Dependency theory (Charles)

Charles Brown CharlesB at
Wed May 30 14:16:19 MDT 2001

>>> jenyan1 at 05/30/01 03:43PM >>>
> Comrade Enyang,
> >From school,  I remember the math majors discussing Galois' radical calculus.
> Are you saying that in discussing relativity that physicists do not
repeatedly write "E = MC squared " and other exact equations that Einstein
derived ?
> We are not discussing "advancing" science. We are discussing applying it
in practice.  In applying _Capital_ to today, we should not be concerned
that we repeatedly use some of Marx's formulations anymore than we would
be concerned about repeatedly referring to "descent with modifications" in
evolution. Stephen Jay Gould uses Darwin's precise concepts and has
developed them.
> Advances in Marxist science in this area were made by Lenin for one,
with his theories of national liberation and self-determination. And Jim
Blaut too.

Perhaps the point I was trying to make is that much as physicists today
owe to Einstein's work, they do not exclude the possibility that general
relativity may still have certain shortcomings and that he may have, like
Newton before him, left gaps for others to fill in. Thus the study of
relativity today is more than Einstienology or even calculation within
fixed boundaries established in Einstein's works.


CB: I didn't say that we should ONLY use Marx, Engels and Lenin's concepts and usages.
I just said that we should use them.  As a matter of fact the interpretation I am
making of Marx has my ideas added into them. My discussion here is far from merely
repeating Marx's terminology.


These issues are rather
more clear cut when discussing the work of figures like Newton or Galois
whose works have had time to be well digested so to speak, than Einstein
who is really very recent in historical terms.

Which is probably why Guevara, being his usual insightful self, asked that
we approach Marxism "with the natural attitude that somebody in physics
might embrace Newton, without declaring Newton the last word in physics"
(a quote that I have borrowed from an earlier post of Lou). Lou, I think
was making a similar point regarding the question of method.


CB: Which would imply using Newton's words, but not only Newton's words and concepts


But, as you remark, we are not concerned with theory for its own sake and
even the best analogies from physics and sciences only go so far.

J Enyang

PS: Since you mention Gould, Evelyn Fox Keller is also worth reading on
the development of evolutionary theory over the last two centuries. I have
in mind her _The Century of the Gene_ where she points out that Darwin,
who did not have any biochemistry at his disposal, could only speculate
about the mechanisms through which traits were passed through the
generations. Of course, most of his 'speculation' turned out to be
accurate as a general principle, if not in the detail.

Now, you were talking about dependency theory before I sidetracked your


CB: No, you make a clarification. I am not saying only use classical Marxist concepts.
By the way, Lenin is sort of an Einstein to Marx's Newton. So, Leninism is a
development of Marxism.  But the main thing is that I wouldn't make a thing about
using none of Marx's concepts or terms.

More information about the Marxism mailing list