[OPE-L:4698] Re: David Yaffe on Ricardo and Marx

From: Jerry Levy (jerry_levy@usa.net)
Date: Thu Dec 14 2000 - 15:41:25 EST

From: "Drewk" <Andrew_Kliman@msn.com>
Subject:  [OPE-L:4663] Re: David Yaffe on Ricardo and Marx
Date: Sun, 10 Dec 2000 23:41:52 -0500

I stand with Paul Bullock in the challenge to "Marx"-ian
economics, which, as he say, "spend[s] so much of [its] time
picking holes in Marx where
there are none."  But I reject the term orthodox.  Orthodoxy in
"Marx"-ian economics has always been anti-Marx.  And Marx himself
was an extremely unorthodox Marxist even in his own day, as the
Critique of the Gotha Program makes clear.   I see no need to give
in to it the term orthodox, when it is an ad hominem attack used
by anti-Marx -- i.e., orthodox -- Marxists who have lost the
theoretical debate because they simply cannot prove their arrogant
claims that Marx made "errors."  (There is something chillingly
Stalinist about this term "errors.")  A variant of this that has
been floating around this list recently is the lovely
appeal-to-authority-cum-ad-hominem-attack-on-Marx launched by
Sinha:  "every sensible person on this planet thinks that Marx has
a transformation problem."  That's an argument?  In truth, such
types have run out of arguments.  Once one rejects their premises,
their conclusions fall.  It is that simple.  So censorship is
their last stand.  It is more important to their hegemony than

I also dislike the term "fundamentalist."  I believe it was
applied because some people (Anwar Shaikh? John Weeks?) said that
Marx made "errors," but he was "fundamentally" right.  What is
wrong with that kind of argument is that it lacks a *criterion* to
discriminate between the fundamental and the non-fundamental.
Someone can claim that Marx was "fundamentally" right, even though
his law of the tendential fall in the rate of profit is false, and
even though Marx himself wrote on at least three different
occasions that this law of his was the most important law of
political economy.  (Indeed someone has claimed almost precisely
this:  David Laibman has stated that his interpretation conforms
to Marx's "foundation concepts," even though that interpretation
leads one to conclude that Marx's law is wrong.)

Andrew Kliman

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