[OPE-L:6551] Re: * poll: who has advanced political econ omy since Marx? *

From: glevy@pop-b.pratt.edu
Date: Mon Feb 11 2002 - 10:46:31 EST

Re Julian's [6548]:

> I'd be interested the hear the views of better-read comrades than 
> myself on  this -- but do others agree with me that Lenin advanced > the *practical* *critique* of political economy to a marked degree?

At the risk of sounding heretical, what exactly was that advancement?
Are you referring to his pamphlet on the 'latest phase' of capitalism which he himself described as a 'popular outline'? (and which he left it to others, e.g. Bukharin, to expand upon) Or are you referring to other works of his on economics?  In looking at his contributions to p.e. I think it is fair to say that he was one of the earliest Marxists to use statistical analysis -- but he was by no means the only author to do so during this period (e.g. see Sternberg's use of statistical materials in his book on imperialism).
As for his 'critique of political economy', I think that his engagement was more with contemporary radical socialist and anarchist writers and political tendencies than with classical political economy. In other words, his critique was more of socialist and other contemporary political movements than of p.e. as such. Perhaps there is an important 'practical' lesson for us here about the need to engage contemporary debates by Marxists and other radicals rather than just limiting our understanding of 'critique' to writings of an earlier time period?

In solidarity, Jerry

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