[Marxism] Fwd: If You're So Smart, Why Aren't You Rich? | Michael A. Lebowitz | Monthly Review

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Apr 7 06:51:51 MDT 2015

Judged by their preoccupations, a simple explanation for the irrelevance 
of Marxist economists is that they are disciples—a species of followers 
who ensure the degeneration of a theory. Commenting upon the disciples 
of Hegel and Ricardo, Marx argued that disintegration of a theory begins 
when the disciples are driven to “explain away” the “often paradoxical 
relationship of this theory to reality”; it begins when, by “crass 
empiricism,” “phrases in a scholastic way,” and “cunning argument,” they 
attempt to demonstrate that the theory is still correct. In short, the 
disintegration of the theory begins when the point of departure is “no 
longer reality, but the new theoretical form in which the master had 
sublimated it.”2 Who could deny the extent to which self-identified 
Marxist economists spend their time trying to prove Marx right? Who 
could deny the presence of “crass empiricism,” scholastic phrases, and 
“cunning argument” whose real point of reference is the theory rather 
than concrete reality?


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