[Marxism] Marx's _Capital_

Scott Hamilton shamresearch at yahoo.co.nz
Thu Aug 2 03:20:38 MDT 2007


I beg to differ with you there Ricardo. Like his interlocutor Geras, Wheen is one of that gaggle of faux-scholars and media pundits who have been trying to turn Marx into a defender of late capitalist globalisation and of wars against Muslim obscurantists on the benighted peripheries of capitalism in Afghanistan and Iraq. I wrote a bit about these blokes and the tradition they come from at:
http://readingthemaps.blogspot.com/2006/04/peculiarities-of-pro-war-left.html

Wheen's silly talk about Capital as a Gothic novel and so on is a way of avoiding any discussion of the book's dialectical structure - what  Luxembourg called its 'Rococo ornamentation' - and logic. Wheen wants to present Marx as a conventional bourgeois political economist with a social consience and a slightly eccentric prose style. 

Wheen's latest book is a collection of the articles Marx wrote for the International Herald Tribune in the early 1850s. It's significant that he should edit stuff from a period when Marx had a relatively sanguine attitude towards capitalist modernisation and imperialism, and even on occasion celebrated the depredations of British imperialism in India. For the likes of Wheen, Geras, and Christopher Hitchens - who gave the book a rave review - there's a clear parrallel between the 'objectively progressive' imperialism of the early Victorian era and the 'wars for the Enlightenment' being fought by the US and UK today. Approach with caution. 

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