[OPE-L:2947] Re: Re: Re: Re: Need 1 and Luxemburg's *Accumulation of Capital*

From: riccardo bellofiore (bellofio@cisi.unito.it)
Date: Sat Apr 29 2000 - 06:46:07 EDT

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At 19:00 +0100 28-04-2000, JERRY LEVY wrote:
>Re Paul Z's [OPE-L:2927]:
>I'm not sure how serious you are in raising this question since you
>deliberately inserted a "smiley face" [i.e. ":)"], but I'll treat it
>as if you are indeed serious on some level. I don't think that
>Luxemburg has been ignored by contemporary Marxist economists because
>she pointed to some alleged inconsistencies in Marx. Rather, her work
>(especially _The Acuumulation of Capital_) hasn't been closely examined
>by most Marxists since the late 1970's since there has been relatively
>little theoretical focus on *imperialism* and related fields of study
>such as economic development and international trade. In other words,
>when her works were carefully read in the 1970's (along with other
>works by Hilferding, Sternberg, and Bukharin) it was most frequently
>in connection with evaluating different theoretical perspectives
>on imperialism. This is unfortunate, though, since only a small portion
>of her book discussed imperialism (even though, in a sense, that was
>the subject that the book built-up towards).

Jerry, you are right, BUT imperialism is in the answer Rosa Luxemburg gave
to a theoretical issue she raised which had to do with capitalist
reproduction in general. And if Marxists leave aside capitalist
reproduction, are they still Marxists?

BTW; I am particularly surprised by the fact that no interest have been
ever given in Anglo-Saxon Marxist economics to her Introduction to
Political Economy (I think that only the first chapter has been
translated). And I would argue that Rosa's problem on the issue of
realization of commodities must be related to her view about law of the
falling 'relative' wage.
>One person who did read Luxemburg carefully was the late Joan Robinson.
>Have you considered Robinson's perspective on Luxemburg and why there
>has been a sympathetic reading of RL's work by Post-Keynesians?

Don't know Paul. My answer would be: because Keynes's Treatise on Money was
a good starting point to raise again Marxian issues about the accumulation
of capital and distribution. Believe it or not.
But also: Luxemburg's approach may be easily reframed in PKT perspective
(or even better, circuitist perspective). The question: where does the
money come from to realize surplus value? is translated by her also in how
does money come 'in' into the capitalist process?
For all her errors (including the gold producer and all that), she was - I
guess = the only one to raise this type of question. A,d certainly Lenin
and Bukharin were not the ones who understood very clearly how much the
point was relevant.

>In any event, I think that *all* of the classics of Marxist political
>economy (of which, I certainly include Luxemburg's writings) deserve
>a careful reading. A study of her life, as well, is well worth

I agree with you, Jerry. But let's start from those who have been
underrated in the last decades.



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