[OPE-L:4709] Re: Re: David Yaffe on Ricardo and Marx

From: Paul Zarembka (zarembka@ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU)
Date: Fri Dec 15 2000 - 20:48:16 EST

I suspected that sooner or later someone would ask for line and verse from
Sieber vis-a-vis Marx.

First, the later, more thorough citation from Marx on Sieber (later than
the 1873 Afterword): 

-->"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, completed after January, 1881,
p. 534). 

Now for 1871 Sieber's book (i.e., what Marx was reading), as translated
for David Smith [not yet in print, please do NOT quote!]:

-->"only one step divided the approach to the problem by Ricardo's school
[what is value?] from the definition of the subject that fits best by
clarity, conciseness and specification.  Marx should be given credit for
creating such a definition, alongside with a number of the most
significant additions to the well-know theory..." [Chapter IV, "Marx's
theory of value and money"]

and 10-15 pages later we read, after Sieber's summary of Marx:

-->"This brief excerpt from the first chapter of Marx's book and addendum
contain, if we are not mistaken, the most significant features of the
author's doctrine about value and general properties of money... As for
the theory, the method Marx uses is a deductive method of the English

and one-half page later, before further summary:

-->Marx's theory "contains the following new and significant scientific
statements which give to Ricardo's theory more complete and polished form
and validate it with new proofs."

Furthermore, Sieber's 1877 article, which Marx possessed [Marx to Nikolai
Danielson, 15 November 1878: "I have seen nothing, save what you sent me
in 1877 (one article of Sieber and other, I think, of Michailoff, both in
the Fatherlandish Annals, in reply to that queer would-be Encyclopedist --
Mr Joukowski)." CW, Vol.45, p. 343-44] reads:

-->'*Capital* is nothing but a continuation and a development of the same
principles on which the doctrine of Smith and Ricardo is founded.'" (N. I.
Ziber, *lzbrannye ekonomicheshie proizvedeniia* (M, 1959), vol. 1, p.
556), quotation from Walicki (1979, pp. pp. 436-37) who is quoting the
1959 edition with Sieber's 1877 article.

Of course, any and all of us can say that there is a radical separation
between Ricardo and Marx.   But how do you defend such a position in the
face of Marx reading Sieber and NOT making a big deal of Sieber's
"failure" (such as it is) to notice such a radical separation?  Sieber
seems to be quite clearly saying that Marx followed upon Ricardo (whatever
we like it or not).

Recall that I am asking a question for which I do NOT know an answer, but
wish I had one!

Paul Z.

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

"Fred B. Moseley" <fmoseley@mtholyoke.edu> said, on 12/15/00:

>So it seems to be misleading to say (based on Marx's comments on Sieber)
>that "Marx followed in Ricardo's footsteps".  Paul Z., would you please
>clarify: "followed" in what specific sense(s) (besides having a
>"deductive" method)?  

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