[OPE] Question to Marxologists: Mode of production

From: Jurriaan Bendien <adsl675281@tiscali.nl>
Date: Fri Sep 05 2008 - 17:30:36 EDT

Well all I can say Jerry is that I do not have a lot of use for vague theory, because I understand theory to be a means to reduce vagueness. A theory which promotes vagueness is a theory which is unable to provide an orientation for behaviour.

I discussed this topic in my student days with a comrade, because Prof. Bill Wilmott (the head of the sociology department at Canterbury at the time) declared "there is a place in sociology for fuzzy concepts" and I wondered why. Could it be an apology for the inability to achieve conceptual precision, for example because of a wrong process of concept formation? I thought about it more later, and wrote a wikipedia article on it, which I have just revised: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuzzy_concept

In American politics, the topic actually has burning actuality, since American political discourse has reduced to a consideration of an image of whether a politician is "good" or "bad" in some sense, and this is expressed with fuzzy concepts. It is a sort of political seduction via television, relying on human gullibility and suggestibility, i.e. capitalising on human weaknesses such as innocence & ignorance. From a rational point of view, it is total bullshit, but as one writer notes in the Washington Post, "it makes great television".

Of course, vagueness has its uses, because it creates an element of unpredictability which may enable you to do what you want without other people being able to form a precise response to it or anticipate what you will do.


there's no point in asking
you'll get no reply
oh just remember I don't decide
i got no reason it's too all much
you'll always find us out to lunch
oh we're so pretty
oh so pretty we're vacant
oh we're so pretty
oh so pretty
a vacant
don't ask us to attend
'cos we're not all there
oh don't pretend 'cos i don't care
i don't believe illusions
'cos too much is real
so stop you'r cheap comment
'cos we know what we feel
oh we're so pretty
oh so pretty we're vacant
oh we're so pretty
oh so pretty we're vacant

- Sex Pistols, Pretty Vacant

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Received on Fri Sep 5 17:32:39 2008

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