I'm a philosophy student that tends to post about really serious things unseriously and about really unserious things seriously.
I was once described as a "beautiful, intelligent iguana".
I think the term “post-marxist” comes from a need to categorize certain late 20th century thinkers who critiqued Marx, and while I don’t subscribe to the term or think it’s that helpful or even necessary, I do usually agree with these critiques (ESPECIALLY THINKING ABOUT HOW (NOT?) HELPFUL MARX IS TO UNDERSTANDING NEOLIBERALISM).
The one thing I find really annoying about a lot of self-described Marxists is their inability to critique Marx at all—he’s like the be all end all and he’s always right (Wendy Brown today in class accused Jameson of this and it was great). GUESS WHAT, he was fallible and wrong about some stuff and some of his stuff isn’t all that useful for thinking about facets of neoliberalism and capitalism today (like say, how finance capital has pretty much split off from industrial capital, or how commodity speculation sets value and not labor, or how the old M-C-M equation has become M-M-M).
On the whole though, obviously he’s super important and useful and ya, we’re all “Marxists” in a sense because FUQDASYSTEM.
Also I’m drunk so don’t listen to me.
What the fuck is this bullshit?
The author of the post ignores basically everything Marx and Marxists have said about finance and finance capital since the publication of capital, constructing a convenient straw man that he/she can easily take down. I guess the “Eternal Lamentations of Sublime Desire: a Post-Derridean examination of Late Orientalist themes in pre-Ibsenian Norwegian Drama” course you are taking did not really prepare for the task of critiquing Marx’s theory of Capitalist Development. The actual debates over the transformation problem and value theory are important to study and understand, but all the criticisms above are totally irrelevant.
Hey d00ds, remember that part about me saying how Marxists often display a dogmatism and inability to critique Marx at all??? ^^^^^^^^^^
Show me where Marx himself foresaw the splitting off of finance from industrial capital, or how money can beget money without becoming a commodity/becomes pure exchange value (through investment, bad debt/derivatives, etc), or where in capital he goes against the labor theory of value and foresaw how credit ratings would become more important than capital accumulation, and then we can talk.
1. “Finance splitting off from industry”. I have no idea what you mean by this. If you mean the point in history where separate financial and industrial sectors begin to exist, then 14th century Italian city states were certainly known to Marx.
2. “money begats money”. As implied above, banking and finance existed in Marx’s day and he developed theoretical work on it, which you just ignore and assert that Marx somehow didn’t know that finance existed. For reference it’s part five of volume 3 of capital.
3. “credit ratings have become more important than capital accumulation” Do you mean the process of investment to realize profit has somehow become less integral to the global economy than credit ratings? What on earth do you mean by that?
- “Show me where Marx himself foresaw the splitting off of finance from industrial capital”
Show me where Marxists claim Marx had a crystal ball? Marxism is about a method, not about a crystal ball. This entirely pedantic academic approach is so useless. You’re drawing away attention from where Marxists actually build upon Capital and scream “look, they have nothing to add and they just worship Marx as divine writ”. Do you even realize how contradictory your claims are?
- “How money can beget money without becoming a commodity”Read Capital. Marx says the bourgeoise would prefer this to be the case. Naturally, Marx lived a pretty long time ago. What do you want? A crystal ball?Yeah, also you should know, I’m pomophobic. You guys do nothing but masturbate intellectually and create mutual appreciation societies for theory reach arounds. Go away.I’d actually bother with a more detailed reply, if pomos were a thing. When I meet a pomo outside the academy, outside tumblr, trying to build a real world movement for emancipation I’ll bother taking you seriously.
Jesus, you bros are totally proving my point here. If you read my original post, I said that I think parts of Marx’s theory that were once useful for analyzing industrial capital are no longer useful for analyzing certain facets of neoliberalism (a few of which I mentioned). When your pal said “The author of the post ignores basically everything Marx and Marxists have said about finance and finance capital” I asked him to show me an instance where Marx talks about any of these facets of neoliberalism, which of course, he doesn’t (and then your pal responded with “I have no idea what you’re talking about”—for someone having no idea what I was saying [to recap, the splitting off of finance capital from industrial capital evidenced by for example how the stock market is no longer as adequate an indicator of economic health], he didn’t hesitate to have an opinion about it!) How could he? Of course he didn’t “have a crystal ball”—that’s precisely my point, i.e., that there’s a need to go beyond Marx’s method at the points where it no longer adequately explains certain facets of contemporary global capitalism—to critique his work, recognize where it’s still useful and where it is no longer useful, to engage in what Marx himself advocated in a spirit of radical critique. Lots of “Marxists” after Marx have done this obviously, but I think there’s something very unique about capitalism in our contemporary context that is still left to be explained, and it’s people like you that are keeping us from being able to theorize Marx in this new context, a theorization we desperately need, because you are unable to critique Marx at all (quite ironic, again considering Marx’s insistence on immanent critique). Guess what! we’re no longer in the 19th or 20th centuries. Capitalism’s expansion and over coding—its tendency to co-opt even some of those traditional points of Marxist resistance—was something speculated and theorized by Marx, and its time to come up with new strategies that adequately correspond. How do we make sense of, for example, the new scale of value incited by the rise of finance capital—less about productivity/the accumulation of capital as in the traditional Marxist schema and more about future-oriented credit (this is what I meant by commodity speculation seems today more important or at least as important as setting prices than just labor), where even human capital is thought of as needing to be credit-worthy and capable of expanding its value, rather than just, as in the old Benthamist model, the rational human actor seeks to maximize pleasure and minimize pain (you can begin to see differences between this and Marx’s labor theory of value). Or what happens to Marx’s theory of money when currencies float, i.e., cease to be tied to gold or any constant? You said that Marx says in Capital that the bourgeoisie would like money to beget money without the intermediary of its commodification/standing in as the universal commodity (do you have a citation for that? bc I mean it makes sense in the abstract “money grows on trees” way but not in the materialist way that Marx says surplus value actually works). If you read Capital you might remember an entire chapter dedicated to how, unfortunately, Marx says this is not the case (Pt II Ch.4, M-C-M): that it is in fact only through the circulation of money through the intermediary of the commodity that we are able to gain surplus value (kinda a big deal, if you remember, in Capital). M-M-M doesn’t make sense in Marx’s analysis; the fact that today money can be made from money (thru investment, speculation, or even debt as in derivates)—that we can have surplus value without commodification—is impossible for Marx because for him money cannot be pure exchange value. You can begin to see why Marx is ill-equipped to explain all these “neoliberal” contemporary phenomenon—some of them even run contrary to his analysis as I just explained.
Also, you should know: I’m dudebroincapableofintelligenceorthinkingcritically-phobic
This might be the most intelligent thing (as in sensible, critical, etc.) I’ve ever read in regards to Marx on this website.