[OPE-L] SV: [OPE-L] SV: [OPE-L] SV: [OPE-L] what is irrational in the functioning of ...

From: Martin Kragh (Martin.Kragh@HHS.SE)
Date: Tue Nov 28 2006 - 12:32:12 EST

Hi Dogan,
You wrote:
"As intellectuals, I think, we have to say something more about it. [contradictions] For example what is(are) its cause(s) and are there possible solutions. Would you agree with me on this?"
I personally don't think that all people are aware about the contradictions in market capitalist society (which you write also), not in the way we speak of it at least. For example, the famous "Philips curve" implies a "trade off" in between inflation and unemployment rate, which has a NAIRU equilibrium in turn. But in the text book it doesn't say that it is a contradiction, it is simply a "trade off" and mainstream economists believe that there is a stable state in this.
The way Marx spoke of contradictions, and even Adam Smith for that matter, was, I believe, quite different. For Marx, the contradiction was a driving force. This is why I think it is important to keep in mind, when we speak of "rationality" or "irrationality", that we evaluate the ideas about this against the fact that we also allow for contradictions to be real in the analysis. This is what I think Juriaan did when he wrote his "either this, either that" examples earlier in this debate. However, I do agree with most of your remarks, and I certainly think that as intellectuals, or human beings, we should say something, always.
Kind regards,

Från: OPE-L genom Dogan Goecmen
Skickat: ti 2006-11-28 14:38
Ämne: Re: [OPE-L] SV: [OPE-L] SV: [OPE-L] what is irrational in the functioning of ...

In einer eMail vom 28.11.2006 13:50:55 Westeuropäische Normalzeit schreibt Martin.Kragh@HHS.SE:
Hi Dogan,
First I tried to reply to all your questions, but they deserve more attention than I can afford. I am sorry about this, I would like to return to them however, at some other time. I can only say this much. You wrote (and I think this summarizes the debate):
"How do you think about this contradiction? Is it rational compared to the aims of production? Is it rational compared to the interests of society. Is it just a matter of the view one happens to take or are able to make a more objective evaluation."
The contradiction we see, is, I believe, real. To ask if it is rational or not makes little sense to me, this is how the system works. Bottomline, I think Marx' critique is ethical. We do not "happen" to take certain views, the way we regard society is a result of each person's struggle, intellectually as well as in society. To strive for what you label "objective evaluation" makes little sense to me. This, atleast, is the way I see it.  
Many kind regards,
Hi Martin,
I thank you very much for summarising my views and questions. If you assert this contradiction, then I think we have a huge common ground to continue our conversation. The assertion of this contradition is not Marx's original contribution. Long before Marx it was already asserted by Ricardo, Owen and many other political economist and socialist activists. Even Malthus does not deny this. From my philosophical background however it makes only sense to assert a contradition if you are prepared to say something about it from normative point of view. Otherwise, I would not understand our role as social scientists, political economists, political theorists and son if we just assert the contradition, because everyone experience this contradiction in one way or another in their everyday life. So I mean evry one knows it. So, in turn, it does not make a sense to me to reassert something that everyone kwons. As intellectuals, I think, we have to say something more about it. For example what is(are) its cause(s) and are there possible solutions. Would you agree with me on this?
Warm regards
P.S: Sorry for misspellings and leftouts in my previous email.

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