Vulgar Politicism

Carrol Cox cbcox at
Sun Nov 28 14:52:18 PST 1999

Economism (called by some vulgar marxism, called marxism by anti-marxists) is a long diagnosed ailment. It consists essentially in drawing a direct relationship between specific economic goals and the direct exercise of political power. It flows from the creation by capitalism of a realm called "the economy" which allegedly is an independent object of study ( the object of study of all forms of bourgeois economics).

Reading Butler's talk on left consevatism (posted by Doug) just before reading Yoshie's observation on Foucault suggests to me the widespread presence of a corresponding error to economism, which I shall label Vulgar Politicism: It consists in the assumption that people strive for power as an end in itself, thus separating power from the whole of human life as the bourgeois economists separate the economy from the whole of human life. Both economism ahnd politicism might be considered off-shoots of the traditional Christian superstition that life must have a meaning beyond itself -- that life without the pursuit of an end in itself (salvation) is empty of meaning. For politicists and economists human life is empty without the pursuit of some end-in-itself (power or wealth).


Yoshie Furuhashi wrote:

> "regime of truth" invested with a will to power
> (e.g., Foucault).

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