[OPE-L:4650] OPE-L:4622

From: dashyaf@easynet.co.uk
Date: Fri Dec 08 2000 - 17:51:19 EST

Paul Z,

'How do you reconcile the fact that Marx has a high regard for the work of
N. Sieber (who wrote a book published in Russian in 1871 which Marx read
and recommended highly; he also wrote articles in the 1870s on Marx's
theories) even as Sieber explicitly wrote (and Marx read) that Marx was
following in Ricardo's footsteps? In other words, if Sieber was wrong,
why did Marx praise Sieber's work and why didn't Marx correct Sieber?'

You mode of questioning is not fruitful. I cannot ask Marx why he didn't 
correct Sieber.  Perhaps because he was the first to popularise and defend 
Marx's writings in Russia - quite a useful ally in the circumstances. But 
might I quote something to you which perhaps throws some light on the issue:

'Mr Wagner could have familiarised himself with the difference between me 
and Ricardo both from Capital and from Sieber's work (if he knew Russian). 
Ricardo did indeed concern himself with labour solely as a measure of the 
magnitude of value, and therefore unable to find any link between his 
theory of value and the nature of money.'
Marx/Engels Collected Works Vol 24 p534

There were clear issues at stake in the debate between us and the 
Neo-Ricardians, as there were between Marx and Ricardo. Our differences 
concerned the theory of value, money, capital, the falling rate of profit 
and productive and unproductive labour as well as the transformation 
problem etc, in short everything fundamental to Marx's position.

I know very little about Sieber - I do not read Russian - but Marx's 
position seems in line with what I have argued.

David Yaffe

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