Marxism as science

Rahul Mahajan rahul at hagar.ph.utexas.edu
Thu Apr 13 15:00:13 MDT 1995


You got  me wrong, Rakesh. I wouldn't claim that any social-scientific work
is more scientific than some of the work done by Marxists. I think it's
amazing that you think any Marxist of the early twentieth century
successfully analyzed the tendencies in the development of capitalism.
Whenever Marxist analysis has tried to go the predictive route that is an
essential part of the paradigm of science (natural science, of course), it
has failed miserably. The "law of increasing immiseration of the working
class" or of "imperialism as the decadence of capitalism" don't become laws
just because someone states them very forcefully.
       Don't get me wrong once again. I believe that much of the analysis
by Marx and other Marxists was very good, and penetrates quite deeply into
the heart of society. That's hardly the same as calling it a science. Any
of the so-called inexorable laws of the development of capitalism that any
of them came up with have proved wrong (examples above). For a scientist,
on the other hand, even one or two successful predictions would hardly
validate a theory.  Rahul Mahajan

Swadesh M. Mahajan: Ph. 512-471-4376, FAX 512-471-6715,
Mahajan at hagar.ph.utexas.edu




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