Monday, May 20, 2013

So, What About Marx?

Prof. Daniel E. Little (Chancellor for the University of Michigan-Dearborn and Professor of Philosophy) authored a short summary of Marx's work entitled "What About Marx?".

While some of Little's observations may be debatable (see the comments thread in the link, including a comment by Prof. Fred Moseley, of Mount Holyoke College), one thing must be acknowledged: in the current climate, where the mere fact of using Marxist terminology attracts acerbic criticism, if not outright abuse, Little shows uncommon courage.

Little concludes with these words:
"So what about it? Is Marxism relevant today? Yes, if we can avoid the dogmatism and rigidity that were often associated with the tradition. Power, exploitation, class, structures of production and distribution, property relations, workplace hierarchy -- these features certainly continue to be an important part of our social world".


  1. I would add that Marx's terminology reflects important and relevant concepts, which were central to the old and forgotten classical political economy, and as such must be recovered. Classical (i.e. surplus approach) with the addition of Keynesian/Kaleckian effective demand is essential for understanding the issues Little's quote.

    1. Matías,

      Sorry for the delay replying. I've been busily re-reading stuff on the transformation problem (including some of your and Vienneau's older posts).

      On the matter at hand and for what's worth: I tend to sympathize with what you said, particularly with the Keynesian/Kaleckian effective demand observation.

      Where perhaps we'll disagree is on the long-term implications of this. I say perhaps, because I am not sure what your position is. But maybe it's best to leave this topic for another occasion.