[OPE-L:4502] Marx didn't divide out economists as such

From: Paul Zarembka (zarembka@ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU)
Date: Sun Nov 12 2000 - 09:06:10 EST

Marx himself did not cast out "economists" as such:

"As early as 1871, N. Sieber, Professor of Political Economy in the
University of Kiev, in his work 'David Ricardo's Theory of Value and of
Capital', referred to my theory of value, of money and of capital, as in
its fundamentals a necessary sequel to the teaching of Smith and Ricardo. 
That which astonishes the Western European in the reading of this
excellent work, is the author's consistent and firm grasp of the purely
theoretical position." (Marx, 1867, "Afterword" to the Second German
Edition of Capital, January 24, 1873).

"Mr. Wagner could have familiarized himself with the difference between me
and Ricardo both from Capital and from *Sieber's work* (if he knew
Russian)" (Marx, "Notes on Wagner", 1881, p. 534).

Sieber even visited Marx in London on several occasions (James D. White,
*Karl Marx and the Origins of Dialectical Materialism*, pp. 272-73).

We have the well-known references by Marx to his saying that he is not a
Marxist.  Does that make him an economist when writing *Capital*?  Could
it be argued that Marx himself in his extensive "Notes on the 1861 Reform
and Russia's Post-reform Development" (available in Russian only) as well
as Lenin in *Development of Capitalism in Russia* are both economists and
not Marxists by your friend's statement?  Are they economists by day and
Marxists by night?

In other words, Alejandro, I cannot agree with the point-blank dividing
assertion of your friend in Spain.  It is just too simplistic.  In fact,
since I know you personally, I can say that the assertion does not even
apply to yourself.  I could agree to a phrase like "to an overwhelming
degree, Marxists are not economists and economists are not Marxist" and
could be as applicable to Marx himself.

I think this discussion is non-trivial because building a movement to
overthrow capitalism requires bulding bridges without undermining
principles (a very difficult task, to put it mildly).   I also think that
we have diverted from the real burden of Rakesh's point.

Paul Z.

P.S. An anarchist position could be that intellectual work AS SUCH is not
Marxist and therefore an economist ipso facto is not revolutionary.  Such
a position would deny all Marx's work on *Capital*.

******************** http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/PZarembka

Alejandro Valle Baeza <valle@servidor.unam.mx> said, on 11/10/00:

>A Spanish friend told me:"In
>Spain, Marxist are not economist and economist are not Marxist". I
>believe this sentence is valid for Mexico and many other countries.
>Nevertheless it remain necessary critical economists in many places.

>Alejandro Valle Baeza

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