[Marxism] Mark Lause on sociology as "unscientific" and"bourgeois"
andromeda246 at hetnet.nl
Sun Aug 15 11:34:28 MDT 2004
Mark backscuttles, after citing irrelevancies about his career and says:
"In reality, I am not the arbiter of what it and is not "sociology" or
"social science," am I? I am, in fact, questioning those assumptions and
Jurriaan is taking offense that I question them."
Not at all. It's still fucking crap, whether you are a professor or not. You
did not "question" anything, you just said sociology as discipline is
"bourgeois" and "unscientific" without supplying any proof or evidence,
except one reference to research related to the "war on poverty" in the
1960s, to illustrate how social research might be unscientifically perverted
to serve political purposes. Hardly an astounding finding or anything new,
it shows at best that scientific findings can be perverted to uses which are
contrary to their original purpose. Now what. It does not prove sociology is
unscientific, it proves that research findings can be tailored to please the
Then Lüko writes:
"Since Marx published his master work, economic "science" at universities is
nothing more than production of ideology --
obfuscating the reality of class relations (I have studied national economy
myself...), with a few exceptions of professors who have been swept into
their posts by the pressure of the student radicalization of the 60ies and
This is again a Stalinist-type caricature. What Leontief, Schumpeter,
Kornai, Kalecki or for that matter Samuelson or Krugman wrote is no more or
less "scientific" in status than what Marx wrote. Consequently, to refute
what they published requires a scientific argument, and not merely saying
it's all "bourgeois" and therefore not worthy of consideration.
According to Neanderthal Marxists, social science more or less came to an
end, when the ink dried on the last page of Marx's manuscript for Das
Kapital... except for those professors who still loyally follow Marx. This
is obviously patently ridiculous, and nobody except a blinkered sectarian
can believe it.
Then Mark asks:
"What is an "employer" or "self-employed" or "entrepreneur" when they use
these things? I suspect these are as
smudged as Jurriaan has smudged my job title. So, we are back to the
question. What is the "pettit bourgeoisie" and
how do we define it?"
You can ""suspect" all sorts of things, but why don't you find out ? Look, I
provided the ILO definition used already. YOU are the academic, not me. So
YOU do some work and find it out. The answer is at your finger tips. You
want to make all sorts of sweeping assertions about American society,
without lifting a finger to do any real research into it. I honestly cannot
say much for a so-called "professor" who cannot even define what concepts
such as "employer" or "self-employed" or "entrepreneur" mean, statistically
or otherwise, beyond a game of sexual innuendo. No wonder then you don't
earn a "six digit salary". If you did some real research, instead of talking
about "bourgeois this" and "bourgeois that" blah-blah you might earn more.
It took me less than a day to re-aggregate BLS categories on the PC in a
provisional way, to shed some light on the real division of labor in the
USA, using only simple arithmetic and a few straight-line interpolations. I
am not even an American familiar with all the sources, and I am not paid a
fat salary to do this, I did it out of interest and to raise the level of
discussion from sectarian rhetoric to something that is closer to reality.
Nobody says that social statistics can be perfect. That however is not the
aim. The aim is to put social phenomena in quantitative proportion. Nobody
even responded to my quantatitative findings ? Why is that ? Because while
they babble endlessly about concepts, they've never got their hands dirty
doing some real research. All they do is pontificate about how they worked
in a factory once, to prove how they are "with the workers". Wonderful
really, these ""friends of the people". It's just apologetics.
Mark's scurrilous approach in reality is the worst kind of sociology: the
sociology which perpetually doubts about its own categories and
philosophises about them with epistemological references, offering endless
excuses and qualifications for not actually getting down to any real
research USING these categories, in order to understand how experience
might, or might not, objectively validate those categories. This is
speculative inquiry, not disciplined by anything real, and THAT's ideology.
THAT is why Marx said "I am not a Marxist", because he did not want to be
associated with this kind of "philosophising" and "theorising" about society
from behind a writing desk.
The class structure and social relations of modern capitalism differ
enormously from those in Marx's time. There is a ton of research work to do.
Only a pathetic leftist ideologist would therefore insist on endlessly
repeating Marx's concepts without bothering to find out anything about the
reality of capitalism in our own time.
The difference between professor Mark Lause and myself is this: I did not
just visit a library, I worked in one. I did not just speculate about
statistics, but I did statistical research, both on grants at university,
and as research statistician for a salary at a government statistics
department. I did not just consult archives, I worked as professional
archivist. I did not just talk about words, I worked as published
translator. In addition, I also worked as forestry worker, farm worker,
hotel worker, cleaner, dishwasher, painter, contract photographer, tutor,
research assistant, maintenance worker, part-time lecturer, college teaching
assistant and callcentre operator. I get sick and tired of these lefties who
talk about "bourgeois" this and ""proletarian" that without having the
foggiest of what they are talking about, and then have the nerve to ask me
to do their work for them, while they speculate about the nature of the
world on their fat salary.
We need something better than lousy chat on this list.
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