My purposes in joining this list

UticaRose at UticaRose at
Mon Nov 20 21:43:18 MST 1995

In a message dated 95-11-20 02:39:18 EST, you write:

>So despite what some of you might think, I am very sympathetic
>       to Marx's thought and to the intellectual and political renewal
>       of Marxism and socialism in today's world.  What I was trying to
>       do in my previous contributions to this list was to suggest:
>       1. that there are serious problems with adopting a dogmatic,
>       physical-reductionist, scientism reminiscent of 19th materialism
>       in today's intellectual and scientific context <see the last of
>       my posts on "vulgarities">;

marx was no dogmatic, physical-reductionist, scientist. he spent most of his
time criticising those on the left who pushed those ideas.

>       2. that it would be better to read Marx in a more humanistic/
>       Aristotelian/Hegelian spirit--as many more recent views of Marx
>       suggest we should <and on the basis of Marx's own texts, too>

marx was most decidedly against hegel and it is a travesty to turn marx back
to what he so effectively criticized. as i recall, he also took up
(intellectualy) with greek opponents of aristotle. marx does not need to be
read MORE humanistically but more scientifically. hal draper did a very good
job of clearing the stalinist crap off of marx and his approach. you might
well read draper.

>       --so that we can handle problems about ethics and the role of
>       reason in history, in logic and mathematics, and in science
>       itself in a more satisfactory way.  You know the kind of thing:
>       we are human beings, not just collections of atoms <humanism>;
>       matter is never without "form" <Aristotle>; we are not just
>       animals, we are rational animals <well, some of us are, I hope>,
>       and our rationality unfolds and develops historically and socially
>       <Aristotle as corrected by Hegel>;

whether we are human beings OR collections of atoms, that is besides the
point with marx. the point is to change the way things are and to create a
world in which humans can begin to address these issues without the delusions
and illusions created by the commodity model of human relationships.

>       3. that because of the blindingly obvious fact that, however
>       you add up the pluses and minuses, all previous *attempts* at
>       instituting a totally planned economy have not resulted, to say
>       the least, in vast increases in working-class enthusiasm for
>       the cause of socialism, it is urgent that we think more
>       carefully about how we go about the task of using planning
>       first to subordinate the market, and then to make it wither.
>       I realize that whether we should call what these previous
>       attempts did result in, "planned economies", is doubtful; but
>       be that as it may, the attempts were *travesties* of what Karl M
>       had in mind, and that gives the point to serious rethinking
>       on this subject.

sure, but where does this bring us. very few argue any more that the USSR was
any kind of a model. we had 1,2,3 and many USSRs around the world and none of
them functioned as a socialist society worthy of emulation. capitalism
creates the planning models through its development and they are enticing
with the vast productivity increases obtained.

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