Namdrol wrote:I think Beatzen is referring to the fact that Marx called capitalism "progressive", and a necessary phase in the historical developments which presage Industrial Socialism.
What Marx was, in fact, was an idealogue of urbanism and industrial civilization.
In terms of Smith, there is in fact very little in Marx that goes beyond Smith's labor theory of wealth. Marx's Capital is essentially a commentary on Wealth of Nations, properly understood.
This is exactly what I was saying. Thank you. I felt like the natives were restless and my powder was getting rather wet for a moment.
I'm particularly fond of Rosa Luxemburg's commentaries on Marx's later works. I think she really predicted the cold war. so, following that observation I'd say that there is value in Marx's critiques, as long as one doesn't get overly enchanted by his earlier, more philosophical writing.
A famous economist once said all of modern economics is just a commentary on Wealth of Nations, which is also true in a way, though it's certainly something of a simplification. The view that Marx doesn't represent anything really new is only true in terms of what has became modern, formalized neoclassical economics. From the point of view of the history of "mainstream" economics then yes, Marx was basically an insignificant German economist who hardly deserves to have his name mentioned. But that's certainly only true within that narrow subject, and completely wrong from the point of view of either political or social science, or history more generally.
Beatzen, you "Read Marx religiously" but you don't know what the First International is.
You forgot to factor in that these narrowed, specified "social sciences" were in marx's day insepperable. for instance, "political economy" is not really something they talk about in contemporary political science or economics classes in higher education.
I know what the first international was, I'm just poo-pooing what I think is your uninformed interpretation of what marx's role there was. which I believe was as more of a reporter and observer than some cult personality. But then again, I wasn't there, and I haven't read anything beyond his
writings. So obviously he's going to sound like a reporter to me.
I was mentored by a wonderful activist who had a PhD in social sciences from NYU. Name Carol Cina. Read her doctoral disertation. Called "Social Science for Whom" - brilliant marxian [not "Marxist"] structural analysis of social science itself. Inspired by the fact that in the 60's, in her social science text books, flip to the front and you see "research paid for by department of defense."
She argued that social sceince was created by the ruling class as a method for probing a population to find out how little you have to give them so that they don't rebel
see, that's the marxian-ism that I'm famuiliar with as genuine. It's blunt, rational, and may be interpreted as incendiary, but in the end it only diagnoses. It's not a truth like the Dharma, which diagnoses and treats. People think marx was perscribing something, when he really didn't. He was just good at taking notes,.