[Marxism] Shades of Alan Sokal?

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Jul 25 18:00:00 MDT 2011


On 7/26/11 7:26 PM, Ian Pace wrote:

> There are problems with Sokal's arguments, to be sure, but I think he
> touched upon something very important - the ways in which certain
> jargon-ridden brands of theory, through their mystifying functions,
> serve to render a certain discourse the exclusive property of a (usually
> self-selecting) elite, thus rendering them esoteric and harmless. And
> also how a total ultra-relativisation of all forms of knowledge leaves
> socialist arguments utterly bereft of any political utility, as they are
> left void of any meaning other than to those who already share their
> political assumptions.

For me the biggest problem was Sokal being perceived as some kind of 
Marxist. When you reduce his arguments to their essence, they are a call 
for a free marketplace of ideas. He calls himself a socialist but he is 
really much more of a liberal. Also, I found it shocking that someone 
who is such a "player" in the science wars had never read anything by 
Richard Lewontin and his writing partner Richard Levins, a Marxmail 
stalwart.




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