centrally planned economy

Hans Ehrbar ehrbar at marx.econ.utah.edu
Wed Jun 5 08:25:08 MDT 1996

Louis Proyect wrote in a recent post:

> When I give my workshop at the Brecht Forum, I dwell on this at
> some length. This is called a contradiction of a contradiction. Bhaksar
> flowcharted this in some detail, I believe, in the 3rd chapter of
> his "Hermeneutics of Dialectical Phenomenology".

Adam commented:

> I can more or less get my head around a negation of a negation, but
> a contradiction of a contradiction ? My head is spinning faster than
> Ariane 5 . . .

Just for your information, Adam: Bhaskar did not write a book called
"Hermeneutics of Dialectical Phenomenology".  Louis was teasing me,
because I wrote at the end of a posting on Sunday, arguing that
Soviet Union type planned economies suffered from the delusion that
*everything* can be planned:

> By the way, the term "cognitive triumphalism" and the idea that in
> certain situations, rational thinking cannot help, is due to
> Bhaskar, in his "Dialectic: The Pulse of Freedom".

I am glad that Louis reacted to my little remark, because I had him in
mind when writing it.  Louis tends to think all one has to do to
understand the world is to go to Columbia library and get some facts.
He wrote recently (I quote from memory): theory is based on facts and
nothing else (or "not the other way round," or something in this
direction).  This is just as wrong and just as counterrevolutionary as
to say: all wealth is based on labor and nothing else.  There are two
elements going into theory: facts, and pre-existing theory.  We need
theory.  Bob Malecki understands this because he took it very
seriously that he was kicked off M2.  I hope the intellectuals on this
list understand the importance of making theoretical contributions to
*this* list, instead of reserving them to the more exclusive and
academic circles.

Hans Ehrbar.

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