[OPE-L:6298] Re: Re: grossman (response to paul z) [or, the "silences" of Grossman and Lenin]

From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@stanford.edu)
Date: Sat Jan 12 2002 - 17:22:52 EST

>Rakesh Bhandari <rakeshb@stanford.edu> said, on 01/12/02:
>>3.... [Grossman] has to go after Tugan, Bauer, Hilferding,
>>Luxembug, Bukharin, etc., for they had written on the *theory* of
>>accumulation and crisis, not Lenin. 
>Lenin did write on theory of accumulation and crisis (I haven't brought up
>*Imperialism* at all), and his views are not far from Tugan's in
>underplaying over-production theories of crisis.  Virtually all of Lenin's
>writings on markets, economic content of Narodism, realization deal with
>the possibilities or lack thereof of capitalist accumulation and crises:

everyting you list was written before 1900, and aren' these mostly 
theoretical works on the possibility of capitalism at all within 
Russia, not theories of the long term tendency of an advanced or late 
capitalism. Which is what grossmann's object of theoretical 
investigation was.

yes grossmann proceeded on the assumption that through accumulation 
capital *can* create sufficient demand to realize surplus value. So 
therefore he proceeded on the basis of a provisional acceptance of 
Say's Law for the purposes of discovering contradictions independent 
of demand. this aspect of grossman was best understood by bernice 
shoul who anticipates in shocking detail much of what raya 
dunayevskaya would later say on the matter as well

>hers before 1937.
>>4. I do think a Lenin like theory of disproportionality is solidly
>>grounded in TSV (disproportionality as a result of uneven technical
>>change, not failures to anticipate demand a la classical partial glut
>>theory) , not a theory of underconsumption.
>Now Rakesh seems to claim Lenin with a crisis theory and a good one at

yes Lenin does seem to have developed a correct theory of inherent 
disproportionality that differs in substance from classical partial 
glut theory.
grossmann of course thinks the rudiments of that theory are in 
sismondi. But such disproportionality does not exhaust Marx's theory 
of crisis, Grossmann himself elaborates the theory of 
disproportionality in the 1941 book.

>>7. Again, it is possible to have a sword out for Luxemburg's theory of
>>accumulation (mattick wields grossmann's sword) and embrace her
>>political theory (as mattick does).
>Where is the evidence that Grossman defended politically those associated
>with Rosa Luxemburg, either while he was living in Poland or Germany?
>Anti-Luxemburgism became rampant.  Where was Grossman on this?  Yet, they
>had both the same Polish-Jewish origin and of immigration to Germany.

I don't know. Rick Kuhn probably has the answer. I think Grossmann 
was the only member of the Frankfurt School who was not allowed an 
official teaching position. And as Richard Day shows, the anti 
Luxemburg bolsheviks did not take on grossmann's falling rate/mass of 
theory either. The British CP would condemn grossman (as well as 
preobrazhensky) as a social fascist in 1933.

>I'd say Grossman's criticism of her *Accumulation of Capital* served a
>similar function to Bukharin's (recall that Bukharin made his move in 1924,
>after Lenin's death and as he sides with Stalin).  I cannot believe
>Grossman was unaware of the political implications of not criticizing
>Lenin's economics while criticizing Luxemburg's; Grossman had more than
>enough political experience in his life.

Well this sidesteps the question of the accuracy of Grossman's 
critique of Luxemburg--see my OPE 6924.  And again what had Lenin 
written in the last ten years on the subject of the future of *late* 
capitalism to criticize?  He had left the theorizing to Bukharin and 
Bauer. And Grossman said what could be said about Lenin's 
Imperialism. Which is not much because it is a very thin work.
But if you want to say that Grossmann should have signed on to the 
anti bolshevik manifestoes of pannekoek, gorter and other infantile 
leftists as lenin affectionately called them, fine; but that does not 
mean that his criticism of luxemburg is wrong.

>This tread started on Marx and the Classicals regarding 1941 Grossman's
>silence on Lenin's position clearly contrary to his own.  The tread
>was not about Luxemburg, one way or another, which we have discussed before
>on this list and can get repetitous of positions.

but i don't understand your answer to the grossman/mattick criticism 
of luxemburg.

>However, I did not miss Rakesh's posting [OPE-L:6294]which ended with
>"Grossmann and Mattick are in the tradition of Marx; Bauer, Luxemburg and
>Rosdolsky are not", which speaks for itself on Rakesh's dismissal.

I am speaking here in terms of their theories of accumulation and 
crisis which are not rooted in the production of surplus value. I 
have already spoken in favor of Luxemburg's Marxian political theory.

>  I can
>add that Lenin wrote Kamenev in 1913, "I have read Rosa's new book *Die
>Akkumulation des Kapitals*.  She has got into a shocking muddle.  She has
>distorted Marx.  I am very glad that Pannekoek and Eckstein and O. Bauer
>have all with one accord condemned her, and I intend to write about Rosa
>for No. 4 of *Prosveshcheniye* ".  (Then, his silence ... )

Exactly. Lenin himself wrote nothing to criticize. What Grossmann did 
was criticize those who attacked Luxemburg from a revionist 
perspective which included the austro marxists and the bolsheviks.


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