Has anyone actually read this giant beast? Is it even Marxian? I notice Shaikh uses the term "heterodox" to describe himself a lot, while other Marxian economists are more explicitly "Marxian".
Anwar Shaikh and "heterodox" economics
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Do I need to have a Bachelor's degree in economics (and probably a mathematics minor) to be a Leftist now? This is getting ridiculous.
lol yeah this kind of stuff is beyond me
Long answer: First you must ask: Why do you want to learn these? That is crucial. Asking and stimulating this question, critically and incessantly will lead you to the knowledge you seek -so long as you don't cut it short. If you answer your own question with "Because I want freedom, because i want a just, moral world" then you are cutting the process of knowledge-acquisition short by reducing it to uncritically held premises.
To begin: Begin with the ruthless criticism of everything and anything and hold every single thing to questioning. Including yourself.
Now we must ask: What it is about them, drawing from the first question, that you would like to know? Neutral knowledge isn't possible. You must relate these ideas even to your life and yourself, spiritually - what they mean at that level. Continuing to do this will lead you to the knowledge you seek.
Introducing Communism today is difficult. The meaning of works in relation to their time do not automatically register the same meaning today when they are read. The true and essential meaning must be translated to make sense given our ideological, etc. predicimant.
I would say read and struggle to understand Zizek: I recommend as an intro 'In Defence of Lost Causes' or 'Living in the End Times', both are easy reads. You will not understand everything at first. Nor can you be expected to. But the key is to keep on moving. To keep struggling.
Do not EVER cease thinking critically. If you do not understand something, isolate what specifically about that something you do not understand and hold yourself to it: do not assume the author is confused like you are.
If I understood this when I first began reading Marx, I would have saved myself a lot of time.
I have been a Marxist for over five years. And the true, full meaning of Principles of Communism I have only recently grasped.
There is a key ingredient you're missing in your recommendations, and it's relavence. When those texts came out, the language they used in its full, substantive meaning, the 'spark' certain words had, were entirely different than today.
Diving head in to classical Marxism is a catastrophe. They can only be fully understood retrosprectively or they won't maie sense, and their relavency won't be grasped (and if it is, only superifically).
Sorry to say but there is no easy guide to the meaning of socialism today, because there exists no meaningful socialist discourse. When Engels wrote Principles of Communism, he and Marx had already gotten a lot of shit together. We haven't yet. I don't even think Zizek had completed this proceds: Until we start engaging cybernetics, do what Marx as a newtonian for a critique of political economy, with quantum mechanics, until we are able to in a materialist fashion fully critique the entire world as it is, Marxism will remain a perverse, outdated school that never completes itself and remains confined to a single layer of life (industrial capitalism) long subsumed. I just want to point out how naive it is to think there is some easy introduction to socialism. There isn't.
Finally, appealing to current levels of understanding will disallow individuals to learn, which includes huge epistemological shifts in the process. When I first read the two books in question, I didn't fully understand them. But I kept TRYING to understand and eventually I got it. Learning must be a struggle or there will be no learning. The two texts are very good introductions to the present.
We don't need brainlets who don't even know an eigenvalue from their asshole to be talking economics.
I see what you mean buddy
And know how to work non-linear differential equations too, apparently.
Lmao, the college students will only lead the charge AFTER they get the super soldier serum.
No, get a Ph.D.
I want to know the truth so that my political advocacy can be informed by real models and I don't lead people astray. For instance, I wonder if I should be shooting down modern monetary theory whenever I hear it or be pushing it more. Unfortunately, my curiosity of understanding tools before I use them is part of why I'm a scientist in the first place. Actually, it's why I'm a Marxist in the first place too. Because I got tired of hearing that term thrown around wantonly and decided to learn more.
The problem is I simply don't have the time to plow through a 1000-page graduate-level economics textbook while I'm working on projects on my own field. Lefty knowledge and theory is becoming a black hole that's devouring my time.
I don't know what your field is but, assuming it's not medicine, do you feel the need to get a PhD in medicine before advocating medicine-related issues or making choices related to health and health infrastructure? I rather doubt it. (If you are a cancerologist or something then just consider environmentalism and climate science.)
