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Comments on "Marx's Economics for Anarchists"
international | economy | opinion / analysis Monday January 02, 2012 07:33 by Wayne Price - personal opinion drwdprice at aol dot com
Responses and Comments
(1) Response to anarchists saying why I think it is worthwhile for anarchists to learn from Marx's economic theory.
There have been a number of comments on my serialized book, “Marx’s Economics for Anarchists; An Anarchist’s Introduction to Marx’s Critique of Political Economy.” Here are some of my comments in response.
First, some anarchists have been offended by the very subject. They seem to think that I am discussing whether Marxism is superior to anarchism, coming down on the side of Marxism. Actually, what I am discussing in the book is whether Marx’s economic theory can be useful for anarchists. This is not the same thing.
I make this argument in two ways. One is by trying to show in practice that—even at this introductory and generalized level—Marx’s theory does present a fairly accurate model of current capitalism and its future. (I also make suggestions for books which are more specific in applying Marxist theory to current and future economic developments.)
Further, I claim that there is no non-Marxist economics except forms of bourgeois economics. Assuming that we agree that an economic analysis of capitalism is needed, there is no advantage in looking toward liberal or conservative versions of economics. Despite insights, their overall theories are esentially rationalizations of capitalist ideology. Morally and politically, while Marxism can be associated with Stalinist totalitarianism, bourgeois theories are associated with economic crises, world wars, and fascist totalitarianism. This is certainly not a better choice for anarchists than Marxist political economy.
There have been attempts to build a non-Marxist radical political economy, such as the work of Robin Hahnel (co-inventor of “parecon”). I did not discuss them in my brief introduction to Marx’s political economy. In my opinion, I do not think that they break fully from bourgeois economics. But that is another topic.
My anarchism has been enriched by feminism, classical liberalism, radical psychoanalysis, progressive education, radical pacifism, Malcolm X’s thinking, ecology, and nonanarchist decentralism, among other influences—as well as by aspects of Marxism. This openness to different trends of thought is something which I find valuable in anarchism. (I do not want to sound defensive about this. If someone wants to accuse me of not truly being a fully orthodox anarchist-communist—whatever that would look like—I have no response. I do not care if I am or not.)
Besides explaining Marx’s economic theory and letting people make up their own minds about it, I had another purpose in mind. This was to show anarchists that it was possible to learn from aspects of Marxist theory while remaining anarchists. We do not have to reject everything written and done by Marx and Marxists in order to be anarchists. We can learn from and then surpass Marxist theory.
A Book Review
There has been one book review, posted by Jehu on November 18, 2011, at http://www.gonzotimes.com/2011/11/review-marxs-economic...rice/
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