The Mazzucato Controversy

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By GILSON SCHWARTZ*

Reply to Eleutério Prado's article.

In my comment to review written by Eleutério FS Prado from the book the value of everything, by Mariana Mazzucato – published on the website the earth is round - I remembered answer from Roberto Schwarz to Gerard Lébrun. In short, there are those who criticize others for traits of thought that they assume in practice. And isn't it that Prado repeats the same attitude in his irate reply?

For claiming (for those who "have the additional patience to read Schwartz's article") that I constructed my text "as a critique ad hominem to Eleutério Prado”, decides our critic of political economy, democratic socialist, to invest unbridled by the paths of criticism “ad hominem”. He claims to be ashamed of participating in a useless debate and attacks me countless times (those who know me know that I consider myself “a great intellectual”, it is clear that I have not read Mazzucato’s book, I have not attacked Prado’s theory of value …or even that I “profile” myself alongside “great partnerships”, ironically treating myself as a “great critic”…). Be patient! Other people's shame.

I limit myself to reinforcing the mistake already pointed out, which Prado confirms in his embarrassed anti-criticism. For he says that my suggestion that Prado confuses Mazzucato with the “North American branch of the French Ideology” is false.

Prado says that his note “simply says that it is in the field of postmodernism because it explicitly treats the issue of value in economics as a matter of narrative”. Now, and for good reason! After re-reading his hasty and discourteous response, that was the only and sufficient demonstration that Prado doesn't know what he's talking about.

Then, I explain (shielded in the dissection of the French Ideology worked by Paulo Eduardo Arantes): this Ideology is, precisely, the displacement of substantive questions of political economy and contemporary philosophy to the structuralist and post-structuralist sphere of narratives, discourses, of mirror games in which the real disintegrates in the subjectivist lofts of the imaginary and the symbolic.

By demanding from Mazzucato a theory of value that is not grounded in the subjective perspective of use value, Prado refuses the substantive construction of an alternative in capitalism in which the State paves the way (in his Marxian, “scientific” perspective) for a socialist future democratic (to me it seems more like a Marxian neoliberal utopia, in which the class struggle would lead from barbarism to a new democratic socialist order without going through the communicational and intersubjective dynamics that would constitute a new economy and a new politics that are legitimate and sustainable) .

It's very simple – Prado didn't understand that “postmodernism” and French Ideology are the same thing. So I suggest you read the so-called "giants" and come to the debate, without shame.

*Gilson Schwartz He is a professor at the School of Communications and Arts (ECA) and at the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program Humanities, Rights and Other Legitimacies at FFLCH at the University of São Paulo (USP).

 

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