[OPE-L:4763] Re: Re: Perelman on "Primitive Accumulation": Lenin rather than Luxemburg?

From: Michael Perelman (michael@ECST.CSUCHICO.EDU)
Date: Thu Jan 11 2001 - 15:38:31 EST

Paul, I should not have used the term efficiency.  I only meant to say that
for Luxemburg traditional forms of production had to be dislodged by force.
For Lenin, their survival required the continual degradation of the lives of
its practitioners.

White's book sounds interesting.  I should take a look at it.  I also agree
that Marx moved more in the direction of Luxembourg as he grew older.

Paul Zarembka wrote:

> Michael Perelman <michael@ECST.CSUCHICO.EDU> said, on 01/10/01:
> >I've been thinking about Paul's question about my book.  Would it be fair
> >to say that Luxemburg sees less capitalistic forms of production as being
> >efficient, while Lenin does not?  In this respect, Lenin does fit the
> >mold of classical political economy, the Luxemburg falls outside of their
> >way of thinking.
> No, I don't thing Luxemburg was talking about efficiency, or at least I
> don't recall passages like that.
> >Marx seems to have moved from the Lenin perspective to the Luxemburg
> >perspective in his late years, as Shanin showed.
> J.D. White's book *Karl Marx and the Intellectual Origins of Dialectial
> Materialism* 1996, very much makes the point of Marx's growing interest,
> after 1867, in issues of primitive accumulation and how these
> investigations influenced Marx.  White's work connects nicely with
> Shanin's, and Michael's book ties in quite nicely with both.
> Probably without being aware of it, Luxemburg was moving in the same
> direction as late Marx; Lenin can be interpreted as staying closer to the
> Marx of the first edition of *Capital* (partly under Plekhanov's important
> influence).
> ---------
> Michael's book is not easy reading.  I have to go "back and forth".  One
> drama is his promotion of the importance of James Steuart and the class
> reasons for the silencing of Steuart, even though Steuart is ligitimately
> the founder of political economy.  Marx doesn't have a full study of
> Steuart (he does have 3-page Chapter I of T.S.V., I).  But he has
> comments, such as at the beginning of a discussion of Richard Jones: "Even
> this first work on rent [by Jones] is distinguished by what has been
> lacking in all English economists since Sir James Steuart, namely, a sense
> of the *historical* differences in modes of production" (T.S.V, III, p.
> 399).  If I read Michael correctly, Steuart might be similar to a Southern
> U.S. slave-holder who sees that the "free market" for labor power was
> being created by FORCE, even as a user of force himself (less likely,
> herself), and says so.
> Hopefully, to promote some interest in this topic on OPE-L other than
> Michael and myself, I quote from Michael's p. 170:
>   "Steuart, the greatest classical theortist of primitive accumulation,
> found himself the victim of a primitive accumulation of a literary sort.
> We are all the poorer for the lack of attention given to this seminal
> mind."
> Michael's book DRIVES our attention INTO the issue of FORCE.  What does
> that do to many of our various discussions?  Luxemburg's (and my own
> work)on accumulation also drives toward attention to FORCE (rather than
> efficiency), even if not centered around the concept of primitive
> accumulation as Michael presents it.
> Paul Z.


Michael Perelman
Economics Department
California State University
Chico, CA 95929

Tel. 530-898-5321
E-Mail michael@ecst.csuchico.edu

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