It's perfectly okay to defer to the conclusions others have reached if you don't have enough lives to dedicate to studying a particular field. It's what you do all the time.
You don't need to be an expert on economics and if you become one no will expect you to be one in other fields like sociology or psychoanalysis or modern history or Hegelian philosophy.
new user hopping into this conversation
Problem is that marxism and socialism seem to me too obviously good ideas to be as unpopular as they are, so I find myself asking: where's the catch? I would prefer to verify the theory, the economic backbone behind it independently rather than take other's word for it.
if you're lazy (i'm lazy) read steve keen
steve keen is always fun and he's australian
or watch steve keen (he does lectures etc on youtube)
or read a book about john maynard keynes.
nothing wrong with leading people astray so long as you lead them in the right direction tbh.
(although i suppose this depends strongly on what your political aims are and how you weight them.)
Here's the problem, and it's actually in many ways the same problem that Keynes had. (I think I actually picked this up from marxists saying it) Keynes thought that smart men with clever ideas could set the world right, but the reality is that there's huge institutional inertia and a variety of other factors that mean that's not the case. I mean, even neoliberal economists who could make the neoliberal system work more effectively are ignored for weird institutional, national or factional reasons.
I mean, consider why Windows is such a popular operating system. It's not because it's good but for a variety of other reasons - perhaps most importantly, software backwards compatibility. By a (very sloppy) analogy we could consider Windows capitalism - now, you can come out with a much better system tomorrow - more stable, more secure, better privacy, lower operating requirements, etc, but the costs of switching will ensure that the best your small start-up OS can hope for is being bought out for patent rights.
No, but to understand contemporary theory you do. We aren't ancaps after all. Not everyone in our movement needs to understand the economic foundation though. We need propagandists, agitators, and organizers, not just theorists.
I plan to read it after I finish Capital and my degree. Should be another three years, or two if I manage to graduate early.
Lol nice copypasta
No thank fam that shit is whack.
Quite, but not just on the level of implementation. Despite all the memes about communist academia even on the theoretical side socialism remains rather unpopular among the highly educated, even if there are a disproportionate amount of leftists in that group. So it more or less boils down to this: either the idea itself is faulty, or a huge amount of intelligent and knowledgeable people are: too dumb to differentiate between failures of implementation and theory, ignorant of what they are critical of, unable to recognise propaganda or just generally ignorant outside of their field.
This was the conundrum I had when I first became a Marxist. Now that I have some more knowledge in general and experience of the academic circles I've found the answer is very likely the latter. But still it remains a question I have to ask myself.
Just got finished listening to a 2016 talk by this guy and right at the end he says the following:
The fuck? Is he a Marxist or not? He's clearly read Marx quite a bit.
I don't think Shaikh is a Marxist.
joke: new keynesianism
Even in inertia terms there's just the problem that it's too much effort to read things when you've got other stuff going on in your life. (and even if they do read them, there's so many things to read as well…) Although it's worth noting that yeah, most people are stupid outside of their fields.
He clearly understands crises as results of the falling rate of profit on investment at least.
So I take it no one who recommends this book has actually read it then. I'll take note of this.
That's a new level of reddit spacing.
That's what Holla Forums is all about. Recommend books that you don't actually read.
I am having a very hard time even following the youtube lectures. To be expected for something this ambitious I suppose, he's basically constructing a grand unified theory for economics. But, and maybe this is just some kind of awe for complex looking arguments talking, it certainly feels like this kind of nitty gritty analysis has to be part of concrete leftist political programs. Zizek always talks about this, what do you do the day after? What will Corbyn do if he suddenly is swept in as PM? Without a clear eyed accounting of what the actual scientific laws governing the global capitalist economy are, you will be destroyed by it before you can supplant it. Any movement certainly needs a number of specialists who have this depth of understanding, even if not ever leftists does.
I'm about one hundred pages in, so I suspend judgement until I've finished. Given that it is a full-scale development of the works, or so far it seems of his 2006 work on the myths and positive assertions of a modern global capitalism, I can only assume that the remainder will be predominantly a critique of the function and development of capital. He is most definitely a Marxist, but he treads lightly
it's for readability, you stupid faggot
I really recommend reading "How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read" (I've actually read it).
Oh nice apparently he's got a whole video course to accompany the book.