[OPE-L] Castoriadis critique of marx

From: Jurriaan Bendien (adsl675281@TISCALI.NL)
Date: Thu Mar 16 2006 - 15:30:38 EST

Though I loved reading some of Castoriadis's writings, I am not aware of the
specifics of this particular critique, although I do recall that Castoriadis
criticised Marx's value theory on epistemic and ontological grounds. Well,
the concept of value contains an irreducible ethical dimension, and is
therefore not directly amenable to scientific proof itself. Castoriadis
developed his ideas in a context where supposedly radical Marxists pursued
very conservative, even reactionary politics, and this profoundly shaped his

What intrigues me though is why, in 2006, many, even very learned people
still cannot accept the idea that Marx may have been in part correct, and in
part wrong, with the implication that one can improve on Marx. Is it a
fixation on orthodoxy, or alternatively a problem of vulgar, shallow
dismissal? Is it a blindness to the ever-changing creativity of lived

There is no doubt in my mind that much "Marxism" did just as much
intellectual damage to Marx's ideas, as the anti-Marxist scholars who, as
Hal Draper highlighted, vulgarly falsified his thought. But that is just to
say that a revolutionary thinker cannot expect that people will not contest
or champion his ideas from all kinds of sides, i.e. that his thought will
remain uncontroversial. If he did not enter into controversy in some way, he
would not be revolutionary at all.


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