[OPE-L:4454] Re: Re: Grossman and possible sand castles

From: Rakesh Narpat Bhandari (rakeshb@Stanford.EDU)
Date: Sun Nov 05 2000 - 18:20:30 EST

re 4452

>In [OPE-L:4450], Rakesh Narpat Bhandari <rakeshb@Stanford.EDU> said, on
>Major point:
>>>... 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.... [PZ]
>>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). [RNB]
>There is NO reference to "breakdown" in her entire *Accumulation of
>Capital* until one gets to the very last paragraph.  There is even an
>explicit statement from her that she does NOT offer foundation for a
>"vision of breakdown" ["in order to demonstrate the pure implications of
>capitalist reproduction we must rather consider it quite apart from the
>periodical cycles and crises" (first chapter, p. 35)].

Paul Z,
I did mis-speak. Wm J Blake later clarified that Grossman's theory is 
also not of one break down but one of catastrophe. It a theoretical 
clarification of the two options which capitalism presents: socialism 
or barbarism. Luxemburg, Grossman, Mattick are one one side against 
the neo harmonists here.

>If you think Grossman was independent of Stalinism, try Martin Jay *The
>Dialectical Imagionation*, p. 17: "Grossmann's politics were grounded in a
>relatively unreflective enthusiasm for the Soviet Union".

I said theoretically independent. His theory was not embraced by any 
of the sides in the Soviet accumulation debates. Mattick Sr was 
independent in both theoretical and political terms. Mattick Sr drew 
the correct political implications of Grossman's economic theory and 
later applied the economic theory to the critique of Keynesianism in 
which he made falsifiable predictions which were confirmed.

>  In my judgement, you could be on more solid ground accepting
>this observation and either saying it doesn't matter for his economic

This is what I meant to say.

>  or reconsidering your statement "I am still seeking to put Marxian
>theory on the foundations of Grossmann, Blake and Mattick Sr."

I meant this as shorthand for reading Marx's theory of capitalist 
development as primarily a theory of its tendency towards cycles, 
protracted general crises
and catastrophe.
>I replied in 4434: "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."

Paul, I believe this is an important criticism: The Marxian schema 
deals with the exchange values, but in reality the commodities are 
not exchanged at their values but at production prices. In a 
reproduction schema built on values, different rates of profit must 
arise in each dept of the schema. There is in reality however a 
tendency for the different raes of profit to be equalised to average 
rates, a circumstance which is already embraced in the concept of 
production prices. So that if one wants to take the schema as a basis 
for critcizing or granting the possibility of realising surplus 
value, it would have to first have to be transformed into the prices 
of production.

Even if Luxemburg had been successful in demonstrating that in the 
marxian schema the full turnover of commodities is impossible, that 
with each year an increasing superfluity of means of consumption must 
arise, what would she have proved?

Merely the circumstance that the 'indisposable remainder' in the 
consumption dept arises within the schema of value, that is, on the 
presupposition that commodities are exchanged at their values.' But 
this presupposition does not exist in reality. The schema of value on 
which Luxemburg's analysis is based has different rates of profit in 
the various branches of production, and these rates are not equated 
to average rates, since the schema take no account of competition. 
What do Luxemburg's conclusions amount to then as regards reality, 
when they are derived from a schema having no objective validity?

Since competition gives rise to the transformation of values into 
production prices and thereby the redistribution of the surplus value 
among the branches of industry (in the schema), whereby there 
necessarily occurs also a change in the previous proportionality 
relation of spheres of the schema, it is quite possible and even 
probable then that a consumption balance in the value schema 
subsequently vanishes inthe production price schema and inversely an 
original equilibrium in the value price schema is subsequently 
transformed in the production price schema into a disproportionality.

>I have only been focusing on her economic theory.

And so is the above criticism from Anti Bolshevik Communism.

Comradely, Rakesh

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