Friday, 18 May 2018

The Preconditions of Socialism: a Critical Review (iii)


After a week’s pause, it’s time to go back to Preconditions. Last time we examined that book’s general content and its Cold War re-discovery.

Suppose the reader, intent on saving him/herself a time-consuming engagement with Bernstein’s “scholastic” (his own term) argument decided instead to jump straight in Chapter 3 of Preconditions (2 of Evolutionary) where he makes his empirical argument.

Although perhaps unfamiliar with details, the reader is, of course, aware of Bernstein’s general intent, and particularly of what his final goal (pun intended) is: he is there to fell Marxism, much like a logger fells an old tree [“In principle, Marxism stands or falls with this theory” (p. 12)]

In section b of that chapter (P3§b E2§b) after presenting his statement of what Marxism explains, Bernstein asked himself the following question: “Now, is all this correct?” (p. 57, "Now, is all that right?" in Evolutionary).

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Predictions and Economic Debate.


Before going into matters, I want to register my protest against the massacre perpetrated by the Israeli racist government of Benjamin Netanyahu against Palestinian demonstrators.

I also want to protest against the jaw-dropping hypocrisy of Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, who as always are ready to spin excuses for the inexcusable.

You don't speak for me. I don't condone crimes against humanity.

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The Job Guarantee MMTers promote seems to be getting some public attention in the US. Not only that, recently Prof. William “Bill” Mitchell and co-author Thomas Fazi had an article in the popular Jacobin Magazine.

Personally, I can see the attraction of a JG, and I myself am not immune to it, although as a Marxist I have doubts about its political feasibility and its longer-term implications. But I am no expert.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Unfrequently Asked Questions: Marx and Marxism (i)


Prof. Peter Dorman generously posted the slides of his lectures on Marx and Marxism: one on Historical Materialism, the other on Marxist Economics. After looking at them carefully,  I’ve noticed a few things.

Of the two lectures the one that caught my attention more profoundly was the second, where Prof. Dorman repeatedly asks questions about subjects which he evidently feels are unclear. Although I am not sure Prof. Dorman expects answers (let alone from me), as time permits, I’ll try to answer them to the best of my admittedly limited ability. Where I feel unable to answer (particularly the more technical ones), I’ll ask for more details.