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[Xmca-l] Re: Analysis of Gender in early xmca discourse
Hi again Annalisa
Here is a link to an earlier Dunayevskaya article which clearly forms the
basis for the third chapter of the book I mentioned.
Given your unfamiliarity with the Marxian 'discourse', it may NOT be *at
I know that I find it exceptionally difficult to try to follow the
different threads on these xmca pages, fascinating and challenging though
they are. It requires types of familiarity and more importantly, a mind-set
which investigates apparently 'obvious' positions to test out their
presumptions, using new conceptual frameworks and language.
I am inflicting that, on your mind, with this. I trust that my first post
gives some sort of basis/ introduction that eases your way somewhat.
My intentions are 'good'.😕, which we are told leads often only in one
I hope you find time for this 'thread', along with all the other
*which seem to be bumpily taking place.
On 5 November 2016 at 18:40, Annalisa Aguilar <email@example.com> wrote:
> Hi Tom,
> Thanks very much for your post and sharing a text that might be beneficial
> to the thread.
> Is it possible for you to scan this chapter and post it to the list? It
> would contribute to the thread significantly, and I would certainly see you
> as an ally in collaboration with what the thread initiated if you did it,
> rather than being relegated to a lurker. Please join us, and anyone else
> If being scientific means being logical, and being logical means gendered,
> then certainly that can present problems. But if being scientific means
> avoidance of confirmation bias, then I'm all for it.
> What I don't understand concerning Marx, and I do not mean to be insulting
> in any way; this is a real question... He served a very important purpose
> and he is historically valuable, so I do not doubt that. What troubles me,
> especially after reading some of the Piketty book, Capital in the
> Twenty-first Century, is that Marx could not get his hands on the data to
> determine if his analyses were correct. Now Piketty (an economist) says in
> some ways Marx was right, but in others he was wrong. If there is someone
> being scientific about it, I'd say Piketty is. But the reasons Marx was
> wrong where he was wrong is because the data doesn't support his notions.
> Piketty explained his own work was to basically collect the data that Marx
> could not, now that the internet being what it is, that's basically the
> project of the book. But somehow it is heretical to have doubts about Marx,
> and that is why I said what I said, Tom. If Marx was a scientist, then why
> not be skeptical of him, just as any other scientist among us?
> I'd certainly be interested in hearing from a person who had doubts in
> Darwin, not because they are creationists, but because they saw something
> in the theory that caused them to have doubt, and they want to follow the
> seam of that doubt. That seems very scientific to me.
> I hope that doesn't make me a full-blooded capitalist for saying these
> Anyway, I want to make the point that there is a privilege given to Marx
> as if he were a prophet and his utterances cannot be at all mistaken. He
> was a single man living in a time of economic upheaval and change, and he
> thought about it, he talked about it, and he wrote about it. And what he
> wrote viscerally resonated for people who suffer from the injustice
> inherent in the system, I cannot dismiss that and do not mean to. However
> history continues and technology continues in their development, and the
> view from the train of history isn't always flat and predictable. So how
> can it be that we anticipate that the worldview of Marx's train compartment
> will be identical to ours? Should we assume that the tools he fashioned
> then will work now?
> Piketty draws that out, he is looking at the problem scientifically, I'd
> say. The publication of the translation in the US really freaked out all
> the capitalists, as I recall. Both Piketty and Varoufakis, that other
> famous lefty-economist, have remarked vociferously (maybe Varoufakis more
> than Piketty) that economics (in the university and elsewhere) *as a
> science* is a shambles and have almost come as close to saying the state of
> the discipline is no different then reading tea leaves (my words; their
> sense about it).
> Last year I had been reading the first chapter of La Pensée Sauvage by
> Levi-Strauss and I really admired his observation that scientific thinking
> begins with the science of the concrete. Maybe that is what is referenced
> here as associative thinking or chaining, not sure. What is somehow
> off-putting is that associative thinking frequently gets short shrift, when
> it is the very kindling for higher conceptual thinking. But it seems like
> airing dirty laundry to admit to doing that kind of thinking or encouraging
> it. I did not get to the 2nd chapter on totemism (yet), but I sense that
> Levi-Strauss's work was to eliminate the hierarchies of human cognition
> because of his sense of social justice, having lived through the
> destruction of WW II, which we all know was begun because of a stubborn
> belief in a hierarchy of mental ability connected to unscientific notions
> of race. I wonder (which I would likely learn if I got deeper into the
> text) if he comments upon the idea that any hierarchies that do pertain to
> thinking and cognition are functional but not value laden, in terms of
> class or caste, intelligence versus stupidity, literacy vs illiteracy, etc.
> That's what I sense from his work, intuitively.
> I feel the analogy of functional hierarchies very much when I've been
> building fires these past weeks. There is a trick to building the fire from
> paper and kindling to catching a log so the fire really starts to warm up
> the house and take the chill off. It's true you can't just go from kindling
> to logs and the flames must be of a certain caliber to light the log, so
> there must be intermediary and transitional pieces of wood to make the fire
> inevitable, while also contained. It also helps to have a bellows or to
> blow really hard to fan the fire. If there is not enough air the flames at
> the beginning do go out. There is more attention and care required at that
> So to all you fire builders out there, you might know what I am talking
> Still wondering if anyone will discuss what is meant by chaining.
> But thanks Tom, I hope to hear from you more, and others.
> Kind regards,