[OPE-L:5791] Re: Marx & Ricardo

From: Gerald_A_Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@email.msn.com)
Date: Tue Jun 05 2001 - 09:08:49 EDT

Re Paul Z's [5781]:

> Following upon some work I am doing now, I have found Lenin to be quite
 uncritical of Ricardo (while MUCH more critical of, for example,
 Sismondi).  The only important exception seems to be Lenin's referring to
Ricardo's buying into Smith's error of forgetting constant capital is
discussing the value of a product.  And even in this case, Lenin doesn't
show dramatic implications for Ricardo's theory of this error.  I haven't
reached conclusions yet.
 Note, in any case, that TSV, Volume 3, cited by Gerry, was only first
published in 1910, considerably after Lenin's economics of 1893-99.<

Hi Paul, It's good to hear from you.

When I saw the subject line for your post,  I
felt sure it would be about Sieber! (btw, there
was a mildly amusing moment for a # of
listmembers at the IWGVT mini-conference
in February when Paresh Chattopadhyay
asked a question to one of the panelists about
Sieber.  At that moment, listmembers from
around the room exchanged smiles of
recognition. I guess you just had to be there to
appreciate the moment, though.)

As for Lenin and Ricardo, I think that the
publication dates for the works of Marx
published after his death has had a *very*
significant impact in stimulating Marxist thought
and on the re-examination of perceived truths.
I think, e.g. that the fact that just about all
Bolshevik and early Austro-German Social
Democrats accepted a disproportionality and/
or underconsumptionist theory of crisis (discussed
at length in Richard B. Day's _The 'Crisis' and the
'Crash': Soviet Studies on the West (1917-
1939__) was related, in part, to the differing publication dates and
translations for Volumes 2
and 3 of _Capital_.  It might be interesting to
inquire whether there was a hardening of position towards Ricardo following
the Kautsky-edited
 _TSV_.  Similarly, the publication of the
_Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844_, the _Grundrisse_ and the
 Notes  on Wagner"  stimulated new debates and
 perspectives. (although the effects of the
publication in English of the "Marginal Notes on
Wagner", in 1972, might have been more
limited due, in part, to the fact that it was
published in the [relatively] obscure journal
_Theoretical Practice_).

Of course, these publications could not have had
such a significant effect on Marxist thought had
it now been for other political and material
developments, e.g. the widespread
influence of Stalinism  on Marxist thought.
Curiously, the recent publications of  some
previously unpublished manuscripts in the
_Collected Works_ and _MEGA_  appear to
have had a much more limited influence (perhaps
this is due, in part, to the reality that they are
generally only read by Marx-scholars.)

Lenin, of course, examined on a more concrete
level the realities of what was for his day
'contemporary capitalism'.  In this focus on the
concrete -- rather than on Marx or any one
author -- I think that his *method of
investigation* had much in common with Marx's.
As the latter years of his life make clear (e.g. his
study of peasant communes in Russia), Marx
was concerned to the end with the concrete and
empirical and re-examined his perspectives with
the acquisition of further knowledge.

In solidarity, Jerry

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Sun Jul 15 2001 - 10:56:29 EDT