Juan and BS

Justin Schwartz jschwart at freenet.columbus.oh.us
Wed Jun 28 18:45:57 MDT 1995

Scott's reply to my argument that we must be willing to critique even the
fundamentals of Marxism is exemplary--thoughtful, civilized, funny, and
moving towards bridging the gap (if it in fact it exists on these
epistemologiacl questions) between us. Of course Scott and I have
substantive differences, but as long as we stay off the subject of the
ex-USSR we hadle them ciuvillay and I, at least, laern from the interchange.

Of course Scott is right atht we cannot take upa ll the boards at once. To
question any issue from within a marxust framjework we need enough of a
Marxist framework in place. Moreover, he's right that difficulties or
untestibility of any given part of the franeworkwork isn't necesasrily an
objection if the part does essential work and the framework is making some
progress and nor just spinning its wheels.

This doesn't mean that we can't criticize any part of it, or shouldn't,
holding enough of the rest constant, or taht we can't move on on the basis
of the criticisms. I think we should criticize and reconstructa nd
rexamine every element (though nota ll at once). I don't thin Marx would
have wanted it any other way.

If Scott wants to hold class analysis as his invariamt, I'm pretty muchg
happy to join him there--althgough I think we have to take seriously
people like Leo who question this, and further bear in mind that after all
Marx's "official" theory of class if forty lines ina n unfinished
manuscript. (Not taht he didn't say a lot more of course!) But calss
theory itself is unsettled and underdeveloped.

As for Jim J., who can't see the difference between an analytical Marxist
who's a revolutionary socialist and someone who works for the RAND Corp.,
or is a fan of Ayn Rand, whay can you say? Ignorance can be fixed, as the
saying goes, but.....

Yeah, Scott. Lawyers deserve most of the bad things taht people say about
them--I'd heard taht joke. And: Why do psychologists use lawyers instead
of rats these days? Well, there are more of them, and people develop
attachments to rats. Etc. Law wasn't my first choice. But contrary to what
Jim J. seems to think, it's not so easy to find work at all if you a
Marxist, even at a university devoted to free speech, supposedly. Or to
keep a job if you have one. Still, there's always room for a people's
lawyer, I hope. More room, anyway, than for a Marxist philosopher.

--Justin Schwartz

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