what they believe, unless
> morally relevant circumstances apply which mean that it is impossible
> to take responsibility for one's actions.

Hi Jurriaan:

I have no quarrel with that except to note (again) that it is legitimate
to highlight flagrant inconsistencies when and where they exist -- if
for no other reason than to underscore the irony of a situation.
I recall a former New School economics student who was a member of
a Maoist group who -- as soon as he received his PhD -- got a job
in Washington, DC with the World Bank.  I recall others confronting
him (verbally) about this at a URPE meeting.  Now, I'm not going to
whip this person for getting a job with the WB, but I do think
it was valid to raise the issue of how his conduct was at odds with
his stated principles. Hypocrisy is, perhaps, one of the most common
of individual flaws.  Yet, it is legitimate to note it when it
exists -- particularly if others are threatened, slandered, bullied,
or endangered.  Of course, no one is perfect -- but there is a limit
to what people should be expected to put up with.

> Point however is that somebody could have a perfectly valid analysis of
> e.g. an economic phenomenon, and also vent racist slurs, in which case
> you might rationally accept the analysis, but reject the racist slurs.
> The racist slurs do not necessarily render the analysis invalid.

Yes, of course.

A related question:  would you say that we should seriously consider
the theoretical perspectives of Lynn Marcus on crisis and Luxemburg,
expressed in the 1970's in  his book _Dialectical Economics_, without
taking note of his other political-economic writings and perspectives?
There may or may not be some validity to some of the perspectives
explained in that book but I, for one, would take part in no forum
where he was an invited speaker.  Indeed, I think we should want to
have nothing to do with him -- and that includes his theories.

In solidarity, Jerry

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Mon Jul 31 2006 - 00:00:03 EDT