[OPE-L:3376] Re: Re: Re: Mattick on Luxemburg

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@Princeton.EDU)
Date: Tue May 30 2000 - 13:21:09 EDT

[ show plain text ]

Paul Z wrote:

>Please note the character of much of Rakesh's reporting of Mattick -- much
>is merely Mattick reporting Grossmann.

Well yes, Mattick's main contribution was in the critique of Keynes and the
development of the political theory of council communism. However, he did
criticize Grossmann for giving the false impression that a scheme put in
production prices any more proved the possibilities of equilibrium growth
than Marx's value based schemes do. Moreover, Mattick discussed how the
workings of the credit system posed a solution to RL's problem, one much
more realistic than the supposition that non capitalist markets could be
the source of the realization of surplus value.

Here I would like to add another solution which Andrew Brown may find
interesting. From Leswak Nowak:

"The growth of the consumption by the owners creates the demand for the
enlargement of production. If the owners later possess new needs, then the
use of the dead surplus product becomes possible and it may be allocated
for a new labour force and the means of production indispensible for the
enlarging of prodduction by themselves or by other other owners. The new
labour force increases the demand for means of consumption, there occurs
also the growth in demand for new means of production, and as a result the
parasitism of the owners in reducing the dead surplus value leads to the
increase in production. This corresponds to theory of Keynes-Kalecki, that
'the more is consumed, the larger are the savings', which contradicts the
common sense conviction...This deviates so much from the ideological
condemnation of the idleness of the class of owners, that one could not
blame the author of *The Accumulation of Capital* for not noticing the
simple fact that the increase of luxury creates an additional demand for
new production as much as the needs of people living outside a given
society." Property and Power: Towards A Non Marxian Historical Materialism
(Boston: Reidel), p. 70

A few more points.
1. Mattick criticizes Lenin for accepting Bauer's critique of Luxemburg.

2. I mean two things by abstraction: one abstraction from reality or
completely unrealistic assumptions (those built into the reproduction
schema) and abstraction in the sense of real, albeit unobservable and
ultimately unmeasurable in precise terms, phenomena --the value magnitudes.
I am criticizing the repro schemes for the first kind of abstraction.

3. So it's fine to work with a repro scheme in values (a completely
unrealistic assumption of the basis on which exchanges would take place)
but not for the purposes of deriving any real conclusions about the actual
accumulation process.

4. I agree that I have been going to my own page about crisis theory,
instead of sticking to yours. Sorry.

Yours, Rakesh

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Wed May 31 2000 - 00:00:12 EDT