The recent post by Justin -- who is busy and thus not participating, just 
as I should be -- suggests a question: what _is_ the difference between 
"analytical Marxism" and reductionist Marxism?

The "holy trinity" of Roemer, Elster, and Cohen seem quite reductionist 
(back when they were doing Marxist stuff). The first two got into 
methodological individualism, reducing all social phenomena to individual 
decisions, while Cohen embraced another kind of reductionism, the reduction 
of superstructural phenomena to being mere epiphenomena of the "base," 
which itself basically reflects the "progress" of the forces of production. 
(Brenner never went so far, since the discipline of being an historian 
and/or involvement in political action keeps one away from that kind of 

My impression is that the main methodological objection to AM was to its 
reductionism (a result, it seems, of its willingness to submit to the 
methodological strictures of mainstream social science). But it wasn't all 
bad.  If you allow me to be formulaic (not to mention digmatic), maybe we 
can say that "Analytical Marxism" minus reductionism = clear thinking.

Of course, all of this depends on one's meaning of the phrase "Analytical 
Marxism." Sometimes I get the impression that its adherents simply _define_ 
it as clear thinking combined with Marxism. But since almost everyone's in 
favor of clear thinking (at least on paper), we're all Analytical Marxists 
now (as we've always been, all the back to Marx & Engels, not to mention 


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