[Marxism] Marxism and Sociology

Jeff Rubard jeffrubard at fusemail.com
Wed Feb 4 19:51:22 MST 2004

> Message: 9
> Date: Wed, 04 Feb 2004 17:32:07 -0500
> From: Ken Ranney <kranney at rogers.com>
> Subject: [Marxism] Marx was right?
> To: marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu
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> Marx, in my opinion, was right to point out the exploiting tendencies of
> capitalism and political implications such as:
> "The capitalist ruling class is that class which owns and controls the
> means of production and which is able, by virtue of the economic power
> thus
> conferred upon it, to use the state as its instrument for the domination
> of
> society." Ralph Miliband - THE STATE IN CAPITALIST SOCIETY page 23
> QUARTET  BOOKS,1969. Because Marx was right about some things, does that
> mean that we should blindly follow all of his ideas?
> Ken Ranney

Mr. Ranney, I have a feeling (based on loosely organized empirical
research) that this remark will not get the sympathetic hearing it
deserves here; and the best way I can think of to put my sentiment is to
rework an already-popular remark of Moritz Schlick's vis-a-vis Carnap, and
say that Marxist sociology does not become more serviceable by use of the
term Marxist.  As I've already mentioned here, the Vienna Circle was
really quite political in the spirit of Austro-Marxism, and similarly such
mainstream social science as still exists is perfectly suited to leftist
ends already (such that the purpose of "philosophy of praxis" can actually
be taken to be somewhat other).  And as the other gentlemen have indicated
there is absolutely no reason not to take the work of a "non-Marxist"
social scientist such as Bourdieu utterly seriously, even for the purposes
of engaging in an avowedly Marxist politics.  So, good for you to ask this

Jeff Rubard

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