July 12, 2010

A Reaction to THE MARXISTS

Not too long ago I posted this animated video which features David Harvey's explanation of "The Crisis of Capitalism." It's well done, and does a good job of summing up some incredibly complex issues in a really interesting way.

Anyway, economist Maxine Udall has posted her reaction to this video on her site. Here is my favorite part:

"I pretty much hate it when Marxists make sense. All those years growing up among the bourgeoisie have ruined me, I fear. But I tend to pay attention to them because they're very good at noticing that there is a problem. This video is an excellent description of the problem. I was relieved that no (Marxist) solution was offered so that I could entirely agree that more informed, broader, more open discourse is needed as well as new perspectives."

I like Udall's site. She has all kinds of greats posts with tons of insight into contemporary economics. But I think her reaction to Harvey's ideas (he's the marxist, you know) is a little odd. I am not quite sure why it matters where explanations or critiques come from. Does it matter? Should it matter? In the comments section, The Barefoot Bum writes:

"I'm a revolutionary communist, and I don't ever "hate it" when liberal capitalists such as yourself make sense, even concerning the flaws of revolutionary communism. I'm grateful for the insight, and if you really are correct, it's dumb to spend a single instant getting over some "hatred" and incorporating and responding to legitimate criticism."

I agree, even though I don't place myself in any particular ideological camp. From my perspective there is no need for everyone to retreat to their respective political or ideological corners in order to address and critique contemporary problems. Should we only listen to views from "our" own camp? Or should we be open to different perspectives? Should "capitalists" be irritated when "marxists" are on point? Should "marxists" cringe when "liberal economists" have something to add to a discussion? Is this about political ideologies, or about finding ways to address some of these issues? Sometimes it seems that we will never get past the starting gate, and what holds us all back the most is nothing more than an ideological blind spot.


michael- said...

Well put. If Marx's work is a 'tool', then shouldn't we seek to have as diverse a tool-kit as possible when actually getting on to "fixing" the problem?

We are people first - and dialogue happens among persons not imaginary ideological positions.


Ryan Anderson said...

"We are people first - and dialogue happens among persons not imaginary ideological positions."

Exactly. And it's when people start getting to attached to their ideological positions--what they think they should support--that I think dialog can really start to break down.

Thanks for the comment.