Episode 39: Michael Heinrich and F. H. Pitts’ Attempt to Eliminate Marx’s Crisis Theory

In 2013, Monthly Review published a critique of Marx by Michael Heinrich. Brendan and Andrew (together with Alan Freeman, Nick Potts, and Alexey Gusev) issued a response. They argued that Heinrich’s article was an effort to eliminate Marx’s theory of capitalist economic crisis from consideration––by denying that he really had such as theory––and they detailed Heinrich’s many errors and his failure to interpret Marx properly. Heinrich never replied. But a follower of his, Frederick Harry Pitts, has done so––sort of.

In this episode of RFH, the co-hosts review their main substantive criticisms of Heinrich’s article, and they note that Pitts failed to engage with any of them. They then reply to the points that Pitts does address, arguing that his responses seriously misrepresent what they wrote, evade their arguments, and are frequently just silly. The segment as a whole defends the importance of evaluating exegetical interpretations of Marx’s and others’ texts in terms of the evidence and arguments accompanying them.

The episode’s current-events segment focuses on Biden’s American Rescue Plan––its economic content as well as the challenges it poses to the Republicans and the anti-neoliberal “left.”

Radio Free Humanity is a podcast covering news, politics and philosophy from a Marxist-Humanist perspective. It is co-hosted by Brendan Cooney and Andrew Kliman. We intend to release new episodes every two weeks. Radio Free Humanity is sponsored by MHI, but the views expressed by the co-hosts and guests of Radio Free Humanity are their own. They do not necessarily reflect the views and positions of MHI.

We welcome and encourage listeners’ comments, posted on this episode’s page.

Please visit MHI’s online print publication, With Sober Senses, for further news, commentary, and analysis.

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March 20, 2021

1 Comment

  1. I liked this episode. Aside from the merits of the debate, Pitts and Heinrich strike me as apolitical. And boring. Why did Pitts decide to write this smart arse attack?

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