Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Brad DeLong on the dangers of reading Marx

Another postscript to Marx & me (& Norman Geras).

My esteemed friend Brad DeLong, who read a lot of Marx & Marxism quite seriously in his youth on his way to becoming a social-democratic Democrat, prominent non-orthodox neo-classical economist of the Stiglitz/Krugman variety, broadly erudite intellectual, and influential left-of-center Alpha Blogger, had a different reaction from Norm's or mine. Immersing yourself in Marx at a young and impressionable age, Brad warns, means Introducing Serious, Permanent Bugs into Your Wetware. Why, he wonders, would anyone do that voluntarily?
Here we find Michael Fitzgerald, a man who has seriously misprogrammed substantial chunks of his frontal lobes by reading Karl Marx's Capital--something that, I am becoming convinced, should only be done by somebody with immunity to the mental virus--by a trained intellectual or social or economic historian, or by a trained neoclassical economist. [Etc., etc.]
--Jeff Weintraub