[OPE-L:5770] Re: Re: Marx & Ricardo

From: Rakesh Narpat Bhandari (rakeshb@Stanford.EDU)
Date: Mon Jun 04 2001 - 02:54:08 EDT

Jerry writes in 5765

>Gary asks in [5763]:
>>  I'd be interested to hear what other listmembers think about this
>connection  between Ricardo and
>Marx, since so much Marxist hostility to the
>Sraffian   tradition stems from the belief that it inappropriately attempts
>to "transform
>  Marx into Ricardo" (as one TSSer has put it). <
>Let me begin with noting an agreement: I certainly
>agree that Marx held Ricardo in far higher
>regard than 'Parson Malthus'.  Indeed, Marx
>displays the utmost contempt for Malthus (perhaps
>second only to his contempt for the 'stupid'  J.
>B. Say).

Isn't Marx most contemptuous of Malthus' population theory (the 
greatest calumy ever heaped on the human race or some such what 
unforgettable line though alas I have forgotten) while at the same 
time underlining that Ricardo could only respond with forced 
abstractions and his followers with pathetic word games in the face
of Malthus's valid objections?

Ricardo made a scientific leap forward, but could not complete it. 
Malthus took this as license to return to preSmithian theory, but the 
license was granted by the actual disintegration of the Ricardian 
school. Marx did not try to dance around "Malthus' analytics" (to use 
Gary's expression) as Ricardo's followers had.

So Marx's critique of political economy begins with the problems that 
the Ricardian school could not solve...as Malthus and other critics 

I don't see how Marx's theoretical efforts make sense without 
recognition of the scientific or objective validity of the criticisms 
made by Malthus and others of Ricardo.

It's been a while since I read Peach's book, but my sense was that he 
is not as critical of Ricardo as he is of what he thinks to be 
Sraffa's (mis)-interpretation of Ricardo. I'll look for Gary's review 
in a couple of months.

bye, rakesh

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