questions for Chris Sciabarra

Chris Matthew Sciabarra cms10 at
Fri Aug 27 08:59:39 MDT 1999

At 04:43 PM 8/26/99 -0400, you wrote:
>Hello Comrade,
>Would you mind giving a summary of your criticisms of libertarians and
>Marxists ?

I argue that dialectics is essential to any radical critique of society.
To think dialectically is to keep in mind the full context, to grasp the
systemic and dynamic relations among the various disparate factors in
reality.  To the extent that some libertarians have attempted to achieve
their ideal by emphasizing the market over the state -- such that, in some
anarchist variants, the market actually provides for legal functions --
they neglect cultural, social-psychological, and historical factors.  Their
atomistic designs reduce to utopia.   And to the extent that some Marxists
have attempted to achieve their ideal by emphasizing the state over the
market -- such that, in some statist variants, the state provides for all
functions outside the context of a price mechanism -- they too dissolve
into utopia.  We end up with a dualistic choice between a context-less
anarchism and an oppressive statism.

>Of course, there were "right" Hegelians, and Hegel's philosophy became , for
>a while, a sort of state religion of the Prussian state which was very
>reactionary, so non-left dialectics is not new. But... you know... that
>there are non-left dialectics is not a good thing to leftists and Marxists.
>Charles Brown

Very true.
Chris Matthew Sciabarra, Visiting Scholar
NYU Department of Politics
715 Broadway
New York, New York  10003-6806
Dialectics and Liberty Website:
Feminist Interpretations of Ayn Rand:

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