[OPE-L:4434] Grossman and possible sand castles

From: Paul Zarembka (zarembka@ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU)
Date: Fri Nov 03 2000 - 21:32:00 EST

RE: 4425 on "growth rates"


>but what do you make of Mattick's argument, derived from Grossman, 
>almost 40 years earlier (1935):

>"The theoretical confusion of Rosa Luxemburg is best illustrated in  the
>fact that on the one hand she sees in the average rate of profit  the
>governing factor which 'actually treats each individual capital  only as
>part of the total social capital, accords it profit as part  of the
>surplus value to which it is entitled in accordance with its  magnitude,
>without regard to the quantity which it has actually won',  and that she
>nevertheless examines the question as to whether a  ocmplete exchange is
>possible; and that on the basis of a schema  which knows no average rate
>of profit. If one takes into account this  average rate of profit, Rosa
>Luxemburg's disproportionality argument  loses all value, since one
>department sells above and the other under  value and on the basis of the
>production price the undisposable part  of the surplus value may
>vanish."(reprinted in Anti Bolshevik  Communism, ME  Sharpe, 1978, p. 38)

>True, Mattick Sr here does allow here for some modification in 
>conditions in the reproduction schemes, that is allows for an average 
>rate of profit, but he certainly seems make an interesting argument  here
>which you did not address in the draft, correct? 


I don't own a copy of Mattick's *Anti-Bolshesik Communism* and what I used
is back in the library.  In any case, I don't understand the passage above
which you cite.

>I had suggested  that to
>understand the totality of Mattick Sr's views on Luxemburg  one would
>have to consider these earlier essays as well. As a  teenager, let us not
>forget, Mattick Sr was in the youth section of  the German Spartacist

I did read the 1935 piece several months ago and made the judgement that
Mattick's more mature understanding should naturally be reflected in his
1974 and 1978 work, rather than the 1935 piece.  (I wasn't trying to do a
study of Mattick and how his views might have changed over time.)

By bringing up the Spartacist League, what do you want to say? that
Mattick was "sympathetic" in his youth to Luxemburg's politics?

>ps I am still seeking to put Marxian theory on the foundations of 
>Grossmann, Blake and Mattick Sr.

Without trying to be argumentative, what is your basis for believing that
you are not building a sand castle?  I get kind of nervous when someone
tries to build a foundation upon a supporter of Stalin's Soviet Union. 
Not that I can see the precise connections, but I'd be less that frank if
I did not say that I get nervous (as in: "there must be a connection
between Grossman's politics and Grossman's economic theory, even if it is
only a partial connection and shouldn't be used to imply dumping upon
everything Grossman wrote").

Since you have worked more on Grossman than almost any of us, could you
clarify your own views on the connections, or lack thereof, between
Grossman's 1920s and 30s politics and theory?  Again, I'm not being
argumentative.  I just would like some clarifications.  And if you don't
feel ready to work this through, fine (I have similar lacunae of my own to
work through).

Paul Z.

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