Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Please post your comments for current discussion here

1 comment:

Al Campbell said...

This is a note I posted to the group that will meet this summer. A note to this discussion list might be longer (but not too long I hope!), but I think I will post just the same short note, since no one has posted so far, and see if it either gets someone to respond to it, or to write their own question or thought of interest to them, again to get the discussion going.
I will try to post to this blog and see if it works - blogs are not a media that I have worked with
I think we are getting behind on the reading (or at least the posting of questions to talk about in August), and so I will post this. I think the idea was to make these short, and we can then expand them at the summer school.
Here is my issue, put simply - again, we can sort out unclear ideas when we gather. Marxism in particular and materialism more generally argue that our ideas are a reflection of the reality we are part of (not a mechanical reflection, not one way, but dialectical, with a degree of autonomy). Bourgeois ideas reflect and promote the capitalist reality and order, and Marxist ideas reflect and promote the proletariat reality and order. So how then can Marxism claim universal validity - how can it claim it is right and the bourgeoisie ideas are wrong, if the ideas all arise (even dialectically) from the experience and class interests of the people involved? What prioritizes Marxist ideas as "true" and bourgeois ideas as "false propaganda?" Why are all other political positions the result of the environment they are in and the role they play but Marxism claims to be above that (ie, universal validity)? Lowy speaks to this, and I am not sure if his answer is satisfactory - but it is worth thinking about the question (what makes Marxism right, how do we know it and not its opponent are right?) and Lowy's claimed response.