File spoon-archives/bhaskar.archive/bhaskar_2003/bhaskar.0307, message 46

Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2003 10:15:58 -0400
Subject: Re: BHA: multi-leveled ontology

Mervyn Hartwig wrote:

 > A tendency is by no means virtual. It's  real, and though it may not
 > be actualized, sustains a concept of natural necessity (so that Marx
 > was quite right to speak of 'iron laws').

Marx did not. Lassalle did ('the iron law of wages'). Marx critiqued
Lassalle. It is one of the most odd traditions, going all the way back
to Alfred Marshall, that Marx is saddled by his critics with 'the iron
law of wages' and the crude immiseration thesis. In the Critique of the
Gotha Programme, Section 2, Marx demolished the supposed "iron law" and
traced the phrase to Goethe's "great, eternal iron laws" (from "Das
Göttliche").  As Marx pointed out, the use of the phrase immediately
identifies a follower of Lassalle ("The word "iron" is a label by which
the true believers recognize one another"). It was not an expression
Marx liked.

john mage

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