Friday, July 8, 2011

293 comments on Marx, several of them quite annoying

I'm neither an economist nor an expert on Marx (though I have read some Marx, mostly the parts that social scientists who are not economists have to read in the course of their schooling, including large chunks of Capital v.1 but not vols. 2 and 3). Nor do I really know anything about the controversies involving Sraffa's economics. So I didn't understand some of the 293 comments attached to John Quiggin's post on "Marxism without Revolution: Capital." But of the comments I did look at and understand or partly understand, several were quite annoying in tone, especially those by john c. halasz (he uses the lower case). Halasz's (or halasz's) contributions were mostly long, pompous lectures consisting largely of (1) assertions which he didn't bother to support, textually or otherwise, and (2) rehashes of standard Marxian points (do we really need to be told for the umpteenth time about the contradiction(s) between the relations of production and the forces of production?). Though much of his commenting was given over to the rather, imo, thankless and close-to-impossible task of defending Marx's labor theory of value (an effort in which he was joined by some other commenters), halasz did toward the end offer some critical remarks, e.g. that Marx could be faulted for not having "provide[d] an account of the state and the political domain...." Actually Marx does have an "account of the political domain" -- he may not treat it as (very) autonomous from economics, but that's a somewhat different point. Maybe halasz should start his own blog rather than lecturing so much at CT.

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