[OPE-L:4455] Re: Re: Re: Grossman and possible sand castles

From: Paul Zarembka (zarembka@ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU)
Date: Sun Nov 05 2000 - 20:21:41 EST

Rakesh Narpat Bhandari <rakeshb@Stanford.EDU> said, on 11/05/00:

>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.

Her *Accumulation of Capital* is not about catastrophe, either, nor about
"socialism or barbarism".  It is about a major weakness in Marx's
argumentation regarding extended reproduction/accumulation of capital.  It
is a criticism of Karl Marx from within Marxism.

>>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. 

We have a returned to what makes me nervous -- my doubt that Grossman's
Marxist theory could be "independent" of a "relatively unreflective
enthusiasm for the Soviet Union".  I suspect connection and my doubts are
not assuaged by noting that Varga and Preobrazhensky did not support
Grossman's theory.  I cannot at this time demonstate the connection, and
am not actively pursuing the issue as part of my current research agenda. 
I'm more interested in discovering the connections between Lenin's Marxist
economics and his politics.  (Incidentally, Grossman was very careful,
i.e., too careful, about not criticizing Lenin, in circumstances which
would call for him to pay at least as much attention to Lenin's theory as
he did to Luxemburg's theory.  Again, this is problematic for me and
discourages me from greater interest.)

>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 don't know that I'd accept this as "primary" within Marx's reading of
capitalism.  There is so much in Marx.

>>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:

Since this referenced article is 1935 and Mattick wrote again long
passages on Luxemburg in 1974 and 1978, why don't we see direct
reflections or reproductions of the earlier argument in his later work (if
they are there can you cite the 1974/1978 page numbers)?  

In any case, what you write below in the first paragraph does not seem to
bear on Luxemburg's *Accumulation of Capital*, i.e., it may be 100%
correct and not undermine the importance of her critique of Marx's schemes
of extended reproduction.  Rather, it would argue for an ADDITIONAL
critique of Marx's schemes.

Regarding your phrase (third paragraph below) that "the schema of value on
which Luxemburg's analysis is based has different rates of profit in  the
various branches of production", could you give me the page citations to
Luxemburg for this statement?  This reading doesn't ring a bell in me.

Thanks, Paul Z.

Paul Zarembka, editor, RESEARCH IN POLITICAL ECONOMY at 
******************** http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/PZarembka

>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

>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.

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