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Re: Monthly Review cites Fix

PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 11:43 am
by Jonathan Nitzan

Re: Monthly Review cites Fix

PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 2:06 pm
by uma

Re: Monthly Review cites Fix

PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 2:59 pm
by uma

Re: Monthly Review cites Fix

PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 6:47 pm
by blairfix
Well put, Ulf.

I've often felt that Marxists really ought to read about the philosophy of science. It's no good having Grand Theory that makes very specific pronouncements but leaves out all the intermediate steps. Marx definitely fell into this trap.

Re: Monthly Review cites Fix

PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:03 am
by uma

Re: Monthly Review cites Fix

PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:45 am
by wayburn
What we really need, instead of money as we know it, is more like rationing than it is like salaries or profits earned. Suppose we have already established the necessity for equality in standards of living. Then, it is necessary for each economic actor in the community to consume as little emergy, fresh water,and human labor exerted by others as possible - but, in any case, no more than 1/Nth of the sustainable community dividend - while utilizing no more than 1/Nth of the land not reserved for the community in common for working, living, and other personal activities.

Note [a word on land]. Suppose we have agreed that all values must be established by invariant physical measures. That is, if no such theoretical value can be established (independent of what anyone thinks, desires, or believes), then we must agree that that economic entity may not be consumed or assigned permanently to anyone. In short, it may not be bought and sold even in an old-fashioned economy in which buying and selling is still carried on. This discussion applies to land. It is easy to find a suitable measure for the value of land for a unit of area and a unit of time. This would be the insolation (energy per unit area absorbed from the sun per unit time). But, there is no useful measure that can be applied to land for utilization in perpetuity. (Infinity is not a useful value.) Perhaps, we have here a germ of an argument against most private property even though the contents of our household should be assigned their emergy, water, and labor values. It seems that, after food and clothing, our households will receive most of our rations. (As described elsewhere, most of our current forms of employment will need to be eliminated and some of our highest paid workers in today's economy will need to be furloughed. We must be able to afford their support at equal standards of living to everyone else but certainly not greater regardless of what they were previously. I am most anxious to discuss this on a theoretical basis but not on the basis that it is unheard of or that no one will accept it.

It is now the middle of the night and I must rest before I write a second draft of the above which has a number of rough passages.

Re: Monthly Review cites Fix

PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2019 10:49 am
by uma

Re: Monthly Review cites Fix

PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 5:25 am
by uma
Having read the three volumes now, I can very much recommend Kolakowski, Main Currents of Marxism. Apart from its stylistic excellence as the author "distills thought until he can state it in broad terms and accessible language and with almost no qualifiers" (to quote Daniel) this is your one-stop reading about all of Marxism from "The Founders" (vol. 1: Marx, Engels), via "The Golden Age" (vol. 2: Socialism until WW1, Leninism), to "The Breakdown" (vol. 3: Stalinism, post-WW2 Western Marxism, New Left, Maoism). The author shows no sympathy with his subject but his summaries are concise and correct (as far as I can judge from having read the same sources) and his comment follows logically from its premises and is mostly intrinsic. He does not deal with the academic Marxism of our age (the books were conceived in the early 70s) which could be called post-breakdown pseudo-Marxism. Pseudo because reference to Marx by an author seems to be mostly an act of self-positioning as radical and an excuse for not doing proper science (which is "positivist") rather than a take-up of serious aspects of the Marxist doctrine which is practically (and rightly) dead.

Re: Monthly Review cites Fix

PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 7:30 am
by uma
A summary of Kolakowski's critique of Marxism can be found in his article , in: First Things, Oct. 2002.

You will note that he holds up the distinction of politics and economics and generally argues from a conservative point of view. But this does not invalidate his criticism of Marxism.