[OPE-L:5810] Re: Re: Marx & Ricardo

From: Paul Zarembka (zarembka@acsu.buffalo.edu)
Date: Wed Jun 06 2001 - 08:30:33 EDT

"Gerald_A_Levy" <Gerald_A_Levy@email.msn.com> said, on 06/05/01:


>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.)

Sieber's Chapter 4 on Marx is now translated for the first time in English
(or any language) and will be published in the next issue of *Research in
Political Economy*, along with Prefaces by well-known Marxist scholars. 
Thanks, Jerry, for the info on what happened at IWGT.

>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 definitely agree.

>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
>"Marginal 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previously unpublished manuscripts in the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.)

Do you know some examples of recent publications which are important for
one reason or another?

>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.

James D. White's new book, *Lenin: The Practice and Theory of Revolution*
calls into serious question how ACCURATE Lenin's *Development of
Capitalism in Russia* was.  For example, White notes "a refusal to
recognize the existence of social institutions in which cooperation,
mutual aid and the pooling of resources takes place.  By a stroke of a
pen, Lenin for purposes of his book, has abolished the peasant communities
and has put atomized civil society in their place... But it was precisely
mutual aid that was the characteristic feature of peasant life in the
agrarian village communities" (pp. 43-44). 

I always had high respect for Lenin's book, but now I'm rethinking my
position and, furthermore, rethinking the economic theory that he put
behind that book.  I believe White to be arguing that there is (much?)
more political agenda behind the book, and (much?) less science, than we
had heretofore been led to believe.  Unfortunately, real knowledge of the
Russian language, literature, and economy of the late 19th century is
required to do it right.

Paul Z.

P.S. Jerry, your text lines seem to be limited around 45 which requires
more scrolling from a reader than say 66 or 72.  You might check into

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