[OPE-L:3202] Re: Re: Production for Production's Sake (was Need 1 and Luxemburg's *Accumulation of Capital*)

From: Paul Zarembka (zarembka@ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU)
Date: Mon May 15 2000 - 10:48:47 EDT

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bhandari@Princeton.EDU (Rakesh Bhandari) said, on 05/12/00 at 07:16 PM:

>Mattick puts the pt well in Econ Crisis and Crisis Theory (1981;
>capitalisation meant for Paul Z), p. 94: ...

    I'm not sure how to relate to the "capitalizating" in the quote from
Mattick and will have to pass for the time being. (Rakesh has a first
draft of three pages I wrote on Mattick on Luxemburg, but it would be
rather speculative for me to associate the capitalizations to my text.)

>Grossmann pointed to "how completely RL has misunderstood the
>significance of Marx's methodological procedure. For who could ensure
>that accumulation takes place proportionally in the 2 depts? No such
>regulator exists under capitalism or CAN exist. It follows that
>proportional accumulation is a PURELY IDEAL CASE; a FICTION that could
>actually prevail only accidently. As a rule the actual process of
>accumulation is quite unequal in the various branches."

    My paper notes that Grossmann is one of those who condemns Luxemburg
through and through. Frankly, some of it is unworthy of even a reply.
The following does deserve reply:

"instead of testing Marx's reproduction scheme within the framework of his
total system and especially of the theory of accumulation, instead of
asking what role it plays methodologically in the structure of his theory,
instead of analyzing the schemes of accumulation down to its ultimate
conclusion, [Luxemburg] was unconsciously influenced by them [Tugan and
Hilferling"] (Grossmann,p.125).

    A very strange position to take against Luxemburg, given her whole
140-page first section, and her explicit and biting criticism of
Tugan-Baranowsky (also of Bulgakov and Lenin)! Thus,
"The opinion, that producer goods can be produced independently of
consumption, is of course a mirage of Tugan-Baranowsky's, typical of
vulgar economics....[T]he quicker growth of Department I as compared with
Department II is beyond dispute....It is the foundation also of Marx's
fundamental law that the rate of profit tends to fall. Yet in spite of it
all, or rather precisely for this reason, it is a howler if Bulgakov,
Ilyin [Lenin] and Tugan Baranowsky imagine to have discovered in this law
the essential nature of capitalist economy as an economic system in which
production is an end in itself and human consumption merely incidental."
(Luxemburg, _Acc. of Capital_, p.320).

    Lenin is closer to Tugan (see my paper or Rosdolsky) than Luxemburg
could be. Why is neither Lenin commenting on Tugan-Baranowsky, nor
Lenin's work connected to accumulation, criticized nor defended by
Grossmann, but Grossmann says of Luxemburg, one "could scarcely imagine a
worse distortion of Marx's methodological principles" (p.126)? And if
Grossmann wants to defend a breakdown theory of capitalism and attack
Tugan-Baranowsky, why ignore Luxemburg's whole chapter criticizing Tugan?

    I think this pretty significant. Grossmann dumps all over Luxemburg,
and ignores the more appropriate target of his anger. From what he
writes, he should have found in her a theoretical ally, at least on this
issue. (Was he accepting Lenin as a Saint, and, since Lenin had
criticized Luxemburg, he wanted to join crowd? I don't know.)

    I'd have to get Grossmann again from inter-library loan to otherwise
return to him (the existing English translation is really too much
abridged; Lapides has added some more translation on "increasing misery",
still ... ).

>Grossmann points to the methodological signifance of purely ideal cases
>in which accumulation is proportionate b/t the two depts or the Bauer
>case of where II is only allowed to accumulate just as much as is needed
>for the accumulation of I.

>What the latter Bauer scheme, if extended, does show is the POSSIBILITY
>of a barrier in production itself, even if we allow L's fantastic
>supposition that sufficient money income had thereto been generated
>through non capitalist modes of surplus extraction to realize capital's
>excess commodity value and prevent a crisis of realization.

    Why "fantastic", unless you are focusing on "money income" -- which
she did not?

    The remainder of Rakesh's posting replies to Andrew, whose posting I
have not yet studied.

Paul Z.

"Accumulation of Capital, its Definition: A Century after Lenin and

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