[lbo-talk] A Crisis of Neo-liberalism or a Crisis of Captialism?" by Christopher Carrico

Carrol Cox cbcox at ilstu.edu
Wed Dec 14 10:08:35 PST 2011

Dennis Claxton: It's a very short passage so I don't see a lot of point in a

paraphrase but what I understood is: nominalism vs. universals is a false dichotomy because the relationship between them is dialectical; and, to privilege nominalism as some kind of escape from ideology is itself ideological.

W is a pretty clear instance of that, & helps me understand what Ted W means when he argues that certain positions reduce to solipsism of the moment. W's nominalism amounts in practice to a denial of human knowledge, which then justifies any idea that pops into one's head (and what strange & utterly ungrounded ideas regularly pop in W's head). Since all ideas are nonsense, my ideas are good enough for me without any attempt to define them. Aliter: My ideas create the universe in which I live so they have to be true.

His attempt to ground them as 'reflections' of social relations floats in mid-air because he has not way of examining or accounting for social relations, since he denies human practice. (He will be shocked at this charge, but there is no way to get from any of his arguments to humans in action.)


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