Re: [OPE] Raya Dunayevskaya (1910 - 1987)

Date: Tue Apr 06 2010 - 08:31:16 EDT

>> Personally I don't care much for Dunayevskaya's economics, her historical
>> understanding or her theory of state capitalism, and I don't care too much
>> about her epigones either, but surely her original moral emphasis on the
>> libertarian and humanist dimension of Marx's thought is welltaken? Let's
>> face it, Marxist theoretical discussions of human freedom that have any
>> profundity - in contrast to scribblers simply seeking to extract a "Marxist
>> theory of freedom" from Marx-quotes - are as scarce as hen's teeth. I expect
>> that it will take fully another generation before Marx is finally freed from
>> the oppressive intellectual stranglehold of "Marxism-Leninism" - a
>> stranglehold which handicapped even Dunayevskaya's own work. Question is
>> really whether Marxists will continue to celebrate conservatively a mythical
>> pantheon of past heroes, or whether they are prepared to tackle seriously
>> the findings of the social sciences in the last half century, which have
>> changed the understanding of world history greatly, even just because of the
>> enormous numbers of newly educated people and large funds that have been
>> devoted to discovering more about it...

I agree with Jurriaan's points, but with a qualification. I agree that
there is a libertarian and humanist dimension to Marx's thought, but
that doesn't mean that we should necessarily embrace Dunayevskaya's take
on that question. After all, there are many who have emphasized his
humanist dimension - including Sartre and - more recently - Sidney Gluck (!).
More specifically, I think that her take on that question which sees
his humanist thought rooted in Hegel's understanding of freedom and spirit
to be highly problematic. While there is certainly in my view a strong
influence of Hegel on Marx, that is NOT it, imo.
In any event, in keeping with the rest of Jurriaan's message, I agree that
we shouldn't continue to celebrate a pantheon of past heroes - and that includes
In solidarity, Jerry
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Received on Tue Apr 6 08:32:46 2010

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