[OPE-L:4595] Re: reflections on prior publications

From: paul bullock (paulbullock@ebms-ltd.in2home.co.uk)
Date: Sun Dec 03 2000 - 16:00:48 EST

Dear Jerry,

It seems you are inviting me to  relight some well known arguments. Well at
the moment I can say only this:

The two articles in the BCSE on Productive Labour, to which I referred,
arose from concern  that articles (like that of I Gough's in the New Left
Review to which it was a response) didn't deal with the question of
'services' , focusing on production and apparently tying this to 'material'
production, and omitting the issues of Health care and  education of the
working class by the 'welfare state'.  The articles were published, more to
my surprise than anything else since I was expecting some edit.com. response
with the first at least. The result was, that my uneducated  enquiries
caused a discussion in 1973  involving Gough and Harrison .Then  I. Gough in
1975 ( with  J. Harrison)  suggested abandoning the distinction between
productive and unproductive labour!  In the event an article was finally
written by   Peter Howell , in 'Revolutionary Communist No3/4 in 1975 that
TO THIS DAY, I take to be a fundamental statement and brilliant explanation,
from a Marxist standpoint, of  the issue. (4000 copies + 1000 reprints of
the journal were sold, mostly in Britain.  It is a shame that it is unknown
to so many younger Marxists.)

As you know, in the same copy of that journal  David Yaffe and I tackled the
question of the Post War Boom and Inflation, in which  the financial issues
in particular were tackled in a way which,  I would say,  has not been
bettered. This does not mean that we could not have expanded greatly on the
ideas developed, but  one has to consider the reader, the vehicle and the
purpose at the time.  SO no regrets at all!  It is I think necessary to
update the whole thing, 25 years of  experience, and expand it to tackle
concrete reality even more thoroughly. I remain a 'fundamentalist' or
'orthodox' Marxist,  viewing Mattick, Grossman,  Rosdolsky  as key --
although I must stress that I had read NONE of them until after RC3/4, and
Grossman only when available in the truncated form in English quite
recently!  (Could someone please translate the whole book!) I judge them by
what Marx and Engels wrote.

Maybe this is not quite the response you wanted/ expected, but it is all I
can say for the moment .

All the best

Paul Blk

-----Original Message-----
From: Jerry Levy <jerry_levy@usa.net>
To: ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu <ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu>
Date: 29 November 2000 15:23
Subject: [OPE-L:4581] reflections on prior publications

>Part of Paul Bullock's included the following:
>> When I was very young, in the 70's, I contributed 2 articles to the
>> then newish Bulletin of the Conference of Socialist Economists. ...
>> (later Capital and Class). I  then wrote for ' Revolutionary
>> Communist ',  the then Theoretical Journal of the Revolutionary
>> Communist Group here in Britain... instead of submitting my PhD......
>> also eg  an article for  a Japanese left journal on Racism in Britain.
>None of us are very young anymore -- in fact, some listmembers probably
>weren't even born when you wrote those _BCSE_ et. al. articles. With age
>often comes new perspective (in some instances quite literally, as in the
>case of my reading glasses). I wonder therefore: what do you think of those
>articles now?  If you were going to write again on those subjects now, what
>(if any) significant revisions would there be?
>While we're on this thread, does anyone else want to take this opportunity
>reflect on her/his prior publications? Has the passage of time changed any
>your perspectives on the content of prior publications?
>I would like to think that none of us are so old that we can't re-think and
>challenge our prior conceptions ....
>In solidarity, Jerry
>Get free email and a permanent address at http://www.netaddress.com/?N=1

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