Juan and BS

Justin Schwartz jschwart at freenet.columbus.oh.us
Tue Jun 27 21:56:48 MDT 1995

Jim J says that it's a shame that Marx has to prove himself over and
over--or rather, since he's dead, taht we must continually submit his
ideas and others offered in their spirir to critical scrunity, including
the most fundamental of them, e,g., the possibility of socialism, the
role of the proletariat, the chances for self-emanciparion--I do not
bother top speak of superficial marginalia like the labor theory of value
(yes, I am being provocative). I say if this id the bourgeois way of
thinking, sign me up for it. It's certainly an improvement over the
medieval way of thinking in which the ideas of the master are received as
holy writ and immune for critical investigation. (Actually this is an
insult to the middle ages, where nothing was immune from critical
investigation, even if certain forms of expression had to be maintained.)

A number of people havbe pointed out taht we can't be so openmined that
our brains fall out, that we take certain things for granted--we won't
consider astology, flat-earthism, or Nazi ideology. Nor indeed would any
of us really consider libertarianism or some more ordinary rightw in
doctrine exceppt as a target. Fair enough.

But to take this attitude into the discussion of Marxism itself, or more
broadly socialism, would be fatal. It would maen the end of any pretence
at considering our activity to have anything in common with scientific
inquiry. "Marx said it, I believe it, and taht settles it." On top of
everything else it would be boring. What would be walk about? "Jim, I;m
so glad the labor theory of value explains the inevitable fall of
capitalism." "Justin, I am too," Maybe we coukld fulminate about the

I have actually read a good chunk of Marxist literature that proceeded on
just this principle--Soviet Marxism--only the "consensus" was enforced by
the authorities and in fact not real. The resuilt is pretty much
excruciatingly dull and of very little surviving intellectual interest or
political use, I might add, This in contrast to the very lively and
contrarian Marxism up to the imposition of the consensus, who Garmsci
coukd proudly write of The Revolution Against _Capital_, whrere Lenin
could tear up Marx's theory of revolution an invent his own, where
Marxists (and to give them credit some bourgeois) economists felt obliged
to accept and answer fundamental criticisms.

Maybe Jim isn't a Stalinist, who's to say waht that means. But the
intellectual culture he seems to want is one of Stalinist homogeneity. I
asy it's spinich and I say to hell with it.

"All scientific criticism is welcome." --Karl Marx, Capital

--Justin Schwartz>  >
	It does appear that there is far too much acceptance of the
> bourgeois way of thinking in this list, as if Marx has to 'prove' himself
> over and over again. Some would then say my attitude, thus expressed, is
> one of a 'true believer'.
> 	I think the attitude you are battling above is one of the BEST
> examples of why this criticism is totally missing the point...
> 	I liked what you had to say in your post, but I have the feeling
> this will have to be gone over again and again...
> -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
>    Jim Jaszewski   <jazz at freenet.hamilton.on.ca>
>    WWW homepage:   <http://www.freenet.hamilton.on.ca/~ab975/Profile.html>
> -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
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