Phil Graham on 28 Feb 2001 17:02:37 -0000

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Re: <nettime> In Defence of a Modest Proposal

>The Napoleonic grandeur of radical thought from Marx to Debord has an 
>intrinsically anti-democratic cast. Its a question of making the masses 
>into a tool for a mission not of their making.

Like the "social democrats", the "Third Way", and just about every other
political organisation that requires one to carry a card and toe the party
line in order to win POWER.

Anyway, you're in good company with your sustained critique of Marx and
critical theory in general: I have here a book called "Marx refuted":  
Hayek, Maggie Thatcher, Milton Friedman, Andreski, Karl Popper, Tomlin,
etc etc. I figure if pomo relativists (like yourself) hate Marx so much,
and totalitarian positivists also hate him, and the dry, anti-social
neoliberals also hate him, and that if they all had to combine to "refute"  
him (none actually quote him or argue against anything he wrote directly
-- they use, instead, Trotsky, Lenin, Stalin, "the USSR bureacracy", etc
etc), then he must have had one or two useful things to say, since I
disagree with the lot of you, philosophically, politically, and
methodologically (to falsely separate the three main aspects of

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but your dogmatic characterisation of
"Marx" suggests to me you have read about as far as the Communist
Manifesto (and maybe even a couple of pages of Capital) and not much else.
Rather, you seem to be relying on hackneyed and inaccurate critiques which
have been regurgitated for the last hundred years, and which have found
new impetus with "the end of the cold war" (that it is ended is bullshit).
As Einstein said (roughly), "If I were wrong, it would only need one
rebuttal, not one hundred". And, to misquote JR Saul, "the only
functioning Marxists today can be found in the Chicago school of
economics". His point being that contemporary neoliberal econometrics
(usually posing as the inheritors of Smith, Ricardo, Hume, Mill, etc, but
which are all-out perversions of all the above) is qualitatively
indistinguishable from dogmatic, high-structuralist Marxism. Both are
exactly opposite in spirit and content to the vast array of work written
by Marx on politics, philosophy, religion, history, political economy,

By the way: Marx's speech about tariffs (to the working men's association
--- the one I am supposing that you refer to in your
Marx-in-support-of-Globalism post) was pure irony. It was used as a full
page ad in the New York Times as propaganda in support of NAFTA.

Paradox upon paradox, eh?

Also, would you please be so good as to let us all know: have you been
offered a job in the next Labor government's bureacracy? And: Are you a
member of the "NSW right" faction?


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