Forwarded from Anthony (follow-up to Sid)

Carrol Cox cbcox at
Fri Dec 7 19:19:22 MST 2001

Anthony wrote:
> I rarely use the term 'law' in regard to social processes, although Marx,
> Lenin and others did. I don't because the term is usually used too loosely.
> Most of what most marxists call laws are 'tendencies' in my view.

Marx usually did the same, as in _tendency_ of the rate of profit to
fall. And a tendency _to_ something is, always, a tendency _away_ from
that something. And in the case of the "law" (a really strange word in
this instance) of the determination of social consciousness by being, we
are dealing with something like a blank check: all its force resides in
the meaning one gives to "determine." Norman Geras has some interesting
remarks on the usual marxian content of that term in his reply to Laclau
& Mouffe in NLR.


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