[OPE] Important review of Kautskyism Past and Present

From: Jurriaan Bendien <adsl675281@telfort.nl>
Date: Wed Aug 11 2010 - 17:05:27 EDT


I think you are right, it is mistaken to define David Harvey as an
"opportunist". As I indicate in the article, accusations of opportunism are
often difficult to prove, and may reflect more a partisan moral stance ("one
man's opportunity is another man's opportunism") or social envy.

One reason for the gradual disintegration of Marxism was that is lacked a
well thought-out theory of ethics, grounded in a scientific understanding of
the historical evolution of morality. This is very evident in Trotsky's book
"Their morals and ours" which, whatever the splendid rhetorics, contains
many simple faults.

Only a handful of Marxists ever posed the question of WHY bourgeois society
splits value into moral value, aesthetic value, practical (utilitarian)
value and commercial value. Lacking such an ethical theory, accusations of
"opportunism" (or any other number of sins in the Marxist-Leninist rulebook)
are often rather arbitrary, and tell us more about the pet dislikes of the
accuser than about the errors of the accused. Marxist discourse mostly talks
about ethics only in terms of "ideology" and "class interests", but since
such concepts are difficult to pin down, the discussion often remains rather


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Received on Wed Aug 11 17:13:05 2010

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