[OPE-L:2833] Re: Re: what a Marxist may learn from Keynes?

From: riccardo bellofiore (bellofio@cisi.unito.it)
Date: Thu Apr 13 2000 - 05:59:37 EDT

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Hi, Jerry.

See also my message answering Allin's recent post.


At 20:30 +0100 12-04-2000, Gerald Levy wrote:
>In [OPE-L:2824] Riccardo wrote:
>> P.S.: I guess there is something worthwhile in, at least: (i) the category
>> of 'finance';
>What specific concepts in Keynes related to the category of finance have
>not been appreciated by Marxists (or anticipated by Marx)?
>(Here I think the Post-Keynesians have gone a lot further than Keynes).

May be. Do you refer to the US PK? I would say that Minsky is full of
(good) insights but often very confused. Davidson and Chick confuse the
notion of financing production and the notion of financing investments. The
clearest author on finance is Keynes himself, in the Treatise on Money and
in the papers on 'finance' (1937-39).
>> (iii) autonomous investment;
>That gets us back to a rejection of Say's Law (which I noted in my last
>post) , doesn't it?

Are you sure? In chapter 23 (Italian edition) on the law of capital
accumulation it seems that we have I=S. Some Marxist may say, well you have
to explain the possibility of crisis (this is what Marx discusses when
criticising Say's law) to have the necessity of crisis. And to have the
necessity of crisis you have to go to the falling rate of profit idea la
Marx. Is that similar to Keynes?

BTW, going towards your explanation Malthus, Sismondi, Luxemburg, Keynes,
etc., they all are the same. So one would have to argue that, since Malthus
rejected Say's law, then Malthus anticipated Marx. I would not say so.
>> (v) the consequent notion of effective demand.
>If that's not in Marx, then how did Kalecki develop that concept?

Well Kalecki comes from Rosa Luxemburg, with *theoretical innovations* to
overcome some of her errors. I'm sure you are not saying that there is no
novelty in the development of economic thought. [BTW, I made my thesis on
Luxemburg, and fell myself in a line of continuity with her thought, though
outside any view of capitalist collapse; and I don't think there is only
continuity between Kalecki and RL, since RL had Marx's value theory while
Kalecki was outside Marx's value theory).

>thought that Kalecki and Robinson (and perhaps Sraffa) were rather
>explicit in acknowledging their inspiration from Marx. Of course, one
>wouldn't have expected the same acknowledgment from Keynes.

The fact that Keynes didn't recognized a dependence from Marx (though, as I
said, he endorsed the idea of a monetary circuit as coming from Marx) is
not relevant, in my opinion. First, he may have been ignorant of a line of
continuity. Second, my point is: do Marxists today (or 50 years ago!) need
to consider Keynes (like Kalecki, like Robinson, like Sraffa, like Minsky),
a political economists, and not a vulgar economist, like Marx considered
Ricardo a political economist, or not? My answer is: yes.
>I do agree that Marxists have not, in general, paid enough attention to
>the role of *expectations* (perhaps for fear that they would be accused of
>being "subjectivist").

>I attribute the rest of your comments in this post to the effects of
>indigestion (Parmesian cheese gone bad, perhaps?).

Sorry for some comments which came out in the wrong way. However, here
you're not a good Marxist. You look at consumption. Rather look at
production. The problem has to do with something nearer to 'karoshi' (death
for overwork).



        Riccardo Bellofiore
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