[OPE-L:4450] Re: Re: Re: Grossman and possible sand castles

From: Rakesh Narpat Bhandari (rakeshb@Stanford.EDU)
Date: Sun Nov 05 2000 - 15:07:38 EST

re 4448
>I was suggesting that you (or others who wish to rely on it) may wind up
>finding Grossman's work a sand castle, more so than the bourgeois order
>which hasn't done badly for itself in its persistence well beyond what
>Marx would have suspected.

Paul, this sense of the resilience of capitalism in face of its 
critics and victims is exactly what Luxemburg's theoretical efforts 
sought to undermine.

>Your sentence "Luxemburg's heroic theoretical effort failed" mirrors
>Howard and King "her theory was wrong."

Well there is this criticism that she did not allow for how the 
averaging of the profit rate may eliminate the surpluses. I asked 
what you made of this important criticism.

>   This is the problem.
>Luxemburg's *Accumulation of Capital* is almost 450 pages of dense theory
>plus she wrote a long *Anti-critique*.

I have read the latter, plus Reform and revolution, and the Junius 
Pamphlet, a couple of biographies, her critique of Bolshevism and 
other writings. It's not like I have been pursuing a serious 
bourgeois education.

>So you get an idea of what we are dealing with when we wish to turn around
>the weight of a century condemning her.  Grossman was part of an effective
>machine to break Luxemburg's sword drawn against the bourgeoies order and
>both Stalinism (an accomplice to her theoretical murder) and socialism
>democracy (an accomplice to her personal murder) had good reasons for
>doing so.  It was one of many factors preserving the bourgeois order you
>suggest is a sand castle.

Grossman defended her vision of breakdown on a different theoretical 
basis. Grossman was a fierce critic of the Austro Marxists; this 
theory is diametrically opposed to the disproportionality argument of 
Preobrazhensky and the underconsumptionism of Varga (his ideas seem 
to have had little influence on the debates in Stalinist Russia by 
Richard B Day's excellent account The Crisis and the Crash). If it's 
theoretical independence from Stalinism and Social Democracy you 
want, then Grossman will do you fine and Mattick is both 
theoretically and politically opposed.

All the best, Rakesh

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Nov 30 2000 - 00:00:04 EST