Forwarded from Jurriaan Bendien (reply to Mine)

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Sun Mar 25 12:32:36 MST 2001


You wrote: Not to be pretentious here, but I have always thought of Harvey
& Anderson as representatives of post-Marxism or new leftism, rather than
of Marxism per se. Is Harvey's geographical mobility of capital thesis (as
I understand) accompanied by a class analysis of capitalism?

The books I read by Harvey were Social Justice and the City, The limits to
Capital and his book on postmodernity (plus a few articles). Those books
would clearly place him in the Marxist camp, though you can dispute what
kind of Marxist scholar he is. I think his work is valuable in theorising
the geographic (spatial) dimension of capitalist development. I am not
aware that he has devoted books specifically to class analysis, but the
class aspect is implicit in his writing.

Perry Andersons main books are certainly Marxist, though there again you
can dispute what kind of Marxist. But is that interesting ? I am told he is
tending to move "beyond" historical materialism, but where that is, I am
not sure. I certainly learnt a lot from his books, except that he uses some
fancy words which I have to look up in a dictionary. To his credit,
Anderson introduced many non-Anglo Saxon writers to an English audience and
developed a more intellectually sophisticated Marxist discussion in Britain
and elsewhere. His critics would argue perhaps that Anderson's Marxism is a
"rich people's Marxism" or that it isn't "revolutionary" enough, but I
don't think that is very interesting as argument. The modern Marxist
tradition in Britain has been dominated by Trotskyism, and that tradition
in Britain was full of sectarianism. From this you get all sorts of strange
attacks on fellow Marxists which have little substance, and have more to do
with fashion, political style and which particular groupuscle of faction
you (used to) belong to.



Louis Proyect
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